Two weeks in a row now I’ve see Roeper and Michael Philips using “See it/Skip it” as the barometer on At the Movies, instead of the old “thumbs up/down” rubric which has been used on every permutation of that show since approximately the time of the Lincoln administration.
What is going on here? It can’t be a trademark thing. Because that show has the trademark. Did Ebert throw some kind of tantrum? (He’s never coming back, is he?)
“See it/skip it” sucks. I want the thumbs back. Who do I have to write? Why did they have to change that now, when this country is in so much crisis already. Can nothing be relied on anymore?
It’s very rare that I get to answer a factual question, so I hope no one jumps ahead of me. Here’s the link. Basically, Roger says that he and Siskel’s family own the trademark for the thumbs, Disney offered them an amount of money that they didn’t feel was suitable, and they rejected the offer.
Also, I don’t have a link for this, but I think I remember hearing that Roger can’t even speak… obviously, that would hinder his ability to host the television show.
Hmmm…I see. Despite Ebert’s protests, I can’t help feeling like he’s being a little bitch about this. I know he says he didn’t ask for the thumbs to be removed, but is it something he really needs to be greedy about? It’s not like he invented the concept of thumbs up and down. I think his claim on a trademark is pretty dubious to begin with.
I guess Disney is playing hardball with him – gambling that the show can get along without the thumbs. Oddly enough, I think it really does lose something without that, but I’ll still watch it anyway.
RE: Ebert’s voice, he wrote on his website (something I somehow didn’t think to check before posting this OP) not too long ago that he still couldn’t talk. I wonder if Disney is just beginning to make a clean cut with the expectation that Ebert is never going to come back.
The fact that Disney wanted Ebert back has part to do with it. “Two Thumbs Up” is a registered trademark of The Ebert Company and Siskel Productions, Ltd. Disney wanted Ebert to return to the show last year, but he found the amount they were planning to pay not enough and refused. In return, Disney decided to stop using the trademarked “thumb” system. Here is a thread on it from last year.
I think “see it or skip it” is new this week (or very recently) - for ages, they were just reviewing the movies, with no gimmicky summation at the end. That is, no “see it or skip it,” “Thumbs up or down,” etc.
Ebert’s become a real asshole in his old age. I understand the man is sick and all, but he seems determined to torpedo his reputation as the lovable film critic who knows a ton about film but is also at home enjoying the cheesiest action movie.
He used to be my go to critic, but James Berdinelli replaced him long ago.
Since Disney has been even whinier bitches with regards to the push for infinite copyrights and milking profits from dead creative property, I’m happy to see Roger Ebert sticking it to them I mean, he’s not even dead yet, and people here think he should sacrifice his rights? Go try and release an independent Mickey Mouse cartoon and get back to me…