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Tag Archives: Roger Ebert’s Bad Reviews

52. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

I guess Roger thought that this movie was just too long. He said in his review ” Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West is a painstaking distillation of the style he made famous in the original three Clint Eastwood Westerns. There’s the same eerie music; the same sweaty, ugly faces; the same rhythm of waiting and violence; the same attention to small details of Western life.
There is also, unfortunately, Leone’s inability to call it quits. The movie stretches on for nearly three hours, with intermission, and provides two false alarms before it finally ends. In between, we’re given a plot complex enough for Antonioni, involving killers, land rights, railroads, long-delayed revenge, mistaken identity, love triangles, double-crosses and shoot-outs. We’re well into the second hour of the movie before the plot becomes quite clear.”
Roger also didn’t like Claudia Cardianale’s performance too much. He said she “was a good choice for the woman, but Leone directs her too passively; in Cartouche, she demonstrated a blood-and-thunder abandon that’s lacking here. ”
This is a movie that is rated 8.8 on IMDB and a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Probably a little bit better than a 2 1/2 star movie.
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Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Ebert's Bad Reviews

 

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32. Die Hard (1988)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

Die Hard is an iconic movie and John McLane is a classic character. The movie is also really, really popular.
Roger said in his 2 star review “Without the deputy chief and all that he represents, Die Hard would have been a more than passable thriller. With him, it’s a mess, and that’s a shame, because the film does contain superior special effects, impressive stunt work and good performances, especially by Rickman as the terrorist. Here’s a suggestion for thrillermakers: You can’t go wrong if all of the characters in your movie are at least as intelligent as most of the characters in your audience.”
I think it was a shame Roger let what he thought about one character ruin this great action flic for him.
On IMDB this is rated 8.3 (#113 overall) and 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Everyone can’t all be wrong on this one Roger.

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Posted by on February 5, 2010 in Ebert's worst

 

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18. The Happening (2008)


Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

Roger gave this movie 3 stars which means he thinks it is well worth seeing. I don’t get it. If there was ever a 1 star movie made then this was it. 5.2 on IMDB and an 18% fresh rating on  Rotten Tomatoes. I guess most people don’t like this movie. Why? The movie is based on the premise that there is not only a chemical in the brain that keeps you from killing yourself, but that this chemistry can be reversed and then you will (be forced to?) kill yourself. When the movie is based on such a crazy premise it is hard to take it seriously. It was nominated for Razzies for Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Mark Wahlberg), Worst Director (M. Night Shyamalan) and Worst Screenplay.
Roger said in his review that he found the movie “oddly touching”. Oddly is the key word here. We have a girl sticking a sewing needle into her throat,  the “It’s raining men scene”,  people shooting themselves in the head, a zoo worker begging the lions to bite his arms off (which they do), tree workers hanging themselves, a guy driving his car into the tree, Julian slitting his wrists and a mother listening to her daughter kill herself on the phone. Oddly touching indeed.
The high school science teacher, Eliot (Mark Wahlberg), has some great lines. Talking to himself he says “All right, be scientific, douchebag” as people are shooting themselves to death all around him. Mark figures out that the plants may be releasing chemicals to try to kill people. In one of the worst scenes in screen history, Eliot starts talking to a plant. He says “Hello? My name is Elliot Moore. I’m just going to talk in a very positive manner … giving off good vibes. We’re just here to use the bathroom. Then we’re just going to leave. I hope that’s okay.”
On we go. How many more gruesome ways can we find for humans to kill themselves? People lie down in front of a riding lawn mower. Kids take shotgun blasts to the head. An old woman puts her head through a window – twice! Oddly touching indeed.
Roger closes his review saying “I suspect I’ll be in the minority in praising this film. It will be described as empty, uneventful, meandering.” You were right about being in a minority Roger but I don’t think you picked the right adjectives. I would go with ridiculous, preposterous and ludicrous.
In its recent survey of Worst Movies Of All Time Empire Magazine had this turkey come in at number 8 and Inside Movies named it one of the worst movies of the decade.
You know, I worry about the bumblebees too, but not enough to like this movie.
 
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Posted by on January 16, 2010 in Roger's Worst

 

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