Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Roger Ebert - The Man, The Myth, The Legend

After former forays into blogging, I'm giving it another go.

I'm not in the habit of watching Oprah, yet today's episode made it on my DVR. For one reason, it was an Oscar-related episode (you'll learn about my Oscar obsession in the next few days), but mainly because of this man....

Yes, Roger Ebert. Roger is basically my hero. One of my dream jobs as a kid was to be a movie critic. I didn't go to the movies much as a kid, but I wanted to. If I could get paid a decent amount of money to be a film critic, I'd start tomorrow. Although I didn't always agree with Roger's opinions (sidenote: most of the time, I did/do), I respected him.

Well, today he went on television for the first time with his voice recognition software. He had multiple surgeries for papillary thyroid cancer, which removed most of his lower facial structure and the ability to speak, eat or drink. With a mixture of pre-determined questions and off-the-script banter, Oprah interviewed him and his wife, and showed a preview of new voice recognition software he will soon receive from a team in Scotland which is using his own voice from old reviews on Siskel & Ebert to create his new "voice." It was actually quite remarkable and, of course, sounded like him. Trivia: Oprah once went on a date with Roger Ebert.

I will always want to be a film critic, so I respect greatly that despite his setbacks as of late, his reviews are still published in over 200 newspapers and his web site http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/ is as informative as ever. Plus, he's a Twitter demon.

The show also said that he had a meeting recently for a new TV project. I hope that happens. I'll watch.

Photo Courtesy of Esquire Magazine, 2010.

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