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Space Jam (1996)

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Ebert Club

#381 May 26, 2020

Matt writes: Steve James' acclaimed 2014 documentary "Life Itself," chronicling the life and legacy of our site's co-founder, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert, premiered in virtual cinemas this past Friday as part of Magnolia Pictures' new screening series entitled, "A Few of Our Favorite Docs." Each of the films will have a virtual Q&A on the Wednesday following their premiere, while ten percent of the ticket sales will be donated to a charity of the filmmakers' choice. One of the subjects in "Life Itself", RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert, will take part in a virtual Q&A with Steve James TOMORROW, May 27th.

Ebert Club

#379 April 28, 2020

Matt writes: Early last month, I had the tremendous honor and joy of interviewing one of my lifelong heroes, Julie Andrews, and her amazing daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, for RogerEbert.com. The conversation was originally intended to run during the week of Andrews' AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony (which was scheduled for this past Saturday, April 25th), but after it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to release the article yesterday in anticipation of Andrews and Hamilton's new podcast, "Julie's Library," which premieres tomorrow. Our conversation also covers the pair's latest book, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, their excellent Netflix series, "Julie's Greenroom" and their cherished memories of Jim Henson and the Muppets.

Features

Thumbnails 6/8/2013

The evolution of Superman's cape; the de-evolution of women's roles in film and TV; joke plagiarist sort-of apologizes for stealing from Patton Oswalt & other pros; David Cronenberg does race cars; Vince Vaughn, salesman; fans bring their Game of Thrones grief into therapy; astounding animated short made entirely from 3-D paper models.

Far Flungers

The Magic of Magic and Bird

The saying in boxing is that "styles make fights". It means that two elegant matadors like Muhammad Ali, or two rampaging bulls like Joe Frazier, wouldn't have contested the classics fought by one Muhammad Ali and one Joe Frazier. The saying is true, and its truth extends beyond boxing to all sporting rivalries.

And, just as "fights" is not limited to boxing matches, "style" is not limited to physical methods of competition. "Style" includes styles of speaking, styles of thinking, styles of living. And, of course, "style" also includes skin color.

May contain spoilers

Far Flungers

A man who is on everybody's mind

A few years ago, I set up an internet alert to inform me whenever Muhammad Ali was mentioned in the news. At the time, he wasn't doing anything newsworthy. It was years after the Michael Mann movie. A decade since his appearance in the Opening Ceremony of the 1996 Olympic Games. Nearly three decades since his last fight. But, for whatever reason, he was on my mind. The strange thing I discovered is that he was in the news, somewhere in the world, every single day. Every single day. That's his astonishing mystique. For whatever reason, he was and is on everyone's mind. The most popular of all basketball players, Michael Jordan, is in the news for shoe sales. The most popular of soccer players, Pele, is in the news for soccer. The most popular of all cricket players, Imran Khan, is in the news for politics. Muhammad Ali, however, is in the news for being Muhammad Ali. Rather, he is in the news for who Muhammad Ali was and is to us. And, in Pete McCormack's wonderful "Facing Ali," we learn who he is and was for the fighters he faced.

May contain spoilers

Far Flungers

Why video games are indeed Art

A few days ago, I was one of many critics who panned the film SUCKER PUNCH. Though I hadn't written my own, I advocated several reviews that I felt reflected my sentiments.

Though I agreed in their disapproval, two words kept on reappearing with each negative review I read: "video game." To say that the film draws greatly upon video game aspects is accurate. But with each citation, my fellow critics continue to beat the dead horse of an argument that video games are a meaningless form of mindless entertainment.

I grew up on movies and on video games, and love and respect what they bring to the table. Though I enjoy them on different levels, they both have given me moments of wonder and serious reflection. As an avid gamer and film lover, I find it a shame to see how one medium has gained artistic acceptance while the other continues to be derided by the mainstream. There are many reasons why they are looked down upon, but if you give them a shot, you just might conclude that video games should be considered art.

May contain spoilers

Far Flungers

"Don't mess Malcolm up"

From its incendiary opening to its somber but exultant conclusion, Spike Lee's grand and important film "Malcolm X" captures the life of a complex, charismatic and gravely misunderstood man who fought for human rights and justice for Africans and African-Americans. The film, based on The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, is arguably Mr. Lee's best and most universal film, and one of the great American film biographies.

For context, "Malcolm X" had extraordinary publicity leading up to its 1991 production. Numerous black activists in New York City and elsewhere had forecasted that Mr. Lee's film would not accurately depict the essence of Malcolm. "Don't mess Malcolm up," was a refrain the director heard over and over again.

May contain spoilers

Roger Ebert

Video games can never be art

Having once made the statement above, I have declined all opportunities to enlarge upon it or defend it. That seemed to be a fool's errand, especially given the volume of messages I receive urging me to play this game or that and recant the error of my ways. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that in principle, video games cannot be art. Perhaps it is foolish of me to say "never," because never, as Rick Wakeman informs us, is a long, long time. Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form.