ENTERTAINMENT

Roger Ebert's Last Review Panned 'The Host' (UPDATED)

04/04/2013 04:38 pm 16:38:37 | Updated Apr 05, 2013

Legendary film critic Roger Ebert passed away on Thursday after a long battle with cancer. His legacy speaks for itself -- he reviewed movies for 46 years at the Chicago Sun-Times, which calls him "without question the nation's most prominent and influential film critic" in their obituary -- and he will be sorely missed by movie fans across the world.

The final review posted under Ebert's byline was for "The Host," a the story of a battle to save the world that derives itself from "Twilight."

UPDATE: "The Host" was the last review published under Ebert's byline at the time of his passing. Since the publication of this post, it has been revealed that Ebert's final review will actually be of Terrence Malick's "To The Wonder," to be published next week.

The original article continues below.

The review, posted on March 27, was kind but firmly negative. As is often the case with Ebert's reviews, the critic evaluated the movie by placing it in the broader context of our own lives:

Soul Melanie (known as Wanderer) falls in love with Earth Melanie, even though in theory this isn't possible because the Wanderer has become Melanie. This intimate form of self-love leads to dialogue that will possibly be found humorous by some people. When Wanda is about to kiss the boy she loves, for example, the film uses voiceover to warn her: "No, Melanie! Wrong! No! He's from another planet!"

True, in our own lives, we pick up warnings on that frequency: No! You'll get pregnant! No! He's from the other side of town! No! He's your best friend's boyfriend!" I imagine this as a version of one of those debates where little angels with harps and devils with pitchforks perch on your shoulders.

The film earned only 2.5 of a possible 5 stars, knocked for what Ebert described as its being "top-heavy with profound, sonorous conversations, all tending to sound like farewells."

In the days since reviewing "The Host," Ebert penned some more words -- not so much a farewell as a see-you-soon. In a post entitled "A Leave of Presence," Ebert revealed that his health issues would require him to cut back on his reviewing activities. The letter to his readers begins with the words "thank you," includes news that he planned to bring back "At the Movies" and ends with a now-heartbreaking grace: "So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies."

Roger Ebert

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