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can anyone replace Gene Siscal?

Posted on May 6, 1999 at 15:03:24

I hardly ever get a chance to go to the "art cinema" downtown, and they don't rent good film out here in the suburbs, but sometimes one accidently gets put on the supermarket rack with the teenage-boy junk that hollywood loves. What I look for it the "two thumbs", and rent it without even looking to see what it is. They've almost never steered me wrong (moo), and often enough put me on to something I'd never rent without their endorsement.

I find that I have agreed more with Gene than with Rodger when there has been a split. Who in the world can replace his good taste, and class act?


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Yes, posted on May 6, 1999 at 16:05:29
T. Buns

Gene was a funny fellow, on the show he was often intellectual, on print he was deplorable. His criticisms were essentailly "i like this" or "i don't like this but I wont give any support to my reasons, if I have them." Michael Willmington does a much better job as his replacement at the Chicago Tribune. He replaced Siscal(sp?) as the head critic several years before GS passed. The trick to finding a good critic is one that gives you enough information through clear writting that you can draw your own conclusions regardless of what the critic thought of the film.


Nope, posted on May 6, 1999 at 17:21:14
Rod M

How could they? He's one of a kind. Sure there might be better critics, but they're not Gene. Like Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire, you can get another dancer, but it'll never be Ginger and Fred.

I too look for the 2 thumbs up videos when there's nothing else I know I want to rent. I can't recall ever being disapointed. Truly a sad loss.


Re: can anyone replace Gene Siscal?, posted on May 7, 1999 at 04:29:36

I've been watching Gene and Roger since they were on PBS, and what they do best is summarize the whole thing into "easy to digest" info for the moviegoers. Most of the time, I agree with their conclusion on the films they reviewed. And of course, like music, film too, is subjective. Roger is carrying on with various substitute reviewers in Gene's place but, I am sorry to say, half the fun(Gene and Roger's bantering) is gone.


Re: can anyone replace Gene Siscal?, posted on May 8, 1999 at 12:20:48
T. Buns

"I am sorry to say, half the fun(Gene and Roger's bantering) is gone."

Isn't that all the fun?


Gene Siskel's original (1977) SW review, posted on May 9, 1999 at 18:05:31
T. Buns

" "Star Wars" is not a great movie in the sense that it describes the human condition. It simply is a fun picture that will appeal to those who enjoy Buck Rogers-style adventures. What places it a sizable cut above the routine is it's spectacular visual effects...On the debit side are the films human performances. Save for Alec Guinness, the cast is unmemorable. Lucas apparently blew his entire $9.5 million budget on visuals."


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