Friday, July 16, 2004

Critics' choice

Sometimes I make the mistake of only reading Roger Ebert's 4 stars reviews and skip his 1-star reviews, but the latter is often the best written and most entertaining. Case in point: his review of A Cinderella Story is hilarious and thoroughly enjoying and he employs the format of replying to a fan letter.
At the beginning of the review, he states that a fourteen year-old boy does not read critics' reviews anymore because they continue to give bad reviews to good movies.  His Mom even gets her movie advice from him.  Ebert does an expertly job trying to win the teenager's heart back by first distinguishing between the times.  Ebert quips, "Your task is harder than mine was, because... [f]ast food restaurants now have tie-ins with everyone from Shrek to Spider-Man; when I was a kid we were lucky to get ketchup with the fries."
Then he goes on to say he's writing this piece to save the teenager, his friends, sister and mother from going to see the "truly dismal new movie" starring Hilary Duff.  Ebert adds, "This is a lame, stupid movie," and later states, this review "is a splendid review because it lets you know you'd hate A Cinderella Story, and I am pretty much 100 percent sure that you would. " Instead, Ebert offers an advice for the teenage to go rent Ella Enchanted when it comes out on video. Finally, he signs off as "Your fellow critic, Roger Ebert."
Reviews like these put a big smile on your face because Ebert says what he truly feels without having to worry about pissing off certain people. He makes fun of teeny bopper movies and Hilary Duff and the whole stupid genre with no holding back.  One of my favorite quotes in this review is: "A Cinderella Story is a terrible movie, sappy and dead in the water, but Ella Enchanted is a wonderful movie, and if Jasmine and your mom insist on Cinderella, you can casually point out what Ella is short for."  Simply brilliant.
One last thing I need to point out: Ebert has an increasingly tendency to be a dirty old man. First, in the second installment of Harry Potter, he claims that Emma Watson (Hermoine Grainger) was "in the early stages of her babehood." In The Lizzie McGuire Movie, he calls Hilary Duff "beautiful and skilled."  He also calls Anne Hathaway "beautiful." Aren't all these actresses under the age of 18?  I don't know who his next target is, but Michael Jackson, you're not alone. 

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