"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."Roger Joseph Ebert (June 18, 1942 - April 4, 2013) was the film reviewer-in-chief at the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In itself, that would make him important as the elder statesman of film criticism.In 1975, Ebert teamed up with Gene Siskel, reviewer-in-chief at the Chicago Tribune, to present a film review program called Sneak Previews on the local PBS station. The program went to national syndication in 1978; in 1982 Siskel And Ebert moved to Syndication on commerical stations across America, as a new but very similar program called At The Movies with Siskel and Ebert (or vice versa). Unexpectedly, this made him one of the two most important movie critics in America. Because the show was televised, many more Americans saw it than read the reviews in the newspapers; because Ebert and Siskel had credentials in real newspapers in a major city first, and didn't review every movie favorably, they could be taken more seriously than most other movie reviewers on television. Siskel and Ebert's passive-aggressive chemistry was the stuff of legend. It was often thought that due to their occasionally hostile on-screen presence when they disagreed, that the two hated each other. However, each considered the other a close friend, even if their relationship was competitive by nature. In fact, on the tenth anniversary of Siskel's death in 2009, Ebert posted a touching remembrance of his friend on his blog.When Siskel died in 1999, Ebert kept on the show with guest hosts until it was settled that it would be At The Movies with Ebert and Roeper, with Richard Roeper, another Chicago Sun-Times critic. This made him the most important living movie critic in America. The show ended in 2008 partially because his throat cancer was preventing him from doing most of the episodes for over a year and a half. (To do film reviews on television, you have to be able to speak.) Sadly, due to a few surgeries that successfully eradicated his cancer, Ebert lost the ability to speak entirely and part of his lower jaw was removed. During the last few years of his life, he "spoke" through handwritten notes and a computer speech program. In 2010, a Scottish company created a voice similar to Ebert's own for him to use as his new "voice", using his DVD commentaries (and not his TV show, since there was always background movie noise and Gene Siskel/Richard Roeper interrupting him) and other similar recordings. Furthermore, his last treatments were so tough going with so much physical cost, he vowed that if the cancer reemerged, he would let it take its course unto death. This eventually happened to him in 2013.In 2011, to replace the new At the Movies which had been canceled by its distributor, Ebert and his wife Chaz started their own movie review show on PBS called Ebert Presents At The Movies hosted by Christy Lemire of the Associated Press and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of Mubi, which follows largely the same format as Ebert's other shows. Ebert himself appeared in a segment on the show called "Roger's Office" which features voice over narration (either with the help of either his new "voice", or a famous friend such as Werner Herzog or Bill Curtis) of one of his recent reviews or musings.Until his death, Ebert still wrote weekly review columns as well as a daily blog and maintained a very active Twitter account, and every single one of his reviews are available on the Internet, where he was still an influential force in movie criticism's new dominant medium. He also picked up a reputation for being soft on movies, or (depending on who you ask) even more ruthless than before. However, his wrath, when deployed, was legendary. He published three compilations of his two star and under reviews during his lifetime; I Hated, Hated, HATED This Movie!, Your Movie Sucks and A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length.Roger Ebert printed annual compilations of his movie reviews from The Eighties onward. Also Ebert wrote three books of essays about his favorite movies entitled The Great Movies, with these essays also available on his website in a condensed form.He also wrote Ebert's Little Movie Glossary and Ebert's Bigger Little Movie Glossary, which are books of Film Tropes in The Devil's Dictionary form. (An even bigger movie glossary is on his web page.) They could be considered a proto-TV Tropes in a sense (and the Trope Namer for many).He also maintained a column called "The Movie Answer-Man", where he addressed various topics given to him by reader comments. Sometimes addressing fandom aspects like...
— Roger Ebert on Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
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So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies.