Formerly rotund critic Roger Ebert has sat through approximately one billion movies, so we supported him 100 percent when he walked out of a recent indie film after 8 minutes and gave it a bad review anyway. Nothing if not willing to drag himself further into the muck, he's released a long list of his rules for critics. We can only contend the longest tenured critic in the business is cruising for a bruising this time.After admitting that he cribbed most of the plot details of the film Tru Loved from its IMDB page, Ebert defended himself by saying: "The handwriting was on the wall. The returns were in. The case was closed. You know I'm right.'' We like that Ebert's willing to take risks, and he does the same in describing rules for critics, including some venomous shots at others in the field. As EW noted, much of the article is directed at the work of his tragically bad replacement on the syndicated At the Movies show, Ben Lyons.
At perhaps the worst time in years for new movies, and with little advance fanfare from their Disney benefactors, the Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz era of At the Movies officially began over the weekend. If you happened to miss it (who are we kidding, of course you did), never fear: We attempted some of the heavy lifting for you in clips you'll find after the jump. Seeing as it's almost too easy to pile on a critic who actually issues praise like, "It's Don Cheadle's uncanny ability to create a complete character — and not just an archetype — that saves [Traitor]" aloud, and our minds haven't changed much since the pair was named co-hosts in July, for now we defer to the expert jury at EW's PopWatch blog, where the consensus hovers between general ambivalence and "Ben Lyons is about as much of an expert about films as Heidi Montag is about the art of sound":
The cyclist who was riding through Times Square during July's Critical Mass ride when a thug cop viciously slammed him to the pavement has been cleared of all charges. Although Officer Patrick Pogan claimed in court documents that Christopher Long intentionally steered his bike into him, the Manhattan District Attorney has joined with the rest of the city in telling Pogan, "Fuck you, guy." Pogan charged Long with attempted assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. As the tape shows, that's just a whole bunch of crap. Which presents a little problem for the officer.
Christopher Long, the Critical Mass cyclist pushed off his bike by a rookie cop—and captured on YouTube—is back at his job in Union Square's Greenmarket. He's not talking to press because there are pending charges against him of assault and resisting arrest. (They'll probably be dropped.) Meanwhile: investigation 2.0! Because of videos like this one, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly tells the Post that "Within the next two months, people will be able to send video and text straight to 911 to increase flow of information." Naw, they'll just hide them. Send all video footage straight to us. [Daily News]
More on the rogue cop that violently pushed a Critical Mass cyclist off his bike: the Daily News says he's a 22-year-old rookie named Patrick Pogan; the Post says he's been on the job for just three weeks. Pogan's father, a former NYPD detective, told the News, "You gotta do what you gotta do to make an arrest." Update: Smoking Gun has some of the cop's fanciful testimony. Excerpt after the jump:Basically Pogan states that the cyclist, Christopher Long, was weaving his bike in and out of the lane and disrupting traffic. (He may or may not have been, as we can't see that part in the video.) But the next part is really good: the cop (listed below as the deponent) claims that the cyclist drove into him purposely, causing the cop to fall and suffer cuts and bruises.
Last Friday's Critical Mass bike ride in Times Square featured random violence from the city's men in blue—a cop shoved a guy off his bike, hard, for no reason at all. Luckily, it was captured on on video. Riding your bike is legal asshole, so WTF is up with beating on cyclists? City Room reports that the unidentified officer was put on "modified assignment" while they investigate; the AP says they also took away his badge and gun for now. (He should be fired.) Meanwhile, Gothamist reports that the cyclist was arrested and held in jail while being charged with assault. (Click for the enraging video.)
Has the Reverend Al Sharpton been on a bicycle at any point in the last 20 years? Or ever in his life? Whether he has or hasn't, he's joining tonight's Critical Mass protest, the monthly traffic-blocking mass bike ride that (full disclosure!) we've ridden in ourselves, though not in New York, because in New York they round everyone up and throw them in jail. Oh, here's the thing: it's a protest of the NYPD's policy of not giving a shit about anyone's civil rights, and Sharpton is attending it with Nicole Paultre-Bell, the fiancee of Sean Bell, the man the NYPD shot 50 times for no goddamn reason. "Although the degree of abuse is clearly different," Critical Mass organizers write (NO SHIT), "the message of the groups is clear;" we all hate cops! Full press release below. (It reveals that Sharpton will be riding in a pedicab.)