Monday, September 17, 2007

Critique The Critic (Roeper)


As many of you probably might know Roger Ebert from the show “Ebert and Roeper” who talks about recent movies and critique it. I am doing my Critique on Ebert from the movie “The Usual Suspects” director Bryan Singer. I watched a little bit of Ebert and Roeper but I don’t think that show really helps me about choosing which movies I want to see because he does have different opinions than mine. I don’t read a lot of reviews for movies, and Ebert was the only famous name that I know so I chose him.

Once again, my comprehension began to slip, and finally I wrote down: "To the degree that I do understand, I don't care." It was, however, somewhat reassuring at the end of the movie to discover that I had, after all, understood everything I was intended to understand. It was just that there was less to understand than the movie at first suggests.

Ebert talks about how he doesn’t understand the plot and says he’s seen too many movies and that may be his problem to not understanding. I thought this was a dumb thing to say because the whole point of the movie was for people to put the pieces of clues together not just give up.

The movie begins "last night" in San Pedro, Calif., where an enormous explosion rips apart a ship. Who set the explosion? Why? A cop named Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) wants to know. He has one witness to question: a shifty-eyed, club-footed criminal named Verbal, played by Kevin Spacey with the wounded innocence of a kid who ate all the cookies. Kujan and Verbal are closeted much of the time in the cop's cluttered office, where Verbal lives up to his name by telling a story so complicated that I finally gave up trying to keep track of it, and just filed further information under "More Complications."

This movie makes you think a lot and has a lot of mystery’s. When the movie starts, there’s already action going on and you just jumped in the middle of it. To be honest I didn’t really pay attention in the beginning. It is true when he says that there was less to understand than what the movie first suggested. You think that the director might give you a hint about something big that’s going to happened and it did feel like it at the beginning with the big explosion in the beginning and why we were at that scene at the moment.

The interrogation between the cop and the suspect falls into a monotonous pattern: friendliness, testiness, hostility, a big blow-up, threats, reconciliations and then full circle again. We hear amazing stories about Soze (one survivor of the boat explosion, with burns over most of his body, drifts in and out of a coma but can talk of no one else). As Verbal talks, we see what he describes, and his story takes on an objective quality in our minds - we forget we're only getting his version.


Throughout the movie I didn’t even notice the pattern but now I do. Also about how Verbal only gives his version of the story because he was the only one alive. If I knew about these clues I would have been more aware of the storyline. But I saw this movie when I was just bored one day and a friend showed me it so I wasn’t expecting to have a real in-depth thought about it until the movie ended, which made me want to watch it again and actually put the mystery together and watch little detailed clues. From the very beginning of the movie the mystery starts right away. Most of the movie takes place in an office and you might find it to be boring after a while. When I first saw this movie I did get lost during the movie 90% of the time. Ebert makes himself look dumb by saying that he gave up trying to listen to Verbal’s story and putting in the “More Complications” list. The audience is like Kujan who wants to know why there was a ship blown up at the beginning of the movie, and to put clues together. That’s how I felt when I first saw it.

To the degree that you will want to see this movie, it will be because of the surprise, and so I will say no more, except to say that the "solution," when it comes, solves little - unless there is really little to solve, which is also a possibility.

Very true, I had to put out the clues and mystery’s that Verbal told us and I had to think of the story. It is true that maybe there was little to solve, it was just that you wouldn’t of expected what the result was at the end. Throughout the movie you had to think a lot and I like those kind of movies now that I have seen The Usual Suspects. A mysterious movie that you are trying to solve and watch at the same time while they give you every little clue.

The movie turned out the be a really great movie and I suggest this to be a must watch movie. What makes this movie interesting is that it is told from the story of Verbal only and you see these story take place while Verbal narrates it. The way Ebert put it though, I felt that Ebert shouldn’t even be critiquing movies and publishing those anymore.

1 comment:

Mr. Klobuchar said...

John: This is one of those movies (Fight Club is another) that Ebert panned when they came out and still catches heat for. I think you're right about taking him to task, and you do a nice job acknowledging some of his points (like there being less to understand than you think). The beginning of your post is confusing because you jump right into Ebert's review with no context. Other than that, pretty solid job.