I remember watching "Sneak Previews" on PBS with my dad when I was a kid in the late '70s and early '80s. Later, we would watch "At The Movies." It was always cool to get a look at upcoming films.
"Besides, there's no reason we can't be civil, is there?"
I interviewed Roger Ebert for the inaugural issue of Home Theater Technology, which later became Home Theater magazine. As I recall, he was a delightful interview. We disagreed about 3D—he hated it, I enjoy it, at least when it's done well—but I greatly respected him as a movie reviewer.
I can't help but to think about when Chris Farley did a parody of him on SNL. Kevin Nealon played Siskel and they were reviewing gay porn movies. Classic.
RIP Robert...I for one surely enjoyed what you did for us in your reviews as well as showing how not to give up and to always press on.
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Those two guys always reminded me of Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show. Enjoy the video.
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Like many have stated, I hardly agreed with his ratings that he gave to movies. But people come from all walks of life and have different views on everything from politics to religion to even how to tie one's shoes.
May he rest in peace.
Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.
May he rest in peace.
It looks like the greats are passing the baton onto the younger generation and they are telling us not to screw up and let them down, they have handed over to us a legacy.
Hey, same here... even though I was probably a little younger than you.
He has conducted film classes where he actually reviews the film Citizen Kane, frame-by-frame. He has an isolated commentary track on the Blu-ray of the movie Dark City. The man truly "lived" the world of movies. As previously mentioned, his (thick) books full of reviews of the truly great historical fims, as well as the stinkers he hated, are exceptionally great reading.
Roger Ebert also always based his film reviews on how a movie actually was, quality-wise, not on how he expected it or wanted it to be like.
Some of his clashes and arguments with Gene Siskel will always be legendary. When you weighed both of their viewpoints together, however, you knew that you pretty much had a lock on how any particular film was going to be - even if you routinely only sided with one of them over the other.
Movie stars, producers and directors in Hollywood truly valued Roger Ebert's raves and even accepted his criticisms - something that can't be said of almost any other professional film reviewer who has ever lived. He would always attend the Cannes, Sundance and Toronto film festivals with zeal and report back from all of them.
Here are two huge "thumbs-up" (your own patented statement) Mr. Ebert, on a wonderfully long and storied career! You will truly be missed.
Over the years he gave some absolutely puzzling scores (ex. - panning "The Usual Suspects" while indicating he enjoyed "The Program", a hilariously bad sports movie, and giving it three stars?) but his writing style never failed to captivate me.
The "Gladiator" controversy was a tipping point of sorts for me. After he blasted that movie for odd reasons and sheepishly tried to take it back a few years later his reviews lost some of their weight in my mind and I stopped buying his books. Nevertheless - I continued visiting his website occasionally to check on his opinions until the very end.
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When siskel became ill and passed away, it happened so quickly - almost within a years time. Ebert seemed a little lonely and distant on his show for those first couple years and it was easy to see why. But eventually he carried on and kept giving great reviews and even re-invented himself as a blogger. Was in disbelief when he became stricken with cancer not even a decade later. What was especially dismaying to me was how his failing health physically disfigured and debilitated him. Just cruel.
Last couple days though, I've been seeing a lot of video clips where he is in great spirits despite everything. Best yet were all the tribute and anecdotes I've been reading from fans everywhere that received emails from him over the years. Seeing and reading that leaves you with a good feeling. Lastly, his wife Chaz is one courageous woman.
I think his greatest legacy for me is is that he championed a lot of low budget and/or unknown movies that you would typically overlook or get the wrong idea - movies like Halloween, Grave of the Fireflies, Evil Dead, Hoop Dreams.
His reviews were just so thoughtful- had a lot of wit, humor and insight. (well...except maybe the one he did for North )
A great writer that just happened to be a huge fan of the movies.
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