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July 30th, 2004


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09:47 am - eBert aLert
There'd been disappointed tones recently that good ol' Roger Ebert was growing complacent in his old age and was steadfastly refusing to dish out a glowingly wonderful bad review, you know, the kind he was known for and the kind you read movie reviews for. He even had to go so far as to defend his 3-star habit recently, explaining he awards stars for films based on what they're supposed to accomplish, or somesuch nonsense. That is why Garfield, a stupid kid's movie, gets a good rating because it is a stupid kid's movie and tries not to be anything else. Er, ok.

This week, however, he deftly beats the tar out of The Village in such a way that makes me want to give the chubbly Chicago curmudgeon a big hug.

Of the film's Big Shockeroo Twist Ending, he notes "to call it an anticlimax would be an insult not only to climaxes but to prefixes." Sure, it's no "She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B" (thanks, Dorothy) but it's a whole lot better than those clueless half-wits who just had to make a "kitty litter" joke in their Catwoman reviews. (Ebert mentions a litter box in his, but not for snarky soundbite purposes.)

There's life in the ol' codger left.

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:marphod
Date:July 30th, 2004 07:13 am (UTC)
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Remember, this is the film where the director had the SciFi Channel do a docummentary to promote; a documentary that was faked to look like an unauthorized expose.

Color me unsuprised that the film got panned.
(Deleted comment)
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From:sargent
Date:July 30th, 2004 07:53 am (UTC)
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Part of it is that he doesn't take notes during the film, unlike a lot of reviewers.
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From:derspatchel
Date:July 30th, 2004 11:16 am (UTC)
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He used to, at least -- some of his better jokes in I Hated, Hated, Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie dealt with the notes he'd been taking at the time.
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From:sargent
Date:July 30th, 2004 12:08 pm (UTC)
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Hrm, and now I've found other comments of his mentioning notes, so ignore my previous comments.
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From:mwittier
Date:July 30th, 2004 11:05 am (UTC)
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"Unspecified time and place" is part of the necessary vagueness required of him in this particular review. He's lazy, and makes mistakes, yes, but not in this instance.
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From:tyopsqueene
Date:July 30th, 2004 07:52 am (UTC)
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Is it just me, or does that review make you really, really want to go see the movie? If for no other reason than the discussion over beer afterwards will be really, really fun, and you can have the joy of warning people not to see it, and then laughing at them when they do?
From:thufir_hawat
Date:July 30th, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC)
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The review does indeed make me really, really want to go see the movie, but mostly because I don't trust Ebert's judgment and never have. Anybody who gives Garfield 3 stars is off his rocker. =)
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From:jadasc
Date:July 30th, 2004 08:13 am (UTC)
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Hm. The canonical twist ending just above "It was all a dream" is "The characters are actually dead and in Hell." Or "These people are in Eden, and about to start civilization again." Wonder if it's either of those.
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From:wahhappen
Date:July 30th, 2004 11:44 am (UTC)
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Or how about "The character was imagining everything/has a mental disorder." Sick of that one too.

Of course, the worst one was "It was a cryogenic dream." OMG, whatEVER. Worst. Movie. Evah.
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From:jackbishop
Date:July 30th, 2004 08:17 am (UTC)
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characters who move below the one-dimensional and enter Flatland.

We love ya, Roger, but please, never ever use metaphor again, OK?
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From:stopword
Date:July 30th, 2004 08:19 am (UTC)
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I trust Ebert absolutely on reviews of dramas and comedies, but he and I have diametrically opposed tastes when it comes to horror/fantasty.

For instance, he loved the remake of The Haunting, whereas I would rather watch John Travolta re-enact Battlefield Earth with sock puppets than see again.

So if he pans a horror or sci-fi movie, I know it might be one I want to see. And vice versa, if he likes a horror/fantasy movie, I know there's something seriously wrong with it.
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From:terras
Date:July 30th, 2004 09:52 am (UTC)
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I'm beginning to wonder whether M. Night Shymalan is a real person or a penname for a MadLibs-style screenplay generator. All of his movies use very similar structures, with only swapping of plot elements and cliches. Hitchcock, this man ain't.
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From:seph
Date:July 30th, 2004 05:22 pm (UTC)
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I think you're on to something there...

Unfortunately.
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From:derspatchel
Date:July 30th, 2004 07:30 pm (UTC)
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Sounds like a perfect web project, now that I think about it.
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From:ooshiny
Date:July 30th, 2004 06:47 pm (UTC)
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What's up with him and Roeper giving "Harold and Kumar..." two thumbs up? Is it really all that good? Seems like another formular college-age movie to me.

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