Michael Phillips and Tony Scott, where art thou? Cheers went up among cinephiles when At the Movies dumped the two Bens (callow Lyons and less callow Mankiewicz), but unfortunately the damage was done, and Phillips and Scott were perhaps too intelligently polite to survive in TV land.
But even the great Roger Ebert, who created At the Movies with the late Gene Siskel, placed his TV bet on wet-behind-the-ears critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of Mubi.com to co-host with A.P.’s Christy Lemire the new Ebert Presents at the Movies, which launched on PBS stations in January. I’ve been trying to give the show a chance, but I just don’t engage with these two bright film enthusiasts. Here’s a recent episode.
They both look like geniuses compared to the latest video review show to hit the internet, ComingSoon.net’s FilmPulse, starring two “emerging filmmakers” who aren’t identified. Two twentysomething guys cruise through Paul and E.T. and Flickchart, giving us a blow-by-blow on how they choose movies (not by heeding other critics, apparently) before bringing on professional pitchman Morgan Spurlock, who is wily enough to survive any interview. (The first show is below.)
There are a raft of smart young cinephiles out there who can hold forth knowledgeably and entertainingly on film. Off the top of my head they include my Oscar Talk sparring partner Kris Tapley, Slashfilm’s podcasters, Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci, NextMovie’s Matt Patches, IFC’s Matt Singer (who has contributed to Ebert’s show), and critics William Goss, Aaron Hillis, Alison Wilmore, Eric Kohn, James Rocchi, Kim Voynar and Karina Longworth. All could wipe the floor with these people.