Monday, January 11, 2010

Question of the Day: What do you think of Phillips and Scott’s version of “At the Movies”?

Just a quick question today: I was watching their “Worst of the Year” special last night and I have to say it was nice to have critics on TV who weren’t afraid to after films like Departures, Watchmen, Transformers, and others…calling all of them some of the worst movie experiences of the year. Now I liked some of the movies they ripped on, but that’s what always made the Siskel & Ebert show so great, they weren’t afraid to rip on movies that people – including a lot of popular critics – loved. So it got me thinking: are we in store for another incarnation of Siskel & Ebert? It seems to me that after watching every episode of Phillips and Scott that they are starting to get more and more comfortable in their roles, and they’re also getting a little more prickly with each other (I loved when they were revealing their Top 10 of the Decade lists on a weekly basis and they both were ripping into each other’s choices), which is a good thing. I know nothing will ever be as good as Siskel & Ebert, but I do think that this new incarnation of the show is better than Ebert & Roeper, and of course it’s definitely better than the two Ben’s…which I would rather not think about. So I’m just curious if any of you have been watching, and if you have what are your thoughts on the duo?


  1. I think they're still very much into their journalist mode (i.e. they use some staggering puns at times). In person, Roger and Gene would speak like actual people; this trend started when Roger had to leave the show, and even Richard started speaking as if reading his own newspaper article.

    But they have interesting things to say and are far more insightful than Mank and that gibbering idiot Lyons. Sometimes I wonder, though, if they've somewhat mainstreamed their tastes a bit. Like, their lists for the best movies of the decade/2009 were significantly more mainstream than what I normally expect from them as writers.

    Still, I've never seen anything more than the briefest of clips of Siskel and Ebert's starting days -- did they really have to let a GD dog on to announce the "dog of the week" or some such insanity? -- but I'm sure it took them longer to get comfortable than it's taken Mike and Tony. I think they're great. I burst out laughing when they mentioned Couples Retreat in the worst of special and asked for no more yoga jokes and Tony just deadpanned "Some of us take yoga quite seriously"

  2. In the few episodes I watched, I liked them quite a bit. The fact that I respect both of them as reviewers helps (as I did with both Siskel and Ebert, but never really did with anyone else who's been on there).

    The banter between the two isn't quite as good as when Gene and Roger were at their peak, but they both seem to be having fun with the show and they look like they will improve on that aspect of things.

  3. I like Phillips and Scott quite a bit.

    I didn't mind Mank, but that other bloke was a damn turkey.

    Phillips and Scott articulate their choices well and clearly know and love their field of endeavor.

    It's easy to criticize minor personality traits, but I think anybody would get irritating now and then with intimate TV exposure.

    I saw the original Siskel and Ebert and, yes!, a dog did skip onto the set to cue that week's 'Dog of the Week'.

    'Dogs' I remember are 'The Burning' (how terribly unfair), 'Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker' (also unfair), 'Savage Weekend', and 'Final Exam'.