The Pequod Review:
Owen Gleiberman spent 24 years as the lead film critic at Entertainment Weekly, and his memoir Movie Freak has some occasionally candid observations. Here for example, he describes his own early motivations as a film critic:
The worst habit I had…was the knee-jerk tendency to hold back praise in the face of doubt. The fist time I did that for the Phoenix was when I was assigned to review Thief, the debut feature of Michael Mann. I was impressed by the burnished elegance of Mann’s style, and by his invention of the genre of what I called “the high-tech heist,” but I treated the film’s human story with derision…
But it’s a good movie. And that’s all it has to be… I had staked out a position on Thief that I had trumped into something “righteous” but that was actually rather facile. (Why was the hero’s fantasy of settling back with wife and kids “a token character touch”? I had no idea.)
And this on Roger Ebert:
Ebert struck me as an intensely gifted yet problematic populist… Ebert’s prose, to me, was a minor wonder of tossed-off facility. Yet if his thoughts were eloquent, they were seldom gripping (they had a way of evaporating once you’d read them), and the skill of his writing only made it all the more frustrating that his judgments were so often indiscriminate in their enthusiasm.