Smackdown Smacks Down the 2013 Oscar Nominees

January 26, 2013 Movie Smackdown

Movie Smackdown loves a good old fashioned film fight — it’s something we do every day that Hollywood does once a year during awards season. Who among us can’t appreciate putting some films in a cage and letting them duke it out until there’s only one left standing?

This year there were nine nominations out of a possibility of ten in the “Best Picture” category.

We’ve had most of the nominated “Best Picture” films in the Smack ring already. This offers us the chance, here in this single post, to create a gateway for you to lots of fresh writing, keen observation and (of course) a general lack of respect for authority, cinematic or otherwise. […]

Zero Dark Thirty (2012) vs. The Hurt Locker (2008)

December 18, 2012 Arthur Tiersky

Not quite satisfied with making history as the first female Oscar winner for Best Director with The Hurt Locker (2008), Kathryn Bigelow, working again with screenwriter Mark Boal, is back with Zero Dark Thirty, another topical and suspenseful Middle East adventure that’s already a serious contender for this year’s top Oscars. The new film expands far beyond the modest scope of its predecessor, taking on one of the biggest stories of recent years, the decade-long, multi-country search for 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden and how it eventually found closure, a mere 19 months ago (maybe you heard about that part). […]

We’ve Pre-Smacked All the Oscar Noms Just for You!

February 22, 2012 Bryce Zabel

Because we are diligent culture-watchers operating here at The Smack, we come to this day well-prepared. We’ve had each of the nominated “Best Picture” films in the Smack ring already. Not all of the films below even won their Smacks, but we’re not telling which ones. 😉

This offers us the chance, here in this single post, to create a gateway for you to lots of fresh writing, keen observation and (of course) a general lack of respect for authority, cinematic or otherwise. It gives me a chance to brag about the talent of Art Tiersky, Eric Volkman, Nicole Marchesani, Mark Sanchez, Rebecca Coffindaffer and Ben Silverio; their work is all available below. The really great artwork below and above is all from Lynda Karr. […]

The Way We See it: Joe Rassulo on the Oscars

February 8, 2012 Joe Rassulo

The Artist is this year’s most talked about and most overrated film. Yes, it’s charming and filled with lovely, touching performances and indelible moments of black and white reveries of movies and times past. It is a wonderful homage to an era long gone. Its obvious relevance to today is its theme of technology leaving many obsolete in its wake. There’s a familiar resonance to the despair many feel in today’s technological storm, which has left so many jobless and even homeless. But the film touches on that theme in a broad, superficial way. “Modern Times” it is not. It’s a singular, gimmicky, almost-silent film that works on every level except one of true substance. And, I believe, a best picture of the year should do more than charm. […]

The Oscar as the Ultimate Smackdown

January 30, 2012 Bryce Zabel

Despite the major studios’ insistence on making primarily mega-budget, tent-pole, comic-book, sequel-remake, monster-alien-scifi films as their bread-and-butter, challenging and compelling original films do get made every year through alternative means. And, despite the harping and complaining we all do, there always seems to be a great crop that bridge the divide and are worth saluting. Those are the kinds of films that the Academy Awards gravitate to as their nominees. […]

The Return of the Kings: Gervais-Crystal Smackdown

January 13, 2012 Bryce Zabel

In our Hollywood family, Billy Crystal, in contrast to Ricky Gervais, is the really funny older brother or family friend who tells great stories, knows a couple of magic tricks for the kids, can lead with “Happy Birthday” or “Hava Nagila” when called upon and, when the kids are out of earshot, is renowned for his annual telling of some off-color joke that is perfectly calibrated to shock but not really offend anyone. You know he won’t cross the line, really, because he’s a good guest — he’s come to the last eight dinners and each one was a warm memory, even if you can’t quite remember one from the other. They all kind of blend together but he’s so nice and, besides, he’ll show up even if you ask him late because that cute guy from the office can’t make it after all. He’s Jay Leno-safe, except that he can also sing and dance. […]

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