In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_mv5bmjm3ndcxotm5ml5bml5banbnxkftztgwntewnze0mze_._v1__sx1216_sy712_

Mortdecai

Not only is it a one-joke characterization, the joke is on the level of a below-average knock-knock joke.

Thumb_mv5bmtg4mjuxodczm15bml5banbnxkftztgwmdy4mjy0mze_._v1__sx1216_sy712_

Son of a Gun

Avery’s more than capable behind the camera, he just needs to be met halfway by his screenwriting, which dwells in overly familiar territory.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

$1,000,000 Duck

  |  

Walt Disney's "$1,000,000 Duck" is one of the most profoundly stupid movies I've ever seen. It is a movie about a duck that gets an overdose of radiation and starts laying golden eggs. It is also about the people who won the duck, and about how greed and avarice appear in their lives, and about the lesson in love and understanding that the father gets when his son runs away with the duck and becomes trapped on a ladder between the ledges of two tall buildings, and about how the father gets a fair trial from the American judiciary system.

The people in this movie inhabit a universe of clean little 1940s bungalows with rose trellises, and there's a mean neighbor next door and some teenagers down the street who are always souping up their hot rod. This universe looks vaguely familiar, and you wonder where you've seen it before. It certainly doesn't exist in the current American space-time continuum, but maybe...

And then you recognize the universe. The reason you had trouble before was that you'd never seen the WHOLE universe before, but only its laundry room. This is the universe of those sweet, simple folks who live in TV soap ads. They mean well, poor souls, and they dress neatly and keep a cheery smile, but they must have been shortchanged in the smarts department because all they care about in this life is how white their whites get. At night they have surrealistic dreams in which their towels come out whiter and whiter and whiter until the whole laundry room is filled with dazzling metaphysical sunlight, and (at last!) their towels are clean and their sins forgiven.

The woman in the family in the movie has apparently survived nine years of marriage since she has an 8-year-old son, but her survival must have been a matter of blind luck. She makes applesauce with garlic in it because she doesn't know any better, and she takes a golden egg down to the bank when her checking account gets overdrawn. Being married to such a mentality would be wearying to her husband, you imagine; he is a young scientist engaged in teaching rabbits and ducks to walk down the ramp and through the maze and push the right button and be rewarded with rabbit food or duck food.

There was a Stan Freberg record once about a rat that was put through this ordeal. Over drawbridges. Up ramps. Through doors. Past dead-ends. Across the moat. Up the ladder. And finally, finally...when the exhausted rodent reached his objective and punched the right button, do you know what came out of the little door for him to eat? One single chlorophyll gumball.

Popular Blog Posts

Confessions of an Awards Season Skeptic, Part Two: I, A Lone Voice of Sanity and Calm Awash in a Sea of Noise and Indignation

Glenn Kenny tries to provide some calm, reason, and perspective to today's major Oscar nominations.

They're All Gonna Laugh At You: The "Carrie" Remake

A look at Kimberly Pierce's 2013 version of "Carrie."

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

The 87th Academy Award Nominations and Fun Facts

The official nominees along with some fun facts about this year's crop.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus