"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Roger Ebert Goes Postal

Check out his least favorite films. Wonderful, killer-critic stuff.

An excerpt:

"Freddy Got Fingered" This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.

7 comments:

Jay D. Homnick said...

No Pulitzer here, but if I may say so: Roger Ebert is not a very funny writer. His putdowns have little flair and less wit.

As for the movies themselves, I was gratified to find that I have only seen four.

The Village is not as bad as he says, other than William Hurt's hammy overacting, with which he has damaged every movie he has ever been in, with one exception: Body Heat, 24 years ago. Even Varian's War, an important movie that everyone should see, suffers from his overdone priggishness.

Waterboy was corny and contrived, but at the same time had a self-parodying element that saved it from oblivion. And you can't knock audiences for choosing to love Adam Sandler: he just keeps getting better and better. A genuine talent.

The Usual Suspects was quite fun, not nearly as complex as the accusation, and virtually every intelligent person I know recalls it with enjoyment. It is possible for a professional writer like myself to drop the name of Kaiser Soza into an article without explanation: most people recognize it as the name of that movie's archvillain. That's some pretty heavy cultural recognition right there.

As for Body Of Evidence (with the same plot as Jagged Edge [Jeff Bridges, Glenn Close] and Guilty As Sin [Don Johnson, Rebecca DeMornay] among others), it wasn't all that bad a piece of entertainment. It was a movie that knew its limits and stayed within them.

The rest I didn't see and apparently I chose wisely. (In the case of Catwoman, Sharon Stone was leaking to me from the set how horrible it was becoming. She knows that she can trust me never to reveal key information until long after it can damage the production.)

Kathy Hutchins said...

I remember Michael and Harry Medved's Golden Turkey series being a lot funnier than most of Ebert's quips.

Hunter Baker said...

I didn't agree with all of his evaluations, but I thought it was very funny stuff.

Have to tell you, I think he was dead-on about The Village. I'm a real fan of M. Night's work, but that one had a twist that made the film suddenly much less interesting.

Kathy Hutchins said...

I agree with Hunter about The Village. It's an OK thriller, but a seriously substandard M.N.S. film.

I'm still trying to convince my 17-year-old daughter that Signs is not just a good, but a great, movie. Although not as tightly plotted as Sixth Sense, I think it's overall a better piece of filmmaking.

Hunter Baker said...

Signs was incredible. The Christian symbolism is overwhelming.

SPOILER ALERT:

The wife who died pinned to a tree is Christ. She has the message that proves salvific. The weapons are a wooden bat hanging on the wall almost crucifix style and water. The alien is killed via something like a reverse baptism falling right on the forehead. Israelis have apparently been instrumental in defeating the aliens. Lots of interesting stuff here.

David Sae said...

I think The Village is above-par. It has many logical flaws, but Bryce Dallas Howard's superb performance makes the movie for me. And the romance... (now I'm almost going to sound gay) a blind girl risks everything to charter into a world she knows nothing about just to save her man. Bryce's character, Ivy, is a heck of a heroin, which is something every different than other M.N.S. movies where female characters were transitional as best (including the “Christ-like” wife in Signs).

I agree Signs is better, but The Village isn't M.N.S.'s worst. Unbreakable was.

For the record, I watched it last week - twice - on On-Demand.

Hunter Baker said...

I agree with the assessment of Bryce Dallas Howard's performance, but the twist still left a LOT to be desired.