Recently, WB announced their slate of superhero movies through 2019, perpetuating this ridiculous genre for another endless cycle. A lot of very smart people have been persistent in drawing an analogy about this, saying that for its longevity and frivolity, the superhero genre is the new western. As a lover of westerns and a hater of superhero movies, I gotta step in here.
I get the facile rationale—both are ‘low’ genres that occupy a disproportionately large space in the cinematic marketplace; both are marketed at American adolescent boys; both are concerned with matters of good and evil solved through third act duels. But in the words of Matt Zoller Seitz: “Where’s Ford and Leone?”
Continue reading Superhero Flicks Are Not Our New Westerns
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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 Podcast@SmugFilm.com.
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Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
Continue reading Smug Film Podcast Episode #3 – Movies That Got Us Into Movies (4/21/14)
I see so many clueless directors putting female characters whose only job is to BE female. I would like a list of movies with strong female characters that are not defined by their gender. And no cheesy role reversal things where the woman has the traditional male qualities. Just some nice films (or raw horrifying ones) where the woman or women are just real people. And don’t say Joy Luck Club cause I already know about it. That was extremely good at what it was. – Michael H.
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 #9 (6/14/13)
You might not have heard of Jack Perez, or his many aliases, but you’ve probably heard of his work. Jack directed Wild Things 2 for TriStar and the pilot for the popular cult TV show Xena: Warrior Princess. His film Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus is a staple of the B-movie resurgence of the last decade.
Jack has one of the rarest jobs on earth—he’s a working director in Hollywood. The DGA represents just over 14,000 directors. They say in SAG about 5% of the union is working—I’d probably halve that when talking about the DGA. And remember, for every one of those 14,000 there is literally thousands upon thousands of people dying to get in. Directing is an elusive job, everybody knows a director makes a movie but almost nobody—lay people and cinephiles alike—really have any idea about what the job actually entails.
Continue reading An Interview with B-Movie Filmmaker Jack Perez
Directed by George Stevens
Screenplay by A.B. Guthrie Jr.
Additional Dialogue by Jack Sher
Based on the novel by Jack Schaefer
My great fear—and sadly this is true—is the possibility, however remote, that I’ll get sucked through time into a distant and shattered future where I’ll be forced to rebuild human civilization. Digging through our fallen society’s vast underground archives, I alone would have to bridge eons of cultural distance and reintroduce art to a numbed world.
Where do you begin? How do you introduce someone to rock and roll? What captures the essence of the form? What is the most rock and roll album? Sticky Fingers? Born To Run? Rubber Soul? I could never decide. What is the most modernist novel? What is the most Shakespearian of Shakespeare’s plays? What is the most sitcom sitcom? It’s a series of Sophie’s choices, each more stressful than the last.
But in this complicated world, one thing is clear:
Shane is the most western western.
Continue reading Shane: The Most Western Western