Roger Ebert, however long ago, was verbally derided by Vincent Gallo, called “a fat pig”, following his sound criticism of Gallo’s film, The Brown Bunny. Ebert responded elegantly, albeit via a modified Churchill quote, stating that “I will one day be thin but Vincent Gallo will always be the director of The Brown Bunny.”
Now, I’ve never read a lot of Ebert’s reviews, so maybe this is something that he’s known for, but he tossed out another gem, in his review of National Treasure, although it was about the movie itself, but the book The Da Vinci Code:
That I have read the book is not a cause for celebration. It is inelegant, pedestrian writing in service of a plot that sets up cliff-hangers like clockwork, resolves them with improbable escapes and leads us breathlessly to a disappointing anticlimax. I should read a potboiler like The Da Vinci Code every once in a while, just to remind myself that life is too short to read books like The Da Vinci Code.
I chuckled pretty readily when I read that.
In any case, lest anyone think I’m some Ebert defender or something, I totally disagree with his review of Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead… and I still think that Not Another Teen Movie was a minor work of genius.