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— Brevity may be the soul of wit, but wit ain’t easy. Putting complete thoughts into four words or less is harder than it looks, but that’s the challenge posed by the website (stands for “four word film reviews”). The interactive site, founded by Benj Clews in 1999, asks users to summarize films in four words or less. Now the best submissions to the site have been edited into the book Four Word Film Reviews by Clews and Michael Onesi.

Clews’ site operates muchlike the collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia, with submissions vetted by an anonymous group of editors called MERPs (Multiple Editor Review Processing system) who select the most original, unique reviews. The FAQ (frequently asked questions) section of the website gives a few guidelines. Among these are to not use quotations from the film, to refrain from superfluous “fanboy comments” and, of course, to limit reviews to four words.

Reviews on the site range from well-crafted puns - “Rebellious son gets tanked” forFinding Nemo - to just plain cheeky (“Cowboys enjoy ranch undressing” for Brokeback Mountain).

Of the 10,000 users who’ve submitted reviews to the site, only 125 made it into the book. Little Rock’s Bryan Turriff was one of them.

Turriff, a marketing manager at IBM, says he began submitting reviews to the site more than seven years ago. He moved to Little Rock from Los Angeles three years ago. (While in Los Angeles, he produced “a very independent feature” called The Falls.)

To date, he has had more than 1,700 of his reviews accepted, 24 of which are included in the book. Still, some of his favorites didn’t make the cut - “Eau, the humanity” for Titanic, “Flaming of the Drew” for Firestarter, “Supersize she” for Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.

To see some of the site’s top reviews, go to asp?mode=att. To find out more or to buy a copy, go to

Little Rock-based producer J.C. Cocker says his fantasy film She-Guardian of the Necropolis begins principal photography this weekend. The film, directed by Mike Mees, will star Daisy Owings, Josh Doering and Erin Bearden.

Co-written by Cocker and Mees, the movie follows a sheguardian (Owings) summoned to defeat an evil necromancer recently resurrected from the dead.

The production will incorporate live-action subjects shot on green screen to be composed over computer-generated backgrounds. For production designs, photos, and cast and crew biographies visit thefilm’s Facebook page at

The cinematic masterpiece The Godfather will screen at Market Street Cinema at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 as a part of Dave Elswick and KARN-FM, 102.9 News Radio’s classic film series. Admission is $5. No word on whether Argenta habitue Francis Ford Coppola plans on making the scene.

Levi Agee is a programmer for the Little Rock Film Festival and the founder and host of Cameras on the Radio. E-mail him at:

MovieStyle, Pages 37 on 10/22/2010

Print Headline: Screen gems

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