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(NPR) NewsFlash Two thumbs down   (npr.org ) divider line 548
    More: NewsFlash, Roger Ebert, riffs  
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25446 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Apr 2013 at 3:45 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»


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2013-04-04 05:06:49 PM  
Today we will be reviewing Roger Ebert's death....

I thought the death was rather forced and it seem to come about with no proper context as you would expect in a big budget death. The lack of dramatic music was a mistake by the director as I really feel the audience would have appreciated it and it would have helped the audience prepare for the twist ending.

So, even though it had its dramatic points, I still must give this death a thumb down as I feel the director didn't really put his heart into it.....
 
2013-04-04 05:06:57 PM  
Oy, that's terrible.  I watched his show a lot back in the day.  It's safe to say that he and Siskel played a big part in my enthusiasm for movies (good and bad) way back when.  Hell, I remember being really jazzed to hear what they had to say about MST3K: The Movie.

And man, he could tear horrible movies a new one in hilarious fashion.

Rest in peace, Mr. Ebert.


Mike: He was one of us too. Sigh.


No kidding?  Huh... I never knew that.


PanicMan: I may have to watch his Dark City commentary track tonight.


Good call.  I might do likewise with his Citizen Kane commentary track.
 
2013-04-04 05:08:48 PM  
FWIW, he was a great follow on Twitter, too.
 
2013-04-04 05:09:51 PM  
SMB2811:
No he changed it to "No they can never be art but I shouldn't have said anything without ever playing one so you didn't have a way to argue with me."

"In a July 1, 2010, blog entry, Ebert maintained his position that video games cannot ever be art in principle, but conceded that he should not have expressed this skepticism without being more familiar with the actual experience of playing them."


Interesting enough.  I've probably enjoyed my favorite videogames more than I ever enjoyed my favorite movies, based on time of play and replayability.  But trying to see his perspective through a filmmaking standpoint, in the near future you still won't see brilliant screen plays and cinematography in a videogame.  It would be a waste - unless it was a videogame adapted from a movie, in which case it wouldn't be original.  Movies reach a wider audience ($) than videogames do; brilliant screenwriting and cinematography would truly be wasted on the widest gamer demographic.
So now, if you look at the core audience for, say, Goodfellas or Unforgiven, vs. the Venn diagram where gamers and film fanatics intersect, you're putting the aforementioned movies up against, what?  The videogame equivalent of a Justin Bieber beach movie?

If I had time I'd still be playing videogames at 38, but while the 30-something gamer population is probably still growing, that audience likely doesn't justify the investment to put a game on par with what a film critic like Ebert would consider "art"
 
2013-04-04 05:09:58 PM  

star_topology: FWIW, he was a great follow on Twitter, too.


I hope this is the entirety of what's written on his tomb.
 
2013-04-04 05:11:00 PM  
This sucks. Nothing more to say really.
 
2013-04-04 05:11:27 PM  
Thanks for everything.
Thanks for the movie reviews, the books and the great seat next to you and Gene Siskel.
Requiescat in Pace
 
2013-04-04 05:11:49 PM  
That sucks, I didn't know the cancer had returned.
 
2013-04-04 05:12:22 PM  

dramboxf: rickythepenguin: No shiat? wow. that's awesome.

Yeah.
It used to appear at the end of his Movie Home Companion.
Then he released a tiny little standalone version, "Ebert's Little Movie Glossary," and by that time I had five or six in it.
Then The Bigger Little Movie Glossary came out with another six or so.
It's been so long, I forgot what most of them are. I remember Hollywood Cop Car was mine, I think.

This (when the site comes back up) is the last thing of mine that he published.

This is killing me. I told my wife on the 2nd when he posted that he was taking a step back from reviewing that I didn't think he had a chance of making it to 2014. Little did I know he didn't have a chance at making it to Friday.


I was a regular poster on his Compuserve forum. I drew his attention to an article on Entertainment Weekly about how the branch of the academy that voted on documentaries turned off Hoop Dreams after one hour. He thanked me and said he would go read it. Next episode of Siskel & Ebert, he did a segment about that article. I felt like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News: "I say it here, it comes out there."
 
2013-04-04 05:13:06 PM  
Getting jaw cancer even though he dont dip is clearly karma for him not likeing Troma's Redneck Zombies. You are now the tobacco man.
 
2013-04-04 05:13:14 PM  

trippdogg: It sometimes seemed like they had very rigid views about what a movie was supposed to be, and had a very hard time getting out of that box.   The review that sticks in my mind is Siskel and Ebert both turning thumbs down on a quirky little number called A Christmas Story.   I think if it had been exactly the same movie but in French, they would have stepped over each other saying how much they loved it.


I dunno. It seemed to me Ebert could appreciate e.g. a mindless action flick for what it was, and review it accordingly.
 
2013-04-04 05:14:00 PM  
Roger was a Farker for a time; should this be crossposted to FarkUs?
 
2013-04-04 05:14:30 PM  
NOOOOO!! So sad at this one. I always loved his writing- even when I didn't agree with his assessment. A true lover of movies. :( RIP
 
2013-04-04 05:14:44 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: trippdogg: It sometimes seemed like they had very rigid views about what a movie was supposed to be, and had a very hard time getting out of that box.   The review that sticks in my mind is Siskel and Ebert both turning thumbs down on a quirky little number called A Christmas Story.   I think if it had been exactly the same movie but in French, they would have stepped over each other saying how much they loved it.

I dunno. It seemed to me Ebert could appreciate e.g. a mindless action flick for what it was, and review it accordingly.


He gave "Dodgeball" a 3/4 review saying it was stupidly funny and didn't spoil the best jokes in the preview.
 
2013-04-04 05:15:30 PM  
Soon the Talking Keister will pass into the ether, never to be mentioned again...

s3.vidimg02.popscreen.com

Goodbye, Roger.  Goodbye, Gene.  I told you not to go in there. But did you listen? Nope.
 
2013-04-04 05:15:44 PM  
RIP former Mayor of New York
/bad movie
//obscure?
///obscurely bad?
 
2013-04-04 05:15:50 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: Roger was a Farker for a time; should this be crossposted to FarkUs?


Nah. That tab is for begging for cash and pimping your kids' artwork.
 
2013-04-04 05:16:16 PM  

Nana's Vibrator: GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!  ROB SCHNEIDER CAN STAR IN MOVIES AGAIN!!!


I totally read that with Professor Farnsworth's voice in my head.
 
2013-04-04 05:16:36 PM  
Came for the quote from the review of "North," left satisfied, but still sad.
 
2013-04-04 05:16:53 PM  

gunga galunga: I felt like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News: "I say it here, it comes out there."


I know what you mean. My first interaction with him was pretentiousness itself. (On MY part, btw.)

I sent him six single-spaced pages in Halvetica 9pt of "corrections" to his 1987 Movie Home Companion. Stupid things like referring to certain characters incorrectly, or explaining misconceptions about military or police matters that he'd written about in his reviews. Some of what I wrote appeared verbatim in future editions of the MHC.

He sent me a lovely letter thanking me for my "advice."
 
2013-04-04 05:17:04 PM  
I grew up reading his reviews in the newspaper and watching him on TV. He inspired me to be a better writer and more "active" movie viewer (aka: pay more attention to what I am really watching). I will DVR "Archer" tonight and watch "Goodfellas" and "Godfather I and II" tonight...

RIP Roger
 
2013-04-04 05:17:45 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: Roger was a Farker for a time; should this be crossposted to FarkUs?


At this point it'd be a waste for us to send WIE/BIE of ourselves to raise money for his new jaw.
 
2013-04-04 05:19:44 PM  
So sad, so quick. I was rooting for him.
 
2013-04-04 05:20:38 PM  
My husband and he chatted in a compuserve forum (forum? newsgroup?) back in the day.  Ebert was really great, connected with all of the other members and enjoyed spending his time with the gang.

He would often say he was going to have some interview with a star, what would you like to as him or her?  My husband knew I was a huge Val Kilmer fan at the time and when his name came up, he asked me what I'd like to ask..  I had no idea that Ebert would actually ask the question, so kind of sarcastically said "Boxers or briefs?"  Next thing I knew, I had my answer.

I didn't always agree with his reviews and a lot of the movies that he hated, I enjoyed.  But I always had a lot of respect for the guy, he said how he felt and let everyone know when he thought a movie was truly great.
 
2013-04-04 05:21:09 PM  

Nana's Vibrator: SMB2811:
No he changed it to "No they can never be art but I shouldn't have said anything without ever playing one so you didn't have a way to argue with me."

"In a July 1, 2010, blog entry, Ebert maintained his position that video games cannot ever be art in principle, but conceded that he should not have expressed this skepticism without being more familiar with the actual experience of playing them."

Interesting enough.  I've probably enjoyed my favorite videogames more than I ever enjoyed my favorite movies, based on time of play and replayability.  But trying to see his perspective through a filmmaking standpoint, in the near future you still won't see brilliant screen plays and cinematography in a videogame.  It would be a waste - unless it was a videogame adapted from a movie, in which case it wouldn't be original.  Movies reach a wider audience ($) than videogames do; brilliant screenwriting and cinematography would truly be wasted on the widest gamer demographic.
So now, if you look at the core audience for, say, Goodfellas or Unforgiven, vs. the Venn diagram where gamers and film fanatics intersect, you're putting the aforementioned movies up against, what?  The videogame equivalent of a Justin Bieber beach movie?

If I had time I'd still be playing videogames at 38, but while the 30-something gamer population is probably still growing, that audience likely doesn't justify the investment to put a game on par with what a film critic like Ebert would consider "art"


The reason he changed his stance from 'Never' to 'Never, and I should have played one for a few minutes so you plebs couldn't argue with me' was because so many viewers suggested he look at Shadow of the Colossus before saying that.

I too will now suggest that if you only see games as 'a Justin Bieber beach movie' you also look at Shadow of the Colossus. That one fills the 'great cinematography.' As for stories, many games of several genres have created stories that would be considered great if they had picked a different medium to tell it in.

The medium should not dictate what can and can not be art. 100 years ago we would be talking about movies in the place of video games and literature in the place of movies.
 
2013-04-04 05:21:22 PM  

lepton68: Looking forward to reading his review of Heaven.


Considering he really didn't have anything good to say about the gate, you wonder what he might say about what's inside:

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19810101/RE V IEWS/101010302/1023
 
2013-04-04 05:23:42 PM  
While I'm saddened by this news, I am heartened to know that he went with a smile on his face.
 
2013-04-04 05:23:43 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: I Said: My jaw is on the floor at this news

careful, I used a similar line in a previous thread and a bunch of people got all upset.


Because the joke is lame, insensitive and long in the tooth.
 
2013-04-04 05:23:58 PM  
I think Leonard Maltin said it best in his eulogy for Roger.

"Some parts of Roger Ebert I really liked. Other parts of Roger Ebert I didn't like at all."

www1.pictures.gi.zimbio.com

/Thanks, Leonard. You took the words out of my mouth.
 
2013-04-04 05:25:07 PM  

MOGGEE: As they continue walking, Bill eyes a shiny, brand new quarter, the one he's been missing from his Presidential quarters collection. "I'm not gonna touch it, I just wanna look at it," he says to himself.
He bends over, getting closer, and closer. . . until. . . finally. . . BANG! RuPaul goes to heaven.


I don't get it.  Why is RuPaul going to heaven if Bill Gates picks up the quarter?


Treygreen13: But looking at the results of 100 or more reviews simultaneously can at least give you an idea of whether or not a film is *terrible* or watchable.


yeah, to my "thing" about avoiding reviews, I saw "Argo" opening night, my only concept of what it was about being, "an account of the mission to grab hostages in the 1980 iran embassy".  fast forward to me getting knocked on my ass by how awesome the movie was, getting home, discussing the movie with my wife for like, 30 minutes, and then thinking, "hey, i wonder what Rotten Tomatoes thinks!"
 
2013-04-04 05:29:35 PM  

rickythepenguin: MOGGEE: As they continue walking, Bill eyes a shiny, brand new quarter, the one he's been missing from his Presidential quarters collection. "I'm not gonna touch it, I just wanna look at it," he says to himself.
He bends over, getting closer, and closer. . . until. . . finally. . . BANG! RuPaul goes to heaven.

I don't get it.  Why is RuPaul going to heaven if Bill Gates picks up the quarter?


It's a "way homer".
 
2013-04-04 05:29:45 PM  
Who?
 
2013-04-04 05:30:05 PM  

Beanlet: I didn't always agree with his reviews and a lot of the movies that he hated, I enjoyed.  But I always had a lot of respect for the guy, he said how he felt and let everyone know when he thought a movie was truly great.

I'm still at odds with his positive review of Speed 2: Cruise Control and wonder why he liked The Wicker Man so much (as indicated in his four-star [!!!] review of Lakeview Terrace), but differences of opinion are the things that make film discussion great*.


*except in the case of Armond White, because that fool is TROLLIN'


coco ebert: NOOOOO!! So sad at this one. I always loved his writing- even when I didn't agree with his assessment. A true lover of movies. :( RIP


My sentiments exactly, amiga.
 
2013-04-04 05:30:16 PM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: I Said: My jaw is on the floor at this news

You're a bad person and you should feel bad, and I want the aisle seat.  What's the movie?


Director's extended (REALLY extended) cut of The Never Ending Story...2
 
2013-04-04 05:30:28 PM  
monEater * * Smartest * Funniest 2013-04-04 03:47:40 PM That was quick, we just had the "Ebert cuts his workload" article about his cancer returning yesterday.
=============================================

Considering his prolific presence online (posting upwards of about 50 times a day on twitter)... he made exactly 1 post since the 30th of March, a link to the blog, and that's it.

He seemed pretty happy and excited, but perhaps it was a backhanded way of saying things are moving and he's happy it'll still be going on without him. Who knows.
 
2013-04-04 05:31:16 PM  
I liked his reviews, although I noticed that movies with nekkid.women invariably got a thumbs up from Roger even when Genes thumb was down. In praise of the exploration of human sexuality. I think he just needed to get laid more often.


/no surprise Obama was a big fan, he sat really far to the left with lots of angry denunciations of conservatives.
 
2013-04-04 05:31:27 PM  
Maybe he didn't want to see another Tom Cruise film?
 
2013-04-04 05:31:48 PM  

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: (as indicated in his four-star [!!!] review of Lakeview Terrace)


Okay, it wasn't in his Lakeview Terrace review, but I could've sworn that I read SOMEWHERE that he liked Neil LaBute's remake of The Wicker Man.

I dunno.
 
2013-04-04 05:33:34 PM  

VinDiesel: Who?


I'm not serious. I loved Ebert. One of the most insightful, witty, and honest columnists on any topic, not just movies. Even when I didn't agree with him, he was a joy to read. Very sad.

/though I always liked Siskel even more
 
2013-04-04 05:34:36 PM  
Jesus, I just remembered that one of my entries to his glossary was the Magical Death Hand Wave: When a relative of partner of the hero is murdered, and the hero must view the body, (always still at the scene of the crime,) the hero will pass his hand over the eyes of the victim and voila! magically, the eyes will remain closed.
 
2013-04-04 05:37:23 PM  

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: Beanlet: I didn't always agree with his reviews and a lot of the movies that he hated, I enjoyed.  But I always had a lot of respect for the guy, he said how he felt and let everyone know when he thought a movie was truly great.

I'm still at odds with his positive review of Speed 2: Cruise Control and wonder why he liked The Wicker Man so much (as indicated in his four-star [!!!] review of Lakeview Terrace), but differences of opinion are the things that make film discussion great*.


Maybe with The Wicker Man he thought it was supposed to be a comedy, his same justification for his good reviews for Congo and Silver Bullet.
 
2013-04-04 05:37:50 PM  

dramboxf: When a relative of partner of the hero is murdered, and the hero must view the body, (always still at the scene of the crime,) the hero will pass his hand over the eyes of the victim and voila! magically, the eyes will remain closed.



well.....true, it is cliche, but the custom is that he physically closes his eyes.

adam carolla mentioned a good one;  in sports movies, whenever the stadium/arena's/boxing ring lights get turned on, you have to Foley in a MASSIVE sound of like, a hundred circuit breakers going SSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHMAAAAACCCCKKKKCRUNCH!!!  he's like, "how many times have you been at a game and the lights come on and you don't hear anything?  NOT IN THE MOVIES!  Every lightswitch that gets hit sounds like a godamn space shuttle launch!"
 
2013-04-04 05:38:19 PM  

gunga galunga: Maybe with The Wicker Man he thought it was supposed to be a comedy, his same justification for his good reviews for Congo and Silver Bullet.


*raises eyebrows thoughtfully*

That's an interesting point, actually.
 
2013-04-04 05:39:49 PM  

Zapruder: The very last lines of his review of the new Evil Dead:

"I love horror films that truly shock, scare and provoke. But after 30 years of this stuff, I'm bored to death and sick to death of movies that seem to have one goal: How can we gross out the audience by torturing nearly every major character in the movie?"

Nice job, Sam Raimi.


Actually, it was Richard Roeper who wrote that. Sadly, he is still with us.
 
2013-04-04 05:41:52 PM  

rickythepenguin: well.....true, it is cliche, but the custom is that he physically closes his eyes.


The point is that the eyes rarely stay closed when you do that with a real dead body. Also, you never see them actually close the eyes; they just pass their hands over the eye "area". Try closing someone's eyes (dead or alive) with the pinky-edge of your hand. They do it that way, I'm almost certain, so as not to mess up the makeup.
 
2013-04-04 05:42:13 PM  
His show was the best reason to stay up late on Sunday nights when I was a kid.

See you at the movies, guy.
 
2013-04-04 05:42:41 PM  
are you kidding me? he turned himself into a sideshow freak! oh I know so sad. I know he couldn't feed himself anymore, but he could have ate a bullet. why not just get a V for vendetta mask and spare us the horror
 
2013-04-04 05:42:46 PM  
This is my last chance to post this, so, Pulgares, the Thumbs of Fate

http://www.udargo.com/?p=17

This is very sad. We've all lost an important resource for logical thought in this world. Yeah, that's needed, even in movie reviews, gotta keep exercising that grey muscle.

RIP, funny man. Yeah, he got the point across in cleaver funny ways too.
 
2013-04-04 05:42:58 PM  
I'm more bummed than I thought I would be. It's not entirely unexpected, of course. He had been in bad health for quite some time. But I just posted on the thread about him the other day, and read his "Leave of presence" statement just yesterday, so it's strange.

It's really the end of an era in film writing. And every account I've heard is that he was a pretty nice guy in person, as well. These quotes below are just killer:

"Sometimes two people will regard each other over a gulf too wide to ever be bridged, and know immediately what could have happened, and that it never will."

-

"Life always has an unhappy ending, but you can have a lot of fun along the way, and everything doesn't have to be dripping in deep significance."

-

"I began to realize that I had tended to avoid some people because of my instant conclusions about who they were and what they would have to say. I discovered that everyone, speaking honestly and openly, had important things to tell me."

-

"Because we are human, because we are bound by gravity and the limitations of our bodies, because we live in a world where the news is often bad and the prospects disturbing, there is a need for another world somewhere, a world where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers live."

-

"In thinking about 'depressing movies,' many people don't realize that all bad movies are depressing, and no good movies are."

-

"I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try."

http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/13300.Roger_Ebert
 
2013-04-04 05:45:11 PM  

dramboxf: The point is that the eyes rarely stay closed when you do that with a real dead body. Also, you never see them actually close the eyes; they just pass their hands over the eye "area". Try closing someone's eyes (dead or alive) with the pinky-edge of your hand. They do it that way, I'm almost certain, so as not to mess up the makeup.


Well I guess SOMEONE works in a morgue.
 
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