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Tuesday October 24th 2017

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Tribute: Roger Ebert 1942-2013

By Howard McQuitter II

Film Critic of Film Critics

When I stumbled on Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert on television discussing movies I was glued to the set — a certain inspiration for me being a movie critic. I’d always liked movies since I was a boy in south Minneapolis. But Siskel and Ebert’s “At the Movies”,” Sneak Previews”, etc. sent me to higher planes. Siskel died of brain cancer at age 53. Ebert had written screenplays for Meyer. Ebert’s best known screenplay for Meyer “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” in 1969 instantly was a cult hit.

Ebert wrote for The Chicago Sun-Times for years becoming the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1975. In addition his reviews were syndicated to more than 200 newspapers in the United States and afar and wrote more than 15 books. He also became the first film critic to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Mr. Ebert ushered a new era in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s on reviewing movies and films. “Thumbs Up!” or “Thumbs Down!” on the movies that came down the pike became the signature phrase Ebert invented with the late Siskel joining in on their TV show before the curtain came down. Sadly Ebert’s curtain went down last month but his legend lives on.

10-starbuck3Starbuck (2011)

***

Comedy/Drama

Cast: Patrick Huard (David Wozniak), Julie Le Breton (Valerie), Antoine Bertrand (Avocat), Dominic Philie Frere Sombre). (R) Running time:109 minutes. Director: Ken Scott.

David Wozniak (Patrick Huard) is matter-of-factly doing his regular duties as a butcher in his parents’ shop finds himself in a most unusual circumstance .Years before he had donated to a sperm bank which he will discover he’s the biological father to 533 children, 142 of them are demanding from the fertility clinic who the donator is. The film’s pace is quite slow at first but unfolds into a crowd pleaser .”Starbuck” is silly at times, a bit too pat and often sated, but it works. I infer “Starbuck” is charming and the characters likable. Languages: French in English subtitles.

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