Remember Roger Ebert
I would like to first state, that though we never truly agreed on things on a personal and professional level, I always had respect for Roger, after all, with out him and those early trailblazers that took movie reviewing from a novelty much akin to early weather forecasting, into a legit form of news, he gave it credibility, dignity, and he proved that with a simple extending of the thumb up or downwards was as powerful as any marketing and promotional department could ever dream of being. He proved that with just afew lines, the opinion and ideas of an entire nation could swing for or away from any film, truly proving that the power really does lie with the people's general opinion.
I always jokingly knocked Roger for his writing the screenplay to Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, which though most might not believe it to be, is truly one of my favorite grindhouse films ever made, its got everything that makes a film truly grindhouse; drugs, naked women, free love, and one of the greatest soundtracks ever created for a film. Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls was one of my first encounters with grindhouse, long before i ever knew there was a genre, and even longer before I knew the word or its meaning, in sense, had that film never been made, I might have never gone down my path that led me to where i am now, maybe i'd have gone on to be a race car driver or a cowboy astronaut fireman playboy millionaire superhero or something, instead of what i am, a guy who was able to take his escape from being anti-social and turn it into a pretty fun time reviewing movies. i'll always thank Roger for that, even though i'd never say it to him personally lol.
i want it to be known, though I always critically bashed Roger in his later years, I always respected him for all he has done up to the last few years, when, I felt he had lost his way, though to be fair, I honestly think after Gene Siskle died, he truly started to stop caring as much as he did, and it would eventually trickle down more and more until he started to do sloppy work, hating a movie for the sake of hating a movie or because you dislike the genre is one thing, we all do that at times, but when you mis up characters and scenes that you are using as examples of why you dislike a film, thats just sloppy first day on the job stuff, and i always felt Roger was better then that sort of mistakes or errors. See I wasn't ever angry or mad at him, as a person, it was angry at what he was becoming, instead of the man he is, and had been for decades before, the man that inspired three generations to express their passion for moving film, and to explore the world of film outside of just what hollywood tosses at you, shouldn't be remembered for mistakes that an amateur would make, it was kind of like when you're a kid and you find out Mickey Mouse at Disneyland is just a guy in a bad smelling foam rubber suit, or when you discover that your favorite race car driver is boring as hell in person, if any of that makes sense.
So in the end, I'm gonna do what i think all of the rest of you should do, remember Roger however you wish too, hopefully back when he was healthy and vibrant and would excitedly yell at Gene Siskle for giving away the twist in The Crying Game, or any of the other hilariously passionate arguments the two of them had over the years. Thats when he was in his prime, and thats when i choose to remember Roger.
Hang loose Teddy Bear..