Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I bet he didn't text through Jay-Z's show

Ben: Damn Dad, do I really have to go see another movie? I've got a show to check out.

The LA Weekly ran this yesterday--an interview with Ben Lyons about hip-hop. I give these guys great credit--they spend a whole paragraph slamming Ben before they get to the interview. I doubt he will be linking to this over at the Lyons Den. The article begins:

Perhaps if Ben Lyons' movie chops were as obvious as his hip-hop track record, then sites like wouldn't exist. Ever since the E! personality took the helm of the Siskel, Roper and Ebert's beloved At the Movies, Lyons has been berated with more thumbs down than a rookie gladiator in the Colosseum. Whether it's deriding his "frat boy good looks," MySpace photographs with the movie stars he's guarded with critiquing or calling I Am Legend "one of the greatest movies ever made," the critic's critics are numerous.

And while there are no judgments on his film reviewing prowess here, it's official that dude knows hip-hop. He's homies with world famous DJ Clinton Sparks. And working with Duck Down Records, a staple of New York's grimy true lyricism schism, carries a legitimate case of cred among "real" hip-hop heads. Of course, now that he's getting a little older, he's just trying to discover what's the hullabaloo over this Bruce Springsteen guy.

Reading the interview it is clear that his life's calling is listening to hip-hop and hanging out with cool people, with film coming in a distant third.

I hope nobody has a problem with Ben's interest in hip-hop, I certainly don't. And while there are several comments I am sure you can criticize--for example, "for me, Wu-Tang Clan is just the greatest story of, like, it's the American Dream in every weird way"--I was surprised how natural Ben seems in this interview compared to his prefabricated canned blurbs that he awkwardly strings together when he is talking about film. He actually seems like a guy who loves the hip-hop scene and knows what he is talking about. He even avoided mentioning Scene It? Box Office Smash.

He's so comfortable here, he even criticizes Ice Cube for not doing any decent acting since Three Kings--a far cry from his embarrassingly gushy interview with Kristen Stewart. But then you wonder why the hell he went to Sundance at all when he really wanted to be doing something else.

Finally, this article marks the first time that I know of that Ben has responded directly to the criticism of him:

Over the holidays, you, the critic, became part of the story, especially after the LA Times article. How'd you respond to that when word first came out about the story?
I was actually in Shanghai with some friends, celebrating New Year's Eve over there, my friend Clinton Sparks was DJing. It kind of put it all in perspective, when you see news like that in a foreign country with your friends, over the holiday and in a new year. I criticize people's work for a living and if they want to criticize me, then so be it. I love movies and it just comes with the gig, I suppose.

There is also a very bizarre story about Joaquin Phoenix, even more so than you would expect.

Read the entire interview with Ben Lyons here


Dan said...

Reading that article only proved to me that Ben Lyons doesn't really love movies but he sure loves watching them instead. Unlike Ebert, you loves everything passionately about film, Lyons passion seems to be hip hop. You can see on "At the Movies" that Ben enjoys watching film but he hates talking about it.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Ben's first job out of high school clerking at some hip-hop record store? Or indy hip hop label? And then Def Jam?

That's the perfect job for him. He's the empty-headed lame ass white motherfucker pretending to be cool, pretending to be black, pretending to be "down". He's the wigger handing you a slurpie at 7-11 or the CD at the record store.

In a perfect world, he'd be a DJ at a bad nightclub in Queens or would still be annoying the black people working at Def Jam. And the women from The Hills would be folding clothes at JCPenny's. And the Olsen Twins and those twin black stares of theirs would be working down the street at Old Navy. And Paris Hilton would be a stripper at a roadside club.

Anonymous said...

Ben Lyons in hip-hop clothes is even more noxious than Ben being a "film critic". Seeing this lame ass idiot trying to dress like Jay Z and use words like "dope" and "homies" makes me want to puke. The Jamie Kennedy sketch character- the Jewish teenager trying to be gangsta- wasn't so lame.

Another thing- Ben isn't handsome. He's plastic handsome. He's 26 or 27 and he already looks like he's been pumped full of Botox. His looks are what I'd describe as "highly punchable."

Scott said...

I generally discourage people from threatening acts of violence against Ben Lyons, but that's pretty funny.

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