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Ebert's Ill Communication

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 8, 2006 2:12PM

Remember the movie Ghostbusters II? We’re a bit fuzzy on it ourselves, but most of it seemed to revolve around a guy in a painting that looked like the Highlander. But what does stick out in our mind is the climactic scene at the end when the Highlander-looking dude was defeated by the Statue of Liberty coated in some pink “mood ooze” while millions of New Yorkers threw out good feelings by singing Jackie Wilson’s "Higher and Higher."

Maybe it’s a stretch, but we thought of that this morning when we read that Ebert underwent some minor surgery again this week. According to a letter from his wife, Chaz, posted on his website, Ebert 2006_08_ebert.jpgwill begin physical therapy in a few days and has been in good spirits. He’s been entertaining the doctors and nurses “with the eclectic music he downloaded on his iPod.” We imagine he’s probably jumping on the post-Lollapalooza Manu Chao just like everybody else. Still, he’s probably having a rough time of it and could use some good cheer, especially since editor Jim Emerson is going crazy in his absence and giving raves to Talladega Nights.

Chicagoist thinks we could speed Roger’s recovery if we put some good vibes into the air and kept the man in our thoughts. We know it sounds a little hippie-ish, but it worked in Ghostbusters II. Here are some suggestions:

1. See some movies he likes. Ebert’s list of great movies is up at his site. If you have yet to see The Apartment, Double Indemnity or The Thin Man then there’s no time like the present.

2. Round up as many copies of North as possible and bulldoze them. We’re sure the fact that the film never made it do DVD and isn’t in print anymore is due in part to his review. Therefore, a few low-ball offers to some resellers should round up any stray copies.

3. Start an online petition drive for a sequel to the Ebert-penned classic Beyond The Valley of the Dolls. Suggested title: Beyond The Valley of the Dolls To The Mountains of the Teddy Bears (Which Is Over The Bridge And Just Past The Shell Gas Station On Your Right, But If You Cross Highway 12 Then You’ve Gone Too Far).

4. Sing Jackie Wilson’s "Higher and Higher." Seriously, it’s a good song and works better in this case than “Lonely Teardrops.”