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items tagged with Roger Ebert

Grin and Bear It: "Kung Fu Panda 3," "Anomalisa," "The Finest Hours," "Jane Got a Gun," and "Fifty Shades of Black"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2016-02-01 16:06:36

Jack Black and Bryan Cranston in Kung Fu Panda 3KUNG PU PANDA 3

Did the makers of Kung Fu Panda 3 not get the memo that second sequels in franchises are traditionally supposed to suck? Because this thing, to quote Jack Black’s hirsute and animated alter ego Po, is “Awesome!!!” with all three exclamation points.


Read More About Grin And Bear It: "Kung Fu Panda 3," "Anomalisa," "The Finest Hours," "Jane Got A Gun," And "Fifty Shades Of Black"...


Ten Little Indies: "Begin Again," "Life Itself," "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," "Stranger by the Lake," "Interior. Leather Bar.", "Nymphomaniac: Volume One," "Nymphomaniac: Volume Two," "The Unknown Known," "The Immigrant," and "Snowpiercer"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-07-30 19:29:48

Keira Knightley in Begin AgainLike many reviewers who publish year-end recaps featuring top-10 rankings and such, I keep a running list of every new movie I see during the year, arranged in order of preference. (Wow. Seeing it in writing, that seems really anal-retentive. Maybe only I do that.) And after updating this list over the weekend, I scanned my current 10 favorites and thought, “For July, that’s a pretty great lineup.”

Of course, that lineup is only impressive because five of its titles – Life Itself, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Stranger by the Lake, Nymphomaniac: Volume One, and Snowpiercer – are 2014 films I caught on home video and through streaming services. If I only included movies that played at area cineplexes, my top-10-to-date wouldn't look so hot. I mean, sure, Muppets Most Wanted, 22 Jump Street, and Hercules were a lot of fun, but come on ... . Two sequels, both inferior to their predecessors, and Brett Ratner directing The Rock? (With apologies to Dwayne Johnson, who’s actually awesome.) Hell, the new-to-our-area indie musical Begin Again would almost land in my cineplex top 10, and I didn’t even like it that much.


Read More About Ten Little Indies: "Begin Again," "Life Itself," "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," "Stranger By The Lake," "Interior. Leather Bar.", "Nymphomaniac: Volume One," "Nymphomaniac: Volume Two," "The Unknown Known," "The Immigrant," And "Snowpiercer"...


Ted Rall: Remarkable Passion, Awful Taste
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Lifestyle

Category: Ted Rall

2013-04-10 14:22:21



The Enthusiast: On Roger Ebert
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2013-04-09 18:54:00

Roger EbertIn 2010, at the age of 67, Roger Ebert reviewed The Human Centipede (First Sequence) — a horror flick that seems to exist primarily to make viewers vomit. As a professional movie critic for more than four decades, Ebert could have been forgiven for skipping it altogether. Curt dismissal was another perfectly reasonable option.

A charitable senior-citizen writer might have picked the movie apart on moral, narrative, or aesthetic grounds, or used it as a launching point for a screed against the depravity of contemporary culture or the torture-porn genre.

But Ebert turned in a no-star-rating review that begins with an earnest rumination on the path to mortality: “It’s not death itself that’s so bad. It’s what you might have to go through to get there.” And he says that within the writer/director, Tom Six, “there stirs the soul of a dark artist.”

Ebert was interested in the movie, curious about its method and meaning. Ultimately, he didn’t interpret or judge it — “It is what it is and occupies a world where the stars don’t shine” — but it’s clear he thought this film that most people would find inherently repulsive or worthless deserved consideration.

And then there’s his marginally positive 1981 review of Tarzan, the Ape Man, in which Ebert is nakedly smitten with Bo Derek: “The Tarzan-Jane scenes strike a blow for noble savages, for innocent lust, for animal magnetism, and, indeed, for softcore porn, which is ever so much sexier than the hardcore variety. If you do not agree with me, you will probably think Bo’s banana scene is ridiculous. I prefer to think it was inevitable.”

I’m starting with these admittedly odd examples to remember Roger Ebert — who died on April 4 at age 70 — because I think they’re true. They reveal the man and the critic in a way that gets past the vagueness and overreaching of many obituaries and appreciations of him.


Read More About The Enthusiast: On Roger Ebert...


Happily Grimm: "Snow White & the Huntsman"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-06-04 02:34:19

Charlize Theron in Snow White & the HuntsmanSNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN

The first words heard in Snow White & the Huntsman are “Once upon a time ... ,” and for the next 125 minutes, the movie unfurls like a malicious, exhilarating fairytale for adults – or a bedtime story for really, really naughty kids. In an age when most screen adaptations of familiar childhood stories quickly descend into camp – either intentionally (Mirror Mirror) or unintentionally (Red Riding Hood) – the intelligence and violence and emotional hunger of debuting director Rupert Sanders’ Snow White saga feel utterly welcome, and even somewhat revolutionary. By the film’s finale (and I presume this isn’t a spoiler), good has triumphed and evil has been vanquished, but the weight of the characters’ horrific experiences hasn’t been forgotten; it’s clear from their serene yet exhausted expressions that while Snow White and her kingdom’s subjects get their Happily Ever After, they’ll more likely be living Happily, Hesitantly, Ever After.


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