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Roger Ebert's Four-Star Reviews 1967-2007 Paperback – February 1, 2008
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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", ...Read more ›
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!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love reading Roger Ebert's reviews. He writes extremely well, and I always understand WHY he gives these films the 4 stars ....Published 15 days ago by Wabe
"Awake in the Dark" was a gift. I sneaked a few peeks before wrapping. This is elegant writing and intriguing reflections by a master writer. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Claudia Pfeiffer
What can I say about a man who loved movies, people and compelled to share what he saw, who lived to his full with brilliancy?
I saw 'Life Itself' on screen. Read more
Great product... great seller, hope to do nussines in the future... thanks :)Published 8 months ago by Daniel