The Smackdown There’s no doubt that superheroes and stoners are king at this summer’s box office, but if you’re craving a little romanticism – oh hell, a LOT of romanticism – and stories that don’t […]
The Smackdown British comedies are a class unto their own.Â They simply have a way of demonstrating the quirkiness of ordinary human interaction in the face of outrageous circumstances that include the inevitable events of […]
Â The Smackdown Summer is here with new versions of familiar entertainments: A new Batman, a new Hell Boy, and now another spy spoof. Every spy sendup owes something in spirit to Maxwell Smart. As the […]
If you’re looking for a film that will make you feel a little better about your own life, try either of these. They’ll also make you feel better about the “human spirit” and other noble thoughts but, basically, you will realize that all the crap you complain about every day really is just crap and that you should take a chill pill and try to realize how good things really are. Both “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” and “My Left Foot” which preceded it by almost two decades feature lead characters who are suffering through horrific physical challenges which make it nearly impossible for them to communicate but, because they are just as alive inside their brains as any of us and maybe more so, they rise above their fear, pain and sadness to communicate anyway. In the end, in both films, it turns out to be less about what they say than the fact that they said anything at all that is so inspirational.
The Smackdown We can probably all agree that children should be protected from seeing and hearing and thinking about sexual contacts in the world around them and yet, sometimes they aren’t, sometimes they get a […]
May 2011 Update: Obama in Ireland. His trip was largely overshadowed by the Arab Spring coupled with his provocative foreign policy fracas over Israel. So, oddly, in this year’s context, Ireland seems like a place to get away from politics. Ireland, however, is actually a country that takes its politics as seriously as its music. There are two recent films that have told very tough tales of Irish history. Here is our original Smackdown.
Every St. Patrick’s Day, people worldwide celebrate the Irish by wearing shamrocks, marching in parades, even drinking green beer. It can be a ton of fun, to be sure, but the Ireland of fairly recent history was a very serious place where political battles were decided in revolution and civil war. Our Irish Movie Smackdown pays tribute to those days by putting a couple of films in the ring together that tell the story. These two classic films of Irish-rebellion â€” The Wind That Shakes the Barley and Michael Collins â€” were made a decade apart. Back in the Clinton years, Liam Neeson starred in the title role as Irish rebel turned Free Stater, Michael Collins, and a few days before St. Patrick’s Day in 2007, Cillian Murphy played a rebel on the other side of the bloody Irish Civil War in The Wind That Shakes the Barley. They each tell stories about the years when Irish eyes were definitely not smiling… […]
The Smackdown How many authors could claim, or would even dare suppose, that they had single-handedly, through the power of their pen alone, influenced the development of an entire sex?Â Well, there was that guy […]
The Smackdown I’ve been thinking about food a lot (like this is news?) because I’m developing a TV series for my friend Mark Dacascos who plays “The Chairman” on Iron Chef America. His current show […]
The Smackdown Everybody is secretly afraid to introduce their friends to their parents, let alone bring home that special girlfriend. At least half of those people are probably right to be worried. “Introducing the Dwights” […]
The Smackdown Tone is everything. It’s not so much the idea anymore in films, it’s the filmmaker’s “take” on the idea. For some stark insight into the difference between studio and indie films, and between […]