Chicago Sun-Times columnist Roeper goes for the trifecta in this paean to Hollywood schlock, as short, opinionated essays; addictive lists; and a trashy-but-utte"/>
 

SCHLOCK VALUE: Hollywood at Its Worst

Richard Roeper, Author
Richard Roeper, Author . Hyperion $16.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4013-0769-1
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Chicago Sun-Times columnist Roeper goes for the trifecta in this paean to Hollywood schlock, as short, opinionated essays; addictive lists; and a trashy-but-utterly-compelling subject combine to make an entertaining look at one aspect of the movies. Roeper's lists cover everything from inflated concession stand prices (a theater in suburban Chicago sells bottled water for $3.99) to "Bizarre Moments in the History of the Golden Globes" (in 1957, Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack hijacked the stage to speed things up) to "Things That Can Be Done to Improve the Academy Awards." ("Memo to all nominees: Prepare a friggin' speech!") to "Wobbly Accents" (Brad Pitt as an Austrian explorer in Seven Years in Tibet ). Some lists expand into essays, and vice versa (e.g., an Oscars overview prompts a list of "Most Disappointing Careers after Winning the Academy Award"). Opening with an insightful contrast of Chris Rock as a stand-up comic ("just might be the funniest person on the planet") with his movies ("they sucked"), Roeper moves on to such topics as actors' political comments, cast members replaced during filming, overhyped stars, one-hit wonders, pet projects, film clichés and anachronisms. Roeper's relaxed writing style, informal and witty, makes for an easy yet engaging read. (Feb. 2)

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