The Smackdown Hollywood loves to write about therapists who are more screwed up than their patients. Maybe that’s because most Hollywood writers and directors are in therapy and want to feel better about themselves, I […]
The Smackdown At the turn of the century, Wonder Boys snuck into our cinematic consciousness through its sheer quirkiness and excellent casting and still gets a lot of DVD screenings in many homes. Later in […]
Â The Smackdown Goofy. Human. Hilarious with a large serving of sex. Using that recipe Judd Apatow produced or wrote a bucket of consistently engaging comedies the past ten years: Knocked Up, Freaks and Geeks, The […]
The Smackdown Movies offer the risky pleasure of transporting us someplace beyond our regular lives. Often they touch down in Las Vegas. It’s a neon backdrop for stories that are fun (Oceans 11), quirky and […]
I got a lot of good advice from good friends on this one, before I ever saw Julie Taymor’s homage to the Beatles and the Counterculture era, “Across the Universe.” Some thought it could be smacked down against “Tommy” or “Hair,” for obvious reasons. Or “I Am Sam,” because both films share a Moptop soundtrack. (Remember when mags like “Teen” and “Tiger Beat” called the Beatles “The Four Moptops?”) And I was sorely tempted, as I love that story of a retarded man’s struggle to retain custody of his young daughter, and count it as one of my all time favorite films. Even Forrest Gump” got a mention, because “Universe” resembles it in the way it offers snapshot glimpses of the same period in American culture.
But shortly into the viewing, I found myself recalling the movie version of “Rent,” because both films are ambitious yet flawed stories of a polyglot group of young people meeting during an explosive time in our history, easily becoming friends, and bursting into song at the slightest provocation. […]
The Smackdown Movie afficionados already know what the public at large has yet to discover: Ryan Gosling is one of the great actors of his twentysomething generation and, like those who have come before him, […]
Thirty Years of Dancing Travolta! The Smackdown It was three decades ago that a charismatic sitcom star named John Travolta crossed over into feature film fame with the cultural sensation Saturday Night Fever. In the […]