Friday, May 26, 2006

Professor Van Helsing's Movie Quiz

It's taken me about two months to compile all the answers on PROFESSOR VAN HELSING’S JUST-BEFORE-SUNRISE WOODEN-STAKE-THROUGH-SPRING-BREAK QUIZ, posted by Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. But I didn't want to do a bunch of lame, one-word answer (although I ended up doing a few of those anyway). I reserve the right to update this as I think of better answers. So here we go...

1) What film made you angry, either while watching it or in thinking about it afterward?
This is actually the hardest question, and the last one I'm answering. Yeah, Revenge of the Sith, but that's so obvious and easy. Yeah, Armagedon, but that was more because I just hated it's aesthetic, which is more of a gut reaction. I guess I could say The General's Daughter. It's all in the rape, which was treated in the script (properly) as a great crime, but which Simon West filmed as a glamorous porn scene. I've never had anything turn my stomach so much as that, and I'm further angered that this guy continues to have a career!

2) Favorite sidekick
Chest Rockwell!

3) One of your favorite movie lines
It would have to be something uttered by Sam Jackson in Jackie Brown, but which line? "He was an employee I had to let go?" "Bitch, don't make me put my foot in your ass?" "I didn't hear you wash your hands?" There's so many, but the one that most sticks with me is "That's why they call it fuckin' with ya."

4) William Holden or Burt Lancaster?

5) Describe a perfect moment in a movie
Walt Disney's The Jungle Book. The wolves that have raised Mowgli have tried to keep him protected from Shir Khan, the tiger, who considers Mowgli a potential threat if he allows him to grow up. But Mowglie has gone off on his own. He befriends a group of vultures, and arm in arm they sing a sentimental song about being friends to the end. As they reach the last line, another voice interrupts--a smooth, rich baritone, which sings the last line for them. They look over to see Sheer Khan, his arm around Mowgli, having joined the group. With a quick "nice knowin' ya, pal" the "friends" fly off, leaving Mowgli with the tiger. (I'm remembering this as best I can, last time I saw it was 1991)

6) Favorite John Ford movie
Not a big Ford fan. I guess I'll go with The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

7) The inverse of a question from the last quiz: What film artist (director, actor, screenwriter, whatever) has the least–deserved good reputation, artistically speaking. And who would you replace him/her with on that pedestal?
This is one of the hardest for me (in fact, it's the second-to-last question I'm answering). A few years back, I'd probably have some answers, that I'd write with lots of exclamation points and all-cap words, but I think my mind is a bit more open these days, and at the same time, I don't want to pick some lame, obvious choice like Denise Richards (who really should not have a career outside of porn, but whatever). But OK, this guy's not exactly legendary, but he does have a cult following that is as undeserved as that of the Highlander series: Ted V. Mikels. I've actually never seen some of his more famous films, like The Corpse Grinders and Blood Orgy of the She Devils (one of the best titles ever), but the two I have seen--Astro Zombies and Doll Squad--are pretty unimpressive. Astrozombies is a pretty average B-movie scifi flick, with Tura Satana's performance being the only thing that really stands out about it, and Doll Squad is an amazing premise with no follow-through (even Satana doesn't impress me much in that one). As to the question of who should replace him? Actually, most of the people I can think of are more well-known than Mikels, but I can't see how anyone familiar with Jack Hill's films would bother giving Mikels' stuff a second glance.

8) Barbara Stanwyck or Ida Lupino?
Nobody beats Stanwyck. She's just too much: too sexy, too smart, too dominating. She's the embodiment of the femme fatale.

9) Showgirls-- yes or no?
Yes, Yes, Yes! It's the Beyond the Valley of the Dolls of the 90's!

10) Most exotic or otherwise unusual place in which you ever saw a movie
Just before leaving for college, my family went on a cruise to the Bahamas. I watched Hannah and Her Sisters for the second time in the theater on the boat. I was alone in the theater. I only watched about 30 minutes of it, then the film broke or something. It's probably pretty lame to be on a cruise in the Bahamas and be down below in a dark theater watching a Woody Allen movie, anyway.

11) Favorite Robert Altman movie
My first instinct is to say The Player, but the strength of that movie really lies in its script, not Altman's direction. I've only seen part of The Long Goodbye, so I can't really claim that. So I guess I'll go with Nashville.

12) Best argument for allowing rock stars to participate in the making of movies
The American Astronaut. Honorable Mention: The films of Jim Jarmusch.

13) Describe a transcendent moment in a film (a moment when you realized a film that just seemed routine or merely interesting before had become become something much more)
The tree-rape in Evil Dead certainly qualifies. Up until that point, it just seems to be a typical, bad 80's horror flick. The fourth or fifth plot twist in Wild Things, when you realized exactly what the script was up to. The "bouncing ball" during "Wig in a Box" in Hedwig and the Angry Inch is probably my favorite, but you could hardly describe the movie up to that point as "routine." I know I have a perfect example that I'll remember after I post this, but for now...

14) Gina Gershon or Jennifer Tilly?
Gina Gershon. Like Stanwyck, Gershon is one of those great femme fatales that I always fall for, and those curled lips are so delicious!

15) Favorite Frank Capra movie
It's a Wonderful Life. That's an obvious choice, and there probably aren't that many for me (I'm not that well versed in Capra's films), but it really is one of the great films of all time.

16) The scene you most wish you could have witnessed being filmed
The Yardbirds performance in Blowup, even though I know they were lipsynching. I don't know, though, it would be great to see them filming one of the Three Stooges pie fights.

17) Robert Ryan or Richard Widmark?
Richard Widmark.

18) Name a movie that inspired you to walk out before it was finished
Japanese movie called...Parasite Eve or something? It was a double feature with Cat Soup (Nekujiru-so), and I had no interest in seeing it in the first place, but I watched the first scene just to see if it would be interesting. It was a scientist explaining the scifi premise of the movie, and it was such a ridiculous affront to logic that I had to leave. Besides, what a lame way to start a movie.

19) Favorite political movie
Dr. Strangelove, with Paths of Glory following behind.

20) Your favorite movie poster/one-sheet, or the one you’d most like to own
Not that I'm any great fan of Pumpkinhaid, but this is a damn cool poster:

21) Jeff Bridges or Jeff Goldblum?
I like Goldblum, but he's one of those actors that a little goes a long way. Bridges is The Dude, so he has to win.

22) Favorite Ken Russell movie
Gothic, which may have something to do with me getting laid immediately after watching it in college.

23) Accepting the conventional wisdom that 1970-1975 marked a golden age of American filmmaking in which artistic ambition and popular acceptance were not mutually exclusive, what for you was this golden age’s high point? (Could be a movie, a trend, the emergence of a star, whatever)
The Fox executives allowing Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Myra Breckenridge to be made.

24) Grace Kelly or Ava Gardner?
I never really "got" Grace Kelly. Ava Gardner wins, just for Night of the Iguana.

25) With total disregard for whether it would ever actually be considered, even in this age of movie recycling, what film exists that you feel might actually warrant a sequel, or would produce a sequel you’d actually be interested in seeing?
Tomb Raider. Both movies were terrible, but I swear there's a good movie waiting to be made in there. And really, it wouldn't even have to be THAT good--we are talking about Angelina Jolie with an English accent and enhanced breasts, wearing boots and kicking ass. How they managed to turn that into not one but TWO movies that don't interest me...only in Hollywood, man, only in Hollywood.



Blogger Dennis Cozzalio said...

Chris: I haven't had a chance to read your responses yet, but I just wanted to say that I really do appreciate the time you took to formulate your answers. Responses like yours, the wordier the better, are much more fun for me to read, and I think that almost everone else would think so too. And you needn't worry about taking up space on my comments column, so if you want to post them there too, please feel free. I'll be putting you on my sidebar nonetheless. Thanks again, and I hope to hear from you soon!

5/26/2006 12:05 PM  

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