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On this episode, I am joined by fellow Smug Film contributors John D’Amico and Jenna Ipcar. We discuss the best movies we’ve seen lately, new and old. Then, we take a quick break for a movie joke by comedian Anthony Kapfer, and close the show with a few questions from the mailbag, one of which sparks an impassioned rant from John!
If you have a movie-related question you’d like answered on the show, leave it in the comments or email us at Podcast@SmugFilm.com.
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Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
Continue reading Smug Film Podcast Episode #4 – The Best Movies We’ve Seen Lately / Are Movies Terrible? (4/28/14)
Directed by Cody Clarke
IMDb Synopsis: An experimental documentary in which fly-on-the-wall footage of the lives of sixteen aspiring actresses from NYC is collaged to form a day in the life of one aspiring actress—each ‘playing’ a different aspect of the woman. Through this unconventional approach, filmmaker Cody Clarke has painted a visual poem; an ode to both the beauty and the pain of solitude.
When I go to a museum with friends, unless I’m really close to them already, I act weird. I move from piece to piece quickly, afraid of blocking someone’s view. I make awkward quips. I find myself concerned with whether the person next to me knows more or less about the art than I do. And I almost certainly never read the plaques, although I pretend to. All this doesn’t happen on purpose—it’s an instinctive, self-defeating defense mechanism, and it’s embarrassing and insulting to the art.
This same insecurity happens to pretty much everyone I’ve watched a Cody Clarke movie with. I know this, because I’ve forced a lot of friends to watch them.
Continue reading ‘Rehearsals’ is a Zeitgeist and Your Bed is a Museum
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón
Mild spoilers ahead.
Wow. I guess the moon really is made out of cheese.
That was my immediate thought at the end of this movie, as a sea of applause erupted in the theater, or more accurately, an archipelago of applause. In its sparseness, I knew that I was not the only one who felt this way, which was a relief, because after the damn-near unanimous praise this thing had been receiving as of late, I fully expected the hive mind crowd to suddenly and collectively smell my distaste and crawl over the seats, and each other, to come rip me apart limb from limb. Instead, I merely had to endure the requisite long line to exit the theater, and then the long line down the countless escalators leading back to Earth, during which everyone seemed unusually quiet, stuck in their own minds, trying to process their feelings. Not in the way that occurs after a Haneke film or something; this was different. It seemed as though many, including myself, were wondering if they’d seen the same movie that the professional critics and faceless fanboys online had seen.
Continue reading Gravity: A Lifetime Movie In Space
These characters are so. Fucking. Boring.
Pacific Rim (2013)
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Written by Travis Beacham & Guillermo del Toro
Warning: spoilers ahead.
2013 was supposed to be the year that saved big screen science fiction. When this summer’s lineup began filling out, I had more anticipation for this movie season than I’d had in years. Names were popping up like Blomkamp, del Toro, Shyamalan (fuck the haters), Abrams, Cuarón, Wright (and Pegg and Frost), and startlingly, there seemed to be more original properties on the horizon than sequels/adaptations: Elysium, After Earth, Gravity, Pacific Rim, Oblivion, Ender’s Game, Star Trek Into Darkness, The World’s End, etcetera. From what I saw of the trailers, these movies didn’t look like your typical disaster porn invasion movies, á la, Battle: Los Angeles or Transformers (except Pacific Rim, though its premise justifies, and even necessitates it) nor were they part of the insufferably relentless deluge of Marvel/DC sequels and spinoffs (except Into Darkness, whose trailers gave it the tone of a Dark Knight movie; y’all looking forward to Thor: The Dark World?). I loved the designs I saw in the Oblivion trailer, I liked the visual approaches of After Earth and Ender’s Game, and I love the idea of Sandra Bullock leading a stranded-in-space drama.
Continue reading Pacific Rim Is The Dullest Movie You’ll Ever See About Giant Robots Fighting Sea Monsters
If you’ve never heard of Eric Schaeffer, today is your lucky day, because I am about to introduce you to quite possibly your new favorite filmmaker. I say ‘possibly’ because he’s definitely not for everyone. Either you’ll dig his vibe or you won’t—more specifically, either his art will rip your fucking heart out of your chest and hug it, or you’ll be all ‘he’s weird’ and go watch something else. And I say ‘new favorite’ because if you enjoy the first thing of his you see, you will definitely quickly seek out and devour all of his things, and force close friends and lovers of yours to go through the same process so that you can watch them have the same reaction you did, as a way of sort of pinching yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming, and ‘not the only one’. And they will be grateful for you showing them the light. And you will be grateful for me showing you the light. And you’re welcome.
Continue reading Eric Schaeffer: The Most Underrated Writer-Director-Actor Ever