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Movie, reviews and Ratings by film Critic Roger, ebert, roger, ebert

Every time i've seen "Life Itself Ebert pal Rick kogan's hilarious exclamation "Fuck pauline kael!" brings the house down, but anybody's who's read kael knows there's a wee bit of misrepresentation going. A shot of kael's books on Roger's shelf doesn't communicate the depth of their kinship as smart populist film critics. . I'd hate to think that people who first hear of kael through "Life Itself" assume she was a margaret Dumont type when she was more like one of the Marx brothers: an anarchic force in a line of work that was pretty reserved until people like. (The two of them were among the only mainstream critics to recognize ". Bonnie and Clyde " as a masterpiece during its initial theatrical run.) In the context of the film's triumphs, these are quibbles. But they're still worth debating, out of respect for Roger's tendency to find flaws in other people's arguments and tug at them to see if they'd unravel. Advertisement, again, nothing I have to say here is detached, much less objective.

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"Life Itself" is less successful when it tries to examine what thesis Roger stood for as a critic. It's unabashed, as it should be, in its celebration of Roger (and Gene siskel) as democratizing forces in film appreciation. It shows how they championed small movies homework and unknown directors (including. Errol Morris and, gregory nava ) and inspired mainstream moviegoers to leave their comfort zones. But it falters when it recounts the. Film Comment point-counterpoint between Roger and, time, magazine film critic Richard Corliss, who accused Siskel and Ebert of dumbing down criticism, and then again when it brings in former Chicago reader critic Jonathan Rosenbaum to raise similar concerns. It seems to rebut them by pointing out all the careers they boosted, but it's a rebuttal to complaints that Corliss and Rosenbaum weren't exactly making. One gets the sense that Corliss and Rosenbaum are ivory-tower types making specious or wrongheaded and factually untrue gripes, when in fact they were making complex and admittedly messy arguments about what criticism should be, in print and. This is a problem of filmmaking rhetoric, not bad faith—the movie respects Corliss and Rosenbaum, and shows that they respected Roger, too—but it's still a problem. "Life Itself" also errs, i think, in indulging a bit of Windy city defensiveness when it portrays Andrew Sarris, pauline kael and other New York-based '60s and '70s critics as egghead types. Both in their hearts and in their prose, they were as direct and democratically-minded as Ebert.

We learn that Gene died of a brain tumor before roger had a chance to say goodbye to him, and that Roger, like most people in Gene's orbit, wasn't kept fully informed of his friend's health struggles, and that he later told Chaz that. Advertisement, the years following the removal of Roger's jaw produced some of his best, most personal writing, because the disfigurement made him redefine the idea of a writer's voice (after Roger lost his physical voice, his virtual or figurative one flowered but also because his. Losing control of one's body due to age or illness tends to spark a nostalgic impulse in writers. They sense time "slipping through our fingers as Roger once wrote, "like a long silk scarf and try to grab and hold it with words. The better writers statement harness the nostalgic impulse and turn it into an extension of criticism by other means, taking stock in themselves as they might take stock in an artist's work. Roger was one of the better writers. . Many excerpts from his later work have a probing, curious quality. They are read aloud in "Life Itself"—sometimes by the computerized, Stephen Hawking-like voice emanating from Roger's laptop, other times by voice-over performer. Stephen Stanton, who captures Roger's flat Illinois vowels and his plainspoken "Here i am on a soapbox" cadences—and form the intellectual and emotional heart of the movie.

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He liked to be the boss, the director of the film of his life. He could be gluttonous. He was a breast man who found nirvana through his association with exploitation filmmaker. Early in his life, he could be brusque and arrogant and thoughtless. Later, he was gentle and sweet, and had a tendency to raise depressed people's spirits by giving them unsolicited compliments and words of support. The film chronicles two great love stories. One is between Roger and Chaz, whom Roger met in Alcoholics Anonymous and married reviews in 1992 and is credited with changing him from a domineering, insecure and sometimes insensitive man capable of stealing a cab away from a pregnant woman (he is a nice guy,. The other love story is a bromance between Roger and the hyper-competitive chicago Tribune critic Gene siskel, a print rival who became an on-camera debate partner and an off-camera business partner, then finally the brother that Roger, an only child, never had. The present-tense framing device of Roger's final stint in the hospital, having his throat irrigated to the tune of Steely dan's "Reeling in the years eventually connects, cleverly and gracefully, with both the roger-Chaz and Roger-Gene love stories.

It hits many of the high points of Roger Ebert's biography, a good many of which were already enshrined in legend. . We learn about Roger's training as a student journalist at the University of Illinois, his alcoholism and sobriety, his friendship with famous filmmakers he wrote about (including. Werner Herzog and, martin Scorsese the development of his critical voice, and his innovative work in tv and on the Internet. Advertisement, the opening section of "Life Itself" has a stunned, funereal tone. As James has explained in interviews, it was originally supposed to be an adaptation of Roger's memoir, then morphed into something else when he died five months into production. But soon the movie relaxes and turns into a kind of filmic wake, with witnesses painting a full picture of the man, sharing stories of his virtues, flaws, blind spots and eccentricities. He loved to hold court.

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Steve james shows us graphic medical details that were previously hidden from public view, including shots of Roger, whose cancerous jaw was cut off in 2006, having his throat irrigated. Third, roger was a professional father to me, as he was to a good many people, a fact that I'm more keenly aware of than usual at this moment, sitting on a couch under florescent lights, typing on a laptop at midnight. Advertisement, last but not least: when critics review films, they bring the essay sum of their intellectual capacity and life experience to bear, along with whatever drama (or comedy) they're going through at that moment in time. "Life Itself" gets this. Life itself, that loaded two-word phrase, is what Roger really wrote about when he wrote about movies. Life itself is what I'm dealing with as I sit here in a hospital waiting room. And it's what you're dealing with as you sit here reading this review of "Life Itself.".

The movie is about cinema history and critical history, writing and reading, drinking and sobriety, religion and doubt, love and sex and marriage and parenthood and labor relations and so many other factors that combined to create roger Ebert; and it's about why, even. This review, written by the editor in-chief of the site roger founded, is, to put it mildly, less detached than most. It may in fact be useless except as a measure of what the site itself "officially" thinks of "Life Itself.". All that having been said, here we go: "Life Itself" seems like a very traditional nonfiction feature about a man's life. It's a mix of fly-on-the-wall documentary footage, talking head interviews, video and film clips, photos, newspaper clippings, and the like. It's fundamentally an affectionate and sympathetic work, directed by a man whose breakthrough feature, ". Hoop the Dreams was basically made by roger Ebert and his sparring partner Gene siskel on their tv show back in 1994.

The underlying structure of the film seems inspired by - or limited by - interactive video games. There is little attempt to construct a coherent story. Instead, the characters face one threat after another, as new and grotesque dangers jump at them. It's like those video games where you achieve one level after another by killing and not getting killed. The ultimate level for young viewers will be being able to sit all the way through the movie.


I'm writing this review of the. Roger Ebert biography "Life Itself" in a hospital waiting area, so that my typing won't wake my dad. He's sleeping in a room down the hall. He had a stroke on the tuesday before "Life Itself" opened. I don't want to get overconfident, because the tests aren't all in yet, but he's doing pretty well, all things considered, and the doctors seem to think a full recovery is possible. Why did I just tell you that? Lots of reasons: First, roger often worked personal details into his reviews. Second, a good chunk of "Life Itself a documentary inspired by roger's same-titled memoir, takes place in a hospital; director.

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Bonnie hunt who was the little girl who played Jumanji with young Alan on that fateful day in 1969, and now has grown up to become a reclusive fortune-teller. The town shunned her because she insisted on telling the truth about her experience with the board game. Advertisement, the basic notion of the film (two kids have lots of scary yardage adventures with Robin Williams) must have sounded good on paper. But the technicians have filled the screen with special effects, both conventional and animated, in such a way that the movie is now about as appropriate for smaller children as, say, ". Jaws." It's not bad enough that the film's young heroes have to endure an unremitting series of terrifying dangers; at one point, little peter gets converted into a monkey that looks like a wolf Man, and goes through the film like a miniature lon Chaney. This image alone business is likely to be disturbing to small children. To me, it looked like gratuitous cruelty on the part of the filmmakers toward the harmless young character.

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Jumanji, which contains jungle terrors. They will be attacked by lions, monkeys, rhinos, elephants, giant insects, poison darts, plants that strangle them and other plants that eat things, snakes, birds, mosquitoes, thunder and lightning, and (it goes without saying) spiders. They will wrestle with a crocodile and Alan will almost be gobbled up by a pool of quicksand that appears in the middle of the mansion's floor. Other characters make their appearances. There's Van Pelt (. Jonathan Hyde a big-game hunter who has also been captured by the game; Aunt Nora (. Bebe neuwirth who has adopted little judy and Peter (somehow it is inevitable that they are orphans and Sarah (.

"What if someone digs this up?" a shadowy worker asks. "God help them!" he's told. We flash forward to 1969, as a little boy named Alan finds the chest in a construction site and opens it to discover a board game named "Jumanji." he rolls the dice and is instantly fascinated with the game's supernatural powers. The pieces on the board move themselves. The game communicates with ghostly messages that float into shredder focus in a cloudy lens. And Alan is attacked by a cloud of bats. Another flash-forward, this time to the present, as two other kids find the game in an old mansion that has been abandoned for years. This is none other than Alan's childhood home, and when the kids begin playing the game, alan materializes. He has been in limbo all of this time, growing to manhood, and is now played by robin Williams.

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"Jumanji" is being promoted as a jolly holiday season entertainment, with ads that show. Robin Williams with a twinkle in his eye. The movie itself is likely to send younger children fleeing from the theater, or hiding in their parents' arms. Those who do sit all the way through it are likely to toss and turn with nightmares inspired by its frightening images. Whoever thought this was a family movie (the mpaa rates it pg - not even shredder pg-13!) must think kids are made of stern stuff. The film is a gloomy special-effects extravaganza filled with grotesque images, generating fear and despair. Even for older audiences, there are few redeeming factors, because what little story there is serves as a coathook for the f/x sequences, which come out of nowhere and evaporate into the same place. Advertisement, the film opens in 1869, as a sturdy chest is buried in the woods.


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  2. Besides his reviews, ebert also wrote several film books, and provided commentaries for dvds such as Orson Welles' citizen Kane.

  3. Review by roger Ebert / June 28, 2002 Film: ivans xtc. Below are just a few of the reasons why patients love. Ebert and Ebert Orthodontics of Fort Collins,. Read movie and tv reviews from Roger Ebert on Rotten Tomatoes, where critics reviews are aggregated to tally a certified Fresh, Fresh. We have been Them: Roger Ebert s reviews About Empathy chaz's journal. Missing are the four star reviews Ebert gave to marjoe and The boys In the band.

  4. We have been Them: Roger, ebert s, reviews. About Empathy chaz's journal. Roger, ebert reviews, david Lynch's wild at heart at the cannes Film Festival. Robbie coltrane movie, reviews film Summaries roger, ebert. Ebert reviews, johnny depp them: Roger, ebert s, reviews. Roger Ebert reviews Bernard Roses ivans xtc.

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