Friday, June 08, 2007

Just Read: Your Movie Sucks by Roger Ebert

Now that is a cover. Even if I didn't like Ebert's reviews, or movies, or Western culture in general, I think I'd have had to buy this book anyway, just for that cover.

This is the "sequel" to I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie, the first book collecting Ebert's less than two-star reviews. The earlier book covered roughly 1971 to 1999; Sucks has entirely movies of the aughts. This could be a flaw, except that most of these movies are entirely forgettable, so getting the book out quickly allows the reader to vaguely remember that, yes, movies called D.E.B.S. or Good Boy! did come out just a few years ago, with millions of dollars behind them, though even the directors' mothers barely remember them now.

The title comes from Ebert's review of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, whose star, Rob Schneider, had taken out ads in the trade newspapers to attack a critic (Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times) of the first movie in the series, essentially claiming that critic, not having won a Pulitzer Prize, wasn't qualified to criticize it. So Ebert ended his review:
But Schneider is correct, and Patrick Goldstein has not yet won a Pulitzer Prize. ... As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.
That's Ebert at his best. He's pretty good when writing about decent movies, but he's even better when it comes to bad ones. So nearly every review in this book is a little nasty bundle of joy.

I wouldn't read straight through Your Movie Sucks; there are only so many ways to slag a bad movie, so it can get repetitive. (Though Ebert does know all of those ways, and invents several new ones in the course of the book.) But if you like movies at all, and if you like interesting writing about popular, recent movies, this is a great book.

1 comment:

Sean O'Hara said...

An interesting footnote:

A beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to the house the other day. A handwritten note paid compliments to my work and wished me a speedy recovery.

Who was it from? A friend? A colleague? An old classmate? The card was signed, "Your Least Favorite Movie Star, Rob Schneider."

Saints preserve us.

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