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Old April 5 2013, 04:55 PM   #76
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

I will say that one thing I didn't like about his reviews, particularly in his later years, was how he bluntly infused his personal politic into his reviews. Check the last sentence of this one, which comes out of the blue, zings the reader, and leaves unchecked, with no sense of balance.
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Old April 5 2013, 04:58 PM   #77
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
I will say that one thing I didn't like about his reviews, particularly in his later years, was how he bluntly infused his personal politic into his reviews. Check the last sentence of this one, which comes out of the blue.
You know what? When you write an opinion piece, about anything, you're allowed to express your tastes and opinions. Ebert was a master essayist.

You can not "like" it, but he wasn't doing anything wrong or by mistake. If you think his remark about health care in that particular review was "out of the blue," you flunked the exercise.
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Old April 5 2013, 05:32 PM   #78
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Roger's politics never bugged me. I could have cared less what side of the spectrum he fell on because I didn't read or listen to his film reviews for what he thought about the political situation in the country or which candidate or side he felt more favorable toward.

I wanted to know if the movie was worth seeing or not. Have you read Michael Medved? The man's a far more political film reviewer than Ebert ever was.
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Old April 5 2013, 05:37 PM   #79
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
I will say that one thing I didn't like about his reviews, particularly in his later years, was how he bluntly infused his personal politic into his reviews. Check the last sentence of this one, which comes out of the blue.
You know what? When you write an opinion piece, about anything, you're allowed to express your tastes and opinions. Ebert was a master essayist.

You can not "like" it, but he wasn't doing anything wrong or by mistake. If you think his remark about health care in that particular review was "out of the blue," you flunked the exercise.
Precisely.

I became quite familiar with Ebert's reviews while in grad school (my thesis was on cinematic history and my research included a large dose of film criticism). I was, of course, familiar with his work before then, but in a casual way. I came to appreciate a number of aspects of his reviews--the way he judged films against their ambitions (rather than the oh so tedious "if it ain't Kurosawa it's crap" approach of many others I had to wade through); his writing style; his willingness to praise or skewer the same actor, director, screenwriter…based on the work being evaluated (generally, no one got a "pass" based on reputation alone); his sheer enthusiasm for the medium of film…

I did not always agree with his reviews (my disagreements were almost always about things he disliked that I enjoyed--but it was rare when I did not enjoy a film that he praised), but there is no other critic (dead or alive) I've read whose views more closely match my own about film. I can certainly make my own way through the cinematic world without someone to hold my hand, but I am saddened at the loss of a reliable guide to my cinematic enjoyment. I will also miss the deft wit of the author of "Thoughts on Bill O'Reilly and Squeaky the Chicago Mouse".
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Old April 5 2013, 05:57 PM   #80
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

cooleddie74 wrote: View Post
He lambasted Star Trek V back in 1989 and said some pretty biting and unflattering things about the film (but then it's difficult to find a critic who didn't) and I remember being taken aback at the time because it was the first Trek film he didn't like. In fact, he thought it was just plain terrible.

As time went by I came to recognize that most of his criticisms were valid and correct in spite of my personal attempts to make the fifth movie seem better than it was. Cheesy special effects: check. Villains (specifically the Klingons) you don't care about: check. Secondary supporting characters who are introduced with a lot of dialogue and setup and then given nothing to do: check. Sloppy direction from Shatner: check.
That was the beauty of Roger.

You could disagree with his points, you could like a movie he seemed to hate, but if you were honest about it all, you could see where he was coming from because you knew he was really watching & understanding the movies.

I think a lot of other reviews are based on more superficial viewings by people that are just trying to make a splashy sounding review.
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Old April 5 2013, 05:58 PM   #81
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Yeah, there's just no way a credible review of anything without imparting your own bias, opinions or politics into it. A bare review or summary is exactly that - a summary. Ebert excelled at sharing his opinions and the ideas that sprung forth from the interaction of those opinions and the movies he watched to review. It's something of a lost art form in this day and age of the blogosphere where just about anyone can write what they think constitutes a "review."

Besides, if anyone is going to have to kvetch about the electricity on the starship Enterprise, I'd think Ebert would have earned the right to do so ages ago.
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Old April 5 2013, 06:02 PM   #82
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Even as a kid I wondered why starships built three or four hundred years from now had such a bad and fragile power grid. Spock bumps into his science console and half the bridge goes up in a Fourth of July spectacular that Ray Charles could have seen.

Seatbelts....electricity....and let's not even get into the poorly designed ladders and winding staircases on some starships. For a supposedly quasi-utopian future it sure comes off as a deathtrap waiting to happen.
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Old April 5 2013, 06:08 PM   #83
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Sad that Ebert went the way he did, he had a pretty awful run of it those last few years. He'll be missed.

And it's funny how people never complain when someone proclaims political opinions they agree with. I'll warrant it's not really about disapproving of using such a platform for politics, it's about disapproving of the dissemination of opinions they don't want others to be influenced by.
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Old April 5 2013, 06:40 PM   #84
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Pingfah wrote: View Post
Sad that Ebert went the way he did, he had a pretty awful run of it those last few years. He'll be missed.
The saddest part of it to me is that literally two days before his passing he announced his stepping back from full-time reviewing, how excited he was to be reviewing films that he wanted to see, and closed by saying, "I'll see you at the movies." And then suddenly he was gone.

Fuck cancer.
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Old April 5 2013, 06:47 PM   #85
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Timby wrote: View Post
Pingfah wrote: View Post
Sad that Ebert went the way he did, he had a pretty awful run of it those last few years. He'll be missed.
The saddest part of it to me is that literally two days before his passing he announced his stepping back from full-time reviewing, how excited he was to be reviewing films that he wanted to see, and closed by saying, "I'll see you at the movies." And then suddenly he was gone.

Fuck cancer.
Agreed.

Just as he was going to do more reviews that he wanted to see . What a damn shame.

Definitely. Stuff is a real bastard.
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Old April 5 2013, 08:50 PM   #86
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Timby wrote: View Post
Pingfah wrote: View Post
Sad that Ebert went the way he did, he had a pretty awful run of it those last few years. He'll be missed.
The saddest part of it to me is that literally two days before his passing he announced his stepping back from full-time reviewing, how excited he was to be reviewing films that he wanted to see, and closed by saying, "I'll see you at the movies." And then suddenly he was gone.

Fuck cancer.
Yes, that really struck me too. The poor man couldn't even get that one small thing.
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Old April 5 2013, 09:18 PM   #87
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Yeah, there's just no way a credible review of anything without imparting your own bias, opinions or politics into it.
Yes, if that political viewpoint flows organically from the review. But this was not the case with this review. He spoke about the movie, and, whatever you may think about "universal health care in America" the controversy was alive at that time, and his little Democratic leaning jab at the end had nothing to do with the film itself. and I can cite a few of his other reviews that did the same.

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge
Ebert fan. i am saddened by his death. He was a master writer. But he did put his personal politics into his reviews in the later years to actually make some kind of statement that went beyond his actual job description.
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Old April 5 2013, 09:31 PM   #88
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
I will say that one thing I didn't like about his reviews, particularly in his later years, was how he bluntly infused his personal politic into his reviews. Check the last sentence of this one, which comes out of the blue, zings the reader, and leaves unchecked, with no sense of balance.
I didn't like him for his repeated comments that videogames could never be art, which struck me as incredibly dickish, as well as his weird views on violence in cinema that saw him dismiss Blue Velvet as crap while praising any number of mediocre post-Spielberg family movies for being wholesome and nice.

As a critic and writer he was mediocre, but I still felt really sorry for him when his health took the turn it did. This was a man that loved and lived movies. The world needs more people like that.
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Old April 5 2013, 09:41 PM   #89
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Yeah, there's just no way a credible review of anything without imparting your own bias, opinions or politics into it.
Yes, if that political viewpoint flows organically from the review. But this was not the case with this review. He spoke about the movie, and, whatever you may think about "universal health care in America" the controversy was alive at that time, and his little Democratic leaning jab at the end had nothing to do with the film itself.
Oh, so Extraordinary Measures is not about pharmaceutical companies developing a cure for Pompe Disease thanks to the fundraising efforts of a family with two children suffering from it? It's not about getting FDA approval and eventually disseminating the Pompe Disease drug around the world to cure the children suffering from it?

How is mentioning that universal health care as it exists in other countries would make it more affordable for families with children suffering from the disease an irrelevant issue to raise at the end of a review about a movie about health care? Seems like the comment had plenty to do with the larger subject matter of the film itself, even if it might not relate to that family's specific needs.
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Old April 5 2013, 09:42 PM   #90
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Yes, if that political viewpoint flows organically from the review. But this was not the case with this review. He spoke about the movie, and, whatever you may think about "universal health care in America" the controversy was alive at that time, and his little Democratic leaning jab at the end had nothing to do with the film itself. and I can cite a few of his other reviews that did the same.
The sentence in question: "It also sidesteps the point that the U.S. health-care system makes the cure unavailable to many dying children; they are being saved in nations with universal health coverage."

It is completely appropriate to discuss larger societal issues raised by a film's subject matter. He was saying he wished that a film on that topic had addressed that larger question rather than avoiding it. The reader's opinion on the issue is irrelevant; the point is, in Ebert's opinion, the issue deserves attention. It wasn't a jab, it was a critic doing his job.
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