Sunday, August 15, 2010

Goodbye to At The Movies

This weekend was the final episode of At The Movies, the show that brought movie reviewing to the mainstream. Thirty-five years ago, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert started their empire originally titled Siskel & Ebert and The Movies; a public television show where they discussed and argued their opinions on the movies they see. And even through the passing of Gene and the illness of Roger the show continued on with various permanent and guest critics… Until now.

I have many fond movie memories; watching Top Gun at an age where I didn’t get all the sexual innuendos, playing my home recording of Back To The Future and rewinding it when it was finished to watch it again, and going to my first R-rated movie in the theatre with my dad at age twelve (it was Terminator 2). But none compare to sitting down every Saturday evening from the age of ten and watching Siskel & Ebert yell and argue about the most recent films.

Gene and Roger were the perfect duo of movie critics. They were consistent yet could always surprise you. Their genuine love for movies was something that I related to immediately and ultimately (and subconsciously) inspired me to start this blog. After every review I write, I instantly go to Roger Ebert’s website to see his opinions. Before I started Two Guys And A Girl Review Movies, I would refer to Siskel & Ebert to decide whether or not I would pay to see a movie in the theatre.

Through all of the trials and tribulations the show has seen it has continued to push forward. With the passing of Gene Siskel, Roger continued with the help of Richard Roeper (after a stint of guest critics). And in true spirit of the show, when Roger became ill, Richard continued the critiques (again with a period of guest critics). Then there was the disappointing “new direction” of the show when Richard left and was replaced with Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz. Thankfully the show finished in its traditional fashion with Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott, who frequently had appeared on the show as guest critics.

There is no other show that I have watched consistently for as long as the twenty years that I have watched At The Movies and I will truly miss it. How else can I finish this than by giving it “Two Thumbs Up”!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Step Up 3D

Reason #63 people hate the Regal theatres in our area: With two locations, only one that can screen 3D movies and on only two theatres in that location, they make the conscious decision to play Step Up 3D (the first movie since Avatar to be filmed entirely in 3D) in the non 3D location. REALLY?!?

The third installment (obviously) of the franchise, like the previous two, did not focus on getting quality acting and didn’t care that that wasn’t in their requirements. They also did not seem to care much about writing a story… That would just insult our intelligence and make us seem ignorant for wanting more than just awesome dance scenes to escape from reality into. Success!

Kevin: Two of the three main guys had less on screen acting charisma than either of my cats.

Gina: The acting was pretty bad…

Kevin: Pretty bad? It was terrible!

Gina: But I know the actors were there for their dancing rather than acting ability.

You have to know that when purchasing your tickets to this film, you are actually signing a waiver that says you are fully aware that you want to see dancing on screen and not a thought out plotline. It did have a story of sorts that explained why these characters were in New York, why they were in a dance competition, and why there was some sort of rivalry between some people. It also tried (and failed) to include a love story subplot.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


One summer can produce more crappy movies than one should have to endure. One month can show a handful of visually (not mentally) stimulating brain candy. One week can release a couple above average films. And one day can unveil pure perfection in terms of big screen media. That day was the day the hype was answered and Inception was released.

All have seen the previews and know the story line, at least what is needed to be intrigued. Dreams that can be manipulated by the few who have been trained in manipulating others dreams. How complicated can it get? Apparently writing a screenplay focused on this subject can take on a life in itself. Especially coming from the mind of Christopher Nolan of Memento fame. It’s hard not to fall straight into the world of a Nolan film and forget where or how you got there, which was just deduced, is how he came up with the premise for Inception!

The caliber of acting can be perceived by the quality of actors joined together. DiCapprio, Joe Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Wantanabe… They all step up and bring together a chemistry all directors should dream for. Without it, this could have fallen flat. I didn’t think there would be a film this soon that would top the mind f*** or emotional power that Shutter Island gave us, but here it is.