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Roger Ebert has lost it.......  

post #1 of 144
Thread Starter 
He gave Van Helsing a "Thumbs Up" which means I will never listen to another of his reviews as long as I live. I saw this pile of crap at a free screening last night and by the end of it I was praying one of the silver bullets would pierce the screen and kill me. I'm a huge action movie fan and I love summer blockbusters more than most people, but this was the most ridiculous flick I've seen in a long time. Words really can't describle just how bad this movie is..........quite possibly some of the worst acting in the history of cinema. The action scenes are preposterous and there is more CGI in this movie than Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Hulk and The Terminator combined. I'm sure it will probably do about $40 million at the box office this weekend, but I can't wait to see the drop off next weekend once word of mouth gets around about how bad it is. Thank goodness I didn't have to pay to see it or I would really be pissed.
post #2 of 144
Sorry to hear about how bad this movie looked to you.
BTW, what is your opinion about the other movies you mentioned?

Thanks.
post #3 of 144
Roger is a bit eccentric at times, what of it...
post #4 of 144
Thread Starter 
Like I said, I love big summer blockbuster action films. I enjoyed all the movies I mentioned above with the exception of Hulk which I thought totally sucked. Van Helsing ranks slightly above Hulk in my book just because Kate Beckinsale is in it. She can't act her way out of a paper bag, but damn is she good to look at.
post #5 of 144
Ebert's reviews are all over the map; always have been. I have no idea what makes him like or dislike a film. We've had threads on him before; most here agree that he is an excellent film historian. Hearing him discuss older classic films is almost always entertaining and enlightening. I thought Siskel was a better critic though.
post #6 of 144
I agree wit Fred, i too liked siskel a little more..Let's not even talk about Roeper.One thing to keep in mind though, is that these are just other peoples opinions..I always decide for myself if i want to see a movie..I will probably still check out Van Helsing..looked pretty interesting to me.But then again we all loved the hulk when we watched it..

On another note, this is one reason why i don't frequent commercial theaters often.It's too expensive and the chance of seeing junk is way too high.

brickie
post #7 of 144
This is one dumb, loud, incoherent movie with way too much CGI. Ebert liked this mess!
post #8 of 144
I enjoy reading Ebert. He's a very good feature writer. The Sun-Times is lucky to have him. He missed his calling though. It's a shame they didn't put him on the paper where he belonged. Giving advice and opinions on where to get the best sushi or the best deep dish pizza. I used to make twice a year business trips to Chicago. Boy I bet he could have told me where to get some good eats when I was there. Such wasted talent.
post #9 of 144
In General.

If Ebert loved it, its good.

If Ebert Hated it, its good.

If Ebert liked it, its cr@p.

If Ebert though it was So so, its Cr@p.

But he is hard to nail down.
post #10 of 144
Ebert is a hack. He may know something of film history, but when it comes to reviewing more modern films he's totally low brow. I lost track of the number of times I saw a movie he had recommended only to be astounded at how bad it was. He sucks up to the big studios just as much as any of those blurb whores from some TV or radio station you never heard of. If a movie is big, dumb and popular, odds are he'll give it a thumbs up. Siskel was much better. He would back up his criticisms of movies Ebert liked with detailed examples, while Ebert would just go "Well, I liked it," or "I found it believable." Hell, even Roeper has better taste than Ebert. Still, there are worse film reviewers. Don't even get me started on Michael Medved...
post #11 of 144
I could'nt care less what any film critic thinks of a film. I make sure I don't know what they think! The only time I read movie reviews are to find out what a movie or genre is about (especially independent or foreign films). Then I decide if I want to see it or not. Even after I've seen the movie, I don't care much about other people's opinions. Which is why I'm rarely in this particular forum. When I come here, I try to find out about movies I haven't seen or heard about before. Then I will take others opinions into account. But to let myself be totally influenced by a person's opinion of a film, or anything else for that matter, doesn't make sense to me.
post #12 of 144
"But to let myself be totally influenced by a person's opinion of a film, or anything else for that matter, doesn't make sense to me."

This makes sense up to a certain point. Of course you wouldn't want to be "totally influenced" by another's opinion. But if you find a critic who's views you tend to agree with, it can help you flag films you might have an interest in. Once I know I'm interested in seeing a film, then I try to avoid reading ANY reviews of it, because way too many reviewers these days don't know how to review a movie without recounting most of the plot (they often read more like a summary of the script than a thoughtful critique of the film's worth or what it was trying to say).
post #13 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by Gray Davis
He sucks up to the big studios just as much as any of those blurb whores from some TV or radio station you never heard of. If a movie is big, dumb and popular, odds are he'll give it a thumbs up.
Huh? Of all the things Ebert is, he's not a studio suck-up. X-Men, Spider-Man, Independence Day, AOTC and on and on are all big studio films that he happened to not care for. I really believe that he "votes his conscience", so to speak. At his age, experience level, and stature as occasional professor at UIC, columnist, film historian, and t.v. personality, he gains nothing by sucking up to the studios.

I will say this: his written reviews are much better than his ones on T.V. You really get a better sense of how and why he likes/dislikes a film in his articles. I don't always agree with his reviews, but I think his articles really have the goods to back up his opinions.
post #14 of 144
"Huh? Of all the things Ebert is, he's not a studio suck-up. X-Men, Spider-Man, Independence Day, AOTC and on and on are all big studio films that he happened to not care for."

If he really panned all of those films, then I stand corrected. I don't follow Ebert's reviews anymore, having given up on him, but when I used to watch his TV reviews he often gave a thumbs up to big budget studio hackery, while Siskel would look at him like he was crazy...And when he would talk about why he liked a particular film, his reasons wouldn't make much sense...I know he'll also give a thumbs up to smaller independent films sometimes...it's not like I disagree with every one of his reviews, but I've seen him rave about enough bad movies to know he's way too hit and miss.
post #15 of 144
I remember he didn't care too much for ID4 at first but when it made X amount of $ the first day he changed his tune.
post #16 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by Gray Davis
I lost track of the number of times I saw a movie he had recommended only to be astounded at how bad it was.
So the criteria is that if your opinion happens to coincide with that of a given critic most of the time then he's good at plying his trade. Hmmm...go visit Rotten Tomatoes and look up any given film. By your definition the place is plagued by hacks.

Anyone with a modicum of writing skill could pen a positive or negative review of ANY film that logically flows from the premises presented by the writer.

Methinks some of you are taking film critics too seriously. Naturally, some film critics take themselves too seriously as well. :)

--Jerome
post #17 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by FredProgGH
I have no idea what makes him like or dislike a film.
Well, then Ebert is at least in good company, because I usually have no idea what makes most of the people on this board like or dislike a film. :D

--Jerome
post #18 of 144
I never listen to any critic. If it's a movie you want to see, go see it.
post #19 of 144
Wood---People from Chicago don't eat deep-dish pizza, it's for tourists. You get out in the real neighborhoods (not the Yuppie ones) and people eat thin crust cut up in squares.
post #20 of 144
I always steer clear of mainstream critics. Too big of a chance that they are whores.

Collective, grapevine-like, internet-based wisdom is much better.

That's why I hang out here. :)
post #21 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by Brent Madden
I enjoyed all the movies I mentioned above with the exception of Hulk which I thought totally sucked. Van Helsing ranks slightly above Hulk in my book just because Kate Beckinsale is in it. She can't act her way out of a paper bag, but damn is she good to look at.
Well, I enjoyed Hulk and still do with each viewing. Jennifer Connelly doesn't do an eye candy role (in this film) and she can act, in or out of the paper bag.
I like Kate Beckinsale, I just haven't liked any of the movies I've seen her in.

As for Star Wars: I own them and I, somewhat, enjoy them. They look beautiful - they just make me sleepy sometimes. If Lucas had picked better Anakin actors they would have been better films, IMO.

Okay, was it as bad as League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (which I did enjoy for the first two-thirds or so)?

As for critics, one I enjoy is Dawn Taylor (Even when I disagree with her I find her reviews intelligent and lively): http://www.rottentomatoes.com/author-6176/movies.php
post #22 of 144
The mark of a good reviewer isn't her thumbs up or thumbs down. Its her ability to let you know what enough about the movie to decide if you are likely to enjoy it. Ebert does mention ridiculous action sequences and massive CGI so its not like you weren't informed.

But don't take this as a defense of Ebert. After his unbelievably arrogant spoiler-giving in his Eternal Sunshine review, I'm pretty much boycotting the guy.
post #23 of 144
Because of Roger Ebert I was able to see Lawrence of Arabia in it's full 70mm splendor at Ebert's annual filmfest in Champaign a couple of weeks ago.

The showing was on the huge screen of an old downtown movie palace and Robert Harris was there as were a pair of crack projectionists Roger brought in from Hollywood.

The showing was superb, people were oohing and aahing at the gorgeous picture on the screen. I felt as though I could've stepped through the screen into the desert.

This absolves Ebert of all sins.

And don't kid yourselves fellas, no video display looks like Lawrence looked.
post #24 of 144
Quote:
So the criteria is that if your opinion happens to coincide with that of a given critic most of the time then he's good at plying his trade.
Yes, based on the quite reasonable premise that the "trade" of a movie critic is to be a reasonably reliable guide to films YOU will consider worth seeing. In that respect, he's no different from a restaurant critic, wine critic, etc. Do you really think otherwise? Do you think movie reviews are supposed to be nothing but entertaining fluff that does nothing to inform or guide the would-be viewer?
post #25 of 144
The NY TIMES reviews are pretty good.

The review if Van Helsing in yesterday's paper pretty much summed it up a wild piece of crap that is all about special effects and short on story...I'm not surprised.

It'll be a decent rent for showing off effects but I plan on staying away from this film at the theater.
post #26 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by Tom Brennan
Because of Roger Ebert I was able to see Lawrence of Arabia in it's full 70mm splendor at Ebert's annual filmfest in Champaign a couple of weeks ago.

The showing was on the huge screen of an old downtown movie palace and Robert Harris was there as were a pair of crack projectionists Roger brought in from Hollywood.

The showing was superb, people were oohing and aahing at the gorgeous picture on the screen. I felt as though I could've stepped through the screen into the desert.

This absolves Ebert of all sins.

And don't kid yourselves fellas, no video display looks like Lawrence looked.
He may be absolved... But now we are all mad at you... you lucky dog

:D :D :D

b2b
post #27 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by RobertR
The "trade" of a movie critic is to be a reasonably reliable guide to films YOU will consider worth seeing.
Excellent point! One just finds the reviewer(s) whose tastes most consistently reflect one's own.
post #28 of 144
I'm a fan of Ebert and although I frequently disagree with his tastes in movies, I too liked Van Helsing. I went to see the first showing Friday and this movie does not disappoint from what you see in the trailer: a popcorn movie at it's finest. If you were expecting a serious plot you weren't paying attention to the ads. ;) I can't wait for the sequel and bring on the Blu-ray/HD-DVD disc!
post #29 of 144
I too enjoyed Van Helsing for what it was... a loud, silly, brainless popcorn movie. It's nothing less than what the previews promised, and I'll say I was thoroughly entertained nonstop for 2 hours and 10 minutes. In fact, I even had a grin on my face throughout most of it. I enjoyed it more than either of the last two Star Wars films, the Hulk or Spiderman.
post #30 of 144
Quote:
Originally posted by jsaliga
Well, then Ebert is at least in good company, because I usually have no idea what makes most of the people on this board like or dislike a film. :D

--Jerome
Well that's what makes a good professional critic IMO. With Gene Siskel- heck, with Joe Bob Briggs- I can get a sense of their tastes and a consistency that tells me if they are liking or disliking a film based on criteria I agree with. With Ebert I just can't pin him down. He likes movies I like, he loves movies I hate, he hates movies I love- just like any other critic except with Ebert I don't know why. So he's useless to me. I read Ebert reviews AFTER I see a movie just for fun, to see what his take was.
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