on December 7, 2010
Why is it that one would buy the new edition year after year? First off, unlike Leonard Maltin's, a good portion of the material is new. No problem having to skip all over the book in order to find something new to read.But most importantly to me, be them reviews about good movies, bad movies, exciting or boring, big or small, Roger Ebert's reviews always make for an excelent reading, often more fun than the movies themselves. Is the number of stars more or less accurate than those other critics assign? Who cares? After reading Ebert's reviews, I always come out knowing whether I should watch a film or not and that to me is the biggest service a film critic can provide.
on December 4, 2009
Much thinner than past editions but the quailty of this yearbook is just the same. If you buy this book on a yearly basis, as I do, you won't miss anything but the constant repeating of the same reviews on different editions.
Is Roger Ebert the best movie reviewer around ? In my opinion he's probably not the most "accurate" as he gives out four stars as if they were candy but, he certainly makes the best reading. At any rate, with time I've learned to ignore his star system and get an idea of what any movie is like by actually reading his reviews.
Anyway, this is first rate stuff that one can only hope will continue for many years.
on October 17, 2011
The content of this book is very good. The problem with the book is not with the author or his writing. The problem with this book is that it is 800 pages in print with 500 movie reviews and virtually no table of contents and no index. True there are a few hyperlink entries in the TOC for the Introduction, Interviews, Essays, Best of's, and Journal topics; but a link to each review? Well, the Reviews link gets you to A, "Accomplices", and that's it. But maybe that's why it costs $2.99. Kindle Readers be forewarned.
on April 14, 2012
I have been a faithful reader of Roger Ebert for decade now and a loyal purchaser of his annually yearbook, I haven't missed an edition since the 90's back when it was still called a "home video companion." I'm happy to report that the book remains a worthy addition to any and all libraries of movie buffs and film criticism. Over the years the book has changed, mostly in small ways, literally as the book has gotten smaller, not as much information as there once was, I'm saddened to see the section on film festivals dwindle down, now to the point the section is just called "film festival." I always enjoyed reading of the film festivals, this year's addition was on the Toronto International Film Festival, because like most people, I don't get the opportunity to go, but I can still read about them on his website. This doesn't impair my enjoyment, to paraphrase what Roger used to tell Gene, you mustn't review the movie you would rather have seen, but the one that you did see.
This year's book features some of the best entries from "Ebert's Journal", my favorites being "on the origins of the Transformers" and "the dying of the light" about shady projection of movies these days. His essay called "a prayer beneath the tree of life" was beautiful, and his "mighty hammering over Thor" is a gas, even if I don't fully agree. Loving memorial tributes to Elizabeth Taylor, Sidney Lumet, Tony Curtis, Jill Clayburg, Blake Edwards, Arthur Penn and Susannah York. An insightful interview with Casey Affleck and a very funny one with John Waters, among others. Plus dozens of recent film reviews, his top ten lists and other goodies. I expect next year will be just as good.
check out my reviews at moviezonemagazine.com
on October 29, 2011
I ALWAYS read reviews before I buy... but not this time. Someone beat me to the punch and shared my exact same frustration. I loved the sample Kindle version I received. Before buying, I even looked at the table of contents to be sure there was an INDEX as this volume contains hundreds of movie reviews and I imagined that I would flip to the movies I wanted to read about. Silly me - I was looking at the hard copy version of the book on-line - not the KINDLE version. Who would've thought there would be a difference? The KINDLE version has no index....
I still bought figuring that I could search the book to get to where I wanted to go... Using the index that was on-line for the hard-copy version of the book. But no. When I try to search on "Avatar", I get a little message from KINDLE saying the book has not been indexed for searching... "Try back later".... "Try back later?" What does that mean? Appears that I can't search on anything!!!
As it was inexpensive, I guess I'll muddle through, but how ridiculous, KINDLE! Shame on you. If you can't do it right, you really shouldn't sell this volume as an e-book. I really love my Kindle, hence the frustration that something so poorly thought out would be associated with something I highly recommend to everyone that will listen.
on May 18, 2016
I'm a screenplay editor and I must say, I much prefer the ones from the eighties which included his essays and the Great Movies lists which geeze, pretty much kept me alive culturally whilst growing up in the Free State of Jones. (Yes, it's real, it really happened).
See if you can't find one of the 1984 or 1985 versions instead, the ones labeled "VHS GUIDES". Those were stellar. This is pretty much zeroed in around the year on the cover. Discover film by reading the older versions--obscure classics like Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, etc. I wouldn't have seen The Third Man had it not been for those.
on September 23, 2013
I'm slowly working my way, cover to cover, through Roger's 2012 Yearbook. He can be quirky; he certainly is full of disdain for the current state of 3D Projection, but he loves movies, and he is never a smart-ass when assessing the quality of what he has seen. I guess what I like most is that his thought process in reviewing the movie is evident and he lays out his argument with referrals to other films of the same genre to compare and contrast. He is usually very even-handed and that's all to the good. To give you examples of other critics that I like, here is a representative list: A.O. Scott, Joe Morgenstern, Manohla Dargis, Dana Stevens, James Berardelli and Peter Travers. See you at the movies...
Reviewing reviewers always seems a little odd to me, as if it were the beginning of a chain in which people could review my review of the reviewer and so on. Then again, if we want to understand what makes Roger Ebert stand out, we need to evaluate his work.
His Movie Yearbook 2011 contains a bunch of movie reviews, primarily of films released in 2009 and 2010. All the movies contain the vital information of cast, credits, length and MPAA rating, along with Ebert's own rating which is on a four star scale. In addition, the book has a number of interviews, some reporting (primarily on events at the Cannes Film Festival) and answers to various questions he has been given.
Ebert is a bit of a movie snob, but fortunately, not too much of one, as he's often amenable to less high-brow entertainment. Of course, his tastes don't fully agree with mine (and they won't with yours either); there are some movies I considered absolute garbage which he liked, and the reverse is true as well. The point of a book like this, however, is not necessarily to agree with every opinion, but rather to get exposed to a wider variety of movie fare and to be able to look at these movies with a better understanding of how they work.
Ebert may be one of the last of the great movie critics. In this Internet era, everyone's a critic, which dilutes the product. In addition, the print media has declined, offering less forums for the critic, and studios are getting less inclined to offer movies for review prior to opening day. As Ebert and a few others stop writing, the replacements will not have the same prominence. There will be less books like The Movie Yearbook in the future, so we should enjoy them while we can.
on March 18, 2010
For nearly 25 years movie critic Roger Ebert's expertise has pinpointed the pros and cons of movies and set the standard for full-length critical movie reviews. Now his MOVIE YEARBOOK 2010 compiles the best of his works written between January 2007 and July 2009, offering its 0-4 star scale for over 600 motion pictures and packing in essays and new entries to the Little Movie Glossary, new questions and answers from his column, and more. A 'must' for any general library strong in film criticism.
on July 19, 2012
Whether I've seen the movie or not, intend to watch the movie or not - I always enjoy reading Ebert's reviews. Sometimes my mind is even changed about a movie I've wholeheartedly decided is not worth my time.