|Obviously, this is more of a "greatest misses" than a "greatest hits" list. But let's be honest--it takes a Ben Lyons to make misses this great. Seriously, you know when you open your mouth and something stupid comes out, and you're embarrassed, and then forget about it forever? That doesn't happen with Ben. He says things on TV that are horrendously misguided and uninformed, and then we all laugh at him (not with him) in unison. And then we get bored and remember these moments and laugh our asses off all over again. That's what I mean by greatest misses--it's not easy being this unintentionally entertaining, but Ben makes it look effortless.|
- Separated by a common language: Ben says of Happy-Go-Lucky "I didn't get all the British humor." Yeah, all those Gordon Brown, Neil Kinnock and Maggie crushing the Miner's Strike references. Oh, wait a second, there was nothing like that in the movie. He just didn't get it.
- Ben Lyons 360: No, that's not a new show on CNN sandwiched between Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper. That's Ben advertising the new XBox 360 movie themed titles You're in the Movies and the trivia game Scene It? Box Office Smash. I wonder how high Ben actually scores on this game?
- Ben blurbs his buddies: Every time a movie premieres with a bit-part by one of his friends, Ben can't help but to gush all over them. The examples are too many to mention, but the most notorious are Edi Gathegi in Twilight, Christopher Mintz-Plasse in Role Models and Jamie-Lynn Sigler in The Sopranos. He also held his 27th birthday with all of his "friends" just to show how cool he is. Even the "Britney Spears of Korea" showed up, although that only begs the question: why is the "real" Britney too cool for Ben?
- Ben blurbs himself: Ben included The House Bunny on his list of the top films of the summer and didn't even have the decency to lie about the reason why. "Even though my dialogue was cut out of the film, Anna Faris was the funniest actress at the movies this summer, hands-down." Conflict of interest, anyone?
- He'll never tell: In his review of Quantum of Solace, Ben says "We know what the Quantum of Solace is and we're not going to tell." I actually fell for this and thought it meant something. It doesn't--it just means Lyons is a fool. Quantum is the new SPECTRE and I don't think the word "solace" is ever used in the film.
- The most unfortunate thing about Let The Right One In: “Something that’s really cool about the movie is that the director of Cloverfield, Matt Reeves, is now adapting this for American audiences. So we’re going to have this story come to theaters in the upcoming years in English.” 'Nuf said.
- Payne in the ass: "You know what hurts a movie like Max Payne is the success of the Batman franchise. That obviously is about story and character so they think for all films of the genre it’s gotta be about story and character and this whole backstory of him losing his wife. I don’t care about that. I wanna see Max Payne shoot people. That’s all I want from a movie like this." Seriously, I am so sick of subtle themes, characters with interesting back stories, motivations, and dramatic interactions. Just blow stuff up.
- Third times a harm: Ben gives High School Musical 3 a "Rent it" rating because that's better than seeing it at the theater and your kids are going to make you see it anyway, "Even though it may be cringe inducing for the rest of us." Ben single-handedly shows us what's wrong with the "Rent it", then continues to wield it like the blunt object that it is.
- Twilight-gate: First Ben gains notoriety for including the trailer for Twilight as one of his 3 to See for the week--instead of recommending a movie you can actually watch--presumably to appeal to his teeny-bopper audience. Then he slams Twilight and puts Let The Right One In on his Top Ten list in order to make up for his sins. But it was too late--the damage was done and he would forever be remembered as the Twilight trailer guy.
- Best Bond Ever!: During the Critics Roundup discussion of Bond films, Ben says "Personally, my favorite is Goldeneye 'cause that’s the first one I saw in the theater. It was the first one for Pierce Brosnan. And that was also groundbreaking outside of just movies 'cause that's when the first person action video game Bond franchise was launched which I wasted many hours of my childhood playing." No comment about whether he liked the movie.
Top five worst things to happen to Ben Lyons in 2008
In theory, Ben is not responsible for any of the below--he neither did nor said any of them. In reality, Ben is indirectly responsible for all of them.
- The Birth of the anti-Lyons blog: First Erik Childress launches the "Ben Lyons Quote of the Week" page at Criticwatch. Later, I launch the blog that would become StopBenLyons.com. For Ben, it was all down hill from there.
- Mank spanks Lyons: Realizing his own career and legitimacy is on the line, Ben Makiewicz takes it on himself to slam Ben after he says something stupid. First, he makes a habit of telling him to "Calm down," a feature of the show that became as prevalent as the Critics Roundup. Most recently, after Ben reviewed Bedtime Stories, Mank said "I don't know where to begin. I didn't like any part of this movie. You aren't right about any point you made in the entire review." Lyons responded by smiling for the camera.
- Ratings plummet: According to a Los Angeles Times blog, ratings for At the Movies with Ben Lyons fell by 23%. The LA Times would not be Ben's friend this year.
- How not to be Ben Lyons: Roger Ebert devises "Ebert's little rule book". On the surface, it appears to be a list of things critics should and should not do. In reality, it is a fairly explicit list of the worst things Ben Lyons has said and done.
- LA Times dubs Ben "The most hated critic in America": Chris Lee's article about Ben introduced Lyons to many people who had never heard of him and reminded others why they stopped watching At the Movies. For the rest of us, it legitimized everything we have been saying about the man now sitting in the chair once occupied by Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. In 2008, millions of people got laid off even though they didn't deserve it, including many film critics. Somehow, Ben Lyons kept his job. Where is the justice in this world?