We at RevPub love movies. We go to a lot of movies, buy a lot of movies, and watch a lot of movies on TV. Our love of the media made us especially sad to hear of the death of singular film critic Roger Ebert.
As I said in my Dreamlike Gaming post, it takes more than negativity to review movies. Roger Ebert loved movies. He had an undeserved reputation of being a “film snob” (this was more true of his partner Gene Siskel who died in 1999) but I’ve found this not to be true. He really loved movies and loved to watch them. He simply expected a lot of them, and when they failed to deliver never hesitated to tell us.
While many of the movies you’d expect him to dislike he happily obliged and those art house movies you’d expect him to gush over he often did, he could also surprise you by giving you a review of a film you’d expect him to hate and finding he loved it with a classic “this is the reason we go to the movies.” He could appreciate the deep themes of a terse drama as well as the big dumb fun of a well-made action film.
It is a pleasure to read his good reviews, whether you agree or disagree with him as he always give specific and valid reasons for his opinions. More fun, however, are his extremely negative reviews. When he hated (or hated, hated, hated) a movie; because he also had valid reasons for hating them and often had his sharpened pen ready to draw blood…
Roger Ebert showed us why film critics are a specific breed. He noticed aspects of films for his reviews after only his screening views I don’t notice until after repeated viewings and could make judgments using his epically deep knowledge of film history.
I’m incapable of describing the prowess of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with the proper acumen so I’ll let the man speak for himself. But the next time you go to a movie raise your 44oz soda, frozen coke, bucket of popcorn, or tray of nachos to the true loss of a real film institution.
Here’s to Roger Ebert. We’ll miss you at the movies.
Some incredible negative reviews:
Transformers Revenge of the Fallen
Reviews of some of my favorite films:
Negative review books:
I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie
A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length
Positive review books:
Roger Ebert’s Four Star Reviews