Thursday, November 22, 2012


Just in time for thanksgiving, I stumble upon this fun quiz from 2009. And just because I need something to do while I find movies I get inspired to review - I have inexplicably dropped three reviews suddenly from writer's block... Dawg, this movie blogging is hard - I will take a shot at this...

Feel free to join along. Suckas. Here's the original three-year-old post I found this on: Ta-Da! 

One more warning, I regret to inform that multiple spoilers be here. If you don't care, feel free, but if not, 

1) Second-favorite Coen Brothers movie. My favorite filmmakers... I'd probably go for No Country for Old Men as my second favorite - maybe at points, lean more to Barton Fink.

2) Movie seen only on home format that you would pay to see on the biggest movie screen possible? (Question submitted by Peter Nellhaus) Well, my obvious answer would be Blade Runner, but I would also like to take a shot at the epics being on the big screen above me - 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lawrence of Arabia, Gone with the Wind to name the ones I'd really like to see projected on a big screen - and, most of all, the real mucky trashy B-movie or grindhouse material in the crappiest big screen possible - I Spit on Your Grave, Cannibal Holocaust <- I do not feel in the mood to see these distasteful movies yet for obvious reason, but I will see them eventually so I'm going to do it fucking hardcore style -  Faster Pussycat! Kill Kill!, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Reefer Madness, The Blob, The Toxic Avenger, Vampyros Lesbos to name a few.

3) Japan or France? (Question submitted by Bob Westal) Japan takes the cake with all that Kurosawa has ever made. In addition, Battle Royale and Kamikaze Girls were quite out there for me. And Lost in Translation may be considered an American picture, but it is embedded in a mix of American and Japanese culture to provide the most effective cinematic culture shock possible for the viewer.

4) Favorite moment/line from a western.
'There are two types of people in this world. Those who have a gun and those who dig. You dig.' -Blondie (Clint Eastwood) in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

5) Of all the arts the movies draw upon to become what they are, which is the most important, or the one you value most? Hmm, very good. Photography is an art, right? If that doesn't count, I wish I could say painting, but I have yet to see a painting that inspired any shots of mine or posed for juxtaposition for shots I've seen in movies (even though I'm certain the greatest filmmakers do). Instead, I'd say music. Film scores entertain me, they inspire me, I score my own works whenever I possibly can and there is a great amount of movies that owe my swaying and involvement to their story to the music above everything else.

6) Most misunderstood movie of the 2000s (The Naughties?) Speed Racer (Wachowski/Wachowski, 2008) gets such a bad rep that I don't understand. Avoid the mostly name-dropping cast (John Goodman is actually a pretty good fit, though) and the stupidly shot fight scenes (which were still a fun marvel) and the movie becomes quite the ride. I remember seeing it in theaters was a really great experience (I'm not as familiar with the source material as your average American), I really felt for the scenarios involved and the cartoonish race sequences never lost my eye. It's even cheesy at points, and it's the type of cheese you expect from a children's cartoon and I enjoy it. It's hyper, it's stylized, it's colorful - Fanboys of digital, ADD and anime, Rejoice! This is your mutant baby.

7) Name a filmmaker/actor/actress/film you once unashamedly loved who has fallen furthest in your esteem.  

An actor that comes to mind is Nathan Fillion. I once admired anything he did - particularly Firefly, obviously. Captain Malcolm Reynolds is still a brilliant character to follow (even though my favorite character on the show was Adam Baldwin's Jayne). Then I see everything he's in and, probably due to his soap opera work, he comes off as extremely melodramatic in his serious roles other than Mal, to a point where it's obnoxious brooding. And then his more popular roles which kind of work are the real smart-alec same old harass girl until she sleeps with me roles - again, one of the dimensions of Mal (albeit shoehorned by Fox). The only other serious role I've seen him in that worked was his villain turn as Caleb on Buffy.
One movie is Space Jam. I usually retain huge nostalgic value for any movie I grew up on, but man, I can't find anything redeemable about that movie except for the soundtrack. The Looney Tunes aren't even Looney Tunes! They're helpless cartoon characters looking up to the commercialized Michael Jordan to save them with basketball.
Nah, sucka MCs, it's all about that SLAM! and welcome to the JAM!

8) Herbert Lom or Patrick Magee? A Clockwork Orange makes me lean more towards Magee.

9) Which is your least favorite David Lynch film (Submitted by Tony Dayoub) Damn, it's hard to pick a Lynch movie to talk negatively about, he's simply a master of blending cinematic technique and emotion. That said, I guess I'd go with Mulholland Dr. It's hard to make heads or tails of that movie for me, to find a footing in interpretation as opposed to say, Un Chien Andalou or Persona, and unfortunately that affects my viewing of it.

10) Gordon Willis or Conrad Hall? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom) Gordon Willis, who is probably one of the unsung reasons that Annie Hall, Manhattan Zelig and The Godfather saga are more than just dialogue and acting, but a real character in the style.

11) Second favorite Don Siegel movie. I have seen a grand total of NO Don Siegel movies. I'm working on it, holster that .45 Magnum.

12) Last movie you saw on DVD/Blu-ray? In theaters? On DVD? Through a Glass Darkly (Bergman, 1961). On Blu-Ray? Inception (Nolan, 2010 - So far the only movie I've seen on Blu-Ray. I know, shoot me.) In theaters? Skyfall (Mendes, 2012)

13) Which DVD in your private collection screams hardest to be replaced by a Blu-ray? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom) Oooooooh, that's a very tough one. Probably Lawrence of Arabia.

14) Eddie Deezen or Christopher Mintz-Plasse? Goddammit, I grew up with Mandark, but Role Models and Kick-Ass showed me there is more to Mintz-Plasse than his stereotype. He actually gives that nerdy stereotype dimension and grounding in an era where being a nerd is actually not grounds to get your head shoved down a toilet. I'm going with Chris.

15) Actor/actress who you feel automatically elevates whatever project they are in, or whom you would watch in virtually anything. Very hard pick, because almost all of my favorite actors have at least one movie I go eh towards. I think I'm leaning towards John Goodman. A surprising amount of range and versatility in him makes him always a joy to watch, but I haven't seen The Blues Brothers 2000 and to be honest, don't intend to. Everything else I forgive if he's in.

In addition, Michael Rooker is a greater choice for me. Slither, amazing. Replicant, tolerable. Henry and JFK, don't even get me started. The only reason I watch the Walking Dead, which I otherwise hate, is for him and Norman Reedus... although recently they neutered the hell out of Rooker's character, so...

16) Fight Club -- yes or no? Yes. No to most of its cult following, though. They kind of don't understand the movie when they start going out themselves starting Fight Clubs and starting revolutions based on the movie and it's kind of gotten to annoy me.

17) Teresa Wright or Olivia De Havilland? Oh my, Olivia De Havilland, what a beauty.

18) Favorite moment/line from a film noir. Oh my, that's another toughie that is tearing me apart. I think moment will go for the meeting between Harry and Holly in the ferris wheel in The Third Man, where Holly tries to plead for Anna but Harry will sacrifice a girl who still loves him with every reason not to. The scene where Holly finally cannot justify his friend and sees he's really just a bad person.

My favorite line? 'The stuff dreams are made of.' -Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) in John Huston's 1941 The Maltese Falcon

19) Best (or worst) death scene involving an obvious dummy substituting for a human or any otherunsuccessful special effect(s)—see the wonderful blogDestructible Man for inspiration. Well, The Great Train Robbery's death was just laughable, but when I think best, I think of Omar's sudden exposure and subsequent execution in Scarface as one of the many shots that impacted me as a young viewer, seeing that sudden violence and antipathy from Tony.

20) What's the least you've spent on a film and still regretted it? (Submitted by Lucas McNelly) A group my younger brother was friends with, in which I tagged along, went to see The Darkest Hour and I refused to pay for such a premise, so they snuck me in. I got less than my money's worth.

21) Van Johnson or Van Heflin? Wow, I am so behind on cinema, I ought to turn in my resignation in disgrace. I have not seen either of their films yet. That's right... I haven't yet seen Shane. Boo me.

22) Favorite Alan Rudolph film. Something tells me, looking at his filmography, I should be flogged significantly less for not having seen Rudolph's work than I ought to be for not having seen a Don Siegel film yet or Shane.

23) Name a documentary that you believe more people should see. Huh, that's actually tough to me too. I guess it depends on the situation. When you want real-life in the face, the tragedy of the world, I'd say go with Bus 174 or Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer. When you're a film buff, Easy Riders Raging Bulls. When you're a huge music fan, Some Kind of Monster, Anvil! The Story of Anvil or Iron Maiden - Flight 666: The Movie. If you want something that changes lives, anything by Errol Morris. A study on documentary techniques? Anything by Moore. Above all, a triumph of the spirit of man? Man on Wire.

24) In deference to this quiz’s professor, name a favorite film which revolves around someone becoming stranded. Huh, I haven't seen Cast Away completely, but images of what I have seen resonate in me. I need to see that soon so it can be a definitive answer. Until then, Back to the Future Part II (stranded through time) or The Terminal (stranded in an airport).

25) Is there a moment when your knowledge of film, or lack thereof, caused you an unusual degree of embarrassment and/or humiliation? If so, please share. I'm sure there was a better moment of humiliation or embarrassment, but I was once taking my brother's friends home before we would get home for school, and Paul McCartney's 'Live and Let Die' came on. They at first identified as a Beatles song, but I went ahead and corrected that it was Wings and then gave a huge detailed explanation about the song's inception as a Bond theme. Then it was just silence and some guy just said 'Or, it's just a Paul McCartney song.'

Aha, one for lack of knowledge (or more so lack of memory of juror numbers), I made a mistake on a bet for 100 dollars by naming the wrong number for Henry Fonda's character in 12 Angry Men. I owe my ex-roommate 100 dollars, but I'll keep trying to play it off until I eventually pay him.

26) Ann Sheridan or Geraldine Fitzgerald? (Submitted by Larry Aydlette) Geraldine, I tell ya.

27) Do you or any of your family members physically resemble movie actors or other notable figures in the film world? If so, who? It's only me but I see a bit of aged Chaplin in my dad.

28) Is there a movie you have purposely avoided seeing? If so, why? Cannibal Holocaust. When I'm ready, I'll see it, but until then, I'm not going to stomach watching that movie right now knowing that there were actual animal killings caught on camera. I can take A Serbian Film (However tasteless) and The Human Centipede because I know they're fake, but movies like Cannibal Holocaust, Faces of Death or Pink Flamingos, it's not just that they're real, but their nonchalant depiction of these real horrors are completely tasteless.

29) Movie with the most palpable or otherwise effective wintry atmosphere or ambience. Park Chan-Wook's Lady Vengeance, just straight up. I'm usually a sucker for rainy settings but that movie's winter just feels real and tangible and it fits.

30) Gerrit Graham or Jeffrey Jones? Jeffrey Jones ALLL THE WAY. Way too great at playing killjoys and snobs.

31) The best cinematic antidote to a cultural stereotype (sexual, political, regional, whatever). Be Black, Baby!!!! Thank you, Brian De Palma.

32) Second favorite John Wayne movie. You fucker, you did this because you knew everybody was going to pick The Searchers as number one. Well, I guess I'll go with Rio Bravo, that one's magnificent.

33) Favorite movie car chase. The Blues Brothers. I'd like to say the full movie because the full movie is just straight up amazing, but the main standout to me is the mall chase. The final chase is very epic, but it tries to play out as chaotic and is actually quite controlled (although all the odds are against the brothers). On the other hand, the mall is just straight insanity.

34) In the spirit of His Girl Friday, propose a gender-switched remake of a classic or not-so-classic film. (Submitted by Patrick Robbins) Chasing Amy. Not that I think it'll be as good, because the story is a lot deeper than a guy falls for a lesbian, but it's more frequent these days for girls to be attracted these days to a guy only to find out he's gay.

Or it's a more recurring joke.

35) Barbara Rhoades or Barbara Feldon? Barbara Rhoades. I mean, Feldon is cute, but Rhoades is kind of there as a  magnet for all guys.

36) Favorite Andre De Toth movie. House of Wax. I feel so mainstream.

37) If you could take one filmmaker's entire body of work and erase it from all time and memory, as if it had never happened, whose oeuvre would it be? (Submitted by Tom Sutpen) ZACK SNYDER!!!! Sure, we'd lose 300, but with the erasing of Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen, Legend of the Guardians and Sucker Punch, as well as the over doing of Snyder's style to avoid true cost in the name of real cinematic artwork, it's worth it.

I would very much like to say Tyler Perry, because he's just a terrible thing to happen to the Afro-American community, but I'm sure eventually everybody else wake up one day and say... hey, he enhances their stereotypes, not kills them. And he has no dimension. And he's not a good actor. And Madea's not funny. And we've all been fooled.
And then the Man will be taken down!

38) Name a film you actively hated when you first encountered it, only to see it again later in life and fall in love with it. SCARFACE!!!! Brian De Palma's 1983 masterpiece. When I first saw it, I thought it to be incredibly boring and slow and didn't enjoy it. Now, I come more and more to loving it as a character study, certainly one of my favorite movies now.

Although I still don't care much for it, I have warmed up more and more to Spider-Man 2.
And I am beginning to warm up a lot more and more to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World as a comic adventure, rather than as a true cinematic achievement.

39) Max Ophuls or Marcel Ophuls? (Submitted by Tom Sutpen) Max, although his son has  many strengths to him as well and Hotel Terminus is quite a picture.

40) In which club would you most want an active membership, the Delta Tau Chi fraternity, the Cutters or the Warriors? And which member would you most resemble, either physically or in personality? Definitely not the Cutters. I remember when I was younger (and hadn't seen Animal House), I would've loved being a member of their frat, but of course, now I think I'm too uptight to be a party guy and many think so too.

So, I'd go with the Warriors, even though I'm not a gang guy too. They seem fit for Misfits and running across town to avoid certain death sounds like my previous nightly routine.

41) Your favorite movie cliché.  Every action movie has to have one explosion or Every noir has to have somebody get slapped in the face. I refuse to choose.

42) Vincente Minnelli or Stanley Donen? (Submitted by Bob Westal) One of these guys made Singin' in the Rain, so...

43) Favorite Christmas-themed horror movie or sequence. Mel Gibson punching the wacky out of Gary Busey during the climax of Lethal Weapon.

Who knew that was what was to become.
44) Favorite moment of self- or selfless sacrifice in a movie. Wow, that's tough. I think of many when I get to that. I think of the Seventh Seal's distraction of Death to save the family of performers. I think of The Exorcist's absolute fit of rage before heroically (and tragically) jumping out the window to avoid murdering a victimized young girl. I do remember the first self-sacrifice being a deal to me was Freddy vs. Jason where Freddy burns a teenage alive for refusing to spread fear of Freddy about.

I think I'd make it a three-way second place tie between The Departed, Donnie Darko and The Bride of Frankenstein. The Departed for being actually a fright for me because the moment the men got out of the elevator, I knew Martin Sheen's character was done for - the men had taken too much shit trying to find out the rat to be pleasant to him - and that's going to ruin DiCaprio's odds even if Sheen kept him from being made.
Donnie Darko because that's the culmination of all the movie's actions and it brings more normality to his life than anything else.
And the Bride of Frankenstein for that brilliant building up and manuever towards the switch as the Monster just states 'WE BELONG DEAD!'.

But, number one, is Casablanca. It is too obvious that the Nazis are setting Rick for dead now that he did what he had to for the woman he loves and for the Allied cause.  They're trying not to make it obvious, but this is World War II in occupied Morocco. This is the beginning of beautiful yet short-lived friendship, because there is nothing Renault can do.

45) If you were the cinematic Spanish Inquisition, which movie cult (or cult movie) would you decimate? (Submitted by Bob Westal) Modern zombie culture! ZOMBIE ZOMBIE ZOMBIE culture! They've taken it too far now, there's fanatics and then there's modern zombie fanatics. I mean, at least the people in the 60s, 70s and 80s had fun with it, they knew it was bullshit, but the zombie culture seems to live off of it being a possible real-life phenomenon, rather than just a fun bullshit plot point to raise a movie off of and have it ride on without worrying about quality. Ugh, they've Christopher Nolanified zombies and it sucks now!
The last great zombie picture was Planet Terror. Mark my words.
After them, I'd go on to the Fight Club cult of pricks who get masculine because of the movie, not realizing it makes fun of them.

46) Caroline Munro or Veronica Carlson? Veronica Carlson, man. Such a babe.

47) Favorite eye-patch wearing director. (Submitted by Patty Cozzalio) John Ford, of course. This quiz is doing a one of a kind job of making me feel real mainstream. Although, the afore-mentioned Andre de Toth deserves major props for making an incredible 3-D movie without depth perception.

48) Favorite ambiguous movie ending. (Original somewhat ambiguous submission---“Something about ambiguous movie endings!”-- by Jim Emerson, who may have some inspiration of his own to offer you.) Either La Haine (among the tensest 5 seconds in cinema and we don't know the outcome but we fear the answer), Akira ('I am Tetsuo!' - You're goddamned right) or, probably more than the others, The Shining, in giving us one final shot to mull over about in the scheme of the plot.

49) In giving thanks for the movies this year, what are you most thankful for? Practical effects and magnificent set design. Long may they live. While CGI is a necessary evil at points, there is nothing better to convince one audience that somethings happening on the screen by just as well having it perform just as much with the actors. When sets are great, they are a testament to the hard-work overcoming the easy quickshot of green screen.

Unfortunately, while great acting, scriptwork and direction will forever be a tenant of great cinema, these are the unsung heroes of movies and they're being more and more shunned by a primarily visual (and not primarily storytelling) medium. Keep 'em alive!
50) George Kennedy or Alan North? (Submitted by Peet Gelderblom) George Kennedy. Lookitdat resume.



  1. Travis Mills, quiz answers:

    1. Raising Arizona
    2. Barry Lyndon
    3. France, without a doubt
    4. "If it's alright with you, lady, I just didn't feel like bleeding for him. And even if it isn't alright with you." -Paul Newman, Hombre
    5. However much a proponent I am of the written word and good narrative, I have to say the image. There's no other way to say it but, the image.
    6. The Wicker Man
    7. Spielberg
    8. Herbert Lom
    9. I'd also go with Mulholland Drive.
    10. Wow, best question on here maybe and super tough. I'm going to go with Willis. I recently grew in appreciation of his work when watching Klute and The Paper Chase.
    11. The Killers
    12. DVD? Diner. Bluray? I don't know. I've watched like a total of two blurays in my life. Theaters? Skyfall.
    13. Again, not a big fan, but I'll say the Werner Herzog-Kinski set, including Aguirre.
    14. Mintz-Plasse
    15. Nicolas Cage.
    16. Yes.
    17. Definitely Olivia.
    18. Ned: Maybe you shouldn't dress like that.
    Matty: This is a blouse and a skirt. I don't know what you're talking about.
    Ned: You shouldn't wear that body.
    -Body Heat
    19. I really can't think of anything.
    20. Snuck into a drive-in in the trunk of my friends car. They wanted to see Pirates 2. It wasn't worth it.
    21. Van Damme
    22. Mortal Thoughts
    23. Lessons of Darkness (Herzog)
    24. The Edge
    25. Can't think of a specific instance but probably anytime up until I was in my 20's and just didn't give a shit anymore.
    26. Ann Sheridan
    27. My dad reminds me of Robert Duvall, but he doesn't really look like him.
    28. Star Trek (new version). I'm tired of seeing new versions of things I loved when I was a kid.
    29. McCabe and Mrs. Miller
    30. Jones too.
    31. Again, don't know.
    32. The Quiet Man.
    33. Running Scared with Billy Crystal.
    34. Geez, I don't know.
    35. Neither.
    36. Hidden Fear
    37. Lucas.
    38. The Thin Red Line.
    39. Max.
    40. The Warriors. The guy who gets arrested in the park for hitting on the female cop.
    41. Noir: all characters are doomed.
    42. Minnelli.
    43. Not horror but somewhat horrific in its brutality, Gene Hackman chasing the perp at the beginning of French Connection
    44. William Holden, the end of River Kwai.
    45. Haha, zombie is hard to beat. I would decimate the current cult love of superheroes.
    46. Munro.
    47. Not for his movies but for his appearance, Nicholas Ray.
    48. Limbo, directed by John Sayles
    49. Herzog is still making movies.
    50. Kennedy.

  2. Phillip, quiz answers:

    1) “Barton Fink”.

    2) “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”

    3) France for horror, Japan for drama.

    4) “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.” (Tuco, after shooting a particularly talkative fellow) (On a side note, my original first choice would have been Blondie’s digging line. Damn you, Salim!)

    5) Visual Arts (painting, specifically)

    6) “Snatch.” Literally.

    7) Filmmaker: Mel Brooks; Actor: Mel Gibson; Film: “Clerks.”

    8) Patrick Magee.

    9) “Mulholland Dr.” Still haven’t finished it to this day and I’ve started it at least six times.

    10) Gordon Willis, without a doubt: the “Godfather” trilogy is one of the most gorgeous epics in the history of film.

    11) “Two Mules for Sister Sara.” Runner-up: “The Killers.”

    12) Blu-ray: “Cabin in the Woods”; Theater: “Prometheus”

    13) Either “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” or “Suspiria.”

    14) Eddie Deezen, if for nothing else then “Laserblast” and “Grease.”

    15) Ron Perlman.

    16) Yes.

    17) Olivia De Havilland.

    18) “You like money. You have a great big dollar sign where most women have a heart.” (The Killing 1956)

    19) Best: the watermelon-head crush in “The Toxic Avenger”; Worst: the dog pushing the mutant off the cliff in “The Hills Have Eyes.”

    20) Free passes.

    21) Van Heflin, for “3:10 to Yuma” and “Shane.”

    22) “Breakfast of Champions”: one of my favorite films ever.

    23) “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.”

    24) Either “Frozen” or “Rogue.”

    25) Nothing really comes to mind. I tend to have a pretty terrible memory, so the worst thing that usually happens is me forgetting that I’ve seen a particular film. Case in point: “The Proposition.” I actually forgot I saw that film TWICE, only to watch it a third time like it was brand new.

    26) Geraldine Fitzgerald.

    27) I have been told that I look like Harry (from “…and the Hendersons” fame), the grizzly bear from “Grizzly Man” and “Third Hobo from the Left” in every Stallone action film ever made.

    28) “Titanic”for the hype, “A Serbian Tale” for the subject matter.

    29) John Carpenter’s “The Thing” or “30 Days of Night.”

    30) Tough call…I’m tempted to go with Gerrit because of “Terrorvision,” but I’m going to have to choose Jeffrey for his outstanding turns in “Beetlejuice,” “Howard the Duck” and “Amadeus.”

    31) “Blazing Saddles” is the only answer necessary for this question.

    32) “Rio Bravo.”

    33) “Bullitt” (duh).

    34) “Halloween.”

    35) Barbara Feldon.

    36) I’ve only seen two de Toth films in my entire life: “The Mongols” and “House of Wax.” Since “The Mongols” is awful, I’m gonna have to go with “House of Wax” for this one.

    37) Uwe Boll or M. Night Shaymalan: I’m tired of both of those clowns.

    38) “Stagecoach.”

    39) Marcel Ophuls.

    40) Without a doubt, I want in to “The Warriors.” As for affiliation? I’m a Lizzie for life.

    41) The villain explaining his/her diabolical plan (in detail) to the protagonist and then setting up an agonizingly slow and convoluted manner of death. Just shoot the fucker in the head and get it over with.

    42) Stanley Donen, hands down.

    43) “Black Christmas.”

    44) Eben willingly becoming a vampire in order to whup some major vamp ass, before kissing his wife and turning into a pile of ashes as the sun rises. (30 Days of Night 2007) To me, this is one of the epitomes of self-sacrifice: letting yourself die so that others may live. It’s a beautiful moment that never ceases to hit me hard.

    45) This may be cheating but I would decimate the cult trend of remaking cult films from the ‘70s and ‘80s. I would kill that trend deader than United Artists.

    46) Caroline Munro.

    47) Fritz Lang or John Ford…it’s a toss-up.

    48) “The Exterminating Angel” by Luis Bunuel. The whole film is a head-scratcher but that ending is really something.

    49) I’m thankful that not every single film was a remake, re-imagining or re-do of a previous film. We’ll probably get to look forward to that next year.

    50) George Kennedy, for the win.