A friend asked me if my review of Your Movie Sucks by Roger Ebert would be Roger Ebert Your Book Sucks. No. This is a really fun to read collection of Roger Ebert slamming a few movies. It is the kind of book that sits on your night table for a while as you check out a couple of reviews from time to time or, seriously, stays in the john to provide some interesting reading material. Ebert's reviews in Your Movie Sucks are all pans but not always vitriolic: when they are he really knows how to shred a movie in a line or two; when they are not the reviews will still elicit glee in the poor soul who also watched that movie, hopefully as a rented DVD.
Though I really like my slam of Larry The Cable Guy Health Inspector "Hollywood has finally found the solution to movie piracy: a movie no one will ever want to copy" Ebert really knows how to turn a phrase or knife: "There is a scene in Full Frontal where a character comes to a tragic end while masturbating. That could symbolize the method and fate of this film." or the oft quoted passage from the Freddy Got Fingered review "This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels."
Finding the nasty bits in this book is much like hunting for Easter eggs. It is fun and the reward is sweet. Not all the reviews have really good slams but most are entertaining. His review of the great classic Wet Hot American Summer is written to the tune of Allan Sherman's Camp Granada. I do find Ebert's tendency to tell you almost the entire story of the movie somewhat annoying though. Not being overly familiar with the critic's newspaper columns I am hoping he summarizes only those movies he hopes no one will go see so as to save them the pain and effort.
Part of the fun in reading or browsing through Robert Ebert's Your Movie Sucks is checking out the table of contents to see if the book includes a movie you liked but most critics panned, such as RV with Robin Williams, or a movie you hated, such as the American remake of Taxi with Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fowl One, has made the book. You are happy when it is included, such as Taxi, and bummed when it is not, such as RV. Of course, you will probably come across a movie Ebert panned but you loved and own the original DVD, the deluxe DVD, the special extra super-duper director's cut bonus magic features DVD. This is where you can really enjoy this book or might notice it flies as elegantly as the Spruce Goose.
Included in Your Movie Sucks by Roger Ebert are two different reviews of Vincent Gallo's infamous The Brown Bunny: one based on the Cannes version, one based on the edited version. These and the postmortem interview with Gallo make for an interesting read.
Other movies featured in this collection are The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen -which my sister loves--, Swept Away (the Madonna version, duh!), 13 Ghosts, Charlie's Angels, Catwoman of course, and The Girl Next Door. No, Gigli is not here. Roger Ebert is probably reserving that review for Your Movie Really Sucks.