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I'm kind of surprised at all the adulation for Roger Ebert upon his passing. Well, not surprised by the adulation generally speaking, but more by praise for him as a brilliant critic. It seems to me he was very good at what he did, certainly prolific, and something of a pioneer in TV film criticism. Apparently he also utilized social media well. Part of the outpouring is because he was by all accounts a nice guy, a good guy. And he dealt nobly with cancer.

Personally, I thought his reviews were decent and fairly interesting, though a little heavy on recounting plot points. I asked my film critic friend Jeff what he thought. He said that he had mixed feelings about him. "I don't think he was a great writer at all," Jeff said, "but he did draw attention to a lot of films that needed support. He kind of raised things up and dumbed things down at the same time." Which is a lot more than most popular media figures can claim. Without a doubt, Roger Ebert will be missed and, regardless of my mild ambivalence, I'm glad his voice was part of our culture.


  1. My favorite collage is the one of his mother, sitting in the freezing cold, in his hometown.


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