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Film Critic Roger Ebert Dead at 70 Of Cancer

timothy posted about a year ago | from the tough-guy-brave-guy-hero dept.

Movies 198

New submitter AndyKrish links to the BBC's report that just two days after penning a "leave of presence" in which he says "I am not going away," Roger Ebert — "arguably the world's most famous film critic" — has died of cancer. Ebert was a long-time film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, as well as (most famously along with Gene Siskel) for a string of television shows. In the course of dealing with persistent cancer that affected his thyroid and jaw, and which took away his voice, Ebert became a prolific blogger on movies as well as other topics, and drew on cutting edge technology to regain the power of speech.

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Sad Day (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43363151)

I didn't agree with every review, but all in all he was damned good critic, and a significant part of his Great Movies list is a must-see for me.

Re:Sad Day (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43363187)

I think a huge part of what made him a great critic was that even when you disagreed with his opinion, you could usually sympathize with him anyway. It takes an unusually talented critic to pull that off.

Re:Sad Day (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363211)

Yes, that, and the fact that when you disagreed with him, he couldn't talk back to you.
What, too soon?

Re:Sad Day (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#43363271)

I think a huge part of what made him a great critic was that even when you disagreed with his opinion, you could usually sympathize with him anyway. It takes an unusually talented critic to pull that off.

I generally felt that way more about Gene Siskel, he always seemed to be down on movies I enjoyed, but he did articulate well why he didn't like something, rather than be a complete a** like Rex Reed.

Sneak Previews was one of the few television shows I'd free up some time each week to watch. It was a great show and taught that you don't have to agree with all or any one film critic(s). More often I'd agree with Roger, he seemed like he enjoyed basically fun films, where Gene was looking more at the quality of the production. As I grew older I'd appreciate both points of view and not just throw my money away just because Disney, Lucas or anyone else rolled out yet-another movie.

Re:Sad Day (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363305)

Being a Film reviewer doesn't appear to be a healthy lifestyle. They both died of cancer.

Re:Sad Day (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363497)

Steve Jobs also died of cancer. I guess everyone's a critic.

Re:Sad Day (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43364039)

I thought Ebert killed Siskel because he was tired of second billing.

Re:Sad Day (1)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#43364293)

Ebert had something taken off his bill, that's for sure.

Re:Sad Day (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43363355)

There is one thing that Ebert said about movies that stands above everything else:

“It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.”

Form and content (3, Insightful)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43364195)

re "It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it."

That's a great point. Form is separate from content. The point of a movie is not just its content, but also in the stylistic presentation form it uses to deliver that content. I've seen movies that had a nice "story" behind it but with poor execution of the plot by the actors or timing and editing of the scenes. I've also seen movies produced and directed by music video directors and by Michael Baye that are beautifully styled and paced and so well lit and with gorgeous sweeping camera movements that actually go with the underlying scene and with good music that punctuates and emphasizes the action but the content of the plot and the storyline is crap.
.
When both form and content deliver something beautiful, it's a wonderful movie. I like Ebert's side commentaries and I also like that he was part of some schlocky movie writing in the 1960s.
.
Ebert wrote the scripts for Who Killed Bambi? [wikipedia.org] , a 1978 movie about the Sex Pistols that ultimately was not made because the financiers did not like what was in the script. Ebert's screenplay [suntimes.com] for the movie is on his blog. Bizarre.
.
He also wrote the for "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," [wikipedia.org] a movie for which he wrote the screenplay in 1969.

Re:Sad Day (3, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | about a year ago | (#43364495)

rather than be a complete a**

Say "ass". You know you want to. We're all adults here, we can take a vulgar reference every now and then.

Seriously, either curse or don't; this *bleeb* business is simply pathethic.

Re:Sad Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363215)

It is a sad day. I also read earlier that Iain Banks has only months to live.

Re:Sad Day (5, Insightful)

tedgyz (515156) | about a year ago | (#43363453)

I generally agreed with his reviews much more than his partner Siskel. Roger recognized that not all movies have to have a greater purpose. Sometimes it is ok to just have fun.

Re:Sad Day (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43364077)

But both of them were capable more than most of saying "I didn't like 28 Days Later, but for a zombie movie, it was so much better than most, I'll give it a thumbs up" (28 Days just being something I could see them saying, I can't recall a specific incident at the moment). They didn't rate every movie like it was for the Best Picture Oscar, but managed some context. Sort of like Skyfall. If you like Bond, you'll like Skyfall. If you think Bond movies have become too slow, and the action scenes all try too hard to out do the previous movie's scenes, then you'll hate it. So how do you rate it? It depends on what you want to see. They were better at articulating that distinction within their reviews than most, who would just give it a star rating and move on.

Re:Sad Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43364647)

I like Bond. I hate Daniel Craig as him. Skyfall sucked.

Frankly I believe the whole franchise died once Connery and Moore were out. They were it and it will never be the same or as good.

Re:Sad Day (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#43364225)

Even if you disagreed with him you did better damn well listen to what he said.
His opinions were well founded and he will be sorely missed.

He would propably appreciate the irony that the biggest wreath of them all will come from Rob Schneider.

Re:Sad Day (4, Informative)

Jeff321 (695543) | about a year ago | (#43363557)

Dark City! He did a commentary track for the blu-ray even.

Re:Sad Day (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43363707)

And put it on his Great Movies list, and it is indeed an astounding movie, the greatest of all of the children of Metropolis.

Re:Sad Day (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43364165)

I loved it too. I don't know why Matrix got all the big press at the time when Dark City was a lot better in many ways with many of the same themes.

Re:Sad Day (4, Interesting)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | about a year ago | (#43364575)

Siskel commented that Ebert may have been the better writer but that he was the better reviewer, to which I agree. Nevertheless I'm a big fan of his writing and appreciate his takes on Herzog and Scorcese, among others. It's rare I care at all about the
passing of a personality but for me this is a sad day.

I give one thumb up... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363159)

Dying of cancer is in, but not very exciting.

he liked boobs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363223)

He worked with Russ Meyer.

Re:he liked boobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363555)

I can't for the life of me remember where read or saw it, and and a quick search didn't reveal anything of note, but someone pointed out that Ebert apparently had a crush on Angelina Jolie since he seemed to give good reviews to movies that she starred in even if they were complete crap like Hackers

Re:he liked boobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43364041)

Oh, he played favorites, all right. It was his stalking horse. He couldn't escape the allure of the power, money and glamour the film industry had (while Gene Siskle was immune to it), and got sucked into co-option at times. He also put social message ahead of artistic merit, particularly in the oscar races (Crash being the most notorious movie he actively campaigned for). He was far from perfect.

Siskel & Ebert Sneak Previews (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#43363233)

These really opened up a lot more films to me, beyond the Hollywood pap. Miss them both. Massive, massive props to them both.

Never dreamed I'd ever converse with either of them, but did tweet a bit with Roger. Great guy.

RIP, Roger

Re:Siskel & Ebert Sneak Previews (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43363469)

Siskel & Ebert was from a different time when you could turn on the TV and see two educated people have a lively and respectful disagreement about matters of quality. I don't expect I'll live to see such a thing again.

Re:Siskel & Ebert Sneak Previews (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43363611)

I remember we used to make a point of watching Siskel & Ebert every weekend - real "appointment TV". Even though sometimes we were laughing at them - even the best film critics can be rather pretentious at times - I thoroughly enjoyed their banter and was disappointed when I would miss a show.

It was a very sad day when Gene Siskel died fairly young, and now we've lost Roger Ebert as well. It's just movies, I realize - but it's also another part of my youth that's gone away.

Now please - show some respect and get off my lawn.

Re:Siskel & Ebert Sneak Previews (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43363781)

It was a very sad day when Gene Siskel died fairly young, and now we've lost Roger Ebert as well. It's just movies, I realize

It isn't "just" movies - movies are a major part of modern culture. Once a society gets above the level of mere subsistence, culture is pretty much the entire point of human existence.

Re:Siskel & Ebert Sneak Previews (3, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | about a year ago | (#43363777)

Siskel & Ebert was from a different time when you could turn on the TV and see two educated people have a lively and respectful disagreement about matters of quality. I don't expect I'll live to see such a thing again.

There's always the internet...

Re:Siskel & Ebert Sneak Previews (5, Funny)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43364183)

A respectful disagreement on the internet? Jane, you ignorant slut!

Re:Siskel & Ebert Sneak Previews (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43364223)

How many "Funny" points were you shooting for, anyway? ;)

Most world famous?? (0, Offtopic)

guantamanera (751262) | about a year ago | (#43363265)

I never heard of Mr Ebert, may he rest in peace, until today. Maybe he is anglophone world famous, but not world's most famous film criti. I am very sure 1 chinese critic or indian critic will take his spot away easily. And I do know of Anglophone critics, one that I follow is Robbie Collin.

Re:Most world famous?? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363381)

And I do know of Anglophone critics, one that I follow is Robbie Collin.

If you know of Anglophone critics, then you know of Ebert. Instead, you just know a person that happens to be an Anglophone critic. Ebert was the giant of Anglophone critics. He was big enough to get his own TV show, and it was very popular! This is astounding when you consider other types of art criticism.

Really, all your post is doing is professing your ignorance. Yes, he was American and Americans are going to remember him the most, blah, blah, blah. But if you watch English language movies and you haven't heard of him, then you are sitting under a rock. If you own 100 good English language movies, his name and rating will probably be on at least 10 of them, if not more. Have you ever heard a movie referred to as "two thumbs up/down"? If so, then you've heard of Ebert.

Re:Most world famous?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43364201)

I had to scan through my english movies library. No mention of Roger Ebert in the description.

One such example is Black snake moan, in spanish is "El lamento de la serpiente negra" I googled the DVD images, and I noticed in the US version it mentions Roger Ebert, but not in the Brittish version.

Another such example is the movie look who is talking. That one has the 2 thumps up and ebert's name. But there is no mention of Ebbert in the Brittish, australian and spanish version.

Re:Most world famous?? (2)

PCM2 (4486) | about a year ago | (#43364665)

He was big enough to get his own TV show, and it was very popular! This is astounding when you consider other types of art criticism.

He was also the first writer to win a Pulitzer Prize ... for movie reviews. That achievement, in and of itself, deserves respect.

Re:Most world famous?? (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43363385)

I suspect if you talk to a Chinese or Indian film critic, they would know exactly who he was. In fact, he'd started to integrate foreign reviewers on his web site with his "Far Flung Correspondence", something I hope whoever takes over his job (I'm assuming Jim Emerson) will do.

Re:Most world famous?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363481)

Is this the appropriate time and place for a dick measuring contest?

Also, slashdot.org is an American-centric site, etc.

Re:Most world famous?? (4, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43363701)

I am very sure 1 chinese critic or indian critic will take his spot away easily.

. . . beautiful idea for a Saturday Night Live Sketch, with the Chinese critic and the Indian critic playing Siskel & Ebert . . .

Chinese Critic: "There was just too much missing from this plot. Take the hero, for example. His father didn't get killed by an evil tyrant. His son, our hero, didn't swear revenge against the evil tyrant. He didn't go to the Shaolin temple to learn Kung Fu. The Master there didn't tell him to learn sweeping the courtyard before learning Kung Fu. Just nothing of a plot was there."

Indian Critic: "I was waiting the whole time for half the state of Uttar Pradesh to sing and dance, but that scene never came. That bit with the Munchkins Ding Donging it was kinda sorta ok . . . but it just lacked the full gala of a real film."

Chinese Critic: "Yes, there is no reason for further discussing it . . . it is quite seldom that we agree, but we unanimously give two thumbs down to this 'Wizard of Oz' work . . . lest I dare call it a film."

Both Siskel and Ebert were good-humored enough to laugh at parodies of themselves.

Re:Most world famous?? (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about a year ago | (#43364543)

Both Siskel and Ebert were good-humored enough to laugh at parodies of themselves.

They were even willing to particpate in the parody [imdb.com] as themselves.

Re:Most world famous?? (1, Offtopic)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#43363745)

As far as I know, he's primarily known in the United States.
I had never heard of him while growing up in the UK.

He and partner pioneered the 'low information' form of review, that amounted to 3 states, where all reviews were members of the set {two thumbs down, 1 thumb up, 2 thumbs up}

That's all I know on this topic.

Re:Most world famous?? (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43364315)

The "thumbs" rating setup was just a gimmick. From what I remember of the show (and I'm old enough to have watched the earliest ones when they were new), they usually went in-depth into the movie at hand, often in ways that challenged the viewer to think it through. Also, their show began in the age before most of you even knew what an Internet was, and the only other way to get a sneak peek at the movie were the (incredibly over-hyped) TV ads or the (ditto) upcoming movie trailers at the local theater (when everyone was getting popcorn or whatever at the last minute).

Besides, the intelligent person would forget the whole thumbs up/down stuff at the end anyway, and listen to what they were actually saying about the movie before then.

Overall, it was hit-or-miss as to what they liked versus what I liked, but I appreciated the way they approached the subject, and in the way they explained how they reached their respective conclusions.

Re:Most world famous?? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43364421)

The chief difference between the earlier shows and the later ones was more about the camaraderie that grew between Siskell and Ebert. In the early days they were a lot more sincerely combative, and my brother and I (who were just nine or ten at the time we started watching them) genuinely thought the two didn't like each other very much. As it progressed into the mid-80s, I think they had spent so much time around each other that the nastier aspects of their relationship fell by the wayside, and I gather in the last years of Siskel's life they in fact had become very close (btw. Ebert put Saturday Night Fever on his Great Movies list not so much because he thought it was a great movie but because it was Siskel's favorite film).

The two thumbs concept was what they would do at the end of the review, but the reviews themselves were usually pretty in depth, particularly considering the show was just a half an hour in length. If you wanted their in depth criticisms, you had to read their newspapers. Still, the show did a lot to shape my taste in films.

Re:Most world famous?? (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about a year ago | (#43364559)

He and partner pioneered the 'low information' form of review, that amounted to 3 states, where all reviews were members of the set {two thumbs down, 1 thumb up, 2 thumbs up}

The idea behind the "thumbs" was that all people really wanted to know is if they should go see a movie, and no other rating system really gives that sort of yes/no answer.

Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363273)

I had hoped to one day convince him that video games were art. I would have loved to see him write a review for something like Planescape: Torment. Instead, I will have to continue having this argument inside my head. Without Ebert's blessing, video games are still going to have to go a long way before anybody considers them art, and that is sad.

Re:Damn (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#43363325)

Well, Mail Order Monsters and Paradroid were clearly art and a helluva lot of fun to play.

I'll get me walker...

Re:Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363489)

To get off the walker you just need to add more to HP after winning your bout. OR transfer to a 123 or 247 droid.

Re:Damn (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43364377)

Mail Order Monsters is now called "Pokemon" (same general idea).

Re:Damn (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363363)

He addressed that very question in his last blog post. He was always one of us; a science fiction fan from the beginning, and an enthusiastic adopter of technology as it arrived. While he was on the wrong side of the question of video games as art, at least he cared enough to think about it and debate it.

From http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2013/04/a_leave_of_presense.html [suntimes.com]

"And gamers beware, I am even thinking about a movie version of a video game or mobile app. Once completed, you can engage me in debate on whether you think it is art."

I read in that good humour and an open mind, even at death's door.

One of my friends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363933)

actually wrote an open letter to him on his blog which after 2 weeks of not even his friends reading it, somehow landed on Ebert's desk leading to a twitter post about it and even an article on kotaku I believe it was. He still wasn't convinced videogames were art, but he did show respect for the points that were made regarding why it COULD be considered art.

Re:Damn (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43364339)

I would have loved to see him write a review for something like Planescape: Torment.

Hell, I'd love to see just creative and competent un-paid-for review of a given video game. Between the thirst for ad money, and pressure from gaming companies? Damn, you know?

One of the great public philosophers of our time (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363289)

On a regular basis his reviews lept from discussion of the movie to discussion of life and the questions and problems that we face. His clarity of writing was combined with a clear and solid morality. He illuminated whatever corner of life he looked in to. He will be greatly missed.

Very Sad (1)

Phrogman (80473) | about a year ago | (#43363319)

Absolutely my favourite film critic, he will be missed heavily. I didn't always agree with his reviews but there were almost always more well thought out and articulated than any other critic I can think of. I trusted his evaluation of movies and I think the world is lessened with his loss.

No reviewers worth reading, now. (3, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43363323)

There are maybe 5 or 6 modern writers whose ability to think and penetrate issues I am in awe of, since Mark Twain, and he is one of them.

Winston Churchill, George Will, and former radio talk host David Newman from WJR in Detroit.

I guess that's just 4. :(

All other reviewers are, to borrow one of Ebert's phrases, like little kids banging pots and pans on the floor of the kitchen.

Re:No reviewers worth reading, now. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43364355)

I liked Harry Truman's description of the usual critic the best: "eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay."

Epitaph (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43363353)

Two Thumbs Up for Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.

Re:Epitaph (2)

FlameWise (84536) | about a year ago | (#43363685)

You know, I'm thinking, there's bad ways to end a movie, and good ones. And all movies have ends.

He found a rather good one. I envy this.

Re:Epitaph (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#43364379)

And all movies have ends.

What about "The Never Ending Story"?

Re:Epitaph (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#43363849)

They died both?

Re:Epitaph (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#43363999)

Er, Gene Siskel's been dead for some thirteen years now.

Re:Epitaph (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#43364017)

Excuse me, fourteen.

Re:Epitaph (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | about a year ago | (#43364013)

Yup.

His last review was the Host (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363395)

I blame Stephanie Meyer. Likely a suicide after that piece of Sci-Fi shart.

Don't mess. (5, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43363413)

Speaking of Winston Churchill, Ebert is author of the biggest burn since Churchill. Rob Schneider took out an ad about a generic critic ragging on his Deuce Bigalow, or maybe that animal man movie, saying, "Who does his guy think he is, some Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic?"

Ebert then writes, "Well, speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks."

Re:Don't mess. (1)

julian67 (1022593) | about a year ago | (#43363615)

What gave Ebert his ability to confront people like Schneider was the glass of Badger Milk he drank every morning.

Re:Don't mess. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363675)

What gave Ebert his ability to confront people like Schneider was the glass of Badger Milk he drank every morning.

Liberally dosed with honey?

Re:Don't mess. (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43363787)

My favorite burning Ebert review was the one he did about The Human Centipede, which had the incredible ending "I am required to award stars to movies I review. This time, I refuse to do it. The star rating system is unsuited to this film. Is the movie good? Is it bad? Does it matter? It is what it is and occupies a world where the stars don't shine."

Re:Don't mess. (3, Insightful)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | about a year ago | (#43364547)

He wrote an entire book about that incident. It is called ,"Your Movie Sucks." Most of the book is actually reviews of other really bad movies he wrote, but the Rob Schneider scenario was clearly the best part.

It's a great read, and a great introduction to Ebert if you would like to know more about him.

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Movie-Sucks-Roger-Ebert/dp/0740763660/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365120593&sr=8-1&keywords=your+movie+sucks [amazon.com]

I give it (-1, Flamebait)

chuckugly (2030942) | about a year ago | (#43363451)

I give it two thumbs way down.

Fucking Faggotry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363475)

Wait, You mean siskel (sp) died bfore the fat fuck ebert. This is not possible, because according to the popular media, fatness is the chief and only (along with smoking) cause of health issues. Becuasse (yes i no it is mispelt) the media reports this, I know it must b true. The only truth is the truth that the media reports. Therefore I can only conclude this story is a lie. I know from middle school that all liers are faggots, so I hereby logically conlude that /. org is full of faggotry.

Fuck you faggots. I hope you get thyroid cancer and die. Remember that Dr. House could have cured whatever the fuck Ebert had, and also that you should not listen to doctors unless they can cure old age. (e.g.) figure out why the fuck everyone dies after a certain number of years. ( 150,000 per day) . Fuck in biblical times people lived to be like 900. I therefore conlclude that the reason people are dying all the time is because they lack faith in the lord.

Seriously though, if you think the above post makes no sense, it makes about as much sense as any other article you posted in /. in the last 10 years or so, So Fuck /., and fuck you. You are all faggots. I hate faggots. Faggots are responsible for killing Martin Luther King, Jesus Christ, John F. Kennedy, and Ghandi. I hate you /. becuase you killed Ghandi.

Die You Bastards

Re:Fucking Faggotry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363585)

Please take your own advice and die already. You won't be missed by no one.

Asshole.

Nothing against Ebert but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363491)

I don't need someone else to decide if I'm going to like or not like something. I know critics serve a purpose but I take in a small enough quantity of prepackaged Hollywood slop that I tend to just find out for myself instead of looking to public opinion for approval.

Re:Nothing against Ebert but... (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#43363579)

I know this will come as a shock to many of you, but there once was a time before the Internets, when people had to decide, almost in a vacuum, whether a certain new movie was worth the money or not. Siskel and Ebert were one of the few reliable sources of decent information about new movies. And once you got to know them, you would know "Well, Gene liked it, but Roger didn't, (or whatever) so it probably is/isn't for me".

Re:Nothing against Ebert but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363913)

I watch Movie Bob's reviews on The Escapist quite a bit. There is more to a good movie review than a shallow score. He goes into various aspects of what movies represent and provide background knowledge to better enjoy the movie. Bob Chipman's work is gold as a reviewer and he stays busy with other projects, such as lecturing on aspects of geek culture.

FINALLY (-1, Troll)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about a year ago | (#43363533)

I just went into my roommate's room and double fistpounded because of this.

Re:FINALLY (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43363647)

Hopefully, he used vaseline on you, jerk.

Re:FINALLY (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about a year ago | (#43363735)

...I have to admit that was a pretty sick burn.

A huge loss (2)

drewm1980 (902779) | about a year ago | (#43363589)

It seems that http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/ [suntimes.com] is melting under the pressure of people trying to read one last Roger Ebert review. I spent over a decade at university in Urbana-Champaign, and the Roger Ebert film festival was a yearly pleasure. I have especially fond memories of Ebert interviewing Werner Herzog on stage after a showing of Invincible.

Re:A huge loss (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43363755)

Ebert should be given a helluva lot of credit for waving the flag for many years for Herzog, who really is one of the most daring and brilliant filmmakers in history. I suspect Werner will be grieving very much for him. If you want to read how just deeply Ebert admired Herzog, this is the open letter he wrote to Herzog upon hearing that Encounters At The End Of The World had been dedicated to him:

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071117/PEOPLE/71117002 [suntimes.com]

Re:A huge loss (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363813)

I am ashamed to say I was reading _just last night_ about this year's EbertFest and I thought to myself : "not this year, it's in a few weeks and it's too much trouble. I might go next year."

If nothing else, his death has reinforced in me the idea that you have to take life's opportunities when they present themselves. Waiting is a fool's game.

Steak & Shake (1)

JeffElkins (977243) | about a year ago | (#43363591)

He had a great love for the Steak and Shake hamburger chain, and wrote a lengthy essay about their food, available here:

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/01/car_table_counter_or_takhomasa.html/ [suntimes.com]

This was written after his first surgery, when he could no longer take food orally. He recommended having the burger with mustard, ketchup and onion only, to better savor the meat. Great essay by a wonderful writer. Great burgers too. I always order a modified Ebert, leaving off the ketchup :)

Old school criticism (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43363629)

Something of a lost art in every genre, from restaurants to sports radio. The critics have become hyperbolic bomb-throwers because vitriol sells more papers and attracts more eyeballs. Second, he was a film connoisseur and enjoyed the art AND the craft of film making. I remember one review where he slammed the director for being lazy with fake snow and just dropping it in front of the lens!

I worked my way through the AFI greatest list a few years back and I've gained a whole new appreciation for film and Ebert was one of the exemplars of how to watch and enjoy film. I believe this was his quote (paraphrased). You judge a movie by what it's trying to do and not against some universal standard.

Ebert was a demi-god. (4, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | about a year ago | (#43363695)

Ebert had a plain common-man love for the movies, but he was, at the same time, a sophisticated critic.

I'll miss him.

First Siskel, now Ebert (2)

kawabago (551139) | about a year ago | (#43363833)

How many good journalists do we have to lose to cancer before we stop asking people to watch Hollywood carcinogens?

Very sad news... and terrible ad placement. (2)

kgoods (971330) | about a year ago | (#43363867)

Unfortunate ad placement [imageshack.us]

Re:Very sad news... and terrible ad placement. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43364397)

I don't understand how that's suppose to be funny. He's dead, and there's an advertisement for a yellow shirt with the stay puft marhsmellow man and godzilla holding hands as they look upon a decimated city and hold hands.

Are you saying Roger Ebert was a godzilla?

Re:Very sad news... and terrible ad placement. (2)

kgoods (971330) | about a year ago | (#43364477)

Or.... it could have been the two "thumbs up" .... what? Too soon? I'm sure Roger would appreciate the humor. Or maybe I just got whooshed... yeah, probably more likely.

One of two thumbs up worth more... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43363923)

His was one of two "thumbs up" worth more than *all* the thumbs on FaceBook.

He did what he loved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43364003)

I may not have always agreed with you, sir, but you did what you loved for the majority of your life. That's more that can be said for most of us.

RIP.

Well this sucks (1)

gijoel (628142) | about a year ago | (#43364005)

First Ian Banks has terminal cancer [iain-banks.net] . Now Ebert dies.

'Eel, Foamy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43364081)

Anybody remember the National Lampoon comic strip take on At the Movies? They violently dismember each other. Hilarious shit. "You don't deserve a thumb!" The Fat Guy kicking the bucket made me think of all those NL comics, Hercules Amongst the North Americans etc. Shame to have lost both him and The Other Guy now.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (3, Interesting)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#43364229)

When I first saw this I wondered what sort of demented hack could write such trash. Then I learned roger Ebert wrote it. So I decided that it was a work of genius.

Re:Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43364445)

AH! And there you have it, your comment is so true of our human community that its truth make my ears bleed. I await the coming apocalypse and the end to our blight on this solar system.

An entertaining, gifted critic. That's it. (1)

Loosifur (954968) | about a year ago | (#43364367)

I'm a little surprised to see the outpouring for Roger Ebert, frankly. I never wished the man ill, and I really enjoyed his work as a critic. Let's remember that this is the same guy who said that video games could never be art, which is fine as it's his opinion, but it's just a little more myopic than I'd expect to see Slashdotters ignore. Still, a matter of opinion. However, when he immediately made cracks about the death of Ryan Dunn following his death, he fell to a level of tastelessness and cruelty that was absolutely unacceptable. It's hard to feel an excess of sympathy for the passing of someone who went out of his way to cast aspersions on the recently deceased.

Re:An entertaining, gifted critic. That's it. (2)

JabberWokky (19442) | about a year ago | (#43364593)

So you're against how he attacked somebody immediately following their death. I see. Tell me more about his -- in your words -- "tastelessness and cruelty" he demonstrated by doing so...

Goodbye old friend. (1)

Nov8tr (2007392) | about a year ago | (#43364387)

I will miss him. I always did enjoy his reviews. He was more of the common man reviewer than his partner was. I'm 59 now and see too many friends and familiar faces disappearing. Goodbye and thank you for all the years of your service. My condolences to your family.

Great Writing made him a better critic (4, Informative)

canadian_right (410687) | about a year ago | (#43364419)

Not only did Mr. Ebert love movies, but he could WRITE. His reviews were not just excellent and insightful movie reviews, but generally good, to very good prose. This made reading his often lengthy reviews a delight, not a chore.

Did you know Mr. Ebert was also a great fan of written SF? I did not until he recently wrote a guest column for Asimov's Science fiction. It was a warm, charming essay that showed off his writing skills in a whole new light for me who had only ever read his movie reviews.

Re:Great Writing made him a better critic (3, Interesting)

binarstu (720435) | about a year ago | (#43364533)

Not only did Mr. Ebert love movies, but he could WRITE. His reviews were not just excellent and insightful movie reviews, but generally good, to very good prose. This made reading his often lengthy reviews a delight, not a chore.

Exactly. When I'm curious about a film I've not yet watched, I almost always look for Ebert's review first. I also like reading his reviews after I've seen a movie -- even if I disagree with his conclusions, I feel like I learn something from his insightful and interesting commentary. It's really sad that he's no longer with us.

Here's hoping that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43364525)

...Gene Shalit does the eulogy.

Damn, Cancer, You Scary!!! (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about a year ago | (#43364669)

Didn't he say yesterday something like: "Hey,I have cancer AGAIN... gonna take some time off, talk to ya soon."

Then BOOM! he kicked-off the next day!!?

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