Has Ebert Lost it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Scarpa, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Maybe he's been hanging around that rube partner of his too long. I really used to trust this guys opinion, but lately his reviews have been assanined. He accosted AOTC for things he glowed about with Phantom Menace. He spent more time talking about Digital Movie making than on the film itself. Now his Scooby DOO review is all about how he is ill prepared and not the target audience for this film so he cannot review it. SO What, review te damn movie. Now I have no illusions that somehow Scooby Doo is a good film, but what does that matter? How does that free Ebert from actually reviewing the film itself? I will still read Eberts reviews but I definately won't make it a deciding facor on whether I See a movie or not.
     
  2. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I just read his review...and yet it does suck. I don't know if he's lost it, but his Scooby Doo, AOTC, and Spidey have been a far cry from the Ebert of old.
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Ebert's not been the same since Siskel passed away. He was spot on for Mulholland Drive, though.
     
  4. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

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    I don't think Ebert has "lost it", he just took a different approach to reviewing several films. These films just happen to be an insanely huge part of pop culture and he realizes that any review of these films will have little bearing on whether a person chooses to see the film or not.

    As for his discussion of the digital aspect of Star Wars, I think he did the right thing in discussing it. Ebert is a man that has devoted almost his entire life to the love of films. And along comes what is possible the greatest change to cinema in his lifetime: a movie shot entirely digitally and then projected digitally. Whether this is a good or bad thing, I would expect Ebert to discuss this. Quite frankly, I was far more interested in hearing his views on this part of the movie than how he felt about the origins of Bobba Fett.

    If you read other reviews that he has written recently, i think you will find that he reviews in much the same way he has in past years.
     
  5. Derek Bang

    Derek Bang Stunt Coordinator

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    Ebert is becoming more of a snob than a critic, in my opinion. I'm already outspoken on this topic, but he continues to validate my beliefs. I miss Siskel. Ebert is so knowledgeable - I wish he would put more effort into his work these days.
     
  6. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    Actually I don't see him as not reviewing a film that he isn't the core for as a problem.

    I honestly have no use for reviews and I like to make my mind up on my own as to whether or not I want to watch a movie. Keep in mind how many reviews this man has done and said it was a stinker or bomb, yet people loved it. This man is resonsible for the bomb known as Beyond The Valley of the Dolls.

    I really feel that the sole reason for this man reviewing is the simple fact that he himself couldn't cut it in the business. Just like the old saying of those that can't do teach...in his case...those that can't make a carreer in Hollywood spend their lives recking havoic on those that make films by their shit reviews.

    I honestly don't think that simply because you review a film, should you be able to review all types of film. This is the same way I feel about the MPAA. Reviewers and the MPAA when they sit and review "Disney's Beauty and The Beast" should not be the same governing factors that review and demand cuts on "House of 1000 Corpses."

    In closing, if he isn't going to give a proper review to Scooby...then he shouldn't review it. I applaud him for maybe finally having a backbone.
     
  7. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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  8. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    I've been extremely disappointed in his review efforts of late, maybe he's been having a bad summer or something? This is not a matter of me reading the reviews and disagreeing, but rather reading little blurbie things that didn't even pretend to be reviews.
    If he didn't watch Scooby Doo, don't review it. If he's going to rant about Digital and the Death of Film, do that in an article and review Attack of the Clones in the, you know, REVIEW. His Spider-man review was pathetic as well, clearly demonstrating he'd not actually watched the film.
    Do or do not, there is no try. Yoda taught me that. [​IMG]
     
  9. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    I quess Chuck that you have not heard that statement before. It was not a crack on teachers. It was not to compare the value of a critic to a teacher.

    What it was a way of stating that those that live in glass house should not throw bricks. And he has done that an awful lot...and it has been unneeded on many levels. Maybe if he had actually contributed something to Hollywood other than a camp piece of trash, I would be able to take him seriously when he tries to say what movies suck and which ones are great.

    My statement still stands though...if a movie reviewer is noted for mainstream love affairs with movie ratings, he then should not be the same that hates a genre and tells other people that they should as well. He has done that many times in relation to horror films. He himself finds little merit in them, but has based a life reviewing them to spread is gospel about his feelings for them. This is wrong. Reviewers are no impartial. They are very biased. He is a perfect example.

    His honesty about not being able to properly review a film is the step in the right direction. To bad there has been a history of films that he hasn't felt this way about and suffered from those that believe what he says as to whether or not they can make their own movie going decisions.
     
  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    If it wasn't a "crack" on teachers, what was it? And why apply the saying to critics if you didn't intend some sort of comparison? (BTW, I've heard the quote before, and I even know who wrote it. Learned that from a teacher.)
    M.
     
  11. Paul Jenkins

    Paul Jenkins Supporting Actor

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  12. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

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    Since when was developing your own opinion deemed to be in poor taste? Whenever I read Ebert's reviews, whether or not I agree, I at least come away with the understanding that he formulated his own opinion. And he does so with years of film experience from which to draw. That doesn't mean his reviews will always be masterpieces, but it does mean they will always be honest.
    I also find it funny that Ebert would be compared to the MPAA, seeing his fervent dislike of their methods. He frequently lambastes them in his reviews of films the group has deemed unfit for public consumption. And he has never told anyone to hate any kind of film, he merely points out which he likes over others.
    On a sadder note, he has also never shied away from the fact that he misses Gene Siskel more than most anyone, and that it may have altered his craft. Siskel did have a positive, calming influence on him, and their synergy together has yet to be repeated.
    But I have to ask: Besides the obvious "Because speech is free" answer, how many of us truly have the voluminous experience within the field of film, and film criticism (both analytical and commercial), to truly be able to deride and perfunctorily ostracize someone who has successfully been plying his craft for over twenty years? We have to ask ourselves. Is it simply because his opinion doesn't fall in line with ours? Is it because he wants film to stay a celluloid medium? Is it because he understood that although he didn't have the talent it takes to write a successful screenplay, he still wanted to make some kind of contribution to the medium? If that is the case, be sure to belittle and minimize yourselves for every thing you've ever tried to do in your lives, but were not successful. Make sure you refer to your careers as "what you decided upon when you couldn't cut it." I'm not trying to be mean, but just trying to explain that Ebert is a human being, too. And as such he is neither perfect, nor is he unbiased. And I'm sure that he could do a much better job at defending himself than my feeble attempt. He is just like us, except he gets paid good money to voice his opinions. Now how does that make him wrong?
     
  13. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    The essays he has written, the reviews he writes, how he can consistently deconstruct narrative and plot elements, his insight into the medium - and so on and so forth. And by most directors...I mean most directors, not all. Most directors in Hollywood don't know squat about filmmaking, as evidenced by 80% of what we see. And the art of film is more than just directing...wouldn't you agree?
    Read the intro to his latest book...he has the big picture. It doesn't mean you have to agree with his reviews.
    Sincerely,
    Chuck
     
  14. John_VI

    John_VI Second Unit

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    Derek - I haven't watched Ebert in a long time, but I always thought Siskel was much more of a snob than Ebert. Siskel was always enamoured with the "high brow" movies and had very little regard for actions or sci-fi. Of course, that doesn't make him much different than most other critics, I guess!! But Siskel's attitude always seemed to be one of talking down to movie goers. He always turned me off. Ebert always seemed much more "genuine" in his manner.
     
  15. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    But you are sitting here stating that he has the right to say basically what ever he wants and that it is his thoughts and we should respect that. That works the other way as well.

    You are correct...I have no use for reviewers. I find them to be trivial and often hell bend to sway other people to agree with them. I also feel that all to often many reviewers make up their minds as to how to review a film before they see it.

    I have the right to feel that way that I do about him and his position just as you have yours about them. Have I said that any of you are wrong...no I haven't.

    I wish the man no harm, and I hope that he has many more films ahead of him. I am sorry if I offend you by my post, but I am sorry, those are my thoughts. I thought that is why we are here. To be able to express our thoughts. Many times here things have been said that I don't agree with or believe personally, at the same time, I respect those people and their reasons to feel the way they do.

    (And as far as the teacher quote...I didn't write the quote, no...I simply used like many other quotes in life. I am not responsible for how you take it. I have friends that are teachers and they are very smart. At the same time, some haven't the common since to come in like a turkey from the rain...did I just offend turkey's now?)
     
  16. BradG

    BradG Stunt Coordinator

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    I would have to agree with a couple of the previous posters.
    His AOTC review was horrible. I haven't seen the movie yet, but his review gave me absolutely no insights into the movie plotwise. All he talked about was that he thought it looked bad because it was shot in digital.

    He didn't talk about the performances, plot, special effects, only the digital and how bad it looked. Even with Spiderman (which I also have yet to see) he focused on the CGI Spiderman and how he didn't feel that they had him quite down yet (with regards to the look of his weight - ie. when he jumps or swings through the air). Very uninformative generally.

    He can give great reviews, but in these two instances he didn't give a good fleshed out review. Perhaps its a time constraint of TV - I don't know.
     
  17. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

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    Must...resist...urge to play...English teacher...irony...mounting...
     
  18. BradG

    BradG Stunt Coordinator

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    John,
    Why are you talking like William Shatner???
     
  19. mike martin

    mike martin Stunt Coordinator

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    Since Ebert is a human being with opinions (educated opinions yes; but opinions nontheless) we will disagree with him from time to time. Also, Ebert reviews all movies from a perspective that you may not be aware of. His four star rating is not an absolute. In general he reviews childrens movies against the best of childrens movies; genre movies agains genre movies, etc. So when he gives a great indie film three stars and you notice that Tomb Raider got three stars as well, he is not saying that Tomb Raider is as good of a film in general than the indie film.

    That being said I'll throw in my feeling about why it seems that Ebert isn't as good as he used to be, and it's Siskel. I can only identify a handfull of two thimbs up movies from those guys that I didn't love as well; but seperately, if only one of them liked it, the odds of me enjoying it went down pretty fast. Also, I personally enjoyed the films that Siskel liked more than Eberts choices. We may not have known it at the time; but that duo was one of the all time great things in entertainment. It can't be duplicated; like Harry Karrey and Steve Stone. Once Harry died, that was it. Cubs games never seemed the same and Stone figured it out pretty quick and retired. I'm not saying that Ebert should retire; he definetly has a lot of great things to say about movies; but his reviews are lesser than the whole that was siskel and ebert. And don't even get me started with Roeper.

    As for Eberts Sun Times reviews, too often he gets caught up with a particular thing within the movie and his review gets bent towards it; for better or worse. When Angolina Jolie is in a flick you can go ahead and add one star to the movie just for that; her breasts mesmorize him. Sometimes he just can't sit and watch the movie. He sees something in the movie and then reflects everything else he sees off of that. It's a flaw in his review process. But I still read all of his reviews becasue I know that more often than not I will learn something about movies I didn't know. I especially enjoy reading reviews of movies I've seen and enjoyed; just to see if there is something he saw that I missed.
     
  20. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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