Friday, July 28, 2006

Ebert's Replacements?

While Ebert recuperates from surgery, Roeper will be joined on the show by guest "critics" Jay Leno and Kevin Smith, for starters, according to the Sun-Times. I'm mortified. Leno? And Roeper? Ebert sometimes seems like the Mikey of film criticism who hands out thumbs-up ratings by the baker's dozen. So why do I have a soft spot for him? Because it proves he actually enjoys watching movies, which some critics seem to be at pains to admit (Anthony Lane, I'm looking at you and your mentor Pauline).

I can't stand Jay Leno, so I won't linger on the topic, but Smith? Yes, he's a movie geek, but his commentary in Spike, Mikes, Slackers and Dykes was embarassing. He'll be a good playmate for Roeper, and they'll have fun with the Hollywood movies, but how will the Star Wars fan handle the real stuff? Is Changing Times going to be reviewed on that episode? What a joke. I predict they'll give whatever serious films come along som brief, mild praise in their respectful tone while admitting that, "for all that, I was just a little bored by the film."

This may be fun to laugh at now, but what's sad and scary is that someday (hopefully in a long, long time) Ebert will be gone and Roeper will have to replace him permanently.


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