George RR Martin and Roger Ebert might not have crossed professional paths often - Martin is best known for books and television, not the primary subjects of Ebert's commentary - but the Game of Thrones writer seemed to be hit hard by the critic's recent death.
Martin wrote on his blog (called Not A Blog) yesterday:
Roger (somehow I think of him as 'Roger,' not 'Ebert,' though I never met him in the flesh, and spoke to him only once, by telephone, in the early 1970s when both of us were young and dinosaurs roamed the earth) has been my favorite film critic since forever. I did not always agree with him, but I always found him insightful and fun to read. He was not just a terrific critic, he was a terrific WRITER.
He was One of Us too. A fan, and an SF fan at that. In his youth, he wrote for fanzines, and he even published a few short SF stories in Ted White's AMAZING and FANTASTIC along about the same time I was publishing in those selfsame magazines. If he had not gone on to be the world's best film critic, he might well have been a successful SF writer.
A brilliant man, a good life. I give him two thumbs up.
The New Yorker website recently republished one of Ebert's science fiction short stories. Martin's tributes echoed those of fans, celebrities and leading movie figures from around the world. Though we haven't found any evidence of Ebert writing about the series, this tweet suggests he may have been a fan:
You need your own life-sized "Game of Thrones" life-size replica iron throne. $30,000 plus shipping. itsh.bo/M8uw0O— Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) June 6, 2012
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"A Clockwork Orange"
IMDB: 8.5 Ebert: 2 stars "Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange' is an ideological mess, a paranoid right-wing fantasy masquerading As an Orwellian warning. It pretends to oppose the police state and forced mind control, but all it really does is celebrate the nastiness of its hero, Alex."
IMDB: 8.1 Ebert: 2.5 stars "In Jake Gyllenhaal, he finds an actor able to suggest an intriguing kind of disturbance; the character is more curious than frightened, more quixotic than eccentric, and he sets a nice tone for the movie. But somehow the control fades in the closing scenes, and our hands, which have been so full, close on emptiness. 'Donnie Darko' is the one that got away. But it was fun trying to land it."
"Dead Poets Society"
IMDB: 7.9 Ebert: 2 stars "It is, of course, inevitable that the brilliant teacher will eventually be fired from the school, and when his students stood on their desks to protest his dismissal, I was so moved, I wanted to throw up."
IMDB: 8.9 Ebert: 2 stars "It's macho porn -- the sex movie Hollywood has been moving toward for years, in which eroticism between the sexes is replaced by all-guy locker-room fights. Women, who have had a lifetime of practice at dealing with little-boy posturing, will instinctively see through it; men may get off on the testosterone rush."
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
IMDB: 7.7 Ebert: 1 star "The result is a horrible mess of a movie, without shape, trajectory or purpose--a one joke movie, if it had one joke. The two characters wander witlessly past the bizarre backdrops of Las Vegas (some real, some hallucinated, all interchangeable) while zonked out of their minds. Humor depends on attitude. Beyond a certain point, you don't have an attitude, you simply inhabit a state."
IMDB: 8.4 Ebert: 2.5 stars "Now that we know Quentin Tarantino can make a movie like 'Reservoir Dogs,' it's time for him to move on and make a better one. This film, the first from an obviously talented writer-director, is like an exercise in style."
"Full Metal Jacket"
IMDB: 8.4 Ebert: 2.5 stars "Many of the passages seem self-contained, some of them are masterful and others look like they came out of the bottom drawer. This is a strangely shapeless film from the man whose work usually imposes a ferociously consistent vision on his material."
IMDB: 7.6 Ebert: 2 stars "The most offensive thing about the movie is its hypocrisy; it is totally committed to the pornography of violence, but lays on the moral outrage with a shovel."
IMDB: 7.8 Ebert: 1 star "Occasionally, perhaps sex and violence should be treated with the seriousness they deserve. Given the power of the darker scenes in this movie, we're all the more frustrated that the director is unwilling to follow through to the consequences of his insights. 'Blue Velvet' is like the guy who drives you nuts by hinting at horrifying news and then saying, 'Never mind.'"
"Fast Times at Ridgemont High"
IMDB: 7.2 Ebert: 1 star "How could they do this to Jennifer Jason Leigh? How could they put such a fresh and cheerful person into such a scuz-pit of a movie? Don't they know they have a star on their hands?"
"Harold and Maude"
IMDB: 8 Ebert: 1.5 stars "The visual style makes everyone look fresh from the Wax Museum, and all the movie lacks is a lot of day-old gardenias and lilies and roses in the lobby, filling the place with a cloying sweet smell. Nothing more to report today. Harold doesn't even make pallbearer."
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"
IMDB: 8.2 Ebert: 2.5 stars "But unfortunately, this good movie is buried beneath millions of dollars that were spent on 'production values' that wreck the show. This is often the fate of movies with actors in the million-dollar class, like Newman. Having invested all that cash in the superstar, the studio gets nervous and decides to spend lots of money to protect its investment."
"Leon: The Professional"
IMDB: 8.6 Ebert: 2.5 stars "But always at the back of my mind was the troubled thought that there was something wrong about placing a 12-year-old character in the middle of this action. In a more serious movie, or even in a human comedy like Cassavetes' "Gloria," the child might not have been out of place. But in what is essentially an exercise - a slick urban thriller - it seems to exploit the youth of the girl without really dealing with it."