If weâ€™ve learned anything over the years from movies about journalists, reporters and TV newspeople, itâ€™s that theirs is a world of ethical and psychological pitfalls. One day, youâ€™re an upstanding citizen doing your job, investigating and helping keep the public apprised of current events, and then, suddenly youâ€™re Kirk Douglas in Ace in the Hole (1951), deliberately manipulating your story to create and prolong the media circus surrounding it. Or youâ€™re Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote (2005), befriending a convicted murderer but privately rooting for his execution. Or youâ€™re Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), ingesting so many intoxicants that you miss the story entirely. Or youâ€™re Hayden Christensen in Shattered Glass (2003) and just flat out making shit up. […]
Maybe it’s just me, but I wrestled a bit as a kid and saw more than enough of my coach without ever moving in with him. I’ll tell you right now, if that’s what cost me a shot at having my life blown up on the big screen for the world to enjoy, I’m okay with it, especially after seeing how messed up the protagonists in these two indie projects turn out. […]
Magic. Now thereâ€™s a subject that, over the years, hasnâ€™t gotten a great deal of cinematic attention. Reason being, one surmises, that magic acts need the immediacy of live (or at least taped live) performance to preserve their thrill… and if weâ€™re being honest here, most of them donâ€™t have that much thrill to preserve in the first place. So wouldnâ€™t you know it, after humming along for so many years all but magic-free, in 2006, Hollywood not only coughs up two magic-themed movies within weeks of each other but two turn-of-the-century Europe magic-themed movies. (Now thatâ€™s a Smackdown!) […]
Thankfully, Tom Cruise has never gone the Evil Twin route, facing off against himself in a movie. But that doesnâ€™t mean he canâ€™t do it in a Smackdown.
Here we pit two of the actorâ€™s star turns against each other: Heâ€™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 Americaâ€™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 oneâ€™s a reacher all right. […]
Back in 2008, the jade giant known as the Incredible Hulk wreaked havoc in the Movie Smackdown arena in a battle that pitted that yearâ€™s The Incredible Hulk, featuring Edward Norton, against 2003â€™s The Hulk, starring Eric Bana. Since then, a new Hulk has emerged on the scene, thanks to Joss Whedonâ€™s The Avengers and Mark Ruffalo, so weâ€™re revisiting the battle and kicking it up a notch by throwing Bill Bixby, the first man ever to embody David Bruce Banner on screen, into the mix as well. You might think Bixby has the advantage, since he has Lou Ferrigno in his corner, but donâ€™t count out Bana, Norton and Ruffalo from this fatal four-way just yet.
This fight is so big that we need two Smack refs to officiate over the action. After all, one Hulk destroyed Las Vegas, overthrew an alien planetâ€™s government and became their king, and beat the crap out of his fair share of Earthâ€™s mightiest heroes, so imagine the destruction these four Hulks might cause! […]