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Roger Ebert's Four-Star Reviews 1967-2007 Paperback – February 1, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

 Roger Ebert is the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic from the Chicago Sun-Times. His reviews are syndicated to more than 200 newspapers in the United States and Canada. The American Film Institute and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago have awarded him honorary degrees, and the Online Film Critics Society named his Web site, rogerebert.com, the best online movie-review site.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740771795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740771798
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Charles M. Robinson on November 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When you think of Roger Ebert you think of "movie critic". However, this book introduces us to the depth of this man's love of the cinema and his ability to understand it. The book covers forty years of reviews, essays and interviews. For the film lover it will be an exciting journey back to the darken theaters of yesterday, and to the present blockbusters. His engaging style of interviewing is tops. A great reference book..... highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You know, there's a very good reason Roger Ebert won a Pulitzer. The man is an amazing writer. If you enjoy the pure pleasure of reading, and have a passion for the movies, you would be hard-pressed to find a better book than this to read.

The book is mostly a collection of writings by Ebert over the last several decades. There's some interviews with famous film folk, a collection of essays on subjects such as colorization, digital vs film, the need for a viable "adults only" rating, a few movie reviews, a discussion on the past, present and future of film review, and, most importantly, a serious love of the movies that comes through on every page.

I confess I am somewhat biased. Until I began reading Roger Ebert's fine website, I'd never heard of films such as M - Criterion Collection (Special Edition), Nosferatu, The Third Man - Criterion Collection (2-Disc Edition), or The Grapes of Wrath (I knew about the novel, of course). I'd also never had any real interst in, or appreciation for, movies such as Dark City (New Line Platinum Series), "The Bride of Frankenstein",
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Format: Hardcover
Roger Ebert loves movies, and he is a wonderful writer. He can reveal the essence of a movie with a poet;s touch, and he can point out some elements of the great mystery that draws us to an actor we might love, but not know why (thinking of his piece on Tom Hanks).

In one of the last reviewed movies in the book, "Crash" his writing helped me understand why a movie that seemed to rely so much on the most unlikely of fates, really deserved to be seen as a great movie. In the review of "Million Dollar Baby" which precedes "Crash", he shines a light on the heart of a movie that touched my heart, and does so with such simple and elegant precision.

It is easy to think of Mr. Ebert giving a thumbs up sign, doing battle with one of his guest hosts, or trying to find some way to indicate how much better than that a movie might be by using a series of adjectives or modifiers. Sometimes this has seemed silly, and inaccurate. For my wife and I, an unmodified "Two thumbs up" these days is as likely to reveal a mild stinker as something worthwhile and entertaining. Yet, I appreciate that he even writes an essay about another writer who decries such kinds of "criticisms and rating systems", doing so elegantly and non-defensively.

Yet when you read these reviews and interviews and let yourself be touched by them you can feel the author's joy and appreciation of the movies as well as his great understanding of this art form. That he is able to do this with a complete lack of pretense allowed me to fully appreciate the stand he has carved for himself as falling between the critic's movie critic and the people's movie critic.

If this were the last major work that Mr. Ebert creates in his life, he has performed a great service to those of us fortunate to pick this book up and read it. Thank you Roger Ebert. Two Thumbs pointing to the stars!
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Format: Paperback
Look at any number of journalistic movie reviews, and more often than not the reviewer's discussion concerns the script, or "story," rather than the movie experience, or "discourse." If you as the reader have the feeling that the reviewer could just as well be describing a novel or play, more than likely he's not equipped to do the admittedly challenging job of evaluating cinema, perhaps the most complex, most realistic, and potentially the most powerful medium for "representing" reality, or a complex "living" world.

The majority of movies are "dumbed down" to reach the widest possible audience, thus guaranteeing its sponsors a profitable return on what is usually an investment running into many millions of dollars (even as far back as 1960, a film like "Cleopatra" cost its makers over 40 million). Each picture is a "formulaic" commodity produced by a mini-corporation (as we've become acutely conscious ever since the interminable lists of credits following movies lke "Star Wars")--an expensive operation, or company, that is compelled to follow predictable, codified patterns if only to satisfy shareholders' expectations (and insistence on a profit). First, there was Syd Field's ubiquitous manual with its gospel-like litany of rules governing any screen-play, from the number of climaxes to their precise positioning; next came the computer programs for writing screenplays, most using a "fill-in-the-blank approach following the same reductive pattern of the "hero's journey," as extrapolated from Joseph Campbell's "Man of a Thousand Faces.
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