View Full Version : R.I.P. Roger Ebert

Ian Jane
04-04-2013, 03:53 PM
Newspapers count as books and comics, right? Not sure where else to put this.

This has been a shitty month for celebrity passings. I knew Ebert wasn't in good health but it's still sad to see him go. As often as I disagreed with him on all sorts of stuff, the guy was a great writer and he knew his stuff.


Even if you hated him as a critic, the guy wrote three of Russ Meyers best movies.

R.I.P., Ebert!

04-04-2013, 03:55 PM
I agree with what Ian said. I give Ebert's passing a thumbs down.

Andrew Monroe
04-04-2013, 04:12 PM
Just heard this on the radio a few minutes ago. I knew it was coming when he announced his cancer had returned. Fuck cancer. I loved the old PBS show, always looked forward to the Dog of the Week as it would usually be something I wanted to see. I read and reread Ebert's reviews of THE VANISHING (the original) and HENRY, dreaming of the day I could finally see them. He was off the mark a lot but he also championed plenty of under-the-radar films like those two. RIP

Alex K.
04-04-2013, 04:23 PM
It's big enough news that I'd move it to the General forum.

My reaction is just wow. That's the end of celebrity critics. Rex Reed isn't doing anything, same with that dude with puns (Gene Shalit I think). A lot of respect for the guy's journalism and working with Russ Meyer. As far as his reviews... Man he hit that fanboy rage inside me more than I would like to admit. I remember when I was 13/14 and he shat on Fulci's The Beyond and dismissed his other films like Don't Torture A Duckling and Lizard in a Woman's Skin because they had alternate titles without ever watching them. I boycotted him until I was 16/17 and watching him and Roeper because I lacked cable TV and at home internet and wanted to see what upcoming films were coming up. I still remember an episode where he and Roeper reviewed Gaspar Noe's Irreversible and Ebert got on his soapbox and said the film wasn't pornography (gee, I wonder what picture he was referencing...) and I believe gave it a thumbs down but still tepidly recommended it.

He was probably the only mainstream critic to have an understanding of horror and exploitation films and didn't outright condemn most of them. But his reviews were still all over the place. Example: http://rogersworst.wordpress.com/

I never personally hated the guy though. He seemed pretty down to earth and interesting to chat with.

Zane C.
04-04-2013, 04:41 PM
I posted this at AVM, and I'll repost it here:

Crappy. First Jess Franco, then Roger Ebert.

RIP, Mr. Ebert. Thanks for all the reviews.

One of my prized movie books is Ebert's FOUR STAR MOVIE REVIEWS, which I got free when I bought blank VHS tapes at Woolco, waaaaaay back in the day, when I was a kid. I still have that book, and it prompted me to seek out all the great movies in that book. As my cinematic tastes broadened, I disagreed with some of his reviews, but I always remembered the great info and reviews in that book. Thanks for the inspiration.

ETA: and any guy that wrote with, and worked with the mighty Russ Meyer definitely deserves much respect.

Johnny Stickman
04-04-2013, 04:44 PM
I would say no one has influenced my outlook on cinema more than Ebert. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls has it's spot as something that warped my early adolescence. He helped me create my own personal and critical view of film that I never possessed before. It was a passive viewing experience for mr and then, boom, here is a guy who tells me there is more thought to it. On both an intellectual and personal level, movie watching is more than just the passive, "oh, that was a good one, move onto the next movie, forget the last" kind of deal. I don't read his work much these days, but he has his place. Rest in piece, man.

paul h.
04-04-2013, 05:02 PM
I didn't always agree with him, but he was a fine writer and critic. I still learn a lot by reading his reviews. He will be missed.

04-04-2013, 05:12 PM
RIP, duder. Thanks for the mammeries.

Alex K.
04-04-2013, 05:41 PM

Also this:


04-04-2013, 06:17 PM
Fuck, this has been a shitty week on this front.

I don't know that any single person has been more influential on my love of cinema than Roger Ebert. When I was a kid I watched movies all the time, just like now, but I had no conception that some movies were better than others, or what made them so, or how to talk about what made movies work. Then I started watching Siskel and Ebert. I started watching it just because they had clips of upcoming movies and I wanted to see those. But watching that show changed how I watched everything else. It gave me a way of thinking about movies, a way of talking about them that I didn't have before. And, as an added bonus they talked about all sorts of movies that were never gonna make it to my suburban Texas theater. Let me know that the world of cinema was much bigger than I realized. It was watching that show that I came to think of seeking out the great stuff in the far corners of the cinematic universe as part of the fun.

I know what Alex means when he says that Ebert could really instigate fanboy rage -- I've read countless reviews of genre pics from him where he was dismissive in ways that I felt betrayed a lack of understanding of the genre. And countless others that I just plain disagreed on. But then again, I've also read plenty of reviews where he had just the right turn of phrase or point of analysis that allowed me to understand a film I'd had difficulty appreciating before.

Hell, even when he was way off base and bashing movies that were worth our time, he STILL had a huge influence on me. I watched the Scream Factory release of Phantasm II this weekend, and was reminded of being 10 years old and seeing Siskel and Ebert review that film. Their objections to it convinced me that there was something exciting and dangerous about it and made it the movie I MOST wanted to see.

Anyway, I've rambled on enough...Roger Ebert, for all that I'd never met him, had a special place in my life. Coming so quick after Franco. Damn, I need a drink.

Mark Tolch
04-04-2013, 07:49 PM
I'll echo the sentiment that I sometimes wondered what in the hell he was thinking when he trashed films that I liked, but he was thorough for the most part. Somebody today said "This will be the last time in history the passing of a film critic makes the national news" and they're probably right.


04-04-2013, 08:05 PM
Two thumbs down for this news!


Barry M
04-04-2013, 09:41 PM
RIP, Roger, you watched a shitload of movies. Good work.

Dom D
04-04-2013, 09:43 PM
Didn't get Siskell and Ebert in Australia but I've been reading his reviews for years. He wasn't the most knowledgable critic and he could be absolutely frustrating in his views at times but damn it if I haven't grown fond of him over the years. A wordsmith of rare talent. RIP.

04-05-2013, 12:09 AM
Didn't get Siskell and Ebert in Australia but I've been reading his reviews for years. He wasn't the most knowledgable critic and he could be absolutely frustrating in his views at times but damn it if I haven't grown fond of him over the years. A wordsmith of rare talent. RIP.

Pretty much spot on ...In fact Ebert himself often responded to critics by saying that his show wasnt high art or in depth reviewing....Enjoyable to watch though!..(talkign about when he was with SISKEL, not the pale imitations that came later..)

04-05-2013, 12:36 AM
It sucks that Vincent Gallo finally killed Ebert.