The Real Reason Roger Stone Crony Andrew Miller Ducked Robert Mueller’s Subpoena? To Challenge the Special Counsel’s Legitimacy.

A little-known conservative non-profit is bankrolling the legal representation of a Roger Stone associate as part of an effort to challenge Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Attorney Paul Kamenar, who represents longtime Stone associate Andrew Miller, told The Daily Beast he is taking a reduced rate because he believes the special counsel probe is unconstitutional. He said the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) is helping fund his work because they share his Constitutionality concerns.

This is all part of a effort to have a judge find that Mueller’s investigation is against the law.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘I Probably Am the Person Referred to’ in Russian Hacking Indictment, Says Trump Adviser Roger Stone

Roger Stone late Friday acknowledged that he is likely the unnamed American referred to in an indictment of 12 Russian hackers issued by the Justice Department Thursday. Stone is not implicated in the hackers’ theft of Democratic emails, but appears to be one of several Americans whose interactions with the alleged hackers are detailed in the new indictment.

Stone, speaking to CNN’s Chris Cuomo, said “I certainly had a 24 word exchange with the persona Guccifer 2.0 over Twitter direct messages . . . I probably am the person referred to.”

The indictment (which can be read in full at Vox) accuses 12 members of the Russian GRU agency with hacking against staffers and infrastructure of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Those documents were then publicized by two online channels, a site called DCLeaks and a persona known as Guccifer 2.0.

Around August 15 of 2016, while “posing as Guccifer 2.0,” the hackers “wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump,” according to the indictment. The exchange, recounted in paragraph 44 of the indictment, matches a known Twitter interaction with Stone, in which “Guccifer 2.0” praised Stone as a “great man” and offered to help Stone and the Trump campaign.

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Stone, an occasionally close Trump adviser and heir to the Roy Cohn/Richard Nixon school of political ‘dirty tricks,’ has previously confirmed the interaction with Guccifer 2.0. But he reiterated to Cuomo on Friday that the interaction was “benign” and “innocuous,” and the known interaction does not contain evidence of cooperation between Guccifer 2.0 and the Trump campaign.

However, there are hints that the interaction may not have ended on Twitter. A few weeks later, Stone wrote on Twitter that “it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel,” implying foreknowledge of the planned schedule of email leaks – though Stone has claimed that was merely a coincidence. Stone also praised Guccifer 2.0 as “a hero,” however, and wrote an article for Breitbart.com arguing that Guccifer 2.0 was not linked to Russia.

In his conversation with Cuomo, Stone continued to hedge on the question of whether Guccifer 2.0 was in fact a Russian front, emphasizing that the new indictment consists of allegations rather than proven facts. In the face of near-universal consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies on Guccifer 2.0’s links to the GRU, Stone’s denials may suggest anxiety about future findings by Robert Mueller’s investigation. And it certainly reflects his often-repeated modus operandi: “Admit nothing. Deny everything. Launch counter-attack.”

Fortune

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Roger Stone says he’s the ‘US person’ mentioned in Mueller indictment

Roger Stone acknowledged Friday that he is the unnamed Trump campaign regular who corresponded with Russian hackers who is described in a new indictment.
ABC News: Top Stories

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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This Year’s Wimbledon Could Give Tennis Fans Another Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal Classic

At this point, coming up with novel ways to describe the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal rivalry is like trying to eat just one Skittle out of the bag — it’s a futile exercise. We all know the contrasts that make their tennis duels so compelling. Federer’s the artiste, the effortless ballet dancer, grace on grass. Nadal’s the snarling street fighter, the mental grinder, the…don’t say it, please, okay, here it goes…the swashbuckler. (Dear Grand Slam tournament officials: is there any way to officially retire the Nadal-as-buccaneering-swordsman-cliche at a post-match ceremony?)

So give the producers of Strokes of Genius, a new documentary that explores the classic 2008 Federer-Nadal Wimbledon final — which Nadal won in five sets — credit for juxtaposing the two all-time greats in a way that didn’t feel tired. The film features a clip of Nadal, arms ripped, standing beside Federer, who was sporting a preppy sweater with gold-colored buttons.

“I remember seeing Nadal, in his sleeveless shirt, bulging biceps,” says BBC commentator David Law, host of The Tennis Podcast, in the documentary. Someone wolf-whistles at the chiseled Spanish star as he warms up before the match. “And then right next to him,” says Law, “you’ve got what looked like a prince.”

Strokes of Genius, which airs July 1 at 8 p.m. ET on Tennis Channel, serves as more than a mere nostalgia trip. Sure, reliving arguably the most riveting match in tennis history, which saw Nadal end Federer’s quest to win six straight Wimbledon titles in a four hour, 48 minute epic that included two rain delays and ended in near darkness, is delightful. But the documentary stands out for its timeliness. Who would have thought, a decade after that incredible July day — which saw Nadal squander a two sets-to-none advantage before prevailing in a fifth-set tiebreaker, finally giving him his first Wimbledon title — that both players would still be going strong? That they’d be 1-2 in the world (Nadal No. 1, Federer No. 2) in 2018, when Federer’s 36 years old, and Nadal’s 32? That they’d have won the last six Grand Slams running (Federer’s the 2017 Australian Open champ, the 2017 Wimbledon winner, and the 2018 Aussie champion; Nadal’s taken the last two French Opens, and won last year’s U.S. Open)? That the promise of another Nadal-Federer Wimbledon final, another unforgettable duel a decade later, is very, very real?

Both players participated in the documentary, which is based on the book by Sports Illustrated executive editor Jon Wertheim, who’s also an executive producer of the film (Meredith Corporation owns both TIME and Sports Illustrated). Fans learn more about Federer’s early proclivities for temper tantrums — it’s true, the unflappable Federer almost went all John McEnroe on everyone.

“I [sought] perfection maybe way too early in my life,” Federer says. Footage of a prepubescent Federer making faces and kicking balls and dropping rackets follows. “We sometimes felt very ashamed,” says his father, Robert, who’s spent the last 15 years beaming on millions of television sets around the globe as his son piled up his 20 major championships. “We really took him many times aside and said ‘Roger, I’m not going along with you anymore. I’m not playing the fool.’”

“I used to tell him, your bad behavior is like sending an invitation to your opponent,” says Federer’s mother, Lynette. “Here I am, beat me. I’m ready to beat today. So go ahead.”

Federer listened to his folks. Nadal’s family also supported his rise: his uncle Toni, who’s featured prominently in Strokes of Genius, coached him for years. Nadal makes a comforting admission in the film: When up against Federer, he led the fourth set tiebreaker 5-2, and had two serves to close out the match. But then his mind failed him. “I start to feel nervous,” Nadal says. He missed his first serve, and said he had a feeling he’d double fault. He did exactly that; Federer charged back to force a fifth set.

Superstar athletes rarely cop to mental frailty. Doing so offers comfort for the rest of us.

Nadal’s lapse makes his eventual win ever more impressive. He could have folded, instead, he fought back and won anyway. That victory was Nadal’s first Grand Slam win off of the Roland Garros clay. He’s gone on to win 17 slams, second only to Federer’s 20. Nadal became Federer’s foil: he owns a 23-15 head-to-head advantage against Federer, though Federer prevailed in their last Grand Slam final, when he beat Nadal in five sets at the 2017 Australian Open. Both players continue to push each other to unprecedented excellence.

“I had to embrace the idea of a rival,” Federer says in Strokes of Genius. “In the beginning I didn’t want to have one. And then eventually I realized, there’s something good to take out of these situations. So I maybe have to adjust my game a little bit. I don’t like to do that, per se. But why not? Let’s go.”

Strokes of Genius celebrates a sport’s golden age. All that remains for Nadal and Federer: writing their Wimbledon sequel.

Sports – TIME

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Not Even Roger Federer Can Settle the Debate About What Color Tennis Balls Are

The internet’s debate about the true color of tennis balls just went pro.

Nothing splits the internet like a good “The Dress”-like argument and it turns out the tennis ball is a polarizing piece of sports equipment. Is it yellow or green?

This debate started like all of the greats with a Twitter poll. Depending on who you ask, some people firmly believe the fuzzy balls are yellow, green, chartreuse, lime green, or neon yellow.

Surely, the world’s number one ranking men’s tennis player, Roger Federer, could settle things once and for all. That’s what one man thought when the GOAT was greeting fans in Chicago Monday, so he asked him to weigh in.

“Hey Roger, are tennis balls green or yellow?” the man asked in a video that has gone viral.

Not missing a beat, Federer answered with complete certitude.

“They’re yellow!” he said with a smile.

The guy has 20 Grand Slam titles under his belt. He must have collected more tennis ball expertise throughout his glittering career than the average internet expert.

Be that as it may, his decisive response only revved the debate up even more.

People continue to argue about it with the passion usually reserved for high school productions of Inherit the Wind.

Thank the color perception phenomenon for the strong differences of opinion. It all boils down to the way we perceive light.

For what it’s worth (not much at this point) most tennis ball manufacturers would side with Federer.

See some of the takes below.

For some the question is a real eye opener.

Sports – TIME

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Roger Bannister, the First Person to Run a Mile in Less Than 4 Minutes, Dies at 88

(LONDON) — It was a typical British afternoon in early May: wet, cool and blustery. Not exactly the ideal conditions for running four laps around a track faster than many thought humanly possible.

A lanky Oxford medical student named Roger Bannister looked up at the white-and-red English flag whipping in the wind atop a nearby church and figured he would have to call off the record attempt.

But then, shortly after 6 p.m. on May 6, 1954, the wind subsided. Bannister glanced up again and saw the flag fluttering oh-so gently. The race was on.

With two friends acting as pacemakers, Bannister churned around the cinder track four times. His long arms and legs pumping, his lungs gasping for air, he put on a furious kick over the final 300 yards and nearly collapsed as he crossed the finish line.

The announcer read out the time:

“3…”

The rest was drowned out by the roar of the crowd. The 3 was all that mattered.

Bannister had just become the first runner to break the mythical 4-minute barrier in the mile — a feat of speed and endurance that stands as one of the seminal sporting achievements of the 20th century.

The black-and-white image of Bannister, eyes closed, head back, mouth wide open, straining across the tape at Oxford’s Iffley Road track, endures as a defining snapshot of a transcendent moment in track and field history.

Bannister died peacefully in Oxford on Saturday at the age of 88. He was “surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved by them,” the family said in a statement Sunday. “He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May remembered Bannister as a “British sporting icon whose achievements were an inspiration to us all. He will be greatly missed.”

Bannister’s time of 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds captured the world’s imagination and buoyed the spirits of Britons still suffering through post-war austerity.

“It’s amazing that more people have climbed Mount Everest than have broken the 4-minute mile,” Bannister said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2012.

Bannister followed up his 4-minute milestone a few months later by beating Australia’s John Landy in the “Miracle Mile” or “Mile of the Century” at the Empire Games in Vancouver, British Columbia with both men going under 4 minutes. Bannister regarded that as his greatest race because it came in a competitive championship against his fiercest rival.

While he will forever be remembered for his running, Bannister considered his long medical career in neurology as his life’s greatest accomplishment.

“My medical work has been my achievement and my family with 14 grandchildren,” he said. “Those are real achievements.”

The quest to break the 4-minute mile carried a special mystique. The numbers were easy for the public to grasp: 1 mile, 4 laps, 4 minutes.

When Sweden’s Gunder Hagg ran 4:01.4 in 1945, the chase was truly on. But, time and again, runners came up short. The 4-minute mark seemed like a brick wall that would never be toppled.

Bannister was undaunted.

“There was no logic in my mind that if you can run a mile in 4 minutes, 1 and 2/5ths, you can’t run it in 3:59,” he said. “I knew enough medicine and physiology to know it wasn’t a physical barrier, but I think it had become a psychological barrier.”

Bannister was born on March 23, 1929, in the London borough of Harrow. At the outbreak of World War II, the family moved to the city of Bath, where Bannister sometimes ran to and from school.

Bannister’s passion for running took off in 1945 when his father took him to a track meet at London’s White City Stadium, which was built to host the 1908 Olympics. They watched British middle-distance star Sydney Wooderson, who had emerged as a rival to the trio of Swedish runners who had taken the mile world record down close to the 4-minute mark.

“I made up my mind then when I got to Oxford, I would take up running seriously,” Bannister said.

As a first-year student on an academic scholarship at Oxford, Bannister caught his coaches’ attention while running as a pacemaker in a mile race on March 22, 1947. Instead of dropping out of the race as pacers normally do, he kept running and beat the field by 20 yards.

“I knew from this day that I could develop this newfound ability,” he reflected in later life.

With the 1948 London Olympics approaching, Bannister was running mile times of around 4:10. The 19-year-old was selected as a “possible” for the British Olympic team, but decided he wasn’t ready and focused on preparing for the 1952 Helsinki Games.

By then, Bannister was a full-time medical student and had to juggle his studies with his training. By modern standards, his daily half-hour workout was remarkably light.

Bannister was considered the favorite for the Helsinki gold in the 1,500 meters — the shorter metric mile distance run in the Olympics. Just before the games, he learned that organizers had added an extra round of heats, meaning he would have to run on three consecutive days.

With his rhythm thrown off, Bannister finished fourth in a final won by Josy Barthel of Luxembourg.

Had he won Olympic gold that day, Bannister almost certainly would have retired. But, criticized by the British media and disappointed in his own performance, he decided to keep running, dedicating himself to beating the 4-minute mile and winning gold at the ’54 Empire Games.

By 1954, Hagg’s record mile time had stood for nine years. Bannister, Landy and American miler Wes Santee were all threatening to break the mark and it became a matter of who would get there first.

“As it became clear that somebody was going to do it, I felt that I would prefer it to be me,” Bannister said in an AP interview.

He also wanted to deliver something special for his country.

“I thought it would be right for Britain to try to get this,” Bannister said in 2012. “There was a feeling of patriotism. Our new queen had been crowned the year before, Everest had been climbed in 1953. Although I tried in 1953, I broke the British record, but not the 4-minute mile, and so everything was ready in 1954.”

Bannister scheduled his attempt for May 6 during a meet between Oxford and the Amateur Athletic Union. He started the day at the St. Mary’s Hospital lab in London, where he sharpened his spikes and rubbed graphite on them so they wouldn’t pick up too much of the track’s cinder ash. He took a midmorning train from Paddington Station to Oxford.

The weather was dank and miserable. Bannister’s Austrian coach, Franz Stampfl, told him this might be his best chance. When the flag started to billow gently, he decided it was now or never.

“I calculated there’s a 50-50 chance of my doing it,” Bannister recalled. “I said, ‘If there’s a 50-50 chance and I don’t take it, I may never get another chance to beat Landy to it.’ So I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

Bannister had lined up English runners Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway as pacemakers. Brasher, a steeplechaser, ran the first lap in 58 seconds and the first half-mile in 1:58. Chataway moved to the front and took them through three laps in 3:01. Bannister would have to run the final lap in 59 seconds.

He surged in front of Chataway with about 300 yards to go.

“The world seemed to stand still, or did not exist,” Bannister wrote in his book “The First Four Minutes.” ”The only reality was the next 200 yards of track under my feet. The tape meant finality — extinction perhaps. I felt at that moment that it was my chance to do one thing supremely well. I drove on, impelled by a combination of fear and pride.”

Bannister crossed the line and slumped into the arms of a friend, barely conscious. The chief timekeeper was Harold Abrahams, the 100-meter champion at the 1924 Paris Olympics whose story inspired the film “Chariots of Fire.” He handed a piece of paper to Norris McWhirter, who announced the time.

The record lasted just 46 days. Landy ran 3:57.9 in Turku, Finland, on June 21, 1954. (The current record stands at 3:43.13, held by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj since 1999.)

That set the stage for the head-to-head showdown between Bannister and Landy on Aug. 7, 1954, at the Empire Games, now called the Commonwealth Games, in Vancouver.

Always a front-runner, Landy set a fast pace, leading by as much as 15 yards before Bannister caught up as the bell rang for the final lap. When the Australian glanced over his left shoulder on the final bend to check where Bannister was, the Englishman raced past him on the right and won by about four yards in 3:58.8. Landy clocked 3:59, the first time two men had run under 4 minutes in the same race.

Bannister capped his amazing year by winning the 1,500 meters at the European championships in Bern, Switzerland, in 3:43.8, his third major achievement in the span of a few months.

“Each one proved something different,” he said. “Each one was necessary.”

Sebastian Coe, president of the IAAF, the athletics governing body, said Bannister’s death represented a “day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics.”

Coe ran a mile in a then-world record time of 3 minutes, 47.33 seconds in 1981, between winning gold medals at 1,500 meters at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics.

“There is not a single athlete of my generation who was not inspired by Roger and his achievements both on and off the track,” the Briton tweeted Sunday.

Bannister, who was chosen Sports Illustrated’s first Sportsman of the Year in 1954, retired from competition and pursued a full-time career in neurology. As chairman of Britain’s Sports Council between 1971 and 1974, he developed the first test for anabolic steroids.

Bannister also served as master of Oxford’s Pembroke College from 1985-93. In 2012, he edited the ninth edition of a textbook on nervous-system disease and said his most treasured trophy was the lifetime achievement award he received in 2005 from the American Academy of Neurology. He was knighted for his medical work in 1975.

“I wouldn’t claim to have made any great discoveries, but at any rate I satisfactorily inched forward in our knowledge of a particular aspect of medicine,” he said. “I’m far more content with that than I am about any of the running I did earlier.”

Bannister was slowed in later years by Parkinson’s, a neurological condition that fell under his medical specialty.

His right ankle was shattered in a car accident in 1975, and he had been unable to run since then. In his late life, he walked with crutches inside his home and used a wheelchair outdoors.

Bannister made several public appearances as part of the 2012 London Olympics. He carried the flame on the Oxford track where he broke the 4-minute mile during the torch relay and attended the final of the men’s and women’s 1,500 meters at the games.

“I feel I never really left,” he told the AP as he watched the action in the Olympic Stadium.

Bannister married Moyra Jacobsson, an artist, in 1955. They had two sons and two daughters and lived in a modest home only minutes away from the track where he made history.

Brasher, who founded the London Marathon, died in 2003 at the age of 74. Chataway died in 2014 at 82.

Sports – TIME

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Mailbag: How Many More Majors Can Roger Federer Win?

How long can 36-year-old Roger Federer continue to win Grand Slams? Plus International Tennis Hall of Fame discussion, some final thoughts from the 2018 Australian Open and more. 

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‘The Fairytale Continues’ for Roger Federer After Sixth Australian Open, 20th Grand Slam Title

A tearful Roger Federer accepted his 2018 Australian Open trophy after beating Marin Cilic on Sunday, marking his 20th career Grand Slam title: “‘I’m so happy. It’s unbelievable.”

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Partners In Prime: Simultaneous Comebacks of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer Were a 2017 Highlight

The longtime competitors each won two majors in 2017 and renewed a classy rivalry at the top of the sport.

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Samantha Bee’s ‘In Memoriam’ For Roger Ailes And Bill O’Reilly Made Us Cry (Laughing)

Roger Ailes resigned from Fox News last summer, following allegations that he sexually harassed multiple female colleagues. Then last week, we heard the shocking news: Bill O’Reilly was no longer employed by Fox News, also in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

Oof … sorry, just a little choked up right now.

Samantha Bee dedicated a segment during her Saturday “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” to Ailes and O’Reilly ― two media titans who were “taken from us far, far too late.”

Watch it above.

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Roger Ailes Denies Megyn Kelly’s Sexual Harassment Allegations Detailed in Her Upcoming Memoir

Fox News CEO Roger Ailes is denying the sexual harassment allegations Megyn Kelly made about him in her upcoming memoir.

On Nov. 4, a chapter from the 45-year-old Fox News anchor’s upcoming memoir, Settle for More, leaked, in which Kelly said Ailes’ made inappropriate remarks about her clothing and suggested he would help advance her career “in exchange for sexual favors.”

Kelly claims in the chapter (first released by Radar Online) that after months of harassment, the 76-year-old “crossed a new line” in January 2006 when he grabbed her and repeatedly tried to kiss her. Upon shoving him away, the journalist alleges Ailes asked her the “ominous question” of “When is your contract up?” before trying to kiss her for a third time. Kelly says she never succumbed to any of his advances that she claims stopped after six months once she reported Ailes’ behavior to her supervisor.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Ailes is denying the allegations that Kelly details in her book.

“I categorically deny the allegations Megyn Kelly makes about me. I worked tirelessly to promote and advance her career, as Megyn herself admitted to Charlie Rose. Watch that interview and then decide for yourself,” Ailes said in a statement provided to PEOPLE by his attorney, Susan Estrich. “My attorneys have restricted me from commenting further — so suffice it to say that no good deed goes unpunished.”

After the chapter leaked, Estrich told PEOPLE in a statement: “Mr. Ailes denies her allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct of any kind.” The statement also referred back to Kelly’s words about Ailes on Charlie Rose: “I really care about Roger. And he has been nothing but good to me. And he’s been very loyal. And he’s had my back. And he’s looked out for me.”

The Kelly File airs weekdays (9 p.m. ET) on Fox News Channel.


PEOPLE.com

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World Jerseys Jolly Roger Pirate Cycling Jersey – Men’s Size L

World Jerseys Jolly Roger Pirate Cycling Jersey – Men’s Size L


The World Jersey Men’s Jolly Roger Pirate Jersey is made out of DrySport 100% Wicking Polyester, keeping you dry and cool on your ride. 19″ hidden zipper Elastic waist and cuffs Three rear pockets for storage Long lasting colors Polyester Euro-Mesh fabric Antimicrobial finish that resists odors and reduces germs Size L
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Life Itself Movie CLIP – Ava DuVernay (2014) – Roger Ebert Documentary HD

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Life Itself Movie CLIP – Ava DuVernay (2014) – Roger Ebert Documentary HD

Acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and executive producers Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and Steven Zaillian (Moneyball) present LIFE ITSELF, a documentary film that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert—a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful, and transcendent. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, LIFE ITSELF explores the legacy of Roger Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.
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ReThink Review: Life Itself — On Roger Ebert and Why I Review Movies

For most movie critics living today, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Roger Ebert is their patron saint. While I rarely read his reviews, I know that he’s influenced me more than I even know, starting from when I was a little kid watching At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, which I still think is the perfect format for a movie review show and probably contributed to me wanting to be a critic in the first place. The new documentary Life Itself traces Ebert’s life and extraordinary career while also chronicling the final four months of his life before he died after a long battle with cancer which took his ability to speak but supercharged his compulsion to write. Watch the trailer for Life Itself below.

Based on Ebert’s book of the same name, Life Itself traces Ebert’s career as a born writer who eventually became a reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times where, at the age of 25, he was made their full-time movie critic (then an unglamorous job) when the previous critic quit. But Ebert’s talent and intelligence quickly elevated the reviews, eventually earning him a Pulitzer, to the point that someone got the then-novel idea of starting a movie review TV show pairing Ebert with Chicago Tribune critic and rival Gene Siskel.

It’s this part of the film, detailing the evolution of the show and Ebert and Siskel’s relationship, that I found the most fascinating and fun since footage and interviews (including the first-ever interview with Siskel’s widow Marlene) reveal that the enmity and differences between Siskel and Ebert went even deeper than they appeared on a show famous for their testy exchanges. The two were an odd couple in every way, but their dynamic led to them becoming the most famous and powerful film critics in history and eventually the closest of friends — a journey that could make a great film on its own. And filmmakers, several of whom are interviewed, recognized Ebert not as a scourge or scold, but a lover of film who only wanted them to do their best work.

Throughout, Life Itself returns to 2013 as Ebert continues his work and convalesces from an injury, only to learn that his cancer has spread, giving him only months to live. As the end approaches, we’re given an intimate look at his relationships with Ebert’s beloved wife Chaz, her family, and the meaning they brought to his life.

Life Itself is directed by Hoop Dreams director Steve James, who attributes the success of his film to Siskel and Ebert’s early and repeated support. But Life Itself — at nearly two hours — is not a puff piece, examining both the celebrated and unflattering aspects of Ebert’s personality, from his intelligence and writing skills which were obvious at an early age to his reputation for being an arrogant, sometimes mean attention hog. It’s a terrific film about the man, loving movies, cancer, and the role of honest criticism that you don’t need to be a critic to enjoy, though it inevitably leads this critic to think about why I do what I do.

I don’t think of myself as a disciple of Ebert, but his influence on me is undeniable. When I was still a little kid, Ebert (I preferred him to Siskel) showed me that movies should be enjoyed in context for what they are, not in comparison to an alleged golden age or an idea of what movies are supposed to be, and that movies could not only be art, but art that could be enjoyed and understood by everyone — provided it was done well. He was intellectual yet not condescending, part of the populist streak that ran through all his work — something that I relate to and probably unconsciously emulate.

I see my reviews as not being about me knowing more about movies than you or telling you how to think, but simply as an attempt to explain clearly why I feel the way I do about a movie while being honest about my biases and shortcomings, which is why I never apologize for movies I haven’t seen. After all, I’m not a movie expert or someone trying to be what I think a critic is supposed to be, but simply a guy who loves movies and loves writing about them.

But above all else, I share a belief that Ebert states early in Life Itself: that “movies are like a machine that generates empathy.” Movies are the most powerful and accessible storytelling device that humans have created, possessing a unique power to educate and enlighten, whether it’s through presenting information, letting you into the lives of people different from you, or by putting a character you relate to in a situation you’ve shared or maybe never experienced. By doing this, movies can challenge your beliefs and preconceptions, make you feel less alone, or at least provide viewers with a shared experience that can spark a conversation based on each individual’s unique interpretation of it. And it’s only through empathy and discussion that we’ll be able to put aside our differences, emphasize what connects us, and make the world a better place.

These might be lofty ideas for a guy who runs his mouth about movies. But Roger Ebert showed that talking about movies can be a pretty wonderful thing. And if you don’t believe me, Life Itself will almost definitely change your mind.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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The Roger Ebert Documentary ‘Life Itself’ Shines At Sundance

As I write this fourth update, I have now seen 15 movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. (I should add: I am very, very tired.) I’ve been sitting at my computer for the last 10 minutes trying to think of some fun anecdote to share, but, honestly, I can’t remember much of anything right now, so let’s just get to the movies. Movies that include one of the most special films at the festival, the Roger Ebert documentary, “Life Itself.”

“Life Itself”

life itself

“Life Itself,” a title that was taken from Roger Ebert’s autobiography, chronicles the life of the famed film critic – including the last few months of Ebert’s life in, at times, ghastly detail. It’s heartbreaking to see Ebert in such poor shape for those last few months, especially contrasted with the guy who used to be so full of life. But even in those final months, Ebert’s writing was still very much full of life.

I don’t want to paint “Life Itself” as a sad film. There’s a sequence where outtakes are shown of Ebert and Gene Siskel filming a television promo that are downright hilarious. Thankfully, a lot of time is spent on Siskel (who died in 1999) and the strange relationship the two shared. It was Siskel’s insistence on hiding the severity of his condition from Ebert -– Ebert had been hurt that he wasn’t in Siskel’s inner circle concerning his condition — that led Ebert to be as open as possible about his future medical conditions.

It’s a shame Ebert didn’t live to see this film released, but in an interview conducted for the film, he was fairly sure that he would never live to see the finished film. “Life Itself” will take you through the emotional gauntlet. No, Ebert wasn’t a saint and this documentary doesn’t sugarcoat that fact. But it does give us a look at this man who lived an extraordinary life and inspired so many. “Life Itself” is one of the best films at Sundance.

“Laggies”

laggies

When “Laggies” begins, it almost feels like a distant cousin to “Bridesmaids.” (Note: I am in no way comparing “Laggies” to “Bridesmaids,” just the first ten minutes.) There are some laughs! I laughed a few times! Keira Knightly plays Megan, a woman with an advanced degree, yet who is content doing not much of anything with her career. After her best friend’s wedding, during which her boyfriend (Mark Webber) unsuccessfully tries to propose, she’s asked by a high school student, Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz), to buy Annika and her other underage friends some alcohol. Megan agrees, then moves in with Annika and falls in love with Annika’s dad (Sam Rockwell). Yes, the plot of this movie is as dumb as that sounds.

Again, there are some legitimately funny scenes, but “Laggies” suffers from way too many “Nobody in real life would ever make the decisions that these characters do” moments. Annika, a stranger, calls Megan and asks Megan to pose as her mother for a meeting at the principal’s office. With no hesitation, Megan agrees. Nobody would ever agree to that! Who are these people? You know what? Never mind, I don’t want to know.

“To Be Takei”

to be takei

I had no idea that George Takei had worked with John Wayne. “To Be Takei” is filled with enough footage and fun facts like that one to satisfy the weary popular culture connoisseur – and, yes, there’s a lot of “Star Trek” – but the film focuses mostly on Takei’s extraordinary post-“Trek” life, in which he’s become one of the leading voices in the LGBT movement.

If you’ve paid attention to Takei’s life, I’m not sure there’s a lot here that someone wouldn’t know – Takei has discussed his unfortunate time in a Japanese internment camp during World War II many times in the past – but Takei just emits joy. It’s impossible to watch Takei speak and not feel some sort of happiness. The film is sprinkled with interviews with the rest of the living “Star Trek” cast, including William Shatner who, honestly, comes off as an asshole. (I can see why when Takei told Shatner to “get off your high horse” at a celebrity roast, he states he wasn’t joking.)

Regardless, Takei has lived a fascinating life and makes for a great case study, even if you don’t know the difference between a Klingon and a Romulan.

Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Autographed Moore Picture – LIVE LET DIE” by ROGER as JAMES BOND JANE SEYMOUR as SOLITAIRE 8×10 Color

Autographed Moore Picture – LIVE LET DIE” by ROGER as JAMES BOND JANE SEYMOUR as SOLITAIRE 8×10 Color


LIVE and LET DIE” Signed by ROGER MOORE as JAMES BOND and JANE SEYMOUR as SOLITAIRE – 8×10 Color Photo”
List Price: $ 204.75
Price: $ 187.88