The Penguin of Disapproval

If you’ve been listening to the Popcorn Dialogues podcasts, you know that if Lani and I really don’t like a movie, at some point we’ll say, “Lord, it wasn’t good,” and then go off into hysterical laughter. We’re quoting this Bloom County cartoon by the genius Berkeley Breathed featuring everybody’s favorite flightless seabird, Opus (click on the strip to enlarge): We’ve had this experience (ranting about something that let us down until we go over the edge and must return to the bottom line: it really stunk) a lot on PopD, enough that the whole “Lord, it wasn’t good” is becoming a trope. So we’ve decided that, just as many institutions have a Seal of Approval, we’re going to have a Penguin of Disapproval: Okay, the image needs work and we’ll fix it, but I’m thinking it will be good for things beyond Ninotchka, Barefoot in the Park, and The Holiday. Like the bowdlerized version of Huckleberry Finn. And the attempts to repeal health care. And jeggings. Really, I’m wondering how we ever got along without it. The Penguin of Disapproval. Watch for it on a huge mistake near you.

23 thoughts on “The Penguin of Disapproval

  1. I love Opus. So much. LOL. And as soon as I saw “Lord, it wasn’t good,” and “quoting this Bloom County cartoon” I started laughing, because I remember that one.

    I also like “Didn’t totally suck” for things that were just this side of “Lord, it wasn’t good.” LOL

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  2. I love it! I think we need a rubber stamp so as to not limit ourselves to just virtual items of disapproval! Can’t wait to see it’s first offical designation item! Thanks

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  3. I love the idea the sheer being-ness of a penguin of disapproval. It works also as a short hand image of all the times I’ve mis-recommended a film for someone. My latest offence was ‘The Devil wears Prada.’ I thought it hilarious…but then I’ve worked as a fashion buyer and that one scene where the life cycle of a blue sweater that was begat originally from some couture fashion parade just made it all worth while for me. I have long moments where I’m easy.

    Anyway the feedback came with the body language of tipped head on side that suggested I was insane and or totally uncouth.

    My defence was,’ That hey, I didn’t promise you deep, just something you could iron to.’ …

    So as a side product of an out of proportion sense of curiousness ( and that I am spending my Saturday night ‘baby sitting’ my daughter’s red border collie while she is in the recording studio) is The Devil wears Prada, penguin worthy or a hoot?

    And are films that you can iron to, a sub-genre of all its own?

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  4. I love it. You expands my horizons, you does!

    But just check if the cartoon is licensed as a creative commons project. I don’t wanna be a killjoy but I don’t want you getting into trouble for something like this.

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  5. I can see this replacing the notches carved in my bedpost as a rating system. “Lord, it wasn’t good” and “Didn’t totally suck” would get a lot of use.

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  6. Cool. My best friend and I have another one, “Well it wasn’t Norbit” Which we both look upon as the worst movie ever made. How bad movies get rated. Just short of Norbit, Halfway to Norbit, On the Norbit track, A soupçon of Norbit.

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  7. Penguin of Disapproval! I’d like to award it to 2012, which is an hour of my life I won’t get back – I think my husband put it on as punishment for me sewing too much 😉

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  8. Went to see 5 of the 10 Oscar nominated best films on saturday. Pretty much only the costuming-continuity in True Grit needed the Penguin of Disapproval. Those were some good movies! If you’re in the LA area, the AMC woodland hills was not crowded – you should go to the follow up next saturday. $35 and comes with a $10 gift card to use at concessions. For some reason seeing 2 movies on a saturday feels like it uses the whole weekend, but 5 all at once (no extra trailers between shows, just 15 minutes breaks) was really cool.

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  9. genuis.

    i see a scale – “lord it wasn’t good” followed by “getting close to bat country” followed by “didn’t totally suck” and so on.

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  10. Love me some Opus! I have to admit that I actually use several Crusie-isms in my daily life: “Baby, I think we’re in bat country”, “Well, it isn’t a Minnie and Mickey snowglobe, but it’s sweet”, “It’s almost as bad as being dumped in a theme bar” and the always useful “Sweetie, sometimes the bear eats you.” I also frequently use you as a barometer of sorts when trying to decide what kind of books a customer may like: “When you say funny, do you mean Susan Elizabeth Phillips funny or Jennifer Crusie funny?” You would be amazed how useful that distinction is!

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