Roger Ebert Hits Back at Transformers Fans
Posted 07.08.09 by reelz
It's no secret by now that despite the massive financial success of Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the movie has been almost universally torn to shreds by critics. Among the detractors was Roger Ebert, who gave the movie only one star and was ruthless in last week's review.
The public then struck back. Ebert received several angry responses from fans, many accusing him of being out of touch and, well, critic-y. Here's one example, which Ebert printed on his website:
Roger Ebert is a moron! Transformers 2 is the best action movie ever. Don't listem to that moron! He is only into slow boring romantic movies. That is his type of movies. Michael Bay did a great good.
And like a good critic, Ebert duly responded with a full-length article entitled "I'm a Proud Brainiac." In the article, he not only defends the idea that knowing a lot about movies is okay, but also talks about how critics should operate with respect to viewers. It's a very nice, thought-provoking piece that is well worth reading. Here's a little taste:
So let's focus on those who seriously believe Transformers is one of the year's best films. Are these people wrong? Yes. They are wrong. I am fond of the story I tell about Gene Siskel. When a so-called film critic defended a questionable review by saying, "after all, it's opinion," Gene told him: "There is a point when a personal opinion shades off into an error of fact. When you say The Valachi Papers is a better film than The Godfather, you are wrong." Quite true. We should respect differing opinions up to certain point, and then it's time for the wise to blow the whistle ...
... Those who think Transformers is a great or even a good film are, may I tactfully suggest, not sufficiently evolved. Film by film, I hope they climb a personal ladder into the realm of better films, until their standards improve. Those people contain multitudes. They deserve films that refresh the parts others do not reach. They don't need to spend a lifetime with the water only up to their toes.