The most surprising thing about "The Martian" is how relaxed and funny it is.
Roger Ebert became film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. He is the only film critic with a star on Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and was named honorary life member of the Directors' Guild of America. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Screenwriters' Guild, and honorary degrees from the American Film Institute and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since 1989 he has hosted Ebertfest, a film festival at the Virginia Theater in Champaign-Urbana. From 1975 until 2006 he, Gene Siskel and Richard Roeper co-hosted a weekly movie review program on national TV. He was Lecturer on Film for the University of Chicago extension program from 1970 until 2006, and recorded shot-by-shot commentaries for the DVDs of "Citizen Kane," "Casablanca," "Floating Weeds" and "Dark City," and has written over 20 books.
Q. Answer Man, demand a recount! In Entertainment Weekly's list of the "100 Greatest Film soundtracks ever," they have omitted Anton Karas' score to "The Third Man!" (Matt Jaycox, Chicago)
Q. Shortly after seeing the mildly amusing "Zoolander," I read your review. You wrote that it was in bad taste for the filmmakers to use Malaysia's prime minister as the target of the assassination attempt by the villains of the film. Three years ago, I read your review of "Wag the Dog," which got your highest rating. In "Wag the Dog," the U.S. Government fabricates and leaks false information about an Albanian conflict, going as far as to accuse Albanians of smuggling bombs into the United States from Canada. Might not Albanian-Americans feel uncomfortable seeing a film spreading lies about their native country? Yet nowhere in your review do you mention that this film might be offensive to Albanians. Am I missing something? P.S. No I'm not Albanian. (Ryan Lindahl, Toledo, Ohio)
Q. The Answer Man comments about sanitized Spanish translations prompts me to ask whether the title of "Amores Perros" has been sanitized for English consumption. I can't help wondering if the title could be translated more directly, as something like "Like a Mad Dog in Heat", or even "Doggie Style." (Timothy Buchman, New York NY)
Q. To what extent do movies made prior to September 11, 2001, still remain relevant in our lives? We still look at movies made prior to December 7, 1941, such as "M" and "Citizen Kane," and recognize them as the great films that they are, but I watched "Clerks," one of my favorite films, earlier this evening, just to try to divert my mind from the current goings-on, and the petty complaints of a couple of my brethren (I'm from Monmouth County, N.J.) seemed not funny anymore, but rather irrelevant in light of how our existence has changed since 8:58 a.m. Tuesday. I know that we will eventually be able to again appreciate the accomplishments produced by the better angels of our nature, but I wonder if we'll ever be able to again appreciate the small, silly personal and political issues that seemed so large and overwhelming in the '90s. I wonder what you think will become of the wonderful, if seemingly petty, movies of that decade. (Thom Tolan, Norwalk CT)
TORONTO -- A film turned down by the Cannes festival has won the AGF People's Choice Award at 26th annual Toronto Film Festival, which concluded Sunday.
Samuel Z. Arkoff, who in some ways invented modern Hollywood, died Sunday of natural causes in a Burbank hospital. The co-founder of American-International Pictures and the godfather of the beach party and teenage werewolf movies was 83.
This is a book introduction I wrote in 2001. Alibris and Amazon list used copies for as little as $3.50. Google it for no end of affectionate praise.
TORONTO--Through the cloud of sadness which has enveloped the Toronto Film Festival since Tuesday, a few films have shone like beacons.
I was there before the beginning, young fellow. And now it's after the end. -- Mr. Bernstein in "Citizen Kane" TORONTO--This is a meditation on mortality. "I made a conscious decision to work all the time while I was growing up," Christina Ricci told me. "I didn't want people to see me in a movie and be shocked that I wasn't a kid anymore. I wanted to grow up onscreen."
TORONTO--One of the best films at this year's Toronto Film Festival is "too slow," another is a "chick flick," a third is "too weird," and a fourth is "too talky." People told me these things as they were leaving the theater.