Roger Ebert. 1942 – 2013
Film critic Roger Ebert passed away last week and I wanted to make some comments. In the 80s and 90s At the Movies with Siskel and Ebert was a staple of my TV viewing. As a film buff I enjoyed watching or reading the reviews of current movies and Siskel and Ebert were my two favorites. In some ways this blog would not be here if it were not for the influence of Roger Ebert. Watching their shows and reading his articles and then website, raised my interesting in reviewing movies myself. In 1999 I began writing reviews for movies, music and books on Amazon.com. As my renewed interest in science-fiction movies grew writing a blog to post my reviews was a natural step.
One of the things I enjoyed about Ebert’s work was his ability to articulate his views in an intelligent manner but also in a way that we all could understand and relate to. He was a film critic that enjoyed the movies the rest of us enjoyed and he was not a film snob. He also enjoyed artistic and obscure films but did not always indicate that these films were always superior to the films Hollywood produced. I found his reviews to be balanced and even when I didn’t agree with him he often spoke as if you knew that his words were his opinion only and a universal fact about a movie.
That was one of the things that I admired most about him. A reviewer I understood that his words were a subjective opinion and not anything more. That is one of the things I try to convey in my writing, that my words are only my opinion and that other views are welcome.
I want to have one last rant. 🙂 I never cared for the thumbs up or thumbs down on reviewing a movie. To me movies have never been an all or nothing event. A movie can have many things going wrong with it and yet there are times I can still find much to enjoy. I don’t think the thumbs up or thumbs down type of review can give out that type of information.
RIP Roger. Thanks for your work and the inspiration!