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March 26, 2010


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Matthias Galvin

The Internet has probably done the most to destroy people's inclinations towards taking what they can get (which was, in your case Sneak Previews). As much as I hate to be another jerk saying it: when everybody has an opinion, nobody listens to anyone else. It indicates, to me, that a "game changer" probably won't happen.


About the only other time I've seen that model succeed, it was in an entirely different milieu: Kornheiser and Wilbon on "PTI." Other cloned shows turn into "Sports Shouting," as was so accurately portrayed on "30 Rock." No matter the subject at hand, when those types of programs work, it's just as much about the chemistry as it is the knowledge and expertise.

Siskel and Ebert had it in spades.

I watched a few eps of the abomination that was the Lyons/Mank version, just to witness the train wreck. I have nothing against the older Ben, and under the circumstances, I thought he acquitted himself well (and certainly, by comparison to his star-fucking dimwit of a cohost, came off like the Stephen Hawking of the film world). The newest iteration was smart and compact, but the magic wasn't there; least of all from a business sense. Sigh, another era gone.

And I would probably tune in for Reel Drunkz.


Thanks for posting that pic of Michael Medved, Glenn. You just ruined my dinner.

Lou Lumenick

No history of the genre is truly complete without the sardonic Rex Reed's 1986-1990 tour as co-host of "At the Movies'' (after S&E left for Disney), first opposite Bill Harris and then Dixie Whatley. (When it expired, Disney bought the title from Tribune for S & E). As someone who moved to neighboring Bergenfield when he started working for the Bergen Record in 1976, I never thought I'd live long enough to see "culture'' and "Dumont'' in the same sentence. Thanks, Glenn!


I can still remember a time when the only source of real, honest film criticism I could get was via Pauline Kael in the NEW YORKER at my small town library. I do agree that the internet as really killed the professional movie critic for the most part. I mean, when anybody with a keyboard can get in on the action, then why pay some guy a living wage to write about films?

Aaron Aradillas

I consider myself the un-ufficial Siskel & Ebert historian.

It should be noted that the Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down" schtick came about when the show went to the Tribune Co. The boys would use a simple Yes/No system back in the day. This detail always gets lost whenever people feel the need to blame S&E for The Death of Film Culture. The "Thumbs" was corporate mandate. They still practiced thoughtful, intelligent criticism.

Like Glenn, I grew up in a "media market" that didn't traffic in major bookstores and revival houses. S&E was like a peek into what was out there. You knew all about the "big" titles. You would hope that the smaller, more independent films would catch on and hopefully make it to your neck of the world. I remember both One False Move and Reservoir Dogs played in San Antonio for one week each. Soderbergh's King of the Hill played for, I believe, three weeks. We didn't ever get John Duigan's Flirting. Or, Wayne Wang's The Music of Chance. (Both of those were VHS rentals.)

Long after Kael decided the 1980s were shite simply because they weren't the 1970s, Siskel & Ebert gave young aspiring film critics reasons to go to the movies every week.

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