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Transcendence

"Transcendence" is a serious science fiction movie filled with big ideas and powerful images, but it never quite coheres, and the end is a copout.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Cast and Crew

* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.

#125 July 25, 2012

Marie writes: Once upon a time, a long time ago and in a childhood far, far away, kids used to be able to buy a special treat called a Frosted Malt. Then, with the arrival of progress and the subsequent destruction of all that is noble and pure, the world found itself reduced to settling for a frosty at Wendy's, at least where I live. Unable to support a "second rate" frosted malt for a second longer, I decided to do something about it!

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#112 April 25, 2012

Marie writes: I recently heard from an ex-coworker named Athena aka the production manager on an animated series I'd painted digital backgrounds for. She sent me some great photos she'd found on various sites. More than few made me smile and thus inspired, I thought I'd share them with club members. I've added captions for fun but if you can come up with something better, feel free to submit your wit by way of posted comment. Note: I don't know who the photographers are; doesn't say. (Click pics to enlarge.)

"I want a peanut for every photo you took of me..."

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#106 March 14, 2012

Marie writes: It's official. I have died and gone to heaven. For here below, as part of an ongoing series exploring Britain's architectural wonders, the Observer's architecture critic Rowan Moore, introduces a spectacular interactive 360-degree panoramic photograph of "The grand staircase in the St Pancras Renaissance hotel" - which I regard as one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture I have ever seen. I adore this building and always will; it's the stuff of dreams. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Go here to explore a 360 panoramic view of the grand staircase!

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Outguess Ebert on the Oscars

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Roger Ebert is pretty darned good when it comes to predicting the Oscar winners. (I, on the other hand, have never, ever won an Oscar pool. I'm terrible at it.) This year, he also agrees with most of the choices he thinks the Academy is going to make. So, what do you think? Visit RogerEbert.com, vote for your personal favorites, and enter the Outguess Ebert contest to predict the winners. You won't win an Oscar, but you could win one of seven trips to Mexico, or a copy of Ebert's "Movie Yearbook 2007." (Unless you live in Florida, where you are disenfranchised from participating in the contest because of your own laws. Maybe it's Katherine Harris's fault, I don't know.)

An excerpt from Ebert's Best Picture prognostication: Martin Scorsese has made better films than "The Departed," but then he has never made a bad film. The prospect of a great young director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, winning his first Oscar is matched by the possibility that Scorsese will win a much-delayed one. With the loss of Robert Altman, is any active director more senior and better than Clint Eastwood? And what a pure, stark war movie he has made in "Letters From Iwo Jima." His conception is so original -- two movies (the other is "Flags of Our Fathers"), one in English, one in Japanese. Both considering the same battle, both detached, low-key, lacking in action cliches.

No movie is harder to make, in a technical sense, than a comedy. But what a priceless one Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris have made in "Little Miss Sunshine." It has this combination of the transgressive and the risk-taking of this particular American genre, with Alan Arkin leading the parade as a vulgar but family-loving grandpa.

And what an achievement from Stephen Frears in "The Queen," where Helen Mirren bares everything in an original closeup that asserts she "is" the Queen, not an imitator, but an embodiment.

And yet Oscar voters often prefer serious, big-themed subjects of the kind seen in "Babel," a powerful group of international stories in which the secret human connections only gradually unfold. But the big upset could be "Little Miss Sunshine" because it touched something deep in the American psyche, and had people identifying with this odd family who pulls together when it matters the most.

Prediction: "Babel"Preference: "Babel"

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Ebert's Oscar predictions (2007)

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In a year when the Academy Award nominations are more diverse and international than ever before, it's anyone's guess who will win best picture. "Dreamgirls" garnered more nominations than any other movie, but was passed over for both picture and director.

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Sundance #2: Breaking conventions

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PARK CITY, Utah – John Cooper, who has been programming films at Sundance for almost 20 years, had a particular tone in his voice as he introduced "Somebodies" Friday afternoon. This wasn’t a routine introduction. "Certain moments at Sundance we remember," he said, "because they were the beginning of something great."

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