05 March 2007

On Road House and the Guilty Pleasure of Bad Cinema

    It may be the most peculiar recent movie ever except for "Road House," but then what can you say about "Road House"? Such movies defy all categories.
      Roger Ebert
      reviewing Black Snake Moan

Roger Ebert has been keeping to a light schedule, so it has lately been an unexpected treat when I find he's reviewed something. This week, he gave three stars to Black Snake Moan, a recent addition to my we-should-go-see-that-but-who-am-I-kidding-we'll-never-get-a-chance-until-it-comes-out-on-DVD list. I was glad to hear he liked the film, espeically Samuel L. Jackson's performance.

I was a little surprised, however, at the comparison to Road House. I wondered for a moment if Roger Ebert actually thought it was a good movie. He did not, of course, choosing to sum it up in this way:

Road House exists right on the edge between the "good-bad movie" and the merely bad. I hesitate to recommend it, because so much depends on the ironic vision of the viewer. This is not a good movie.

That's why I like Roger Ebert. He's not afraid to take joy in bad movies, and his reviews of them are some of my favorites (if you haven't read his review of The Core, you should). On his light schedule, Ebert is probably cherry-picking the better movies to review. I hope that as his health continues to improve, he'll choose to indulge in one of these guilty pleasures, in turn sharing with us all.

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