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

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_5pva4m8otgn1ml9iqxtmafrzqoe

How to Be Single

Think of "How to Be Single" as a cinematic Whitman’s Sampler: There are enough pieces that work to offset the pieces that don’t.

Thumb_large_it88e38ctyyhosflczultpw2org

Glassland

A young Dublin taxi driver deals with his alcoholic mother's decline. Bleak, tough, brilliantly acted trip down a familiar road.

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
Other Articles
Chaz's Blog Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives
Primary_eb20070507commentary70507001ar

A bouquet arrives...

A beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to the house the other day. A handwritten note paid compliments to my work and wished me a speedy recovery.

Who was it from? A friend? A colleague? An old classmate? The card was signed, “Your Least Favorite Movie Star, Rob Schneider.”

Saints preserve us.

It will help to establish a context if I mention that my review of Schneider’s latest film, “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” contained three words which provided me with the title of my new book: “Your Movie Sucks.”

I regard the flowers and intuit they were not sent in the spirit of irony. Despite my review, Rob Schneider was moved to make a kind and generous gesture, one person to another.

The bouquet didn’t change my opinion of his movie, but I don’t think he intended that. It was a way of stepping back. It was a reminder that in the great scheme of things, a review doesn’t mean very much.

Sometimes when I write a negative review, people will say, “I’ll bet you can’t wait to hammer his next film.” Not true. I would far rather praise the next film to show that I maintained an open mind.

When Vincent Gallo’s “The Brown Bunny” played at Cannes in 2003, I walked out of the screening and declared it “the worst movie in the history of the film festival.” This was an unwise thing to do. My policy for years has been to avoid giving a negative review of a festival film until it has a chance to open.

Gallo issued a curse on my colon. I responded that the video of my colonoscopy was more entertaining than his film, and there the matter rested until 2004, when Gallo released a “final cut” of “The Brown Bunny” which was re-edited and 30 minutes shorter. I went to see it, and now I could see better what he was getting at, and I gave it a positive review.

“Ill bet you hated to change your mind,” I was told. No, I was happy to. It is a hard and frustrating thing to make a movie, and credit must be given where due.

Now we come back to the flowers. They were a reminder, if I needed one, that although Rob Schneider might (in my opinion) have made a bad movie, he is not a bad man, and no doubt tried to make a wonderful movie, and hopes to again. I hope so, too.

Thanks, Rob.

Popular Blog Posts

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

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

30 Minutes on: "The Swimmer"

A peculiar film, poised somewhere between satire and dream logic.

Wax Masks and Helicopter Acrobatics: An Extra's Experience on the Set of "Spectre"

FFC Gerardo Valero reports on his experience working as an extra on "Spectre."

From the nostalgia file: "Taxi Driver"

A brief consideration of "Taxi Driver," still Scorsese's masterpiece.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus