- 42 (2013) vs. Remember the Titans (2000)
- Admission (2013) vs. About a Boy (2002)
- Oz the Great and Powerful (2012) vs. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
- Dark Skies (2013) vs. Dark Skies (1996)
- Oscar Wrap-Up 2013
- A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) vs. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
- Oscar Smack-a-thon!
- The Tiersky Top Ten, 2012
- Smackdown Smacks Down the 2013 Oscar Nominees
- Broken City (2013) vs. City Hall (1996)
- Men of Steel (Smackdown’s Superman Smashup)
- Les Miserables (2012) vs. The Fugitive (1993)
- Florida Aurora on Mamma Mia! (2008) -vs- Hairspray (2007)
- courtney on Brave (2012) -vs- Mulan (1998)
- Elvin Hence on POTC: On Stranger Tides (2011) -vs- POTC: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
- Edward on The Thing (2011) -vs- The Thing (1982)
- » Movie Review – The Grey Fernby Films on Taken 2 (2012) -vs- Taken (2008)
- » Movie Review – Les Misérables Fernby Films on Les Miserables (2012) vs. The Fugitive (1993)
- scottderricksonrocks on The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008) -vs- The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
- SciFi lover on The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008) -vs- The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
- Edward on The Thing (2011) -vs- The Thing (1982)
- Wesley Martin on The Walking Dead (AMC) -vs- Falling Skies (TNT)
Category Archives: Crime
What’s better than an adventure movie featuring a rugged, two-fisted hero? An adventure movie featuring a father and son team of rugged, two-fisted heroes, of course. Today’s competitors are a pair of sequels, each of which brings either a progenitor or an offspring into the proceedings. In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – the third Indy movie and last one before that set of films’ loooong hiatus and better-forgotten, 2008 finale – everybody’s favorite archeologist is joined by his grumpy dad Dr. Henry Jones Sr., played by Sean Connery (you did know that Indy’s real name is Henry, right?).
It’s a Russian family reunion in A Good Day to Die Hard, with the apparently immortal John McClane (Bruce Willis, if you’ve been living in a cave until now) journeying to Moscow to connect with son Jack (Jai Courtney), a visit which immediately triggers nearly two hours of Die Hardish firefights, chases and explosions. Continue reading
Ah, the ’70s. Now that was the golden era for New York City movies, am I right? (Just nod, youngsters.) You had the likes of Martin Scorsese, Sidney Lumet and Woody Allen, all at the top of their games, cranking out classics ranging from Taxi Driver to Dog Day Afternoon to Annie Hall to Mean Streets to Serpico to Manhattan, and even to a movie named New York, New York, which actually wasn’t very good, but my point stands, which is that New York’s best cinematic days are long behind us. Woody Allen is now essentially doing a movie for every city he’s ever visited outside of New York, Scorsese basically just does whatever he feels like doing at the moment, and Lumet… is not doing much at all these days, but he has a solid excuse. Continue reading
Thankfully, Tom Cruise has never gone the Evil Twin route, facing off against himself in a movie. But that doesn’t mean he can’t do it in a Smackdown.
Here we pit two of the actor’s star turns against each other: He’s the would-be savior in the just-released Jack Reacher, while he plays a nasty contract killer in Collateral. Both are hard-edged, violent dramas featuring brooding anti-heroes. And if Collateral faced a challenge by casting America’s favorite boyish grin as a cold-blooded assassin, Jack Reacher ups the stakes by coming out a week after Sandy Hook and featuring the aftermath of a broad-daylight massacre whose victims include a nanny accompanying a small child. This one’s a reacher all right. Continue reading
The players in our two battling movies this review are gun-toting rogues, so we’ll have to let them shoot it out across the room while we duck under the tables. Armed and lethal in the challenger’s corner is Killing Them Softly, a dark, moody crime drama featuring Brad Pitt as a hit man tasked with eliminating the crew that robbed an illicit card game. That film points its barrel at the breezily violent cult hit, True Romance, with Christian Slater as a comic book store clerk whose involvement with a hooker leads him to murder and a high-risk drug deal.
Both films rely on humanizing their criminals with generous amounts of tangential dialogue, and both also lean heavily on music and artsy cinematography to set a pop, breezy tone in counterpoint to some pretty brutal action by their principals. Continue reading
Two determined superspies, two venerable movie franchises. The more venerable one, James Bond – by some standards, the longest-running film series in history – fattens its library this weekend with the release of Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig, who plays the suave secret agent for only the third time. Fighting in the defending champ’s corner is The Bourne Legacy, featuring a lead character so new, he’s not even named Bourne. Jeremy Renner plays the genetically enhanced secret warrior Aaron Cross, outrunning various government creeps who are trying to assassinate their own man to protect their black-ops program. Continue reading
So I mean, if it were me, and I’d just gone on my first vacation to Europe and gotten targeted by the first person I met in France and subsequently kidnapped by sex slave-traders and basically had the most harrowing experience of my life, I probably wouldn’t be going back to Europe any time soon. I don’t care how bad-ass my dad is, or even that he’s played by Liam Neeson. But then, I’m not perky teenager Kim Mills, nor am I Maggie Grace, who has now co-starred as Kim Mills in two movies, despite being more than ten years the character’s senior, so what do I know? Continue reading
A seemingly wise, benevolent middle-aged figure adopts a temperamental loser as a surrogate son of sorts, resulting in a lengthy, complicated and volatile relationship. This is the main basic storyline for at least two of writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s six features, including his debut Hard Eight (1996) and his latest release, The Master, not to mention one of the dozen or so plot threads in his cult-classic porn epic, Boogie Nights (1997). Father-son relationships also dominate his one-day-in-the-Valley omnibus, Magnolia (1999), and his previous effort, the one-of-a-kind oil saga, There Will Be Blood (2007).
What we’re getting at here, then, is that however much he’s advanced as a filmmaker over the years, the dude’s evidently still got some daddy issues. But how much has he advanced as a filmmaker? It’s a first-vs.-last Smackdown today as we reach all the way back to the mid-90′s to find a movie brave enough to face down this highly anticipated newcomer. Continue reading
In honor of the recently completed Olympics, the Smack has expanded its competition facilities. That’s because today’s contest is better suited to the track than the ring; the two opposing films feature professional bicycle riders as lead characters.
In Lane 1 we have Premium Rush, an action/thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an intense bike messenger racing through Manhattan to thwart the machinations of a corrupt cop. In Lane 2 is Quicksilver, starring Kevin Bacon as an intense bike messenger racing through San Francisco in a drama that sees him get mixed up with a troubled young female colleague, a fellow messenger with financial problems, and a homicidal customer.
These bikes look awfully similar at first glance, so watch our contestants closely. Racers, take your marks… Continue reading
We’ve know it’s coming all year — a super heavyweight championship — and now it’s finally here in the beat-down heat of summer.
Fresh off the super-fan orgy at San Diego Comic-Con, we have the Sony 3D reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man against the third and final installment of Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises (July 20).
It’s Ali and Frazier. Well, technically, it’s DC and Marvel and Sony and Warner Bros. Oh, and Batman and Spider-Man.
These two awesome franchises — both successful with critics and hugely so at the box office — mean to fight it out in the cool, air-conditioned movie palaces of our globally warmed summer. Continue reading
Drugs are a dangerous game, and it seems like Oliver Stone knows this fairly well. In the 1983 cult classic Scarface, which he wrote for Brian De Palma, and his new release Savages, which he co-wrote with Shane Salerno and novelist Don Winslow, as well as directed, he shares stories of young guys who start small in the drug game and climb to a whole new level they’re not prepared for.
Iconic gangster Tony Montana and the duo of modern-day marijuana moguls Ben and Chon hold their own (to a point) when the big boys come to play in their respective movies, but how will they fare when they go up against each other? Continue reading