25 October 2009
6 October 2009
26 August 2009
So who does make the list? Tom Wrigglesworth (called it) and Jon Richardson (not a surprise but I though he might be eaked out) are both there plus four others (it's a six entry shortlist this year, making up for the shortened four entries last year). With six spaces any sane person would imagine Andrew Lawrence and probably Wehn & Kuhnle being in with a good shout of being on the list. Well you'd be a fool! John Bishop and perennial nominee Russell Kane both get nods a while both did good shows they weren't brilliant. Neither of these shows can hold a candle to any of the aforementioned acts and it is quite a shock for them to be on the list with the presence of such competition. The final two are Idiots of Ants (a sketch group, I guessed Adam Riches's show Rogue Males instead but you would expect a show like this) and Tim Key (a deadpan poet). The one positive is that everyone is a relative unknown so a star will be made (I was kind of hoping that Rhod would no longer be eligible as he is practically meteoric right now). The smart money will be on the smart material, Jon Richardson to follow up his newcomer nomination from two years ago to scoop the top award. You read it here first!
• Rhod Gilbert - And The Cat That Looked Like Nicholas Lyndhurst (unless he is now deemed a Star by selling out the 700 seat Grand for three nights);
• Pajama Men - The Last Stand To Reason;
• Dan Antopolski - Silent But Deadly;
• Wehn & Kuhnle - German Humour Goes Global.
My list is lacking a fifth which could be either Tom Wrigglesworth or Adam Riches's Rogue Males, based on the reviews they have been getting. Due to the dates I've booked for them I'll only find out what they are like after the actual winner has been announced - it could be quite interesting! Andrew Lawrence is in with a shout but not Paul Sinha (not least of all because his show is not 80% new material).
The only newcomer I'm really aware of is Celia Pacquola and after going down a storm in Melbourne and winning The Age's Critics' Award she has to be a strong candidate (althought over the last few years both Sammy J & Heath McIvor and Lawrence Leung were over looked for the awards despite being brilliant and winning the aforementioned award).
How did I do? I'll update this after lunch when the official nominees are out...
25 August 2009
The first thing I did, before reading the review, if check out what was going on with my browser when the page loaded. It turns out all of their reviews *intentionally* have no images on the page and practically no colours. The site is written with "Microsoft FrontPage 4.0" which was released in 1999 and subsequently the product has been discontinued. Take a look at this screen grab for yourself:
I took a closer look at the vast list of shows they had been to see (about 15 per day between the five people) and noticed a common theme: they were all 4 or 5 star reviews! I obviously didn't look at every show but everyone I clicked on, even ones other websites said stunk, received 4 or 5 stars. Eureka! That's what the domain name refers to - One 4 (star) Review guaranteed! This doesn't bode well for all the posters with their asterisks over them, unless they are just using shift + 8 as a text separator instead of multiple carriage returns...
One more thing bugged me - if you are going to give everyone high scores and see so many shows, why is the content so light and almost personal experience rather than reviewing the performer? I haven't quite worked out my answer but I have got a better understanding of Geoff Evans's style from his closing remarks when commenting about his experience of seeing Lucy Porter "the tickets for her shows are flying out of the door [snip] get your ticket while there may still be some available", John Bishop " If there are still some available then get yourself a ticket now, ‘cause there won’t be any available if you delay much longer" and Newsrevue "[their] tickets soon become like gold dust so my advice is to get your now or there soon won’t be any left". At least you can't fault him on consistency!
21 August 2009
20 August 2009
We've covered a lot so far and we haven't even touched on Phil's show yet. Doesn't matter, it'll only take a minute... Phil has always had a methodical delivery but in such a big room with so few people in this really doesn't help. He runs through his classic impersonations including his incomparable facial impersonations (he seems to alter the shape of his eyes for Bush compared to Blair). Unfortunately within those impressions he is quite light on jokes and certainly nothing more than a brief blurted ha-ha. His material hasn't change over the past 18 years and some of his favourites are performed for us. Including Clinton, Bush, Blair and Brown doesn't really make it up-to-date, for a start the first three have been away for all of 2009. There has been great debate as to whether this should be a 6 (my initial thoughts) or a 5 (my co-festivaler). Basically if the show was free and you had an hour to kill should you go and see it or not. Despite my initial generosity, on reflection, if someone offered KT free tickets to see it I'd tell her not to bother. That said, it might have been funny if you were high. Facially-excellent, Bereft-of-gags and Stuck-in-time (I know that's cheating on my three word summary but I don't care!). 5 out of 10 and my first one star show [FYI both Des Clarke and Lucy Porter managed to get 3 out of 10 independently or negative one star].
19 August 2009
18 August 2009
This year's show is good throughout but he really steps it up in the final 15-20 minutes. If half an hour was of that quality we'd be looking at a flawless show! Despite reviewers calling him "hate-filled" and "angry", which is partially true, what makes Jon so different is he is a thoroughly likeable and honest guy but in a different way to the John Bishop. However you want to describe his specialness the one thing I can guarantee is that he has the formula for a great act with a really bright future. I will be back for the next three year's, if only I could book my tickets when he starts writing the show (see his show and you'll get the gag)! Thoughtful, Annoyed and Geeky - 9 out of 10 or five amazing stars.
UPDATED: Jon has made the shortlist for Best Comedy Show and in light of the competition his is facing, you have to believe he is the favourite to win it. He deserves the award and he deserves to be playing to much bigger crowds next year.
Some lucky people get all the luck (it seems wherever you go these days there are redundancies everywhere)! Over the years I've had friends tell me they've seen Frank Skinner and Eddie Izzard doing improv on The Mound and a whole host of other star names not playing at the festival but enjoying the best of Scotland. Rumour has it that two years ago Larry David was here but I am only aware of third hand information to support it. This year I've seen Ja neane Garofalo being interviewed and sat near to Brendon Burns whilst he has an early evening beer (and I scoff down my Curry in a Hurry from the Mosque Kitchen in Potterow). The problem is that they but have shows at Edinburgh, albeit for limited runs. The only interesting person I've seen so far that is Marek Larwood, the diminutive member of We Are Klang. Sadly they are not playing this year, although their TV show goes out on a Thursday evening on BBC3 during August. I did exchange polite smiles with Mark Kermode in June during the Film Festival but it should really be a given that he would be there. Has anyone else spotted an unexpected star in Edinburgh this summer? By the other definition I've spotted several stars this year, just give them a few years to complete their transformation.
Looking forward, we have Jon Richardson tonight who is getting some great reviews. If he is on form with a solid set Paul Sinha is always a possibility and maybe, just maybe, we could believe the hype about Rogue Males being "simply perfection" - although that quote and five stars did come from Corey Shaw at Chortle.co.uk who is a bit more generous with the stars than Steve Bennett. It could very well be the strongest line up for the comedy award in many years ... it's a good job I have tickets for the show!
17 August 2009
The "big top" venue, Bosco in George Square Gardens, this year branded Udderbelly's Hullabaloo after the Spiegel Tent decided it would be too costly for them to return, is the perfect venue for this mix of humour, music and silliness. The show screams variety but in a bizarre way. I counted at least 8 different segments with differing styles of comedy and in all five radically different musical "instruments" being played by Otto. Hennig is the more classic stand up, performing all his shows with a stop watch around his neck as part of his natural German desire for accuracy and efficiency. Having watched their show take you through some interesting places and build to an impressive finale, which is then topped by a gag that takes a whole show to make, you cannot help but feel uplifted and glad you witnessed something so different. If there is any justice in this world we'll be seeing these two on Sunday evening at the Eddy Comedy Award show. Madcap, European and Imaginative - 9 out of 10 or an impressive five stars!
16 August 2009
After a couple of years away (since his show about Arms, entitled As Used On Nelson Mandela) Mark is back on tour and it couldn't be more political than this. The premise of his show is that he is travelling the country for policy ideas that can form the basis of the Public's Manifesto. From his Edinburgh shows he will take all the winning (democratically voted on) and present them to a cross-part group of MSPs at the Pleasance to see if they will be taken up by the Scottish Government.
It's a hugely enjoyable and informative hour and a half that is a bit more diverse that his previous shows which have tended to focus on just one subject. Some of the ideas that didn't make it in my show include “everyone must live within cycling distance to work” and “concentrate on one set of roadworks at a time” (transport was a very big issue for residents in Edinburgh for some reason). The winning idea was to fine supermarkets, especially Tesco, for every gram of excess package they produce.
Mark does tell of some non-manifesto related stories that are rewarding. Apparently when having your fingerprints taken there is no law requiring you so sign your name as well, the police simply ask you nicely to. Also when stopped by a police office under Stop And Search they have to have a good reason for doing so that gets documented in the CIT report. It takes a lot of work out of being up to date with the fight against abuse of power and the ludicrous ID cards. Political, Engrossing and Motivating – 8 out of 10 or four communist stars.
15 August 2009
From her early days as the booker on the Larry Sanders Show, to the only person Jerry Seinfeld proposed to, through to the less attractive one of Uma Thurman and her competing for Ben Chaplin's attentions in The Truth About Cats And Dogs, I have always admired Janeane but never learnt who to pronounce her surname. For many years it was Gar-faf-alo until I heard she was coming to Edinburgh when I concentrated and made it Janeane the Gruffalo. Be that as it may (that's a in-joke to people who have seen her this year), she is still a well established American Star doing a decent length run in Edinburgh (and not skipping days out like Jimmy Carr performing Rapier Twit, as all the doctored posters cleverly say).
It seems in her middle age (she's now 45 and look great for it) she is losing words (they are always in the last place you look – why else would you keep looking?), as well as forgetting what she had previously said after returning from a tangent (I get that a lot to be fair). It is probably these two traits that caused to walk off stage in a pre-Edinburgh preview after 10 minutes, breaking up with the audience using the “it's not you it's me” line. Each night however she has been getting better and better (based on other reviews) and fortunately I had the nous to book her last night in Edinburgh (tickets for the show that is, I'm not renting her personally). Put a pin in that for the moment and lets talk about what she talks about this time.
Janeane opens with some good Scottish gags that go down well and explore many areas about her life including depression, dogs, children, marriage, relationships and her sex life. She has a humble demeanour and is very likeable, even when wandering. Some of her anecdotes are quite funny but mostly there is a constant chuck throughout the show. She is a seasoned professional that just needed to get rid of some ring rust. Probably the biggest annoyance was the frequent distractions of camera flashes or camera displays (for those who remember to turn off the flash) to capture her likeness because you can't find it on the internet... On that point of bemusing devotion there were some mindless heckles, including one “show us your pants” about five minutes after showing she has Spanx (some form of thick tights from what I could see) right up to her rib cage). All in all it was a good performance and a nice way to see someone from the big/small screen (either way it's an NTSC screen) live and in person. Adorable, Open and Realistic – 8 out of 10 or four stars stuffed full of puppy dogs.
Some people have tried to defend them saying they are in bad taste and you just don't get it but in truth you would only think that if you survive on a diet of exclusively BBC1. It is one of the safest shows on the Comedy Festival and has been year in year out. It's sad but even at half price (Friend of the Fringe) I don't think the show is worth it. The cost of two full price tickets would more than pay for a full annual subscription to Private Eye and one edition of that would give you four times the satire and humour in this entire show. My final gripe is the fact that the show started at 18:01 (one minute late, oh no!) and ended at 18:55 on the dot. That's 54 minutes not the 60 minutes they are advertising for! Why should the audience not get 10% of their ticket prices if you are going to cut 10% off your show? Flat, Unfunny and Un-Topical - 6 out of 10 or two stars (fighting with Zoe Lyons for the worst show of my Festival).
My beef is really with mainstream or old school media (the ones that are struggling to survive) and their lack of coverage of Edinburgh. As it stands right now The Independent have 9 comedy reviews from Edinburgh on their website and The Telegraph have 10 (although as Private Eye has revealed, the Telegraph frequently use agency copy for their sports coverage and assigned fake names to it so we can't be sure just how many they have done themselves). I have 19 reviews to date for the 19 shows I have seen, and I couldn't even expense the cost of my tickets! Seriously though, whilst this is all about the coverage of Art, it is a sad time as newspapers lose more and more money and the real journalists breaking the big stories get cut back further and further. Maybe they should just employ bloggers to cover Art and Sport and employ their professionals to do the bread and butter investigative journalism that made newspapers what they are...
14 August 2009
Unbeknownst to me, not only had Rhys actually played Edinburgh before (in 2003 as confirmed by the lovely cylinder in the Pleasance Courtyard listing everyone who has performed there for the 25th years of the Pleasance as a Festival venue), but he also did stand up here and not character acting. Needless to say there are literally no people in the audience who have come because of that show or because of his stand-up. Not to disappoint Rhys starts with a Park Ranger who gives a butch intro to the show. From a few reviews by reviewers that like to ruin gags before the show, it seems he has tightened up that segment as it does have a few good (and different) amusing lines in it. It's then time to welcome out the man of the hour, the only person who seems to be playing in Edinburgh this year (if you read mainstream magazines), Rhys Darby as Rhys Darby! One of the interesting things to learn is that Rhys has an amusing skill in making sound effects that are Police-Academy good.
After 10 minutes of Rhys as Rhys he delivers a stunning gag accompanied by a perfect physical representation. The moment will live with me forever! Sadly, so will the memory of the next 20 minutes when he suddenly changes track and tells us a story from Hollywood along with two good but unfunny characters. Coming out of this Rhys starts strong as if he has just walked on to follow a comic who has just bombed and killed the mood (which in a sense he has). The last 15 minutes are good, comparable to the first, with some more physical humour and a few sound effects delivered as promised earlier in the set. In all it's a good show from a talented man that has the potential to be great, if he cuts the incredible 20-odd minute lull in the middle. His big gag was great though! Talented, Warm and Surprising – 8 out 10 or four stars calling out 'present'.
13 August 2009
Ivan is a "special" person who works as a small Hospital Radio DJ. The music he plays is completely inappropriate and very funny. Well, it was last year. This year gags are weaker and feel like they lack thought. By his own admission he has less music to chose from with this being his third year in character in Edinburgh. The first 10 minutes of the show are spent interacting with Justin Moorhouse which was nice enough but it is another sign he has ran out material and/or creative inspiration. The story is a lot weaker this year and includes an actress, playing an actress, which doesn't really work. During my show he apparently messed up the big twist and similarly has done the same on other days despite being several days into the real festival and the audience paying full price! The reason I believe it wasn't a work is down the reactions of the actress, she would have to be stunning to pull off the awkwardness and cracking up at the disaster in Ivan missing his lines.
So does anything make this show watchable? In actual fact yes, quite a lot. If you've never seen Ivan before then this will probably be your last chance. Okay that gags aren't all top notch but there are still some good musical gags as well as one liners. Near the beginning of the show he pulls out something he bought from Woolies (I wonder when that gag was written...) and as it stands right now, is the funniest gag of the Festival so far! Real gold! It was still an entertaining hour and the main faults are the high standard he set for himself last year (as I didn't see him two years ago). If he could get through a show without any unintentional screw ups then it might feel a little bit stronger. His ending is nice, all things considered. Bonkers, Special and Different - 8 out of 10 or four stars, it's just a shame it's not as good as last year.
12 August 2009
Of course at the other end of the spectrum are those shockingly poor acts that I've actually been moved to walk out on. There are only a few, but I would walk out of them again and again if I was ever dragged back in there! Nick Mohammed got 15 minutes before I couldn't take his lack of acting ability and shockingly poor characters. Prior to that the over-hyped play My Name Is Rachel Corrie, who switched the highly praised actress and the big name behind it, Alan Rickman, clearly was no longer involved, managed to get to the second scene change before we were the envy of the rest of the audience escaping. I never actually walked out on Des Clarke mostly because I was with a friend and when that show finished we had to make our way home mid-week in the rain. I said for the shelter not the show. Dragging up the rear is the woeful Lucy Porter. Early on in my festivalling days I was convinced by her well produced posters and limited review snippets to give her a chance. What a mistake! To this day she is still the standard of ineptitude as a stand up. She was also my very first walk out (the one honour she does deserve).
There is actually one review that was never written but has an entry. It's a good job I didn't write it as it would have moved the 100 position away from Rhod. The entry for the aforementioned Des Clarke simply says it "will appear in the next few days…". Why did it not? I didn't want to waste any more time thinking about such a dreadful act. Truely one of the worst "comics" I've ever seen. The following year he teamed up with the only person who could challenge him for that title of "Worst In Show", Lucy Porter. They are match made in the ninth circle of hell. Never, ever think of watching either of them. 3 out of 10 for both of them.
To end on a positive there are a lot of talented people I have yet to see and more people breaking out each year. The future is very bright for the Fringe and Stand Up Comedy in particular. Only 99 more reviews left until I hit the big two-zero-zero!
10 August 2009
The problem is Matt's material (or all true stories) as a bit bland and the punch lines obvious. A little bit about Europe with no real gags, same for the metric system, some flattery of America, a then a tea time story about his mad uncle. He spends the vast part of his final third on a laughter-less recanting of a backpacking trip to Bordeaux where the “punchlines” could be seen some way off. In all nothing ground breaking or worth opening your mouth to giggle about. His material is that of a friend telling you the interesting thing that happened to him today, but with a slightly more energetic delivery. That said he does try hard and has one notably funny and slightly edgier gag towards the end about paedophiles for which he deserves some credit for, coupled with the bonus of teaching us all that French inches (pre-revolution) were longer than British inches (hence the French reported Napoleon as shorter than he was as they used longer inches). He amused a family of Americans in the front row and offended no-one. That's about the best he could hope for, the safe family ticket. Routine, Un-offensive and Effort - 7 out of 10 or just three stars, helped considerably by a real joke towards the end.
Rhod clearly doesn't believe that karma will help him out this year as he has brought a stunning show, matching the highs of last year's triumph. He talks about his last year and how his life has fallen apart since the reviews of last year's shows came out. He has lost his flat, his girlfriend, his agent and had a different rage-induced breakdown. Vacuum cleaner, washing machines, canals Prince Charles – everything drives Rhod the brink of despair. His material, timing, stage-craft and tempo are all spot on. I am now aware of him using a director which if true, makes it more impressive. He is the finest comic on the circuit right now and he is still hitting top form.
Amazingly very few of the audience saw his show last year, the vast majority having caught him excelling on TV at the Royal Variety Performance and on BBC1' stand up shows. I so thrilled for Rhod that he's getting the attention he deserves as one of the UK's top comics (winning Chortles' Best Headliner Award too). If Rhod does not win the top award this year, I take out my threat to riot that started after Phil Nichol was overlooked. He can't win next year because he will be a full on star, no doubt playing the Music Hall to 1,000 people a night. Perfect, Uber-observant and a Guru. 10 out of 10 which is above 5 stars (sorry Pajama Men, Rhod will be king).
As far as this year's show goes, Mike is threading his stories around his father's 60th birthday and the science roadshow they create, starting at their home town of Portsmouth and ending, well, in Portsmouth too. There are four or five main routines loosely based about honouring his father, including a movie script, some science trivia, the science of fingers (that is not a joke) and interspersed with some hit and miss impressions of scientists. There is some subtle humour in his routines and if you can last that long, most get wrapped up quite well in his second movie script (the dream sequence). His movement around this stage is quite good, using the entire area and has a nice box to manage his props in. Given his movement I would imagine that he felt using a hand-held mic would be inhibiting but I can't imagine why he wouldn't have opted for a headset, a la Sammy J or Madonna. All in all his performs well but with the heat and slow material it is a bit of a trek. It feels like a free-form lecture from your Sixth Form Physics teacher (or more specifically my Sixth Form Physics teacher who also had a Nigel Mansell moustache). A better venue and perhaps a bit fuller set and he could have a bright future. As it stands, he is commended for returning after his Best Newcomer Nomination (as everyone should). Odd but Interesting Science-Teacher - 7 out of 10 or three stars (good but either get cheaper tickets or be a big fan).
9 August 2009
UPDATE: In all the excitment of the the Fringe 2009 and seeing the Sammy J's new show, I completely missed the fact that this is my 400th posting!
8 August 2009
It takes a good 20 minutes before he moved to his strong suits, notably his bizarre job, his family and his father. In short John's material revolves around his continual quest to manage the strange aspects of being a comic whilst also trying to be a man, a husband, a father and a son. On paper sets about his son trying to be the new lion in the pride should be old and tiresome but John's likeable (Scouse) nature make them enjoyable and funny. Yes, he does spend sometime towards the end talking about Liverpool Football Club (and why wouldn't you?) which still appeals to anyone with basic knowledge of football. Whilst I have mentioned there isn't a steady stream of gags, moreover humour from the situations, I haven't stressed just how funny those situations can be. I'm talking about bent-over, hard belly-laughs. It's very hard not to connect to John and be sucked in to his world. As such it's hard not to leave his show uplifted and thoroughly amused. Open, Likeable and Truthful – 8 out of 10, that's four stars of amiable fun.
He starts with a simple card test using two helpers from the audiences and having them standing behind him. He confidently declares who has every card in a suit by looking at the men and then reading their faces if they are lying. Topping that he repeats the stunt without either of the men looking at the cards and not looking at either man; quite impressive. Pushing things further we explore luck and random chance by means of a bingo game increasing the entropy yet helping one lady predict incredibly random events without knowing it. His penultimate piece is an incredible piece of tarot card reading which rapidly evolves into simple premonition and in a sealed letter reveals a wide range of details about the lady and the audience as a whole. The downside was with the venue running late we had to skip his finale where is was going to reveal a selection of a 1 in 120 envelope which we scribbled down two connected words whilst waiting in the queue. I really which we had been able to stay...
Phillip's show is smooth but without gimmicks or any sleazy magician's patter. He doesn't push you in any direction or make you think along any predetermined lines. Think of him as a softer Derren Brown. Abnormal, Baffling and Impossible – 8 out of 10 or four stars, but of course Phillip already knew that.
So after a couple of years away working on various BBC Radio shows, how does Laura's return stack up. It's interesting to say the least. Laura's play (and it is categorically a play) is about how she came to write the final chapter of an incredibly popular crime thriller novel. By retelling this story she plays about eight different characters to different degrees to success. Her literary agent is quite impressive, reminiscent of an aged Bebe from Fraiser. Her voices are varied and interesting, although nothing close to the abilities that the Pajama Men are showing. The story has some engaging parts and a few slow parts and whilst the humour is limited throughout the set she does has four or five very funny gags included.
In her time away Laura has become a much stronger performer with a greater range of writing and acting. She seems very well suited for radio – and I don't mean she isn't aesthetically pleasing, she is. She performs as if we are a different audience, without breaking the fourth wall, as you would in a radio play. That is admitted one downside, her physical presence there seems almost redundant. She is accomplished in what she does and entertains a decent sized venue of predominately middle-aged people, if you will your stereo-typical radio listeners. Maybe if she had a co-writer it might have packed a bigger kick. Smile-able, Radio-esque and pleasant - 7 out of 10 which is 3 stars, good but not great.
7 August 2009
6 August 2009
5 August 2009
At times Zoe sounds like a cross between Joe Pasquale and Andrew Lawrence (I bet you never thought you'd see those two names next to each other!). Unfortunately, she is too much like the former and rarely scratches the bottom of the level of the latter. As it was preview night it was good that her first show was tightly performed with well rehearsed material but sadly it just wasn't funny. The audience was at 50% capacity and 90% of them were female [okay they then bussed in an additional 25% "Just For Laughs" staff who laughed too hard and every comment]. Most of her attempts at humour were either obvious puns or basic unfocussed insults on targets that are far too basic. Her edgier material would only have shocked a Daily Mail stalwart.
The real shame of the act was that on very rare occasions she briefly showed glimpses that she could think of something intrinsically funny. There were three good comedy ideas she brought up in the hour, but in all cases ruined it by 60 seconds later reverting back to her weaker, lazier style. It seems Germaine Greer was right after all... women aren't funny and Zoe does nothing to dispel that idea. Incidentally she doesn't go down as the worst female comic, that honour still stays with Lucy Porter (and just to be clear, Nina Conti isn't a stand up comic which is why she is exceptionally funny and not included in the above statement). Zoe starts the Fringe off with a 6 out of 10 [only see if the tickets are free and you need to kill an hour of time, e.g. on a plane]. That translates to 2 Stars on much simpler rating systems.
4 August 2009
Here's how the ranking systems cross-over:
1 star = 5 points (walk out if you mistakenly end up in there);
2 stars = 6 points (if it's free and you need to waste an hour);
3 stars = 7 points (okay if you're a big fan and/or cheap tickets);
4 stars = 8 points (very good and worth full price, recommend to others);
5 stars = 9 points (excellent, beg other people to go and see it!);
+ stars = 10 points (perfection, pay for your friends to go and see it).
You can see the benefit of having an extra level to differentiate the class of 5 stars. There are shows last year that were grouped together that actually dragged down the ranking of, for example, Rhod Gilbert and Sammy J by only giving them 5 stars and not 6!
The bottom half of the scale is the mirror image (or evil twin) of the top half, i.e. 5 points being if it's free and you have time to kill don't go and see it (or walk out). The remaining ones are:
4 points = Even if you are in desperate need of something to do ... don't!
3 points = Very bad in all areas. You would fall out with a friend over them making you watch this.
2 points = You'll actually hate yourself for sitting through this, it's that bad.
1 point = You wish bad things on the creators so they can never produce such an abomination again.
And for completeness sake, here are some films that plumbed those depths:
5 points = Scary Movie 2
4 points = Armageddon
3 points = Process (2004)
2 points = Anatomy of Hell
1 point = Ecsatsy of Robert Carmichael