I saw the new Godzilla yesterday. I enjoyed it a lot, but I’ve been weirded out for months over the fact that I’ve had to call it something I’ve never had to call a Godzilla film. Just like how I recently had to call a Bond film something that, in 50 years of recasting and returning to ground zero, I’ve never had to call a Bond film.
I’m all for specialized vocabulary. Film needs its own exclusive words to describe its own processes, but ‘reboot’ is not such a word. I’ve asked people time and again to define it, and I’ve read about it online—god help me, I’ve even read the Wikipedia page for it. It’s just not a real and distinct concept. It’s a cheap marketing buzzword, that’s all it is. And more than that, the very existence of the term is symptomatic of a rot at the core of contemporary filmmaking.
Continue reading There Is No Such Thing As A ‘Reboot’
Obviously he’s pretty singular, but is there anything else kinda Weir-y like The Mosquito Coast & The Year of Living Dangerously? — Charles W.
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 #12 (5/2/14)
Directed by Zachary Levy
A day after I posted my How To Watch a Film essay, I received an email from the director of this film. He reached out because loved the essay and he’d gone through, with his own film, exactly what I described going through with my film, Rehearsals—people that were ambivalent about it when watching a screener and then blown away in a theater setting.
For a long time, he avoided releasing his film on DVD because he felt that a theater was the ideal setting to see it, and he wanted to do whatever he could to make sure as many people as possible could see it properly. However, he’s recently decided to finally take the plunge and release it on DVD and Digital, and it’s due out this month.
Zach was kind enough to send me an advance copy of the DVD in the mail, which I watched this past week, and let me tell you—this thing is plenty powerful on an average-sized flatscreen. I don’t know that I could even handle this thing in a movie theater. This is one of the most gripping vérité docs I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s no surprise at all that it has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was on Roger Ebert’s Year’s Best list, and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick.
Continue reading Strongman: Pitch-Perfect Cinema Vérité
Alright so whenever I go on Netflix Instant I just sorta pick random movies from my queue, try them for a few minutes, and then if I’m not feeling them moving on to another until I finally find one I don’t hate, and then I watch that one. This ‘Netflix Quickies’ thing is basically a series where I just talk about movies I decided not to watch after some amount of minutes and explain exactly what turned me off about them. Here goes:
The Imposter (2012)
Directed by Bart Layton
99 min. (Gave up after 7 min.)
Continue reading Netflix Quickies #2 (The Imposter, Bully, Frankie & Johnny, Hiding Out, Antichrist)