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Old April 5 2013, 10:58 PM   #91
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

I do agree that the film does bring these questions to light, but he didn't mention universal health care in his review until he signed off it at the end, not did he balance it (the way most good writers should) with at least a hint of why we shouldn't have UHC in this country. This might strengthen his point. There is more than one perspective, and to make like that at the end without balance I felt wasn't in keeping with good writing. Again, stylistically, it just felt like a jab and he was looking to write it somewhere and, hey this was the perfect film to do it
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Old April 5 2013, 11:05 PM   #92
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

You're confusing a movie critic with a news reporter and expecting impartiality where none is required.
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Old April 5 2013, 11:06 PM   #93
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Uhh, good writing has nothing to do with being balanced. You are thinking of objective journalism. I don't remember that in his job description though, he is by definition, an opiner.

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Old April 5 2013, 11:26 PM   #94
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Ebert had no business hinting why we shouldn't have universal health care in the United States, since he thought we should have it. There's a reason he was known as the most powerful pundit in the United States, and it wasn't a reticence to offer his opinion (which would have been silly, since that was job).
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Old April 5 2013, 11:28 PM   #95
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Look, it's my opinion. The jab at the end of that review had little to do with the movie itself. Sure, it seems like it does, but it just seemed a bit preachy. That's okay. I still love most of his wriitng
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Old April 5 2013, 11:31 PM   #96
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Look, it's my opinion. The jab at the end of that review had little to do with the movie itself. Sure, it seems like it does, but it just seemed a bit preachy. That's okay. I still love most of his wriitng
Your opinion is dumb.
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Old April 5 2013, 11:43 PM   #97
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Until today I'd never read Ebert's review of EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES. Flying Spaghetti Monster pointed out that was one of numerous political jabs he'd written. I think this is a trend of his recent years as opposed to his entire written run. If you read a sampling or the entirety of Ebert's 2011 Movie Guide, you'll see FSM's point. I can think of 20-30 similar entries, but short attention spans might not warrant the list.

Obviously all opinion writers and public figures in general are entitled to their wordage and can all be accorded respect. David Mamet has veered right of late as has Dennis Miller; Ebert has politicized his columns in ways not as apparent before 2000 or so. It's a reflection of the times, and their dissatisfaction with the opposition.

But newspapers on opposite wings, and critics on the left and the right squarely consider themselves mainstream centrist middle-of-the-road, even when it's clear to observers it's just the opposite. They might affirm being their a liberal, as Ebert did, but they will deny being biased due to their open-mindedness, quotes optional. Even though Ebert lambasted John McCain in his blog for not making sufficient eye contact with Barack Obama, then didn't take issue with Barack Obama's lack of same with Mitt Romney four years later. I can't consider that mainstream.

For that reason, I never understood why any newspapers should officially endorse ANY political candidate. An individual columnist, yes, but why leave the mainstream as a paper?

Last edited by foxhot; April 5 2013 at 11:47 PM. Reason: Thought Bruce cAMPBELL'S evil dead cameo was too brief
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Old April 5 2013, 11:54 PM   #98
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
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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Old April 6 2013, 05:05 AM   #99
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

foxhot wrote: View Post
Until today I'd never read Ebert's review of EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES. Flying Spaghetti Monster pointed out that was one of numerous political jabs he'd written. I think this is a trend of his recent years as opposed to his entire written run. If you read a sampling or the entirety of Ebert's 2011 Movie Guide, you'll see FSM's point. I can think of 20-30 similar entries, but short attention spans might not warrant the list.

Obviously all opinion writers and public figures in general are entitled to their wordage and can all be accorded respect. David Mamet has veered right of late as has Dennis Miller; Ebert has politicized his columns in ways not as apparent before 2000 or so. It's a reflection of the times, and their dissatisfaction with the opposition.

But newspapers on opposite wings, and critics on the left and the right squarely consider themselves mainstream centrist middle-of-the-road, even when it's clear to observers it's just the opposite. They might affirm being their a liberal, as Ebert did, but they will deny being biased due to their open-mindedness, quotes optional. Even though Ebert lambasted John McCain in his blog for not making sufficient eye contact with Barack Obama, then didn't take issue with Barack Obama's lack of same with Mitt Romney four years later. I can't consider that mainstream.

For that reason, I never understood why any newspapers should officially endorse ANY political candidate. An individual columnist, yes, but why leave the mainstream as a paper?
Taking a side is not "leaving the mainstream". That is a false dichotomy. Taking an extremist position (at either end of the political or ideological spectrum) would constitute "leaving the mainstream"--and none of Ebert's "political statements" comes close to qualifying as extremism.
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Old April 6 2013, 05:11 AM   #100
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Michael Medved - an avowed and fairly vocal right-winger with his own cinema, pop culture and political talk show - has said much more controversial and abrasive things than Roger Ebert did during his career, and hasn't been above injecting deliberate conservative political commentary into some of his discussions about the film industry and its product.

What do these guys think about Medved? Is he crossing boundaries he shouldn't?
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Old April 6 2013, 10:47 AM   #101
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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.
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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.

Also, that was something that needed to be said, especially for Americans like yourself (Flying Spaghetti Monster) who think that their health care system is the best on the planet; guess what, it isn't especially when medication like the one invented in the movie cost $300.00 USD just for a child to have while children in other countries, like Canada, are able to get it with no cost to them due to the national health care system that exists in those countries. No wonder he was pissy at the end of the review; I'd be like that, too, especially if you're suffering from cancer and have to pay a lot for treatment.

Something else about that movie bugs me (and also probably bugged Ebert too); the fact that the real life doctor that cured the disease was never portrayed in the movie, yet again because Hollywood can't seem to be able to cast an Asian actor in a role when said real life person is Asian, so TPTB decide to whitewash the person in question.

cooleddie74 wrote: View Post
Michael Medved - an avowed and fairly vocal right-winger with his own cinema, pop culture and political talk show - has said much more controversial and abrasive things than Roger Ebert did during his career, and hasn't been above injecting deliberate conservative political commentary into some of his discussions about the film industry and its product.
Medved also came out swinging at Captain America simply because of two graphic novels that were less than flattering to U.S. foreign policy with regards to Iraq and Afghanistan; check out his comments in this article (Captain America, Traitor?) and then get back to me about how opinionated Ebert was.

Last edited by Shaka Zulu; April 6 2013 at 11:03 AM.
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Old April 6 2013, 03:00 PM   #102
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
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?
To be fair - and I liked the movie better than Ebert did - no, not really. It's about developing and finding one fairly wealthy family a cure. The health care system doesn't really come into play because the protagonists' kids get into a free trial study, and the movie pretty much ends when the trial starts to work. Yes, there's a few other, poorer families featured, but the cost of the drug isn't really important if said drug doesn't even exist.

I'm all for discussions of politics in entertainment, and raising an eyebrow in the absence of same - IIRC, for example, Scrubs made a few mentions of health care iniquities early in its first season, and then pretty much ignored the issue for the next few years at least when you'd think the characters would have to grapple with it fairly regularly - but in the case of Extraordinary Measures, I think Ebert was a tad off-base. Still, I don't at all mind that he included that factoid in his review, and I find those who would censure a columnist for discussing the political implications of a movie to be full of it.



too many posters to count wrote:
I didn't agree with him all the time
Well, no shit, who would? And sometimes the guy was just plain wrong. I would absolutely love to say that The Golden Compass deserves a 4/4 star rating, but it simply doesn't. Tough beans; no one can win 'em all. (Except the guy in the mirror, of course. )


One thing I do know, however, is it'll be some time before I stop thinking "I wonder what Ebert'll say about this one" whenever a new movie comes out...
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Old April 6 2013, 04:27 PM   #103
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

I never said that the health care system in America is the best on the planet. Never never never. i personally think that the government shouldn't be taking care of us from cradle to grave, that's too much control, and costs will go up and freedoms will be curtailed, yadda yadda, tadda, but even if I supported UHC, I would still say that it was a debatable issue, and I was merely pointing out that his little ending to that review was shoehorned in!
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Old April 6 2013, 07:03 PM   #104
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

It's cute how many of the same people defending Ebert's politicizing his reviews are the same people who had a fit over the idea of Orson Scott Card writing Superman, despite the fact there's no evidence whatsoever that Card would insert his views into the comic book.
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Old April 6 2013, 07:29 PM   #105
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Re: Roger Ebert is dead...

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