Every generation has movies that define their childhoods. Typically, these are ones you ‘just had to be there’ to truly experience an unwavering, visceral nostalgia for. I was born in the 80’s, so if I had to make a master list of my own, just off the top of my head it’d probably include Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, The Lion King, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. But there are many 80’s and early 90’s staples that I managed to miss completely—no, I didn’t grow up under a rock, but movies like The Princess Bride, Clueless, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Home Alone (okay, most everything by John Hughes) and Back to the Future are all ones I somehow managed to miss entirely.
But now, thanks to a friend who literally set up a private screening in a college lecture auditorium for me because he was so upset I hadn’t seen it, I have finally watched Back To The Future for the first time at the age of 27. And boy do I have questions.
Continue reading Back To The Future: I’ve Finally Seen It, And I Have Questions
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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.
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)
How to Be a Man (2013)
Directed by Chadd Harbold
Written by Bryan Gaynor, Chadd Harbold, and Gavin McInnes
Story by Chadd Harbold
Mild spoilers ahead.
I love me some Gavin McInnes. From his appearances on Red Eye, to his pieces for Taki Mag, to his YouTube shorts, to his standup, to his book, to his previous feature-film, The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants, I’m certainly a fan of his work, and a fan of him as a person, too—when I interviewed him here last year, he was a delight. Sweet and honest and gracious, the polar opposite of what his detractors might expect him to be based on his brash demeanor and polarizing views on all things life. I see him as a living embodiment of the phrase ‘warts and all’, and an inspiration to anyone who holds honesty as a virtue. A man as man ‘might be and ought to be’, to borrow a Rand-ism.
All this to say, I have a knot in my stomach as I write this review, because I have a duty to be honest here—a duty as a critic, of course, but also, a duty to Gavin and all that he stands for. He would not want me to sugarcoat my feelings on this film just because I like him. That would not be very manly of me. And so, here goes.
I did not like this movie.
Continue reading A Manly Review of ‘How to Be a Man’
Ender’s Game (2013)
Written and Directed by Gavin Hood
Very minor spoilers ahead.
I read Ender’s Game a week before seeing the movie, and now I almost wish I hadn’t, because the book is fucking great. I don’t know whether I would have liked the movie more, or less, if I hadn’t read the book first, but I do know that I won’t be able to talk about the movie without talking about the book.
Don’t worry, though—I’m not going to make a checklist of everything the book did right that the movie did wrong. In fact, I’ll say up front that I don’t think that movie adaptations of books have any business being ‘faithful’. Or rather, I think they should be faithful in specific ways, and not in others. For instance, it’s important that an adaptation captures the themes, character arcs, and, whenever possible, the tone of its source. It’s not important that it hits every plot beat, or revisits every location, or namedrops every side character. That sort of keeping faith does little beyond providing little jolts of recognition to fans of the source material. A movie can get bogged down in superfluous details, or tripped up in its pacing, if it just methodically ticks off a checklist of things that happened to have happened in the book. And this, unfortunately, is what happened with Ender’s Game.
Continue reading Ender’s Game: Hollywood, Please Let Me Re-Edit It
With the remake of Carrie out, it’s that time again for everyone to make their favorite complaint: “Oh god, another remake! It’s like they’re raping my childhood!”
If you’re going to put forth that Hollywood is in need some new ideas, I’ll listen. But it’s not as though this is a new thing. Movies have always mostly been sequels, remakes, or adaptations. Pick any random year since the dawn of cinema and I guarantee you’ll find as many as you do today.
Continue reading Remakes: Everyone’s Favorite Complaint