Posted by: ckckred | April 5, 2013

A Tribute To Roger Ebert

The famed film critic passed away yesterday

The famed film critic passed away yesterday

If I could name three major factors that started my interest in movies, they would be the movie Patton, director Stanley Kubrick, and film critic Roger Ebert.  I’ve been reading Ebert’s reviews as long as I can remember.  So I was pained and saddened to hear that Ebert, after celebrating his 46th year as film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times yesterday, passed away.  It had been only a day prior when Ebert announced he had cancer again, and that he planned to create a new website and discuss only a limited amount of films after writing a record 306 reviews in 2012.

Ebert is undoubtedly the most famous film critic of his generation and possibly of all time.  Throughout his career, he has always taken more risks than anyone else.  Unlike other major critics at time, Ebert had no formal background in movies but he possessed eloquent writing and superb knowledge that made him a legend.  Ebert has always been ahead of his time when writing reviews.  In his first year back in 1967, he praised Bonnie and Clyde, a movie reviled in its opening but later became known as a classic.  Similarly the following year, he championed 2001: A Space Odyssey, which also initially received mixed reviews but eventually became touted as one of the greatest films of all time.  Even as recently as 2011 has Ebert stood up for misunderstood movies.  He anointed The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick’s highly polarizing picture, on his top ten list of all time, next to the likes of Citizen Kane and La Dolce Vita.

But what made Ebert a celebrity was At The Movies, which he cohosted with Gene Siskel.  Siskel and Ebert reviewed many major films and some of the smaller pictures often pushed aside with their thumbs up and down system.  Without them, Hoop Dreams would have never become as major of a force as it did (Ebert later named it the best film of the 90s).  But what remained iconic about the show were their arguments over movies like Blue Velvet, Full Metal Jacket, The Silence of the Lambs, and, most infamously, Cop and a Half.

What I always admired about Ebert was his style of writing.  Ebert treated every release with equal respect, be it large or small.  He was a genius writer who gave his reviews wit and humor and never was elitest.  While I have disagreed with him a number of times, such as his two star review of A Clockwork Orange, Ebert has always remained my favorite critic.  He was tough, and even after he lost his jaw to cancer, he adapted to the social media better than no one and continued to spread his wise words.  No other critic has had the impact on the film world as Roger and I doubt no one ever will.  We’ll miss you Roger.

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Responses

  1. Excellent tribute to an amazing critic, he will be missed.

    • Thank you. He will.

  2. Beautifully written. He was a great critic. So sorry to hear that he passed away.

  3. A beautifully fitting tribute.

    • Thanks. Ebert will be missed.

  4. Very nice tribute. You put into words how I felt at Gene Siskel’s passing. I loved his style of criticism. When he and Roger were on screen together I was mesmerized. I grew up watching them and they played a major role in cultivating my love for movies.

    • Siskel and Ebert played a large part in crafting my love of movies as well. This pained me as much as when Gene died. They were two of the greatest critics of all time.

  5. So sad. My first introduction to Roger Ebert (and film criticism in general) was when he used to host the TV show “Sneak Previews” with Gene Siskel on PBS. This was even before “At the Movies.” He will be missed.

    • Ebert will. I still can’t believe he passed away…

  6. I disagreed with him a lot. He slated Home Alone for not having a realistic plot……..but he was the blogger I guess all us movie critics aspire to. Nice write up mate 🙂

    • Thanks. I looked up to Ebert throughout my whole life.

  7. Well said.

  8. I am so bummed out. He was certainly my first exposure to film criticism and people talking about film.

    • He really helped me get into film and without him I may not have watched plenty of classics.

  9. RIP Roger.

    B2B.

    • He will be missed.

  10. He certainly was one of the biggest influences on the world of film blogs and movie lovers. We’ll definitely miss him.

    • I would say he was as influential as any filmmaker. He will be missed.

  11. I cried so hard yesterday. Not gonna lie. This was one of the saddest days of my life, but I guess after all the operations he’d gone through– 😦 –it was a blessing in disguise.

    • Oh, I cried as well. I spent much of yesterday looking over his old reviews and watching clips of Siskel and Ebert.

      • 😦 It’s so heartbreaking to think that the first edition of “Movie Yearbook” that I ever received was the last would publish.

  12. Great tribute, man. I still can’t believe he’s gone.

    • Thanks. He was a great critic.

  13. Awesome tribute to Ebert. A thumb’s up!!! R.I.P. Roger.

    Love this one…”As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.” (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050811/REVIEWS/50725001)

    • Thanks. Love that review from Roger. I remember reading that Rob Schneider actually sent Roger flowers after that was published as a joke.


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