At first, I didn't think much about the news that At the Movies had dumped the well-hated pair of Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz to get a little more intellectual with Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott. When Ebert was officially gone and the Ben-led fluff job took the spots, I preferred to pretend that the show didn't exist. Nevertheless, the new leads are solid choices for cinematic discussion. Writers for the Chicago Tribune and New York Times (respectively), our William Goss pointed out that both had "previously appeared in lieu of Ebert when he had taken ill and proved their own considerable intelligence and mutual respect for one another, the medium, and their audience."
Then I read Melissa Silverstein's "New Hosts for 'At the Movies' -- Another Couple of Guys," and started thinking about the testosterone-led television show. She asked: "Women filmgoers want more information before they make decisions about what movies to see, so wouldn't it make sense to try and bring in a female voice and perspective to look at films that are opening?" That would surely be a benefit to the women looking for reviewers they can relate to, but I think it would be even more important for the overall cinematic community by having a popular, visual representation of a female critic who loves more than the stereotypical "female fare."