Your Movie Sucks

The title of this book paired with the scowl that the author, Roger Ebert, is wearing on the front cover really says it all. The we-are-not-amused expression Mr. Ebert demonstrates on the cover is the same face that I imagine he made when the credits rolled in the end of each and every film in this book.

Roger Ebert has been reviewing films since the dawn of time, or so it would seem. That was just one of the reasons I decided to make him my mentor. He doesn’t know it yet, but he has guided me from sub par movie reviews to – dare I say – respectable movie reviews.

This man has a sparkling vocabulary and a sophistication in his writing that takes his harshest criticisms, dips them in honey, and makes them easier to swallow.

This book, Your Movie Sucks, is page after page of reviews asserting Ebert’s utter disdain for the films in the book. The collection includes such gems as American Outlaws, Constantine, Failure to Launch, The Grudge, Jeepers Creepers 2, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, Monkeybone, and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.

With quips like this one regarding the movie American Outlaws – which Ebert generously gave one star – “When the railroad hires Pinkertons to blow up farms, and Jesse and Frank’s mother is blowed up real good, the boys vow revenge,” Roger Ebert’s sense of humor radiates throughout the book.

Another one of my favorite quotes addresses Jenny McCarthy and her… er… assets. The movie Dirty Love earned no stars from Roger Ebert and from what he says in his review I can see why. The quote that earned a genuine guffaw from yours truly was “Jenny McCarthy has a technologically splendid bosom that should, in my opinion, be put to a better use than being vomited upon.”

This man has taken the art of reviewing films to a level that I can only aspire to. He writes with passion and umph and a style that constantly reiterates how much he loves what he does.

I read this book because for a long time I refused to see the bad in any film even if it slapped me across the face for two hours. It was always all good to me because I love the movies with all of my heart. However, I wanted to learn to dislike movies. There is a distinct difference between watching films to watch them and watching films to review them. I wanted to learn how to be able to come up with educated responses to the movies I was seeing, and this book has helped me do so.

I will leave you with one more quote from the book. It is from Ebert’s review of The Girl Next Door. In the scene, the girl next door spots her young neighbor watching her undress through her window. She shuts off the light and moments later is standing on the doorstep of the young man’s house. He fears she will tell his parents that their son is a peeper, but instead they hop in her car to go for a drive.

The boy ends up naked in the street, standing in the glow of her headlights and she drives away, scooping his clothes off of the street and leaving him naked as the day he was born to walk home. Ebert says to this scene “It is not easy to reach out of a car and scoop up underpants from the pavement while continuing to drive. Try it sometime.”

Oh, Ebert… I so enjoy your wit. Readers, check out Your Movie Sucks by Roger Ebert. You’re in for a real treat.


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