“At The Movies” with Siskel and Ebert was a must see in my house growing up. The surviving half of the duo, Roger Ebert, lost his battle with cancer yesterday, but he left a legacy of not only great movie reviews, but also grace while dealing with a horrific form of cancer.
Roger Ebert, the film critic who defined movie reviews in the age of television and then embraced Twitter with gusto, died after a long battle with cancer. He was 70. President Obama praised the critic in a statement after his death was reported. “For a generation of Americans – and especially Chicagoans – Roger was the movies. When he didn’t like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive – capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical. ”
When you are really honest when reviewing movies, you’re going to be wrong about some of them. Roger was no exception. It’s what made his reviews a must read, because he could go against public opinion. Here’s what he thought of some movies that would later become become classics:
“A Clockwork Orange” — “An ideological mess…It pretends to oppose the police state and forced mind control, but all it really does is celebrate the nastiness of its hero, Alex.”
“Dead Poets Society” — “It is, of course, inevitable that the brilliant teacher will eventually be fired from the school, and when his students stood on their desks to protest his dismissal, I was so moved, I wanted to throw up.”
“Fight Club” — “It’s macho porn — the sex movie Hollywood has been moving toward for years, in which eroticism between the sexes is replaced by all-guy locker-room fights. Women, who have had a lifetime of practice at dealing with little-boy posturing, will instinctively see through it; men may get off on the testosterone rush.”
“Full Metal Jacket” — “Many of the passages seem self-contained, some of them are masterful and others look like they came out of the bottom drawer. This is a strangely shapeless film from the man whose work usually imposes a ferociously consistent vision on his material.”
“Fast Times At Ridgemont High” — “How could they do this to Jennifer Jason Leigh? How could they put such a fresh and cheerful person into such a scuz-pit of a movie? Don’t they know they have a star on their hands?”
His battle with thyroid cancer made him incapable of talking, so he took to Twitter and was a tremendous tweeter, here’s some of his wisdom from the internet:
Self-help books are bullshit. Read a good book. That’ll help you.
You know, that song “My Way” has made a lot of assholes feel virtuous.
To a friend uncertain about moving: Every city you move to already contains friends of a lifetime you have not yet met.
Charlie Sheen made fun of my cancer because I dissed him in “Wall Street?” Dude, you ain’t *seen* me in attack mode.
Films that explain nothing often make everything clear. Films that explain everything often have nothing to explain.
(Via HuffPost, BuzzFeed, and MentalFloss)