Picks and Pans Review: The Movie Show

updated 01/12/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/12/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

Cinemax (times vary)


This show tries to break the Siskel-Ebert mold but makes two mistakes: (1) having only one host, so there's no chance for debate or insult and (2) picking Washington Post movie critic Paul Attanasio as that host. Young Paul rubs my nerves the wrong way. He starts the show grinning at a movie screen like a talking Teddy Ruxpin bear as he says in a voice even more droning than Teddy's: "I've got the job of a lifetime." So far, that's only an irrational prejudice—like my dislike of the credit at the show's end: "suits, trousers, dress shirts by Nino Cerruti." But I have more rational reasons to dislike the show. Attanasio talks down to his audience as if we didn't watch movies too—showing us, for instance, how a chase scene can be either funny (in The Blues Brothers) or exciting (in The French Connection). Big news, eh? The show is padded with lots of filler like that, as well as marshmallow-soft interviews with stars and directors. Like Sneak Previews and At the Movies, this program makes the mistake of being too scripted—and this one has three writers helping Attanasio come up with things to say. As he alternates between a few long reviews and lots of uninformative reviewettes, Attanasio still leaves me not knowing what movies to go see. That's the worst sin.

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