Ain't It Cool News (

Statement from Roger Ebert regarding his long-standing famous show...

Hey folks, Harry here - personally - I want Roger in a mo-cap suit after a full body laser scan - in his sweater and coat... Animated with his scripted reviews on air. Of course that's probably just me. Here's what my ol friend Roger has to say about Disney's decision to take his show into a new direction without him. To me - this would be like Macy's getting rid of Kris Kringle, but anyway... Here ya go...

Statement from Roger Ebert After 33 years on the air, 23 of them with Disney, the studio has decided to take the program named "Siskel & Ebert" and then "Ebert & Roeper" in a new direction. I will no longer be associated with it. The show was a wonderful experience. It was a great loss to me when surgery in July 2006 made it impossible for me to appear on the air any longer. Although I remained active behind the scenes, I feel that Richard Roeper and several co-hosts, notably Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott, have excelled at carrying on the tradition Gene Siskel and I began in 1975 with "Sneak Previews" on PBS. Gene and I felt the formula was simplicity itself: Two film critics, sitting across the aisle from each other in a movie balcony, debating the new films of the week. We developed an entirely new concept for TV that has lasted all these years. Few shows have been on the air so long and remained so popular. We made television history, and established the trademarked catch-phrase "Two thumbs up." The trademark still belongs to me and Marlene Iglitzen, Gene's widow, and the thumbs will return. We are discussing possibilities, and plan to continue the show's tradition. Roger Ebert

Readers Talkback
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  • July 21, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST


    by Simpsonian

    oh god I hope so.

  • July 21, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST

    That's too bad

    by Bean_

    Hard to see long standing tv traditions go

  • July 21, 2008, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Ebert is a class act

    by ChetPussy

    I don;t always agree with him and he has seemed to get softer on movies since his life threatening illness but he is still the best movie critic around

  • July 21, 2008, 3:52 p.m. CST

    I wont be watching


    I will however continue to read Roger online.

  • July 21, 2008, 4 p.m. CST

    Best of luck Mr. Ebert

    by jimmy_009

    I always loved catching your show.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Ebert's a good guy

    by palimpsest

    Hell, he used to write Russ Meyer's scripts, the dirty dog...

  • July 21, 2008, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Did he use his Stephen Hawking computer voice...

    by BackRiverCatfish make his statement?

  • July 21, 2008, 4:03 p.m. CST

    when surgery in July 2006 made it impossible for me to appear on

    by Jason B. Swaim

    I am not being funny when I ask, was it the throat surgery which did not allow him on air any longer?

  • July 21, 2008, 4:04 p.m. CST


    by Jason B. Swaim

    BackRiverCatfish just answered my question.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Before the Internet...

    by Tar Heel

    ...this was my main source for learning about new movies and watching clips. I always appreciated they championed smaller films you could watch for at the arthouses or catch on video. At least you can watch old Roger/Gene debates online now.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:06 p.m. CST

    He could've also mentioned that

    by skimn

    he and Gene also spearheaded the "movement" for an adults only rating that was outside of the porno-friendly X rating. Thus NC-17 came about (for good and bad, because of lack of advertising).

  • July 21, 2008, 4:07 p.m. CST

    I'm a cripple...

    by BackRiverCatfish I'm allowed to make fun of other cripples, which unfortunately Ebert is at this point.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Ebert and Hawking

    by palimpsest

    You know it makes sense.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:15 p.m. CST

    thanks siskel and ebert

    by El Borak

    you guys were awesome.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:16 p.m. CST

    A great Critic

    by NudeandAroused

    Clearly a man who loves movies. I believe also, he is a screenwriter as well. Hopefully his reviews will still be on line.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Ebert's still sharp and not a cripple

    by gnortsmra

    Sure, he may have a physical impairment and not be able to talk, but his mind is still sharp. As long as he can put his thoughts on paper or pixels, I'll be following his work.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:19 p.m. CST

    the show

    by gnortsmra

    I really hope that the House of Mouse scraps the "At the Movies" concept and goes with something completely different. I'd hate for the image and legacy that Gene and Roger have cultivated over the years to be crapped on in the name of the Almighty dollar.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Haven't watched much since Ebert's been gone

    by Grendel745

    But I always appreciated how he or Gene or Richard would sometimes, out of the blue, have good things to say about some non-critic friendly movie (I seem to remember them having decent things to say about Swamp Thing back in the day). My first real indication that these were guys who loved movies of all shapes and sizes, not just guys who were movie critics.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Roeper out too!

    by NormanFell

    Chicago Sun Times reports that Richard Roeper is leaving as well."Several months ago, Disney offered to extend my contract, which expires at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season. I opted to wait. Much transpired after that behind the scenes, but an agreement was never reached, and we are all moving on." also, “My last episode of ‘At the Movies’ will air the weekend of Aug. 16th-17th. I wish Disney the best of luck with their new show, whatever form it may take. In the meantime, it is my intention to proceed elsewhere with my ninth year as the co-host of a movie review show that honors the standards established by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert more than 30 years ago. I will be free to share the details on that program in the near future.” Sounds like Richard is a stand-up guy. How much you wanna bet that DISNEY turns the show into ET/ACCESS/EXTRA drivel?

  • July 21, 2008, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Ryan Seacrest and Dane Cook At the Movies

    by SenatorJeffersonSmith

    Could there be a worse pairing? I hope not, because Disney will find it and throw it on the air.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Watched the show this past weekend..

    by Toby Wan

    For the first time in a long time. Noticed Roeper and some other tool reviewing movies with a "See it" or "Skip it" ticket like rating. I knew then that Ebert had rolled out the door, cuz he and Siskel had the thumbs in their own pockets. Good luck, Mr. Ebert. Hope to see the thumbs again, soon.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Aw geez...

    by Paul T. Ryan

    Okay, I live in Australia (hence I've never seen the show), but I am a huge admirer of Ebert's work all the same. Sad to hear, but he's got a proud legacy to look back on.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:31 p.m. CST

    To be replaced by "Shia & Lindsey"

    by Stalin vs Predator

    Shia: So, what say you, Lindsey? <p> <p> Lindsey: Um, like... um... I, like, um, think this movie is, um... cool? Like. Um.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Fuck Ebert. He's responsible for Oprah.

    by Itchy

    True. He was on a date with Oprah back in the day (yes, he's got jungle fever) and laid out the plan for how she could take her crappy little Chicago afternoon show into syndication, like he and Siskel did. Without that date, and that conversation, there would be no Oprah. So fuck Ebert.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:37 p.m. CST

    It won't be Shia and Lindsey ...

    by Itchy

    Disney will stick two of their own robots in there. It'll be Demi Lovato and Zac Effron, at the movies. Everything will be "just awesome".

  • July 21, 2008, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Richard Roeper and Michael Phillips

    by vic twenty

    Have done a fine job with At The Movies in recent months. I prefer Phillips to A.O. Scott and believe that Roeper and Phillips disagree just enough to keep things interesting. Hopefully the "new venture" they are moving on to is a continuation of this show using the patented "Thumbs up". Nothing sold a movie to the masses like that catch phrase, and probably never will. <p> Best of Luck to all involved!

  • July 21, 2008, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Joyce Kulhawik was not chosen

    by vic twenty

    Because they opted to go with someone who had seen more than 6 films and did not cause epiliptic seizures with her voice. I could not stand her.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:45 p.m. CST

    why "too bad"

    by Jor-El23

    Ebert will return with the thumbs and Disney gets to take a bad PR hit and an even worse ratings hit when their new Access Hollywood clone does jack shit. it seems like a win-win. now if only he could get rid of Roeper

  • July 21, 2008, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Epiliptic, epileptic, y'know, the wacky shakes.

    by vic twenty

  • July 21, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Did Mrs. Siskel remarry?

    by Chief Joseph

  • July 21, 2008, 5 p.m. CST

    I may rarely agree with him...

    by BitterMan23

    But there are few critics I actually respect, and he is one.

  • July 21, 2008, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Sneak Previews was a great show back in the day

    by Philo_Beddo

    In the late 70's they turned my impressionable young mind onto the works of Werner Herzog, "Mad Max" and other cinematic things I might have easily remained ignorant of. Plus, Siskel bought Travolta's white suit from "Saturday Night Fever" at an auction. That's a movie fan.

  • July 21, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    "new direction"=someone always takes a thumb...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...up the I hate that fucking phrase.

  • July 21, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Love Ebert! And Roeper is a class act!

    by Penetron

    My cousin works on At The Movies. He told me that the rumor on set was that Disney went behind Ebert's back and offered Roeper his own show with a huge raise. Roeper told them to go screw! He didn't want to abandon Roger for some, in his words, "vapid soul-devouring entertainment show." Kudos, Mr. Roeper!!

  • July 21, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST

    go back to PBS

    by taff

    Roger, go back to PBS where it all started so you can have great movie conversations without being interrupted by commercials, etc. Sure it is not as much money, but you've made a bundle. I still remember the first afternoon when I stumbled up Siskel and Ebert on the local PBS station. IT was real Must See TV!

  • July 21, 2008, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Call me old school, but I never got into it

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    after Siskel died. I take that back, the gues reviewers, including Head Geek were fun to watch,although if I recall that was while Gene was in the hospital.

  • July 21, 2008, 5:37 p.m. CST

    This sucks. It would have been nice if Mr. Ebert..

    by Cotton McKnight

    made the decision himself. I do think the show is better with Roeper and Michael Phillips for one single reason- they are competitors. I don't think Ebert ever really understood that this was the component of the show that made Siskel and Ebert so good. Of course Ebert and Phillips would have worked just as well, but the point is, they need that Tribune/Sun Times rivalry.<p> oh and by the way,as im watching this this dude next to me is watching scenes from the dark knight on youtube and i havent seen it yet. dammit!

  • July 21, 2008, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Speaking as an Englishman...

    by Moribundman2000

    ...never seen this show on TV. Got into Ebert's reviews via Encarta back in 95, went on to buy a number of his review anthologies and to follow his weekly online reviews and was utterly delighted when they put all the historic reviews online at Top bloke. And to be fair I think Roeper's pretty good too, although not as great as the old skool Siskel/Ebert debates. I love going on that site and unlocking the time capsule to see what those guys made of some relatively obscure movie from my childhood, outside of the hype machine. I also love commercials for Diabetes and Thrush, and strange ads for chewing gum with weird British women (WTF? I thought we were all supposed to have shitty teeth?!) so THANK YOU Buena Vista.

  • July 21, 2008, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Oh I guarantee you Roger wrote you back, Knobules

    by Cotton McKnight

    About 12 years ago or so, I wrote him a sarcastic email about his review of some movie. I didn't think he would respond either, but he did. I know it was him because he simply replied with a quote from George Bernard Shaw. Now who the hell else would do that?

  • July 21, 2008, 5:43 p.m. CST

    ebert, roeper, and phillips

    by Madbomber

    Roeper is kind of a moron at times, but there has been some new life to the program since Phillips became the permanent cohost (I also liked Scott and Wilonsky opposite Roeper). Hopefully Roeper and Phillips maintain their connections with Ebert if thats possible.

  • July 21, 2008, 5:44 p.m. CST

    and I probably forgot the George Bernard Shaw quote..

    by Cotton McKnight

    because it was absolutely viscious. I am sure I blocked it out of my memory for that reason alone.

  • July 21, 2008, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Anybody else miss Cinemania?

    by Cotton McKnight

    The mention of Encarta reminded me of that. Every month, your Cinemania program would be updated with the latest Roger Ebert reviews, among others. And it would have clips from movies. That program was freaking awesome.

  • July 21, 2008, 5:46 p.m. CST

    AO Scott should get a show with Roeper.

    by Bungion Boy

    I like Phillips but I think Scott provides a better (and smarter) balance. I love Roger Ebert. I love this show. I don't know what I'll do without it.

  • July 21, 2008, 5:56 p.m. CST

    props Roger Ebert

    by happyboy

    first geek and Godfather of the geek movement. happens to also be our best film critic. here's to your health keep on truckin'

  • July 21, 2008, 6:01 p.m. CST

    You know this is no different than what happened on PBS

    by Cotton McKnight

    Don't you all remember? If memory serves, they left "Sneak Previews" and then they got Michael Medved and some other dork to review movies under the same name. It's not THAT big of a deal. And what Harry failed to mention (and it's KIND OF IMPORTANT) is that Roeper quit as well. Sloppy "journalism", once again.

  • July 21, 2008, 6:03 p.m. CST


    by Cotton McKnight

    "Disney cannot use the `thumbs,'" he said. <p> Ebert didn't elaborate on future possibilities. Nor did he say what — if any — role Roeper, whose work he praised, will have. But Roeper, in his own announcement that he was leaving the program, hinted that perhaps his partnership with Ebert may not be over."

  • July 21, 2008, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Phillips can write

    by SnootyBoots

    He's got a personable, snarky kind of style in his written reviews that is his own but reminiscent of Ebert. So it's sort of like having Ebert on the show. Always preferred Ebert over Siskel cause Ebert was head and shoulders the better writer.

  • July 21, 2008, 6:32 p.m. CST

    CottonMcKnight, that dork they teamed with Medved...

    by SubliminalJones

    was that self important snobbish douchebag Jeffrey Lyons, who they cherry-picked from WPIX Channel 11 in NY. Watching those two bespectacled, skinny psuedo-eggheads discuss film was like watching two uber Trekkies discussing USS Enterprise technical specs. They made Siskel and Ebert look like rough and tumble tough guys in comparison.

  • July 21, 2008, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Ebert is doing the right thing and Siskel woudl agree

    by Jugdish

    Disney sucks - I wish Ebert, Roeper best in their future endevours- they are HUGE in Chicago and never have to worry about a paycheck here

  • July 21, 2008, 6:46 p.m. CST is still...

    by depalma25

    ...the first website I visit every Friday morning. Roger Ebert, more so than any other film critic (or filmmaker for that matter) has been the greatest influence in my life, when it comes to educating and expanding my cinematic knowledge. At age ten I recieved my first edition of Roger Ebert's Video Home Companion. I read it from cover to cover. From room to room I would carry that book, as to ensure that the monster-size book (it seemed even bigger at that age)would always be on hand. My aunt learned of this borderline-obsession, and every year on my birthday, I would receive that year's, Ebert Video Home Companion. This was tradition, and lasted until I felt, my aunt's obligation, should become mine. The book itself, is too mammoth (also too expensive) to be sold with a hardback cover. This created problems for a young lad of 12 and 13 who's pride in property came in a distant second to practicality. My mom used to joke that I would read them so much, and this was true, that I physically wore the book down -- to the point where pages would tear from the binding, and even covers wold find themselves on the verge of deterioration. The newer versions are in better shape, and, of course, with the accesibility of your work on the internet I find it less and less necissary to pull out the ol' book with as much frequency. This fact (and the exclusive new writings) doesn't stop me from buying the new edition every year, however. I still insist to those who will listen, that I've read every review, article and musing that he have ever published. And although the star rating is the least important part of what he does, friends will randomly open the book, name the film, and call upon me remeber the star rating without looking. As fast as Roger can say "good movies are not depressing, bad ones are," they'll have my answer. I should mention, I'm always right -- for the most part. Befor the internet, Friday morning would be one of the bright spots of my week. I would run down the stairs, out to the yard, grab the paper and read his reviews on my way back to the house. I haven't always agreed with him (his Gladiator Review still bugs me) but from the moment I read my firt Roger Ebert movie review, I've been hooked. He inspired my journalistic writings in college as Arts Editor, and my film school career afterwards. My film-career now, is greatly owed to a one Roger Ebert. Thank you.

  • July 21, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST

    good luck with everything Ebert!

    by the milf lover

    When Ebert stopped doing it after his surgery I lost interest because the weekly substitutes just werent interesting to listen to, and I never cared much for Roeper either. I caught the show for the first time in like a year not long ago, and I was wondering why it wasnt thumbs anymore, and how long that's been going on. Good for them for not letting Disney take them over.

  • July 21, 2008, 7:01 p.m. CST

    I like Leah Rozen

    by dirtsandwich

    from People Magazine. I think she is the best critic. Put her on the show.

  • July 21, 2008, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Bring back A.O. Scott, Phillips is irritating

    by TallBoy66

    I don't like his tastes, really, and it's all quite snide in comparison to Roper's more workaday moviegoer tastes. Also, bring back the thumbs soon - this "See it" "Skip It" and the rarely used "Rent it" is getting old. (and, if they bring back the thumbs, are they going to keep the low-grade "Rent It"? Change it to a hand waggle?) I still like the show, regardless of who is in the chair, because I just like seeing a movie review show on the air.

  • July 21, 2008, 7:17 p.m. CST

    He has a great Blog

    by Larry of Arabia

    Check it out at his website. He's always been great to people on the internet going back to the compuserve days. Jesus I'm old.

  • July 21, 2008, 10:51 p.m. CST


    by codymr

    Caught the episode last night where they reviewed The Dark Knight. It was the first time I had seen the show in almost 2 years and I wondered if Ebert was due back soon... I guess not. Looking forward the new "possibilities" as he put it.

  • July 21, 2008, 10:51 p.m. CST

    A.O Scott is so damn BORING!

    by BigTuna

    Seriously, the guy knows his movies, but what a dull film nerd he is. I really don't see him as a great tv critic. Aisha Tyler was the best co-host by far.

  • July 21, 2008, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Can you blame Disney?

    by Babba-Booey

    Ebert's the one with the IP and hasn't even been on the show that carries his name for two years. The co-host is ready to walk, and face it, the days of televised movie review shows has gone by thanks to sites like this and rotten tomatoes. Harrys on to something though about a mo-cap thingy, though. Jackie Martling did mo-cap shows on the net almost 10 years ago. It *can* be done!

  • July 21, 2008, 11:01 p.m. CST

    I was there from the beginning

    by Filmaholic

    I was watching this show when it originally aired on PBS. THere I learned about films like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. I remember they reviewed the original FRIDAY THE 13TH film - strangely - 2 Thumbs Down. It's never been the same without Gene and I'm glad that Roger has gracefully bowed out. It'll always be Gene and Roger for me.

  • July 21, 2008, 11:03 p.m. CST

    what is the new direction?

    by Jubba

    will it no longer review movies? will there be a big group of reviewers? manatees?

  • July 21, 2008, 11:23 p.m. CST

    What does Ebert look like?

    by nolan bautista

    after the surgery? I picture a Harvey Dent offense to the guy..i love Ebert..but i picture him flipping coins to review a movie

  • July 21, 2008, 11:39 p.m. CST

    We all miss you, Roger ...

    by MattHooper

    But you're up on You Tube LOL be well

  • July 21, 2008, 11:43 p.m. CST

    nolan bautista...

    by depalma25

    why so hatefull? You're really quite sad it is quite evident that your life is quite pathetic. Only those who make mean-spirited jokes at the expense of others for no other reasons than to get attention, reveals quite a bit. You're not a contributing member of fact I'd be willing to bet on it. You're probably unemployed, underappreciated, and untalented.

  • July 21, 2008, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Hey Roger...two thumbs up!

    by proton45

    Thanks for years of wonderful reviews and insights...

  • July 22, 2008, 12:24 a.m. CST

    hey depalma

    by nolan bautista just curious thats not being hateful..i love Ebert since Sneak Previews on PBS..lighten up..bunghole

  • July 22, 2008, 12:38 a.m. CST

    and ..

    by nolan bautista not being mean..i give you a thumbs down for being an uptight bunghole..yeah you heard it right: a bunghole

  • July 22, 2008, 12:39 a.m. CST


    by nolan bautista

  • July 22, 2008, 1:30 a.m. CST

    I member when it was just called At the Movies

    by The7Returns

    Ah the good ol days

  • July 22, 2008, 1:31 a.m. CST


    by The7Returns

    Yeah Sneak Previews!!!!

  • July 22, 2008, 1:39 a.m. CST

    And just like that...

    by Animus's the end of another era. Two thumbs up to you, Mr. Ebert, I've enjoyed your work.

  • July 22, 2008, 1:39 a.m. CST

    IMHO, Ebert was nothing without Siskel

    by Playkins

    Gene Siskel was the reason to watch that show. Ebert came off like an argumentative next-door neighbor. That was obviously the idea, but it rubbed me the wrong way.

  • July 22, 2008, 1:48 a.m. CST

    Siskel and Ebert rocked

    by SlickyVonBoner

    Through the 80's and early 90's if they gave something 2 thumbs up, I would see it. They were dead on for picking good films 95% of the time, at least for me. Thanks for all the great reviews, Ebert, and good luck!

  • July 22, 2008, 2:21 a.m. CST

    they really didnt like each other

    by bacci40

    and it came out during the show, which made it even that much better...and they were their best everytime they went on howard...great bits...if disney was smart, they would immediatly hire the two geezers...if you havent seen their reviews, check em out on youtube...they are hilarious...and brilliant

  • July 22, 2008, 2:27 a.m. CST

    nolan bautista...

    by depalma25

    i just couldn't imagine saying such things about someone I admired. Your attempt at satire was not even remotely funny. This, is why you don't write for a living. This, is why you are a loser.

  • July 22, 2008, 3:09 a.m. CST

    Bacci, Siskel is dead

    by Bumpasses Dawg

    That is a far more permanent type of retirement. Siskel was great, and their chemistry made the show. "Two Thumbs Up" was a great gimmick, but to be honest, it was better when attached to THOSE TWO SET OF THUMBS. Now that Ebert has been silenced (on television - he still reviews films in print) the show has not been the same.

  • July 22, 2008, 3:22 a.m. CST

    Film Journalism....

    by emeraldboy

    is dying because of the rise of Film blogging, anyone with access to a computer and the net can now blog their reviews.

  • July 22, 2008, 4:57 a.m. CST


    by depalma25

    ...who cares, the best writers will be read. It's as simple as that.

  • July 22, 2008, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Roger Ebert is a Movie Reviewin' God...

    by Rogue Planet

    Not a demi-god, or a semi-demi-god, but a straight-up, no doubts, lightning from on high movie reviewing god. Back in the 1980s, when Lucas and Spielberg ruled the roost and were not once accused of raping someone's childhood, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were the of their day. Gene only appreciated the finer things in movies, and Roger relished the coolness of film. Gene was more apt to prefer a good Godfather movie, and Roger was the guy to turn to if you wanted to see if the new Star Trek film was worth a look. Nowadays, poor Gene has passed on, and Roger is no longer able to appear on television, but his reviews are still among the first to be read to see if a new film is any good. Of course, he liked "The Happening," so maybe he's just happy to be alive nowadays (Roger, what were you THINKING???!!), but I still respect his candor and love for the silver screen. Live on, Roger! The best to you!

  • July 22, 2008, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Trademark a thumb?

    by Dazzler69

    Thumbs up and/or down has been used for centuries. Not sure how you can trademark that.

  • July 22, 2008, 6:53 a.m. CST

    I had my penis trademarked

    by Dr Gregory House

    Yep. Every time some smut mag or porn site give a stag reel 3 penises 'up', you have me to thank. (though I prefer the residual checks, direct deposited)

  • July 22, 2008, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Did Ebert and Vincent Gallo ever make up?

    by Dr Gregory House

  • July 22, 2008, 8 a.m. CST

    ebert also was heard to say..

    by ironic_name


  • July 22, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST

    I wish lots of health to Ebert.

    by zed261

    I've never seen his show but Im reading his reviews since 98. Great stuff but I can't agree with his Usual Suspects review.

  • July 22, 2008, 9:06 a.m. CST

    All the best Ebert.

    by veritasses

  • July 22, 2008, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Disney's lost their damn mind.

    by Sylvia Simon

    And they can suck it if they think I'll ever watch this show again. Without Roger Ebert's input? It doesn't exist. Best of luck to you Roger Ebert! Take care of yourself, and don't let the bastards get you down. :)

  • July 22, 2008, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Why Harry didn't get the job

    by ArcadianDS

    Harry deserved it and I will be the first of his loudest critics to acknowledge his passion and deep library of knowledge when it comes to cinema. However, Harry didn't look good on television. He kept his gitantic orange frizz-fro, and his miniature ZZ Top chin chinchilla - and that along with his practically transparent complexion made for disturbing television. Had he 'gone corporate' and got a descent haircut and shaved his Hot Topic inspired beardigan, he probably would have the gig. Certainly Ebert was in no position to deny Harry due to his size. It was the hair and the beard that cost Harry the gig.<p> And this isn't a smart-ass question - its legit: If Ebert was no longer on the show and there was no way he could ever return to the show (cant talk anymore), then is it not reasonable that his contract would be GREATLY DIMINISHED IN PAY should his role be reduced to a behind-the-scenes producer/ Im CERTAIN that the job of a producer for At The Movies pays far less than that of the on air co-host. So maybe Disney told him to get lost because he rejected being paid for the job he was doing instead of for the job he could no longer physically do. Im just trying to be fair here - I love the man. He is a champion. However, it sure seems to me from an objective perspective that maybe he wasn't happy being paid for 'behind-the-scenes' work when he expected to continue to draw a salary for being a co-host. Roeper probably left because whatever Gene has planned includes Roeper.<p> and as for he and the Siskel Estate owning the "thumbs up/down" trademark? That might be one of the most brilliant business strategies I have ever heard. Ever.

  • July 22, 2008, 10:37 a.m. CST

    New hosts announced...

    by drakeavenue

    Anne Thompson's reported the new fresh faces of what will surely be a crappy show. I agree there should be a table discussion type of show with real film critics, like said AO Scott and Phillips. Enough of trying to pander to a younger crowd.

  • July 22, 2008, 11:01 a.m. CST

    ebert was the first critic I knew by name

    by mefrog

    I remeber in middle school when I really started to get into movies my parent presented me with a book of eberts reviews. Now i have eight of them and still read his reviews weekly. He's still on top for me.

  • July 22, 2008, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Alas, poor Roger

    by ByTor

    I knew him well. Before Sneak Previews I would read his and Gene's reviews in print; when my dad told me that they were starting up a TV show on WTTW, I was hooked. <P> Both guys could really *write*, and it showed in their reviews. The TV show was an extension of that, and while I didn't always agree with either of them, I nevertheless always got something out of their reviews. <P> Want to read something hilarious? Go look up Ebert's reviews of 0-star, 1/2-star, or 1-star movies. Some of them are gut-bustingly funny. (Siskel could be very funny too. I remember a review he did of "Cujo" back on WBBM: he brought out a small, stuffed dog, then put catsup and whipped cream on the dog's snout. He picked the dog up, faced it towards the camera, shook it, and said, "Grrrr." He put the dog back down and said, "That's the movie. That's all there is. Don't bother."

  • July 22, 2008, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Fond memories

    by Screwbini

    Although I have continued to watch "At the Movies", it hasn't been the same since Gene Siskel dies. The chemistry between Siskel and Ebert was one of the things that made the show special to me, and I'll never forget the time when I got a chance to see that chemistry up close and personal. I was living in Chicago in the mid-80s and I secured a ticket to an advance screening of "Jaws - The Revenge". As I took my seat near the rear of the darkened theater, I noticed Gene Siskel sitting two seats to my right and Roger Ebert was in the seat in from of Gene. I was so fascinated watching the two of them that I barely paid attention to the movie (which sucked anyway). A couple of observations: (1) it was Gene, not Roger, who munch on a large bucket of popcorn throughout the movie, (2)they didn't speak to each other at all during the movie, although they did exchange a couple of knowing glances when soemthing especially awful turned up on screen, and (3) they had a very animated discussion on the way out. I approached them for autographs and they both very graciously signed the copy of the Chicago Tribune I was carrying. I made a comment about how bad I thought the movie was, and they cheerfully agreed it was a steaming pile. I mentioned that I noticed they showed Chief Brody's wife having a flashback about an event for which she wasn't even present, and Roger said he caught that, too. He even mentioned it in his review on the show. As an addicted movie fan for my entire life, those few moments with Roger and Gene were definitely an unforgettable highlight. I wish Roger nothing but the best.

  • July 22, 2008, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Ebert is a great movie reviewer

    by wash

    Even when his tastes is suspect (Tomb Raider - REALLY???) his knowledge of film history is second to none, and he always can add a fresh perspective on a well made film. The other day I finally got around to watching "Match Point" (Woody Allen's best pic in years, I was very happy to discover) and right after I finished watching it I went to check out what Ebert had thought about it. Some of his observations were similar to mine, but his perspective was informed by a much more vast knowledge of film and litertature, which added even more to my appreciation of the movie.

  • July 22, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Dr gregory house...

    by emeraldboy

    They did. after gallo found out that Ebert had Cancer. Throat Cancer. which Gallo said he hoped Ebert should die of....

  • July 22, 2008, 1:51 p.m. CST

    I think Ebert is suffering from the George Carlin effect

    by Cotton McKnight

    And has been for awhile. You know how Carlin used to be on point and sharp as a tack? In the waning years though, he was just a crabby old guy who just mouthed off. <p>I mean NO disrespect to Mr. Ebert because he is full of life and is as active as a reviewer as he ever has been, but lately he has kind of had a "fuck it" attitude. Especially since 9/11. I think that explains reviews like The Happening, which I think he enjoyed solely on the basis of it's message (be nice to the environment) and its slow pacing, which allows us all to think about how mean we are. I think he has taken on a broader view of life in general in his waning years, and that's clearly effecting his reviews.

  • July 22, 2008, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Fuck Disney

    by kwisatzhaderach

    That is all

  • July 22, 2008, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Disney Will Choose....

    by ericinwisconsin

    Kyle Massey & Dylan and/or Cole Sprouse. The show will be accompanied by a laugh track and actually include skits of Lucy & Ethyl... uh, I mean Kyle & Dylan and/or Cole.<br><br> When Kyle gets amnesia just before it's time to review "Watchmen" hilarity ensues.

  • July 22, 2008, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Ben Lyons...

    by SubliminalJones

    The hellspawn of asshat Jeffrey Lyons. They should just name the series "Snooty Faux Intellectual Douchebag-The Next Generation" if that's the case.

  • July 22, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    God Bless ya Ebert and fuck Disney!

    by Stalkeye

    I grew up watching eberts movie reviews since sneak previews when I was a kid (early 80's)and currently at the movies although he hasnt appeared on the show for years due to his throat cancer.<p>I hope to see him back where he belongs, in the red theather seat.Thumbs Up!!

  • July 22, 2008, 5:55 p.m. CST

    that's sad

    by CherryValance

    but I like reading his reviews better anyway. If they're choosing between those two, Michael Philips gives Roeper a harder time so they should stick with him. They had another fill in co-host that I liked better than the three of them but I don't remember his name.

  • July 22, 2008, 8:24 p.m. CST

    I loved "Sneak Previews" and the later iterations...

    by REDD

    with Siskel and Ebert. I hope they put them all on DVD one day.

  • July 22, 2008, 9:51 p.m. CST

    cherry valance..

    by Cotton McKnight

    Harry screwed this news up by failing to mention that Roeper is gone too. Whatever Disney has planned for the show, it's not going to involve either one of them.

  • July 22, 2008, 10:23 p.m. CST

    hey depalma..

    by nolan bautista

    ..sadly neither do you..(you only think you do)..bunghole

  • July 22, 2008, 10:27 p.m. CST


    by nolan bautista

  • July 22, 2008, 10:46 p.m. CST

    What I love about Roger Ebert is...

    by TheBigLebowsky

    that he reviews a movie on the basis of what it's aiming for: If a movie is a stupid comedy, did it reach it's goal of making you laugh? If it did, he will review it favorably. He often speaks of a movie working or not. He doesn't compare them to Citizen Kane! He reviews them on their own merit!

  • July 22, 2008, 11:02 p.m. CST

    All I can say is...

    by ColloquiallyBorn

    THanks Ebert, thanks Siskel, and even thanks to Roeper who filled in very well after the passing of Siskel. Wasn't easy at first, but he still managed to pull it off. Thanks for the years, no one will ever be able to replace you three for the work and effort you did. Will I still be watching, I don't know... As of now I think Disney is not playing very well with a formula that was great and that was approved by none other than Ebert, and Siskel's widow. For now, I will turn to another channel and see if history can repeat itself.

  • July 23, 2008, 2:13 a.m. CST

    "Entertainment Tonight" style sounds awful

    by Prossor

    holy shit that sounds awful, just awful that want to turn it into those run-of-the-mill entertainment/gossip shows. the whole point ilke said in that statement is the simplicity of two dudes in the theater chatting about movies, thats the brilliance of it!

  • July 23, 2008, 3:26 a.m. CST

    TheBigLebowsky: That's a damn good point.

    by Playkins

    I rescind my previous post saying that I thought Ebert was like an argumentative neighbor. I clearly forgot what he was arguing about.

  • July 23, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Uncompromising and unafraid

    by sapno_krei

    Ebert is not ashamed to admit when he likes something everyone else seems to hate. If a dumb movie makes him laugh, he doesn't deny it. That's what I've always liked about him. Early buzz doesn't seem to color his own opinion.

  • July 23, 2008, 10:12 p.m. CST

    I still hate Roger Ebert from back when he said videogames aren'

    by i kick tits

    His mother isn't an art form

  • July 24, 2008, 1:34 a.m. CST

    I kick tits

    by Wonko

    Surely, we can't go *hating* people for one little opinion, can we? I agree, video games are an art form, but still. Can't hate him just for that. However, I award you extra points for "his mother isn't an art form". Thouroughly amusing, my friend.

  • July 24, 2008, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Shouldn't he now become a super villian...

    by kirttrik

    I'm mean, isn't that how these things go. He became physically deformed, lost his show, and now wants revenge against the selfish corporate titans that have ruined his fragile dreams. I think he should choose the name THE CRITIC, and kill people in his blood soaked balcony of calamity. What do you think?

  • July 28, 2008, 11:45 p.m. CST

    I Watched Siskel And Ebert On PBS "SNEAK PREVIEWS"

    by Red Dawn Don

    Anyone remember when they left and Jeffrey Lyons and Neal Gabler took over on PBS? Later JL and NG devoted the WHOLE show to what was NEW at the HOT NEW FRONTIER of VHS video stores for rental. As far as Roger Ebert goes, he is a mixed-bag. Ebert HATED the movie FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. Gene Siskel did not like BLADE RUNNER. Fuuny too, Siskel always insulted Ebert on talk shows. Ebert got the last laugh as Siskel went to his dirt nap first. I saw HARRY KNOWLES for the first time as a guest critic on Ebert's show. Finally, critic JOYCE KULHAWIK may have an annoying voice but she was/is a MAJOR MILF. I vote her thumbs up and my other body parts UP, UP, UP. Google her image to see for yourself.