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August 16th, 2005

Roger Ebert: National Treasure

Living in Chicago for nearly all of my life, I’ve been watching and listening to Roger Ebert for years. He might not be a perfect movie reviewer but I’d like to put forth the postulation that he is an incredibly gifted and oft-overlooked writer.

His first piece of writing that really made me stand up and notice was his suggestion after September 11th that the site of the attacks should be turned into a memorial park. I wish it was still online, for it was one of the rare clearly-stated, reasoned arguments at the time.

But that wasn’t anything compared to these: links to Ebert’s worst reviews. That is, movies that were horrible. Every one of these is worth your time today, although be warned that the Chicago Sun-Times can’t afford a real web server so they’re running their size via hamsters on hamster wheels. (We loaned ’em to them.)

Some of my favorites:

  • Freddy Got Fingered: “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.”
  • Battlefield Earth: “‘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.”
  • Armageddon: “Staggering into the silence of the theater lobby after the ordeal was over, I found a big poster that was fresh off the presses with the quotes of junket blurbsters. “It will obliterate your senses!” reports David Gillin, who obviously writes autobiographically. “It will suck the air right out of your lungs!” vows Diane Kaminsky. If it does, consider it a mercy killing.”

But my favorite overall is the review of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, which features perhaps the best ending comeuppance of any review I’ve ever read. It’s that good. Ebert? You’re good.

Posted in Pop Culture

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