Monday, January 24, 2011

"EBERT PRESENTS AT THE MOVIES": A REVIEW


Roger Ebert has premiered his new film review program, "Ebert Presents At The Movies" on your local PBS stations. The show is hosted by previously mentioned Christy Lemire from the Associated Press and replacing Elvis Mitchell is Ignatly Vishnevetsky from the blog, Mubi.com.

Like Mr. Ebert's previous show, the hosts discuss and offer their opinions on currently released films in theaters. "At The Movies" will also feature special correspondents, like Kim Morgan, who is an expert on classic Hollywood movies, who discussed the Orson Welles film, "The Third Man" on this show plus Roger Ebert, with the help of guest voices since he is unable to speak, reviewed "My Dog Skip" a little seen film that was released in theaters last year and is now on home video that he recommends that you check out.

On this first episode, these new hosts review five wildly different films; "No Strings Attached", "The Green Hornet", "The Company Men", "The Way Back" and "The Dilemma" and while Mr.Vishnevetsky praised each film and gave them all a thumbs up, Ms Lemire disliked and pointed her thumb to the ground on every single film.

I was completely stunned by this and really find it hard to believe. Not only does this make me question the taste level on both of these critics, it also makes me wonder if they are truly qualified to give an honest opinion because I never felt completely convinced on either side of the argument each were trying to make on these films.

While they did acknowledge and made light of the fact of their solid split critiques at the end of the program, that is the least of the problems.The show feels stiff, sterile and dated plus these hosts have zero chemistry and watching two complete strangers sitting next to each other and trying to force conversation and offer lackluster discussion is not entertaining.

I know this was the first episode and I'm sure they will need time to find it's groove but if the show remains this dull and predictable, I don't think it will have a long life.