Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ebert: The Disgruntled Old Man

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times has been reviewing films for over 30 years, and his reviews are invariably very critical.

Well, you probably say to yourself, 'He is a critic, so why should it matter that he's critical?' The issue with Ebert's style of reviewing film is that it's critical, and that's about it. It's not critical and praising, it's not critical and fanboy-ish, or enthusiastic, or passionate, or recommending, or positive in any way. No, his style is not any of these things but critical.

Ebert can't help but always look on the negative side of things. He never compliments films for what they may do well or inspire, and can never enjoy a mainstream film. Film to Ebert must be a progression of an art form. It cannot simply be fun, enjoyable, or spontaneous. It must push the boundaries of the art form that he so intently believes film is.

You know what? I size him up as a disgruntled old man. He's the jaded film critic who's lost his love for film. He's sick and tired of conventions, and nothing is ever good enough for him anymore. He doesn't adequately realize the size of his audience and influence of his opinion, and thus, has had people miss films they would otherwise have enjoyed because of his outright old man-ness.

There's a point at which his reviews go from critical to cynical. It makes me worry that he's on his way to depression. This guy needs to take a breather, and not be so downright hard on movies and rediscover the joys to be had when watching movies.

Take for example his recent Fast Five review that all but knocks it for being action-packed and not a noir film.

This quote is particularly disgusting, " all comes down to is a skillfully assembled 130 minutes at the movies, with actors capable of doing absurd things with straight faces, and action sequences that toy idly with the laws of physics. That can be amusing for some people, not so much for me...I missed [the] laughs, although I got a good one right at the end, when we were warned that the driving in the movie was done in a controlled environment by professionals, and we shouldn't try those stunts ourselves."

The man's ego is through the roof, as he clearly can't resist the temptation of flaunting it at every possible opportunity and acts as if he is the sole high-kingly-chancellor of all that is artistic and high-brow film.

I think at this point, he can't turn off his cynical switch.

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