Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Roger Ebert's Great Movies

Roger Ebert has a list of great movies. It is my goal to see all 250 of them. He adds a new one every other week. The last couple of weeks I've tried to watch a bunch so here are some review minis.

Top Hat: I understand why people choose the 70s as their favorite decade for film. But no decade without Fred Astaire in his prime could be my favorite. So sorry seventies. You will always take a back seat. Nobody can touch Fred Astaire except for maybe Jackie Chan in Police Story 4 aka First Strike. This isn't one of his best like Swing Time, but it's certainly not one of his worst. It's enjoyable fluff. If you've never seen a Fred Astaire movie rent Swing Time, or The Band Wagon, or Three Little Words, which although not his best has my favorite dance number.

In Cold Blood: One of the coldest, most brutal movies I've ever seen. I read that it was filmed in the house that the murders actually happened in. Creepy.

Yojimbo: My favorite Kurosawa film so far. Pretty funny and exciting. There was one point where the samuri tells someone to go tell the boss that six of his bodyguards have died. As a viewer I was like, what? I wonder who did that? Then you see the Samuri walk up to the six bodyguards who are very much alive and start to slaughter them. Good stuff.

The Last Laugh: Silent German Murnau film. I didn't think I'd like this at all. Maybe I was sucked in because I was listening to Belle and Sebastion instead of the background music. This movie is famous because it only had one title card. It's about a man who loves being a door man in a posh hotel. One day he's demoted to bathroom attendant and it really screws with the guy. There's a moment that should have been funny but turned out touching and I have no idea why. The man's wife has no idea he's a washroom attendant and one day she surprised him with a sack lunch. When she sees him, he gasps and she gasps and she runs all the way home, with her arms stretched out like the mummy. Weird when you think about it. Really surreal.


Blogger Jordan said...

thanks for the link to ebert's list.
what's that other site you go to for reviews? or something?

I like to read and i actually usually like reading the des news guy - jeff vice (online)

My very favorite is Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal. I used to listen to KRCW (NPR affiliate in Santa Monica). They'd broadcast him reading his reviews on Fridays. And that was especially good. He won a pultizer prize for his reviews a couple of years ago.

Anyone else have a favorite reviewer? or website?

1:18 AM  
Blogger Jordan said...

it's actually kcrw and i just found there podcast on the web and am now listening to joe morgenstern's reviews online. it's great. you should all check it out. he's an older man and has a great reading voice.

i went to - and searched for joe morgenstern - they have all of his reviews archived there.

1:52 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

I like Joe Morgenstern as well but sometimes after he is done I still have no idea whether or not to see the film. Perhaps this is by design so the viewer can still make an investment. The alternative is a thumbs up or thumbs down which doesn't always cut it. Ebert is good when it's a one star film or a four star film but he is terrible when it's a three star film (which most of them are). I trust Roeper better than Ebert and I often watch the reviews at The absolute best is to hear an interview with the filmmaker on KCRW with Elvis Mitchell. He does about one a week. You can podcast it or stream it.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Bryan Summers said...
This is the website for Vern. He got out of prison about five years ago and started reviewing movies. Warning, there is a lot of profanity but he is so funny.
He is by far my favorite critic.

11:23 PM  

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