Hello, I Am the New Ebert


It’s official, I’ve taken over Roger Ebert’s position. Not as reviewer for the Chicago Sun Times or on the show “Ebert and Roeper at the Movies,” no this coronation is about more the general feel and vibeyness of who Ebert be (when he be what he be). My opinion will now count as much as his, I will have a private screening room, and my name will appear on gads of movie posters. I will not be given a Pulitzer until a few years have passed (so people don’t feel like the process was rigged). But I will be given four Pulitzers at some point, one of them written about a heartbreaking work that no one else “got” but me. Something like The Fountain, but executed better. Additionally, my Pulitzer will come with a new car. The new car will not be a Chevy product because the “This is Our Country” ads make us all dumber.

I’ve thought long and hard about who the new Ebert would be so you can imagine my considerable shock when I found out it was me. It seems obvious to me now, but many of you are probably wondering “well who the hell was this guy before he became all Ebertey?” Good question. I was a mere mortal reviewer, making a livin’ from my judgemental words about movies. You could see glimpses of Ebertness in me, but it’s only lately it dawned on me that he is me, that I am in fact him. And don’t freak out, we’ll still let him keep his name and likeness, and he shouldn’t worry too much, because we agree on an awful lot. Honestly, I have no idea why no one applied for the job prior to me. It’s a good gig. Too late now, they’ve already started printing the new T-Shirts.

So we’re now the same. We always were really, sometimes I’m lukewarm on movies he’s lukewarm on (Superman Returns [Ebert | New Ebert]), sometimes I love stuff he does too (The Queen, Marie Antoinette, Winter Passing). Mostly he gets to see about 200 more films a year than me, luckily that will all be changing now. I have a two syllable last name, just like him, and it’s five letters, just like him, so it wouldn’t be a big change in terms of talking about my opinions. You won’t have to waste another breathe. Instead of “Ebert liked it” you’ll now say “Legel liked it.” Handy eh?

I’d be good on the red carpet, just like him, and I could wear glasses if that would help people with the transition. I’m sorry to do this right before award season starts, but I don’t make the rules, I just follow them. I am now Ebert. You heard it here first.

Peter Travers’ spot is still up for grabs, as is Roeper’s gig. I think Brad is gunning for Shallot’s NBC slot. “The Nativity Story? They should have called it The Proclivity Story because I’m inclined to watch it again and again!” I really think BB could say cheesy stuff like that and pocket a couple hundred K a year. No one would be the wiser.

To quote Tenacious D:
“Ebert must give his cape and sceptre to me.”
And a smaller one for BB.

Okay, this was a joke. No hate mail from Ebertites please. I wanted to bring the gangster rapping mentality into the critical community. I revere Ebert above all reviewers and wish him a speedy recovery from Thyroid Cancer. Ebert doesn’t bow to convention which should be a goal for everyone out there who reviews film.

Ill give you an example because I’m a stand up sort of guy and now that you’ll be reading me all the time I’m inclined to give. Ebert went against the grain to praise Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift when it would have been easy to pile on. The film had a 36 percent at Rotten Tomatoes and he could have followed party line. Instead we got something more thoughtful:

“The movie is not exactly Shogun when it comes to the subject of an American in Japan (nor, on the other hand, is it Lost in Translation). But it’s more observant than we expect, and uses its Japanese locations to make the story about something more than fast cars.”

He followed this up by giving it three out of four stars, so I think Ebert is still in touch with the general public after all these years. But if you have any doubt that Ebert is handing me the crown consider his closing thought on FF3 [Ebert | New Ebert]:

“When you bring Nathalie Kelley onstage in the first act, by the third act the hero should at least have been able to kiss her.”

Now guess what I threw out there for the new generation?

“Speaking of eye candy there aren’t enough ladies doing naughty things in this one, just your basic short skirts and sultry looks.”

Yes, me being the new Ebert is going to work out just fine. I just hope we have the original around for a long time too. He is I. I is he. Let it be written, let it be done.

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Weekend: Nov. 15, 2018, Nov. 18, 2018

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