I may have not always agreed with him, I may have always thought that he was a bit full of himself; I may have thought that he favored dramas and indulgent 3 hour history movies over fun action packed movies but he was my favorite film critic and without him I wouldn't have a blog.
Roger Ebert shaped the way film criticism works today. Before him people would ask each other if they liked a movie or not and get a yes or no answer, but him and his partner Gene Siskel made talking in depth about movies cool. He made film criticism a respectable branch of journalism at a time when people thought of movie lovers as nothing more than couch potatoes. Of course today there is still that notion of laziness attached to those who watch movies all the time but at least because of Roger we film critics can defend ourselves.
All over the internet, film criticism is becoming more popular, with countless movie reviewers on youtube, all being respected by their viewers, myriads of blogs just like mine each devoted to a different field of cinema, and even shows like RiffTrax, all being influenced by the man that started it all.
He had a long and painful battle with cancer during which he had to have his bottom jaw removed. It was truly sad to watch him in that state as the prosthetic he used made him look very sick. He lost his ability to speak, he lost the ability to eat or drink, but he never lost his ability to be a film critic, and thank God for that. He still continued to do what his heart desired to do even at his state and his age.
I am happy to have lived during a time when he was alive and still posting reviews, because I rarely watched a new movie without reading his review. Like I said before, I think his taste was a bit questionable, and I never based my intention to see a movie based on his opinion but I always respected what he had to say of a film and I am honored to have been part of his staff of admirers.
Long Live the King