I'm a sucker for King-inspired things, and this one hits that chord well enough to be worth a look over your Christmas break.
Roger Ebert became film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. He is the only film critic with a star on Hollywood 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.
Chaz is the Publisher of RogerEbert.com and a regular contributor to the site, writing about film, festivals, politics, and life itself.
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large of RogerEbert.com, TV critic for New York Magazine, the creator of many video essays about film history and style, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism, and the author of The Wes Anderson Collection. His writing on film and TV has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, New York Press, The Star-Ledger and Dallas Observer. (Banner illustration by Max Dalton)
One of the first things I remember learning about the movies was that they were a Possible Occasion of Sin. That was in Catholic grade school, where we were advised to avoid such Occasions by carefully observing the Legion of Decency ratings printed every week in Our Sunday Visitor.
People have been asking me if I've seen "The Critic," ABC's new animated series. Maybe they think I can identify with the hero, a critic named Jay Sherman who reviews movies on television and has certain points of similarity with Gene Siskel and me: He's bald, and he has a Pulitzer.
This is a good idea. For six weeks in 19 cities, including Chicago and Evanston, new independent and foreign films will be showcased in two-week runs. You can buy single tickets, or join a club that allows you to attend a preview followed by a discussion with local film critics. And there is a web site for additional discussion. http://movies.yahoo.com/sgfilmseries/index.html
LOS ANGELES - Wil Wheaton, a child actor who is 10 years old, sat on the edge of his chair and stirred his Coke with a straw. Susan Sarandon, an adult actor who had gotten up in the middle of the night with some kind of stomach flu, regarded him with a mixture of affection and nausea.
Ebert's Best Film Lists 1967 - present
Place to sit: Sit twice as far back as the screen is wide. Try to choose the side of the theater farthest from the main entrance door; more people will choose the other side, lessening your chance of having someone sit in front of you.
Jane Campion's wonderous film "The Piano" arrived at this year's Cannes Film Festival so already wreathed in glory that another director, Abel Ferrara, groused: "They might as well have met her at the airport and given her the prize, and let it go at that."
NEW YORK It's a tradition of the celebrity roasts at the Friar's Club that everything goes - that no joke is in such bad taste that it cannot be told. Friday, that tradition may have ended, as a roast for Whoopi Goldberg turned into such a tasteless display that some audience members hid their faces in their hands, and others left.
There is, of course, no such thing as a movie "so bad, it's good." If it is good, it is not bad. This is obvious to everyone except those who make up lists of "good bad movies." Nor should there be such a thing as a film you're ashamed to admit you like. If it is a good film, where is the shame?
A few simple truths about violence in the movies and on TV: