Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Criticwatch - The Curious Case of Benjamin Lyons

Erik Childress from Criticwatch writes:

Coming soon to theaters – The Curious Case of Benjamin Lyons. Not sure how they’re going to squeeze 160-plus minutes out of a life barely worth a 22-minute sitcom episode, but we can certainly try. Born under unusual circumstances to one Jeffrey Lyons, Ben started his own production company in 2002, creating segments for Hip Hop Nation. In 2004, MTV hired him to co-host “Your Movie Show” and in 2006 he began hosting segments for the The Daily 10 on the E! channel (where he became their “resident film expert”) and writing the column known as The Lyons Den. In 2008 he joined Ben Mankiewicz to become the heir apparent to Siskel & Ebert’s At the Movies. Ben Lyons enjoys playing basketball and golf, is a die-hard Knicks fan, was a childhood friend of Ivanka Trump and speaks fluent Spanish.

Much of that was culled from his E! bio page and entry over at Wikipedia, which was briefly hacked a few months ago to include the title of “douchebag” amongst his accomplishments. To quote a fellow New Yorker, George Costanza: “If you take everything I've accomplished in my life and condense it down to one day, it looks decent!”

On this week's At the Movies, Erik writes:

I can’t wait to see the look on your face when neither Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt get nominated, which is looking more and more likely. Got any thoughts on Clint Eastwood’s latest film, Gran Torino?

“Every line is there for a reason.”

Um, thanks?

"Um, thanks," indeed. There are actually a substantial number of lines that are unnecessary, most of it out of Clint's mouth. Playing a character who seems like he would be very short on words, Clint's character Walt spends far too much time talking to himself--read, explaining the plot to the audience. Not to mention a number of racial epithets, many of which ring true to the character but far too many of which just seem over the top and played for dumb laughs. This is simply Ben trying to look smart about movies even though he doesn't have anything to say.

Erik continues, quoting Ben on Seven Pounds:

“There’s a cloud of secrecy surrounding this film and it’s a big reason why you haven’t seen it nominated for anything. They didn’t get the movie out there early and get people talking about it. Partly because I think its just kind of average . . . but Rosario Dawson is great and worthy of some kind of recognition throughout this awards show season. I don’t think she’s gonna get it.”

Oh, I wonder why he would say the movie should only be rented and not seen, but nonetheless one of the actors deserves an Oscar? I guess we'll never know . . .

Read all of Erik's article here


Anonymous said...

Oh boy, there he goes again. I wish to God that Richard Roeper would write a column about how bad At the Movies is. Why doesn't he do it?

Or that Roger Ebert or Gene Siskel's family would publicly complain.

That image of Benny Boy as Benjamin Button makes my skin crawl...

Anonymous said...

That hack was by me, LOL! :)

I hate this man with a passion.

Anonymous said...

I have never read a review by Ben Lyons. And from what I've read in the LA Times today and on your blog I don't want to. The man is an idiot.

Scott said...

"I have never read a review by Ben Lyons."

Join the club--I am not sure if he has ever written anything, besides the occasional top ten list (which leave much to be desired). All of his reviews, as far as I can tell, are done on TV, so you have to look at his goofy grin to hear what he wants to say.

No surprise, though, since his boss says that he doesn't read the newspaper.