"The charm and success of the book is that Loder brings his substantial writing skills—and his keen understanding of pop culture and how it works—to discussing both serious and zombie movies in a way that sounds like your best friend intelligently ranting to you about a film in a bar."—Publishers Weekly
"If you love movies—even the bad ones—do yourself a favor and run to the nearest bookstore and buy this book. Keep it on your bedside table and I promise, you’ll be a better person for it."—Tucson Citizen
"Kurt Loder is an alien from outer space brought here to review movies. Enjoy his gift before we dissect him for research."—Sarah Silverman
"Every sentence [is] a witty, take-no-prisoners surprise."—Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Reading this book is like sitting next to Kurt at the movies…only you get to laugh as loud as you want!"—Chris Connelly, ABC News contributing correspondent and former editor, Premiere Magazine
"Loder's thoughts on all the movies are interesting and he makes a good reviewer - hitting the high points of the movie and getting his point across without being too preachy. And movie lovers will enjoy reading about their favorites and most-hated."—Newsand Sentinel.com
“it's pure Loder through and through…if you're a fan of Loder's sharply irreverent views, you'll be happy to read he's applied it very well here on a wide variety of movies.”—David Konow, TGDaily.com
About the Author
KURT LODER currently writes about movies for REASON ONLINE. He was staff writer and senior editor at ROLLING STONE for nine years, where he remains a contributing editor; writer and host of MTV’s THE WEEK IN ROCK for more than a decade; and movie reviewer for MTV.com. He is the co-author of Tina Turner’s autobiography, I, TINA, a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller.
This fat new anthology of Kurt Loder's film criticism is a good companion to Roger Ebert's work. In the introduction Loder brings up Pauline Kael in a self-deprecating way. But I think Loder has a common-sense approach that eludes Kael. In fact, in a break from showbiz orthodoxy, Loder is now reviewing movies for the libertarian magazine "Reason". His landmark pan of Michael Moore's "Sicko" is included in this volume. And he is gratifyingly smart about pretension of all kinds. Loder also covers documentaries and foreign films. Attention to these has decreased in the past 20 years or so. Loder is doing his part to revive interest in them. It's too bad that these reviews only go back to 2004. I would like to read Loder on older films. Or a memoir about his long career would be a nice chunk of American cultural history. If you are a fan of clear, elegant prose and provocative thinking you will greatly enjoy this book.
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Kurt Loder considers himself a "film reviewer" as opposed to a "film critic". Essentially that means that he chooses to review meat and potatoes movies instead of focusing only on esoteric films. He is a filter for the common moviegoer. He's also totally unpretentious, cheerful, tidy and slightly astringent. His reviews are neat little bundles with a witty parting line at the end--which means that if you want a quick take on his opinion, you can just fastforward to the concluding sentence.
This volume covers some two hundred odd titles from the first decade of the new century. Loder's categorizations of the movies emphasize the rather crass way that movies are marketed to target audiences. I found that I had actually viewed less than 15% of these movies, most of which had no brush whatsoever with the Academy Awards. But as I said, Loder is not an esoteric reviewer, and he gives space to all the types of movies (low and high art both) flowing through the cultural river. Read in their entirety, books like this tend to confirm the idea that we are indeed amusing ourselves to death.
One of Loder's greatest gifts is that he can reduce and make legible even the loopiest, most convoluted plots in movies, and dog knows we are now regularly subjected to movie plots that are infuriatingly obtuse. Kurt spins his spidery analytical silk and salts them away all the same, in a fastidious packet that is low on verbiage. He has a good grasp of the mechanics of the movie industry, and he can quickly diagnose just why a film succeeds or fails.
Loder reviews for "Reason" magazine, and perhaps that is why his reviews are so panoptical, as deadpan analyses of what people really watch.Read more ›
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