Written by: Ron Cotton on April 6th, 2006
Published by Hyperion Books (http://www.hyperionbooks.com/)
Approx. 304 pages,
ISBN 0-7868-8830-X (US Edition – $14.00 Retail)
Richard Roeper is best known as a film critic and most recently the lesser half of Roger Ebert on Ebert & Roeper. As everyone knows, on that show, Roeper’s allowed to chime in and give his two cents on Hollywood blockbusters weighing in his opinion with a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down stance. Most will contend that in comparison to Roger Ebert, Roeper’s film knowledge has a narrow focus and he lacks in objectivity. On a lesser note, Richard Roeper is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, a syndicate for the New York Times, and has written several books over the years with dreadfully long titles.
10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed & Other Surprising Movie Lists isn’t exactly a read and certainly not for the serious. No, 10 Sure Signs is marketed for complete fluff readers who simply can’t get enough of lists, especially lists that are ludicrous. Richard Roeper inspiration undoubtedly sprung from people’s correspondence over the Internet who, for the most part, generate numerous lists and rankings in forum postings and web pages. It’s no surprise that Roeper confirmed most of his lists with Internet sources. This book has both high and low points, yet nothing is sacred. I was surprised that Roeper had the confidence to print some of these lists.
The most scandalous include: “best porn titles based on legit movies”, “age difference between Michael Douglas and his leading ladies”, and “12 legendary actors who were in movies with O.J Simpson before he DIDN’T kill his wife and her friend and was basically kicked out of show business”. More humorous lists include: “red-carpet flubs and blunders by Joan Rivers”, “7 movies in which Ben Affleck cries like a big fat baby”, and “worst singers become actors”. Other lists include criticisms of other famed film lists and award shows sprinkled with stereotypical actions found in movies that would never happen in real life.
In my opinion, some of his compiled lists fell off the mark, especially those in which he felt that one film was superior to another. This should be expected, as film critics at his level expects the high-gloss of tinsel-town over substance. 10 Sure Signs should have been packaged with some sort of stylus as the margins gives an ample amount of room to edit and extend upon Roeper’s uninformative lists that fall short. Most lists only provide movie title and year when more background would have been appreciated.
Makes for a good bathroom or coffee table book for the not-so-stuffy. The cost of the book is quite high for what little is offered, so it10 Sure Signs best checked out from your local library. Keep in mind that Roeper will reference primarily high-grossing Hollywood movies and pass by other classic and cult films.