‘Two Thumbs Up!’ Now Essentially a Hand-Me-Down

Remember those halcyon days when a “Two Thumbs Up!” quote from Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel was the kiss of life for a Hollywood studio publicist? The only way it could be better was if the iconic pair threw a “Way” into the middle of the expression.

Well, those days are long gone. When At the Movies rebooted at the beginning of the year under the banner of “Ebert Presents,”  with AP film writer Christy Lemire and newcomer Ignatiy Vishnevetsky sitting in the balcony, a big part of the deal was their ability to use the Ebert-trademarked phrase. But as a sign of both the weak imprint of the new show and the general splintering of film criticism, the expression now carries far less weight than it once did.

Per Erik Childress of Criticwatch, the Lemire-Vishnevetsky version of the stamp has been sourced four times so far this year in promotional film materials: The Mechanic (CBS Films), Super 8 (Paramount), the documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (Magnolia Films), and the Rainn WilsonEllen Page indie comedy Super.

Individually, the LA based Lemire is getting more pull-quote traction than her Chicago pal, mostly via nods to her AP day job. Iggy, aka the young man with a difficult-to-pronounce name, has been sourced for a foreign film that, in the context of this item, has a rather ironic title—Certified Copy.