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Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Visitor Comments

Re: Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Added by Bill King (email, web) on 2003-06-17 10:49:30

John, your review is almost word-for-word a copy of Roger Ebert's review of "Speed Zone!" I noticed the same thing about your "Jaws the Revenge" review. Who do you think you're fooling?

Re: Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Added by John Ulmer (email, web) on 2003-06-17 20:52:56

Hi Bill:

I don't know what you mean. I just read Ebert's review on "Speed Zone," and the only resemblance is the first paragraph.

But no, I never read his review before I wrote this a few weeks ago. I suppose it's just coincedence. I've written over 650 reviews - I suppose sometimes two thoughts are written the same way unintentionally.

So I'm not trying to "fool" anyone--it was pure coincedence.

You can compare my other reviews to Ebert's if you like, but I respect Roger Ebert too much to rip him off.

John Ulmer

Re: Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Added by Bill King (email, web) on 2003-06-17 23:04:07

Are you sure it was coincidence? There's more in common than the first paragraph. Let's see:

1. Your review of "Smokey" and Ebert's review of "Speed Zone!" use the phrase "Read my lips."
2. Both reviews mention how cars are not funny in a variety of ways.
3. Both reviews mention that the film provides a big payday for stunt drivers.
4. Both reviews mention that chase scenes can be exciting when part of the plot.
5. Both reviews mention "The French Connection" concurrently with point #4.

Now let's look at "Jaws the Revenge."

Ebert: That Mrs. Brody could be haunted by flashbacks to events where she was not present and that, in some cases, no survivors witnessed.
Ulmer: Other than the odd occasion when she gets flashbacks of events that she never witnessed, and in most cases no one ever witnessed...

Ebert: Mrs. Brody flees in horror to the Bahamas, where her other son (Lance Guest) works as, you got it, a marine biologist.
Ulmer: So she catches a ride to the Bahamas, to live near her other son, and plead with him to quit his job as a -- whaddaya know -- marine biologist.

Ebert: ...but he argues that the great white shark has never been seen in warm waters.
Ulmer: He assures her that no Great White Sharks have ever been spotted off the Bahamas

Ebert: ...having made the trip from Martha's Vineyard to the Bahamas in three days.
Ulmer: ...Great White Shark arrives at the Bahamas (in three days, mind you)

Ebert: Her friends pooh-pooh the notion...
Ulmer: ...they pooh-pooh her away...

Ebert: Caine could survive the attack, swim to the boat, and climb on board - not only completely unhurt but also wearing a shirt and pants that are not even wet.
Ulmer: Hoagie rushes to her crash-landing his airplane at sea, being attacked by the shark, and swimming to the boat, climbing in without any wet clothes

What really got to me was the similar use of the phrase "pooh-pooh." Now that's one heck of a coincidence.


Re: Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Added by John Ulmer (email, web) on 2003-06-18 08:58:50

It is kind of a coincedence. But in all truth, I didn't even read his review before I wrote mine. At least I don't think I did.

I started out on IMDb with very bad reviews, then started writing longer ones. They weren't great, so I looked to Ebert and used some techniques I saw in his and Peter Travers' reviews. Then after I got a bit of a technique I added my own style and dropped theirs. So this review was written around the time I was looking at Ebert's stuff. Perhaps (I truthfully don't remember) I looked at his review, but I didn't intentionally copy it. It may have been stuck in my head.

But I don't think my other reviews at bear any resemblance to his. Go over them if you'd like - they're all my work.

Re: Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Added by Harry   on 2004-02-22 22:11:00

not only do you give our five stars like they are some flyers given away in New York but you take people's words from their reviews!


Re: Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Added by John Ulmer (email) on 2004-02-25 15:44:53

Right, I don't write my own stuff, I guess I stole all my 1,100 + reviews. Whatever, "harry."

Re: Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Added by Jake   on 2004-08-20 21:02:12

All comments about the eerie similarity between this review and Roger Ebert aside (though it's pretty ridiculously eerie, if you know what I mean), isn't 'Smokey and the Bandit,' you know, the good one? I thought this fell under that 1970's phenomenon where any decent movie that was a big hit would be followed by an endless wave of imitations and moronic sequels through the 80's. Though I remember the imitations and moronic sequels better than this movie, I always assumed that it was the exception to the car-chase comedy rule.

Re: Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Added by Jake   on 2005-07-28 22:59:48

I finally saw this again, and hey, yeah, it *is* the good one! I've seen the worst of Burt Reynolds' fast-car movies, and this one is nothing like them. It's zippy and lively and funny, and its stunts are unbelievable in a believable way, if you get me--as opposed to, say, the enormous stunt finale in 'Part 2,' which is so insanely elaborate and sense-overloading that we completely forget why it's happening or what it has to do with the story.

Most importantly, this movie lacks all arrogance. What really sunk it for Burt was making one cynical ripoff after another, in which they assembled B-list "names," fast cars and the general impression that a comedy was taking place--that's all that you need to sell tickets, so why do anything more? This movie (which, remember, was completely unaware that it was going to be a huge hit) just does what it does, cheerfully. It's actually interested in being entertaining.

Added by John (email) on 2009-04-30 01:12:16

Man, going back through these old reviews of mine is seriously one of the most painful experiences of my life. I was basically a bratty self-righteous 14-year-old version of Roger Ebert. Someone should have Internet slapped me across the face.

I do stand by my original claims here, however, that I didn't knowingly copy any portion of Ebert's review -- although it's more than likely I had read it at some point and gotten it stuck in my head subconsciously or something.

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