I don’t really get into my political leanings here at Smug Film, for the obvious reason of this being a site about movies, not politics, but also because I hate creating arbitrary ‘dividing lines’ in my work. It’s petty, and I can’t stand when others do it. For instance, I’m a huge Woody Allen fan, I think he’s our greatest American filmmaker, but I cringe whenever he peppers little jabbing jokes against the Right in his films when the story doesn’t even call for it. Those sort of winks to the audience take you out of the film momentarily, whether you agree with them or not. It’s distracting and wholly unnecessary. So rest assured, people who disagree with me politically—there will be no lazy digs, or insults, or other ‘playing to the base’ bullshit in this post whatsoever.
This list will be of particular interest to libertarians, that’s a given, but even if that ain’t your particular alignment, it should at least be a unique window in the the sort of things we, or at least I, care about, both politically and philosophically. And don’t worry, there are no propaganda docs on here; these are simply great movies, many of which (hell, probably all of which) aren’t even made by libertarians. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, they just so happen to contain, within their myriad elements, certain elements that we get a kick out of. Enjoy!
Continue reading 10 Films Every Libertarian Should See
It’s not hard for comedies to slip under the radar. Like any ‘genre film’, so many are pumped out each year that it’s almost impossible to keep track of which ones are good. Unless something gets an alarmingly high rating on Rotten Tomatoes, or was made by people you trust no matter what the Tomatometer says, you probably aren’t going to see it. And then you’re going to forget it even existed. Here’s ten great ones that probably passed you by.
Dan in Real Life (2007) | Dir. Peter Hedges | 98 min.
Continue reading 10 Woefully Underrated Comedies
This is basically the opposite of my Netflix Quickies series. Instead of movies I picked randomly on Netflix Instant that I tried for a few minutes and hated, these are ones I fell in love with and watched all of. So definitely check them out.
By the way, these are all documentaries, because for some reason the only stuff I’ve given five stars on Netflix lately have been docs. Just been really lucky with them, I guess.
Girl Model (2011)
Directed by David Redmon and Ashley Sabin
Continue reading Netflix Longies #1 (Girl Model, Kumaré, Foreign Parts, I Like Killing Flies, Monica & David)
There are tons of books out there on the subject of film, acting, writing, whatever. I haven’t read most of them. I’ve read some, though. And these are my favorites. By ‘favorites’ I mean they’ve had a fucking seismic effect on me. Each one of these has helped expand my mind into what it is today. So, if you enjoy my work—whether it be my writings here at Smug Film, or my films—these books are partly responsible for why the things I say and do are so damn wonderful.
Continue reading 6 Great Books for Film Lovers and Filmmakers
William H. Macy and Joe Mantegna talking about stuff. I don’t want to tell you what they’re talking about. I just want you to see the god damn movie please god jesus fuck.
Directed by Stuart Gordon
Written by David Mamet
This review is spoiler-free.
Edmond is one of those movies that just sort of exists, and you can’t remember it ever coming out in theaters, and you can’t remember hearing anything about it, and the poster and DVD cover are completely generic and unmemorable, so you always skip over it when browsing for something to watch, but then one day, as a result of no other movies particularly jumping out at you, you take a look at it, you consider it, you think to yourself, ‘well, Mamet is usually good’, and ‘well, Stuart Gordon is usually good’, and ‘well, William H. Macy is usually good’, and so you decide to give it a try based on that, but even though those things are true, you know with every fabric of your being that it can’t possibly be a good movie, because how could a movie, one with juggernauts such as these involved, slip through the cracks, unless it were a piece of useless shit, but then after the first fifteen minutes, you’re fucking floored, because it is definitely not a piece of useless shit, or even a piece of regular shit, in fact it is the opposite of shit, it is a legitimately good movie, and even though you aren’t too far into it, you feel a sense of calm, because you know you have nothing to worry about, and that you are in safe, masterful hands.
Continue reading Edmond: A Movie that Just Sort of Exists and is in Dire Need of Viewing Eyes