Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ben Lyons, You'll Never Work In This Town Again...

"At the Movies", the show launched by Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel a few decades back, has been in turmoil for the last year following Ebert's departure. The syndicated program has recently been the subject of intense backlash following the appointment of the, frankly, ignorant and unqualified Ben Lyons (who famously made the mistake of stating that I Am Legend was one of "the greatest films ever made"...cue critical uproar!) and extraordinarily dull Ben Mankiewicz. The Bens first got their rights to "two thumbs up" revoked, then got their ass further handed to them by Roger Ebert, and finally, were removed from the air and tossed back out onto the street to take payola from someone else (E! most likely) and quit committing sacrilege. Now, a new day has arrived. "At the Movies" has been retooled for launch this weekend (check local listings) with real film critics with respected reputations: Michael Phillips from the Chicago Tribune and A.O. Scott of the New York Times. Yes, when you tune in you will now be able to watch a real discussion on a film's merit. Halle-freakin'-lujah. The best part about it, however, may be the ad campaign and promotional video on the show's site. It seems the folks at "At the Movies" are trying desperately to save face by really sort of slamming their own catastrophic direction and making bold note that what we've moved back to is "serious reviews" and "serious journalists". Check it out, at the end they even snarkily attack with "real reviews" and "real critics". That's right Ben Lyons. That's right. God, i'm vindictive this week.

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