How so? Reading the thread now, I can find nothing --nothing-- objectionable about the format of this thread.
Just the title. "Roget Ebert is dead..." strikes me as a bit of a cold way to address things as opposed to "Roger Ebert has passed away." or "RIP Roget Eber."
You don't 'get' what movie reviews are about, really, do you? Those "meaningless side issues" were exactly the kinds of things that you're supposed to find in movie reviews. It sounds more like you read his reviews hoping for summaries of the films. There's a marked difference between the two. And while yes, a good film review should offer some commentary on the technical stuff, the writing, etc. including the ideas and thoughts that a film might posit or elicit in its viewers is completely, totally ok and actually, I find, quite preferable.
Look, in my opinion
there were times when Ebert's review would get less about how good a movie was, how good the story it was or what issues it had and would go off in an odd tangent. He spent a good chunk of the "Insurrection" review talking about how he thinks electricity should work in a fictional future on a future space ship. He didn't like the movie, fine, I can understand that. A lot of people didn't. But he could've made his opinion based on something other the technical works of a starship's power system.
That's just one that sticks out in my mind the most, but there were other reviews where he'd find some little, nitpicky, thing about the movie or some detail and use that for a basis to discuss the problems the movie had, that it didn't measure up to how expected things like that to work. This isn't about lighting, direction or acting choices, but little nitpicky things.
All the same he was a great reviewer and enjoyed reading his reviews whether I agreed with him or not and it's sad he has passed away.