My review of My Year of Flops by Nathan Rabin ran today at PopMatters.
I’ve been a big fan of Rabin’s writing at The A.V. Club for a long time — not just his My Year of Flops column, but also his breakdowns of the NOW! compilation series and his often surprisingly revealing interviews, like this one with ICP’s Violent J. The My Year of Flops book contains 35 of the best articles from his column, plus 15 new entries and a slew of supplemental interviews with actors, directors, and other victims of these cinematic disasters.
What makes this book so successful is that Rabin is not out to bash easy targets (not primarily, at least). He’s looking for something salvageable in these films. In the case of Battlefield Earth, maybe its only value is in the humor it generates and the staggering arrogance of its creation. Still, other films, like The Rocketeer, are failures only in a commercial sense, doomed only by timing or poor marketing, not because of some intrinsic artistic flaw. Rabin is an affable critic, and his criticism is always insightful, funny, and constructive.