****: A Walk in the Clouds
*** 1/2: Godfather Part III, Absolute Power
***: Godfather Part II, Tomb Raider II, Cop and a Half
*: Blue Velvet
Amazing, isn’t it? I’m inclined to think The Godfather Part II is the best movie released in the 70s, but admittedly Ebert’s choice (Taxi Driver) is more than defensible. And Part III isn’t the terrible movie its reputation suggests–it’s watchable, although nothing more. But still, how can anyone think Part III was better than Part II? The other thing this makes clear is the uselessess of star ratings, especially if you try to make degree of difficulty adjustments. I’m guessing that even Ebert wouldn’t claim that a A walk in the Clouds is really “better” than GFII, or that Tomb Raider II is equally good.
This would be just mean if Ebert were a worthless hack, but he isn’t. He’s a good writer, and very perceptive when is judgment isn’t appallingly bad. The thing is, most Americans get their advice and thinking about movies from people who have similar judgment to Ebert but lack his other gifts. Scary.