Heaven Is for Real
Faith-based film tries reaching past its audience, but falls back on preaching to its own choir way too much.
From the introduction to Roger Ebert's new book of reviews, "Your Movie Sucks":
Some of these reviews were written in joyous zeal. Others with glee. Some in sorrow, some in anger, and a precious few with venom, of which I have a closely guarded supply. When I am asked, all to frequently, if I really sit all the way through these movies, my answer is inevitably: Yes, because I want to write the review.
I would guess that I have not mentioned my Pulitzer Prize in a review except once or twice since 1975, but at the moment I read Rob Schneider's extremely unwise open letter to Patrick Goldstein, I knew I was receiving a home-run pitch, right over the plate. Other reviews were written in various spirits, some of them almost benevolently, but of "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo," all I can say is that it is a movie made to inspire the title of a book like this.
On the other hand, I learned a thing or two. Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny" struck me, when I saw it at Cannes, as definitively bad. I engaged in an exchange of views with the director. When I saw his considerably shorter final cut, I had to concede that I could now see what he was getting at. A critic must be honest.
If a film of yours is included in this volume, take heart and be of good cheer. You may yet rank among the Gallos and not the Schneiders.
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