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(Huffington Post)   Roger Ebert's scathing reviews of movies everyone else seemed to love   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 190
    More: Amusing, Roger Ebert, lovers, Suri Cruise, "First Time", Nicki Minaj, Lindsay Lohan  
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11948 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 04 Apr 2013 at 9:38 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-05 11:37:03 AM  
Fear and Loathing was one of the most boring movies I've ever seen - like being trapped in a room with someone telling bad half remembered bullshiat stories from their college days for two hours.
 
2013-04-05 11:42:39 AM  

Wadded Beef: Agree about Kick-Ass. His review was pretty venomous but I thought it delivered. It was a fun action movie.


That one always threw me for a loop, given his critical reaction to Shoot Em Up

"That I liked "Shoot 'em Up" is a consequence of a critical quirk I sometimes notice: I may disapprove of a movie for going too far, and yet have a sneaky regard for a movie that goes much, much farther than merely too far. This one goes so far, if you even want to get that far, you have to start half-way there, which means you have to be a connoisseur of the hard-boiled action genre and its serio-comic subdivision (or sub-basement). "
 
2013-04-05 12:04:09 PM  

Rocket To Russia: FIGHT CLUB: "It's macho porn -- the sex movie Hollywood has been moving toward for years, in which eroticism between the sexes is replaced by all-guy locker-room fights. Women, who have had a lifetime of practice at dealing with little-boy posturing, will instinctively see through it; men may get off on the testosterone rush."

This makes me think he didn't actually watch the movie, but only the trailer.


I'd like to think he was far too professional to do that, but yeah, no mention of its satire, social commentary, anti-everything messages is odd. Yes, i love to that movie, will not deny it.

Agree that Gladiator, Titanic, and Donnie Darko are way too overblown.
 
2013-04-05 12:05:56 PM  

Wadded Beef: Dog Welder: Lsherm: tenpoundsofcheese:

Even at those times when I disagreed with Ebert's review, I could usually understand and accept his point of view.  He was still 100% wrong about "Kick Ass" and he was 100% wrong about video games could never be considered art.  But I also appreciated how he could say, "This movie is a big dumb action movie, but it's an enjoyable big dumb action movie, so 3 Stars."

Agree about Kick-Ass. His review was pretty venomous but I thought it delivered. It was a fun action movie.


Read his review of Kick Ass and then read his gushing over Kill Bill. Exact same concept, but it's an 11-year-old girl instead of a woman in her mid 30s. It kind of reminded me of Bill Hicks' "love list" bit, where he observes that when a massive tragedy occurs and many deaths result from it, people say "oh, those poor children." Yeah, but what about the adults? At what age does a person go off your love list.

Same thing with Kick Ass. At what age does it stop being inappropriate to brandish a sword and kill an entire room of people? I asked him that on his blog but didn't get a response. Yeah, I understand he couldn't respond to every single post.
 
2013-04-05 12:28:37 PM  

Gunderson: I have to agree with him on "Full Metal Jacket".  Boot camp was amazing.  After boot camp were snippets that were barely organized and the film just ran out of gas.


Sort of like the war itself.
 
kab
2013-04-05 12:45:47 PM  

doyner: Blue Velvet was overrated.


I'd agree.   Interesting cinematic moments wrapped in a rather aimless story.  Lost Highway suffered from the same thing.
 
2013-04-05 01:18:32 PM  

kab: doyner: Blue Velvet was overrated.

I'd agree.   Interesting cinematic moments wrapped in a rather aimless story.  Lost Highway suffered from the same thing.


Blue Velvet is the sort of movie film students love, and I mean that without any snark. There's a lot of artistry that went into it and plenty of lessons that a film student can take away from it, so it's not surprising that it's well received by cinephiles.

But you're perfectly correct that, as a narrative exercise, it gets thoroughly lost in itself. It's a movie that always feels like it's going to be on the verge of gelling but it just never quite gets there.

A bit like Prometheus, in that way, come to think of it.
 
2013-04-05 01:37:46 PM  

kab: I'd agree. Interesting cinematic moments wrapped in a rather aimless story. Lost Highway suffered from the same thing.


I contend that Lynch is a horrible film maker, but a remarkable and very talented scene maker. There are moments in his film where if that were the only part of the movie you saw, would want you to immediately see the rest. But when woven together often make this mismatched patchy narrative that distracts at times from the scenes even themselves.
 
2013-04-05 01:41:51 PM  

MyKingdomForYourHorse: kab: I'd agree. Interesting cinematic moments wrapped in a rather aimless story. Lost Highway suffered from the same thing.

I contend that Lynch is a horrible film maker, but a remarkable and very talented scene maker. There are moments in his film where if that were the only part of the movie you saw, would want you to immediately see the rest. But when woven together often make this mismatched patchy narrative that distracts at times from the scenes even themselves.


I'm currently watching Mulholland Drive. It's intriguing.
 
2013-04-05 01:43:01 PM  
I had no idea a film critic could be so endearing to so many people. Not trying to be snarky whatsoever.
 
2013-04-05 01:44:26 PM  
Obviously you're all waiting for me to weigh in, so here we go. You're welcome in advance.

1, 4, 5. None of these movies are as good as their books. Maybe Ebert shouldn't have held them to that standard, but he did, and to that extent he's right.

2. This doesn't actually sound like a negative review, and the original  Donnie Darko (not the re-cut version you've probably seen) is kind of a hot mess. It got re-cut precisely because of comments like his.

3. Everybody loved  Dead Poets Society when it came out. Now, though, don't you agree with Ebert? Schmaltzy, preachy, precious.

6. Barely negative, and the context there is that Ebert was basically the world's first Tarantino fan.

7. He calls the film "strangely shapeless" and he's right. Fifteen awesome minutes of R. Lee Ermey make it easy to forget the rest of the film, which is Matthew Modine whispering platitudes into the soundtrack while random shiat happens on the screen.

8, 9.  Straw Dogs and  Blue Velvet are easy movies to love but very hard to like. Ebert was always less about Film and  Cinema and more about movies.

11. Like  DPSHarold and Maude can be a little bit heavy-handed with its IMPORTANT LIFE MESSAGES.

I've never seen  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and I guess I thought The Professional was a pretty good movie, but whatever.

The only truly inexplicable item on this list is  Fast Times at Ridgemont High.Not because I think it's a good movie--most of it is kind of meh, in my opinion. But I cannot, under any circumstances, account for Roger Ebert not liking a movie that had this scene in it:

cdn0.hark.com

Ebert was the most unabashed horndog of his generation. He gloried in his attraction to hot women, to the point where it came off as strangely classy, in a way. The only way a negative review of this movie makes sense is if he ran out to get some Junior Mints during this scene. Far less explicit and aggressively sexual nudity redeemed far worse films for him.
 
2013-04-05 01:52:11 PM  

keepitcherry: I had no idea a film critic could be so endearing to so many people. Not trying to be snarky whatsoever.


It helps if you grew up watching him and Gene Siskel. There was nothing like them before or since.

Here is a great way to spend any free time you have this weekend:
http://siskelandebert.org/

You're welcome.
 
2013-04-05 02:21:53 PM  
I can't be the only person who doesn't give a fark what "critics" think, can I? I prefer to watch, read, listen or try things myself and then form my own opinions. Sorry the guy died and all but I give zero farks about his opinions on anything.
 
2013-04-05 02:31:36 PM  

jake_lex: Full Metal Jacket is  not 2 separate movies.  Everything set up in the first half pays off in the second.

I mean, the second half of the movie is the confirmation of Sgt. Hartman telling Joker "You're a killer, not a writer!"


I agree that it's a single movie. The problem is that the 1st act was so much stronger than the 2nd and 3rd acts largely because R. Lee Ermey brought way more to the role than anyone, including Kubrick, expected.

Largely because of Ermey's all-too-authentic performance, the rest of the movie seems a bit lackluster by comparison.
 
2013-04-05 02:39:39 PM  

ThunderPelvis: Out of curiosity, I just read Ebert's review of Titanic.  He gave it a literary blowjob, and that movie was the biggest, most overrated piece of sh*t I've ever had the misfortune of gagging my way halfway through and turning off in disgust.  So, you'll have to pardon me if I don't take this list too seriously.

/RIP, anyway.  Seemed like a good guy.


Titanic was visually beautiful (It could do without the blue filter Cameron constantly uses) but the story was shiat. The evil rich fiance paradigm was done better in Caddyshack 2. But Cameron's a billionaire, I'm not so what do I know.
 
2013-04-05 02:42:35 PM  

Dr.Zom: North, 1994
"I hated this movie. Hated, hated, hated, hated, hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it."

Stargate, 1994
"The movie Ed Wood, about the worst director of all time, was made to prepare us for Stargate."

Mad Dog Time, 1996
"Mad Dog Time is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time. Oh, I've seen bad movies before. But they usually made me care about how bad they were. Watching Mad Dog Time is like waiting for the bus in a city where you're not sure they have a bus line."

B.A.P.S., 1997
"My guess is that African Americans will be offended by the movie, and whites will be embarrassed. The movie will bring us all together, I imagine, in paralyzing boredom."

Armageddon, 1998
"No matter what they're charging to get in, it's worth more to get out."

Godzilla, 1998
"Going to see Godzilla at the Palais of the Cannes Film Festival is like attending a satanic ritual in St. Peter's Basilica."

Battlefield Earth, 2000
"Battlefield Earth is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time. It's not merely bad; it's unpleasant in a hostile way."

Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles, 2001
"I've seen audits that were more thrilling."

Freddy Got Fingered, 2001
"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."

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, 2003
"Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson star. I neglected to mention that, maybe because I was trying to place them in this review's version of the Witness Protection Program. If I were taken off the movie beat and assigned to cover the interior design of bowling alleys, I would have some idea of how they must have felt as they made this film."

The Brown Bunny, 2003
"I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than The Brown Bunny."

The Village, 2004
"To call it an anticlimax would be an insult not only to climaxes but to prefixes. It's a crummy secret, about one step up the ladder of narrative originality from It Was All a Dream. It's so witless, in fact, that when we do discover the secret, we want to rewind the film so we don't know the secret anymore. And then keep on rewinding, and rewinding, until we're back at the beginning, and can get up from our seats and walk backward out of the theater and go down the up escalator and watch the money spring from the cash register into our pockets."

A Lot Like Love, 2005
To call A Lot like Love dead in the water is an insult to water."

Bucket List, 2007
"I urgently advise hospitals: Do not make the DVD available to your patients; there may be an outbreak of bedpans thrown at TV screens."

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, 2009
"If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination."

The Last Airbender, 2010
"The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented."

Seven Days In Utopia, 2011
"I would rather eat a golf ball than see this movie again."


I would happily read review excerpts like this all damned day.
 
2013-04-05 02:48:46 PM  

Mr. Chainsaw: Agree with him 100% on Full Metal Jacket and A Clockwork Orange. Kubrick's most overrated films.


2001: A Space Odyssey is what I imagine experiencing a stroke is like.
 
2013-04-05 03:04:10 PM  

ltdanman44: i enjoy and respect Ebert, but he didn't like gladiator and I thought it was one of the best I had ever seen.


Was he not entertained?
 
2013-04-05 03:13:12 PM  

Angry Buddha: I would happily read review excerpts like this all damned day.



ecx.images-amazon.com
ecx.images-amazon.com

Don't know how much redundancy there is between them, but it might be fun to find out.
 
2013-04-05 03:23:19 PM  

Crewmannumber6: I'm currently watching Mulholland Drive. It's intriguing.


One of his few that is actually watchable to a degree.
 
2013-04-05 03:38:55 PM  

Christian Bale: Clearly he doesn't like violence and that affected his reviews of Fight Club and Clockwork Orange, but that paragraph about Donnie Darko is absolute perfection. Even the pun about "trying to land it"


He did re-review Donnie Darko later on and upped the review to 3 stars, I think.
 
2013-04-05 03:47:23 PM  
I liked the guy, but that list is just damning. His taste was pedestrian in the extreme, despite his ability to write.
 
2013-04-05 04:37:26 PM  
2.5 stars actually means he rather liked the movie, subby.  Ebert actually uses his grading system like a rational person, out of four stars, two stars is "neutral", anything less is disliked, and anything above is liked.

2.5 or 3 means it's a good movie but just not a great one you'll remember forever.  This isn't video game rating here.

If he really doesn't like a movie, he'd give it one star.  If he thought it was a blight on humanity to the point where we need to invent time travel solely for the purpose of sending a bomb back to the delivery room where the writer or director was born, he'd give it a zero.

//That's actually what I'm going to miss most, the dude actually making use of his entire grading scale.
 
2013-04-05 04:40:40 PM  

Jim_Callahan: If he really doesn't like a movie, he'd give it one star. If he thought it was a blight on humanity to the point where we need to invent time travel solely for the purpose of sending a bomb back to the delivery room where the writer or director was born, he'd give it a zero.


One of my favorite reviews is from HellRaiser 2, it an awesome review because he basically rails on the audience who keep giving people money to make shiatty movies

"That makes Hellbound: Hellraiser II an ideal movie for audiences with little taste and atrophied attention spans who want to glance at the screen occasionally and ascertain that something is still happening up there. If you fit that description, you have probably not read this far, but what the heck, we believe in full-service reviews around here. You're welcome."
 
2013-04-05 04:40:42 PM  
I'm surprised he came down on Clockwork Orange for it's glorification of violence and then later went on to treat Tarantino like the movie messiah for doing the same thing, only stupider.
 
2013-04-05 05:09:52 PM  

Rocket To Russia: I'm surprised he came down on Clockwork Orange for it's glorification of violence and then later went on to treat Tarantino like the movie messiah for doing the same thing, only stupider.


I also thought his argument that the movie is fascist because Kubrick uses a wide-angle lens on Alex was a weak argument.

I loved the guy but he didn't bat a thousand.
 
2013-04-05 05:17:11 PM  

MyKingdomForYourHorse: One of my favorite reviews is from HellRaiser 2, it an awesome review because he basically rails on the audience who keep giving people money to make shiatty movies


Damn, another movie he was dead wrong about.
 
2013-04-05 06:37:50 PM  

Phil Moskowitz: I liked the guy, but that list is just damning. His taste was pedestrian in the extreme, despite his ability to write.


He wrote for the Sun-Times, the pedestrian paper in Chicago.
 
2013-04-05 06:41:34 PM  

gunga galunga: Wadded Beef: Dog Welder: Lsherm: tenpoundsofcheese:

Even at those times when I disagreed with Ebert's review, I could usually understand and accept his point of view.  He was still 100% wrong about "Kick Ass" and he was 100% wrong about video games could never be considered art.  But I also appreciated how he could say, "This movie is a big dumb action movie, but it's an enjoyable big dumb action movie, so 3 Stars."

Agree about Kick-Ass. His review was pretty venomous but I thought it delivered. It was a fun action movie.

Read his review of Kick Ass and then read his gushing over Kill Bill. Exact same concept, but it's an 11-year-old girl instead of a woman in her mid 30s. It kind of reminded me of Bill Hicks' "love list" bit, where he observes that when a massive tragedy occurs and many deaths result from it, people say "oh, those poor children." Yeah, but what about the adults? At what age does a person go off your love list.

Same thing with Kick Ass. At what age does it stop being inappropriate to brandish a sword and kill an entire room of people? I asked him that on his blog but didn't get a response. Yeah, I understand he couldn't respond to every single post.


I was willing to give him a pass on his panning of Kick-Ass, because it was mostly a matter of personal taste, and he readily admitted that. The whole joke of a little girl being a ruthless, blood-soaked assassin isn't for everyone (or even most people, really). And it seems he was at least consistent, since he had the same qualms about The Professional.

I was way more pissed that he spoiled the ending in the review.
 
2013-04-05 08:35:40 PM  

Bukharin: He wrote for the Sun-Times, the pedestrian paper in Chicago.


You don't even know what that means.
 
2013-04-05 09:20:23 PM  

Internet Meme Rogers: Bukharin: He wrote for the Sun-Times, the pedestrian paper in Chicago.

You don't even know what that means.


If you say so.
 
2013-04-05 09:48:28 PM  
Clearly you can't even begin to justify the statement.
 
2013-04-05 09:57:50 PM  
The body is not even cold yet, let's do a negative piece about his reviews (what he did for a living).  What pieces of shiat we are, truly.
 
2013-04-05 10:10:20 PM  

zunkus: I can't be the only person who doesn't give a fark what "critics" think, can I? I prefer to watch, read, listen or try things myself and then form my own opinions. Sorry the guy died and all but I give zero farks about his opinions on anything.


But do you love to debate other people about movies, music, sports?  Isn't it fun to have an opinion about something, then to read someone else's opinion and have a little discussion in your head about what you just read?

Good critics don't tell you what to like or dislike.  They provoke debate about art, entertainment and sports.  I loved watching a movie, then reading Ebert's review.  I didn't view him as a authority figure, I loved shooting the shiat with him in my mind about movies and politics.
 
2013-04-05 10:34:37 PM  
His review of Fast Times is rather bipolar because after that opening salvo, he closes with comments of other good performances in it. (Penn, Cates, Reinhold, Walston)
 
2013-04-06 01:25:54 AM  
From what seems to be Ebert's last panning (below 2 stars) of a film:

A Film is a terrible thing to waste.  For Roman Coppola to waste one on "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III" is a pity.  I'll go further: For Charlie Sheen to waste a role in it is also a great pity.

I stop not: For Bill Murray to occupy his time in this dreck sandwich is a calamity.  Of Charlie Sheen, we've seen more than enough, at least until he gets his act together.  But there's a sad shortage of Bill Murray performances, and his work here is telephoned in as if Thomas Alva Edison had never been born".
 
2013-04-06 11:42:11 PM  

funktilious_j: Clockwork Orange was a good movie about a distopian society. But I love movies about distopian societies. And I agree that Full Metal Jacket was 2 seperate movies. But I like it as well.

But c'mon, he made The Shining, which Stephen King doesn't like, which automatically makes it good.


Hmmm... I think it's closer to just being a movie about the 50s and 60s. You think brainwashing people for being violent is bad? We used to lobotomize kids for being hyperactive. And Ebert's right on about it being a right-wing fantasy. What kind of screwy movie tries to make you sympathize with a sociopathic murderer and rapist?
 
2013-04-07 12:37:34 AM  

Brokenseas: zunkus: I can't be the only person who doesn't give a fark what "critics" think, can I? I prefer to watch, read, listen or try things myself and then form my own opinions. Sorry the guy died and all but I give zero farks about his opinions on anything.

But do you love to debate other people about movies, music, sports?  Isn't it fun to have an opinion about something, then to read someone else's opinion and have a little discussion in your head about what you just read?

Good critics don't tell you what to like or dislike.  They provoke debate about art, entertainment and sports.  I loved watching a movie, then reading Ebert's review.  I didn't view him as a authority figure, I loved shooting the shiat with him in my mind about movies and politics.



I understand what you are saying. But when it comes to my closest friends and I it is more of a situation where I take recommendations and if I like it we will discuss at length what makes it great, doesn't matter if it's music, movies, literature or art. I know all things of this nature are subjective, then again, a friends opinion has made me re-listen, rewatch, reread something and completely changed my opinion. I guess what I am saying is I give very little creedance to "professional" reviewers. I would rather take one of my friends opionion knowing that I understand their thought process a lot better than some random ass who watches films/listens to music/reads books, all day everyday for money, even if he is consideresd one of the best, I just trust those I know over those I do not. I'm not sure if that makes sense to you, I'm kind of drunk.
 
2013-04-08 10:34:15 AM  
People forget about the (first) reviews of ET.   I was a kid then, but I remember them saying that it was going to be one of Speilberg's greatest failures.    A month later, the second review was much kinder

I don't listen to anyone when it comes to movie reviews.   Most don't think about movies as I do or enjoy the same thing as I.
 
2013-04-08 01:57:43 PM  

immrlizard: People forget about the (first) reviews of ET.   I was a kid then, but I remember them saying that it was going to be one of Speilberg's greatest failures.    A month later, the second review was much kinder

I don't listen to anyone when it comes to movie reviews.   Most don't think about movies as I do or enjoy the same thing as I.


I like listening to the Filmspotting guys argue about movies I will never see
 
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