Richard Roeper Blog

Archive for November, 2009

Thanks for the kind words.

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Some nice comments from the from Facebook and Twitter friends. Thanks guys!

Tady Villatoro: YES!!!!! Thank you!!! I missed ur reviews!!!!

Franco Ocampo: Very cool, can’t wait!

Thomas Beau Vickroy: Sweetness. Just bookmarked it!

Geoff Scofield: This is awsome news. Ive been lost since there hasnt been any movie review shows on since you left Richard.I Cant wait to watch your reviews again. Props on the video. very funny loved the ending.

David Gardetti: Paranormal Activity parody: like it. RR doing movie reviews reviews: love it.

Rich Hlava Jr.: Did i just read that right?? I will soon be able to WATCH Richard Roeper movie reviews on my iPhone??? Holy sweet God!! Heaven awaits..

Christopher Zeidel: Roger is in full support of Roeper’s decision, and so are we. The new version of the site is looking good. I am looking forward to the video reviews of new movies.

Nelson Espe: I just read your blog about some guy taking a shot at you, and your comments to Ebert….I totally understood what you were saying. You were not dissing Ebert at all, you were just clearly trying to say that it is more laid back, as if it would be talking about a movie with your friends. And not afraid to say something is a pile of shit, whereas on TV you cannot do that.

Robert Casaday: Good luck on this latest venture, Richard! I value your reviews and comments.

Betsy Knight Casillo: I am thrilled to see you doing reviews again on TV! I don’t get Starz (maybe someday) but will watch online. Best of luck to you in your new venture and thank you.

Yasmeen Shuller: Congratulations!! So happy to see you back in full reviewer mode and with a new website too!!

Rick Holtrop: Still loving your work, Rich, can’t wait to see the new stuff.

Jay Shulz: This is fantastic news. Very happy to have you back on TV. Congrats!

Tony Healy: The new website looks sleeeeeeek! Holy crap!

bpdreview: I love Richard Roeper! I’m making no apologies for that. He’s back w/a new website and weekly reviews.

warlock716: Love the new site. You’re getting an Iphone app???

DanielleCesena: Read Feder’s article. Glad you’re back to reviewing. Kudos to you responding to those ignorant commentators.

wood_brothers21: Happy Thanksgiving Mr. Roeper. Your Starz gig sounds edgy and cool.

literallyfresh: Looking forward to catching Richard Roeper’s weekly video reviews on his official site.

vinceamatuzzi: The new site is looking good.

LiamJM: Cool, congrats on the new site.

MissJo_25: love love love your blog. I’m on it all the time.

bryanalaspa: The site looks  fantastic Richard.

ToddDilley Glad to hear Richard Roeper will be reviewing movies online and also for the Starz channel starting soonabout 4 hours ago from Twikini

Oprah announces non-retirement for 2011!!!

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Oprah Winfrey isn’t retiring. Not this year, not next year, not in 2011. She’s just moving on, perhaps to California, maybe to a show on cable, perhaps to a Barbara Walters-type deal where she does specials, develops programming and occasionally returns to the type of show that made her world-famous and scary-rich. But she ain’t retiring any more than Jay Leno retired when he left “The Tonight Show.”

Or how about this. She’s retiring in 2011 because that positions her for…


She’d kick Sarah Palin’s ass.

Oh wait. Obama’s probably gonna run for re-election, right? So scratch the whole Oprah for President deal. (Years and years ago, I wrote that Oprah should run for mayor of Chicago. I was only half-kidding. These days, I can’t imagine her thinking that small. Mayor of the World, perhaps.)



Mayor Daley, perhaps jousting with the media just a bit, said with a nearly straight face he believes the criticism of Oprah’s Michigan Avenue shutdown-show might have contributed to her departure

“That became a big rhubarb in the Chicago press—-beat up Oprah,” Daley said Thursday night. “So you keep kicking people, people will leave, simple as that.”

Uh-huh. Methinks the mayor might be projecting a bit there.

I remember when Oprah arrived in Chicago in the 1980s to take over the “A.M. Chicago” hosting slot from a guy named Robb Weller, who went on to hosting duties at “Entertainment Tonight.” She was a raw talent who immediately connected with the Chicago audience and started taking away viewers from Phil Donahue, who had pioneered the morning show format in Ohio and taken it to national prominence out of the CBS studios in Chicago. But none of us could have envisioned that she’d ever reach such stratospheric levels. Even when I guested on Oprah’s show in the early 1990s, it was a pretty cool thing but for me it wasn’t nearly as exciting as my first time on “The Tonight Show” or even Conan’s program.

According to one urban legend, Oprah took control of her show after a dispute with the general manager of the ABC affiliate in Chicago, who wouldn’t give up one of his parking spaces for her. I don’t think that one’s true—-but I do believe the story about how my pal Roger Ebert was the one who convinced her that syndication was the route to national exposure and possible fortune.

Roger, Oprah. Oprah, Roger.


As I write this, dawn has broken in Chicago. After I did a live spot on the CBS affiliate in Chicago in which I pointed out that Oprah’s total weight gains and losses over the last 25 years equals the national debt (it was a JOKE!), I cruised past the Harpo Studios, where some fans were already lining up for the Friday morning show. Lining up in the dark, God bless ’em. (There was also a considerable media presence. Oprah’s one of the few TV stars who merits constant coverage from the competition, such as it is. In Chicago, she’s on ABC-7, but WGN, Fox, CBS and NBC were covering her Friday with as much verve as Channel 7.)

For anyone who works in the Chicago media, Oprah’s departure means we’ll finally, finally, FINALLY stop hearing from friends, acquaintances and friends of friends of acquaintances asking, “Can you help my Mom get tickets for Oprah?”

For some 600 Chicagoans, the end of the show could mean the end of a job. That’s how many staffers report to the Harpo complex every day for work. The neighborhood where Harpo is located is going to suffer quite the blow if the studio shuts down.

As for the show itself: I won’t miss it much because I hardly ever watch it. I’m not the target audience. I’d occasionally tune in or TIVO when Oprah interviewed a newsmaker, or when the show made news because of some wacky episode, e.g., Tom Cruise’s couch-dancing.

I’d go after Oprah when she touted another fad diet, embraced that bullshit known as The Secret or indulged her monumental ego to the point of insanity. I hated that shit when she gave away the Pontiacs and some members of the studio audience nearly fainted with greed, and nobody pointed out that PONTIAC was giving away the Pontiacs, not Oprah, and by the way: everyone owes about $7,000 in taxes, so good luck with that.

I also praised her for commanding the small screen like few ever have. I expressed admiration for her myriad good deeds, her love of reading and the Oprah Book Club, and the fact that she stayed in Chicago all these years when it would have been easier to take the show to the West Coast.

You don’t really see Oprah out and about in Chicago these days; her restaurant is long-gone, and she’s hardly a regular at White Sox games. Once she goes to California, I doubt we’ll see much of her here. But, like Michael Jordan and Siskel & Ebert, like Harry Caray and Walter Payton, like the Tower formerly known as Sears and the Daley dynasty, Oprah will always be an iconic part of The Chicago Story.

I also have his hair gel from “Wall Street.”

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

A couple of iPhone pics of the Michael Douglas jacket from “Traffic,” as discussed in Monday’s column…



Let it ride.

Monday, November 9th, 2009

After a sparkling first day of wagering on the Breeders Cup races last Friday, I fell back to Earth on Saturday, with a couple of close-but-no-cigar specials.

The 2009 Breeders Cup


In the Classic, I had all my money on Gio Ponti, and there was a moment at the top of the stretch when I thought it might happen—-but the remarkable Zenyatta roared to a thrilling victory, with Gio Ponti finishing second.

4 Zenyatta Smith M E 123 7.60 5.60 3.80
7 Gio Ponti Dominguez R A 126 9.20 6.60
5 Twice Over (GB) Queally T P 126 7.00

Now then. Had I done a Win-Place-Show bet on Gio Ponti, I would have realized a nice profit. But as a casual horse player, I’ve never been a big fan of hedging my bets, so to speak. I want my horse to win baby win! If he comes in second, so be it.

My only regret is that I finished the weekend -$250. Had Gio Ponti pulled off the upset, I would have had at least several hundred in profits, and all of that would have gone to charity.

Ah well. Had a great time betting online with and watching the races at Bull & Bear.



I’ve got the horse right here…

Friday, November 6th, 2009


OK, here are my pics so far, as placed on I’m still open to suggestions.

6th race: $30 to win on #10, Justenuffhumor. $5 Exacta Box, 10-11.

7th race: $50 to win on #4, Bullsbay. $5 Exacta Box, 4/7.

8th race: $25 to win on #7, Spanish Moon. $5 Exacta Box, 7/8.

9th race: $100 win on #7, Gio Ponti. $10 Exacta Box, 1-7.

On my way to the Bull & Bear to watch the proceedings…

UPDATE: I had the last two winners in Friday’s Breeders Cup races: Informed Decision and Life is Sweet.

Breeders Cup Horse Racing

Heading into today’s races, I’m up $222—-and remember, any profits realized for the weekend will be donated to charity. (See below). I’m going to start lining up my picks and making my bets at, and later this afternoon I’ll be heading to the Bull & Bear to watch the races.

A few weeks ago, the Illinois Racing Board gave the go-ahead to three companies to host online sports betting operations. In other words, your home computer is now an OTB, if you’re so inclined to bet the ponies.

I now have an account with, and I’m going to be placing wagers on the Breeders Cup races today and tomorrow. Your tips and hunches are welcome!

TVG website

My opening bankroll is $500. Here’s the deal: If I end up realizing any profits today and tomorrow, 100 percent of my winnings will be donated to the Racing Industry Charitable Foundation.


The RICF provideds comprehensive medical, dental, social services and substance abuse care for all racetrack workers and their families. It’s a terrific organization.

I’m putting $30 to win on Cloudy’s Knight in the 3rd today. More bets to come.


From the Dept. of Bad Timing.

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Note to Matt Drudge: Probably not the best day to run the ad you have on the top of your site.


Cheadle wanted no part of this wager.

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

All right, it’s time to unveil my Cheesy Mustache theory regarding three of the biggest movie stars in the world.

It is my contention that some time ago, perhaps during the filming of “Ocean’s Thirteen,” Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon made some sort of wager saying that by 2009, each of them would have to star in a movie while sporting an incredibly cheesy mustache. The loser would have to…I don’t know, maybe break out into song for no good reason the next time he was on “Oprah”?

Here’s Brad in “Inglourious Basterds”


And here’s Matty in “The Informant!”


And finally, here’s Georgey boy in “The Men Who Stare At Goats,” opening Friday.


I rest my case.

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