Saturday, November 02, 2013

A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length by Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert, is, of course, the best-known movie critic of the past three decades -- which may sound like damning with faint praise, but he always had the essential virtues of a newspaperman: he was precise with facts and entertaining with rhetoric and on time with copy. So his work was always fun to read, and perhaps most so when he was vituperating about bad movies, or just mediocre ones that he hated.

His bad reviews have been collected into two prior books, I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie and Your Movie Sucks (the latter of which I reviewed), and A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length is the third in the series, collecting his two-star or fewer reviews from 2006 through 2011.

It's not a book to read straight through, certainly, but it's a wonderful book to pick up and read in pieces over a period of time, full of lovely invective and imaginative descriptions of lousiness and utter raging anger at the massive wastes of time and talent these movies represent. And there are event some thoughtful pieces about movies that don't quite work, or that have one aspect that ruins them, or otherwise are flawed and not really good, but still interesting. Ebert was a smart man who loved movies and could communicate both in the language of movies and the street-level English of a daily tabloid, which is a great gift and not to be taken lightly.

He's already missed, but at least we still have what he wrote. And how can you resist a book with the subtitle "More Movies That Suck?"

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