Driving another nail into the coffin of genteel film criticism, Disney/ABC is finally closing down the At the Movies balcony for good. Started by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, continued by Ebert and Richard Roeper, then a series of guest critics ending with Michael Phillips, At the Movies was cut off at the knees by the idiotic idea of putting two young would-be critics, Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz in the show. At the Movies came back to life–as far as I was concerned–with the return of Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott. But I guess these two gentleman critics couldn’t turn the ship around in time.
Last show: August 14.
Damn. A weekly ritual to which I am truly addicted will not be replaced. I am truly bummed.
“Rotten Tomatoes has claimed another victim,” writes The Hollywood Reporter.
As @ebertchicago tweeted this afternoon: “RIP, ‘At the Movies.’ Memories.”
UPDATE: Here’s Ebert’s blog post about his new “Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies” show. The two hosts are already picked: it will be TV, internet, multi-media. Roger and Chaz Ebert will produce and he’ll occasionally narrate segments, using his computer voice, but interplay with another host is not possible. THR’s Andrew Wallenstein adds smart analysis for the future of criticism.