Seriously, I don’t…
I’m talking about the the show that “replaced” “Ebert and Roeper”. It’s called “At the Movies“, and it’s hosted by Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz.
And it seems people “aren’t likin’ it”. (Maybe some of you will get this obscure reference. Make sure you leave a comment if you do. 😉 )
Anyway, I’m talking about it because I’m currently watching their “If we picked the winners” pre-Oscar special, and although I’m in a bitchy mood tonight, I just cannot find a valid reason to hate on these guys. Their critique makes sense, they’re coherent, they’re articulate. I just don’t see what is so wrong with them. But maybe there’s something I’m missing, because a lot of folks out there don’t seem very fond of them.
The other day, I ventured on what I believe was the IMDb “At the Movies” message board, and man, were the two Bens taking a textual bashing! It actually surprised me. I skimmed through the threads, and didn’t see a single post saying: “Oh, come on, they’re not THAT bad…!” Not one. What’s up with that?
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Ebert and Roeper, and Roger Ebert’s reviews are always the first ones I look for when I want to read about a movie. Unfortunately, I never got to see the show when Gene Siskel was on, but the snippets I saw looked pretty good to me. And I never had any qualms against Richard Roeper either. It’s a show I’ve enjoyed watching since I discovered it, and I’ve always valued the hosts’ opinions.
Sadly, for one reason or another, these hosts have moved on. Time for us to do the same. You heard me, message board people? Leave Ben and Ben alone, damnit!
As far as I know, Siskel and Ebert, Ebert and Roeper, At the Movies, each one of the show’s incarnations had that same simple two people format, and for a show of this nature, it’s just perfect. Two opinions are better than one, but are few enough that each critic has a reasonable amount of time to explain clearly why he liked or disliked a film.
And I don’t know if you caught the first few episodes of the current version of At the Movies, but I appreciate that the two ‘new Bens on the block’ decided to stick with that conversational one-on-one format after all…
The first few shows got dangerously cable news-ey at times. Split screen, special correspondents… Very CNN. The problem was that the correspondents, other movie critics, only came on at the very end of the show, and only had about 19 seconds each to explain why they liked or disliked a given movie, before being thanked and told bye-bye, see you next week. Not the deepest of analysis.
Thankfully, they dropped that stupid split-screen and the correspondents on either side after a few weeks. And since they did, I must say that I’ve found the show quite enjoyable and interesting.
So why all the hating for the two Bens?