We didn’t see this one coming… We’ve told you aboutÂ Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas?, the alternate history book written by Movie Smackdown’s evil genius Bryce Zabel, edited by our own word wrangler […]
You fell in love with her in The Descendants (2011), and then you blinked, and suddenly Shailene Woodley was everywhere.
Just in the past nine months alone, sheâ€™s been in two horribly titled romances made from best-selling young-adult novels, both adapted, in fact, by the same writing team, best known for previous Smackdown challenger (500) Days of Summer starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was also the star of 50/50, which shares a theme with…
Well, Iâ€™m getting ahead of myself. So letâ€™s get on with this weekâ€™s bout, as we pit last fallâ€™s The Spectacular Now against current release The Fault in Our Stars. Because if Movie Smackdown didnâ€™t do it, who Woodley?
While he’s not necessarily the world’s singularly favorite (or only) superhero any more, Superman still maintains a strong pull on the audience’s loyalty. Many brave actors have tried on the tights and cape over the years.
Please vote for the man who was the superest of the Supermen in our poll. We’ve set it up so you can vote several times if you want to vote for more than one. […]
Check The Drop to see whatâ€™s new in theaters, disc and digital each week. Click below for theater showtimes. If you’d rather stay home, check out Armchair Smack, where we suggest alternatives to each week’s theatrical releases. Choose one or see both, and then Smack us in the comments section below and let us know how they compare.
What will you view this weekend? […]
We here at Smackdown have a soft spot in our hearts for movies about lonely, alienated mopes. This may or may not have something to do with some of us here in Smackland being lonely, alienated mopes, but in any case, weâ€™re all about the Mopelecore movies, and when theyâ€™re about how the mopes learn to get out of their mopey shells and embrace the wonders of the world around them, even more so. And when they are brought out of their shells by the likes of Scarlett Johansson? Catnip. Heck, when itâ€™s Scarlett, it doesnâ€™t even have to be a mope, necessarily, it could be some shallow, womanizing, porn-addicted guido for all we care. What weâ€™re getting at here: Consider us Team ScarJo.
But back to the mopes and this weekâ€™s Smackdown, in which two Mope-Meets-Jo tales will try to out-sulk each other, and as a special ultra-Smackdown bonus, the writer-directors of each are ex-spouses. Exes fighting each other! Little thing we like to call Ex-Box. (Eh? Eh?)
Anyway… Mopes to your corners! Letâ€™s do this. […]
Who doesnâ€™t love Matt Damon and Christian Bale?
(Okay, probably this guy doesnâ€™t love Bale so much, and Minnie Driver still might be holding a grudge against Damonâ€¦But just go with me on thisâ€¦)
And who doesnâ€™t love when big stars like Matt Damon and Christian Bale ugly themselves up with bad hairpieces and weight gains and cheesy facial hair for a scruffy little indie role?
And who doesnâ€™t love period offbeat indie comedies based on true stories in which the aforementioned uglied-up big stars like Matt Damon and Christian Bale play real-life dudes who started working undercover with the Feds to catch criminals, only to turn out to be unreliable and devious and driven by their own agendas?
And who doesnâ€™t love when original mavericks of low-budget filmmaking like Steven Soderbergh and David O. Russell return to their indie roots and makeâ€¦what I just said above? […]
As the anniversary of the release of Philadelphia approaches, letâ€™s take a moment to consider just what the apparent requirements were for a major studio to be bold enough to make a movie about homosexuality and AIDS back in 1993:
Both leads had to be played by huge stars, and the villain played by one of our most beloved character actors. The director had to have come off an enormous smash that had just swept the Oscars. The opening theme song had to be supplied by the ultimate blue-collar, all-American pop star. The protagonist could be gay, but only if counter-balanced by the other lead being a raging homophobe, and the protagonist and his lover (played by an international star himself) could not only never be seen in bed together, but could never be seen sharing more than a chaste slow-dance.
So admittedly, as envelope-pushing on this topic goes, Philadelphia may not be viewed on the level of, say, Brokeback Mountain (2005), but itâ€™s entirely fair to say that Philadelphia made Brokeback Mountain possible, as well as the current release, Dallas Buyers Club. So what better way for the newborn to pay tribute to its spiritual grandfather than to throw them into the ring for a face-off?
Lost at sea.
Lost in space.
Adrift alone in a vast ocean, the helpless victim of a freak accident.
Adrift alone in the cosmos… same dealio.
Man vs. Nature.
Woman vs. Nature.
One of the top movie stars of the ’70s, holding the screen all by himself for an entire film.
One of the top movie stars of the last 20 years, holding the screen all by her… well, okay, sheâ€™s got help, so weâ€™ll stop there, but the point is, these two thematically similar movies of survival are facing off at your local cineplex as we speak. One is a studio blockbuster on its way to being among the yearâ€™s biggest hits, the other is a modest indie seeking sleeper success, and both seem destined for Oscar attention and rivalry, but in the meantime, letâ€™s sit back and watch Gravity and All is Lost duke it out, keeping in mind that here at Smackdown, movie titles are not necessarily spoilers. […]
The date is indelibly etched in the memories of everyone who was alive then: 11/22/63. Until 9/11, it was the most shocking, tragic, unimaginably ghastly national event we had witnessed. In the half-century since, what Boomer hasnâ€™t wondered how the Sixties might have improved if President Kennedy’d had the opportunity to complete two terms in office, and not just 1000 days. Sure, we still got the Beatles and the Apollo mission, and on LBJâ€™s watch the Civil Rights movement blossomed, but then we got mired in Vietnam and Watergate and even more, horrid assassinations.
The assassination also produced a cottage-industry of JFK-themed films and books, ranging from memoirs to analyses of his life and legacy, but by far the most prevalent have been those that (like Oliver Stone’s JFK) have questioned the Warren Commissionâ€™s report, which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Many of these works also speculate about JFKâ€™s second administration and how it would have changed history.
For this special, bonus-edition Smackdown, weâ€™ve got heavyweight champion Stephen King going mano-a-mano with none other than SeÃ±or Smackdown himself, Bryce Zabel. What makes this pairing especially juicy is that, though both contenders are no strangers to producing award-winning popular film/TV entertainment — a remake of Kingâ€™s Carrie, based on his debut novel, is once again rattling theatergoers — weâ€™re taking a rare detour into the universe of literature. […]
Oneâ€™s about a free man who becomes a slave, the otherâ€™s about a slave who becomes a free man!
Oneâ€™s a searing historical drama, the otherâ€™s an intense but goofy action-comedy!
Oneâ€™s a bona fide Oscar magnet, the other’s already won two Oscars!
Oneâ€™s written and directed by black men, the otherâ€™s written and directed by a white man whoâ€™s spent his career trying to be a black man!
One is Steve McQueenâ€™s 12 Years a Slave, the other is Quentin Tarantinoâ€™s Django Unchained! […]