My favorite Ebert reviews were for the films he frowned upon, because it always affirmed his resident-bad-ass status. For example, when Rob Schneider took out a full page ad in Daily Variety to attack the credentials of a film critic who bashed “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” saying “He didn’t win a Pulitzer Prize because they haven’t invented a category for Best Third-Rate, Unfunny Pompous Reporter Who’s Never Been Acknowledged by His Peers,” Ebert boldly joined the battle, saying, “As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.” Another personal favorite involved Kick-Ass, with Roger Ebert’s negative review inspiring barbs about his age from the movie’s angry filmmakers. Ebert nutshelled his cutting response on twitter, simply saying, “Them: I was too old to get it. Me: My problem was that I got it.” And let’s not forget his infamous feud with Vincent Gallo, who called Ebert a “fat pig” in reaction to his negative take on ‘The Brown Bunny.” Ebert replied with a play on Winston Churchill, saying, “It is true that I am fat, but one day I shall be thin, and he will still be the director of ‘The Brown Bunny.'”
Though Roger Ebert allowed us into his life with movie reviews, blog posts, interviews, and his own television shows, ‘Life Itself,’ gives us a new look at the legend. Directed by Steve James, the film lets us in on the lighter side of Roger Ebert, with a beautiful glimpse at the love he shared with his wife, Chaz, who clearly kept him going during his more challenging days, which Ebert always met with joy. He poetically described her impact on his life, saying, “Her love was like a wing pushing me back from the grave.” We also get a window into his iconic partnership with Gene Siskel, with funny videos of their feud, which eventually transformed into a loving friendship.
There’s no doubt that Ebert’s life work is inspirational. But what’s more inspirational, is how he lived his life. He was happy in the face of great difficulty, he refused to let his illness define him, and even in the most physically challenging state, his family and his writing brought him joy. I feel grateful for this incredible glimpse into Roger Ebert’s life.
Watch the trailer below, and see the film on the big screen. That’s how Ebert would have wanted it.
Sofia Vergara is seeing Joe Manganiello. PopSugar
Jeff Goldblum is engaged to a much younger woman. Stuff
Nick Lachey is having a second child. Today
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are having another baby. Just Jared
Zac Efron got cozy with Michelle Rodriguez. Us Magazine
Nikki Reed is dating Ian Somerhalder. Hollywood Take
Lea Michele found happiness with a new man. BWN
The Casey Kasem family drama continues. Radar Online
Produced by the legendary Mutt Lange and penned primarily by its members, ‘Hands All Over’ failed to gain traction, and Levine himself expressed his disappointment, saying “It’s falling short in some ways, but you have to face that. You can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. But it’s doing well at the same time. When you become accustomed to a certain level of success, anything less becomes unsatisfying.” The failure changed their focus, and their follow-up album, ‘Overexposed,’ represented a dramatic shift for the band. The title itself puns Levine’s stand-alone status, given his stint on NBC’s ‘The Voice.’ The pop-driven record is packed with a plethora high-powered producers, including Max Martin, Ryan Tedder, Shellback, and Benny Blanco. It’s also met with a shocking amount of songwriters, with James Valentine’s paltry four credits marking his first back-seat in the penning process. Levine’s plan worked. The album debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200.
Despite the success of Maroon 5’s noteworthy new direction, loyal fans are less than pleased. The band is aware of the criticism, with James Valentine saying, “A lot of our fans would love to hear us make another ‘Songs About Jane’ type of record, and I think as some point we’ll go back in and make a record in that sort of way, but [our upcoming release] is not that type of record.” That fifth release, ‘V’ also attracted high-powered songwriters and producers, including Ryan Tedder, Sia, Benny Blanco, Max Martin, and more. The record welcomes the return of founding member Jesse Carmichael, who sat out for ‘Overexposed.’
The trajectory of Maroon 5 sparks a larger debate, with answers only my readers can decide. When a band brings on so many of today’s most talked-about songwriters to help with their record, are they really a band, or are they simply a group of pop-tarts who can play the music written by others? Plus, isn’t the industry homogenized enough without recycling the air from a very small sphere? Sure I listen to ‘Overexposed’ on repeat, but did Maroon 5 sell their soul for their success?
Listen to “Maps,” the first single off their new record, ‘V.’
While Elisabeth’s hot-headed immaturity is expected, these comments are especially shocking. First, they don’t make sense. Rosie O’Donnell already mended the melee with ABC during a pre-taped return to ‘The View’ prior to Barbara’s farewell show. Second, if ‘The View’ can fix a fight with Star Jones, they can certainly do the same with Rosie. Third, Rosie O’Donnell is an avid supporter of the United States military, despite her foot-in-mouth comment seven years ago. Her son attends The Citadel, and she has made many discrete donations to show her support. To resuscitate an argument that is seven years old can only indicate a hidden agenda. After all, if we are all held accountable for our worst moments, none of us would ever work again, including Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Perhaps she’s peeved that she got axed from the high-paying gig, and she’s gunning for Rosie as a result. There’s no other explanation. Listen to Elisabeth’s hateful comments below, and watch the second video for a refresh on the original argument.
Any suggestion that a religious group is “controlling” something to the detriment of outsiders who are “not allowed in,” is not only anti-Semitic, it’s dangerous. It passively incites a takeover to re-assert control over such a group, which would in turn repeat history (see the holocaust). And history does repeat itself (I’d provide a plethora of examples, but that would make this article too long to read). Furthermore, it breeds hatred.
When Gary Oldman visited Playboy for his now infamous interview, he landed in hot water due to the aforementioned suggestion, claiming that Hollywood is “a town run by Jews.” He also denounced political correctness and defended Mel Gibson. In fact, he called Gibson’s arresting officer a hypocrite because it’s unfathomable that the officer would not have said, “F-g Jew” at any point in his life. Here’s the full quote:
Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That fucking kraut” or “Fuck those Germans,” whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That’s what gets me. It’s just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone, that we all stand on this thing going, “Isn’t that shocking?” [smiles wryly] All right. Shall I stop talking now? What else can we discuss?
The most shocking revelation is the idea that Oldman is so far removed from society that he’d think hateful words are in everyone’s wheelhouse. Perhaps he should surround himself with a new circle of friends. As for whether society should shun Oldman for eternity, the answer is no. His awful interview inspired a valuable conversation, and no one will learn anything on an island alone. Oldman visited Kimmel to apologize, calling his words, “Offensive, insensitive, pernicious, and ill-informed.” Watch the interview below.