Jenna Does Elvis #6 – Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962) / It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963)


I think Stockholm syndrome is starting to set in. I’ve always sort-of liked Elvis, but now a real fever is taking hold. I find myself wanting to listen to Elvis on the regular, thinking about Elvis randomly, YouTube is  recommending Elvis videos to me all the time, and heck, I even bought an Elvis t-shirt. In my defense, at this point in his career, Elvis owned a pet chimpanzee and was obsessed with karate, so look, we’re all going a little crazy here, alright?

Most of all, I love how they keep finding different ways to put Elvis in the same position of deciding between two girls and his life goals. You’ve got Singer Elvis, Western Elvis, Writer Elvis, Tourism Guide Elvis, Boxing Elvis—hell, if they made Elvis Barbie dolls, I would buy them all. So what’s next in the world of ___ Elvis? Check out the latest installment below to find out:

Continue reading Jenna Does Elvis #6 – Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962) / It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963)

To Punctuate Or Not To Punctuate



There’s an immediate irony to this piece in that its title lacks punctuation. Said punctuation is not missed, of course—it’d be superfluous of me to put a period, due to the fact that the title text being larger and bolder than the long column of text below it makes it feel plenty contained. The only reason for me to put a little black dot at the end of it would be if I wanted it to be read with stern inflection:

To Punctuate Or Not To Punctuate.

See the difference? You can’t help but it read it in your head as though shit has just gotten real, and that this will be a seriouser-than-normal article where I’ve got a real bone to pick with a thing. Such is not the case—if anything, I’m merely raising a bone to the sky a la that ape in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Smug Film Podcast Episode #3 – Movies That Got Us Into Movies (4/21/14)

movietheaters 1:15:47 | View on iTunes | Download Mp3

On this episode, I am joined by fellow Smug Film contributors John D’Amico and Jenna Ipcar. We discuss the movies that got us into movies, and were our gateway into obsession. As always, we go on tangents along the way, take a quick break for a movie joke by comedian Anthony Kapfer, and then close the show with questions from our mailbag.

If you have a question for the show, leave it in the comments or email us at

If you enjoy the podcast, be sure to subscribe on iTunes, and leave a rating and a comment on there as well. Doing this helps us immensely as far as our ranking on there, which is what allows people to be able to discover us. Word of mouth is always best of all though, so spread the word!

Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
Continue reading Smug Film Podcast Episode #3 – Movies That Got Us Into Movies (4/21/14)

Special Effects: Why They Look Right When They Look Right

The late, great Ray Harryhausen. (1920-2013)

When I was a little kid my grandpa showed me King Kong, the 1933 one.  King Kong doesn’t look real, but it looks good, because it looks right.  Looking ‘right’ is the key.

Special effects are perhaps film’s biggest point of separation from the other arts.  In literature, if you want a monster in your story, you just describe it.  But a movie has to convince you what you’re looking at is real, even when you’re looking at the most not real things humans can dream up.  This takes a perfect synthesis of human imagination, technology, and innovation.
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A Rebuttal to ‘Gravity: A Lifetime Movie in Space’


Gravity (2013)
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón
90 min.

The following is a rebuttal to a recent Smug Film review, ‘Gravity: A Lifetime Movie in Space‘. Mild spoilers.

Gotta disagree on all counts.

Let’s go through it. The 3D diorama effect was kind of essential here, because it’s a film in a setting where people are literally thin slices floating on a plane of nothingness. It created strong contrasts between Bullock and the stars, debris and earth, and even the thumb-printed glass of the helmet and the actor’s faces. There’s one moment where a space station, a person, and the Earth are all in frame, separated by hundreds of miles, and all perfectly in focus because of a lack of atmospheric distortion. The 3D made that distance come alive in a way it can’t in 2D. It’s about gulfs, impossible blank gulfs, and that’s why it’s one of the only truly essential uses of 3D I’ve seen yet. About the only other one I can think of is Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which used it to bring out distances of millimeters of depth on a wall. Seems like 3D is at its best when it’s working with the very small or the very large.
Continue reading A Rebuttal to ‘Gravity: A Lifetime Movie in Space’