Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Seat in the Balcony

I occasionally write about movies on this blog; some folks only know me for my movie reviews. But I am less than a rank amateur.

On Saturdays back in the '80s, after the cartoons were over, we often turned to some local L.A. channel and learned about shows that were coming soon or had just been released "At the Movies." "Two thumbs way up" or maybe not. Siskel&Ebert were a fixture in our home.

"No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough."
As I got older, I realized that not all movie critics are created equal. As I've gotten older, this has only been reinforced  when I see reviewer after reviewer pan movies I love, while singing high praises for films I would consider either highly pretentious or utter dreck, or both. Roger Ebert was that rare—if not unique—critic that seemed to understand the intended audience of each film, and reviewed them accordingly, rather than according to his film school predilections. Yesterday, I learned this was likely because he was a journalist first, and a film aficionado rather than a film student.

"Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions never lie to you."
I could trust Mr. Ebert not to tell me whether I should like a film, but whether I would like the film. And he was rarely wrong, from my perspective; though I did disagree occasionally. Mr. Ebert reviewed films for over 45 years. I discovered yesterday that he had a Twitter account. I wish I had known. I would followed the hell out if that feed.

But now, the balcony is finally closed.


  1. As someone who arguably admires critics over creators I strongly empathize. I'd recommend Mark Kermode, a big Ebert booster himself and a critic who, while frequently "wrong" is never false.

  2. As someone who grew up in Chicago, Siskel and Ebert held a special place in my heart. They will be missed