Remembering Ed Koch: New York Mayor, Surprise Film Critic

Ed Koch

As the former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch, who died today at the age of 88, was a prominent pop culture figure in his own right. He appeared in several movies and TV shows; "Sex and the City," "The Muppets Take Manhattan," "The First Wives Club" and "The Hebrew Hammer" are just a few of the productions in which he appeared as himself.

But Koch was also a true movie lover. After his mayoral tenure, he became a bona fide critic, reviewing films for a New York area newspaper. And in 2009 he started an online video series called "The Mayor at the Movies."

Koch screened films with regular audience members, and his reviews (ending with either a "plus" or a "minus") reflected that Ordinary Guy ethos. These are highlights from a few of his video segments:

"The Hurt Locker"

"This movie will have you at the edge of your seat for its entire length... It's a great movie and it gets a plus."

"Red"

"It's a lot of noise over nothing. I thought it was, to be absolutely frank, garbage."

"The Book of Eli"

"You're lucky I saw it, to warn you not to see it. Horrible movie."

"Bridesmaids"

"It's a very raunchy movie... many refer to it as a 'chick flick' but I think men can enjoy it as well. But it's too gross."

"The Tree of Life"

"What's the movie about? Got me... The story of the cosmos is better told at the Rose Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History."

"Inglourious Basterds"

"I liked it... if you look at it as what it is — a farce, a spoof — it's rollicking fun."

"Inception"

"The whole movie is hype, hype, hype... the special effects are really stupendous, but totally without emotion."

"Avatar"

"I didn't like it... I would have preferred 'Titanic 2' rather than this."