10. Godzilla's Stupid Mayor Was Modeled On Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert's career told us a universal truth which time after time, certain film-makers failed to heed. What was that truth? Simply put, you do not argue with Roger Ebert. It just won't go well for you the man didn't win a Pulitzer for film criticism off the back of ill-informed trolling, he got it for possessing a razor-sharp wit and film knowledge of which you could only dream of possessing. So if he and Gene Siskel take a dislike to your body of work, they'll do so with good reason and they'll do it with style. If you're smart, you'll take the criticism on board, internalise the rage and come back with a better film. If you're Roland Emmerich, you'll create cutout f**k you characters in revenge. Disregarding whether Godzilla was a good film on its own merits (it wasn't), calling out blokes who are witty for a living is pretty much career suicide. Yet Emmerich indulged his inner humorist by making the mayor of Godzilla-ravaged New York a buffoon modelled off Ebert, who came in-tow with an ass-kissing lackey (read: Siskel). There wasn't even a subtext the mayor's literally called 'Mayor Ebert,' and that's probably the least blatant thing about this attempt at satire. Ebert responded with the greatest touché ever after being insulted he loved it, and treated it as flattery. In fact, here's a quote from his review.
"These characters are a reaction by Emmerich and Devlin to negative Siskel and Ebert reviews of their earlier movies ("Stargate," "Independence Day"), but they let us off lightly; I fully expected to be squished like a bug by Godzilla. "Now that I've inspired a character in a Godzilla movie, all I really still desire is for several Ingmar Bergman characters to sit in a circle and read my reviews to one another in hushed tones."
Hot damn, Emmerich. You got burned.