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Tag: Movie criticism (1-10 of 13)

Roger Ebert to take a 'leave of presence' due to cancer's return

Veteran film critic Roger Ebert revealed last night that the cancer he’s been fighting for over a decade has returned — and as a result, he will be taking a “leave of presence” from the Chicago Sun-Times.

What’s a “leave of presence”? Here’s Ebert’s own clarification, from his Sun-Times blog: “It means I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me. What’s more, I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.”


Kevin Smith on his new Hulu film-appreciation show 'Spoilers': 'It's a weird dream come true' -- VIDEO

Kevin Smith may be retiring from making movies, but that doesn’t mean he’s leaving the world of movie making any time soon. Further expanding his online empire beyond his popular podcasts (excuse me, Smodcasts), Smith and Hulu are teaming up for Spoilers, a cinema-appreciation show where the Clerks director tells EW he and his guests “won’t review movies, but revere them.” Check out this exclusive preview video Smith made for EW below:  READ FULL STORY

'The Hunger Games' too violent for some preteens, says Common Sense Media -- EXCLUSIVE

With so much breathless anticipation awaiting the release of The Hunger Games this Friday, lost in the shuffle may be whether the film, based on Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular young-adult novel, is actually appropriate for young adults. The core story, after all, is 24 teenage kids literally killing each other as a brutal national television spectacle. In the wake of the controversy swirling around the MPAA’s decision to give an R rating to Bully solely for a handful of four-letter words — whereas The Hunger Games merited a PG-13 — how can parents decide whether to bring their young kids to see the film those kids have been talking about for months on end?

Enter Common Sense Media. The independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan group has been rating films’ appropriateness since 2003 on a far more rigorous scale than the MPAA’s one-size-fits all system. And EW can reveal exclusively that the group rates The Hunger Games a “Pause 13+.”

What does that mean? READ FULL STORY

Sundance: EW's Owen Gleiberman assesses the festival's first half -- VIDEO

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival is entering its sleepy second half, when the crush of celebrities and traffic and gifting suites and party buses have all evaporated into the crisp Utah air, and nothing is left but the movies themselves. If the final films playing at the festival are as good as EW’s Owen Gleiberman found the first half’s films to be, then this year’s Sundance will definitely be remembered as one of the best in recent memory. Check out our far-ranging conversation about the Sundance highlights (and a few lowlights) below, including Richard Gere in Arbitrage, the Kennedy-family doc Ethel, and Josh Radnor’s Liberal ArtsREAD FULL STORY

Universal's Ron Meyer on his business: 'We make a lot of sh--y movies'


Ron Meyer is a straight shooter. The president and COO of Universal Studios told an audience yesterday at the Savannah Film Festival that “we make a lot of sh—y movies,” according to Movieline. “Every one of them breaks my heart.” Two of the sh—iest? Babe 2 and The Wolfman. Other recent disappointments? Cowboys & Aliens (“All those little creatures bouncing around were crappy. I think it was a mediocre movie, and we all did a mediocre job with it”) and Land of the Lost (“Just crap. I mean, there was no excuse for it. The best intentions all went wrong”).

When it turned out that one of Wolfman‘s producers, Savannah resident Stratton Leopold, was in attendance, the two commiserated:

Meyer: “It’s one of those movies, the moment I saw it I thought, ‘What have we all done here?’ That movie was crappy.”

Leopold: “I said the same thing before the reshoot. READ FULL STORY

Meet Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, new co-host of 'Ebert Presents At the Movies'

Ignatiy-VishnevetskyImage Credit: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP ImagesIgnatiy Vishnevetsky, a.k.a. the luckiest 24-year-old in the world, was plucked out of near-obscurity by the most recognizable figure in American film criticism, Roger Ebert, to co-host the latest incarnation of Ebert’s staple show At the Movies, debuting tomorrow night on PBS. The contributor to and the Chicago Reader will be giving the patented thumbs-up or thumbs-down to this week’s movies alongside Associated Press critic Christy Lemire, but before that, we wanted to get to know him a little better.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This is a pretty impressive gig for someone your age. How did it come about?
Well, initially, I had been approached as being a possible guest contributor to the show. Roger had overheard me speaking with a colleague in the Lake Street Screening Room [in Chicago]. After that, he went home and Googled me, and he and his wife, Chaz, called me up and asked me if I wanted to meet with them. It was about maybe being a regular guest, someone who does a segment now and then, and that’s what I initially tested for. READ FULL STORY

Johnny Depp says he wouldn't change a thing about 'The Tourist' - EXCLUSIVE

TouristImage Credit: Peter MountainJohnny Depp tells EW he wouldn’t change a thing about his recent thriller The Tourist. The film, which also stars Angelina Jolie, was released last month to a tepid $16 million opening-weekend gross and often harsh reviews. (EW critic Owen Gleiberman wrote that while the film “isn’t a debacle … it’s a caper that’s fatally low on carbonation.”)

However, Depp says that even if he could go back in time to the start of the movie’s production, he wouldn’t alter the film one jot. “I’d do it exactly the same,” says the actor, who portrays a math teacher caught up in some international intrigue while on a European vacation. “I wanted to work with Angelina and I felt like I had a good handle on the character. It was not a character that I’d really played before. I don’t know the main ingredient of success at the box office. I just feel that’s not something I can do anything about.”  READ FULL STORY

Armond White vs. Darren Aronofsky: When critics and filmmakers collide in public

Darren-AronofskyImage Credit: D. Dipasupli/; Tina Gill/PR PhotosThe New York Film Critics Circle awards dinner is traditionally a festive, elegant affair honoring the filmmakers and actors voted best in their category each year by one of the most prestigious critics’ groups in the country. But after last night’s edition — the 76th in the group’s proud history — all talk of the pleasures of Colin Firth’s charming acceptance speech as Best Actor or Michelle Williams’ sweet presentation to Mark Ruffalo as Best Supporting Actor was drowned out by chatter about critic Armond White and director Darren Aronofsky. READ FULL STORY

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky joins Roger Ebert's 'At the Movies'

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, film critic for the Chicago Reader, will co-host Roger Ebert’s upcoming movie-review television show, according to the Associated Press. The 24-year old, Russian-born Vishnevetsky, who also writes for the film website, Mubi, steps into the spot originally intended for Elvis Mitchell, who parted ways soon after being announced. He’ll join Christy Lemire, the AP’s film critic, in the balcony when Ebert Presents At the Movies premieres on Jan. 21.

Good movies: when a critic is off duty

kings-speechImage Credit: Laurie SparhamYou’d think that given my long years on the job, I’d have ready replies. But coming up with the right answers never gets any easier: When friends, or family, or neighbors with whom I’ve shared an apartment elevator for ages, or interested strangers I meet at holiday parties, or even my dentist of 25 years asks me, “What should I see at the movies these days?” I’m always momentarily stumped.  I mean, I know which movies I think are good — and which movies I think are not. And I can supply a (brilliant!) critical analysis to back my opinions. But that’s not what is being asked. Not really.

“What should I see?” my old college pal, or my sister-in-law, or my neighbor on the 10th floor asks me, and I have to remember: The college friend doesn’t like movies with any disturbing content, so there goes Black Swan. My sister-in-law has little interest in animation, so there goes The Illusionist. And I have no idea whether the 10th-floor neighbor will be as engrossed as I was in a movie about a guy who cuts his own arm off to save his life — even if that guy is James Franco and the movie is as good as 127 Hours. There are plenty of movies I think are great that I know friend A or B won’t like, and I don’t think it’s my place to convince them otherwise. And there are plenty of movies I think stink that I know friend X or Y will enjoy, and I don’t want to rain on their Little Fockers parade. (I take that back: I’ll steer loved ones and strangers alike away from those Fockers, secure in the knowledge that box office revenues suggest no one gives a Focker about critical opinion.)

The result: When faced with a request for my off-duty opinion (which is to say, a market recommendation), I shift pleasantly and agreeably to the role of consumer advocate. If you like ______ (Jeff Bridges? ’80s videogame nostalgia? Katherine Heigl?), you’ll like _______. READ FULL STORY

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