Roger Ebert is dead...

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Admiral Buzzkill, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    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.
     
  2. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Pingfah

    Pingfah Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    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.
     
  5. Random_Spock

    Random_Spock Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  6. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon TheSeeker Premium Member

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    Yes, that really struck me too. The poor man couldn't even get that one small thing.
     
  7. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  9. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    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.
     
  10. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    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.
     
  11. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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
     
  12. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    You're confusing a movie critic with a news reporter and expecting impartiality where none is required.
     
  13. Pingfah

    Pingfah Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    ETA: Beaten :lol:
     
  14. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    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).
     
  15. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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
     
  16. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Your opinion is dumb.
     
  17. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    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: Apr 5, 2013
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Absolutely.
     
  19. Ovation

    Ovation Vice Admiral Admiral

    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.
     
  20. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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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