Friday, July 10, 2009

Roger Ebert: Seer of Visions

Randomly checking reviews in the archives of Roger Ebert's site, and I found myself quite impressed with the foresight on display in his review for Tron, which he gives four stars to. Ebert has many weaknesses as a reviewer (maybe I should say instead 'soft spots'), and one primary weakness is for films that are completely new and unique in some way, even if that way is merely in its visuals, as most would criticize Tron as brain-dead eye candy. Not me, mind you.

Nor Ebert, who loves it and is honest about his reasons for loving it. And he's championed it well beyond this original review from 1982, fairly recently making a 70mm print a showpiece at his annual film festival.

What struck me most on reading this review was the last paragraph, which I'll quote in full, here:

"There is one additional observation I have to make about "Tron," and I don't really want it to sound like a criticism: This is an almost wholly technological movie. Although it's populated by actors who are engaging (Bridges, Cindy Morgan) or sinister (Warner), it is not really a movie about human nature. Like "Star Wars" or "The Empire Strikes Back," but much more so, this movie is a machine to dazzle and delight us. It is not a human-interest adventure in any generally accepted way. That's all right, of course. It's brilliant at what it does, and in a technical way maybe it's breaking ground for a generation of movies in which computer-generated universes will be the background for mind-generated stories about emotion-generated personalities. All things are possible."

To which, all I can say is: I hope he bought stock in Pixar, because he predicted their arrival a good 12 years early.



shaunian said...

I wouldn't be surprised if he did, but it's more likely that he somehow "bought stock" in the Wayans Bros or Tyler Perry.

Dave Kopperman said...

Heck, that wouldn't be such a bad move, either. Tyler Perry films make the proverbial shitload of cash.