Another monologue from Laughing Wild by Christopher Durang:
I used to be a very negative person. But then I took this personality workshop that totally turned my life around. Now when something bad or negative happens, I can see the positive. Now when I have a really bad day, or when someone I thought was a really good friend betrays me, or maybe when I’ve been hit by one of those damn people riding bicycles the opposite way on a one-way street, so, of course, one hadn’t looked in that direction and there they are bearing down on you, about to kill or maim you—anyway, I look at any of these things and I say to myself: this glass is not half full, it’s half empty.
No—I said it backwards, force of habit. This glass is not half empty, it is half full.
Of course, if they hit you with the stupid bicycle your glass won’t be half full or half empty, it will be shattered to pieces, and you’ll be dead or in the hospital.
But really I’m trying to be positive, that’s what I’m doing with my life these days. I was tired of not being joyful and happy, I was sick of my personality, and I had to change it.
Half full, not half empty. I had to say to myself: you do not have cancer—at least not today. You are not blind. You are not one of the starving children in India or China or in Africa. Look at the sunset, look at the sunrise, why don’t you enjoy them, for God’s sake? And now I do. Except if it’s cloudy, of course, and you can’t see the sun. Or if it’s cold. Or if it’s too hot.
I probably need to take a few more personality workshops to complete the process. It’s still not quite within my grasp, this being positive business.
But I’m making great strides my friends don’t recognize me.
And it’s hard for me to be positive because I’m very sensitive to the vibrations of people around me, or maybe I’m just paranoid.
Divergent: “Barely diverting” — Bruce Diones, The New Yorker
Sabotage: “This is the type of movie best enjoyed as a late-night indulgence on cable. Really late at night, when your eyes are still partially open, but your brain has called it quits.” — David Hiltbrand, philly.com
Need for Speed: “Need for Speed is so busy and loud that, if not watched vigilantly, it could be mistaken for something fun. But it is a shambling lemon.” — Dan Schindel, filmschoolrejects.com
Non-Stop: “The problem is that Non-Stop tries to be something it’s not. It has one too many scenes that border on ludicrous, and the big reveal barely makes sense.” — Dave McGinn, Globe and Mail
God’s Not Dead: “God may not be dead, but I’d be willing to wager this movie at least gave him a faint wave of nausea.” — Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress
Grown Ups 2: “Adam Sandler scrapes the bottom of the barrel” and then he pukes into it with Grown Ups 2, a lazily cribbed-together swamp of pointless and unfunny sketches that makes 2010;s Grown Ups look like Citizen Kane.” — Linda Barnard, Toronto Star
Pawn Shop Chronicles: “By the time it winds to a conclusion, the film seems to have tired itself out, like a toddler who screeches nonsensically for hours, then falls asleep in a fetal ball in the corner.” — Nathan Rabin, The Disolve
The Lone Ranger: “Somewhere, around the hour-and-a-half mark, The Lone Ranger makes the fateful decision not to end. Worse, the movie keeps not-ending for another full hour.” — Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
White House Down: “It follows the Emmerich template: a spectacle-tinged, compelling setup; a dumb, disappointing midsection; and a cheese-topped denouement that veers so close to self-parody that one is tempted to call it funny.” — James Berardinelli, ReelViews
Man of Steel: “For all its ambition, Man Of Steel fails to soar, instead crash landing in a humourless, melodramatic mess of explosions.” — Matt Neal, The Standard
Now You See Me: “Audiences go to magic shows to get fooled, but that doesn’t mean they want to leave feeling cheated.” — Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
The Great Gatsby: “Why didn’t the maestro didn’t just go the whole hog and rename it ‘Jazz Hands: A Love Story’? A bottle of your best champagne says he thought about it.” — Ed Whitfield, The Ooh Tray
After Earth: “The only value in watching it is to see an expensive disaster slowly unfold.” — Peter Howell, Toronto Star
Now You See Me: “It takes a certain dark magic to make the talent of a top cast disappear right before your eyes. Now You See Me does just that.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Magazine
The Hangover Part III: “If only what happened in Vegas had stayed in Vegas.” — Tom Charity, CNN.com
Oblivion: “Was Cruise trying to beat out fellow Scientologist John Travolta for the honor of starring in the dumbest sci-fi epic ever?” — David Edelstein, Vulture
Wrath of the Titans: “Even the most skilled actors in the cast mainly look like they’re struggling to stay awake.” — Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Three Stooges: “For the Farrellys, The Three Stooges is a labor of love. For non-believers, it’s merely a labor.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Lockout: “I suspect many people will be on board, as I was, with Lockout for about 5 minutes. Fortunately, anyone can go to YouTube and see them without seeing what comes next: 85 minutes of shoddy plotting, direction and full-on boredom.” — Erik Childress, eFilmCritic.com
John Carter: “The reported $250 million price tag for John Carter gives one pause. I suppose one could argue that masterpieces have no price. Then again, John Carter is no masterpiece.” — Peter Rainer, CS Monitor
Underworld Awakening: “If you came for RealD 3-D throat ripping and gunshots to the head, you might leave somewhat satisfied. More likely, you’ll just want Ibuprofen and a refund.” — Teddy Durgin, screenit.com
One for the Money: “We’re meant to laugh at the fact that cute little Stephanie bumbles her way to getting one informant killed and another savagely beaten and thrown from a moving vehicle. Oh Stephanie, you’re a riot!” — Jeff Otto, cinemaobsession.com
Red Tails: “One can get away with a lot of cornball speeches a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away but it doesn’t work nearly as well a short time ago on planet Earth.” — James Berardinelli, reelviews
Man on a Ledge: “After an hour of this malarkey, you’re tempted to ask if there’s room for one more on that ledge.” — Steve Persall, St. Petersburg Times
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close could be more accurately described as Extremely Mawkish and Incredibly Irritating.” — Ethan Alter, Television Without Pity
Contraband: “‘Contraband’ aims to be dumb fun but gets only the first half right.” — Kyle Smith, New York Post
The Three Musketeers: “The trio of journeyman British actors who play the musketeers are a brusque, reasonably appealing lot, though they barely get enough screen time to know them. As the film’s conclusion makes clear, that oversight is intended to be redressed in a sequel. No, thanks. In this case, ‘One for all’ will do.” — Liam Lacey, The Globe and Mail
Courageous: “Fails to answer the more pressing question of why religious sagas such as this treat subtlety as a sin.” — Nick Schager, Village Voice
Real Steel: “Better than Transformers. I fear that if I lower the bar any further, I shall pinch my toes.” — Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
The Son of No One: “Life is a struggle, the new film “The Son of No One” makes that explicitly clear. But so is moviemaking, and unfortunately the toil is all too evident in writer-director Dito Montiel’s messy, logic-strained third feature.” — Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
The Rum Diary: “Maybe if you have a little rum before viewing you can enjoy the diary, I however was not impressed.” — Jolene Mendez, Entertainment Spectrum
The Smurfs: “It’s raw and mean-spirited, with too many of the Smurf word substitutions more naughty than nice (“Who Smurfed?” or “Where the Smurf are we?”). That’s Smurfed up.” — Nell Minow, Chicago Sun-Times
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D: “I was apparently dealt a faulty card and could not pull up any discernible aromas other than those of flop sweat and mild embarrassment.” — Peter Sobczynski, eFilmCritic
Shark Night 3D: “A ho-hum series of kills and lulls so predictable that it doesn’t even look like much fun for the sharks; when they open wide, they might as well be yawning.” — Adam Markovitz, Entertainment Weekly
Apollo 18: “For the most part, alas, this only goes to show that in space, no one can hear you yawn.” — Neil Smith, Total Film
Transformers: Dark of the Moon: “Director Michael Bay, Hollywood’s answer to the Antichrist, isn’t primarily interested in your soul, though his movie does a pretty effective job of sucking that away (and sucking, in general).” — Lou Lumenick, New York Post
Zookeeper: “Unfortunately, nobody had the good sense to call the comedy authorities and shut this Zookeeper down.” — Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail
Cars 2: “Cars 2 runs out of gas. It’s on fumes — and some of them pretty noxious. There may be enough color and motion to initially interest children, but the plot will lose them, and boredom may follow.” — Tony Macklin, tonymacklin.net
Bad Teacher: “If you’re looking for a funny comedy about a cynical, hard-partying school teacher transformed by his students into a paragon of pedagogical awesomeness, skip Bad Teacher and go rent School of Rock instead.” — Dana Stevens, Slate
Larry Crowne: “Even if you wander into this congealed mess with nothing more demanding in mind than to spend a little time with two charming favorites, do not expect Forrest Gump or Pretty Woman.” — Rex Reed, New York Observer
Fast Five: “Wow, the only way this film could be more ludicrous is if they actually cast Ludacris in it. Oh wait…” — Widgett Walls, Needcoffee.com
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family: “Comedy is comedy, and ‘terminal illness’ is ‘terminal illness’ and the two really shouldn’t meet. What you end up with is a movie that’s literally as funny as cancer.” — Jim Slotek, Jam! Movies
Water for Elephants: “…a much larger group of potential ticket-buyers could have been tapped with a different title that I offer here for consideration: Twilight Under the Big Top.” — Sarah Boslaugh, Playback:stl
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil: “Parents should take their children to ‘Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil,’ if only because kids are never too young to learn the important and liberating skill of walking out of a movie and demanding a refund.” — Kyle Smith, New York Post
Insidious: “Looking up the word Insidious in the dictionary is a more fulfilling experience than seeing the movie Insidious.” — Jordan Hoffman, UGO