The Rounders (1914)
W. Dustin Alligood runs Harpodeon, a treasure trove of early film (think pre-1920s) available for DVD purchase, digital download, or digital rental. He also posts silent film reviews at http://thoseawfulreviews.wordpress.com. Don’t pay any attention to the domain name, his writings are anything but awful and he’s extraordinarily knowledgable, so I asked him some questions about the state of film preservation, the appeal of silent cinema, and the allure of the forgotten.
Continue reading An Interview with W. Dustin Alligood of Harpodeon.com
Grown Ups 2 (2013)
Directed by Dennis Dugan
Written by Fred Wolf & Adam Sandler & Tim Herlihy
In 2010, Adam Sandler and his band of merry men released Grown Ups, a film that I felt, at the time, wasn’t good by any stretch of the imagination. I couldn’t understand why they chose the jokes they did, why they acted as if their actions had no real consequence from one scene to the next, and why the characters, when they weren’t at their absolute broadest, began to meld into one another to form just one character. I chalked it up to a case of bad movie syndrome.
Catching up with it on television, coming into the film at various points, it slowly began appealing to me. And then one day, while splitting my time between watching it with the sound down and reading, I realized why. The film is like a silent comedy, not like those told through space like in Buster Keaton pictures, or through pathos and character like Charlie Chaplin, but those told through time, like that of the great Mack Sennett and his band of merry men (namely the Keystone Cops). If you watch Grown Ups with the sound turned off while reading a book of jokes, it amounts to the same thing as with sound, except you can always refresh the jokes.
Its sequel, the imaginatively titled Grown Ups 2, is without a doubt obsessed with the idea of space (progressing from Sennett to Keaton). For instance, the film opens with a moose running amuck in Sandler’s mansion, which seems to happen only to give us a remarkable (for this day in age) view of the layout of the Sandler’s home and personal space.
Continue reading Grown Ups 2: The Art of Space
Really, really funny old black and white movies. Already seen Marx, Abbott and Costello, Keaton, Chaplin, Stooges. – Stacey R.
Editor’s Note (12/4/14): We no longer answer movie questions through our advice column. We answer them in the mailbag segment of our podcast. Send them to Cody@SmugFilm.com and we will answer on the show!
Continue reading Advice Column #4 (4/8/13)
I’ve been interested in movies for as long as I can remember. The story I tell is that Jurassic Park started it all. It certainly didn’t hurt, but movies had definitely been on my mind for way longer than that. And my parents and grandparents were both movie buffs, so when the AFI released their ill-conceived 100 Best Movies of the First 100 Years of Movies, it was the talk of our family for an entire Thanksgiving dinner. I was ten or twelve at the time. By the time I was fifteen, I had seen 92 of the movies listed.
Continue reading A Rebuttal to a Rebuttal: Favorite Equals Best, or, Why Back To The Future is Better Than The Godfather