Thursday, April 4, 2013

RIP: Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert (Photo by Eileen Ryan/SunTimes.com)

Here is shocking news: Chicago Sun-Times film critic, Roger Ebert, has passed away today at age 70. This is shocking since just this week he announced that he would be “cutting back” on his reviews due to recurring thyroid and salivary gland cancers, but apparently his illness was worse than we all imagined.

Ebert began writing for the Sun-Times 46 years ago. In 1975, he and fellow Chicago Tribune movie critic, Gene Siskel, launched a little TV show called, “Coming Soon to a Theater Near You” which later became, “At the Movies” and then, “Siskel & Ebert at the Movies.” The pair was known for the famous “two thumbs up” or worse, “two thumbs down” approach to rating movies. The pair would be forever linked until the untimely death of Siskel in 1999 at the age of 53.

Ebert continued versions of the show with a variety of other critics, mostly with Richard Roeper, but it wasn’t the same chemistry as the original dynamic duo.

Ebert never really enjoyed good health. He was overweight for many years before battling cancer. In 2006 the cancer overtook his lower half of his jaw and the ability to speak. Still, he didn’t let that stop him from speaking his mind.

For me, I enjoyed Ebert most when he didn’t like a movie. Two of his books, “Your Movie Sucks” and “A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies that Suck” (a reference to one of the “Transformers” movies) are favorites of mine.

Ebert will be sorely missed. You can read his obituary from the Chicago Sun-Times here.

     

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