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Roger Ebert Responds To Moriarty's PEARL HARBOR Comments!!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

In my PEARL HARBOR review yesterday, I made mention of the fact that Roger Ebert had not reviewed the film on his syndicated television show, commenting how I found that disturbing based on who produces his show. I'm guessing Roger received a number of e-mails about it, because I got the following in my inbox last night:

To those asking about your recent item, I am replying:


For 20 years, I have gone to the Cannes Film Festival, and filed daily reports from there. For 20 years, that has meant we tape two shows before I go, and fill the third week with a "repeat" show. Every year a very big special effects picture opens late in May, and we always miss it. For example, one of the Star Wars pictures, or "Godzilla." We are forced to review those pictures one week late.

It was not possible to see Pearl Harbor before I left for Cannes on May 8. After Cannes, I flew to London, and saw it on the Wednesday night there, and filed my print review on deadline.

Disney has never in 25 years made the slightest interference with what we review, what we say, or when we review it.

I wrote Roger back, asking if I could print his rebuttal here at AICN. I see that David Poland must have been one of the ones who inquired, since he also ran Roger's rebuttal today. However, when Roger wrote back to tell me that he would like me to run it, he added the following postscript:

And do the math. Was there any way I could have seen "Pearl Harbor" before going to Cannes? No. Was I there? Yes. See my daily reports at Do I always go? Yes. I wrote a book about it, fer chrissakes, called "Two Weeks in the Midday Sun." And I annually co-anchor the closing ceremoinies for the Independent Film Channel. Did Disney publicists in fact inform me of the London screening, so that I could meet my Friday print deadline instead of missing it? Yes. Would they have done that if they had hoped to keep a review out of the ~200 papers that syndicate my column? Possibly not. Did the Sun-Times hold the page of the Friday pre-print section so that my late-arriving review could get into print? Yes. Did I feel it was more important to be at Cannes than to review "Pearl Harbor" on TV? Yes. As a film critic I refuse to let blockbusters take on an importance out of proportion to my commitment to film in general. If the cinema is worth a lifetime of one's attention, it is because of the kinds of movies they show at Cannes, not because of "Pearl Harbor."

It is interesting that you focused on the missing review and apparently did not even notice that I had been filing daily from Cannes. Don't tell me you're getting blockbuster fever!



At any rate, there's the answer, straight from The Thumb himself. Point taken, Roger, and we appreciate you taking the time to address the comments. I think everyone had blockbuster fever last weekend, and it's all the Mouse's fault! I'll make it up next week when I make my pilgrimage to supplicate myself before one of the real giants of American independent cinema on the set of his new film. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 30, 2001, 4:13 a.m. CST

    Damn, Mori, you just got schooled

    by Toby O Notoby

    Kinda like it when the big guy gets pissed off. Ever since Gene's been gone he's kinda mellowed.

  • May 30, 2001, 4:14 a.m. CST

    Confirming what we already Knew.

    by Mr. Biege

    Roger is a stand up guy and would have walked out in protest if Disney tried anything like that... Now if we can only figure out why he hasn't replaced Roeper yet with someone more illuminating, like Gumby.

  • May 30, 2001, 4:15 a.m. CST

    All freinds again then?

    by Palmer Eldritch

    I mean, it seemsd at some stages like you guys were trying to make enemies with every other media outlet going! next up, are we going to get an explanation porinted by Garth from DH! Mind you his report was appalling! "Prime Minister Trudow" I mean jesus christ, he only died a couple of months back. Don't they get international news in Australia?"

  • May 30, 2001, 4:16 a.m. CST

    So when's the fight?

    by Imokliel

    Moriarty versus Ebert...should be interesting...I've got 10 on Mori

  • May 30, 2001, 4:17 a.m. CST

    Thumbs down to DIE HARD

    by Blanket-Man

    Ever since Ebert gave a "thumbs-down" to the original "Die Hard," he's been dead to me. He actually liked Die Hard II better! Like I said: "big fat idiot."

  • May 30, 2001, 4:18 a.m. CST

    Who is this guy?

    by drunken-master

    For the benefit of non-Yanks... who he?????

  • May 30, 2001, 4:32 a.m. CST

    I still won't be happy until

    by Darth Brooks

    the day I can buy the DVD edition of "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" with Roger's commentary. C'mon big guy - make us all happy.

  • May 30, 2001, 4:52 a.m. CST

    Raging Bull DVD w/ Roger Commentary........

    by Alonzo Hawk

    Now that's the Ticket !

  • May 30, 2001, 4:53 a.m. CST

    Dear Mr Egbert

    by Miss Aura

    Disney Rules You, try being an individual for once.

  • May 30, 2001, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Well, Ebert's right about one thing...

    by L.B. Jefferies

    Disney doesn't interfere with his reviews. After all, this is the same guy who gave "Rushmore" (aka the true best film of 1998) a thumbs down. I guess J. Lo should've been in it. In a related story, "Angel Eyes" is the worst movie ever made.

  • May 30, 2001, 5:08 a.m. CST

    And this just in from critic Nelson Muntz...

    by BlindBartimaeus

  • May 30, 2001, 5:09 a.m. CST

    sheesh, Roger's all pissy

    by MartinBlank

    Why does he even care what some guy on some movie website says? Anyone think he's a wee bit touchy about the implication that he's sucking the Mouse's dick? Nah, can't be. He's too busy sucking New Line's dick (see his inexplicable raves for 'Dark Shitty' and 'The Cell' and his running commentary on the former's DVD). Starting to hear the late great Bill Hicks in my head...'Suckin Satan's pecker...suck it! it's only your dignity, suck it...'

  • May 30, 2001, 5:21 a.m. CST

    Well, he has a *right* to be pissy...

    by George McFly

    Do you like it when someone makes false statements about you because they don't have all the facts? I doubt it. Roger has the right to have a little attitude in his response, and I think it was well-stated. By the way, I think Moriarty's original piece was very well written, even if I don't necessarily agree with all of it (I happened to enjoy Pearl Harbor, knowing full well it wasn't going to be a history lesson going in). Was it the best movie I've ever seen? Hell no. Did it have problems? Yes. But I think it's taken an unfair drudging, and I think film critics have been polishing their guns for months waiting to take their shots. To each their own. McFly<--

  • May 30, 2001, 5:23 a.m. CST

    Oh please

    by Shawn F.

    Roger Ebert spoke his peace on this piece of shit on Friday, just like the majority of America's critics. If you sit by your idiot box waiting for him to tell you what he thought of the film instead of picking up a newspaper and *GASP!* reading it (or going to his website and reading it last Friday like I and countless others did) or perhaps even going to the movie based on whether or not YOU yourself felt like you wanted to, then I feel sorry for you. Rock on Rog, and FUCK MOUSECHWITZ!

  • May 30, 2001, 5:35 a.m. CST


    by jon-e-blaze

  • May 30, 2001, 5:37 a.m. CST

    Welcome to fight club, Mr. Ebert.

    by Roguewriter

    Since this is your first night, you have to fi- no, put down the eclair. So you open the door and you step inside, Mr. Ebert. We're inside our hearts. Now imagine your big fat head is a white ball of healing light. That's right. Your big fat head -- the big fat head itself -- is a white ball of healing light ............. I don't think so.

  • question for Ebert (who I'm pretty sure is going to be reading these comments) - Have you heard of The Brothers Quay? if you haven't I recommend you check them out, you can buy their work on DVD from etc. I think you may well find yourself revering your glowing Praise of The Cell if you see these, particularly your notion that it is in any way original or "visionary". The cell has ripped set designs, character designs, camera moves, whole sequences from their animated short films. I'm on a one-man mini crusade to make the world aware of this. for more information

  • May 30, 2001, 6:17 a.m. CST


    by T'car dreamy. I still don't quite understand all the animosity toward him. I've spent more than one Sunday morning screening listening to <ok, eavesdropping> loud pretentious assholes banging on the guy. Ok -- so he's a little more down to earth than Ebert. But doesn't that make for good balance? BFD if Ferris Bueller is the guy's fave film -- doesn't weveryone have skeletons in our "favorites closets"? We all know the difference between Great Film & Favorite Film...right? Oh...and did I mention that he's dreamy? <grin> Maybe it's just the demographic working for 'em. On a timely and less drool-ridden note, the new Gene Siskel Film Center opens here in Chicago on Friday. It promises to be a sweet little venue!

  • May 30, 2001, 6:28 a.m. CST

    You don't have to agree with his taste...

    by JonQuixote

    I mean, what person on the planet are you going to be in total agreement with all the time? But I respect Roger Ebert more than any other critic out there, and here's why. Integrity, a genuine love of movies, and the most important aspect of a reviewer: He gages a movie on what it tries to be. This is why he can give 3 stars to a metaphysical movie about the holocaust and 5 stars to a movie about aliens trying to blow up the white house. Plus the man writes like he's on a mission from God. I thought the Cell was absolute shit...but I loved reading his review (and he made some good points too).

  • May 30, 2001, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Haha! Bitch-Slapped!

    by Sgt. Bilko

    That just goes to show all of may be a big hit on the internet, but fanboy paranoia will still make a fool out of you!

  • May 30, 2001, 6:45 a.m. CST

    You guys are acting quite foolish!

    by The Tao of Joe

    Roger Ebert liked the Cell for its originality. Reguardless of weither or not these images were seen on some cartoon, THEY WERE QUITE ORIGINAL FOR LIVE ACTION FILM MAKING!!!!! For the love of god. Ebert is perhaps the strongest voice trying to fight the good fight, and end alot of the bullshit that is eating away at the film industry (The MPAA, "BIG BROTHER VIDEO STORES"). I mean when Harry or Mori curse cencorship, and the lack of artistic intrgrity that is predominant in our current film industry, that matters to maybe half a million people. Roger stands up for movies, and you guys curse him, just because he likes visual film making

  • May 30, 2001, 6:56 a.m. CST

    True...I respect Ebert's opinion like few others, and here's why

    by Sgt. Bilko

    Roger is a professional, in the deepest meaning of the word. That is to say, everything he writes has the proper tone, whether you agree with it or not. His views on Rushmore and Bottle Rocket bring to mind times I severely disagreed with him. But he still made his well-thought out points clear. Plus, his BAD MOVIE reviews are hilarious. I hope they update his book, "I Hated Hated HATED This Movie" soon, because there is a lot of crap from the last 2 years or so just dying to be added in there. I like Harry's P.O.V., but more often than not AICN's positive reviews have more to do with geek love or some sort of childhood memory than the movie itself. That's why you've got to turn to The E-Man for the final word.

  • May 30, 2001, 7:05 a.m. CST

    For the Brits & other Non - Yanks

    by Captain Scarlet

    Roger Ebert is the American equivalent to Barry Norman.

  • May 30, 2001, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Ebert is right, Blockbusters dont come first

    by Spacesheik

    I've been familiar with Roger Ebert's work ethics and his conscientious attitude towards film criticism in general since the good old, decade-ago, bulletin board days of Compuserve's "Showbiz Forum" and Moriarty was harsh towards Ebert, but at least both sides have posted their comments and settled this with grace.

  • May 30, 2001, 7:11 a.m. CST

    This "Roger Ebert" he some kind of film reviewer or somethi

    by Bill Carson

    ROGER EBERT'S REBUTTAL / *** 1/2 (PG-13).....Roger Ebert: Roger Ebert.....Moriarty: Drew McWeeny.....AICN presents a rebuttal directed by Roger Ebert. Written by Roger Ebert. Running time: 370 words. Rated PG-13 (for strong language, huffiness, and brief nudity).....That Roger Ebert's Rebuttal manages to be both a verbal smackdown and a shameless book plug in the same breath should not dissuade the viewer from enjoying the delights to be found in this latest gem from the famed television/print film critic. I would finish this mock review, but I'm late for lunch. Thank you and good afternoon.

  • May 30, 2001, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Roeper isn't dead, yet!?!?

    by Vermifax

    What's the fucking hold-up!? If not death, at least stop him from EVER reviewing a film again!!! Please!!!! Is there no more justice in the world! There's only tow things I hate about Roger Ebert: 1) He hired Richard Roeper! 2) He's STILL employing Richard Roeper! Roeper's a xenophobic, racist, fratboy-wannabe, Heather-in-drag, Baywatch-phile, poor-excuse-for-a-half-of-a-journalist! Roeper being allowed on TV to review films is one of the Seven Signs of the coming Apocalypse!!!

  • May 30, 2001, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Hey I just got an e-mail from Gene Siskel from the Great Beyond!

    by Regis Travolta

    Dear Regis: Tell Roger to give a great big thumbs up to Pearl Harbor it's the best movie of the decade! Best, Gene

  • May 30, 2001, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Ebert's the best...

    by Rybock

    ... whether you agree with him or not. AICN reviewers should study him. Taste in film is a matter of opinion, and some movies might hit the right cord with you, and the wrong one with someone else. But in almost every case, Ebert clearly and intelligently explains his thinking. Someone trying to do a "dumb" comedy in the wake of "There's something about Mary"? Read his review, and you'll get a better understanding about why one movie worked, and the imitators fail. And for a deeper perspective, listen to his DVD commentary on "Dark City" - you'll see it not just as a freaky sci-fi picture, you'll really learn about what filmmakers put into their work. I don't always agree with him, but I do learn from him. More than I can say about any of the AICN folk.

  • May 30, 2001, 8:28 a.m. CST

    re:ebert;cell;being foolish

    by Mr_ant

    >>>Roger Ebert liked the Cell for its originality. Reguardless of weither or not these images were seen on some cartoon, THEY WERE QUITE ORIGINAL FOR LIVE ACTION FILM MAKING!!!!! >>>>>> just because not many people have seen the films Tarsem was ripping off wholesale doesnt make ripping it off ok. The Street of Crocodiles by the Brothers Quay is stop motion shot on 35mm - its not just "some cartoon". I suspect you haven't seen it either, or you wouldnt have said that. if The cell is "original for live action"? then DeathWish XXXIV and Rambo XXVI are original too, if you discount all the previous films, and bury your head in the sand, and say "lalalalalla can't hear you" at the top of your voice when someone tries to tell you of the world outside your 4 walls.

  • May 30, 2001, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Remember guys Ebert wrote the screenplay for "Beyond the Valley

    by Regis Travolta

    So he knows what he's talking about! DO NOT QUESTION HIS OPINION! He is smarter than you or me even smarter than Harry!

  • May 30, 2001, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Hey Ebert, shut your fuckin' hole, and write another "Dolls" fli

    by Uncle Jay

    Yeah, the only thing I give you credit for "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls". The only two critics worse than you are Jeffrey Lyons and Michael Medved, and maybe Dennis Cunningham (< he hated "Return of the Jedi").

  • Roger the Chicago bitch slapper.

  • The hype and anticipation for this movie was astoundingly positive at first, but then Disney shot off thier foot by over-hyping the film in the weeks before the film came out with the lavish premire, tv ads, billboards, etc... Plus the film had Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer (who have been wildly succesful financialy with almost every film they make, which totally pisses off most film geeks, talkbackers, critics, etc..) so that was another minus in critics eyes. Critics and talkbackers were chomping at the bit to bash the hell out of this film based on the fact that it was Bay and Bruck. If you don't believe me go check out the talkbacks in previous articles before anyone saw the movie... Now look what the critics did. They tore the film to shreds. Every negative review mentioned and compared it to Bad Boys, Armeggedon, The Rock, etc... Every critic had a cute little saying that they put in their review like Borea, Borea, Borea and other things of that nature. Then the box office recipts came in and it wasn't the $100 million dollar opening that everyone thought it was. Everything was going negative. But then something funny happened, people that were coming out of the film were not really bashing the film. A lot of people left saying, "It wasn't as bad as they (critics) said it was." The exit polls were tracking high with women and men alike. Ordinary people were reviewing the actual FILM, not the film history of Bay and Bruck. You see, if you truly go in the theater and judge this as a FILM by itself, it is a decent picture. Don't believe me? Check the polls of regular people who left the theater. Now if you go into this film saying, "Man that premire the threw was out of line and Armeggedon really sucked, so lets see how they fucked this up", you are letting prejudices and misconceptions get in your way. Judge and review this film by itself, not what happend at the premire or during the big chase in Bad Boys. Do you go into every movie and compare it to the producer and directors previous work? If so, that is a pretty narrow way of looking at movies. All this negativity is just going to help the film in the end. Watch and see

  • May 30, 2001, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Ebert's Da Shit!!!

    by skiopps

    Ebert is the best film critic around.Why?Becaurse he's not afraid to like a movie only he like's.So what if he has a hard on for jLo.Don't we all.This guy is always pretty dead on with his reveiws.Plus if he really loves a movie he'll plug it more than the director a.k.a.Hoop Dreams.In a era when most critic are being bought off with cash or Cameo's in teen horror flicks.Ebert is one of the few critic's with balls.

  • May 30, 2001, 9:23 a.m. CST


    by jeff bailey

    This talkback was great! Powell: "the Grim Roeper!", GI's review of a the letter! Anyhow, I'm glad I'm not alone in being underwhelmed by Roeper. Just look at the box for the Watcher video with his glaring quote; "a superb thriller!" Did Ebert like it too? I can't remember. Say it aint so Roger! I hope not. Anyway, of all the people in the revolving door of critics for that long time (rest in peace Gene. We miss ya!) why Roeper? Granted there were some bad ones from Podunk Press but there were some fun ones with cool opinions. I really liked this black guy from I think it was a San Francisco paper who argued with Mr. Thumb about the South Park movie. He was great. And some others too. Roeper is bland and his opinions somewhat inconsistent. But you gotta love Ebert, the old crankpot, even if you don't agree with him all the time. My friend met him backstage when he was an intern at the Letterman show and Ebert was nice enough to just talk movies to some kid from Texas for ten minutes like a couple of movie fans. He's a great writer, a genuine cinema buff, and always fun to get riled up! He's not some obnoxious pretentious snob like say Susan fucking Sontag or Pauline "if it isn't Godfather 2 it must suck" Kael. Hey, look I think it's cool he took the time to respond and not in a condescending way either!

  • May 30, 2001, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah!!!Pearl Harbor sucks this is not news!!!

    by skiopps

    Lets stoping disecting a stupid movie for fucks sake.Pearl Harbor sucked.We know.I know.Even my freinds who think DMX is a overlooked Genius knew it sucked.It was pure corn.Bad corn.I sick of reading and hearing about it.

  • May 30, 2001, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Before I read these posts..............

    by Beau

    .......I wondered what any talkbacker could possibly have to say about Ebert's response to Moriarty's comments. But after reading them.......I'm still wondering what any talkbacker could possibly have to say about Ebert's response to Moriarty's comments. So the only logical thing to do now is..........add my own meaningless post.

  • May 30, 2001, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah!!!Pearl Harbor sucks this is not news!!!

    by skiopps

    Lets stoping disecting a stupid movie for fucks sake.Pearl Harbor sucked.We know.I know.Even my freinds who think DMX is a overlooked Genius knew it sucked.It was pure corn.Bad corn.I sick of reading and hearing about it.

  • May 30, 2001, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Whatever happened to "I'm sorry?"

    by pedant

    "Point taken" is not an apology. Posting Ebert's rebuttal is not good enough. And even if you apologized to him personally (which you may or may not have done), you still owe a public apology to your readers. I'm getting sick of the lack of professionalism at AICN. I keep expecting you guys to grow up, but it's just one faux pas after another. At least you've stopped covertly plugging each others' screenplays.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:02 a.m. CST

    At least Moriarty made public the rebuttal instead of burying it

    by Milktoast

    Still, hopefully Moriarty lays off his uninformed indignity that seems to be a pattern with many in the opinions given on this site. Pure ego. Stick to opinions on film instead of assuming the motives of people so that at least you can have the out of it being an opinion.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Ebert, buddy boy...

    by Lenny Nero

    Yes, Ebert has gotten really grumpy as of late (that second letter lowered my respect for him in a sense...should've left it at the first letter). I'm sure Mori's read the Cannes reports just like I have, so lay off the fucker! Kiss and make up, you two.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:04 a.m. CST

    And lay off "BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS." It was a satire,

    by Lenny Nero

    "This is my happening and it FREAKS ME OUT!"..."You shall refer to me as SUPERWOMAN!"...Person 1: "Z-Man has gone crazy! He's killing everyone!" Person 2: "Calm down!" Heh...I love that movie, and showing it off to people who have no idea what they're getting into.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Jessuz...of course Ebert is in the right.

    by superninja

    Moriarty was pretty bold making an accusation like that. He obviously did no research as to why Ebert's review was delayed. I'm convinced AICN has it out for Ebert anyway after he and Harry had a falling out. However, Moriarty, I did enjoy your Pearl Harbor article, and will not be seeing this film. Vote with your $$$ - it's the only thing they understand.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Ebert's new co-host should be........

    by General Idea

    Jay Shermer, "The Critic". Put the actual animated cartoon in the chair next to Ebert. Now that I would watch. Of course first have Jay kick Roeper in the ass. Since they took this off late-night comedy central, I am having nightmares... By the way thanks Roger for renewing my faith that not quite everyone is bought off by the studios yet.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:22 a.m. CST

    compensation for my brother in law

    by Cornellius

    sometimes i like to sit and stare at my feet. especially at the beach. i enjoy rubbing my toes in the sand and then burying them so i can't see them anymore. then, i slowly smooth out the sand where my feet are covered. so it looks like my legs are attached to the beach. like a plant. sunburned. still. motionless but what the tide and wind choose to do. somewhere. you understand me.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Once Again, Ebert Proves His Superiority


    Typically, a site run by unprofessional fans (instead of industry experts,) often will make statements that ignore the facts or fabricate and exaggerate a situation for the sake of drama. AICN ignorantly accused critic Roger Ebert of collusion with Walt Disney Co. by not running a "Pearl Harbor" review on the week of its release. It was sophomoric to suggest that Ebert, a veteran of the reviewing industry, was taking orders from on high to curtail his normal reviewing routine. Additionally, AICN's charges were paranoid, and they reeked of conspiracy theories. AICN insulted Ebert's credibility by alleging a conflict of interest in reviewer ethics that did not exist. Ebert might have waved the "slander" legal banner at AICN, but to his credit, Ebert simply clarified the situation for his junior colleagues at AICN. When neophytes in the industry make baseless accusations like that, the transgressors MAY be forgiven once. AICN may not be so lucky a second time around.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Need I remind everyone...

    by wash

    ...defending Roger "Ultravixen" Ebert that the dude seriously slammed A Clockwork Orange, Blue Velvet, and Fight Club? wtf

  • May 30, 2001, 10:48 a.m. CST


    by Max Fisher Playr

    C'mon people, Ebert is hands down the most respected, and most reliable film critic out there. Go back and look at his long, illustrious career and see what he has done for the non-blockbuster film. Growing up in North Carolina, he was the person that I looked to to find out about all of these wonderful independant films that I would never have even heard of. He is a stand-up guy, and one of the few movie critics that has managed to keep his integrity throughout his career. As for him putting The Cell in his top ten list, let's not forget that film criticism, or any criticism for that matter, is about personal preference. Roger liked The Cell enough to rank it as one of his best films of the year, not the best. That was Almost Famous. Does that mean that it was one of the best of the year, by no means. I didn't think it was that great outside of being visually interesting. All it means is that Roger thought it was, and his opinion happens to be, probably, the best respected in the business. I don't rank it in my top ten list, but then again, nobody is paying me to tell people what I think. Now shut up and let the man do his job.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

    by emu47

    I ceased listening to that fat bastard ever since he gave Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead ZERO STARS. A ridiculous call, and coupled with this J. Lo nonsense, it all makes me think this guy is no better than any other asshole out there--he just, for whatever reason, gets to be on TV. So what. At least Harry has the sense to depict how his personal life influences his reviews. In light of R&G are Dead, The Cell, and Angel Eyes, I can only imagine what went on behind the scenes. I say shame on you, J. Lo--and GOOD for you, Tom Stoppard.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:58 a.m. CST

    pedant is correct

    by IronRabbit

    Mori, an actual apology would be a classy thing to do. Granted, printing his rebuttal is also pretty cool, but you did question Roger's professional integrity, which is possibly the most valuable thing he has.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:58 a.m. CST

    You guys need an editing staff

    by pedant

    Seriously. Not to clean up your spelling and grammar (hell, it's the only way I can tell some of you apart), but to screen for potentially libelous or otherwise inflammatory remarks like this. In spite of all the Oscar controversy and catfights with other Internet film sites, you've been relatively lucky so far. Keep it up and you WILL eventually be burned, big time. ***** I recently started writing guest columns for a film site which will remain nameless, and now I think twice about everything I write. For instance, in making snide comments about a certain popular film from 1999, I offhandedly suggested that the writer might be a latent pedophile. Luckily, I realized that even though *I* knew I was half-joking, someone else might construe the comment as libel. I backspaced over it. It's the kind of comment I wouldn't have hesitated to make in the company of friends, or even here in Talkback, in a sort of idly speculatory way. But the stakes are higher now, and even though I don't think it's likely that anything would have come from it, I decided to play it safe. I would prefer to have an editor worry about that stuff for me, but I write for a small operation. AICN is the biggest fish in the pond, or at least one of the biggest, so surely you can afford it. Think of the embarrassment you could have saved yourselves over the past few years.

  • May 30, 2001, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Yeah, he bashes: "Rosencrantz", "Blue Velvet", "Clockwork" and "

    by Uncle Jay

    ......I've said my piece.

  • May 30, 2001, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Can't we all just get along?

    by nverman

    Lesson one to all do-it-yourself upstart film critics (such as those on this site): don't embarrass yourself by questioning the ethics of one of the most well-respected critics in *any* medium when writing a movie review. Stick to the film in question, which is, afterall, what all of your loyal readers are visiting your site for. Every week I frequent both Roger Ebert's site for his consistently concise and insightful reviews (even though I may not agree with him even three-quarters of the time), and every day I visit AICN to get the "skinny" on upcoming movies (though it sometimes resembles yellow-journalism), but I don't visit AICN to read scarcely masked barbs against somebody whose opinion is so valued in the film industry that he is one of the few (if not the only) film-critics whose commentary is actually included on a DVD. Let's stick to film people. Furthermore, I don't think I have ever read any review of Roger Ebert's where he questions another critics ethics. Finally, the Academy Awards should one day honor Mr.Ebert and Mr.Siskel (abeit posthumously) with lifetime achievement awards for having the most outside influence on film industry besides the movie-going public itself.

  • May 30, 2001, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Ebert deserves your respect...

    by Dr.XerxesMulcahy

    Difference of opinion is what makes love of cinema great. While anyone can disagree with Ebert, none of you have earned the right to trash him personally. This is a man who has spent decades sharing his love of film with international audiences, laying his identity and reputation on the line to express himself. Those of you who have gone so far as to threaten him physically with your Fight Club metaphors are dork cowards striking from the darkness of your assumed talkback names. As a native Chicagoan, we protect our own. ~~Dr.

  • May 30, 2001, 12:09 p.m. CST

    The only reason Harry didn't get the part on Ebert and Roper is

    by Closet Trekkie

    Two tubbies falling out of their seats arguing about movies would have been hilarious though. I'd rather see Harry get all worked up than Roper.

  • May 30, 2001, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Why all of this is meaningless....

    by Isidore

    Ebert's show is on sundays in the evening! The boxoffice is already determined (mostly) by the time he says shit on TV. That's why this is meaningless crap. It's not like he slams a movie on TV before it does any bussiness. Get your shit straight.

  • his reviews not only give his opinions, but he has always provided reasons to back his opinions up as well as suggestions as to how a movie/scene could have been improved or alterations that might have made improvements. I began watching Siskel and Ebert/At the Movies in 1979. Seriously. And I was barely a teenager then. Both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were a refreshing change of pace from the usual movie reviews that I was seeing at the time and since. They both had (and in Ebert's case, still have) a definite passion with cinema that was easily picked up from the small screen. Some other critics I also admire are David Ansen, Newsweek and Michael Wilmington, also of the Chicago Tribune. Lately, I've had to add the Mighty Joe Hallenbeck and Moriarty to the fold....... I am tired of hearing the usual complaints regarding movie critics. If you REALLY read Ebert's reviews you will see his movie-encyclopedia brain at work, and I do totally dig that. I miss his and Siskel's movie banter. Ebert didn't like "Gladiator" - while I did. But that doesn't mean that everything he critiques is incorrect or just cuz he didn't like MY movie means he's a negative movie snobbish lope. Au contraire. I enjoy healthy conversation and critiques on film. And both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert introduced me to that........

  • May 30, 2001, 12:49 p.m. CST

    One more thing.......

    by Smugbug

    Siskel AND Ebert had always believed in the movie going PUBLIC's right to quality product from H-Wood. In other words, people like YOU who should have the right to get your money's worth at the local cinema. Perfect example: Their review of "Speed". They both love it. Jan DeBont's first directorial effort is a great summer movie. Why? According to them - Mr. DeBont went all out - pulled all the stops. Ya got two action movies in one - the opening elevator sequence and the bus sequence. Plus, some good main characters and supporting characters. And a good villain out of Dennis Hopper. And what a ride that movie was (and still is). And they both had no complaint with Keanu Reeves either. Another thing? They were (Ebert still is) big Jackie Chan fans. When "Rumble" opened, you could tell they were both excited over western cinema finally getting a somewhat decent Chan flick here. Even though I am a bigger Yuen Biao fan than a Chan fan........oh well. Anyhoos, Ebert believes in YOU, the person who forks the dough at the ticket counter, and your right to some quality entertainment. He also believes in the "little" men and women of Independent film making. I will always look forward to Roger Ebert's reviews..

  • May 30, 2001, 12:53 p.m. CST


    by timmer33

    Roger, how do you justify giving thumbs up to UNDER SIEGE 2 (which was pretty much one hell of a mess) and thumbs down to INDEPENDENCE DAY??? I realize ID4 wasn't the best film, but my god man, was US2 worth a thumbs-up review? If one film gets a thumbs up, and one gets a thumbs down, does that mean that the former is the superior film? I was disappointed with your ID4 review (in fact, so many people were upset that you ran a SECOND review later) but was ASTONISHED at your US2 review. Can you please explain this to me? I am a faithful viewer, and I admit I was upset at the lack of a PH review this weekend as well. Peace out man. You're a film geek that put COOL in the balcony.

  • May 30, 2001, 1:10 p.m. CST

    on "Porko" Ebert and "Dorko" Roeper...

    by Fatal Discharge

    I have great respect for Ebert whether I like his reviews or not (thumbs up for Cop And A Half with Burt Reynolds - yikes!!). He has, however, grown soft (let's see how many fat jokes I can muster) in his reviews the last decade. Judging kids' films on whether a kid would like them rather than whether they are good or not is a mistake in my opinion. He is VERY supportive of black filmmakers - something that is to be commended - but why give thumbs up to obviously mediocre and sometimes bad black films also? Sure it pisses me off that he doesn't "get" David Lynch films but so what. No one's opinions match exactly with anyone else's. His reviews are intelligent, informed, and entertaining - none of which I can say about his current Dorko partner.

  • May 30, 2001, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Take that!

    by PR_GMR

    "As a film critic I refuse to let blockbusters take on an importance out of proportion to my commitment to film in general. If the cinema is worth a lifetime of one's attention, it is because of the kinds of movies they show at Cannes, not because of "Pearl Harbor." Amen brother Ebert,Amen.

  • May 30, 2001, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Since It Seems Many Of You Can't Read...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... allow me to break my original comments down into tiny bite-size pieces for you. I did not "accuse" Roger of anything. I simply said that his very strong words about PEARL HARBOR would have had more impact if they'd been on television the same weekend as the film's release. His show is aired at different times in different markets, starting on Friday in some places and going through Sunday night. I said that I found it disturbing that the review wasn't out there thanks to the Disney connection. Notice how I worded that? Want to know why I didn't accuse him outright? Because I didn't suspect him outright. I said what I meant, Roger clarified the issue, and that's that. People tossing around worlds like "slander" don't seem to understand the meaning of those words, and people who are railing on me to apologize seem to think I somehow attacked the man. I didn't. I was writing a piece about the overall media blitz, and Roger is a very high profile member of the media. Commenting on his role in the blitz was one part of a larger piece, and wasn't written with any malice. Anyone trying to stir this into something larger than it was obviously has too much time on their hands.

  • May 30, 2001, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Now, only if Roger could teach Moriarty the basics of writing a

    by death_stick

    Granted, Roger's review of a film must be of a limited number of words, but his reviews are always well-thought, and simply put. Roger understands the idea that people reading his reviews are allowed to form their own perspectives and interpretations of a film. I think he is right on most of his reviews, though I'm not sure he has a great grasp on what is funny and what is not. Moriarty...learn from Roger, please. I don't treasure the little details of you're life, or the associations you have formed with others. I value your opinion, when you finally do get to the point. P.S. It is somewhat unprofessional to accuse somebody as being part of a conspiracy without researching it a little. Surely you are not an advocate of McCarthyism.

  • Ebert is right, PH sucks ass! Leave the guy alone. I don't know why Moriarty has to keep bitching about Ebert constantly. You're not even in the same league as Roger Moriarty screw you!

  • May 30, 2001, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Tell me about this Roeper guy

    by booksteve

    I read Ebert's reviews on the web but I never watch his show. What is so bad about Roeper?

  • May 30, 2001, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Roger Ebert: The Best; Richard Roeper: Evil-is-my-mug-on-TV?

    by Electric_Monk

    Let's put it this way, if you idiots out on planety earth have even half the brains you think you have, then a long time ago you would have realized that Pearl Harbor was going to suck. It's a poor mans Titanic. And while the former movie did have its problems, Jim Cameron was able to achieve a balance with the great visual effects and the silly love story. At issue is that Pearl Harbor did not have to be made. Hollywood, in its slobbering over digital effects technology, now thinks they can remake every film in their libraries. Bigger, and meaner, but not better. Story, story, story are being tossed out the window in favor of bigger and bigger splosions, so white, redneck American boys can jack-off too it. I have no desire to see this cluncker of a movie. It has no story and from the ads, it looks like it has bad acting as well. Give me ten Memento's before I'll see Pearl Harbor. And if you are smart, American, you'll listen to Ebert. He's a good judge of films. Sure, The Cell review was silly, and Dark City is a good film, but not the best. Go see a good film, and boycott such trash as Pearl Harbor and Tomb Raider. You'll thank yourself in the morning.

  • May 30, 2001, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Now onto Roeper...

    by Electric_Monk

    Richard Roeper should get on his knees and kiss the ass of Roger Ebert and everyone else who gave this no talent, yellow journalist a job. Somewhere in Roeper Romper Room mind, he BELIEVES he is a good reporter and probably deserves a Pulitzer for just about everything he's done, including his daily dump. He looks and acts like a yes man -one of the most hated type of office creatures there is. I have no idea how Ebert let this creepy guy on TV, in a nationally syndicated show. I thought it was bad enough he worked on the local FOX station here in Chicago. Now I have to see him on that review show. Gene Siskel must be rolling over in his grave. Just because Roeper likes movies, that does not give him carte blanche to co-host a once great local review program. I no longer watch the show, because of this idiot. And when Roeper is called away, like Gene, he must know this: No one will care. Okay, maybe his eife and kids. But if it imortality he wants, was, sister he better reconsider it.

  • May 30, 2001, 3:45 p.m. CST

    These geeks.....good job Roger

    by Why_Dammy?

    I am glad Roger took the time to explain to you idiots that there is no vast conspiracy. any of you have girlfriends????

  • May 30, 2001, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Oh please

    by zacdilone

    I love how people say "Roger Ebert sucks as a reviewer because he liked [your least favorite film here] or he hated [your favorite film of all time here]." Human beings have something called "opinions," and not everyone's is the same. If someone's skills as a reviewer are completely dependent on whether or not they agree with you, we have reached a sorry state indeed. Oh, and Bicycle Bob...I'm not surprised people in Hollywood pay no attention to Ebert's reviews, because people in Hollywood are mostly self-indulgent, arrogant, clueless hacks.

  • May 30, 2001, 3:55 p.m. CST

    wow, cine99

    by wash

    ...I never heard about Ebert's Godfather 2/3 reviews. That's just insane. End of argument right there folks, nothing else to see. I won't argue that Ebert is a well-spoken and influentual critic, but I just have to agree with the folks here that are pointing out that he's really inconsistent and glaringly non-sensical sometimes.

  • May 30, 2001, 3:55 p.m. CST

    P.H= Crap

    by cooper2000

    If he liked this crap of a movie(P.H) as he did the crappy MI2, I am never watching him again. His taste is slipping. Why people go and see crap like this like Mummy Returns demonstrates the decline of our civilization as we know it.

  • May 30, 2001, 4:56 p.m. CST

    In support of Ebert

    by Solaris

    For some of the talkbackers who didn't know, Ebert gave PH 1 1/2 Stars, or at least that's what I saw on the Chi Trib site. I didn't read the review (I was just scanning). First off, AICN seems to make a point of coming after Ebert, as opposed to a vast group of movie critcs. With TMR, Harry gets on him about points where in fact, Harry is wrong, and Ebert is right. And Moriarty, well, his recent comments are just idiocy. However, in looking at Moriarty's track record, idiocy is consistency. I've read a lot of reviewers over the years, and I can't say that I've always agreed with Ebert. Sometimes I've sharply disagreed. One thing all say for him though, he's readable, entertaining, and I've always had the impression he's his own man. And he's also capable of admitting when he's goofed on a film. Some years back, when he and Siskel were doing "At the Movies," they made a point of talking about reviews they got wrong. Since when have any of the AICN crowd ever done this? As for the people who jump on Ebert because of his "inconsistency,"I have to wonder if you had to review at least five films a week, screen several more, and do the requisite research and writing, which probably amounts at times to an 80+ hour week how "consistent" you would be after twenty years of reviewing film. As for the Godfather 2/3 reviews, hindsight is 20-20, but remember a lot of people were a little let down by the Godfather 2 when it was released. I knew some people who actually thought the film swept at the oscars due to a weak field that year, and due to the legacy of the first Godfather. For what it's worth, I don't agree with them, but it does give a sense of the context in which Ebert first reviewed G2. When Godfather 3 came out some 15+ years later, G2's rep was established. As for Fight Club (a watered down, somewhat Robrt Blyish view of French Sitationist ethics ala "The Magic Christian"), and "Die Hard" (visual masturbation for the unbelievable action/pyro crowd), I think he's right on the mark. But then again, to Ebert's detractors, how many of you actaully see films other than the male teen mall film fare? In closing to AICN, grow up and focus your attention on improving your own reviews rather than wasting your time bashing someone who's clearly done a better job than you ever have. It's seriously beneath your potential.

  • May 30, 2001, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Eberts the Best

    by Dadumdadum

    I love Roger Eberts reviews. Although I don't always agree with him, take "Fight Club" for instance, I always enjoy hearing why he did or didn't like a film. He's very knowledgable, loves film, and is entitled to his opinions. If Ebert was giving a lecture series near me, on film history or the disection and analysis of great films, I would be first on line to enroll.

  • May 30, 2001, 5:18 p.m. CST


    by wash

    Interesting remarks about Godfather 2's historical context. Still, Godfather 3 should never have been awarded 4 stars, I mean come on, Sophia Copola? Also, I don't know where your getting that the detractors here are all mall theater junkies, aside from that one moron (yes, complete fucking idiot) who was upset that Ebert bashed ID4.

  • May 30, 2001, 5:36 p.m. CST

    I believe in Ebert.... and the only thing that scares me is Keys

    by user id indeed!

    I 1/2 stars for "USUAL SUSPECTS"!!!!!!!!AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHH!!!! Well, hey, little late in the game for big opinions, I know. But still, wanted to get that out. God Bless! 1 1/2 stars!!! The man needs to watch that thing a few more times! Fer chrissakes, indeed. This has been a Moment with User ID Indeed! Kevin Pollack for 2004!

  • May 30, 2001, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Yes, you DO owe him an apology, and here's why...

    by pedant

    You wasted his time. I can only imagine how many hours he spent wading through poison-pen e-mails that were a DIRECT result of your Pearl Harbor review. This, by itself, warrants an apology. Your weasely-worded comments, whether intended as an accusation or not, led more easily to that interpretation than to any other. Roger Ebert shouldn't have to suffer because you can't write clearly enough to avoid being misunderstood.

  • I barely ever watch Ebert but even I knew he was off in Cannes and that was the reason he had a non-review show. Moriarty should have known this, it doesn't take a genius to figure it out. Once again our buddy Moriarty looks like a jackass. This is the 2nd time he's tried to attack Ebert on this site in recent months, sounds like jealousy to me. Geeze Ebert gave a really bad review to PH, so Disney can't pull his strings too much.

  • May 30, 2001, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Teen Critic II

    by sub-moxy

    For all of you badmouthing Ebert, claiming he's the worst critic, or has the worst taste in films - think again. There's your worst critic. Gasp in amazment as she gives Mr. Magoo FOUR stars, and feel your heart skip a beat as she proclaims historical films should have wacky unpredictable endings, since she's BEEN to history class and KNOWS what happens. Oh, and she gave every Star Wars film a star. Give her a chance, and Ebert will disappear from all concious thought.

  • May 30, 2001, 6:36 p.m. CST

    I'm confused...which one is Ebert?

    by corvette63

    Is he the dead one who had the crush on Travolta or the big fat one who has a crush on JLo? Besides isn't AICN the last to be pointing fingers. Remember Harry's glowing review of Godzilla after he was flown to NY for the screening? Ick

  • May 30, 2001, 7:13 p.m. CST


    by Solaris

    You're right about G3. To me, G3 was a poor conclusion to the Godfather saga via a storyline lifted out of Shakespeare's "King Lear." I always figured that when Ebert did that, it was in part because he was trying to subconsciously atone for his G2 review, in addition to being a bit star struck by the Coppola aura. Sadly, almost all critics are guilty of this at some point. Harry and Moriarty are literally deer in the road on this point. As I said before, I don't always agree with Ebert, but even when he gets it wrong (and the "usual Suspects" is a good example) he gives a rationale which is understandable. In regard to my "mall movie" comment, my response wasn't directed at the ID4 fan, who yes, is also a goon, but at the "Fight Club" and "Die Hard" fans, among others. Whether you are a mall movie rat is something I don't know, but I do believe that the vast majority of Ebert's detractors are. But if I might suggest something to anyone debating the value of one critic versus another, you should be less concerned with how many stars a critc gives a particular film, or even whtether he or she likes it. Rather, you should be concerned with whther the critic can cogently discuss the film's finer points, and give clear reasons for their opinion of the film. The critic is a guide, not an arbiter bestowing the qualitative value. For me at least, Ebert has served as a relatively good guide. Sometimes I've seen films because of him, sometimes I've seen films in spite of him. I hope with him or any critic, you do the same.

  • May 30, 2001, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Blanket-Man and MartinBlank

    by AICN fanboy dork

    Typical AICN airhead fanboys. Any critic that they don't agree with 100% is automatically whatever profanity they can come up with.

  • May 30, 2001, 7:58 p.m. CST


    by PaladinHGWT

    Woe betide anyman who can belittle himself and toot his own horn without taking a deep breath inbetween. "Sorry my review for Pearl Harbour came late, I always miss those darn Memorial Day blockbusters....I was really busy hosting the closing of the Cannes Film Festival for the IFC."

  • May 30, 2001, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Jerry Buzzheimer Presents A Maverik Pay Film THE DONNER PARTY...

    by Buzz Maverik

    Cue Wagner's THE FLYING DUTCHMAN. Terry Malick DAYS OF HEAVEN shot of a prairie, mountains in the foreground. A small wagon train moves slowly. Light snow falls. Dreamy shots of the pioneers played by Willem Da Foe, Steven Tyler, James Gandolfini, Kate Winslet, Richard Simmons and Monica Lewinsky. JAMES EARL JONES (VOICE OVER): "From Jerry Buzzheimer, producer of FLY BOY and COME IN 60 SECONDS and Maverik Pay director of THE SHOCK and RAGNAROAK...." Main title..."THE DONNER PARTY". Quicken tempo. Harry Knowles as Roscoe "Tubby" Donner staggers down a snowy hillside picking his teeth...The cast, submerged in snow, chewing on the wagon seats...Graham Green as a Native American giving the party the finger...An avalanche...Simmons kickboxing with Sherman Alexie as a Lakota warrior...Steven Tyler french kissing Winslet...the wagons skid through the snow...Gandolfini being roasted on a spit over an open flame...A feeding frenzy...JAMES EARL JONES (v.o.): "The party begins, Summer, 2002."

  • May 30, 2001, 8:45 p.m. CST


    by timmer33

    Thanks for the insults nimrods. If you read my post, you'll see I was wondering why he gave ID4 thumbs down and Under Siege 2 thumbs up. I WAS WONDERING IF EBERT CONSIDERED UNDER SIEGE 2 A BETTER FILM THAN ID4. The question had nothing to do with me liking ID4 - it has to do with Ebert's review of two movies. NO, I DO NOT THINK ID4 IS A FABULOUS FILM, BUT I DO THINK IT'S BETTER THAN ONE OF THE WORST PIECES OF SHIT ON FILM, UNDER SIEGE 2. Go back and read my original post. I never said I thought ID4 deserved thumbs up. I NEVER SAID THAT. I said that of the two films (ID4 and US2), there is no way US2 should have gotten the thumbs up. Now go write a few more stupid insults for me, which are no doubt meant to cover up the fact that you misinterpreted a simple post.

  • May 30, 2001, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Bummed Because You Think You Might Have Liked PEARL HARBOR Bette

    by Buzz Maverik

    "Gee, Mr. Maverik, were you in the military like those cool characters in PEARL HARBOR?" "You bet I was, Timmy. I still am, in fact." "What branch? Marines? Air Force? Navy?" "No, Timmy. I am a proud officer of MK-Ultra, an elite corp of C.I.A. assasains who are brainwashed into killing and then not remembering their crimes." "Like Sirhan Sirhan? And that guy who liked Jodie Foster." "Exactly, Timmy." "How'd you join up, Mr. Maverik?" "It's a proud family tradition, Timmy. You see, my father was a victim of Project Bluebird and Project Artichoke in the early '50s." "Wow. Can I be in MK-Ultra too?" "As a matter of fact, you're the lead cadet in your explorer scout troop already."

  • May 30, 2001, 9:23 p.m. CST

    I Think Roger Is Going To Want Me For His Partner When He Learns

    by Buzz Maverik

    It seems that Roeper is the son of one Stanley & Helen Roeper who managed a small apartment complex in Venice Beach, CA in the late 1970s. Mr. Roeper was known for his low sex drive and his collection of gay jokes. Mrs. Roeper was known for wearing moo-moos and being horny. Young Roeper saw his first porno film at an impressionable age at a stag party held by two of his parents' tenants, a chef named Jack Tripper and a used car salesman known only as Larry. Roeper lost his virginity to another tenant in his parents' building, Miss Janet Wood, but later admitted that he was fantasizing about her roomate Miss Chrissy Snow. Roeper decided to become a film critic after his parents moved away without telling him and the buildings new manager, Ralph Furley, threw him out on his ass.

  • May 30, 2001, 9:52 p.m. CST

    ebert was in cannes? where's that?

    by HeywoodFloyd

    it was a little sad to see a respected adult like ebert actually condescend to respond to the misdirected fanboy paranoia that moriarity was trying to pass of as criticism, but i guess i am glad that he pointed out to the typically uninformed the logistics involved with taping his show, writing his column, and covering cannes. the adult, professional concerns of journalists in the real world must read like sanskrit to the internet geek child/reviewers of aicn, too preoccupied as they are with bragging about how many times bay invited them to his production offices to take the time to find out (hell, i'll even settle for spending 5 seconds not reading a comic book and thinking about) why ebert hadn't gotten to ph on his show yet. and while we're on the subject, what was with all of the quotes from other reviewers in moriarity's original ph review? could there be any more painful and glaring way to call attention to your own agonizing lack of ability than to quote other writers in your own inept attempts at journalism? probably not.

  • May 30, 2001, 10 p.m. CST

    Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods

    by JMYoda

    MY fav title of a South Park episode... Anyway I say PROPS to Ebert for setting the record straight. I consider him the number one film critic in the US. That's not to say I always agree with him, I love both "Gladiator" and "The Usual Suspect" passionately and he thumb-downed on both of them. However he IS right more often then any other critic. He's review for "The Phantom Menace" was dead-on... And his "Pear Harbor" one is too... I also think more then any other critic I know you can just tell the guy REALLY loves movies. As for Roeper. Why he ever picked him as a partner I'll never know. The guy sucks (maybe that's why? *ahem*). The only reviewer he had on worse then him was that chic from ZDTV's Internet Tonight.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:01 p.m. CST

    sorry timmer

    by wash

    My bad...I apoligize. Here, kick me in the ass, I mean it, really. My short-term memory failed me there, I seemed to remember someone saying something nice about ID4...relative terms, gotcha.

  • May 30, 2001, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Ebert is a babe.

    by The Ferenc

    Nuff Said.

  • May 30, 2001, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Chicago's Best Film Critic is...

    by zenda

    ...Not Roger Ebert. He is usually worth a read, even when I totally disagree with him. (But last Sunday's ridiculous worship of the mediocre "Do the Right Thing" was awful!) No, the best film critic we have in the Chicago area is easily Dann Gire of the Daily Herald.

  • May 31, 2001, 3:49 a.m. CST

    On the subject of Roeper

    by 1013nomore

    Just want to add myself to the list of those with no appreciation of Roeper. I too stopped watching the show once Roeper became permanent co-host. I had been watching the show (in one form or another) since the late 70's since it was Sneak Previews on PBS. Having to give up the show was like losing an old friend. It was a one-two punch. First Gene died, and then Roeper made the show unwatchable for me. I actually tried to watch the show on tape fast forwarding past Roeper, but his comments kept overlapping Ebert's, so I just had to quit watching.

  • May 31, 2001, 5:02 a.m. CST

    Nice to see Enest Rister the PHONY showed up

    by Iknowuhackboy

    Using different user names of course (incl. names like JonQuxiote). You are so transparant, Ernest, with the way you had to come onto TalkBack and suck Ebert's dick. Phony SOB, I thought you "never frequented" the "unethical" AICN? So full of crap. I bet you come on here daily to let out your pretentious blather. Pathetic!***As for Ebert, the man's a hack. Anybody that's read any decent number of his reviews knows that. He's just lucky he fell ass-backwards into the position he's in, considering how little he knew (and he little he still knows) about film. Ebert is proof that Life is all about luck, not talent.

  • May 31, 2001, 5:05 a.m. CST

    ERNEST RISTER sighting! Man you're a phony, Ernest.

    by Iknowuhackboy

    Using different user names of course (incl. names like JonQuxiote). You are so transparant, Ernest, with the way you had to come onto TalkBack and suck Ebert's dick. Phony SOB, I thought you "never frequented" the "unethical" AICN? So full of crap. I bet you come on here daily to let out your pretentious blather. Always talking shit about Harry and his site, but you just HAVE to come here (despite your claims), don't you? Next time, you should deisguise yourself better, Ernesto. Pathetic!***As for Ebert, the man's a hack. Anybody that's read any decent number of his reviews knows that. He's just lucky he fell ass-backwards into the position he's in, considering how little he knew (and he little he still knows) about film. Ebert is proof that Life is all about luck, not talent.

  • May 31, 2001, 12:46 p.m. CST


    by LordZanthos

    Is an overeducated, constipated, pedantic ignoranimus whose creativity froze solid the day he matriculated. How this person who actually spent five minutes dissecting the plot of TMNT3 (it had one? I thought it was just another chance to sell toys and give mommy and daddy a chance to see the latest R flick) is still reviewing movies, I'll never know. I stopped listening to the dolt a long time ago. Sadly, most movie critics (who are talentless film school grads who realized they didn't have the balls and creative strength to make movies, so they decided to tear down everyone that does) endeavor to be like him. They all have their own little darlings, and nearly everyone of them seem to forget, most of the time, that films, first and foremost are meant to entertain, not engage in heavy handed preaching of some "message" some talentless hack thought was important, but which actually amount to so much mental masterbation, considering none of them actually add to the sum of human knowledge. Critics are partially responsible for some of the shit we see today due their wildly inconsistent reviews. They will one moment utterly destroy one film that did a good job, and entertained a lot of people, then they next, jump on the hormonially fueled pop-culture train of corporate socialism they purportedly hate by praising to high heaven a piece of wet-dream filth like "Bring it On." He's a big fat idiot, and anyone who like him, or "trusts his integrity" should get their obviously empty head examined. he's as much of a whiny outsider looking in as anyone else and his bitterness at never having anything resembling a real movie career is showing though his rapidly thinning repitore of acidic inane reviews.

  • May 31, 2001, 12:52 p.m. CST

    NEWSFLASH! : Moriarty Defiantly UN-Apologetic?!!


    Moriarty claims that he did not accuse Roger of anything just because he never used Roger's name in a sentence. He is mistaken, in my opinion. What he did was allege that Roger was a pawn in the Disney media machine, and that Roger could easily be swayed by a decision Disney MUST have made about not reviewing the film on "Ebert & Roeper." That was a stab at Roger's professionalism. Roger was defending his credibility and integrity by pointing out that he isn't a pawn in Disney's media blitz. BTW, Moriarty needs a lesson in the definition of "slander." "Slander" is when a defamatory statement is made about someone that is, in some way, injurious to that person's reputation or well-being. Whether he used Roger's name or not, Moriarty implicated Roger in a phantom conspiracy with Disney. I doubt he intended to do be slanderous. However, for Roger to respond to Moriarty's allegations proves that it wasn't the minor incident Moriarty would have us believe. If Roger could prove that Moriarty's comment damaged his reputation in ANY WAY, the email Moriarty received would have been from Roger's or Disney's attorneys. AICN should thank their lucky stars that Roger isn't overly-litigious. Maybe this will serve as a lesson to Moriarty on what he can really say on this site. Let's hope.

  • May 31, 2001, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Gojiro Bruckheimer Presents A Mikado Bayamoto Film HARBOR OF PEA

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...because while the Japanese can't come up with anything original, they can take American crap and make it good!

  • May 31, 2001, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Roger's Ethic Are Unquestionable. However, SHOULD He Decide To B

    by Buzz Maverik

    See, I could make my directing debut either on my ultra-ultra-low budget mind control story MARIONETTE or my occult dramedy MR. CROWLEY'S AMERICAN DREAM which has parts that cool stars would love. Now, if Rog, for future pay offs, would shake down some mini-major with a threat of bad reviews if they didn't finance and distribute either of these movies, then give me a deserved thumbs up when the flick comes out, he'd be helpin' me out a lot. C'mon, Rog, be a pal, be a guy!

  • May 31, 2001, 3:09 p.m. CST

    As it seems people don't read the entire thread...

    by Ex-Lurker That's the link to Ebert's review of PH. But hey, under the "fair use" doctrine, I'll give you the first graph: "'Pearl Harbor' is a two-hour movie squeezed into three hours, about how on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese staged a surprise attack on an American love triangle. Its centerpiece is 40 minutes of redundant special effects, surrounded by a love story of stunning banality. The film has been directed without grace, vision, or originality, and although you may walk out quoting lines of dialog, it will not be because you admire them." In its entirety, Ebert's review is almost as scathing as Harry's take on Battlefield Earth (which could never get printed in the Sun-Times). Is Ebert always right? Of course not (and if you're reading this, Roger, this is especially true of your political punditry, which IMHO is even more egregious than the Godfather 2/3 reviews). But is he Mickey's bitch? Apparently not.

  • Reading most of you guys whine and bitch about what Ebert likes and doesn't like, let's see you guys do what he does; I bet none of you would last a week! I'll admit I couldn't do it, and I have a great amount of respect for Ebert for sticking to his guns and defending himself, 'cause IMHO, he doesn't have to. He's one of the few print critics I make a point to read regularly (Peter Travers of Rolling Stone and Leonard Maltin (his guide) are the others). Damn, most of you critics of his are as bad as James "King of the World" Cameron and Michael "I like blowing things up" Bay when Kenneth Turan (of the L.A. Times) trashed "Titanic" and Travers slammed "Armageddon"- righfully- as a "spirit-deadening hack job"; Cameron said that it's a critics' job to like what audiences like, while Bay wrote RS saying how Travers didn't like any blockbusters (point in fact he put "Gladiator" on his top 10 last year, "The Sixth Sense" on his '99 list, while "Titanic" TOPPED his list for '97). I'll admit I don't agree with any of these guys all of the time (especially "Leaving Las Vegas" (BORING!!), "Boogie Nights" (a blatent rip-off of Scorsese's "GoodFellas" in terms of basic story concept and style), "Magnolia" (too many uninteresting stories), and "There's Something About Mary" (the Farrelly's are hack directors)), but their reviews are great reads (especially Travers- his brutal honesty and sharp tongue are great). It's not easy writing reviews of movies, especially ones more than a few sentences long. I've been writing movie reviews and sending them to friends via email since '99, and it's tricky to avoid repitition. I'll admit some of my reviews read like they're on automatic pilot, but that's something I want to work on, and try to avoid. But back to defending Ebert. To the people who think he only digs indies, he had "Almost Famous" top his list last year, "Magnolia" and "Three Kings" 2 & 3 in '99, "Dark City," "Pleasantville," and "Ryan" 1-3 in '98. My point? NONE of these are independently-financed films- all came from major studios. So he's more impressed with a lot of indie films than major studio product- I don't blame him. Call me a snob if you want, but I also tend to believe that the majors still put out some great films (my best 10 last year had 6 major films and 4 "indies", while my favorite 10 was almost exclusively major studio films). To the person who said he's not a Bay fan, he gave 3 1/2 stars to "The Rock" (Hell, his review was printed in the package for the movie's Criterion release); yes, he gave 2 stars to "Bad Boys," 1 to "Armageddon," and 1.5 to "Pearl Harbor," so no, he isn't a big Bay fan, but I don't blame him for disliking "Armageddon" and "Harbor." I'm more forgiving than he was about the latter, but "Armageddon" was a botched, muddled, frantically-edited mess, not to mention an attempt at duplicating "Titanic's" success, only on a fictional level. Re: his apparent "fandom" of J.Lo, he did dislike "The Wedding Planner," and for the record he didn't give "The Cell" four stars for her performance- he gave it four stars for Tarsem's remarkable production design and vision. No, the story by itself doesn't hold up against "Seven" or "Silence of the Lambs," but the distinctive look of the film is pretty f*$&ing impressive. Now about "Phantom Menace," I think even Ebert mentioned in his review that what the film had to do was tricky- setting up characters we know are more interesting later, not to mention the entire story for the historic original trilogy. Yeah, he was more impressed with the visuals than the story, but name me even the most ardent "Star Wars" fan who wasn't? Has it ever occured to anyone here that put the "New Hope" story to the exact same quality effects of "Phantom Menace" and you'd be bitching about the story and dialogue too? Finally, "The Godfather 2" & "3"; that is a bit odd, but he gave "3" 3 1/2 stars, not 4. At least have the decency to get THAT much correctly. And to those of you who still insist on crapping on "Pearl Harbor" without even seeing it- bitch all you want about it; an intelligent movie fan couldn't care less, since you're basing your opinion just on speculation from the trailers and reviews you read. A true movie fan would want to make up their mind by honestly giving the film a chance in theaters. Yes, that means $9 more the film makes, but for those of us who love movies and would rather give the film a chance- no matter how much we think we'll hate it- it's a catch 22. Oh well- not every film we see can be great (I would love my money back for "3000 Miles to Graceland," "What Lies Beneath," "Boogie Nights," "Mary," and "Armageddon," but at least I gave them a chance). (And for the record, "Citizen Kane" is not the best film I've ever seen (that would be "Vertigo"), "The Crow" is my favorite film, John Woo- despite what detractors here think- is still the most important action director in cinema (he just doesn't get enough flexibility from the studios here), I love ALL of the "Star Wars" films (even "Jedi" and "Menace"), and I found "The Matrix" overly pretentious, boring in the second half, and just plain derivative and lame in story ("Dark City" did the same concept a million times better), even though I'll admit the action was pretty cool...for the time at least (after "Crouching Tiger," not so much). If anyone around here still cares or is posting, then my words here may not be in vein. Thank you for your time.

  • May 31, 2001, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Moriarty made a faux-pas, it was his bad.

    by Tall_Boy

    but still, he's a hot blooded geek like the rest of us, so he can be forgiven. nice to see Ebert stickin up for himself, though....

  • May 31, 2001, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Why I can never trust Roger Ebert

    by artsnob

    Even if he HADN'T given "thumbs down" to DIE HARD, FIGHT CLUB, RESERVOIR DOGS, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, BLUE VELVET, SNATCH, SCARFACE, SHALLOW GRAVE, BASIC INSTINCT, A FEW GOOD MEN, FATAL ATTRACTION and FULL METAL JACKET while giving "thumbs up" to SPEED II, CUTTHROAT ISLAND, COP AND A HALF, THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE, FREE WILLY 3, HOME ALONE 3, ANOTHER STAKEOUT, LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, V.I. WARSHAWSKI, HOME FRIES, EXCESS BAGGAGE, JUNIOR, SHE-DEVIL, JUST VISITING, CURLY SUE, and OSCAR, I could have no respect for the overgrown, lard-assed man-boy because of two very revealing comments he's made publicly: (1) "I've been a liberal since I reached the age of reason" (from the Compuserve Showbiz forum, March 17, 2000) and (2) "As a fan of Michael Moore's ``Roger & Me,'' I am of course sympathetic to the fates of workers in downsized industries and the sins of runaway manufacturers" (from a 1997 movie review).

  • May 31, 2001, 11:54 p.m. CST

    How Ebert justifies 3 1/2 stars for "Godfather III" (for the uni

    by Darth Taun Taun

    "In the 'Godfather' movies Coppola has made a world. Because we know it so intimately, because its rhythms and values are instantly recognizable to us, a film like 'The Godfather Part III' probably works better than it should. If you stand back and look at it rationally, this is a confusing and disjointed film. It is said that Coppola was rewriting it as he went along, and indeed it lacks the confident forward sweep of a film that knows where it's going."

  • May 31, 2001, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Ebert's first draft

    by Darth Taun Taun

    Dear Moriarty, Blow me. - Rog

  • June 1, 2001, 4:29 a.m. CST

    AICN fanboy dork

    by Blanket-Man

    Um, I'm pretty sure I didn't use one word of profanity in my post, so don't lump me into that crowd. As for my point: See artsnob's post with his listing of ludicrous "thumbs-up" and "thumbs-down" that Ebert has given over the years. A lot of those movies are just so far on the OTHER side of the ledger that it makes Ebert's praise/condemnation seem laughable - I pointed out "Die Hard" because it's my favorite modern action flick and has been since the first time I saw it. How many copycat movies have we seen since its release??? But Ebert didn't get it, as he so often does not. There's just too many such examples over the years from him like that for me to consider him anything but a boob.

  • June 1, 2001, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Bring me the head of Wilmington's cow!

    by METHOS

    The best film critic in Chicago is Michael Wilmington for the Tribune. He defends Altman every chance he gets, and I DIG that about the guy!

  • June 2, 2001, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Ebert gave The Cell 4 stars?

    by pb

    Wow. By that standard Pearl Harbor would be one of the best films ever made.

  • March 11, 2004, 9:52 p.m. CST


    by neobido999

    This guy is SO onbiously a plant, Roger Plantbert indeed. PS Don't sue me Rog, I love your reviews (But stars for Gladiator and 3 for Btaman and robin? Puh-lease!)