February 25, 2011

Richard Roeper speaks on film

Roeper is a successful columnist for the Chicago Sun Times a job that he has had for nearly 24 years. He is most well-known for co-hosting with Roger Ebert after Gene Siskel's passing, for the TV show "At the Movies."

Roeper has his own website and blog where he critiques pop culture. He makes appearances on radio and television on a regular basis. He was prepared on the stand, with clips from various television productions that he has worked on, including a cameo in the HBO series "Entourage" where he did a lot of his own writing.

He also came equipped with an iPad, with all of his notes and Twitter postings at his convenience. "Now everyone's a writer," Roeper said, saying that anyone can blog, tweet, etc. "It's just finding someone to pay you for it."

For his Oscar picks, Roeper chose the "Facebook-film" as his choice for best picture, but believes the academy will choose "The King's Speech." Overall, he felt that "Inception" should be nominated and should win. It's his top choice.

"The King's Speech" is what the academy loves -- British actors talking about British things," Roeper said.

He said that if it were up to him, "The Social Network" would be the winner.

Dan Allen, a freelance film critic from Deland agrees with Roeper's Oscar choices.

"Him and Roger Ebert inspired me to do this," said Allen. "It's ironic that his movie of the year is also mine."

After he spoke, students were invited to ask questions and it went on for about an hour. A lot of the students asked about what moviemakers might think of what he says.

"I think that he says what he means, it's his job," said UCF alumni Josh Browne.

Roeper said during the presentation that critiquing movies is all based on opinion. To be thoroughly entertained, you don't have to think about the film trifecta -- it just happens. He says what makes him cry isn't a death scene or a funeral; it's when a character makes a gesture that changes the course of the film. He said what makes him laugh is really smart comedy -- not physical.

So how does a moviemaker avoid negative comments from the ultimate film critic?

"What makes a really good movie is the script," Roeper said. "There's no chance for a good movie without one."

He said that a film could have great actors, directors and producers, but if the script is bad, it's just bad.

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