Call it the result of America’s new Twitter nation, but when everyone and anyone can be a movie critic and all it takes is a little bit of effort to get your reviews out there (just look as us! woohoo!), do we really need two highly paid guys in expensive suits sitting around a fake set telling us how stupid we are for liking the latest Michael Bay movie and not flocking to see the latest black and white European drama about people in corsets and bad wigs? I think most people can do without that, which probably explains why Roger Ebert now spends more time twittering about leftist politics and “At the Movies” with Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott has been canceled.
“At the Movies” is most famous for featuring Ebert and the late Gene Siskel as they gave their famous thumbs up or thumbs down to the week’s new film releases. The original show ran for about 14 years with Ebert and Siskel, then after the passing of Siskel, lasted for another 6 years with Ebert and a rotating line-up of co-hosts. The new, Ebert-less version, meanwhile, didn’t even make it past its first year.
Combine this cancellation with the recent rash of layoffs in film reviewing staff by traditional newspapers like Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and others, and you get the idea that anyone who hasn’t moved online yet is living on borrowed time. I’m sure there are plenty of people who still pick up the newspaper to read what their local movie critic thinks, but with more and more options online and literally at their fingertips, the need for highly paid film critics seem to be dwindling mighty fast.