Thursday, April 4, 2013

Film Critic Roger Ebert Dead at 70

Image from Funny or Die
Roger Ebert had a strange last decade of life. He went through cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands, lost his lower jaw--along with it the power of speech and ability to eat--and got cancer again. But along the way, the popular movie critic (and former TV partner of the late Gene Siskel) also gained a different sort of following on social media. If you followed him on Twitter as I did, you know that this was a very smart man, with more than just refined movie tastes. He also had a layered sense of humor, and an eye for the oddly interesting and the interestingly odd. Much like George Takei's internet success, Siskel's showed an entirely different side of himself that really showed him in a different light.

When I was a kid, Ebert was half of the team somebody referred to as "the fat one and the gay guy," on Sneak Previews and At the Movies, even though Siskel wasn't gay, and Ebert not fat, at least not by today's standards. And while they pioneered movie reviewing on TV, and their "two thumbs up" style became their schtick, it was nice to see the interesting side of Roger Ebert in these last few years. I'm just sorry it had to be at the same time as a disfiguring and ultimately fatal disease. RIP, Roger!

[Update: Excerpt II]

(This is so much funnier than the one below, though it too is worth your time)

Roger Ebert's 20 Most Epic Movie Pans

. . .18. The Village

"To call it an anticlimax would be an insult not only to climaxes but to prefixes. It's a crummy secret, about one step up the ladder of narrative originality from It Was All a Dream. It's so witless, in fact, that when we do discover the secret, we want to rewind the film so we don't know the secret anymore. And then keep on rewinding, and rewinding, until we're back at the beginning, and can get up from our seats and walk backward out of the theater and go down the up escalator and watch the money spring from the cash register into our pockets. . ."

Read more at: BuzzFeed


11 Funniest Lines from Roger Ebert's Reviews of Bad Movies

. . .Mad Dog Time, 1996

 "Mad Dog Time is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time. Oh, I've seen bad movies before. But they usually made me care about how bad they were. Watching Mad Dog Time is like waiting for the bus in a city where you're not sure they have a bus line. . ."

Read more at: Funny or Die

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