With the mild controversy of "Minutegate" now behind him, Roger Ebert now turns his sights on a much more welcome target -- Ben Lyons. Not that Ebert ever calls him out by name, mind you, but this cata-blog of professional guidelines for fellow and fledgling critics resembles a list of do's and don'ts for those less than eager to resemble a certain someone whose contributions to the field are soveryoftendeemedworthless.

On the flipside, it's also an opportunity for readers to consider what a critic does, how (s)he does it, and what they should expect from any reasonable reviewer. For example, Ebert acknowledges that we're not here to tell you what you might like/love/hate, but rather to assess what we like/love/hate and its greater context in the medium or culture, and while that may seem selfish, to be an objective consumer guide is more an ideal than the idea behind our occupation. On the other hand, our reviews should be adequate enough for even those who disagree to make their own consideration beyond "whatever critics say, I'll do the opposite."

He also makes suggestions both reasonable -- mind the hyperbole -- and relatively tougher -- revealing though they may be, actively avoiding trailers on my part would be a handicap more than anything. Towards the end, Ebert's last suggestion is to "sit down, shut up, and pay attention", which isn't to say that we can't enjoy ourselves as well. (It IS saying "stop asking for so many damn pictures.")
categories Movies, Cinematical