Friday, April 05, 2013

R.I.P., Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert, the very first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize, passed away yesterday. He had announced on Tuesday that he was taking a "leave of presence" as they had discovered his cancer had returned and he was going to undergo further chemotherapy. He died two days later.

I had always held a soft place in my heart for Roger, for he was the critic who came closest to my own feelings about movies. What he liked, I enjoyed; what he disliked, I generally wouldn't spend money on seeing.

How did I discover this? By using the WiseGeek website, where they have a database of critics and their reviews of movies. Here's how it works: They have a list of movies here, and you personally rate each movie you've seen. Then they compare your ratings of those movies with their database list and match you up with a movie critic who has also rated those movies similarly to your scores.

It's that easy.



From his review of "The Brown Bunny": I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than The Brown Bunny.
"No good movie is too long and no bad movie is too short."
From his review of "Mad Dog Time": Mad Dog Time is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time ... [it] should be cut into free ukulele picks for the poor. 
"If a movie is really working, you forget for two hours your Social Security Number and where your car is parked."
From his review of "Armageddon": Whatever they're charging to get in, it's worth more to get out.
"Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."
From his review of "Freddy Got Fingered": This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.
"Every great film should seem new every time you see it."
From his review of "Crocodile Dundee": I've seen audits that were more thrilling.
"Yes, I was fat, but I dealt with it by simply never thinking about it. It is useful, when you are fat, to have a lot of other things to think about."
From his review of "A Lot Like Love": To call A Lot Like Love dead in the water is an insult to water.

From his review of "The Last Airbender": The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented.

From his review of "Seven Days In Utopia": I would rather eat a golf ball than see this movie again.
 In his last public statement, on his blog, he had reminisced about the beginning of his film criticism career, some 46 years earlier. He summarized by saying, "So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies." 

Mark's Musings is published on a periodical basis - right now on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays - but that may change without notice. Find me on Twitter at This blog is considered to be a digital periodical publication and is filed as such with the U.S. Library of Congress; ISSN 2154-9761. I understand that Gene Siskel is waiting, and has saved Roger a seat on the aisle.

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