Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Gun Crazy Cummins
I Like You, Harold: Harold And Maude

Once Upon A Time At The Movies...

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I loved Chicago. I loved the cold. I loved the history. I loved the deep dish pizza. I loved the lights at night. I loved the Wrigley Building. I loved the ladies in fur coats.  It's a beautiful, real city, filled with unique people, historic buildings and bars that stay open until 4 AM. And great music. And again, it's cold.

While I was visiting a few years back, I randomly opined to a man in a hotel elevator that I stupidly lost my gloves and that my hands had turned purple ("Look at them! I might be dead."). He laughed, and when I started thinking, "wait a second...who is this guy?"...he introduced himself as Michael Keaton. He was all bundled up for the snow, but I should have recognized those eyebrows. After observing that broad smile, he asked me why I was in Chicago. I said, "I'm co-hosting Ebert & Roeper." It was a surreal moment. 

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And of course, it was a wonderful moment. Telling Michael Keaton that I might be a walking corpse (Beetlejuice!) and the honor of sitting in for the brilliant Roger Ebert back when the show was "Ebert & Roeper" was exciting and interestingly enchanting. Producers David Plummer, David Kodeski and Don DuPree couldn't have been any more accommodating, sharp and understanding of letting a person be who they are (I've been on other shows where they tell you to act "perky" or some such nonsense -- they did none of that). The same goes for Richard Roeper, one hell of a sparring partner and entirely cool even if we didn't see eye-to-eye on Bong Joon-Ho's The Host. I think we might disagree on many movies, but he was funny and low key and amused by that, and quite simply, that makes for better television. He got that.

So I'm sad "At the Movies" with A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips is ending. I'm honored to have been a part of that institution and grateful they allowed me to choose Baby Doll as my DVD pick. And I will take Richard up on the "Kim Morgan Film Festival"...

Comments

Donovan

I've never heard of The Host before, but your analysis of it has actually piqued my interest! I was always a big fan of Godzilla when I was a little kid, and even before I learned of the specific political message underlying the concept of the monster I was able to appreciate some level of the guilt and human culpability involved. That's how Godzilla managed to hold my interest the way it did--there were always fascinating, moralistic layers and subtexts to enrich the experience; it wasn't simply a big, bad lizard here to destroy the town.

It seems like The Host must be one of those movies that will only appeal to people with specific tastes/interests, so I can understand why once was enough for Mr. Roeper. But I must say that I preferred your analysis to his ;) I'm glad there was an illuminating counterbalance to his review.

Terry Silver

Been checking out Sunset Gun, since your guest spot on Ebert and Roeper.

Thanks,

Terry

Emit Idy

I just found out about you through Ebert's tweet of your Harold and Maude review (my favorite movie). After seeing this video clip and the review I am definitely going to follow your reviews. I've been wishing to find another reviewer who gets it (Roger Ebert is one only people who I almost always agree with.)

That Roeper guy seems funny but also arrogant. :-P

Karen

Yes, please do the Kim Morgan Film Fest. I'm sure you would have an interesting program line-up. And that was a great episode. I found Sunset Gun because of your guest hosting. Hopefully you get your own movie talk show one day!

Miss lisa

I don't know what Roeper's problem was. All critics know that monster movies play on our current neuroses and societal malaise. I just wrote a very pretentious sentence and it wasn't too hard. If I said "The Host" was just a silly monster movie, that would make me one lazy critic. I wish we could see the clip of "Baby Doll" with your comments. Great pick!

I love how you celebrate film history, which is a hell of an entertaining field of study.

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