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Much ado about Thumbs - Ebert, Roeper, Disney and THUMBS all caps!

Hey folks, Harry here... I can't tell you how delightful it is to get an email from my old pal, Roger Ebert. It's been scary recently, but his medical battles aside - Roger has always been a supreme class act. That's why when I read the email he sent me tonight - I kinda laughed because... well - it seems that somewhere in the Disney realm some publicist or exec thought it wise to leak a story about him pulling the thumbs out of the show would embarass Roger. Well, seems the AP got sold a story... Here ya go...

This is my response to the Associated Press story (below) stating I withdrew the THUMBS from the show. (THUMBS are capitalized to indicate a registered trademark; do with them as your style requires.) I was not contacted by a Disney publicist or by e-mail. Roger Ebert ======== I am discussing with Disney my association with the show that Gene Siskel and I started more than 30 years ago. In addition to my personal involvement, we are discussing the continued use of our THUMBS trademarks, owned by myself and the Siskel family. Contrary to Disney’s press release, I did not demand the removal of the THUMBS. They made a first offer on Friday which I considered offensively low. I responded with a counter-offer. They did not reply to this, and on Monday ordered the THUMBS removed from the show. This is not something I expected after an association of over 22 years. I had made it clear the THUMBS could remain during good-faith negotiations. During my absence from the balcony, I have been excited to participate in the show in ways other than being on the set. I love the show and I love the THUMBS and I hope we will all be reunited soon. ======

Film critic Roger Ebert bans thumb reviews for now Associated Press - August 24, 2007 9:54 PM ET LOS ANGELES (AP) - Roger Ebert has turned thumbs down on thumb reviews for "At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper." Ebert is negotiating a new contract with the syndicated TV show's distributor, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. He's a a copyright holder on the signature "thumbs up-thumbs down" judgment that's part of each film review. The company said in a statement released to The Associated Press tonight that Ebert has exercised his right to withhold use of the "thumbs" until a new contract is signed. Ebert, also a film critic at the Chicago Sun-Times, has been prevented from appearing on the show for more than a year by health problems. Ebert did not immediately respond for a request for comment made through a publicist for the show and by e-mail. Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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  • Aug. 25, 2007, 12:11 a.m. CST

    I assume this was misposted in Coaxial

    by Bob of the Shire

    Ba-doink! Anyway, crazy times. -1 for Disney.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 12:16 a.m. CST

    It's about a Television Show, so probably not...

    by colematthews

    Disney should be ashamed of themselves, Roger Ebert is an institution and a class act.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 12:23 a.m. CST

    I love Ebert and I hope he makes it back.

    by eggbeater

    Very happy to see him writing reviews again. Ebert has always said he hated using the Thumbs up or down to review movies. GET WELL ROGER

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 1:09 a.m. CST

    I wanna see the No Thumbs Show. That'll rule.

    by TallBoy66

    ROPER: "I recommend it." GUEST DOUCHE: "As do I."

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Two Thumbs Down for U.S. Copyright Law

    by topaz4206

    At this rate, by 2010 you won't be able to say or do anything that isn't already owned by someone else.<br><br>Awesome! (Use of "Awesome" in public forums (c)1999 by TopaZ. All Rights Reserved)

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 1:59 a.m. CST

    remember a SESAME ST ep when S&E give Sideways THUMB

    by George Newman

    It is a vivid moment in my memory. My first recollection of recognizing Siskel and Ebert and the THUMBS UP/ THUMBS DOWN rating. <p> Siskel and Ebert are having a conversation with Oscar the Grouch about rating movies. Oscar suggests a middle ground vote: the sideways thumb. I thought it was hilarious and I couldn't have been older than 5.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Give that Roeper Weasel the Finger

    by chromedome

    Roeper is the Worst thing that ever happened to that show

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 2:21 a.m. CST

    Your old pal

    by Freakemovie

    I agree, Ebert really has always been a class act. It's good to know that you guys are pals.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 2:53 a.m. CST

    Ebert a class act?

    by MignolaFan

    Probablly but he is also the guy that said video games weren't a form of art. Tell that to all the artists working in video games. Not to mention people said the same thing of film back when it first showed up. Even his more recent response to it and debate with clive barker(by debate I mean him debating him after the fact rather than writing him) made him look like an ass. He is a dinasour and needs to quit with the movie reviews. He liked Garfield for fuck sake.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 2:55 a.m. CST


    by MignolaFan

    My post is about him as a reviewer, not as a person. I'm sure he is very nice and Ted Bundy.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 2:59 a.m. CST

    as one fat guy to another

    by ciroslive

    as one fat guy who watches movies to another, I hope Ebert wins whatever thing he's got going on. THUMBS UP!!!

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 3:19 a.m. CST

    Bioshock is not art.

    by wash

    Wait a minute...I just got done with a 5 hour crack binge, hold on a second. Ok, all better.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 3:27 a.m. CST

    Roeper is the worst ...

    by kilpack

    reviewer ever to appear on that show. He just barely edges out that portly red-haired guest host who gave 'SLC Punk' a thumbs down.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 3:54 a.m. CST

    Thumb up... his ass.

    by OtisSpofford

    Yes, obvious, but does Roeper deserve subtlety? Here's hoping for an Ebert/CGI Siskel combo...

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 3:57 a.m. CST


    by cromwell1666

    This man's reviews are often filled with misinformation pertaining to facts(Read his Rush Hour 2 and Silverado reviews- both contain passionate diatribes regarding clearly misinterpreted scenes). His entire writing style is smug and condescending, and he is so pretentious as to believe he should be the arbiter in defining art. I have deep respect for many critics whose views I appreciate hearing(Jeff Lyons is one of the most gregarious and knowledgable critics out there and good old Joe Seigel was a joy) but his writing "voice" is clearly designed to build each review as a monument to himself. His responses to Barker on the video game issue were trite and rude, and his staccato use of "why would I watch this film when I could be reading a Saul Bellow novel" and the old reliable attacks on television, which, make no mistake, are blanketed insults directed at you. I love you Harry, but this guy is just a blowhard and an obnoxious ass.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 4:28 a.m. CST

    Roger- Give Disney the other finger!!

    by Jugdish

    Best wishes on a healthy recoverery. Say what you will about Ebert- but he's always been straight foward with all his criticisms.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 4:44 a.m. CST

    Roger is the man!

    by TattooedBillionaire

    I've been reading his reviews for years now, and his health problems have had me worried. I hope he's okay because it was really hard to read Roeper and Zwecker reviews on Fridays in the Sun-Times when he was too ill to write.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 4:50 a.m. CST


    by cromwell1666

    "he's always been straight forward with all his criticisms" Do you mean he has not been compromised by studios in some way?

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 5:03 a.m. CST

    Ebert Ratings

    by cromwell1666

    3.5 stars for Episode 3 3.5 stars for Transformers come on, guys,

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 5:21 a.m. CST

    Generally speaking...

    by Bobo_Vision

    ...I trust Ebert's reviews, although he does have his missteps (I still remember the fact that he loved 'Hollywood Homicide', and based on that review I endured two hours of hell).

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 8:19 a.m. CST

    what did disney expect....

    by roccotheripper

    for Ebert to just NOT tell everyone the real deal here?? where is the logic here?

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Ebert might be a class act....

    by BangoSkank

    ....and I wish him all the best in his health and recovery, but.... he can also be as pig-headed and egotistical as any critic out there. <p> And why all the hate for Roeper? That's a real question. He seems rather open minded when it comes to his reviews.....

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Disney is known for underhanded negotiations

    by snowpuff

    Disney basically STOLE Winnie the Pooh from its creators. When they were sued, documents "disappeared." Oops.<br> <br> It works for them. They got away with stealing the Winnie the Pooh characters.<br> <br> Their strategy here was clearly to try and embarrass Ebert somehow. Sounds like it is going to backfire.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 9:23 a.m. CST

    I love Ebert too.

    by heyscot

    Growing up in Chicago, Roger Ebert has been a fixture in my love for movies and has been extraordinarily articulate in his reviews. He's a treasure. I'm really disgusted by Disney's conduct in treating such a beloved movie icon this way and will be boycotting their products until this is resolved. Have some class, Disney. Ebert should be treated with respect.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 9:38 a.m. CST

    I would actually rather them use star ratings anyway...

    by Charlie Murphy

    it's just a little more informative to say "three stars" or "three and a half" or "one" as opposed to the classic thumbs up/down.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 10:03 a.m. CST

    This is such BS

    by BeatsMe

    I'm sorry, but how can he control the use of thumbs up when there's an entire history of it:

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Ebert is a misserable bugger.

    by Filmrage

    I wish him well in health and all that but he's a miserable git and he sucks at reviewing movies. He recomends garbage and sometimes puts down good stuff.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 10:50 a.m. CST


    by David655321

    It's wonderful that the AP not only got the story wrong, but they don't understand the difference between a trademark and a copyright. A copyright applies to a work of individual expression, like a movie or a painting. An individual episode of the Ebert TV show is subject to copyright protection. A trademark is something which indicates the source of a good or service, such as a brand name ("NIKE"), logo (the Nike swoosh), or a unique source identifier such as "THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN."

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Nobody has "it" like Siskel and Ebert

    by INWOsuxRED

    every time they left a station in Chicago, that station would carry on with different hosts, and they all sucked. Jerry Lyons? Michael Medved? A bunch of other people I don't remember? THEY ALL SUCK. Roper-less Ebert is significantly better than any of the other wannabe shows that came around, but it still doesn't live up to Ebert in Roper, much less Siskel and Ebert. You'd think there would be hundreds of thousands of smart people who would love to watch TV, and you'd think at least one of them would be more interesting to watch. I like to watch the movie review show, but it seems like there should be a better one. Then again, what is the point when shit like Chuck and Larry can make a bazillion dollars on opening day. Nobody pays attention to the critics.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Kevin Smith said it best - Don't fuck with the Mouse!

    by glodene

    They're nothing more than a bunch of sniveling under-handed snakes always trying to gank a mofo out of their money. Ol' Walt must be spinning in his grave knowing those asshole took over his baby.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Damn, I miss Siskel too

    by Wed Vid Guy

    Been watching their archived reviews at and I'm loving the back and forth between them. We'll never have a duo like that again.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 1:33 p.m. CST

    oops, I meant Jeffrey Lyons

    by INWOsuxRED

    nobody noticed because nobody cares.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 1:58 p.m. CST

    I noticed.

    by Vergil

    But that doesn't mean I care.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Biosock and Mass Effect are art

    by BrowncoatJedi

    The old guys always have to die off for the new to be recognized. Your time is over, Ebert.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 3:30 p.m. CST

    His "non-art of videogames" stance is 100% douche

    by TallBoy66

    Seriously, boy needs to spend more time with his PS2 and Final Fantasy or what have you. Still like the reviews, but his superiority complex can be a tad irritating.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 6:37 p.m. CST

    I always liked Roger...

    by Billyeveryteen

    Sadly, his videogame stance confirms, his views are obsolete.<p>Still, the Mouse IS trying to fuck him.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Roger Ebert and "Art"

    by ChildOfMen

    I think the thing that bugs me about his dismissal of games as art is his insistence that the interactive nature of games disqualifies them as art. That is, the fact that people can experience the game in different ways, etc. and that the "creator/artist" can't control how they experience it. That has always just seemed ridiculous to me. There are plenty of examples of "interactivity" for more traditional arts, or at the very least issues where the way the "art" is experienced can be beyond the creator's control. As it is, artists have long played with the idea of creating art that is partially defined by how the "viewer" experiences it..... frankly, some artists dream of this kind of thing, and especially with modern art a lot of artists have tried to play with it.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 8:06 p.m. CST

    His reason for saying video games aren't art

    by futureman3000

    Because video games aren't art. Continue to cry about it babies.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 8:25 p.m. CST

    Wait, so Ebert is to be dismissed...

    by Alonzo Mosely

    Because you people disagree on his stance on video games?

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Alonzo, Ebert is also dismissed because people disagree

    by Larry of Arabia

    with his opinions in a few individual films. I dismiss them because one should never, ever dismiss a reviewer simply because they disagree with you. That's the worst possible side of being a fanboy, the "You don't like The Lord of the Rings? You no longer have credibility on anything you ever say!" Reviews are about the argument for or against a subject. If the reviewer can make a good case for a film the review is valid. Roger Ebert is one of the best, if not the best, at creating a valid argument for or against a film. You may disagree with him 80% of the time but you can't dismiss his reviews because they are all good arguments. When he first got back his arguments were a little weak and the stars flew liberally from his fingers. While reviewing borderline films you could tell by reading his argument that the film was marginal but happy to be back to watching movies again. He was also in a great position to say, "No way in hell am I going to review Daddy Daycare." So you, along with everybody else, disagree with his review of Fight Club or Garfield. Don't dismiss him because you disagree. View the body of his work and his arguments for or against the individual films. (full disclosure - I sort of agree with him on Fight Club. It was great until the last 20 minutes when it fell apart by going too far over the top. Garfield sucked.)

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 9 p.m. CST

    Not Ebert that is dismissed..

    by jccalhoun

    It isn't Ebert that is dismissed, it is the fact that Harry claims that he has always been a supreme class act when the reality is that his attitude towards videogames illustrates that he hasn't always been a class act. <br><br>Still, I always enjoyed his show even if I always like Siskel better and I hope his health improves.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 9:10 p.m. CST

    only classy people like video games

    by INWOsuxRED

    what a stupid fucking argument. Someone doesn't think the way you waste time has merit, poor baby.

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 10:27 p.m. CST


    by MignolaFan

    I definately don't think only classy people play video games going on playstation online or xboxlive let's you know that but I don't see how video games are anymore a waste of time than movies, tv, comics, books or sports. It is all entertainment and every medium have it's gems that teach. Even sports teaches you know leadership and what not right?(I don't like sports but I don't get on my high horse and say it's a waste that some people do)

  • Aug. 25, 2007, 11:01 p.m. CST

    You tell him

    by joet88

    SteveDave. I mean MignolaFan. Hey, I figured I'd go along with the Kevin Smith quotes.

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 12:06 a.m. CST

    how is saying video games arent an art form a sign of..

    by Director17

    not being a class act? Video games can be an art form..but they aren't yet.

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Glad to see I am not alone Larry and INWOsuxRED...

    by Alonzo Mosely

    It seems that these days the only way the average person will be happy is if they have their own personal clone to have the same views and opinions on everything... <p> My original point is that it doesn't matter if Ebert dismisses video games as not being an 'art' in the same way as film is. The same way it wouldn't matter if he had a history of giving handjobs to donkeys. To dismiss the man who is the single most influential film writer of his generation (and he is, because he has such widespread appeal via mass medium as well as awards for excellence, no one else has that combination) based on the fact he said something that you take as a slur on your manhood is frankly, friggin' ridiculous...<p> And for the record I think Ebert is like Harry, he has his blind spots and his bad days, he is getting on in age and does bring his generations viewpoint to the table. However, if you look at his body of work, which is huge, most of it is smart and accurate...

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 1 a.m. CST

    Why all the Roeper hate?

    by microwavable?

    I'm willing to be most of the anti-Roeper people aren't from Chicago. That's fine - they're the same type of people who didn't turn on to Ebert at first 25 years ago. But read Roeper's column every day and you'll see he's a pretty level-headed, forward-thinking guy. Sure, some of his capsule reviews can be a little metro or douche-y, but even Siskel had a few fogey quirks. And while nothing comes close to Ebert's fantastic wit and humility, Roeper is far better than any of the other big media reviewers out there. And that Ebert debate over whether video games are art always gets the most hilarious fanboy responses. I totally agree with him on that one. That's like calling a single round of golf "art," simply because the course is extremely scenic.

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 1:40 a.m. CST

    I'd like to know some of your ages who don't like Ebert

    by GQtaste

    because of the video game issue? Listen, Roger is a movie guy. He has given his f'ing life to it. So he doesn't like stupid games? Who gives a shit? It's not you so why give a fuck? The legend is of an older generation and when I think back to when I was young it brings me great joy to watch his show w/ Siskel. I felf like these are my people here. They dig movies as much, no more than I. And I really dug them even back then.

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 1:58 a.m. CST

    Ebert and art

    by cromwell1666

    My issue is with people who try to define what constitiutes art for everyone. Saying, "That is not art" is obnoxious. Those folks are ready to tell you what art is not, but they really have no personal understanding of what it is. Why should anyone be allowed to set parameters. I don't play many video games, but if someone is moved by a game in some way, why should it be disqualified as art. Look, guys like Ebert NEED parameters to justify their existance. Ebert needs borders. He needs to color inside the lines or his entire job is pointless. EITHER EVERYTHING HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE ART, OR SOME IDIOT(S) IS SETTING THE BOUNDARIES FOR EVERYONE. Remember, in thepast, society dismissed entire artistic movements because they didn't conform to their understanding of what art should be. This is especially true of the Impresionists and Fauvists. Shakespeare once was on the outside of the parameters too, at a time when poetry was high literature and plays were for the unbathed masses. As time passes, those who set limits become more and more irrelevant. Who is Ebert to be the deciding voice on definitions for everyone?

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 2:01 a.m. CST


    by cromwell1666

    One thing i've learned in my 29 years is that wisdom and ignorance have no age. Insight has no age, and experience is highly overrated. Why does someones age disqualify their opinion?

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 3:26 a.m. CST

    Eberts King of Kong review makes me want to rip my

    by cromwell1666

    hair out. What irony in the first 2 paragraphs. The presence of which is even more frustrating with his smug picture glaring back at you from the side of the page. Here is Ebert, reviewing a film about video games,the medium he denies is an art, being reminded of a quote from a Walter Matthau film which he feels applies to these two gamers. "You are carrying on in your own lifetime, sir, a way of life that was extinct before you were born." No Ebert, you are the dinosaur, and the condescension you pour on these 2 men is pitiful. BTW, is it not a bit frutrating to anyone else that he denies the artistry of video games but gives 3 stars to a film about video games? Here is the full review.

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Anyone who says video games are not art...

    by Burning_Tyger

    ...hasn't played Ico or Shadow of the Colossus on Playstation 2. Those games have more artistic merit in the first 10 minutes of the game than many shitfests like transformers have in the whole movie. Still, as a whole, Ebers's collective body of work is solid. He's just an old fuck that needs to retire, if just for his own health.

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Metal Gear Solid..

    by nolan bautista

    ..on PS1 and PS2 and soon on PS3..awesome works of art..this Hideo fucker knows his palette well..Japanese people are mutants who have evolved in a weird tangent after getting nuked..Anime,giant fucking robots that you ride inside and fight other giant robots,anything made by Sony,Ringu,Mecha-Godzilla(how fucking cool is that?..Godzilla was cool enough but to have robot version of him?!)and their porn..fuck..dont even go there..i jacked off to some Jap porn last night and my eyes still havent returned to normal..they're still slanted from the pleasure..

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Video games are not art.

    by eggart

    This argument was odd when it started. If ever they will be art, they are not presently. Mostly they are a waste of time. Ebert stated his opinion, and there's not much chance people are going to change his mind. Because he's right. Frankly I've found the whole thing tiresome to keep looking at on his page, because every article he devotes to this is another lost opportunity for him to be writing about films.

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Yeah, that mullet headed Donkey Kong pro

    by INWOsuxRED

    ahead of his time, and not a dinosaur. How silly of Ebert not to see him for the visionary he is. That film isn't about video games, its about obsessed nut-jobs and people with passion. It wouldn't matter what the object of obsession is. Films about obsession are often very interesting, even if the things people obsess about are silly. You could make an argument that video games are an art form, but since that is subjective, you probably have no hope of ever proving someone's opinion wrong. What I see here, with very little exception, you guys are reacting like someone called your toy collection "dolls" instead of "action figures".

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 6:23 p.m. CST

    So what is art then?

    by cromwell1666

    You guys seem to have such a grasp on what is and what is not art, so what makes something art? What disqualifies video games? RULES TO QUALIFY ART? And who is bestowed with the power to make those rules? And who got to choose who had those powers. If you think you are going to decide for me, you can go to hell.

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Disney should use a penis

    by Bluereader

    Up or down, it's still all good! Hey, I'm trading marking that! Now any time a pee-pee goes up or down I make money! Yeah for me!

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Yay for two stupid sides!

    by INWOsuxRED

    No room for subjectivity on these here boards. If you don't agree with everything I say, you can go to hell! Everything you beleive is invalidated because of one opinion!

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Boo Fucking Hoo

    by vic twenty

    I took a massive shit that looks exactly like Martin Landau. Is it art? Why not? <p> Art is subjective. One man's shit is another man's Martin Landau. Let's just leave it at that.

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Why ARE video games art?

    by Punch Man

    Looking cool isn't an art form.

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Vic Twenty

    by nolan bautista

    I also took a dump and mine looked like Barbara Bain..coincidence? Me thinks not..Its a sign that Space:1999 will soon be gracing the big screen

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 11:38 p.m. CST

    I am Batman --

    by VaderSabre

    Well said. Indeed.

  • Aug. 26, 2007, 11:39 p.m. CST

    aintitcool KILLED siskel/ebert/roeper

    by atleastwebrits

    "Thumbs Up/Down" is a fight over buggy whips. Ebert has become unnecessary. You don't need his corny-ass review show to see movie clips. You don't need to wait for Ebert's Holy Opinions. If you're curious about movies, it's all on the internet, long before poor Roger even gets to see the movie.

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Roger... one of the last remaining great critics...

    by Bone-In Foray

    and here's why. 'Pierrot Le Fou' -a new 35mm print is showing at the Music Box here in Chicago. Being a pretty big Godard fan, I decided to catch this one and so I consulted the local newspapers to see what was what. And sure enough - there was a Roger review of the film and from the late sixties no less. It was favorable enough, but it came with many warnings to anyone who didn't stray from the path of conventional film. I was sold. But... I left the movie disappointed overall...I felt that Roger was wrong in his assessment of the film and that he was perhaps blinded by his own bias. Well, then it turns out that he had actually written a follow up review and it was less than positive - in other words, Rog changed his mind and made it known exactly why and how. As it turns out, it lost some starrage and he criticized the film for being too full of itself. Not only do I agree 100% with the summation, but man - how can you not respect the man for admitting he was wrong? Same with the "Brown Bunny" fiasco. He's a stand up guy with a tremendous base of film knowledge, and I hope he's back to stay. God knows we don't always agree... but who cares? The real question should be - was he fair and balanced? The answer 99% of the time is 'yes'.

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 1:40 a.m. CST

    Video Game Art

    by Bone-In Foray

    I believe Roger has never argued the point that there is no art in a videogame, but rather - a videogame by itself is not a stand-alone work of art, it's a fucking game. Nimrods.

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:57 a.m. CST

    If you're going to say videogames are art

    by Deathpool

    Please don't use Final Fantasy. That just makes you look dumb. That said, its all about what you consider art. To Ebert, they are not, and saying he's not 'classy' or whatever because of it is asinine. The man has his opinions, just like we have ours. Disagree with him, okay. Insulting him because of it, retarded.

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 5:50 a.m. CST

    How can films be art? They're just moving pictures...

    by Hideo Kojima

    Films are just fun things for people to watch, it's only *ENTERTAINMENT* not art... lol.. oh wait...

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 9:48 a.m. CST

    HornOrSilk: "Too bad...

    by mbeemer

    ...he is trying to use that to make money on thumbs..." Well, he's not only 'trying to make money' off of a trademark HE HELPED ESTABLISH, but he's 'trying to make money' for Siskel's family, too.

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 2:31 p.m. CST

    "He didn't invent the thumb"

    by mbeemer

    Who said he did? He's got the trademark on its use in the fashion that Disney wants to use it. Whether you agree that he should or not is irrelevant.

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST


    by cromwell1666

    What's really good about the word 'art' is that 'art' is a word like 'love,' or 'god,' or whatever. It transcends so many things.---Tracy Emin

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 2:56 p.m. CST

    ART 2

    by cromwell1666

    What is beauty if it is not the refusal of the habitual? What is art if it is not the invitation to shed new light on the world and on oneself?---Helmut Lachenmann

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 2:57 p.m. CST

    ART 3

    by cromwell1666

    What I expect from any work of art is that it surprises me, that it violates my customary valuations of things and offers me other, unexpected ones.---Jean Dubuffet

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 2:59 p.m. CST

    ART 4

    by cromwell1666

    True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.---Albert Einstein

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:11 p.m. CST

    ART 5

    by cromwell1666

    To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and common sense will only interfere. But once these barriers are broken, it will enter the realms of childhood visions and dreams.---Giorgio de Chirico

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:16 p.m. CST

    ART 6

    by cromwell1666

    The artist's world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep. ---Paul Strand

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:17 p.m. CST

    ART 7

    by cromwell1666

    The artist brings something into the world that didn't exist before, and he does it without destroying something else.----John Updike

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:18 p.m. CST

    ART 8

    by cromwell1666

    Rules and models destroy genius and art. ---William Hazlitt

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:21 p.m. CST

    ART 9

    by cromwell1666

    My feeling about technique in art is that it has the same value as technique in lovemaking. That is to say, heartfelt ineptitude has its charm and so has heartless skill, but what you really want is passionate virtuosity.---John Barth

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:23 p.m. CST

    ART 10

    by cromwell1666

    In the times in which we live it is far too restricting to say that art can only be found in art galleries and not touch people's everyday lives.. I want to use any means that are necessary to communicate to people what I feel about things. There are no rules. And if there are rules, then you may as well break them.---Ken Done

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:24 p.m. CST

    ART 11

    by cromwell1666

    In art, all who have done something other than their predecessors have merited the epithet of revolutionary; and it is they alone who are masters. ---Paul Gauguin

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:27 p.m. CST

    ART 12

    by cromwell1666

    Everything has an essential beauty, but sometimes it is invisible. I would like people to notice that even what appears to be worthless junk has beauty when we see it in a different light.----Olga Solntseva

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:30 p.m. CST

    ART 13

    by cromwell1666

    Art shouldn't be something that you go quietly into an art gallery and dip your forelock and say 'I have to be very quiet, I'm in here amongst the art.' It's here, art's everywhere. It's how you use your eyes. It's about the enjoyment of visual things. And it's certainly not for any one group of people.---Ken Done

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:33 p.m. CST

    ART 14

    by cromwell1666

    Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling? ---M. C. Escher

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:34 p.m. CST

    ART 15

    by cromwell1666

    All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography. ---Federico Fellini

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:35 p.m. CST

    ART 16

    by cromwell1666

    After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.--Albert Einstein (in the Durban Morning Herald, 8/21/55)

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:35 p.m. CST

    ART 17

    by cromwell1666

    A work of art is a world in itself reflecting senses and emotions of the artist's world.---Hans Hofmann

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST


    by cromwell1666

    who cares what Albert Einstein, Escher and William Hazlitt say? Look at what these snivelling maggot no-names have to say! Eggart-"Video games are not art" bone-in-foray-"a videogame by itself is not a stand-alone work of art, it's a fucking game. Nimrods." I AM BATMAN- "There should be rules to qualify art" This is the last place I'd expect to find people with such shallow visions. I sure hope you people arent involved in any creative field, because you represent the wall in front of progress.

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Very cool quotes but it

    by Punch Man

    Very cool quotes but it still doesn't change the fact that video games have yet to achieve the level of "art". If video games are art then so is baseball. <br> Explain to me what video games you consider to be art and why.

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Please post more quotes that don't prove anything

    by INWOsuxRED

    You could make an effective argument that video games are art, but you still haven't. That still doesn't mean Ebert has no class for thinking it isn't art. Looking up a bunch of art quotes still doesn't make up for suggesting that Ebert couldn't like a movie that looks at people playing video games because he doesn't think video games are an art form. I think looking up so many quotes just supports the people who suggest that the gamers are just angry that their hobby isn't being validated, so you go on to suggest Albert Einstein and M.C. Escher are video game as art proponents, which is something that could never be proven.

  • Aug. 27, 2007, 11:57 p.m. CST


    by cromwell1666

    Those quotes represent theidea that, if anything, arbitrary borders are a hindrance. Ebert's definition of art isridiculous and his application negating artistry in video games doesn't even make sense using his own logic. You only determine the outcome and path a game travels by parameters already created by the people behind it. The options are finite, and your choices are finite. But Im not here to defend video games status as art, but to make sure that mouth-breathers DO NOT have the ability to define what art is for ayone. I am not limiting opinions. The only one I will negate is the ignorant "Thats not art" comment that is almost always spoken by sub-standard minds. Video games are just the vehicle for my argument, as I don't even play them. I've spent too much time in public art museums, hearing people who prob go once a decade dismissing modern art, or anything they don't appreciate as "not art." Why not? Because some guy doesn't think so? Art must be defined by the individual, because if its not, then its being defined by one of the weaker intellectual stratas of our culture. You can have your collective view, but I see it as intrusive and a spiritual hindrance as well. My argument is- YOU cannot make the determination for others that video games are not art. When you say its not, you are building walls. The quotes above are about knockingdown walls and breaking rules.

  • Aug. 28, 2007, midnight CST


    by cromwell1666

    If you can't see that the artists above would hold the same viewpoint, then there is no hope for you as you lack insight and cannot see depth beyond what is obvious to your limited abilities to understand.

  • Aug. 28, 2007, 12:09 a.m. CST


    by cromwell1666

    Not the point. I do not say IS or IS NOT. I want to stop people like you from creating limiting definitions. You say "it still doesn't change the fact that video games have yet to achieve the level of "art"." That is a definition that is confined by YOUR limitations to perceive. Don't plague te open minded with it.

  • Aug. 28, 2007, 3:42 p.m. CST

    easy now

    by Punch Man

    There is nothing close minded in what I said. I Am an artist for Christ's sake. All I said is that if video games are art then give examples. Simple.

  • Aug. 28, 2007, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Are board games art?

    by Punch Man

    Furthermore no one is saying, Ebert included, that no one can believe that video games are art. They, THE INDIVIDUALS, are deciding, FOR THEMSELVES, that it is not art.

  • Aug. 28, 2007, 5:28 p.m. CST

    "...and can never be."

    by Billyeveryteen

    Douches that say this, Ebert included, are the height of arrogance, and narrow vision.<p>Die.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 10:22 a.m. CST


    by cromwell1666

    "If everything is art, then nothing is art"- Please explain how you can arrive at this conclusion. I have taken logic courses in the Past, but this one is a new one. Please give a tangible example to prove this brilliant statement. Art transcends definitions and has potential based on the vision and depth of the indivivual. Either EVERYTHING has the potential, or some dickhead is making determinations for everyone. If art has a definition, it falls into the same realm as words such as intangable, unknowable, beyond, transcendental and infinite.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Wow, it's amazing how Hollywood can ruin everything

    by kirttawesomio

    Unbelievable. Simply, unreal.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Hey I know where they can put their THUMBS up.

    by kirttawesomio


  • Aug. 29, 2007, 12:52 p.m. CST

    It's funny, I hadn't read this before watching the show

    by jim

    last week. I was only half paying attention and just thought I missed the Thumbs for the first movie. Then later they showed what was in theatres and usually it shows a Thumb (usually only Roeper's and not the rating from the guest host who had done that show). I thought that weird. That's when I started to pay attention. They actually did "I recommend it", "Me too".<p>If the Thumbs stay away the show will be so far gone from its origins, and with the lack of Ebert, they may as well call it "Richard Roeper's Reel Roundup" or something equally lame. Becaus that's what it will become.<p>I'm not a fan of Roeper. If Siskel hated a movie, he told us why. He explained it. Ebert was the same. Roeper is usually "this sucks, it's garbage" but does not seem to give reasons why other than he felt it was a waste of his time. Roeper has never really been a good partner for Ebert in that he owes his job to Ebert. They may disagree but never the way Siskel & Ebert would. And most of the guest hosts with Roper these days are probably, at least in the back of their minds, auditioning for Ebert's chair, and don't want to risk offending Roeper. I doubt it would be Roeper's decision, but I'm sure he'll have a say.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Ebert just seems to confirm the story

    by Rupee88

    I don't get how this is news...he is just basically agreeing with the AP story. It's a business negotiation and they haven't come to an agreement..BFD...I think Harry is just posting this to enhance his relationship with Ebert.

  • Aug. 29, 2007, 11:28 p.m. CST


    by Punch Man

    What seems to have happened was that Ebert was allowing the use of THUMBS while negotiations were going on. The AP story stated that he had wanted to withhold the use.