A serious, sharply mounted drama that gets more engrossing as it moves along.
The place for everything that doesn't have a home elsewhere on RogerEbert.com, this is a collection of thoughts, ideas, snippets, and other fun things that Roger and others posted over the years.
More moviegoers see films on video in some form than ever before -- whether streaming on demand, cable or satellite, instant download services, DVD or Blu-ray. Even high-profile pictures become available to home viewers before or at the same time as their theatrical release. Reviewing them is a job for... The Demanders!
Our Far-Flung Correspondents are cinephiles from all over the world, hand-picked by Roger Ebert to write about movies from their unique international perspectives. They include contributors from (alphabetically) Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Great Britain, India, Mexico, the Philippines, South Korea, Turkey and the U.S. They converge every year at Ebertfest.
Since he started as film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967, and began covering movies locally and at international film festivals, Roger Ebert has met and interviewed countless movie idols, artists and unknowns -- some of them even before they became famous. There's hardly a major figure in the history of movies, from the last part of the 20th century into the 21st, that he hasn't encountered.
Roger Ebert has attended international film festivals and events for almost half a century, from the Kolkata International Film Festival to the Academy Awards. In addition to his coverage, our contributors report the latest from Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, Sundance and other movie showcases world-wide.
"Life Itself," based on Roger Ebert's memoir and directed by Steve James, will open in theaters and be available On Demand on July 4, 2014.
The Cannes International Film Festival is the most talked-about film festival of the year, where directors from around the world showcase their newest work, from the most challenging art cinema to the big blockbusters. For many years, Roger Ebert and a team of contributors have covered Cannes, and we are continuing that tradition with start-to-finish coverage from around the festival.
A collection of tributes to Roger from various sources.
The opening shot of a movie can tell us a lot about how to view and interpret what follows. It can even represent the whole movie in miniature. The Opening Shots Project collects illustrated analyses of some of Jim Emerson's favorites, and contributions from Scanners readers.
Penny Lane, the director of the documentary "Our Nixon," talks about the complexity of Richard Nixon, and the ongoing battle to define his image.
Tony Leung discusses his preparation for the role of the most famous martial arts master of the 20th century in Wong Kar-Wai's "The Grandmaster."
Brian Tallerico finds the parallels between "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "Seinfeld" instructive as to how shows about unlikeable characters can endure for nine seasons.
Paramount is offering "World War Z" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" as a single-ticket double feature. The wave of the future? Or a stunt?
Richard Linklater's long-gestating"Boyhood"; "Gravity" opens Venice Film Festival; how social media giants should police their sites; haters are gonna hate; life is meaningless in "The Canyons"; Obama's speech commemorating the March on Washington's 50th anniversary; a '70s Tom Waits documentary.
Katherine Tulich sits down with "Austenland" star Keri Russell, writer/director Jerusha Hess, and author Stephenie Meyer, whose company, Fickle Fish Films, produced the film.
Editor's note: Phil Hall has survived some real stinkers in writing his book "The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time," (published by Bear Manor Media), from the old familiar standards, like "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians," to movies that some people revere as bold, failed experiments, like "Zabriskie Point." When he's not enduring bad movies so you don't have to, Phil is writing at his website, filmthreat.com. Here's a sample of Phil's journey through awfulness, a review of "The Babe Ruth Story.""The Babe Ruth Story" (1948, directed by Roy Del Ruth) William Bendix, a burly character actor who earned a niche play- ing mild villains and decent bumblers, had a rare opportunity to enjoy a starring role as the legendary George Herman "Babe" Ruth. However, Bendix was asked to depict Ruth in a manner that mirrored one of his most prominent roles—the good-natured, yet oafish Chester Riley on the radio series "The Life of Riley." As a result, Ruth becomes a childlike character with an unusual penchant for aiding children. This is taken to an outlandish extreme in the notorious "called shot" sequence when Ruth promises to hit a home run for a dying boy during the 1932 World Series. The child's family, listening at home by the radio with the boy lying on his deathbed, reacts to the news of the home run with the same enthusiasm that must have been shared in Jerusalem when the word spread of Jesus' empty tomb. And in true biblical fashion, the radio announcement causes the dying boy to open his eyes slowly and grin widely as his family embraces his now-healthy body with manic love. This candy-coated fantasy carefully avoids the more intriguing aspects of Ruth's life. The slugger's fondness for fast living, his first marriage to Helen Woodford, and his daughter, Dorothy (whose mother was Ruth's mistress, Juanita Jennings), were nowhere to be found on-screen. But their absence was compensated by a surplus of jolly anachronisms, most notably with the presence of a beer advertisement on a billboard positioned in a stadium game that occurred during the Prohibition years. Ruth was in poor health at the time of the film's production, which makes the ending overly optimistic with the ailing baseball great (his throat cancer is not identified in the film) agreeing to receive a mysterious experimental serum. The New York Times reacted negatively to the sequence, complaining that it was a "tedious and tasteless sick-bed ordeal, with soundtrack sobs and angel voices." "The Babe Ruth Story" became a laughingstock in the sports film genre and critic Hal Erickson wasn't off base when he dubbed this production the "Plan 9 From Outer Space of baseball biopics." Amazingly, Bendix was called back to the diamond two years later for another starring role in the 1950 comedy "Kill the Umpire."Excerpted with permission from "The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time," published by Bear Manor Media, 2013.
Gerardo Valero looks in depth at "L.A. Confidential."
Tommaso Tocci reports on "Gravity," the opening night film of the 70th Venice Film Festival.