Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cinemaniac Reviews Twenty Questions (Part One)

 One of those quizzes that periodically makes the rounds.  Here's the first half.

Movies.  *sigh*

1. What’s your favorite movie? 

Ah, an easy one to start.  Kelly's Heroes.

I saw it in the summer of 1971 in a scary theater in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  Or, more precisely, in a theater in scary downtown Kansas City, Missouri.   I was on home leave from a foreign country, and I went with my old man -- a World War II veteran.  He was so appalled -- and amused -- by Oddball and his gang of hippies running around France behind enemy lines, eating cheese, catching a few rays, and do[ing] something righteous for a change that I couldn't help but love the movie. 

 I then came to love Crapgame.  And finally, I realized that the best acting job, and the anchor for the movie, is Telly Savalas' Big Joe.  A tour de force.

And let me preemptively tell you "no, I don't think this is a great movie.  At times, it's barely good."

2. Least favorite movie?

Wow.  This one is impossible to answer.   Im-Poss-i-bull. [except upon editing I see that I do at the bottom of this question]

I don't, and can't, really watch movies on a home screen (even the 60" LCD with LED backlighting!) in the comfort of my home.  I usually walk away within about thirty seconds of trying.  If it's streaming out of a channel, with the imperative that I watch it at that moment or lose it, I might be able to stick around longer.  This means I don't watch a lot of movies outside the theater.

And if I watch a movie inside a theater, I'm a sucker for it.  You'd be hard-pressed to get me even to . . . harshly criticize a movie that I went out to see.  Why, I sat in the dark and ate popcorn and conspired, with my fellow theater-goers, to see that flick.  I can't dislike it, can I?

Well, yeah.  But I don't have a least fave.  So I will offer an incomplete list of movies that I've walked out of.  Walked out on.  Although the reasons may not have been the quality of the movie -- it may have been my headspace, man, where I couldn't accept all of the positive rays and do something righteous for a change.

Brimstone and Treacle, Home Alone, Borat, Death At a Funeral (2007).

You know, I should have just typed "any movie directed by Frank Oz."
 And I know how much some of my friends appreciate Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; I can't quite like it. 

Oh, wait; I forgot.  I hate Mister Roberts.  With a passion.  Casting a film with the Broadway cast almost ten years after the play debuted, 
where every actor was plainly fifteen to twenty years too old to capture what the movie is really about, 
just steams me.  So it's my least favorite.

3. Name one movie you loved upon initial viewing but eventually grew to hate (or vice-versa).

Again, I'm hard-pressed to do this, because I cut almost every film a little slack, even if I later change my views.

So I'll just offer that certain "classics" escaped me for long periods of time, only to become favorites when I approached them differently.

When I tried to watch Casablanca as the perfect romance, and as a drama involving two or more lives that didn't amount to a hill of beans, I couldn't embrace it.

When I watched Casablanca as one of the great comedies of all time, and as two of the best buddy movies I'd ever seen, I came to love it.  Able to embrace it, love the romance, love it all.

When I tried to watch The Apartment as one of the great comedies, a Billy Wilder treat, I didn't like it.  It wasn't funny or engaging.  When I watched it as a drama, I found it nearly perfect.

I know this doesn't answer the quiz's question, but fuck that -- it's my blog.

4. Name your biggest “guilty pleasure” film.

Jackass: The Movie.  I hate all of the macho bullshit that pervades this.  I hate the sophomoric shit that these idiots choose to exploit.

But my lizard brain laughs its ample ass off watching some of this stuff.  I sat in an apartment with Fred C. Dobbs and found myself having trouble breathing at times.  

And let me preemptively tell you "no, I don't think this is a great movie.  At times, it's barely good. And at others, awful."

5. Favorite quote from a favorite actor/actress (must be a line from a movie)?
Well, Katie-Bar-the-Door has grabbed mine.  Unquestionably.

I also enjoyed Jerry Lee Lewis (Dennis Quaid):  

England can kiss my ass!


*I am also a pretty big fan (for no good reason) of this exchange:

Lacey Underall: You're crazy!
Ty Webb : That's what they said about Son of Sam.

And, of course, Ty Webb's:

You're rather attractive for a beautiful girl with a great body.

6. Favorite quote from a favorite actor/actress (must NOT be a line from a movie)?

Heh heh heh --- you boozed up old witch.  What the hell do you know?
 -- Don Rickles

7. Three favorite movie scenes?

(a) Kelly's Heroes
Big Joe: Where did he get it?

Willard: Right here in the leg.

Big Joe: Anything else?

Crapgame: What do you mean?

 Ain't that enough for you?

Big Joe: How do you feel?


Crapgame: Great. Since when did you give a damn

how I felt?

Big Joe: Okay, wise guy, forget it.



Crapgame: Come here.


Big Joe: What do you want?



Crapgame: How things are going with the bank?



Big Joe: Nothing.

The Sherman's broken down and nobody

can move that Tiger out of the square.



Crapgame: Then make a deal.


Big Joe: What kind of a deal?


Crapgame:  A deal deal!


Maybe the guy's a Republican.

Business is business.



Big Joe: Okay, big mouth.

(b) The final reconciliation between Solo and William in Goodbye Solo.

(c) Any scene in which Stumpy gets aggravated in the presence of Dude and John Chance.  See     Rio Bravo.

8. Four films that should NOT have won Best Picture?
To resort to the vernacular, I couldn't remotely give a shit.

9. Top five of the year (currently)?

Wow.  Tough.  But I'll give you six!

In no particular order:

Safety Not Guaranteed.


Your Sister's Sister.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (well, maybe not "best," but "liked").

A Cat in Paris.


I also greatly enjoyed Ted and Hit and Run.

10. Bottom three of the year (currently)?

Easy Money, Moonrise Kingdom, Snow White and the Huntsman.

The first two especially.

I can't remember any others. Avengers? Dark Knight?  they were okay.

No comments: