Movie Questionaire

[The following questions were culled from various movie surveys that I’ve come across. I’ve been filling it out for the last month]

  • Earliest Movie Watching Memory: My first movie was Empire Strikes Back. My Dad and older brother went. I remember the Hoth sequence. There were some boys in the front row goofing that dad barked at to keep ’em quiet.
  • Last DVD purchased: I’m not sure. I don’t buy too many DVDs. Possibly Gus Van Sant’s Elephant ($2)
  • If you were a guest programmer for TCM what three movies would you choose to best represent your tastes: Were talking classics, like, from the 80s right? Since I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on TCM a couple of months ago I’m counting anything from the 80s and before. Casablanca (because it still holds up today as a compelling drama), Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (not just for nostalgic reasons), and The Jerk (for some nostalgic reasons, but also because it’s hilarious).

  • Last Movie in the Theatre: Iron Man, but before that (all rise) There Will Be Blood.
  • Last Movie watched: Southland Tales by Donnie Darko. The movie was cloyingly ironic.
  • Three Actors that Get You to the Theater: Believe it or not, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  • Three Actresses that Make You Want to Watch a Movie: how about two actresses that seem to find good movies and make them better and one that nearly ruins every movie she’s in: Juliette Binoche, Renee Zellwigger and the opposite Midas: Julia Roberts (though I think Scarlett Johansson is quickly becoming that same actress).
  • Movie You Often Quote: Big Lebowski, The Castle, The Princess Bride.
  • Name Three Little Known Films that People Should Watch: Junebug, All the Real Girls, and State & Main
  • What were the three foreign films that you wanted to put there but didn’t: Bleu, The Decologue, Nobody Knows or possibly Yi Yi.
  • Three Favorite Directors: Paul Thomas Anderson, Krystof Keislowski, and Andrew Niccol (Coen Bros & Danny Boyle are a near fourth).
  • Favorite Three Woody Allen Films: Woody Allen represents nearly every single flaw that I despise in humanity and yet I love his films. Why is that? My favorites are his ampersand trilogy: Sweet&Lowdown, Husbands&Wives, and Crimes&Misdemeanors, but on a lighter note I’d take Small Time Crooks.
  • Favorite Three Martin Scorsese Films: I dislike Scorsese, the man can’t do a female character to save his life. Sharon Stone in Casino and Patricia Arquette from Bringing Out the Dead come close. But if I have to pick I would say Casino, Gangs of New York (if you cut out any scene with Camerone Diaz), and Raging Bull.
  • Favorite Three Steven Spielberg Films: Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Terminal, and A. I. (if you stop it before that goofy ending).
  • Three Films That Made You Shed Tears: Big Fish, Magnolia, House of Sand and Fog.
  • Most Overrated Film: Without a doubt, American Beauty. A dreadful, dreadful film, but very pretty I suppose.
  • Most Underrated Film: I thought The Number 23 was underrated, but a question like this indicates that the underrated film should be a great film, something The Number 23 was not. A Scanner Darkly was underrated (funny because Linklater is overrated), The New World (funny because Colin Farrell is overrated). Actually, the most underrated would be the film I mention first in the next question. How about a movie that’s rated perfectly? The Beach is rated pretty dead on: not very good.
  • Three Favorite Romantic Movies: The Family Man (most compellingly positive depiction of family life ever), Jerry Maguire (it’s hard to watch now, b/c it’s so iconic and parodied, but it’s still strong because it eschews the “love you for who you are” crap), The Empire Strikes Back (no kidding, the scenes between Princess Leia and Han Solo are some of the greatest in cinematic history). When Harry Met Sally get honorable mention.
  • Three Favorite Action Movies: No question, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Any movie that ends with an act of God (especially one that melts the faces off Nazi’s) automatically gets to be first on this list. Reign of Fire, brilliant. Matthew McConnaughey gets a free pass in my book for this movie, he is now free to do Ten Things I Hate About Losing Guys in Ten Days for the rest of his life. Those are the two that really stand out, the third would have to be M:i:III or T2 (note to future biographer: first R rated movie I saw in the Theatre) or Die Hard.
  • Three Favorite Comedies: The Jerk, one of the more respectable movies that I’ve seen 10+ times. The Big Lebowski is a movie I could watch the rest of my life (the Coen Bros are always good for a laugh, Hudsucker Proxy, Intolerable Cruelty, Fargo). Like Jerry Maguire, Napoleon Dynamite suffers for the same reasons, but I would still rank it high, the problem with that one is that I think all good movies you should be able to watch multiple times and I’m not sure I’ll ever need to watch Napoleon again. I’ve seen Dumb & Dumber more times than I care to admit (ditts for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), but I wouldn’t rank it top three either. The Castle gets pulled out every two or three years at my parent’s house and we howl our way through that one.
  • Three Favorite Mafia Movies: We all know it’s Godfather II, Casino, and Goodfellas. That’s boring. How about a Favorite Mediocre Mafia movie: that would be Bugsy. Directorially it’s awful, but the script is solid and Warren Beatty does it up fine. Eastern Promises is a very competent movie about the Russian mob.
  • Three Favorite Horror Movies: I’m not big on horror so I don’t have a lot to draw on here. 28 Days Later is the only horror movie I would defend. Blair Witch Project worked for me because I didn’t have those cinematic clues to push me out of the movie, like music telling me to get scared, and you didn’t have starlets with nice hair running around saying all sorts of cogent dialogue. But that’s a movie I will never have to watch again. I find movies like Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm or Noah Baumbauch’s The Squid and the Whale to be far more “horrible” in the T.S. Eliot sense.
  • Three Favorite Sci-Fi Movies: The first movie I ever saw in a theatre would have to lead the way, The Empire Strikes Back. The Matrix. I don’t know…Sunshine? I thought the movie up until the last 20 minutes was amazing, but the ending killed it for me, but it’s growing on me. I’ll need a 2nd viewing.
  • Three Favorite Superhero Movies: Batman Begins, Unbreakable…I love Chris Reeves as Clark Kent in his Superman (watching Routh do his best Reeves impersonation almost made the new film watchable),
  • Three Favorite Sports Movies: Jerry Maguire, Hoosiers (though I haven’t seen it in years I’ll rely on its reputation), and Chariots of Fire.
  • The Worst Movie You Like: It’s embarrassing, but I really enjoyed The Big Hit back in the day. I haven’t seen it since, but I think I might still enjoy it. The other one would be The Mexican. I’ve rented that movie three times just to fastforward every scene without Brad Pitt. Julia Roberts is horrendous, the story itself isn’t very good, but Pitt is absolutely 100% entertaining. The best one man show since Tom Hanks in Cast Away (though Wilson the Volleyball is four times the actor that Julia is).
  • Worst Movie to Win the Oscar for Best Movie: It would almost be easier to pick the best movie to win Best Movie…
  • Best Kept Secret about Your Movie Passion: I like Jerry Lewis. I own The Nutty Professor and I want to own The Family Jewels.
  • Do You Keep a Movie Blog: It’s not public, but I’ve kept a list of every movie I’ve seen for the last three years.
  • Favorite Fight Sequence: Without a doubt, the ladder scene in Jackie Chan’s First Strike.
  • Favorite Beginning to a Film: I’m not a person who can recall these sorts of things very easily, so I’ll go with something I’ve seen recently. The opening scene in Rescue Dawn was great. Bombs being dropped on the jungle from the back of a plane, the slo-mo-explosions, it was all nicely done.
  • Favorite Ending to a Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark would have to win that one, but an ending that made me want to see more was The Matrix. Obviously Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions made me regret that. But if I could nominate my favorite scene from those movies it would be the scene where Neo reaches into Trinity’s chest and restarts her heart with his matrix-magic. The scene is marred by the horrendous line “I love you too damn much.” but otherwise it’s a rad scene.
  • Three Movies You Want To See Again: I want to see Harvey again. I also want to rewatch Τριλογία 1: Το Λιβάδι που δακρύζει (Triology: The Weeping Meadow) because it was one of the most beautifully shot films I’ve ever seen.
  • Three Movies You Will Never See: The Sound of Music, Gone With the Wind, and probably Laurence of Arabia.
  • Three Movies You Want To See: Obvs I’m wanting to see Indy J and Crystie Skull. And since I’ve enjoyed the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender with my sons I’m looking forward to M. Night Shamalamadingdong’s adaptation (even though his talents for narrative are de-evolving before our very eyes). I’d love to see a movie on the Siege of Malta, but I’m not sure it could be done well in the current climate.

4 thoughts on “Movie Questionaire

  1. One night during finals my sophomore year (though it may have been my freshman year, I forget), I was trying to study but my mind was completely fried. It was late and I couldn’t find anybody who wanted to do anything, so I walked downtown and saw that I was in time for the last showing of a new movie that I had never heard of. I sat in the theatre with one other person expecting the movie to be a complete dud because of the really dumb title . . . and was amazed. I went back to our place, went to bed and aced my final the next day. I tried to tell everyone about this great movie, but no one believed me. They laughed that I was dumb enough to spend good money on a movie called “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

  2. Everydayman: I purchased The Passion of Christ for $2 and then decided I didn’t want to see it. I gave it away in a white elephant party.

    Oh wait, I’ve thrown away Alexander the Oliver Stone movie. I bought it in a two for $5 deal. It was either Alexander or something like The Family Stone. I thought the sword play would make it the better choice. Wrong.

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