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Schlock Value: Hollywood at Its Worst

Overview

A hilarious collection of essays, riffs, and lists that celebrate the insanity of Hollywood—for anyone who loves the movies.

Richard Roeper, like the rest of us, adores the movies. In this uproarious, off-beat book, he gives us a whole new set of critical lenses for assessing the movies and the people and the industry that make them. With his characteristic acerbic wit, he weaves short essays with lists that work together to explain where Hollywood succeeds—and where it so often...

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Overview

A hilarious collection of essays, riffs, and lists that celebrate the insanity of Hollywood—for anyone who loves the movies.

Richard Roeper, like the rest of us, adores the movies. In this uproarious, off-beat book, he gives us a whole new set of critical lenses for assessing the movies and the people and the industry that make them. With his characteristic acerbic wit, he weaves short essays with lists that work together to explain where Hollywood succeeds—and where it so often frustrates, disappoints, and fails us. But while Roeper devotes most of the book to mockery and ridicule, this book is, in the end, a love letter to film.

Some of the essays and lists included in Schlock Value:

  • Comical statistical breakdowns, including career batting averages of actors
  • Reviews of Hollywood finances, including budgets, salaries, and ticket prices
  • A proposed moratorium on pet projects, e.g., Kevin Costner's The Postman or John Travolta's Battlefield Earth
  • The age differences between Woody Allen and his various leading ladies
  • Actors appearing around the world in television commercials, including a list of the biggest stars that do overseas commercials—and the products they push
Schlock Value is the perfect book for anyone who loves grumbling and complaining about the movies—but still can't help spending their weekends and evenings in front of the screen.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Roeper goes for the trifecta in this paean to Hollywood schlock, as short, opinionated essays; addictive lists; and a trashy-but-utterly-compelling subject combine to make an entertaining look at one aspect of the movies. Roeper's lists cover everything from inflated concession stand prices (a theater in suburban Chicago sells bottled water for $3.99) to "Bizarre Moments in the History of the Golden Globes" (in 1957, Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack hijacked the stage to speed things up) to "Things That Can Be Done to Improve the Academy Awards." ("Memo to all nominees: Prepare a friggin' speech!") to "Wobbly Accents" (Brad Pitt as an Austrian explorer in Seven Years in Tibet). Some lists expand into essays, and vice versa (e.g., an Oscars overview prompts a list of "Most Disappointing Careers after Winning the Academy Award"). Opening with an insightful contrast of Chris Rock as a stand-up comic ("just might be the funniest person on the planet") with his movies ("they sucked"), Roeper moves on to such topics as actors' political comments, cast members replaced during filming, overhyped stars, one-hit wonders, pet projects, film clich s and anachronisms. Roeper's relaxed writing style, informal and witty, makes for an easy yet engaging read. (Feb. 2) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Most movie fans know Roeper (10 Sure Signs a Movie Character Is Doomed & Other Surprising Movie Lists) as cohost of the syndicated Ebert and Roeper at the Movies and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. His latest book is a collection of short, humorous essays on Hollywood at its worst. Roeper's breezy style makes for quick reading, but it's fun just to open the book at random and check out some of his lists, such as "Bizarre Moments in the History of the Golden Globes" and overhyped "stars" of the last few years (e.g., Chris O'Donnell). While this will not be a book of lasting importance, most public and academic libraries will want a copy just for the trivia (such as the contents of the 2003 Academy Awards goodie baskets). An enjoyable companion volume to Roger Ebert's Questions for the Movie Answer Man and similar titles.-Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-This lighthearted collection of essays exposes the downside of being a professional movie critic. Roeper doesn't hide his disdain for mediocre actors and, worse, mediocre directors, and he blasts people who don't live up to their publicity. Some of the essays are quite educational. Determining true box-office champs based on inflation could be an interesting classroom exercise, as could the mean-spirited but amusing chapter about critics' blurbs. (Yes, there are "critics" who like everything, and if you see their name in an ad, you should run far away from the movie, because they never get blurbed if anyone else is available.) The author also explains how his pull quote for The Matrix: Revolutions was taken out of context, an interesting lesson in "critiquing the criticism." However, a chapter on the big movies of 2004, The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11, seems dated. In fact, the book's loose construction, while making it readable, also makes it feel slightly rough and unfinished-more like a journal or a blog than a tightly finished piece of literature. Still, for those who love films, Roeper's book dishes the dirt, but lovingly.-Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401307691
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Roeper is the cohost of the nationally syndicated Ebert & Roeper (watched by more than 2.5 million viewers each week) and author of 10 Sure Signs a Movie Character Is Doomed & Other Surprising Movie Lists. A daily columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and the New York Times syndicate, he was the recipient of the National Headliner Award in 1993 as the top columnist in the country. He is the film critic for the CBS affiliate in Chicago and contributes monthly essays on film to Esquire. Richard Roeper lives in Chicago.

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