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10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed Paperback – February 5, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Roeper, the syndicated movie critic who replaced the late Gene Siskel as Roger Ebert's TV partner, certainly has the credentials to craft a handful of insightful movie lists. He also has the wit to make this book fun enough that you don't have to be a movie buff to appreciate it. Treating his subjects with the respect they deserve, he runs the gamut from the funnily frivolous ("Red-Carpet Flubs and Blunders by Joan Rivers" e.g., Rivers gushes about J.Lo's teeth and then asks the diva, "Are they yours?") to the frivolously risqué ("Best Porn Titles Based on Legit Movies" e.g., 6 Lays, 7 Nights) to more conventional fare ("Best Films that Didn't Win the Academy Award for Best Picture" e.g., Citizen Kane). Lest the Motion Picture Academy feel slighted, Roeper also takes the AFI to task, listing movies that should and should not have made its 100 "best" list. Whatever the category, Roeper lets it rip.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Frank, funny . . . one mischievous little volume." -- Bookpage

"Two thumbs up" -- Miami Herald
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1 edition (February 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078688830X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786888306
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,794,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. J. Kwashnak VINE VOICE on February 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Not intended as a scholarly or unbiased book, this collection of movie lists range from the hilariously perceptive - "13 great perks of being a movie character" to the wholly opinionated - "The 40 worst movies I've ever seen." The title caught my eye and the humorous writing kept me reading. Some of the lists are, well just lists like "Sequels that have equaled or bettered the original." No explanation or justification - just a list. And some of the lists are just self indulgent - "Attack of the quote whores" which collects those random fluff love quotes that we see in advertisement and puts them on a couple of pages for no good reason at all. Still, Roeper has taken some of that love of movies that propelled him to where he is by showing "5 Reasons George Baily Isn't Such a Wonderful Guy in It's a Wonderful Life," and the mentioned below "7 movies in which Ben Affleck cries like a big fat baby." If you are looking for serious cinematic writing, go look for Pauline Kael. Otherwise this is a great little commute, waste time or bathroom book. I only wish Roeper had put in a table of contents so I could easily find the gems again when I look for them instead of flipping through the book. Just silly. Enjoy!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is more like a slightly extended magazine article. In fact, I've read articles in "Movieline" that were longer, and more informative.
About one quarter of the book includes material that is well thought-out and entertainingly written. The rest is stuff that Roeper must have dictated into his voice recorder while doing other tasks.

Roeper is clever and well-informed, but this book couldn't have taken more than two weeks to write. If you're looking for a truly quick read, this is the book for you. Just don't pay full price!
I'm sure Roeper is capable of writing a good book, even a book of lists that has a little more "meat." But Roeper, and the publisher, shouldn't try to pass this off as more than a brochure.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Group on July 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book's lists run the gamut from the commendable ("Ten movies that didn't make the AFI list but should have") to the throwaway (pick the half-dozen lists of your choice). In between, there are lists of his personal opinions, at least some of which are bound to provoke strong reactions (good and bad) in die-hard film buffs. There are also several lists of movie cliches that could have been lifted right out of Ebert's LITTLE MOVIE GLOSSARY. Some fall in the "Eh" category (movies starring cast members of "Seinfeld" and "Friends") and some that are LOL funny (Red carpet flubs by Joan Rivers). The book is padded out in the extreme, and fleshing it out here and there would have helped-- a lot (his list of in-jokes briefly discusses only 13 films, and his "10 movie character imitations that men can't resist doing" misses things like Pacino in SCARFACE ("Say hello to my li'l frien'")). A mixed bag, but there are worse ways of killing an hour or so.
PS: The back cover states that this book is the result of his years of watching thousands of films, yet in his SOURCES, he states that he consulted dozens of movie websites and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. Hmmmmm . . .
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Whitaker Sirignano on September 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was looking though this book and it's easy to look through--large type small sentences lots of white space, and found myself reading material I know this "author" did not write, because the material was lifted whole sale from items found on the internet and in books published prior to this one (try E TAILS volumes 1-3).

The essays "Ten Sure Signs a Movie Character is doomed" and "13 Great Perks of Being a Movie character" and "9 rules of drinking in the movies" were Internet forwards. The man known as Roeper didn't write this, and I suspect, much of the rest of the book was swiped from the internet.

I never did like this guy as a movie reviewer. This book "by" Roeper only confirms my feelings he's not much of a reviewer, not the least bit honest, nor worthwhile with dealing with.
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By Tim Lieder on August 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book. He has plenty of lists that are oft times humorous but sometimes rather banal. The "sure sign that you're doomed" list has been gone over so many times that we all know the jokes about characters that go down the steps to investigate the noise or who have important information to tell the protagonist. None of the lists are particularly illuminating, but many are funny and that's really all this book is aiming for. Unfortunately, this book is also so thin that it takes less than an hour to read. While that's great for a gift book or a book that you find in the dollar bin, paying full price seems ridiculous.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alan W. Petrucelli on January 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
The thin man of the syndicated show "Ebert & Roeper" is back, this time with a collection of movie lists that are as irreverent, offbeat and inventive as the films themselves. Some of the lists are simply bland, such as "Actresses Who Have Played Prostitutes." (Think Joan Crawford, Drew Barrymore, Sharon Stone and Gloria Swanson.) Yet most are a hoot ... "5 Things That Happen When a Wrongly Accused Fugitive Walks Into a Bar, a Restaurant or a Convenience Store;" "7 Moves in Which Ben Affleck Cried Like a Big Fat Baby;" "The Worst Best Movies of All Time;" "Actresses Who Have Yet to Do a Nude Scene." Picking a favorite list or two or three is like trying to choose your favorite flick. Some nominees include: "The 40 Worst Movies I've Ever Seen," listed alphabetically because, as Roeper muses, "at some point, awful is just awful." No.1 is "Arthur 2: On the Rocks." Along the way there's "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" ("Dumb & Painful & Lame & Boring"), "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" ("Sputter sputter klunk klunk") and "Me and Him" ("Griffin Dunne has a running dialogue with his penis. The penis gets the best lines.") We also love "11 Movies That Employed James Brown's `I Feel Good' to Indicate That a Character Feels Good!" Topping the list: "Exit Wounds," closing the list: "White Men Can't Jump." And there's "Movies That Never Played on an Airplane" ("Air Force One," "Passenger 57," and, of course, "Passenger 57.") We keep our copy in the bathroom for those times when we need fast relief.
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