Sunday, July 09, 2006

Movie Quiz Thingamajig

Movie Quiz Thingamajig

(This is the long post that started 1 AM one night, and finished 2:45 Sunday Afternoon...)

Mmmmm....Movie Quiz...

Via Sheila.

1) Does film best tell the truth (Godard) or tell lies (De Palma) at 24 frames per second?

Short answer: it depends on my mood, and just how high on humanity I am that day....

Tonight...I'm in a state where I'm cool with the idea of a relative truth, and at the end of the day, film is only as true or as untrue as you need it to be.

It sounds like a copout, mugwump answer, but the only analogy my addled mind can come up with at 1 in the morning is this: It's all about perception. You ever read a book, have it become a favorite, and have it become a movie? And then when you see that finished product, you hated the shit out of it...felt like the director and/or writer took your favorite thing in the world, and then took a big old dump on it? And leaving out the whole Hollywood Money machine....what you're dealing with is not an adaptation of your favorite book, but rather an artist's representation of what they took from that same book.

I think the same goes with truth as portrayed on the screen. Not knowing exactly the intent or belief of a filmmaker, we are seeing only a projection of that idea. At the end of the day, it's all up to how well your own personal belief structures jive with the filmmaker's. As such, film is only as true as you need it to be.

2) Ideal pairing of actors/actresses to play on-screen siblings

For some reason, given my mind's amalgamation of both their on and off-screen personas, I'd almost say it's impossible that Matthew McGonaughey and Kate Hudson weren't brother and sister. Which kinda makes that movie where they're dating creepy.

Julia Roberts and Monica Potter look so much alike to me, that they could be sisters.

3) Favorite special effects moment

I still feel like a little kid every time I watch Yoda raise Luke's X-Wing from the Dagobah Swamp, in Empire.

Other favorites: The Water in the 4x4 as the T-Rex approaches in Jurassic Park...the whole bit with Slim Pickens riding the bomb in Dr. Strangelove...and it's horrible, but Mr. Creosote puking in Meaning of Life....

4) Matt Damon or George Clooney?

You know, this answer's tougher than I'd thought. I'm gonna go with my gut reaction, for Clooney. Anybody who can pull off Everett McGill and make me laugh while doing it, and at the same time, do Archie Gates, and manage to make him a normal guy, gets my consideration. But for some reason, his turn in Welcome to Collinwood turns the corner.

Damon got my consideration for his Kevin Smith stuff, and the fact that I bought him as a badass in the Bourne movies, when I really doubted I would.

5) What is the movie you’ve encouraged more people to see than any other?

Nothing's coming to mind. I've lent Arsenic and Old Lace out three times in the past while, so I think I'll say that.

That, or Police Academy II: their First Assignment. The Guttenberg/Goldthwait chemistry is comic gold.

6) Favorite film of 1934

I was going to say It Happened One Night, because it was the only thing I could find from 34 that I could remember having seen. I also ran across The Thin Man, but then I found one of my favorite Christmas Movies: Babes in Toyland. I've always known the Laurel and Hardy flick as "March of the Wooden Soldiers," its reissue title. It's a sentimental favorite.

7) Your favorite movie theater

I don't really have one that stands out. I'll say, for lack of a better answer, The Mid-Way Drive-In. Had some good times there. Not seen a lot of great movies there...most memorable: Total Recall, which was the first R-rated movie I saw on a big screen...Terminator 2...Twister, which was freaky for the tornado in the drive-in scene, which was rolling while thunderheads rumbled across the sky....

8) Jean Arthur or Irene Dunne?

Sorry. You have to remember that in many things in life, I come up fairly ignorant. Thanks for your time.

9) Favorite film made for children

The 71 Disney version of Robin Hood. I must have watched it 100 times growing up. I watched it again after not having seen it for years, and realized I knew all the words.

A close second is the Muppet Movie. Once, when working overnights, a co-worker and I were having a discussion of "the Best Movies made in our Lifetimes..." His list was centered mainly around the horror/sci-fi/action areas, until he broke out "The Muppet Movie."

"Muppet Movie?" I asked.

"Because I know all the words, and all the songs," he said. "And so do you, most likely...."

Don't know all the dialogue, but I know the songs....

10) Favorite Martin Scorsese Movie

I'll say Goodfellas, though I hadn't realized he did Bringing Out the Dead, which sucks me in every time I see it.

11) Favorite film about children

I like both Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach.

12) Favorite film of 1954

Looking down the list, I think I want to give a shout to the original Godzilla, and Them!

It's hard not to say Rear Window, which I get a new appreciation for every time (I once noted how I used to root for everybody to believe Jimmy Stewart's Jefferies, but how now I somehow want him to be wrong....

On the Waterfront, same thing. Watched it again just a few weeks ago.

But I gotta say Seven Samurai. Just a great story, and wonderfully constructed flick.

13) Favorite screenplay written by a writer more famous for literature than screenplays

Frank Miller's screenplay to Robocop 3.

14) Walter Matthau or Jack Lemmon?

I thought Walter Matthau should have beaten the shit out of Billy Bob Thornton for the remake of Bad News Bears.

Besides. I identify more with Oscar.

15) Favorite character name

You know, they made a flick out of Twelfth Night. It's my favorite Shakespearean name, so I'll just steal the answer for this one, and say that Sir Toby Belch is my favorite character name....

16) Favorite screenplay adapted from a work of great literature, either by the author himself or by someone else

I think I'll say Robert Altman's Short Cuts screenplay from Raymond Carver's short stories...not so much for bringing the stories for life, but for the way they end up fitting together, and for retaining the bleakness, yet somehow coming off optimistically...

17) Favorite film of 1974

Two of my favorite movies came out of 1974. I'll give a nod to Chinatown and Godfather II, but for my money, the best two movies out of 1974 came from Mel Brooks: Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.....

18) Joan Severance or Shannon Tweed?

While Joan Severance did have a fine turn in No Holds Barred, I can think of a couple big reasons why Shannon Tweed is a favorite memory from my teenage hornball years.

Or my current hornball years.

19) jackass: the movie-- yes or no?

There's a part of me wants to say no. Luckily, that part of me was beaten down by the part of me that knows there's something about watching guys roller skate in the back of a moving delivery truck that cracks me up. Every Time.

21) First R-rated movie you ever saw

The first one I remember is Robocop. It was a major influence in my life. It's why I believe in built-in-the-hip gun holsters and unisex dressing rooms. And it's why I ask "Can You Fly, Bobby?" any time I watch That 70's Show.

22) Favorite X-rated film (remember that, while your answer may well be a famous or not-so-famous hard-core film, the "X" rating was once also a legitimate rating that did not necessarily connote pornography)

Hmmmm. I'll just say Midnight Cowboy, and move on.

23) Best film of 1994

Holy Shit. Too many to name.

Shawshank Redemption has wandered up into my favorite movies list, so I'd be hard pressed not to say that. Pulp Fiction and Clerks are both on its heels....

24) Describe a moment in a movie that made you weep

When I was eight, I had the flu. And there was some Australian movie about a girl who loved a Kangaroo that came on TV. And in the end, the Kangaroo has to go back to its family, and I cried and cried and cried.

Granted, it may have been the 102 degree fever. I may have been delirious, and there may have been no such movie at all.

Also, we watched Old Yeller in grade school. That ought not be allowed.

25) Ewan McGregor or Ewan Bremner?

I had to look up who Ewen Bremner was. He was Spud, in Trainspotting. And as such, I pick him.

26) One of your favorite line readings (not necessarily one of your favorite lines) from this or any year

Lots of little things.

For some reason, I always dig Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption, when he's at his wit's end with the parole hearings, and gives the parole board his ideas on what reformed means....

Will Ferrell, in what I think is actually a deleted scene from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, telling sheriff Judd Nelson that he'd like to shoot him, Twice....

Billie Dee Williams, in Return of the Jedi, as he realizes that the Empire shouldn't be Jamming them...unless they knew the rebels were coming....

Bryce Dallas Howard is the gleaming star of The Village, and there's something really chilling in the reading of her lines, as she's heading to the Towns for medicine, and she's telling her escorts that she has "the magic rocks" that will protect her....

And then there's my favorite: Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace, when he is coming to grips with what's happening at his aunts' house...he calls the operator:

Mortimer Brewster: Hello... Operator? Can you hear my voice? You can? Are you sure?
[hangs up]
Mortimer Brewster: Well, then I must be here.

(I should note that this follows not long after Grant gives one of the all time best double takes of all time....)

27) What, if any, element in a film, upon your hearing of its inclusion beforehand, would most likely prejudice you against seeing that film or keeping an open mind about it?

The inclusion of the words "Deuce Bigelow" or "The Fast and the Furious" in the titles.

Also, seeing "Michael Bay" behind "Directed By:" Which is going to put me in something of a bind when the live action Transformers movie comes out next year.

As an aside, I called the local drive-in last night, to see what was playing. Cars and the new Fast and the Furious was playing last night, and I laughed when the recording mentions as a selling point "Hey guys! Vin Diesel is in this one!"

28) Favorite Terry Gilliam Movie

Time Bandits.

29) Jean Smart or Annie Potts?

Annie Potts. Gotta go with Jeanine from Ghostbusters.

30) Is it possible to know with any certainty if you could like or love someone based partially on their taste in movies? If so, what film might be a potential relationship deal-breaker for you, or the one that might just seal that deal?

I gotta have somebody with the ability to laugh. I don't know what the barometer is, but somewhere in there, we've got Clerks, Best in Show, Dr. Strangelove, The Shining, Terms of Endearment, Cabin Fever and Million Dollar Baby.


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