Roger Ebert continues to write about movies, and has relaunched the televised review show that made him a household name: The debut edition of Ebert Presents At The Movies premiered on Friday on PBS stations, and it’s an energetic pleasure with a few surprises.

The two principal critics sitting in the show’s trademark movie balcony are Christy Lemire (from The Associated Press) and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (who writes for They make for an engaging duo, quick and articulate.

Lemire and Vishnevetsky reviewed current fare such as The Green Hornet and No Strings Attached. Vishnevetsky’s opinions were particularly interesting — he’s a young critic trying enthusiastically to articulate where even the slightest popcorn movie might fit into cinema history, of which he clearly knows a great deal. If it was unfortunate that he happened to give a thumbs-up to every movie the pair reviewed, and Lemire a thumbs-down, well, there’s always next week to see how the two of them can differ in different moods.

The show also has a cadre of contributors; the one showcased this week was Kim Morgan, the first-rate movie-mind and blogger who gave her audience a quick, deft, vivid primer on Carol Reed’s 1949 film The Third Man. Any time a black-and-white movie is given a fresh squint on TV, it’s cause for happiness, and Morgan adds a stylishness and acerbic edge to her evaluations that made her segment all the more involving.

Finally, there was a segment called “Roger’s Office” featuring a review by Ebert himself. Because Ebert can no longer speak after a series of operations for cancer, he has used a variety of methods to reproduce speech. This night, in reviewing the animated film My Dog Tulip, Ebert prevailed upon a guest voice: none other than director Werner Herzog, who recited Ebert’s prose with crisp clarity.

Overall, Ebert Presents At The Movies was well-done, at once welcomingly familiar and inventively fresh.

Did you watch? Will you watch? Let me know what you think.

Twitter: @kentucker