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A few words from Paul Clinton

By Todd Leopold
CNN

Green
Tom Green in "Freddy Got Fingered": Not one of Paul Clinton's favorite films.

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(CNN) -- People like to think that being a movie reviewer is the cushiest job around. Paul Clinton wouldn't argue the point: He loved his job.

But being a movie reviewer also means having to give up chunks of your life to the likes of "Freddy Got Fingered," "A Sound of Thunder" and "House of D." Paul was unforgiving when he believed he'd been snookered.

Take "Fingered," for example, a 2001 Tom Green film that has entered the annals of Hollywood as one of the most offensive films ever made. Paul didn't pull any punches in his review.

"The new comedy from Tom Green, 'Freddy Got Fingered,' is quite simply the worst movie ever released by a major studio in Hollywood history," his review began.

Ouch. A CNN.com copy editor didn't even try to be clever with the headline. " 'Freddy Got Fingered' is a bad, bad film," it read matter-of-factly.

Paul wasn't always so irate. He was impressed by "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," particularly star Steve Carell. He couldn't say enough nice things about "Walk the Line." And he loved pretty much every one of the 187 minutes of "King Kong."

And then there are the films where a critic finds himself out on a limb, movies you like but most other reviewers don't. In Paul's case, that meant thumbs up for "Rent" (49 percent on the review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com), "Beyond Borders" (16 percent) and "Derailed" (21 percent).

But hey, that's the critic's life. As Paul would say, it's one person's opinion.

Here are some of Paul's highlights:

"In a word, [Peter] Jackson's 'King Kong' is spectacular, awesome, phenomenal and breathtaking. OK, so I can't boil it down to one word."
- " 'King Kong' a giant pleasure," December 14, 2005

"Around this time of year -- like a visit from the flu bug -- Hollywood is bitten by a severe case of B.O.B, 'Blatant Oscar Bid.' 'North Country' is one of this year's first full-blown cases."
- " 'North Country': Oscar no, pompous yes," October 21, 2005

"That sound you hear while watching 'A Sound of Thunder' is actually audience members thundering toward the exits in an effort to get away from this ghastly film."
- " 'Sound of Thunder,' smell of garbage," September 2, 2005

"This season's biggest holiday extravaganza, 'The Polar Express,' should be subtitled 'The Night of the Living Dead.' "
- " 'Polar Express' a creepy ride," November 10, 2004

"In the end, this is [Mel] Gibson's interpretation. Yes, this film is long on torture and seems short, at times, in terms of actual spirituality. But Gibson is an artist and he's allowed to create his vision. Live with it. If you don't agree, don't go."
- "A powerful, personal 'Passion,' " February 25, 2004

"Remember the comedy 'Groundhog Day,' in which Bill Murray is forced to relive the same day time and time again? Well, '50 First Dates' has the exact same premise with one big difference: It's not funny."
- " '50 First Dates' repetitive futility," February 12, 2004

"The result is a truly moving experience, and a perfect example of how art -- when done right -- can help heal, clarify, and comfort."
- " 'The Guys' a moving tribute," March 27, 2003

"Robin Williams, it has been reported, decided to change his career strategy in the aftermath of being critically accused of playing the same warm-and-fuzzy characters time and again in such sappy films as 'Patch Adams' (1998) and 'Jack' (1996). It got to the point where insulin shots should have been sold along with the tickets to his films."
- "Creepy, sharp 'One Hour Photo,' " August 29, 2002

"[Keanu Reeves] reportedly was such a good goalie he earned the nickname 'The Wall,' a handle that could also apply to his acting style."
- "Weakly tapped 'Hardball,' " September 14, 2001

"[Renee] Zellweger -- a native of Texas, who co-stars alongside two famous Brits, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth -- has proven her critics wrong, wrong, wrong. The lady can act."
- "Unlock 'Bridget Jones's Diary,' " April 12, 2001

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