Thursday, June 25, 2009

Roger Ebert's Journal

Are you a film buff who still manages to avoid reading Roger Ebert's blog? Shudder! Look, I know that Ebert is fairly maligned for his tendency to bash a film but still render enough "stars" to confuse some folks, suggesting that it's worth seeing anyway. Moreover, Ebert has an annoying tendency to misquote dialogue or confuse plot points. And let's just ignore his "thumbs" altogether, shall we?

Ebert's blog is worth a read. He takes a decidedly middlebrow approach to his craft, complete with references to growing up in Illinois, an interest in (adult) audiences with whom you might share a beer, and a willingness to watch movies dumped into suburban metroplexes. Surely those would-be intellectual-types among us scoff. A review of Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen? For shame. Genuflect at Mathieu Kassovitz's latest or go home!

Whatever. I love reading Roger Ebert. His historical references, his picky obsessions, and his willingness to connect film to larger and more real questions of truth, meaning, and a life well lived: these combine to produce entries that manage both to be sweet and penetrating. Of course, given Ebert's recent physical maladies, I admire his blossoming as a person of letters all the more. Many blogs, I bookmark; Ebert's blog, I read.

Best of all, this is a guy who knows how to hate a film. Referring to the new Michael Bay collision of hubris, money, and teenagers, Ebert focuses much of his disdain on the director's use of heart-curdling sound, with its "boilerplate hard-pounding action music, alternating with deep bass voices intoning what sounds like Gregorian chant without the Latin, or maybe even without the words: Just apprehensive sounds, translating as Oh, no! No!"

You like film? You've got to read this guy.

Read the blog: Roger Ebert's Journal

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