Monday, June 1, 2009

At the Movies: The real definition of "Rent it"

My Dad just got fired!Last week, Jeffrey Lyons was laid off from his job as a televised film critic. To which everybody who heard the news immediately asked, "Jeffrey Lyons is still on TV?" followed by, "And how does Ben Lyons still have a job?"

Ben Lyons is too big to fail--for the powers that be at ABC/Disney, anyway. Though some of his reviews have as much coherency and consistency as an American bank selling a Mortgage Backed Security and then selling a Credit Default Swap to insure it. Either way, we're all fucked!

Now, I don't want to seem too glib about this. Jeffrey Lyons is only one of many film critics to get laid off in recent years, and I don't relish the thought of more getting the ax. But it still beggars belief that in spite of all this Lyons still has a job. We'll see how long that lasts . . .

In the meantime, this is what we get from Ben Lyons on this week's At the Movies:

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First, we get this exchange about The Hangover:

Lyons: Back to casting with Todd Phillips, not just the leads but having Heather Graham show up and add some energy to the film, and Ken Jeong, and the Mike Tyson cameo is just brilliant here.

Mank: You mentioned Ken Jeong, he plays a, I think, stereotypically gay character and that seemed to be the source of the only reason to laugh at him. Not so much just for The Hangover, but all of Hollywood, enough with the characters where the whole sole purpose is to sort of point at them and go "Heh heh, he's gay."

Lyons: I agree, it doesn't need that, it has so many other funny things going for it, that element to it, I agree, made me kind of wince a little bit.


After which I am sure Lyons was prepared to add, "Oh yeah, dude, that's what I meant. I was totally about to say that."

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Secondly, in What Goes Up, we get Lyons responding to Mank about the movie failing as a comedy:

Lyons: I didn't really find it trying to be a comedy as much as it was trying to use music to convey some emotions, in kind of that quintessential "Indie feel" that we always talk about on this show.

Yeah, well, somebody keeps mentioning it.

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Finally, Lyons shows us how poorly reviewed a movie can be and still get a "Rent it," with his DVD Out Now recommendation for the straight to DVD movie Spring Breakdown, which he says "is hit or miss, so I can understand why it wasn't released in theaters."

But you should go right out and "Rent it!"

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