I gotta say, the Ebert and Roeper show blows without Roger Ebert there in good health. Of course, one could say this show has blown ever since Gene Siskel died and Richard Roeper came in to take his place. But that's another topic.
The last few weeks have been sad times for the show. With Ebert out of action because of complications from his cancer surgery ( from a burst blood vessel ), we've been treated to an endless array of shows pre-taped before Roger went under the knife. One week they gave us "The Best of the Year--- So Far". Then the next week they served up "The Worst of the Year--- So Far". I wonder what will be next: "Our Biggest Disagreements--- So Far", perhaps.
Now comes word that Ebert will be out of commission for a while longer. The Ebert and Roeper show is going to have guest critics sit in with Roeper to trash the week's movies, starting August 5th. All I will say about this turn of events is that I'm really worried. This is sad history repeating itself. I remember what it was like when Gene Siskel took ill with his brain tumor and died in 1999. The same exact thing happened: Siskel and Ebert reverted to a series of lame "guest critics", none of whom put up much of a fight against Ebert. The show may as well have called itself Ebert Without Siskel. It was a debacle, but there was nothing anyone could do about it.
The great thing about Siskel and Ebert was that these two really got into it with each other, getting into great fights about these movies. They either loved these movies or they hated them, but there was always passion about it. And these two loved to one-up each other on the show. That made this show required weekend viewing. Unfortunately, that dynamic left the theater once Siskel died. With Ebert and Roeper you don't see those types of passionate arguments any more. Instead, it's just two guys sitting down, discussing the movies and giving their "thumbs up" or "thumbs down". I've come to accept this style of show, the calm and cool presentation with the odd civil disagreements, but it sure hasn't been the same.
Now the show just sucks without Ebert. These pre-taped shows, rerunning all these old reviews, are useless in determining whether the movies that are opening this week are any good or not. This week we have M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water coming out, Kevin Smith has Clerks II, and My Super Ex-Girlfriend and the animated 3D Monster House (which got two thumbs way up in an early review) are also opening. I would have loved to see Ebert and Roeper provide their take on all these latest efforts on TV. Instead, it's going to be yet another pre-taped piece of junk. It's going to be even worse when these "guest critics" come in and start agreeing with Roeper all the time, giving their "thumbs up" to these lame movies. You'll have no disagreements left on this show.
Ebert, come back. This show gets a big "thumbs down" without you, man.