on March 3, 2004
It's not a glossary so much as a joke book ... a compilation of both Mr. Ebert's own list of cinematic cliches and those submitted by his readership. It's a great browser's book, something you can just open up to any page and start reading. I've taken to leaving my copy by the couch, so I can flip through it during commercials and see how many points the film's racked up since the last commercial.
The only real problem with the book is the inherent flaw in having a book that features submissions ... quality is uneven, and a few cliches appear multiple times submitted by different people. This is balanced out by some very clever observations, patterns that I hadn't noticed before and which informed by later movie watching.
It's not quite as good as "I Hated, Hated, Hated, HATED This Movie," but it's still a seriously funny book for anyone who's fed up with seeing the same movie made over and over again with different titles.
on August 27, 2003
Ebert's "bigger little book" of movie cliches, stereotypes, obligatory scenes, etc. exposes the vast majority of movie directors/producers/studios as what they truly are: Dumb. But hey, learning just HOW dumb they can be has never been so much fun. You'll find yourself reading the book from cover to cover, nodding your head, saying, "I just saw that in a movie last week! Man, that was stupid." Ebert also gives credit to fans who have written in with their own entries. Loads of fun!
on September 21, 2010
I picked this book up on a whim and regret it--'not because it's bad, but because how you realize how stayed most movies are. Even the good ones. I found myself laughing at how repetitious movies can be, 'even on a seemingly subconscious level.