Things We Saw Today
The World Doesn't End Because the Doctor Dances
Ebertfest is the annual film festival for movies that the late film critic Roger Ebert held to showcase films that he felt were not getting their proper dues of attention, either from audiences or movie distributors. This year's festival, despite occurring mere weeks after his death, went off with aplomb. In this video Eberts wife Chaz Hammelsmith introduces Tilda Swinton, who leads the audience in... well, perhaps you should just watch.Read More
The man might have had some misguided notions about what is and is not art -- as evidenced by his personal crusade against video games -- but there's no denying the profound influence Roger Ebert (third from left) had on the world of movies as well as that of film criticism. So it is with heavy hearts that we relay this news: Roger Ebert is dead after a long and public feud with cancer.Read More
In mid-April, you may recall that Roger Ebert inspired the wrath of the entire Internet by writing that video games could never be art. There were some major problems with the process by which he arrived at that conclusion, not least because he hasn't actually played a video game made in the past decade: As Geekosystem's Susana Polo wrote at the time, "watching some gameplay footage and having someone explain the game’s basic concept to you is not a substitute for the experience of playing the game. I’m pretty sure Roger Ebert would never pass judgment on a song or a painting if he had only heard someone describe it; and he would never review a movie based on reading a few pages of the novelization. I wish he could have the same attitude towards games."
Maybe because he wanted to put the video game fracas behind him as we enter a new month, maybe just to extend a small and qualifier-laden olive branch, Ebert has written another long blog post clarifying his position on video games. He doesn't exactly recant or apologize for his previous post: he still believes that video games can't be "Art," but he says that it was a mistake to say so in the first place in the way that he did, without firsthand experience of modern gaming.Read More
In spite of our unease about some of its casting decisions, we've had high hopes for The Last Airbender, the M. Night Shyamalan-directed adaptation of the excellent cartoon series, which hits theaters on July 1st. But man ... it's been getting Jonah Hex-like abysmal reviews. It currently has a 00% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and Roger Ebert just dropped a review that gives The Last Airbender a half a star out of four and proceeds to tear the movie to shreds.Read More
Roger Ebert is one of the most beloved film writers of all time and, recently, as he’s bravely battled the effects of cancer and its treatment, the esteem people have for him has only gotten greater.
However, at the same time, he’s also been showing another side to his persona; a crotchety old man who refuses to acknowledge that video games could ever be considered an artform. While his views on video games are pretty indefensible (the computer animators who design the entire world and the writers who plot out the entire game aren’t artists?), there’s one area where his Luddite sensibilities are right on the money. In an article in the current Newsweek, Ebert claims that 3-D movies are nothing but a trashy gimmick whose only real purpose is to steal extra money from audiences and this writer, at least, thinks he’s 100% right.Read More
Despite -- or maybe because of -- the almighty publicity blitz that has accompanied the movie since December, Kick-Ass has been garnering surprisingly good reviews, with a 76% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 67% score on Metacritic: Not stratospheric numbers, mind you, but a surprise to some who had been following Kick-Ass' progression.
But one influential reviewer is dragging down those numbers, and the film's backers have to be taking notice: Roger Ebert. Ebert himself acknowledges that he tends to give higher-star reviews than most critics -- or even himself in his "first 10 or 15 years on the job" -- which makes his 1-star takedown of Kick-Ass, which he calls "morally reprehensible," all the more devastating.Read More
Maybe you've seen the trailer or vaguely get the premise of Hot Tub Time Machine, this weekend's release that combines such geeky obsessions as time travel, '80s nostalgia, and John Cusack. (The trailer is after the jump, just in case).
Four guys get into a hot tub and are sent back in time to a universe that still only knows Michael Jackson for his music. It's Bill and Ted with a more outlandish concept and less Keanu Reeves.
I've seen that trailer way too many times because, or at least I believe, that I'm the targeted demo of a 25-34 male who watches sports and Comedy Central too much. It should be my sense of humor, but I was doubting it:Read More