If you've been looking forward to The Good German, I have some bad news: It is apparently not that good. According to Anne Thompson's Risky Biz Blog (in a post from Sheigh Crabtree), the new Steven Soderbergh film was received pretty horribly at a recent DGA screening in NYC. And despite the director being present for a Q&A, members of the audience felt no need to be nice. The writer claims that during the film there was some guffawing and loudly expressed commenting going on, and when the film ended, there was little applause. Then, when Soderbergh came out for questions, it got even worse. One person asked if the film was supposed to be a spoof or parody of The Third Man. Eventually, Soderbergh issued his own criticisms of the audience members but also had a little fun with the response.

First of all, I'm shocked that The Good German is bad for reasons other than featuring Tobey Maguire (he's good in a Spidey mask; that's about it). Second, I'm surprised at how hostile an audience can be, especially an industry audience, which I thought typically preferred to kiss ass than draw blood. Also, I have to wonder if The Good German, which Soderbergh attempted to make as a film from 1945, is just too old-fashioned for modern cynics. Would it seem like a better movie to 1940s audiences, or to modern audiences if it really was from 1945? I don't think that Casablanca would be accepted any more easily if made today. At least, not if cast with today's crop of actors. Ditto with The Third Man.

So far Rotten Tomatoes shows only two reviews of The Good German, and both are favorable. On the IMDb, 125 people have voted and the film's rating is currently 5.7/10. I guess we'll have to see if the film can generate any better buzz before it bows on December 15.