I confess I read this book looking for movies I had seen or heard about, which was most of them I like Roger Ebert and mostly agree with him This book follows the same format as the first, listing his noteworthy movies alphabetically from 12 Angry Men to Yankee Doodle Dandy Reading about the movies is like watching them all over again, only not as time consuming.My blog The Interstitial Readerhttps theinterstitialreader.wordpre This volume has foreign and less known films but like the original volume, the summaries and descriptions make you want to run out and rent the movies ASAP. Continuing The Pitch Perfect Critiques Begun In The Great Movies, Roger Ebert S The Great Movies II Collects Additional Essays, Each One Of Them A Gem Of Critical Appreciation And An Amalgam Of Love, Analysis, And History That Will Send Readers Back To Films With A Fresh Set Of Eyes And Renewed Enthusiasm Or Perhaps To An Avid First Time Viewing Neither A Snob Nor A Shill, Ebert Manages In These Essays To Combine A Truly Populist Appreciation For Today S Most Important Form Of Popular Art With A Scholar S Erudition And Depth Of Knowledge And A Sure Aesthetic Sense Once Again Wonderfully Enhanced By Stills Selected By Mary Corliss, Former Film Curator At The Museum Of Modern Art, The Great Movies II Is A Treasure Trove For Film Lovers Of All Persuasions, An Unrivaled Guide For Viewers, And A Book To Return To Again And AgainFilms Featured In The Great Movies II Angry Men The Adventures Of Robin Hood Alien Amadeus Amarcord Annie Hall Au Hasard, Balthazar The Bank Dick Beat The Devil Being There The Big Heat The Birth Of A Nation The Blue Kite Bob Le Flambeur Breathless The Bridge On The River Kwai Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garc A Buster Keaton Children Of Paradise A Christmas Story The Color Purple The Conversation Cries And Whispers The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie Don T Look Now The Earrings Of Madame De The Fall Of The House Of Usher The Firemen S Ball Five Easy Pieces Goldfinger The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Goodfellas The Gospel According To Matthew The Grapes Of Wrath Grave Of The Fireflies Great Expectations House Of Games The Hustler In Cold Blood Jaws Jules And Jim Kieslowski S Three Colors TrilogyKind Hearts And Coronets King Kong The Last Laugh Laura Leaving Las Vegas Le Boucher The Leopard The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp The Manchurian Candidate The Man Who Laughs Mean Streets Mon Oncle Moonstruck The Music Room My Dinner With Andre My Neighbor Totoro Nights Of Cabiria One Flew Over The Cuckoo S Nest Orpheus Paris, Texas Patton Picnic At Hanging Rock Planes, Trains And Automobiles The Producers Raiders Of The Lost Ark Raise The Red Lantern Ran Rashomon Rear Window Rififi The Right Stuff Romeo And Juliet The Rules Of The Game Saturday Night Fever Say Anything Scarface The Searchers Shane Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs Solaris Strangers On A Train Stroszek A Sunday In The Country Sunrise A Tale Of Winter The Thin Man This Is Spinal Tap Tokyo Story Touchez Pas Au Grisbi Touch Of Evil The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre Ugetsu Umberto D Unforgiven Victim Walkabout West Side Story Yankee Doodle Dandy There are many aspects to appreciate about Roger Ebert s writing There are two that make me a fan even though I disagreed with him many times 1 he was extremely knowledgeable about the history of film, and movies in general 2 he had what I can only describe as joy in his work It was contagious I know from writing movie reviews myself that it isn t as simple as, I like this, I don t like that He knew about the tech side of movies as well what directors actually do, what shots are used for what purpose, how to edit movies for better or worse, and was able to frame them showing how they related to pop culture and the tenor of the times That is quite a bit different, and takes much time and thought Of course, it s really opinion, and slanted, but he always made a case for what he believed We seem to be losing that sort of professionalism. Why or why did I find the second book first The story of my life Now I have to backtrack and read Book one too The book is a collection of essays by Ebert discussing some of the greatest movies of all time.This is not a second tier ranking after the films discussed in book one It is simply a compilation of essays from Ebert based on his watching and re watching of many of these films as well as reviews by he alone and those he worked on with Gene Siskel.One thing I love about Ebert is the emotion he writes with when discussing these films His true love for the medium as well as his deep knowledge of all things film, comes across in his writing The movies cross eras, genre s and nationalities From France to China, from Japan to Italy, from the United States and Kingdom s to Russia, Ebert covers so many films that you are inspired yourself to seek out some of the difficult to find titles.Streaming has opened film buffs to a bevy of opportunities to see films that would have been restricted to their home countries or only available to true film buffs in obscure, hard to find places Netflix, Hulu and others have opened doors not just to great movies but also great directors and character and leading actors who have not worked in the United States.Roger Ebert s untimely death was a huge loss for all of us His love and warmth regarding films just pours out onto the page and you as a reader fall in love with film as you read It is like having Ebert beside you bringing detail and ideas to your attention as you both eat popcorn with a tall coke and get lost in celluloid. I believe that Roger Ebert wrote a total of four volumes of his Great Movies series I ve only read the first two My initial impression after completing the second volume is that the movies included here are nowhere near the caliber of the films featured in his first volume It seems as though he s really scraping How he managed to put out two volumes after this is a bit shocking to me I m not, by any means, an expert in films, but his choices to include such films as Say Anything , Being There , and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles seem odd inclusions for such a retrospective I enjoyed all three of those movies But Great I should also point out that out of the 100 movies chosen for this edition, I ve seen about 15 of them To be fair, I m not really a lover of the cinema, but I m guessing the average layman that enjoys going to the movies probably hasn t seen most of these movies either Ebert includes a lot of old films, a lot of foreign films, a lot of out of print films, and a lot of art films By art films, I refer to movies that critics seem to love, but that tend to go over the heads of 99% of your average movie goer.As much as I dislike visual arts though I simply don t have the patience to sit still and watch a screen for 90 minutes straight, let alone twice that long , I ve always enjoyed reading Roger Ebert s articles about movies It sounds a bit demeaning to say that the man watched movies for a living , but that moniker shouldn t be viewed negatively when applied to someone such as Roger Ebert Since the man watched virtually every movie in existence during his lifetime and many of the great movies, multiple times , he had the ability to study film as a work of art, and could dissect and observe things that the average movie goer could not Whether or not you agreed with him, it was always very interesting to see his observations and reflections about a particular film.Which is essentially the point of these books He takes movies that he thinks are great , and within the essays, shares his thoughts and reasons as to why the particular movie was, in fact, great I would imagine, for example, that the average millennial would get quickly turned off by any movie pre 1970, but Ebert, being an astute student, can share exactly why movies as old as 100 years were, in fact, revolutionary for their time Consider for example Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Most adults and children of today that were raised on Pixar films would easily fall asleep after enduring such a film after 30 minutes But when it was released in 1934 as the first ever animated full length feature, there were elements that were so breathtaking and original, that it s easy to see that we may never could have evolved to films such as Toy Story or Finding Nemo without such a blueprint.I also confess that after reading several of these essays, I was tempted to find and watch the films since Ebert does such a good job piquing your interest sadly, most are unavailable on streaming services such as Netflix, so I was unable to do so I would consider this book by Ebert a must for serious lovers of film, but I also imagine the casual audience can find much to enjoy as well. Ebert est gal lui m me, il d crit bien pourquoi il aime les films qu il a choisi et donne envie au lecteur en l occurrence moi de d couvrir ou de red couvrir les films dont il parle Juste pour le plaisir, num rons quelques inclusions avec lesquelles je suis en d saccord Au Hasard Balthazar ZzzZzzZzz , Bob le Flambeur Rien de sp cial , Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia Absolument inint ressant , Les Boucles d Oreilles de Madame ZzzZzzZzz , Five Easy Pieces Plate et vide avec des personnage d aucun int r t , Great Expectations N ajoute rien au livre , Mon Oncle Je n aime pas Tati , Saturday Night Fever wtf , The Thin Man J ai vu le film y a moins d un an et je ne me rappelle d absolument rien de ce qui se passe ni m me de l histoire en g n ral La divergence d opinion sur certains titres ne rend pas la lecture d sagr able, j ai appr ci la lecture qu Ebert a de ces films et tous les autres me semblent soit m rit s ou je ne les ai pas vus I ve reached a place where I m not sure what I think of Roger Ebert I know that he was a powerhouse in film review Hell, he even won a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism There s a reason for that his reviews are well done thorough, analytical, and full of love for film even when he does not love the film he s reviewing in particular Still, I do have to think about the fact that he is a straight, white man who views film through a different lens than I do He s very old school, and some films he has praised I think are absolutely dull and dated At this point, I read The Great Movies collections for the insights into film and its history Ebert does his research, and I do love to learn about movies even if I am not going to see them I don t think a good and thorough study of film can be done without Ebert s work I do think, however, that it needs to balance with other perspectives and newer voices This collection includes films I ve heard of and ones that are new to me I ve seen a couple and wanted to watch at least half of the list before If you re aiming to do a watch of all these films, be warned that not all are easily available to find Recommended for film geeks and aficionados. This is the second in what eventually become four volumes in Roger Ebert s Great Movies series There are 100 entries here One of them, listed as Kieslowski s Three Colors Trilogy, is actually a consideration of three separate films One, listed as Buster Keaton, should include every film Keaton ever made, although this entry only discusses a few of them This is foolish it makes no sense than having one entry for all the films of, say, John Wayne, Meryl Streep, or Stanley Kubrick Ebert s makes it clear in each of these books that the films discussed are not his choices of the greatest movies ever made They are films that he thinks are among the many great movies that have been made.In the introduction to The Great Films II, Elbert states One of my delights in these books, on the other hand, has been to include movies not often cited as great some because they are dismissed as merely popular Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, some because they are frankly entertainments Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Rififi, some because they are too obscure The Fall of the House of Usher, StroszekWe go to different movies for different reasons, and greatness comes in many forms.I have seen about two thirds of the movies discussed in this book Unfortunately, for quite a few of those I have seen, my memories have grown somewhat vague However, many of them remain in recollection as genuinely wonderful Those include Annie Hall, Children of Paradise, The Grapes of Wrath, Jules and Jim, The Last Laugh, Rashomon, Sunrise, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Others I like very much but wouldn t consider great Some I simply don t like such as The Producers, which I realize is much beloved Some comments about Ebert s discussions of specific films The Adventures of Robin Hood The movie involved some milestones It was the third Warner Bros film shot in the three step Technicolor process, the fifth of twelve times Flynn would be directed by Michael Curtis, and the third of nine films that Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland would make together.Those are milestones The fifth of twelve, the third of nine might indicate a milestone if they were referring to, perhaps, the fifth of the twelve labors of Hercules, but the fifth time that Errol Flynn worked with a particular director Sorry, by no realistic standard would that be a milestone Being There In the much discussed final sequence of Being There, Chance casually walks onto the surface of a lake We can see that he is really walking on the water, because he leans over curiously and sticks his umbrella down into it When I taught the film, I had endless discussions with my students over this scene Many insisted on explaining it He is walking on a hidden sandbar, the water is only half an inch deep, there is a submerged pier, and so on Not valid I thundered The movie presents us with an image, and while you may discuss the meaning of the image, it is not permitted to devise explanations for it Since Ashby doesn t show us a pier, there is no pier a movie is exactly what it shows us, and nothing Is this part of a Gospel with which I am not familiar Not valid I thundered How pompous replied every member of the class The Firemen s Ball When, in a free society, the press is criticized for negativity, that almost always means it has dared to question the policies of the party in power Patriotism, Samuel Johnson said, is the last refuge of a scoundrel He could have been speaking of those who use it to shield themselves from dissent.Yes, exactly I agree with Ebert that the photo stills that accompany each entry were very well chosen by Mary Corliss of the Museum of Modern Art however, they could have been made effective with captions And now, quoting myself from a post about another Ebert book But whether I agree with Ebert or not, his reviews and commentary are always very much worth reading Ebert clearly loved movies and the enormous possibilities they held and that shows in all his film writing. As Roger Ebert is quick to point out, this is NOT a book of the second 100 Greatest Movies based on a ranking or rating system In fact, he holds many of the titles contained within this collection with equal esteem as those mentioned in the first book The only ranking he would admit to doing was for the Sight Sound polling of film critics and he wasn t happy about it Instead, he used a definition that a Great Movie was one that would cause YOU to feel devastated if you knew that you would never be able to see it again So, with the exception of two curious choices, these were movies that had profoundly moved him at some point in his life This is why we can give certain films high ratings even when we know that they are not artistic masterpieces You didn t ask, but four of mine are PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, the original PLANET OF THE APES, and the original THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL In the first book, I was frankly surprised by some of the titles he mentioned Once , he listed some that I would never include, but that s okay He would have missed them Agree with him or not, he had a keen perspective For instance, in the last book, he mentioned that THE WILD BUNCH was his favorite Western I went back to my Netflix rating of thirteen years before, and I had given it a 3 out of 5 So, I rented it again This time, I gave it 5 out of 5 There may have been a Director s Cut released in that time I don t remember But, the film definitely spoke to the person I am now I don t know that I d call it my favorite Western I m an admirer of TOMBSTONE and DANCES WITH WOLVES , but I don t know that I wouldn t say it was my favorite, either The two curious choices WEST SIDE STORY He sees it is a flawed movie with tremendous dancing I didn t sense from his comments that he wanted to see it again SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER I love that he included this one not because I like it I don t because it was not a favorite of his It was a favorite of his television partner, Gene Siskel It was intriguing to read his process of analyzing why this held such a strong appeal for Siskel His determination is that the film probably came along at just the perfect moment in Siskel s life when he was most ready to accept it Siskel even bought at auction the disco outfit worn by John Travolta in the movie That s what the magic of the movies is all about And for a brief while, reading Ebert s opinions of why a film is Great, I was transported back to the theater with popcorn in hand and a look of appreciative awe on my face I know I had this while reading about JAWS.