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46. When Will I Be Loved (2004)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

If the title is talking about the movie then the answer is never, except by Roger who gave this travesty 4 stars in his review.
In his At The Movies review Roger said “Toback has always been good at scenes of sexual negotiations but this time he writes a masterpiece.” He adds “It is one of those movies that you hold your breath waiting for it to fall off the tight wire and it never does.” He goes on to say “Smart characters in a smart movie about sex and money. I loved it.”
In Roger’s written review he says “What is fascinating and ingenious about When Will I be Loved is that nothing need be anticipated, not even the possibility of a con. In scenes of flawless timing, logic and execution, Vera improvises in a fluid situation and perhaps even surprises herself at where she ends up.”
Roger seems to like the ideas being explored in this movie. He gave the really awful Indecent Proposal, which is a similarly themed movie, a thumbs up in 1993.
If this movie had been called Two Creeps and a Nut then I would have liked it better. Really good music and good acting by Neve Campbell are wasted in a misogynistic, warped, disaster of a film. It might be Roger’s worst 4 star review. Don’t watch it, buy the soundtrack.
It has a 4.7 rating on IMDB and a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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Posted by on February 15, 2010 in Roger's Worst

 

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45. Full Metal Jacket (1987)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

In some ways I admire Roger for having the nerve to give the great Stanley Kubrick a thumbs down, but I think he made a big mistake here. He said in his At The Movies review “This isn’t a bad film but it’s not a great film and in the recent history of movies about Viet Nam Full Metal Jacket is too little and too late. It invites comparison with Platoon and I’m afraid it suffers by that comparison.” He feels Platoon is a “stronger and more confident movie.”
In his written review he says “Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket is more like a book of short stories than a novel. Many of the passages seem self-contained, some of them are masterful and others look like they came out of the bottom drawer. This is a strangely shapeless film from the man whose work usually imposes a ferociously consistent vision on his material.” Again Roger is having a problem with a movie because he doesn’t think the narrative is strong enough. He finishes his review saying ” But Full Metal Jacket is uncertain where to go, and the movie’s climax, which Kubrick obviously intends to be a mighty moral revelation, seems phoned in from earlier war pictures. After what has already been said about “Vietnam” in the movies, Full Metal Jacket is too little and too late.”
I totally disagree with Roger here. There were some great earlier Viet Nam pictures, but it’s never too late to make another statement. The movie is divided in to two halves. The first part contains the great training scenes where the army tries to take away your humanity and the second half are the battle scenes where the movie explores how the training worked. A great movie that takes its place with Platoon, Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now as the great Viet Nam movies.
This great movie has a 8.4 rating on IMDB and a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Not too shabby.
 
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Posted by on February 15, 2010 in Roger Ebert Review

 

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44. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

Roger gave this great movie 3 stars in his review, but I don’t think that was good enough. In his At The Movies review Roger said that “I’m recommending it but not necessarily at the high levels of praise that you’re (Gene) giving it”. In his written review Roger says “The Last of the Mohicans is not as authentic and uncompromised as it claims to be — more of a matinee fantasy than it wants to admit — but it is probably more entertaining as a result.” He compares it unfavorably with the “visual picture” presented by Black Robe, which he had given a thumbs down to the year before.
Roger, you can’t have it both ways. Black Robe is too realistic and this movie is not real enough. They were actually, both in their own way, great movies. They both accomplished what they set out to do and they both did it very well.
The Last of the Mohicans is one of my favorite movies of all time and I think it is a great, not just a good, movie. This version of the movie is made all the more interesting by Wes Studi’s great role as Magua, where he can viewed as a tragic heroic figure.
It has a 7.8 rating on IMDB and a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes
 
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Posted by on February 15, 2010 in Ebert's worst

 

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43. Junior (1994)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

Junior is a movie in which Dr. Alex Hesse (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is carrying a baby. Danny DeVito and Emma Thompson also take part in this travesty. In the At The Movies review Roger tells us how good of a comedic actor Arnold is and agrees with Gene that the movie will be “cascadingly popular.”
I don’t think those are the words that I would use to describe this, almost unwatchable movie. In his written 3 and a half star review Roger said “The most unexpected thing about the movie is not that it’s funny, which we expect, but that it’s sweet. It’s one of those films you sit through with an almost continual smile. It’s goofy and ridiculous and preposterous, and yet it makes you feel good, and there is something oddly heartwarming about the sight of this macho guy melting with feelings of protectiveness and maternal concern.”
I agree it’s goofy and ridiculous and preposterous but it didn’t make me feel good. I also didn’t smile too much. It has a 4.4 rating on IMDB and a 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
 
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Posted by on February 14, 2010 in Roger Ebert's worst reviews

 

42. 1776 (1772)


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Roger said in his 2 star review of this movie “This is an insult to the real men who were Adams Jefferson, Franklin and the rest — but then we’ve emasculated our founding fathers in story and song for so long that they’re practically a set of caricatures.”
1776 wasn’t a great musical, but it was a very good historical film. As Vincent Canby said in his review “1776 is far from being a landmark of musical cinema, but it is the first film in my memory that comes close to treating seriously a magnificent chapter in the American history.”
How many good American history films are there on this time period? Not too many. The recent John Adams mini-series was excellent but it is lonesome.
I found 1776 to be very entertaining and educational at the same time. Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Hancock, Washington and all the others are brought to life and are not just names in a history book.
Questions of slavery, property, England, colonial politics, and taxes are discussed and debated. John Adams fights, cajoles, and compromises to convince the colonial representatives that we should declare our independence.
How much do most Americans know about the Second Continental Congress? I think all Americans should be encouraged to watch this entertaining and educational movie.
It has a 7.0 rating on IMDB.
 
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Posted by on February 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

41. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

In his At The Movies review Roger gave this movie a Thumbs Down saying “it was a little too cute for its own good.” He also said the style of the movie worked in Domino, but didn’t work here(?). In his written review he said “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang contains a lot of comedy and invention, but doesn’t much benefit from its clever style. The characters and plot are so promising that maybe Black should have backed off and told the story deadpan, instead of mugging so shamelessly for laughs.”
Once again, Roger doesn’t like a movie that has more style than substance. He just doesn’t seem to get it that sometimes people can sit back and just enjoy what they are watching without having to be carried along by a structured narrative.
He closes his review by saying “But did I need to see it twice? Not really. Do you need to see it once? Not exactly.” Wow! I’m really stunned by this one.
This was one of my favorite movies of the first decade of the 2000’s. I loved Val Kilmer’s self-assured, openly gay character Gay Perry. I thought the movie was fresh, clever, funny and extremely entertaining. It has a 7.9 rating on IMDB and an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so I am not alone.
 
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Posted by on February 14, 2010 in Ebert's Bad Reviews

 

40. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

Roger says in his 1 star review “Tora, on the other hand, offers no suspense at all because we know the attack on Pearl Harbor is going to happen, and it does, and then the movie ends. We don’t even feel sympathy for the officers responsible (if that’s the word.) They’ve been directed as wooden puppets reading security reports, etc.”
I think Roger missed another really good movie here. I knew the attack was going to take place, but that wasn’t what the movie was about. It was how things developed on both sides to let things unfold the way they did. I thought the conversations and events that were presented on both sides were fascinating. The internal fighting between the Japanese Navy and Army, the Japanese alliance with Germany, America being angry with Japanese action in China, the threatened American embargo of Japan, Tojo’s views, the danger the fleet at Pearl Harbor held for Japan, the Enigma machine, torpedo problems, refueling problems, radar, the Emperor’s view on the war… so interesting and all true.
Roger said “We want to escape from all those offices, and all those bureaucrats misreading cablegrams at each other, and get back to the open terrain of a good old grade “B” war movie. John Wayne’s World War II flicks may not have been masterpieces, but at least they had sand and sky in them, and heroes, and girls.”
Not all of us want to escape back to those kinds of movies, Roger. How refreshing it was to see a movie without stereotypes and caricatures.
I’ll be the first to admit that the movie is a little long, a little slow, and a little talky. But I also thought it was fascinating from beginning to end. God forbid a kid watches a movie that might teach or turn him on to history. Is it better that he watch a movie like The Hangover? The dumbing of America is embraced and enhanced by some of our film critics who are afraid to give the movie going public advice about good movies that we might be able to learn something from. Entertaining and educational are not oxymoronic words.
This challenging and rewarding film has a 7.5 rating on IMDB.
 
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Posted by on February 14, 2010 in Uncategorized