(Pictured: Turtle, Johnny Drama)
Well, folks, our long national nightmare is over. A year after ABC replaced Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper as hosts of At the Movies with TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz and MC Private School Ben Lyons, they’ve announced that Ben & Ben are out, in favor of A.O. Scott of the New York Times and Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune.
Mankiewicz would escape much of the criticism directed at the revamped “At the Movies,” [just as he will in this post - sorry, Mank -Ed.] most of which targeted Lyons, whose inability to articulate his opinions undercut his cinematic knowledge and critical skills. Too often Lyons sounded as though he were dictating a blurb for an ad, rather than giving serious counsel as to whether a consumer should buy a ticket, rent a DVD or skip a film altogether. [ChicagoTribune]
This is a great decision by ABC, not that I ever watched the show. And not because I think the only worthy film criticism comes from guys who work at The New York Times and use initials for a first name (pretentious much?). Otherwise I wouldn’t subject you to my own, professional dick-joke-maker such as I am. It’s just that if I am in the mood to hear intelligent film analysis, it’s not going to be from the spiritual cousin of Brett Ratner who likes club DJs and uses phrases like “homey” and “what’s good!!!” every third sentence. eFilmCritic has a more detailed account of why Ben Lyons was a bad critic (raving about You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, for instance), but for me, him seeming like a tooly douche (or is he a douchey tool? discuss) was enough. But don’t feel bad, you’ll still be able to see him on Good Morning America and E! News and Nickelodeon, doing whatever it is he does for many years to come, I’m sure.
Am I mean for picking on him? Probably. H8r numb3r 1, out.