By Chase Kahn
"At the Movies", in a return to humanity and self-respect, has announced New York Times critic A.O. Scott and the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips will take over for Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz as hosts of the weekly review show.
So after Richard Roeper, a goon with questionable taste buds, we had to put up with Ben Lyons, who is without equal in the critic world. An insufferable starfucker who spews the most blatantly phony and blurb-worthy sparks of any critic who's ever walked this earth. He once called I Am Legend "one of the greatest films of all-time". I mean, this guy made Pete Hammond look like Armond White.
Phillips and Scott have both filled in for Roger Ebert when the show was still titled "Ebert & Roeper" and did a great job. Scott is -- at first glance -- a stuffy, slouchy kind of magnet for the obscure, but he's actually a critic who plays fair, doesn't appear self-conscious in his reviews and is unpredictable. You listen to what the guy says with your full attention span.
The same goes for Phillips, who is very good on camera and a good writer for the Tribune, if a little on the predictable, more populist side. All in all, it's a good day when the Ben Lyons' of the world get knotched down a peg and people who actually know what their doing in this profession get the gig. Chalk up a victory to the print journalists! Bravo.