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Ebert's back with a new public television review show called Roger Ebert Presents... At the Movies

09.10.2010

It's always inspiring to read about Roger Ebert these days. There was of course the great interview he gave to Esquire magazine earlier this year detailing his overcoming of cancer and how he's become invigorated anew as a writer for for the medium he loves. Then shortly after, he announced that plans were in motion to bring back "At the Movies" but with a new focus and tone that hopes to showcase and appeal to real quality film discussion.

Today, a dream for the 68-year-old film critic became a reality as he announced today on his blog that "Roger Ebert Presents... At the Movies" is now officially official and that programming will begin to air in January of 2011 on PBS. In addition to reviewing new major and indie films, the new show will also move into "coverage of New Media, special segments on classics, on-demand viewing and genres, and an extended website."

The new "At the Movies" will feature Christy Lemire (Associated Press) and Elvis Mitchell (NPR) as the principal hosts with regular contributions from Kim Morgan (MSN Movies, The Huffington Post) and Omar Moore (PopcornReel.com), as well as the occasional appearance by the man Ebert himself.

Below is a demo of the new weekly half-hour film review program. Be sure to check it out. You can read more about the show over at Ebert's blog RIGHT HERE.

Extra Tidbit: Ebert is co-producing the new program with his wife Chaz.
Source: Roger Ebert

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7:13PM on 09/10/2010
Firstly, I'm insanely happy to hear Ebert's pitch for the his new show that has been whispered about for months now...

That being said, here are my thoughts

the format
I understand that was just a 6 minute clip of what they plan to be a 30 minute show, but it seems like they are trying to cover an hour or more worth of material in a half an hour program. I think us internet film aficionados are spoiled by cinema blogs, podcasts and message boards that really do fill us with more opinions
Firstly, I'm insanely happy to hear Ebert's pitch for the his new show that has been whispered about for months now...

That being said, here are my thoughts

the format
I understand that was just a 6 minute clip of what they plan to be a 30 minute show, but it seems like they are trying to cover an hour or more worth of material in a half an hour program. I think us internet film aficionados are spoiled by cinema blogs, podcasts and message boards that really do fill us with more opinions and information than this show could and it is easily accessible and convenient. To be blunt, i'm never going to watch the new At the Movies on t.v., it will be online. If they are allowed to stretch out the online segments, I think the format will work. It also has a good ol' "public access" feel, which i think is appropriate, it's not hiding itself behind gloss and it's not pretending to be something it isn't. Hopefully with Disney and a shitload of money out of the picture we won't constantly feel like this thing could get canned any second.

the players
I absolutely love Elvis Mitchel. I love his podcast 'The Treatment' and I love his articles and reviews. He is one of my favorite movie personalities and he is a welcome to the show. To be honest, i do not know a whole hell of a lot about Christy Lemire. I've read some of her reviews and while they are well written, nothing really stood out. I hope she is tough and opinionated. I have no idea who Kim Morgan is, but it was odd seeing a young (too young?), beautiful woman talk about The Third Man. I could get used to it once i get the feeling that this is actually her opinion and doesn't feel like she is just reading the cue's. I'm familiar with Omar Moon, he could work.

Generally thought, I have to say in order for this band of ramblers to work, they have to get pissy and passionate with each other. That was the secret ingredient to Siskel and Ebert (and to a large extent Roeper and Ebert). They were not afraid to chastise each other when their opinions differed, they were not afraid to grill each other for their convictions. They were not afraid to get into fights. As much as I love A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips (who are missed on this new show), they were too nice. Bickers about differences of opinions often came down to playful jokes. Where is the red faced, smoke out of the nostril fuming that came out of Siskel and Ebert over movies as trivial as North?!?

I'm not holding this against them yet, as a 6 minute clip won't show it, and it might take awhile to gestate. All the same, that is what I loved about At the Movies then, that's what i love about podcasts like Filmspotting and Kermode & Mayo's film reviews now... the passion and willingness to flame the other hosts opinion because movies are worth fighting over. Even the mediocre ones. That's what makes a great duo and that's what makes a good film show.

Closing
I hope since Ebert's stroke he realizes just how rich the internet cinema community is and will use it to full effect. For now it's more of a 'wait and see', though i'll hang with them for as long as it takes, Ebert has at least earned that.

also, the thumbs have been sorely missed!
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7:14PM on 09/10/2010

Very cool,

I may not always agree with Ebert, but I can't help but look up to and respect him! I will be watching this for sure.
I may not always agree with Ebert, but I can't help but look up to and respect him! I will be watching this for sure.
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9:12PM on 09/10/2010

Nope

Yea I'll be sure to catch that garbage...
Yea I'll be sure to catch that garbage...
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10:20AM on 09/11/2010
Open your mouth wide enough and I have no doubt you will.
Open your mouth wide enough and I have no doubt you will.
+4
10:28PM on 09/10/2010
I will always like Roger Ebert. He's not pretentious in the least bit, he's not a "critic's critic". He's any every-guy type critic. What he says, is more or less the general, respectable opinion of what mainstream culture should go by.
I will always like Roger Ebert. He's not pretentious in the least bit, he's not a "critic's critic". He's any every-guy type critic. What he says, is more or less the general, respectable opinion of what mainstream culture should go by.
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+1
11:57PM on 09/10/2010
I cant say whether i like this or not. It ALL hinges on the hosts and because i dont really know who these hosts are, I cant comment. I wish they could have gotten Roeper, Phillips or Scott back for this show.

If the Elvis dude is that black dude with the dreads, im not sure, ive seen him on things before and he kind of annoys me.

Damn shame, i loved At The Movies with A.O Scott and Michael Phillips. I generally HATE critics, because they are pretentious, but those were 2 that I always
I cant say whether i like this or not. It ALL hinges on the hosts and because i dont really know who these hosts are, I cant comment. I wish they could have gotten Roeper, Phillips or Scott back for this show.

If the Elvis dude is that black dude with the dreads, im not sure, ive seen him on things before and he kind of annoys me.

Damn shame, i loved At The Movies with A.O Scott and Michael Phillips. I generally HATE critics, because they are pretentious, but those were 2 that I always enjoyed listening to what they had to say.
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1:25AM on 09/11/2010
A 'thumbs up' for Roger Ebert returning to television and developing a movie review show on his own terms...
A 'thumbs up' for Roger Ebert returning to television and developing a movie review show on his own terms...
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1:34AM on 09/11/2010

Good stuff.

I don't understand the hate that Ebert gets sometimes. The man can be pretty harsh and can put down beloved movies, but seriously, don't we ALL do that? I could say "I loved the Lost finale" while you could want to punch my face and say "I wasted 6years of my life because of that!" My point is, that's exactly what Ebert does. He debates a movie, and he openly announces his dislikes. I think his reviews are pretty spot-on most of the time. For a man who has been watching movies for a living for
I don't understand the hate that Ebert gets sometimes. The man can be pretty harsh and can put down beloved movies, but seriously, don't we ALL do that? I could say "I loved the Lost finale" while you could want to punch my face and say "I wasted 6years of my life because of that!" My point is, that's exactly what Ebert does. He debates a movie, and he openly announces his dislikes. I think his reviews are pretty spot-on most of the time. For a man who has been watching movies for a living for decades now, he still seems to be able to look at a movie as an individual piece and from a general moviegoer's standpoint. That's pretty respectable if you ask me.
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6:33AM on 09/11/2010

I want to watch this why?

Okay so Iron Man gets two thumbs down...and the remake, not the original but the remake, of Death at a Funeral gets two thumbs up?

Someone remind me why I'd want to watch this garbage? This type of crap makes me want to punch babies, it's people like this that ruin cinema and go on RT and vote 100% for crap like Resident Evil: Afterbirth.
Okay so Iron Man gets two thumbs down...and the remake, not the original but the remake, of Death at a Funeral gets two thumbs up?

Someone remind me why I'd want to watch this garbage? This type of crap makes me want to punch babies, it's people like this that ruin cinema and go on RT and vote 100% for crap like Resident Evil: Afterbirth.
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11:25AM on 09/11/2010
It's weird, right???.....People in this world have different opinions. How odd!!!.......
It's weird, right???.....People in this world have different opinions. How odd!!!.......
12:27PM on 09/11/2010
So is he gonna write on the ole chalkboard or get the Stephen Hawking talkie-box when he appears on this show?
So is he gonna write on the ole chalkboard or get the Stephen Hawking talkie-box when he appears on this show?
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1:01PM on 09/11/2010

I hope it comes to Canada

I watched At The Movies every Sunday when I could since I was a kid and actually felt a sense of sadness when it went off the air a few weeks ago. Looking forward to the return, but these hosts will have to bring it!
I watched At The Movies every Sunday when I could since I was a kid and actually felt a sense of sadness when it went off the air a few weeks ago. Looking forward to the return, but these hosts will have to bring it!
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12:17PM on 09/12/2010

I like Ebert, but not those 2 reviewers

RDJ "mailed-in" his Iron Man 2 performance? Really? I think Ebert can do better than these two if the show comes back on.
RDJ "mailed-in" his Iron Man 2 performance? Really? I think Ebert can do better than these two if the show comes back on.
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