Thumbs Up for The Avengers, Thumbs Down for The Hobbit

Published in CSP Daily News

"Hackademy Awards" go after smoking in movies

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Youth reviewers with not-for-profit anti-tobacco organization Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails' Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! program have picked The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as 2012's Thumbs Down! Movie.

"Director Peter Jackson decided pipe smoking in the J.R.R. Tolkien books deserved preservation in his movie adaptation. Not so with Thumbs Up! Award winning movie The Avengers, a smoke-free action thriller where the cigar-chomping comic book character Nick Fury lost the stogie in the movie version," the group said.

In the actor category, Berenice Marlohe earned a Thumbs Down! Award for her character's glamorous portrayal of tobacco use in Skyfall, along with Leonardo DiCaprio for his role in Django Unchained.

Whether playing the hero or the heavy, DiCaprio consistently plays up smoking for his younger fans, teen reviewers said.

"He was the most disgusting character ever in Django, but since he is so popular, he's recognizable to multiple generations, and almost every character he plays is smoking somehow," said Emilie, a student.

Thumbs Up! Actor Award winners included Jennifer Lawrence and Colin Farrell for their smokeless appearances in multiple 2012 films.

"Their performances were a relief in an otherwise dismal year for those watching and waiting for Hollywood to stop promoting tobacco use," the group said.

A total of 83% of 2012 movies included positive messages about tobacco use as a consequence-free, appealing habit to young audiences--up from 63% in 2011, said the group.

[Editor's Note: CSP Daily News does not endorse the opinions, assertions, conclusions or recommendations of Breathe California of Sacramento.]