Thursday, September 06, 2007


Since I am in a mood to talk about the movies these days---

What the heck is up with this thumbs up/thumbs down dispute between the At the Movies with Roeper show and Roger Ebert?

What is up with that, man?! Apparently Ebert is in a contract negotiation with the show, so he's withheld the use of the thumbs from the show until he gets what he wants. Apparently Ebert copyrighted the use of the thumbs as a trademark years ago when he did the show with Gene Siskel. And now he's not happy with the offer he's getting from Disney, so he's refusing to allow anyone's thumbs to be used on the show!

Wow. You know, I'm looking at this Roeper Without Ebert show these days (with Roeper paired up with Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Observer). and it was bad enough when Roeper had to sit next to all these stand-up comedians and other people, trying to warm Roger's seat. Now they don't even have the thumbs thing going on the show! What point is there to watching this show, then, if they can't give that thumbs up or thumbs down? It was bad enough when Siskel died, but this really is the end of the show if this stands.
Who wants to see these two guys simply going "yes" or "no" to these flicks? Not me.

Here's an article on the whole thumbs dispute that ran in the Tribune. Also, here's a rant by David Poland about what a sorry state the show is in these days and how Ebert might be better off taking a walk, given his health issues and so on.

Personally, I give this whole situation a big thumbs down. This show sucked without Ebert. Now it sucks even more than ever.


One good thing to say about the website at they put up there video of the past reviews of the show, going back to when Siskel was on it. The old reviews run from 1986 and they have a few other special features there, so that's all worth seeing. A lot better than what you're seeing every weekend on TV these days, unfortunately.

UPDATE: Here's another post about Ebert being gone from his own show, with comments about the Roeper and Wilonsky pairing that I pretty much agree with. I dunno why these two are paired up on the show, they're boring as heck together.

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