Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Criticwatch: Where in the world is Ben Lyons?

Why Ben Lyons goes to Sundance: to take pictures with famous people!

Erik Childress reviews Ben's performances from last week--at the Sundance film festival, then at the Oscar nomination ceremony:

Seriously, did Lyons see ANY movies at the festival? I understand that he works for the shallow void of entertainment journalism that is E! and that he has a priority to file celebrity interviews, but that’s not an all-day affair. Neither is the party he DJ’d sponsored by the Hard Rock Vegas. Just by accident people see other colleagues they know at two or three screenings. At least. I was at 28 different screenings during my six days there (27 from Friday-Tuesday.) Both press and public ones. Not once did I see Ben Lyons. Even a screening he was slated to attend for his main man Spike Lee’s new music documentary proved to be a no-show. If you can’t get Lyons to show up at a PRIVATE screening for one of his icons (Christ, even Miracle at St. Anna made his Top 10 list. Check the repeat if you doubt it), then what hope do the indie filmmakers of the world have? Ebert & Roeper used to do reports from Sundance talking about these great new movies called The Blair Witch Project and Memento among others. What is Ben Lyons bringing back with him from Sundance other than swag and a few new photos for his celebrity blog? Seriously, anyone who can place Moby Dick at an actual screening at this year's Sundance, please get in touch.

Erik also takes up some of Ben's quotes from the Oscar noms:

“Taken from the stage to the screen. That’s why it’s really well-acted.” – Ben Lyons on Doubt.

“…partly for use of the great archival footage in that.” – Ben Lyons on “part” of the reason why Gus Van Sant was nominated for Best Director for Milk.

I’m sure Cherry Jones and Brian F. O'Byrne are happy to hear that about Doubt considering they originated the roles now populated by Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman on stage. The superior acting on display apparently has nothing to do with the unsparing talent of these four terrific performers, but simply through the magical powers of the roles being originated on the stage. “That’s why,” according to Junior. And considering how much archival footage Ed Wood used in his films, I’m now thinking it’s a crime he was never nominated for an Oscar while that hack Gus Van Sant was for pulling the same trick. But it’s the quote of the week that truly takes the cake.

Finally, he mentions that Lyons likes Penelope Cruz for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar:

So why does Lyons go with Cruz?

“I’m a Knicks fan. Woody Allen movie.”

Not since Dwayne on What’s Happening predicted the weekly football pool by choosing which team’s helmet he liked the most has there been a more arbitrary reasoning for picking a winner. I may as well just say that hometown boy Michael Shannon is going to beat Heath Ledger because I love the Chicago Cubs. Do us all a favor, Ben. Take yourself to Vegas and stay there. And be sure to wear a pretty helmet so you don’t hurt yourself.

By the way, I'm a Woody Allen fan. Does that make me a Knicks fan?

Read the entire Criticwatch Ben Lyons Quote of the Week here


Anonymous said...

Ben does it again. I couldn't invent statements that stupid if I tried.

Erik Childress could eat this loser for breakfast. And he's not even a critic I read or particularly like.

thevoid99 said...

It's as if Lyons tries to make film critic seem easy.

Well it ain't. It's fucking hard work. I was a volunteer at the 2004 Atlanta Film Festival. I saw a bunch of films. Strayed by Andre Techine, DiG! by Ondi Timoner, Primer by Shane Carruth, Some Kind of Monster, Easy, The Mother. I had to write 3 reviews in a day and took me hours because I was trying to remember what I saw. It's fucking hard work son.

I love reading Erik Childress' column. He can that douche for breakfast. I could school Lyons in a film trivia game show and without even trying.

Anonymous said...

VCB was the least Woody Allen film of many Woody Allen films I've seen. If you told me it was by Almodovar or Minghella I would have believed it.