3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2007 (Paperback)
For years I WATCHED Roger Ebert, without even giving a thought to actually reading him. I mean, overall I agreed with Roger more often than with Gene, but the quick review format and the near constant bickering between Siskel and Ebert made for such flip entertainment that it never occurred to me that I might enjoy his actual written criticism, as much as, say, that of Pauline Kael or Andrew Sarris (yes, I liked them both). But the more I read Ebert's reviews in print and online the more impressed I am with his insight and the quality of his writing overall. Turns out he's a real critic, and no, he doesn't just play one on TV.
Of course, the fact that so much of his output IS available on his website for free might make you wonder about shelling out for a written compendium of recent reviews. And wouldn't only a die-hard fan buy the annual edition of the Yearbook(which cycles in the current years but has the previous three years as well)? It's not an easy question to answer, but I will say this much. I have no compunction about browsing the volumes in bookstores and libraries--and I almost NEVER pass up a remaindered copy. But no, I don't purchase EACH year's volume. I'm admirer, maybe even a bit of a fan, but not a downright fanatic.
No one will agree with any one critic all of the time, and there have been reviews of Ebert's that have left me scratching my head in bewilderment. But I do like the fact that he is willing to go out on a limb a good deal of the time, and that he takes enough care to back his arguments with solid reasoning. He's not above the occasional anecdote, which can add a little humor and a human touch, but he does use his reviews as a jumping off point to blather on about himself either.
I've always liked the guy, and now I find that I like his writing. Now one of these days I'll have to look up some of Gene Siskel's old reviews. Or that new guy's--whatisname, Roeper? Yeah, I'll have to check him out too.