Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Post-Memorial Day Meme

I'm cherry picking this Memorial Day movie meme from Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule feel free to answer in the comments.

1) Best transition from movies to TV (actor, actress, producer/director, movie/show)?

I think that High Laurie and Dominic West are dynamite on their respective TV shows and tend to get bogged down on the big screen. Paul Feig and Ken Kwapis also probably better off directing TV than movies (as Unaccompanied Minors and License to Wed demonstrated).

2) Living film director you're most missing seeing on the cultural landscape regularly?

Michael Mann, one of the finest working directors in American cinema seemed to have disappeared after the unfortunately titled Miami Vice.

3) Eugene Pallette or Charles Coburn?

It's close but Charles Coburn OWNS Lady Eve. "Let us be crooked but never common."

4) Fill in the blank: “I pray that no one ever turns _____________ into a movie.”

With the right script, production and director there is no such thing. Naked Lunch, Unbearable Lightness of Being and Pirates of Caribbean should in theory all be "un-filmable" and they're all wonderful.

5) Jane Greer or Veronica Lake?

Jane Greer for Out of the Past.

6) What was the last movie you saw in a theater? On DVD? And why?

I caught Iron Man again (my friend Jesse hadn't seen it) and hope to see Reprise very soon. On DVD I finally watched the brilliant French noir Rififi on the recommendation of my friend Matt who knows a ton about the genre). That is one gorgeous brutal ending.

7) Name an actor you think should be a star.

Judy Greer is being wasted in funny friend roles, Lee Pace should be what Ewan McGregor was supposed to be.

8) Foxy Brown or Coffy

Coffy is just a little more gritty.

9) Favorite TV show still without its own DVD box set.

Spaced, but soon, oh so soon.

10) Jack Elam or Neville Brand

Jack Elam has the face of a titan.

11) What movies would top your list of movies you need to revisit, for whatever reason?

I'd like to take another look at Birth (always worth another look), Network (the last piece on the filmexperience really motivated me), Tootsie (missing Pollack already), The Mist (cause that it was one cool DVD) and The Thief of Baghdad (want a crack at that new Criterion collection disc).

12) Zodiac or All the President’s Men

Hmm maybe I should take another look at All the President's Men, I haven't watched it in about a decade. On the other hand Zodiac is a modern masterpiece in it's own right. Maybe I should add them to the above list. OK, gut instinct...Zodiac. Just to get another look at that picnic scene.

13) Using our best reviewer-speak, what is an “important” film comedy? And what is to you the most important film comedy of the last 35 years?

The most important comedy in the last 35 years is Anchorman. Here's why, it ushered in Judd Apatow as a major producer, announced Will Ferrell as a major box-office draw in a non-family comedy, introduced key comedy clique
members Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell and David Koechner to a broad audience and ushered in the arrested adolsecent style of comedy couple with non-sequiters.

14) Describe the ideal environment for watching a movie.

A theater with the proper sound and projection that is filled with a polite but enthusiastic and interested audience.

15) Michelle Williams or Eva Mendes?

Eva Mendes has only ever been sexy and yet to impress me even slightly dramatically. Michelle Williams on the other hand has demonstrated tremendous versatility from Brokeback Mountain, The Baxter to the Station Agent.

16) What’s the worst movie title of all time?

Any title ending with a "z" where an "s" should be is probably a bad sign.

17) Best movie about teaching and/or learning?

I was thinking about School of Rock the other day and was pretty damn inspired. It really captures the joy created in a classroom between teachers and students.

18) Dracula (1931) or Horror of Dracula (1958)

Horror of Dracula is a little bigger (in melodrama, scope and gore) and as one of film professor's once infamously said of the original Dracula, "It's so bleedin' slow."

19) Why do you blog? Or if you don’t, why do you read blogs? (Thanks, Girish)

To keep my creative writing muscles limber, to organize my thoughts on film, to entertain my friends, take your pick.

20) Most memorable/disturbing death scene.

Hard to say but most recently I was pretty impressed when Victor Crowley ripped a woman's face off from the jaw in Hatchet. In terms of disturbing I'd say any of the deaths in Funny Games.

21) Jason Robards or Robert Shaw?

Quint, no contest. Also my favorite Henry VIII ever.

22) A good candidate for Most Blasphemous Movie Ever

There was some pretty blasphemous shit going down in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

23) Rio Bravo or Red River?

Ugh, make me pick one child over the other why don't you. Rio Bravo has better chracaters and a WAY better ending so I guess Bravo.

24) Werner Herzog is remaking Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage—that’s reality. Try to outdo reality by concocting a match-up of director and title for a really strange imaginary remake.

John Waters remaking Top Gun. Oh please God.

25) Bulle Ogier or Charlotte Rampling?

Rampling is breathtaking.

26) In the Realm of the Senses— yes or no?

Haven't seen it yet, but I've heard it's pretty rough going.

27) Name a movie you think of as your own (Thanks, Jim!)

Terry Gilliam's Brazil feels like how I look at the world.

28) Winged Migration or Microcosmos?

Micorocosmos,
I can't look down and see what I see in that movie. I can look up and see Winged Migration.

29) Your favorite football game featured in a movie

The climax of Rudy, I'm not made of stone.

30) Wendy Hiller or Deborah Kerr?

Deborah Kerr for Black Narcissus, I've got favorites.

31) Dirtiest secret you have that is related to the movies?

I've seen the Hot Chick multiple times. I'm not proud of it. But I can't help myself.

32) Name a favorite film and describe how it is illuminated and is enriched by another favorite film.

Mullholand Dr. reflects back rather well on it's parallel street namesake Sunset Blvd. Both movies are thematically similar but Mullholand is more twisty.

33) It’s a Gift or Horsefeathers?

The Marx Brothers take it every time; Horsefeathers.

34) Your best story about seeing a movie at a drive-in?

No drive-in's for me. :(

35) Victor Mature or Tyrone Power?

Victor Mature, truly the Sly Stallone of his time.

36) What does film criticism mean to you? Where do you think it’s headed?

The best film criticism can illuminate and inform, can direct and suggest but it is never a substitute for your own opinion. I've heard it's heading online, I hope it doesn't devolve into mere reviews.

5 comments:

Football Chick said...

#4 - One Hundred Years of Solitude

neonspecs said...

Eva Mendes is annoying. She doesn't act. Also, I once sat in front of her in a movie she was in. 1) She was chewing gum SO loudly the whole time and 2) In the middle, I hear her saying to the woman sitting next to her "Don't I look so hot right there?" which was just kinda ridiculous, especially at the volume which she said it.

Frank said...

1) Best transition from movies to TV (actor, actress, producer/director, movie/show)?

Aaron Sorkin. Also, Friday Night Lights is making a pretty convincing case.

2) Living film director you're most missing seeing on the cultural landscape regularly?

Actually, Cameron Crowe. Elizabethtown be damned.

3) Eugene Pallette or Charles Coburn?

Coburn.

4) Fill in the blank: “I pray that no one ever turns _____________ into a movie.”

Night Ranger's "Sister Christian"

5) Jane Greer or Veronica Lake?

Veronica Lake for Sullivan's Travels.

6) What was the last movie you saw in a theater? On DVD? And why?

Iron Man again, because my Dad wanted to see it. Watched "The Last Boy Scout" on dvd. It is easily the worst film Shane Black has ever been connected to... unless it's actually just a parody. I'll have to think on this.

7) Name an actor you think should be a star.

Robert Downey Jr... Seth Rogen... Steve Carrell. I have predicted all of these people's rises to fame. Martin Freeman is my next great white hope.

8) Foxy Brown or Coffy

Foxy is just a little more foxy.

9) Favorite TV show still without its own DVD box set.

Hands down, Spaced. Although I'm still clammoring for a REASONABLE "Get Smart" box set. Damn you Time-Life and your overpriced bullshittery.

10) Jack Elam or Neville Brand

Brand.

11) What movies would top your list of movies you need to revisit, for whatever reason?

Children of Men, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with commentary, Blazing Saddles (it's been two whole years!), The Warriors (three whole years!)

12) Zodiac or All the President’s Men

All the President's Men. Don't be foolish.

13) Using our best reviewer-speak, what is an “important” film comedy? And what is to you the most important film comedy of the last 35 years?

Ghostbusters, for proving that concept comedies could work. The 40 Year Old Virgin, for pioneering the male romantic comedy.

14) Describe the ideal environment for watching a movie.

The Ziegfeld Cinema on opening night. Filled to the brim.

15) Michelle Williams or Eva Mendes?

No one involved in Ghost Rider has a shot opposite anyone from The Station Agent.

16) What’s the worst movie title of all time?

Man, I wish I could go more obscure, but "Hancock" is fucking up there.

17) Best movie about teaching and/or learning?

School of Rock, without a doubt. It's the best thing dwindling star Jack Black has ever been a part of.

18) Dracula (1931) or Horror of Dracula (1958)

Dracula. "I don't drink...wine." COME ON!

19) Why do you blog? Or if you don’t, why do you read blogs? (Thanks, Girish)

To antagonize Rami.

20) Most memorable/disturbing death scene.

Nameless Thuggee victim from Temple of Doom. "Oh no, I'm strapped to this cage. Hey who's that guy. Oh this isn't...AAAAAHHH! AHHH! MY CHEST! I DON'T- IS THAT MY HEART!?? WHY AM I STILL ALIVE!!! IT'S LIKE HE STABBED MY SOUL! HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY GET- LAVAAA! LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
- Rough translation of "Om Nom Shiva"

21) Jason Robards or Robert Shaw?

I have a fondness for Max Dugan (and "A Thousand Clowns" is my discovery of the year), but give it to Quint and Lonnegan from The Sting.

22) A good candidate for Most Blasphemous Movie Ever

Jaws: The Revenge.

23) Rio Bravo or Red River?

Rio Bravo.

24) Werner Herzog is remaking Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage—that’s reality. Try to outdo reality by concocting a match-up of director and title for a really strange imaginary remake.

Joe Dante's "Remains of the Day"

25) Bulle Ogier or Charlotte Rampling?

Rampling.

26) In the Realm of the Senses— yes or no?

Haven't seen it.

27) Name a movie you think of as your own (Thanks, Jim!)

The Apartment- easily a classic, Billy Wilder manages to take caricatures and humanize them. Also, Shaun of the Dead (one day I'll write a lengthy essay about my deep-seeded personal connection to Shaun.

28) Winged Migration or Microcosmos?

Winged Migration, because Microcosmos was not the sequel to Men in Black that I had been hoping for.

29) Your favorite football game featured in a movie

I'm gonna break the rules and say the state championship game from season 1 of Friday Night Lights. Also, The Program is pretty great. OH! And that amazing amazing opening to The Last Boy Scout where the guy pulls the gun and shoots the defensive line, then scores a touchdown. No way the rest of that movie could live up to that opening.

30) Wendy Hiller or Deborah Kerr?

Hiller.

31) Dirtiest secret you have that is related to the movies?

Still haven't seen The Good The Bad and The Ugly.

32) Name a favorite film and describe how it is illuminated and is enriched by another favorite film.

I got into film because of Mel Brooks. I watched Spaceballs once a month every month from Kindergarten to Sixth Grade, and along with his other works, it made me want to go out and watch these movies that he was referencing. Of his oeuvre, High Anxiety ranks as the film that gives you the most appreciation of it after you've watched a ton of Hitchcock.

33) It’s a Gift or Horsefeathers?

Horsefeathers.

34) Your best story about seeing a movie at a drive-in?

Never been.

35) Victor Mature or Tyrone Power?

Tyrone Power, for The Mark of Zorro.

36) What does film criticism mean to you? Where do you think it’s headed?

Very little. As it progresses, it becomes more and more egregious and can even taint opinions before they're even made. I won't touch reviews more substantial than "It's Good" or "It's Bad" until I've had a chance to see it for myself.

Frank said...

In reference to question 24, I'm also looking forward to Tom Shadyac's "Uncle Doubtvanya"

El Gigante said...

The translation of the thuggee death chant was HILARIOUS. Also where's Uncle Doubtvanya? Also YOU HAVEN'T SEEN GOOD, BAD & THE UGLY?!?!?!