Review: Your Movie Sucks

Your Movie SucksYour Movie Sucks
by Roger Ebert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Your Movie Sucks / 9780740763663

I bought this during the Amazon Kindle sale and it's certainly a bargain -- there's a huge wealth of reviews here, most of them with at least one or two good laughs and several of them screamingly funny. I'm exactly the sort of cynical soul that absolutely loves a well-turned 1-star review of material that deserves it, though, so of course I would be predisposed to like the book.

Others may be slightly less enthralled with the material here. Ebert is quite humorous and writes very well, but a few of the reviews fall a little flat and seem a touch mechanical -- these occasions are few and far between, and I forgave them because when you're writing a hundred reviews a day (or however many -- there are even film festival films here that most people will have never heard of!) it stands to reason they won't ALL be home-runs. Then, too, some of the plot details come off a little wrong in some cases, particularly with some of the scifi movies -- one wonders if Ebert was given an early copy to review or if some of the technobabble was so rapid-fire that he naturally missed a few details. Whether this is a failing of the movie (for failing to be more clear) or a failing of the reviewer (for failing to pay better attention) will be subjective to the reader, I think.

Then, too, Ebert seems to have a few, ah, "sensitivity blindspots". He uses the word 'retarded' as an adjective in several reviews, not as a pejorative, but merely in a descriptive sense, however, I think this is not a term that all readers will appreciate seeing in print, as I believe there are better descriptions available. He may also have some blinders with regards to female characters and roles; at least one review questions the appropriate age of the actress with regards to her character, and several movies are lambasted for having women be inappropriately violent towards men -- all well and good, but I can't recall the same criticism being level in the reverse, towards a movie that is overly violent towards women. Maybe none of those were released in this time period, and therefore couldn't be included in the book, but one begins to wonder if the former is sensational and the latter merely commonplace.

For myself, personally, I enjoyed this book immensely. I'll read it again and again for fun, and it was a great bargain choice for myself. I'd give it five stars except for some of the sensitivity quirks of the writing; I was able to look past them, but I would feel a little uncomfortable recommending this book without pointing out some of its flaws.

~ Ana Mardoll

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