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(Huffington Post)   Roger Ebert's scathing reviews of movies everyone else seemed to love   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 42
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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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2013-04-04 09:03:15 PM  
4 votes:

tenpoundsofcheese: Agree on all of those except Leon and Full Metal Jacket.
Butch Cassidy I almost agree with.


In all fairness, "The Professional" released in the states wasn't "Leon" and Ebert reviewed the US release.  They cut out almost 45 minutes of the movie, and most of those minutes dealt with the problem of having a 12 year-old girl acting as a sidekick on murder for hire missions.  The full version is a much better movie.
2013-04-04 10:04:44 PM  
3 votes:
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.
2013-04-04 09:42:56 PM  
3 votes:
I find that quote about Reservoir Dogs to be pretty apt.
2013-04-04 08:39:09 PM  
3 votes:
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.
2013-04-05 01:32:13 AM  
2 votes:
images.andrewsmcmeel.com
Before there was Tvtropes...
2013-04-05 12:53:36 AM  
2 votes:
You know what else Ebert hated?
Farking slideshows that suck.
2013-04-04 10:37:57 PM  
2 votes:
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."
2013-04-04 10:11:36 PM  
2 votes:

Spanky_McFarksalot: Good, Donny Darko was absolutely  one of the most boring terrible pieces  of crap I've ever sat through, that and Eternal sunshine of the boring ass mind top my list of movies people like to seem edgy.


Ironically, this is one of the most try-hard edgy things I've read all week.
2013-04-04 10:01:14 PM  
2 votes:
It's probably a demographic thing, but I thought Donnie Darko was overrated.  I remember liking some of the photography but story-wise it just seemed like it was aping David Lynch land.
2013-04-04 08:56:32 PM  
2 votes:
Ebert reviews pretty matched my own opinions, with a few exceptions. But there were a a few things about him I could count on.

He would judge the film for it's own merits. Hence his dislike for a few popular films.
If the lead was a a spicy Latina or black woman, the movie would get at least three stars
If the movie endangered children, he would hate it.
Once Lucas brought in Digital Filming, Ebert never forgave him.
2013-04-04 08:37:52 PM  
2 votes:
Blue Velvet was overrated.
2013-04-04 07:46:25 PM  
2 votes:

Earguy: De-Slide-ified, if anyone cares


Thank you.

Ebert really had a gift for language. Good points on all of them.
2013-04-04 07:34:27 PM  
2 votes:
De-Slide-ified, if anyone cares
2013-04-04 07:20:07 PM  
2 votes:
I wholeheartedly agree with him on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I recently tried rewatching it and found it to be quite frankly, annoying.
2013-04-05 06:37:50 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:39:39 PM  
1 votes:

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 02:31:36 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:37:46 PM  
1 votes:

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 11:15:41 AM  
1 votes:

MyKingdomForYourHorse: gunga galunga: IIRC, he didn't like the treatment of of the Jennifer Jason Leigh character. There he really missed the point. All the other teen comedies were showing sex as all fun and games. For this girl, sex was a painful deflowering in a baseball dugout and a premature spurting in the pool house followed by "Ding! Dong! You're pregnant!" Which is what sex ends up being like for many teens. It was supposed to be awkward and uncomfortable.

I agree with him to some degree though, there was potential lost in character development for all involved. Granted, part of this was the demographic the film was aimed at, and that was part of the charm of those movies was that they accurately captured the teen essence of that day, but I agree with him that a much deeper and more meaningful message was lost in that movie.


And I can see that point. There really wasn't much more to her than "I wanna have sex. Oh, it turns out that sex is Serious Business. Okay, I'll be fine with a platonic relationship with somebody I care about."
2013-04-05 11:00:34 AM  
1 votes:

MyKingdomForYourHorse: 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.


He didn't like it because he felt it was too easy of a movie, in so far as it used every grand scape film trick in the book to either tug at your heart or open awe. I took tread that had been treaded by so many films before it and mashed it together. His dislike was not of the movie but for the director going the easy route.

Much like his Fast Times review, he thought the movie had more potential and that the talent and scope were wasted.


IIRC, he didn't like the treatment of of the Jennifer Jason Leigh character. There he really missed the point. All the other teen comedies were showing sex as all fun and games. For this girl, sex was a painful deflowering in a baseball dugout and a premature spurting in the pool house followed by "Ding! Dong! You're pregnant!" Which is what sex ends up being like for many teens. It was supposed to be awkward and uncomfortable.
2013-04-05 10:40:21 AM  
1 votes:

jake_lex: 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.

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!"


Except Joker loses his crap when he actually comes under fire , drops his gun and has to be saved by Raptorman (or whatever his sidekick's name was).
2013-04-05 10:25:06 AM  
1 votes:

L.D. Ablo: wildcardjack: He took a shiat on Fear and Loathing.
Of course it's a jumbled mess without a consistent theme. Thats the whole point.

Came here to say the same thing.  The review surprised me; I assumed that Roger had read the book.

The book is an incoherent drug-addled mess that is very entertaining.

The movie is also an incoherent drug-addled mess that is very entertaining.

If you tried to impose some narrative structure on the movie, it would have been unfaithful to the source and, like you said, it would have entirely missed the point.

I agree that the movie might not be any fun unless you're read the book.  But everyone should read the book.  It's a glorious trainwreck.  Getting Terry Gilliam, Johnny Depp, Benecio del Toro, and all the cameos in on the movie just makes it even better.


Ebert's philosophy was always to have the film stand on its own merits.  He wasn't the sort to read a book a movie was coming out for unless it was something he was going to read anyway.  Hunger Games had to stand on its own without reading the book first, etc.  It's fine if the movie caters mostly to those who read the book to fill in gaps that the movie doesn't bother to show, but a film critic is going to call that out and it does harm the film.
2013-04-05 09:07:11 AM  
1 votes:

Handsome B. Wonderful: I find that quote about Reservoir Dogs to be pretty apt.


A lot of his reviews are spot on.  A lot of his 'complaints' seems to be the point of the movies he was reviewing, and this is true of a lot of his successors, too.

Donnie Darko -  In Jake Gyllenhaal, he finds an actor able to suggest an intriguing kind of disturbance; the character is more curious than frightened, more quixotic than eccentric, and he sets a nice tone for the movie. But somehow the control fades in the closing scenes, and our hands, which have been so full, close on emptiness.

That seems to me to be the exact journey we were intended to go on. At the end everything we thought was substantial is vapor.
2013-04-05 08:17:55 AM  
1 votes:
2013-04-05 08:03:42 AM  
1 votes:

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.


I can't help but think that's almost the point, that to that end it mirrored Vietnam. Just a thought, though.
2013-04-05 07:43:51 AM  
1 votes:
eh, i've found over the years that i rarely ever held the same viewpoint on a movie as ebert, even when it came to movies he rated well i didn't like it for the same reason he liked it

but that's ok, nobody has to have the same viewpoint on everything (i mean, look at Pauline Kael), and you gotta respect the guy for backing up his opinion with some great writing (without boring anybody)
2013-04-05 05:41:54 AM  
1 votes:

Dr.Zom: The argument could be made that the reason she's not a star is that no one realized her potential. Except Ebert.


Jennifer Jason Leigh is a great actress. But there's a difference between being a great actor and a movie star. Sean Connery is a movie star, but not a great actor. JT Walsh was a great actor, but not a movie star. You sometimes get someone like Amy Adams or Anne Hathaway.

The reason why Mirror, Mirror is a poor film is that they picked a movie star to be the queen, rather than a great actress. Julia Roberts is a movie star. She appears on the posters for films, but just doesn't have the acting chops for such a part. Nicole Kidman or Sophie Marceau would have rocked it.
2013-04-05 01:05:55 AM  
1 votes:

GypsyJoker: Ed Grubermann: JosephFinn: There are people who like Dead Poets Society, besides the parts about Robert Sean Leonard and his father?

I could never watch That 70's Show because I so wanted to kick that dad's balls out of his ears.

"Just give me my farkin' phone call."


Damn straight.  He's also great and kind of sad in the Year of Hell episode of Voyager.
2013-04-05 12:31:18 AM  
1 votes:
Regarding Full Metal Jacket: "This is a strangely shapeless film from the man whose work usually imposes a ferociously consistent vision on his material."

Maybe because it was a strangely shapeless war.
2013-04-05 12:29:46 AM  
1 votes:

Stridar: But sometime after Gene Siskel's death but prior to his public battle with cancer, Ebert turned his image around and become a well respected voice.


Siskel died in 1975?
2013-04-05 12:13:22 AM  
1 votes:
Even though I love a lot of those movies, the only one I think he is dead wrong on is Fast Times.

"How could they do this to Jennifer Jason Leigh? How could they put such a fresh and cheerful person into such a scuz-pit of a movie? Don't they know they have a star on their hands?"


So, yeah. Wrong.
2013-04-05 12:02:51 AM  
1 votes:
img515.imageshack.us
2013-04-04 11:58:47 PM  
1 votes:
Its odd, but no one is mentioning that prior to Gene Siskel's death Ebert played second fiddle.  Watch any interview with Siskel and Ebert; Carson, Letterman, morning shows.  Ebert was a fat joke who received little to no attention.  I remember him literally complaining in an interview with Letterman that no one invites him to their parties after Letterman invites Siskel over for dinner.  And even immediately after Siskel's death, Ebert's role on At the Movies seemed secondary to who ever was filling in that week.

But sometime after Gene Siskel's death but prior to his public battle with cancer, Ebert turned his image around and become a well respected voice.  I suspect this had a lot to do with two things; wider distribution of his writings on the internet as well as his public political statements.
2013-04-04 11:45:48 PM  
1 votes:

funktilious_j: Mr. Eugenides: My jaw dropped when I heard this news.  He will indeed be missed.  Farewell to the creator of "Beyond the valley of Ultravixens."

You think your jaw dropped, his dropped a few years ago.


really?  I think a "That's the joke" guy is forthcoming.
2013-04-04 11:45:08 PM  
1 votes:
Oh, and Fight Club.  A movie with two great acts and then a third act that simply destroys all the good work that came before.
2013-04-04 10:44:34 PM  
1 votes:
Agree with him 100% on Full Metal Jacket and A Clockwork Orange. Kubrick's most overrated films.
2013-04-04 10:41:56 PM  
1 votes:

DonkeyDixon: 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 must have changed his opinion after a rewatch. I first learned about that movie from him in some kind of "movies to rent that you never saw in the theater" segment.


Well look at what he says:

"In Jake Gyllenhaal, he finds an actor able to suggest an intriguing kind of disturbance; the character is more curious than frightened, more quixotic than eccentric, and he sets a nice tone for the movie. But somehow the control fades in the closing scenes, and our hands, which have been so full, close on emptiness. 'Donnie Darko' is the one that got away. But it was fun trying to land it."

He doesn't say the movie is bad; he basically says it's a good movie with an unsatisfying ending, and that the film has a lot to offer even if it's flawed.
2013-04-04 10:06:56 PM  
1 votes:
While disagreeing with some of the quotes represented here I didn't see much that was objectionable until I got to Harold and Maude.  Just, no.

Also, like a lot of people he seemed to miss the point of Fight Club.  None of that was supposed to be glorified, and of course a lot of the movie's "fans" missed that too, but I would have expected someone as intelligent as Ebert to have been able to make that distinction.
2013-04-04 09:47:26 PM  
1 votes:
On 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."

I'm tearing up a bit.  I am really going to miss Ebert.
2013-04-04 09:05:35 PM  
1 votes:

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.


At the time, and I think he mentioned this in his review, "epic" movies weren't being done any more.  I think he loved it more for the sheer scale of the spectacle than anything else.  He even dinged the stock characters if I remember correctly.
2013-04-04 08:49:52 PM  
1 votes:
I'm assuming nobody loved "North" then?
2013-04-04 07:54:44 PM  
1 votes:
They forgot Die Hard.

And  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was awesome.
 
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