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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book, as the title makes clear, is a compilation of reviews for some really bad movies. The only problem is, Roger Ebert isn't the best man for this particular job. If anything, he's simply too "good" of a critic to really delve into the joy of trashing some of the worst movies of all time. He's like a distinguished restaurant critic who's been asked to review fast food. In short, Roger's too "Old School", too well trained in the art of "conventional" criticism and of seeking out true greatness in films to really appreciate that sometimes there is genius in garbage.
That said, he does get in his shots, especially at movies he finds morally repugnant. I've never seen "I Spit On Your Grave", but to hear him relate how a certain middle aged pervert actually cheered on multiple rape scenes in the theater while he watched it is to get a grasp on the potential for movies to feed diseased and sick minds. His review of "Caligula" is almost perfect, it ends with a quote from a a woman who stated simply that it was "The worst piece of s*** I've ever seen". And finally, in his review of "The Doom Generation" he quite rightly attacks the whole "Detatched Irony" attitude of modern filmmakers who give us scenes of nihilistic violence then try to pretend they're "above" their sordid material. There are plenty of movies like this, movies like "Se7en" and "Fight Club" that, once you get past their pretentiousness, are little more than sadism and brutality artfully rendered.
But ultimately, the problem is that Ebert is just the wrong person to undertake this enerprise. He just has too much respect for truly good movies to invest a whole lot of effort and thought in reviewing the bad ones. And most of these movies are eminently forgettable anyway. A project like this is more suited to the likes of Joe Bob Briggs, a man who revels in low budget trash with a heart, movies like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", and who can reach an audience that loves "movies so bad, they're good". Ebert couldn't understand why a movie like "Death Race 2000" could become a cult favorite. It's sadistically violent, and stupid. Joe Bob (and millions of fans worldwide) would agree, but also see the movie as being the live action version of the old Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner cartoons. In short, it's so stupid it's brilliant. It's that very spirit that Ebert fails to grasp in his review of history's most notoriously bad movies.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Roger Ebert, I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie (Andrews McMeel, 2000)

The question that kept going through my mind while I was reading this book was, "why did he choose these particular reviews?" I had assumed it was a complete listing of two-star-and-lower films until I re-read the back, which specifically says it's a selection. Why on earth didn't he bury some of these, or use this as a chance to apologize for some of the blunders here? He trashes some acknowledged classics here (Blue Velvet, for example, or Jarmusch's Dead Man), and his reiteration of those reviews, unchanged, seems to telegraph that he's standing his ground.

That said, the rest of them are great. Dave Barry blurbs on the back, "he makes some of these movies sound so bad that now I've got to see them." Indeed. Ebert takes no prisoners here, relentlessly exposing some of the worst films you are likely ever to see. (Oddly, from what I remember of Siskel and Ebert's show, though, there's not a single Dog of the Week in the book. I was quite looking forward to reading Ebert's print reviews of Motel Hell, Soup for One, and Pink Floyd: The Wall, all of which I greatly enjoyed, and all of which were Dogs of the Week.)

My main problem with the book (aside from not acknowledging the greatness of a few obvious films) is that there are some reviews where it seems obvious he wasn't paying much attention to the movie; the odd factual error here and there about what's going on, or not interpreting a piece of the film where the intended interpretation is so obvious a half-blind six-year-old could figure it out. After all, Hollywood is rarely known for its subtlety.

A good collection, though, and sure to add a few stinkers to Bad Movie Night. *** ½
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have always found Roger Ebert's video guides to be informative and accurate with their reviews. I find Ebert to be extremely knowledgable in the areas of film and film making. I also find him very funny when I have seen him interviewed. He has a dry wit and he is not afraid to say what he feels about a movie. When I heard that he would be coming out with a book about movies that he hated, I was extremely excited. It seemed like the perfect forum for Ebert to show off both his knowledge and his humor. Unfortunatley all this book offers is a reprinting of the reviews that Ebert originally wrote, arranged in alphabetical order. I wish Ebert had picked about a dozen of these movies and devoted a chapter to each and given an in depth account of each movie. Not only a description but an analysis of what went wrong in the making of each. Like a car wreck we can't help but be curious about these "accidents", and someone with as much knowledge as Ebert could have offered an "insiders" guide to how movies as bad as these get made. For a great book on this topic read The Devil's Candy by Julie Soloman. It is a great account of the making of the film version of Bonfire Of The Vanities(how Hollywood took a great book and turned it into an unbelievably bad movie). The reviews that are offered here are interesting and at times even hilarious. I just wish Ebert had put more effort into a great idea. Anyone could have given us this book, Ebert could have given us better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Ebert must have seen hundreds, maybe thousands of films yet he generally does a pretty substantial critical analysis. Of course, the reader can see, early on, that movie reviewers are subject to a lot of their own tastes and biases. However, it's interesting to see that he trys to provide enough variation in his written reviews to keep them from becoming "cookie=-cutter" likenesses. His "take no prisoners" attitude certainly leaves a lot of actors and directors figuratively bleeding badly.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2000
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I couldn't help but think as I read through this book that most of its content is available for free on Ebert's own web site. (However -- The web site contains searchable reviews dating back to 1985, whereas the book contains a few 1970s clinkers). Ebert's site also contains the good reviews. Also, although this book contains reviews that received two stars or less -- Ebert seems to have left out a few less popular "zero star" reviews ("Sour Grapes") in favor of reminding us why he kind of disliked "Starship Troopers". This book has its moments, so I give it 3 stars (so it would stay out of Ebert's "bad" collection). But, if you have web access to Ebert's site, skip it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book should have waited one more year; 2001 was an excellent year for bad movie reviews. Even though I didn't agree with 1 or 2 of these movie reviews, namely "The big hit," you can't help but love it. Also, 2 star movies do not belong in a book with a title like "I hated, hated, HATED this movie.
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on June 21, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Amusing movie criticism even for those movies you never seen or even liked. Anyone who enjoys well written bad movie critiques will enjoy this book.
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on September 1, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I like to read reviews of books, movies, whatever but I didn't recognize very many movies reviewed in this book - so kind of boring to me.
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on February 28, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I like Roger Ebert. He likes movies as much as I do. However, I found this book a bit flat.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I thought I'd seen a lot of movies but this is written for serious moviegoers. Many titles and stars I'd never heard of and the book is now pretty dated so many preceded my time.
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