Roger Ebert's Half-Star Reviews by DoyleE

Champion(s):

RautY
The machines are winning


Runner(s)-Up:

DaviesML


Quiz Description

Given an excerpt from the half-star Roger Ebert review, name the film.

Full Results:

Rank Player Total %ile 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Money Value (% Incorrect): 37 24 77 20 47 87 67 10 94 60 80 50
1 RautY 585 98 15
15
15
77
15
15
15
87
15
67
15
15
94
15
15
80
15
2 DaviesML 483 95 15
15
15
15
15
47
00
15
67
15
15
94
15
60
15
15
50
3 RawheadKev 433 91 15
37
15
15
00
15
47
15
87
15
67
15
00
15
60
00
15
4 jnowell 393 88 00
15
24
00
15
15
47
15
87
00
15
00
00
15
80
15
50
5 KearnsT 381 85 15
15
24
00
15
15
47
00
00
15
00
15
60
15
80
15
50
6 SorensonG 378 81 15
15
24
15
77
15
15
47
00
00
15
00
15
60
00
15
50
7 Pelc 377 78 15
00
00
00
15
15
00
15
67
15
00
15
60
15
80
15
50
8 GoodmanDL 365 75 15
37
15
24
15
77
15
15
47
00
15
15
00
15
60
00
00
9 apeekrtr 354 71 15
37
15
00
00
15
15
15
87
00
15
00
15
60
00
15
50
10 AdamKing 338 68 15
37
15
24
00
15
15
47
00
15
15
00
15
60
00
15
50
11 quarterrican 329 65 15
37
15
00
15
00
00
15
67
15
10
00
15
60
00
15
50
12 jamietoon 314 61 00
15
15
77
15
20
00
00
15
67
15
10
00
00
00
15
50
13 VenguswamyK 299 58 15
15
00
00
15
20
15
47
00
15
67
15
00
15
60
00
00
14 randalleng 285 55 15
37
15
24
15
77
15
15
47
00
00
15
10
00
00
00
00
15 IvixorB 268 51 15
37
15
24
00
15
20
15
47
00
00
15
00
00
00
15
50
16 JonesRW 192 48 00
00
00
00
15
20
15
47
00
00
00
00
00
00
15
80
00
17 McKendy 187 45 00
15
00
00
00
00
00
15
67
15
10
00
00
00
00
15
50
18 HomerS 184 41 00
15
24
00
00
15
15
00
00
15
10
00
15
60
00
00
15
19 MatchenD 177 38 15
37
00
00
00
15
20
00
00
00
15
10
00
00
00
15
50
20 rouquinne 161 35 00
15
24
00
00
15
20
15
47
00
00
15
10
00
00
00
00
21 Tarn 151 30 15
37
15
24
00
15
20
00
00
00
15
10
00
00
00
00
00
21 KPope 151 30 15
37
15
24
00
00
15
20
00
00
00
15
10
00
00
00
00
23 Crow-T-Robot 127 25 15
37
15
00
00
15
20
00
00
00
00
15
10
00
00
00
00
24 PipkeR 116 21 15
37
15
24
00
00
00
00
00
00
15
10
00
00
00
00
00
25 HightB 112 18 15
37
00
00
00
15
20
00
00
00
00
15
10
00
00
00
00
26 Nuklhd 99 13 00
15
24
00
15
20
00
00
00
00
15
10
00
00
00
00
00
26 Consigliari 99 13 00
00
15
24
00
00
15
20
00
00
00
15
10
00
00
00
00
28 BoulierJ 25 8 00
00
00
00
00
00
00
15
10
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
29 DouglasLovesVixey 0 3 00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
29 ArunH 0 3 00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
00

Questions:

"The movie ends by crossing an ice show with elements of The Manchurian Candidate. It involves an odd sexual predilection: [Catherine] Keener has a fetish for kiddie show hosts. It has a lesbian hit-squad leader with a thick Irish brogue. It uses four-letter language as if being paid by the word. In all the annals of the movies, few films have been this odd, inexplicable and unpleasant."

Click to Reveal Answer
Death to Smoochy

"[This] is a desperately unfunny film—a strained, contrived construction that left me shaking my head in amazement. How does Bill Cosby, so capable on television, get himself into movie disaster zones like this movie and his previous one, Leonard Part 6? How could Sidney Poitier, a skilled filmmaker with an actor's sense of timing, have been the director of this mess? How did a production executive go for it? Who ever thought this was a good idea?"

Click to Reveal Answer
Ghost Dad

"What about the story here? It has to be seen to be believed—something I do not advise. There's all kinds of murky plot debris involving nasal spray with cocaine in it, ghosts from the past, bizarre sex, and lots of nudity. We are asked to believe that Madonna lives on a luxury houseboat, where she parades in front of the windows naked at all hours, yet somehow doesn't attract a crowd, not even of appreciative lobstermen."

Click to Reveal Answer
Body of Evidence

"[This] is a truly dreadful film, a lifeless, massive, lumbering exercise in failed comedy. Elaine May, the director, has mounted a multimillion-dollar expedition in search of a plot so thin that it hardly could support a five-minute TV sketch. And [Warren] Beatty and [Dustin] Hoffman, good soldiers marching along on the trip, look as if they've had all wit and thought beaten out of them. This movie is a long, dry slog. It's not funny, it's not smart and it's interesting only in the way a traffic accident is interesting."

Click to Reveal Answer
Ishtar

"Come on, Garry Marshall, what's going on here? You're a smart guy. You made The Flamingo Kid and Pretty Woman. Didn't you realize (a) that the whole police plot had to go, and [Rosie] O'Donnell and [Dan] Aykroyd along with it? And (b) that sex is funny when it's taken seriously, but boring when it's treated as funny? What were your thoughts the first time Rosie turned up in the leather dominatrix uniform? Did you have maybe slight misgivings that you were presiding over one of the more misguided film projects of recent years?"

Click to Reveal Answer
Exit to Eden

"[Steven] Seagal plays an undercover FBI guy who has teamed up with the crook Nick Frazier (Ja Rule), who vouched for him with the master criminal Sonny Eckvall (Richard Bremmer), who runs, if I have this correct, 'the biggest crime syndicate between Eastern Europe and the Pacific Rim.' He doesn't say whether the syndicate extends easterly or westerly between those demarcations, which would affect the rim he has in mind. Maybe easterly, since Seagal's character is named Sasha Petrosevitch. 'You're Russian, right?' he asks Seagal, who agrees. Seagal's answer to this question is the only time in the entire movie he has a Russian accent."

Click to Reveal Answer
Half Past Dead

"[This film] is not bad so much as inexplicable. You watch in puzzlement: How did this train wreck happen? How was this movie assembled out of such ill-fitting pieces? Who thought it was funny? Who thought it was finished? For that matter, was it finished? Take away the endless opening titles and end credits, and it's about 70 minutes long.

[…]

"I'm not so much indignant as confused. Audiences will come out scratching their heads. The movie is half baked, a shabby job of work. There are flashes of good stuff: a music video in the closing titles, some good songs on the soundtrack, Lance Crouther heroically making [the title role] an intriguing character, even though the movie gives him no help. This movie is not in a releasable condition."

Click to Reveal Answer
Pootie Tang

"The film contains no evidence of Scientology or any other system of thought; it is shapeless and senseless, without a compelling plot or characters we care for in the slightest. The director, Roger Christian, has learned from better films that directors sometimes tilt their cameras, but he has not learned why.

"Some movies run off the rails. This one is like the train crash in The Fugitive. I watched it in mounting gloom, realizing I was witnessing something historic, a film that for decades to come will be the punch line of jokes about bad movies. There is a moment here when the Psychlos' entire planet (home office and all) is blown to smithereens, without the slightest impact on any member of the audience (or, for that matter, the cast). If the film had been destroyed in a similar cataclysm, there might have been a standing ovation."

Click to Reveal Answer
Battlefield Earth

"[This film] concerns (I think) the adventures of the young and shapely Miss [Sydne] Rome, a hitchhiker who stumbles upon a bizarre country villa that also functions as a private hospital.

"Among the inmates are [Marcello] Mastroianni, who keeps repeating, 'What would be nice, I think, would be for us to meet for dinner' until we want to mash a plate of lasagna in his face. He walks about in a bathrobe, smoking a cigarette and inspiring us to wonder how in the world he got into the movies. Really. Mastroianni, one of the most charismatic actors in the world, reduced to a cipher. Hugh Griffith, wearing his usual ferocious whiskers, plays an old tyrant who is forever about to drop dead of a heart attack. [Roman] Polanski plays another inmate who's a Ping-Pong buff. Mastroianni and, finally, Miss Rome keep stepping on his Ping-Pong balls and crushing them, which leads to no end of ill feeling. I would desperately like to believe no symbolism is intended."

Click to Reveal Answer
Diary of Forbidden Dreams (a.k.a. What?)

"This is the kind of movie that gives even its defenders fits of desperation.

"Consider my friend James Berardinelli, the best of the Web-based critics. No doubt ten days of oxygen deprivation at the Sundance Film Festival helped inspire his three-star review, in which he reports optimistically, '[The film] has its share of pratfalls and slapstick moments, but there's almost no flatulence.' Here's a critical rule of thumb: You know you're in trouble when you're reduced to praising a movie for its absence of fart jokes, and have to add 'almost.'

[…]

"Amanda Peet and Amanda Detmer do no harm, although Peet is too nice to play a woman this mean. [R.] Lee Ermey is on a planet of his own. As for Neil Diamond, [this] is his first appearance in a fiction film since The Jazz Singer (1980), and one can only marvel that he waited twenty years to appear in a second film, and found one even worse than his first one."

Click to Reveal Answer
Saving Silverman

"That [Bob] Dylan still exerts a mystical appeal, there can be no doubt. When [this film] premiered at Sundance 2003, there was a standing ovation when the poet entered the room. People continued to stand during the film, in order to leave, and the auditorium was half empty when the closing credits played to thoughtful silence. One of the more poignant moments in Sundance history then followed, as director Larry Charles stood on the stage with various cast members, asking for questions and then asking, 'Aren't there any questions?' The movie's cast is a tribute to Dylan's charisma. Here are the credits after Dylan: Jeff Bridges, Penélope Cruz, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson, Angela Bassett, Steven Bauer, Michael Paul Chan, Bruce Dern, Laura Elena Harring, Ed Harris, Val Kilmer, Cheech Marin, Chris Penn, Giovanni Ribisi, Mickey Rourke, Richard Sarafian, Christian Slater, Fred Ward, Robert Wisdom.

[…]

"[This] is a vanity production beyond all reason."

Click to Reveal Answer
Masked and Anonymous

"I felt a little glow as the opening titles rolled up for [this film]: Martin Short… Charles Grodin… Mary Steenburgen… Dabney Coleman. Funny people. Even the technical credits were promising. John A. Alonzo, great cameraman; Pembroke Herring, skilled editor. I settled in for some laughs. And waited. And waited. In a screening of some 150 people, two people laughed, once apiece. The other some 148 did not laugh at all. One of the laughers was me; I liked a moment in a showdown scene between Short and Grodin. The other person laughed right after I did, maybe because he agreed, or maybe because my laugh is darn infectious.

[…]

"What we have here is a suitable case for deep cinematic analysis. I'd love to hear a symposium of veteran producers, marketing guys and exhibitors discuss this film. It's not bad in any usual way. It's bad in a new way all its own. There is something extraterrestrial about it, as if it's based on the sense of humor of an alien race with a completely different relationship to the physical universe. The movie is so odd, it's almost worth seeing just because we'll never see anything like it again. I hope."

Click to Reveal Answer
Clifford