TV Review - Ebert Presents At the Movies

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EBERT PRESENTS AT THE MOVIES
Airs: Fridays at 8:30c on PBS
Genre: Film Criticism
The Set-Up: Similar in format to the various incarnations of Siskel & Ebert over the years, the two critics in the balcony this time around are Christy Lemire of The Associated Press and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of mubi.com.  There is also a cadre of various bloggers and reviewers who provide special segments.  In the first episode, Kim Morgan did a little spiel on the brilliance of The Third Man.
The Good: Cinema lovers rejoice - the format has been tinkered with, but in a good way. Lemire and Vishnevetsky are comfortable in front of the camera and are well-spoken.  I liked that they didn't dominate the whole show, and it found time for other segments.  Ebert himself even spoke about a movie called My Dog Tulip, through a voiceover by Werner Herzog.  Side note: can Herzog narrate everything, please? 
The Bad: Lemire knows what she's talking about, but I think I'd rather read her opinions than see her speak them.  I miss Michael Phillips - Ebert should have kept him.  It would have been nice to have someone much older than Vishnevetsky (what a name!) mix it up with him.  Might have provided a more interesting viewpoint.  I'm sure it will change in weeks ahead but it got kind of boring when Lemire gave thumbs down to everything, and Vishnevetsky gave thumbs up - even to crap like The Dilemma and Season of the Witch.  How much can their opinions be trusted?
The Verdict: Putting aside my own disappointment over not being chosen to co-host (yeah, like that would happen), I really enjoyed it.  I love the fact that PBS and Ebert worked to put another film criticism show on the air.  ABC and Disney were stupid for canceling the old At the Movies in the first place. 

Filed under: Reviews, TV

Tags: At the Movies, Ebert, reviews, television, TV

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