It was announced yesterday, that the long running movie review program, "At The Movies" was cancelled and is going to end production in August.
The show's recent hosts, A.O. Scott of the New York Times and Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune will be missed and I realize that we still will be able to read their reviews in their respective newspapers (for the time being anyway, if the papers don't vanish as well) but what I'm going to really miss is their enlightening discussions on why they liked or disliked a particular movie. I have gone to see a few movies that I had no interest in seeing based on their recommendations (and was very happy I didn't miss the film) as well have avoided a few that I might have wasted my money on.
The program began in 1986 with original hosts, the late Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert who helped bring to the world the terms, "Thumbs up" and "Thumbs down" to describe whether a film was worth seeing or not. They brought film criticism to the masses and helped make people think twice before they went to their local cineplex and selected which movie to go and see.
I had watched the show regularly but I have to admit I had stopped watching it around the time I had moved to Los Angeles which was in 1989. I recently rediscovered the show when Mr. Scott and Mr. Phillips were announced as the new hosts and I was curious what they would bring to this show. Like Mr. Siskel and Mr. Ebert, they wanted to have an honest and intellectual discussion about film. They brought their love of film and wanted to share their favorites, announce new discoveries and tell you which movies you might want to avoid.
I hope the show can find life in a new format somewhere because it really would be a shame if this type of program disappears.