August 5, 2009
Movie reviews on TV = Saved!
Disney-ABC has finally decided to make their classic movie review show "At the Movies" into something respectable and good again by booting off the Two Bens (Mankiewicz, who is OK, and Lyons, an embarrassment who has provoked rage and contempt since the day he started) less than one year after they came on as hosts.
For those of us who grew up watching Siskel and Ebert (here's an archive of the old shows), this is really exciting news. After Gene Siskel got sick and left the show, there were a few great episodes where Roger Ebert brought on guest critics, but after Richard Roeper was hired in 2000 as a permanent co-host, it got pretty tough to watch. After giving one or two shots to the Two Bens over the last year, I gave up completely.
Scott is one of my personal favorite critics (he's not leaving the Times,) and though I don't read Phillips' reviews in the Tribune, I love when he joins Adam and Matty over at the Filmspotting podcast--he's smart and funny and likes good stuff. Both critics seem like pleasant, affable people, but hopefully they'll stick to their guns and not shy away from on-screen verbal brawls over things like whether Brian DePalma is capable of making good movies anymore.
The new pair will start on September 7. Can't wait.
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