I’ve had this on my shelf for a while, but in memorium to the great Mr Ebert, I read it cover to cover this month. Choosing just one paragraph to share with you was a nearly impossible task, let me tell you. This book, culled from Ebert’s reviews, contains so much genius. The reviews (of movies he rated two stars or less) are full of snark; and yet it’s a strangely regretful snark. You can see that Ebert loved movies, all movies, and when one was unforgivably bad, his response was not animosity, but deep disappointment and exasperation that his beloved medium was not being better used. He snarks only where snark is due. And, oh brother – for these movies, snark is due. I laughed my ass off in reading this book.
Oh, and then there are New York’s Mayor Ebert (gamely played by Michael Lerner) and his adviser, Gene (Lorry Goldman). The mayor of course makes every possible wrong decision (he is against evacuating Manhattan, etc.), and the adviser eventually gives thumbs-down to his reelection campaign. These characters are a reaction by Emmerich and Devlin to negative Siskel and Ebert reviews of their earlier movies (Stargate, Independence Day), but they let us off lightly; I fully expected to be squished like a bug by Godzilla. Now that I’ve inspired a character in a Godzilla movie, all I really still desire is for several Ingmar Bergman characters to sit in a circle and read my reviews to one another in hushed tones.
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