A Dangerous Method (2011) -vs- Final Analysis (1992)

December 12, 2011 Arthur Tiersky

Hunky Shrinks and the Hot Chicks Who Sleep with Them! An episode of Montel? No…, well, probably yes, that too, but also the subject of this week’s Hot Smackdown! The recent release of A Dangerous Method, a mostly stodgy, stately tale of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and the early days of psychiatry, immediately got us wondering when director David Cronenberg […]

Shame (2011) -vs- I Am a Sex Addict (2005)

December 1, 2011 Arthur Tiersky

Why aren’t there more movies about sexual addiction?

Possibly because it sounds like sort of a self-defeating topic for a film. Those in the mood for a “sex” film generally don’t want to see it paired with a downer word like “addiction” and those seeking an addiction film are perhaps more sympathetic to tangible, physical addictions such as to booze (Leaving Las Vegas), drugs (Trainspotting) or anything not nailed down (the inevitable Winning! The Charlie Sheen Story). […]

Friends With Benefits (2011) -vs- No Strings Attached (2011)

July 21, 2011 Jackie Zabel

Apparently in 2011, film couples are taking the Nike slogan literally. They would rather “just do it” than have to suffer the emotional consequences of a real relationship. Or at least so goes the premise of two separate movies released this year — Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached.

Both movies are about casual sex, and there’s lots of it onscreen. The challenge is to make it funny, which they do, with mixed results, by talking about body parts and functions in graphic detail. Some of these scenes are even educational. Women will learn even more about the male perils of having to pee with a hard-on than they did from Steve Carell’s bravura bathroom struggle in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Quite the visual here. Who says Americans are puritanical? […]

Bad Teacher (2011) -vs- Bad Santa (2003)

June 21, 2011 Rebecca Coffindaffer

Good role models are hard to come by — especially once Hollywood gets its hands on them. In the year that Bush gave us Iraq, Hollywood gave us Bad Santa. Now it’s Bad Teacher. What’s next, Naughty Nuns?

Of course, the film industry has been tweaking iconic targets since the Marx Brothers brought their particular brand of chaos to A Night at the Opera. In recent years, they’ve upped the ante. Now, filmmakers are encouraged to slap on an R rating, make sure the kids have to sneak in to watch, and let everyone else enjoy what Tony Cox’s Marcus character in Bad Santa calls, “An adult joke. For us, adults.”

With Santa Claus already trashed by Billy Bob Thornton and company, it was inevitable that someone would find another cherished cultural ideal, the teacher — beacon of knowledge and caring, glamorized in Stand and Deliver, Dead Poets Society and so forth — and put a caustic, foul-mouthed spin on it.

An irreverent, bad Santa vs. an irreverent, bad teacher. Only one can be the worst. […]

Sex And The City 2 (2010) -vs- Sex And The City (2008)

May 28, 2010 Sherry Coben

I don’t like stupid, offensive, unfunny pieces of jerry-rigged, half-assed claptrap disguised as popular entertainment and I never will. You can’t fool me with shiny clothing and costume changes, stale jokes and bad puns a mildly clever third grader can see coming at thirty paces, unconvincing plot contrivances, jacked-up complications, inane complaints, blissful unawareness of social mores and dignity, flagrant political incorrectness, shameless insensitivity, brazen condescension and hypocrisy all in the name of enlightenment and modernity. Add shoes and that’s the SATC franchise in a nutshell. Brace yourselves.
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Chloe (2010) -vs- Fatal Attraction (1987)

March 23, 2010 Bryce Zabel

If you’ve ever been loved by somebody too tightly, then you know how scary it could be to let someone in your life and then not know how to extricate yourself from their smothering grasp. The trick in erotic thrillers like “Chloe” and “Fatal Attraction” is execution. Too far on one side of the spectrum, they become cerebral. Too far on the other side, they become unintentionally comedic.

Although “Fatal Attraction” defined this genre back in the late 80s, it’s been re-visited over the years in films like “The Hand That Rocked the Cradle” and “Single White Female,” and now it gets brought to life again in “Chloe.” All I can say before we begin is that seeing these two back-to-back is enough to drive the average person to mandatory background checks on all potential lovers. Be afraid, be very afraid.
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