Roger Ebert Puts Up His Dukes

So, it looks like you’ll have to mark Roger Ebert off the list of movie critics you want beat up for giving Rob Schneider a bad review. You should probably get started on that list soon as it’s sure to be long since Schneider is currently rocking a zero on Rotten Tomatoes.

This past weekend the seminal critic got into a little dust up during a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. You see, Ebert has had a long battle with thyroid cancer and, due to some complications, he’s currently unable to speak, so when a fellow critic obstructed his view by leaning into the aisle in front of him, Ebert tapped him on the shoulder and gave him a little shooing gesture. The critic, the New York Post’s Lou Lumenick, didn’t appreciate it. And he appreciated it less after the second and third tappings, leaping from his seat and whacking Ebert with some papers. When Lumenick sat back down and leaned back into the aisle, Ebert tapped him again “not as lightly, but not too heavily, just to show I wasn’t intimidated.” Eventually security stepped in and Lumenick was shamed and escorted to a new seat. When Ebert’s wife heard about the incident, she said, “I’ll get a no-neck guy from the West Side to break his knees.”

I never understood why people thought so highly of Roger Ebert for sticking up his thumbs at movies. Anyone can sit there and say they liked/disliked a movie and stick their thumb up/down. Not being near Chicago, I never read any thing he wrote. So once I read some of his reviews, it was obvious. He has a very eloquent way of describing a movie and it’s relationship to cinema and our culture while still being able to go overboard about how much he loved or hated the movie.

Roger Ebert is a man’s man. Do you think Gene Shalit goes to screenings looking to rumble?

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