Sunday, September 7, 2008

Where's the balcony?

I watched the newly revamped "At the Movies" last night and I thought it was...okay, I guess. I don't want to be too harsh on the show or the two Bens because of how new everything seems to be at the moment, but there were definitely things that bothered me. Surprisingly, I liked a few things as well.

Things I Didn't Like:
  • Remember when I discussed Ben Lyons's weird fidget problem? Yeah, the guy couldn't stop moving. At all.
  • Now that I've addressed Lyons's annoyingly fidgety presence, I'll just go ahead and say it: Lyons was annoying. Period. He sounded like a robot (or cue card reader) who really, really wanted to be enthusiastic. When Lyons spoke about Don Cheadle and how the actor could do no wrong, he asked--in an extremely unnatural, awkward voice--his fellow film critic, Ben Mankiewicz, "Name a bad Don Cheadle movie!" The tone of Mankiewicz's response sounded like, "Why the hell are you asking me this insipidly random question to highlight Cheadle's greatness? He deserves better."
  • Why must it take place in front of a lame flatscreen TV? Why? Why? WHY?
  • Yellow. Orange. Ugh. The set is so...bright.
  • The show felt like a couple of friends discussing the movies they watched the past week, which is actually something I can do with my friends all the time. I don't need to spend thirty minutes of my life (one of Lyons's favorite phrases, I believe) watching that. What I used to love about the old show is that critics like Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel, and Richard Roeper (to some extent) had some extensive knowledge about the subject of film and the show just felt somewhat educational.
  • They messed up the whole concept of "Three to See." It was supposed to be the ranking of a single critic, not both.
Things I Did Like:
  • The whole "Critics Round Table" idea is kind of cool. I do hope they change it up a bit with the critics once a while, though.
  • Ben Mankiewicz seemed fine. Uncomfortable, probably, but fine. Hell, I'd freak out if the guy standing/sitting next to me couldn't stop smirking like an idiot.
  • Was I being too harsh on Ben Lyons? Possibly. Well, at least he's better-looking than Mankiewicz...?
So what is everyone else's opinion about the new "At the Movies"? Feel free to share.


There wasn't a "Five Links Friday" last week because (thinking for a good excuse--uh, never mind)...I forgot. I started school last week and the school year got really busy, really fast. I might end up neglecting this little blog throughout the school year, but hopefully, I will find the time to keep it afloat.


  1. No question the show is broken beyond repair. If the show goes on like this, it's going to end up ditching the existing audience and acquiring a new one.

  2. I didn't get a chance to check it out, if its online i'll give it a look see, but I am definitely scared.

  3. Haven't seen it. Don't really plan to. I stopped watching with any regularity when Gene died.

  4. Havent seen it either, but I dont know if I want to. I dont like the new direction that this show is going and I really miss the guys from before. Good insight on what you thought about the show

  5. I saw a few minutes and almost vomited due to their complete raping for the At The Movies legacy.

  6. Mooney - I don't think they're going to acquire any new audience at all. Just lose a couple of the old ones. I mean, even to the youngsters, who exactly are Lyons and Mankiewicz, anyway?

    Shawn - I watched it again today to try and get another opinion of it. Lyons still annoyed the hell out of me, but there was sort of a deadpan humor about Mankiewicz that I kind of liked. But those yellow graphics, annoying "entertainment" music, and flatscreen TV have to go...NOW.

    Fletch - I don't really have any clear memories of the Siskel episodes. Thank goodness for that great online archive.

    Farzan - The "new direction" is kind of cheesy--I would've preferred a continuation of Roeper and Phillips. But I don't know, Ben Lyons is just a lot of fun to mock. The new show is sort of like a train wreck that I must watch.