1) Your favorite musical moment in a movie
So it doesn't take long for me to find a question where I can't pick an answer because there are too many great ones to choose from. So here's a few: The Ride Of The Valkyries in Apocalypse Now, Also sprach Zarathustra in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and on a lighter note Total eclipse of the heart from Old School, the Raw-Hide scene in The Blues Brothers (actually, all the musical sequences in that movie are pretty good), and just about every song from the South Park movie. In more recent movies, the Falling Slowly scene in Once is pretty amazing and I liked the Jackson Five dance sequence in Clerks II too...
2) Ray Milland or Dana Andrews
And it also doesn't take long for me to prove just how little I know about older movies. Alas, this will be a recurring theme throughout this quiz. I barely know who these guys are...
3) Favorite Sidney Lumet movie
12 Angry Men. There are a few other notable choices, but I do love this movie.
4) Biggest surprise of the just-past summer movie season
Typically this sort of thing is supposed to be movies that you didn't expect to be good that actually were... but I don't watch many movies I think are going to be bad. However, I didn't think The Dark Knight would be as good as it was, and I didn't think The X Files: I Want to Believe would be as bad as it was. Neither was all that surprising, but it was a pretty vanilla summer.
5) Gene Tierney or Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth, though again, I don't know that era of film as well as I should...
6) What’s the last movie you saw on DVD? In theaters?
Last movie on DVD was Sleepaway Camp (part of my ongoing 6 Weeks of Halloween horror movie marathon), which I actually enjoyed a lot more than I expected. Plus, that ending. Amazing. Last movie in the theater was Appaloosa, which was a pretty standard modern western film. But there's something to be said for well executed Genre pieces, and I'm a fan. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
7) Irwin Allen’s finest hour?
The Swarm! Maybe it's just because I'm watching a lot of horror movies, but movies like this are fun.
8) What were the films where you would rather see the movie promised by the poster than the one that was actually made?
This sounds like a great question, but I'm totally drawing a blank. To be honest, it's not often that a poster really sways me one way or the other. The only thing I could think of was the poster for Star Wars: Episode I, featuring Jake Lloyd throwing the shadow of Darth Vader on the wall behind him. I don't hate the prequels, but at the time, that poster promised a lot more than we ended up getting...
9) Chow Yun-Fat or Tony Leung
Leung is probably the better dramatic actor, but I really have to go with Chow Yun-Fat. Back in college a friend of mine and I would head into the city and cruise around Chinatown looking for imported HK action movies (which were not readily available in mainstream stores like they are today), mostly featuring Chow Yun-Fat. All we needed to see was his name, and we bought it. Of course, directors like John Woo and Ringo Lam were probably more responsible for the overall experience, but Chow Yun-Fat was a huge part of the fun, so I have to pick him for this question...
10) Most pretentious movie ever
This is a rough one, because I typically try to avoid these types of movies. The first one that came to mind was Richard Linklater's Waking Life, which is comprised soley of incredibly pretentious dialogue that really goes nowhere. Great animation technique and all, but the movie just squanders it on faux-philosophic banter. Another movie I thought of for this was The Holy Mountain. However, all of Alejandro Jodorowsky's movies are pretentious, and they're also incredibly freaky and weird. In general, you know what you're going to get with a Jodorowsky movie - a lot of pretentious babble mixed with freaky/disgusting visuals. But with Linklater, I was expecting something more, which is why I'd say Waking Life is more pretentious.
11) Favorite Russ Meyer movie
I have embarrassingly not seen a Russ Meyer movie. This is a total mystery when you consider that he's got a lot of boobs in his movies and, uh, I like boobs. Seems like a natural fit. Not sure what happened there. I'll have to remedy this at some point in the future.
12) Name the movie that you feel best reflects yourself, a movie you would recommend to an acquaintance that most accurately says, “This is me.”
This one is impossible. Perhaps someday I'll put together my top 100 films of all time, at which point you'll probably be able to get a good picture of who I am, but even then, I'm not sure. Plus, I have to actually compile that list, which I haven't done yet.
13) Marlene Dietrich or Greta Garbo
I plead the Fifth.
14) Best movie snack? Most vile movie snack?
I could be totally wrong about this, but movie popcorn when I was a kid was spectacular. If I remember correctly, sometime in the 1990s, someone noticed that a small bag of popcorn with butter was the caloric equivalent of like 3 Big Macs or something insane like that. So movie theaters stumbled all over themselves to make their popcorn healthier. It's still good today, but not as good as I remember it. Of course, I'm going completely from memory here, so I could be making this all up. In terms of vile snacks... I can't really think of one, though I suppose I'd be pretty scared of a movie theater hot dog. Sno Caps are pretty disappointing if you like real non-parels, but I wouldn't call them vile.
15) Current movie star who would be most comfortable in the classic Hollywood studio system
I really don't know what kind of person would fit, but my intuition says George Clooney, so there. Maybe Tom Hanks. Interestingly, I don't know that current movie stars are really stars in the way the old Hollywood stars were. Do we have movie stars anymore?James Berardinelli recently wrote about this... but I'm not really sure either way.
16) Fitzcarraldo—yes or no?
Yes, I would like to watch that movie someday. No, it doesn't seem like it would be a movie I'd really connect with, which is why I haven't seen it yet. But I have seen some other Herzog, and I might be wrong, so I want to watch it.
17) Your assignment is to book the ultimate triple bill to inaugurate your own revival theater. What three movies will we see on opening night?
The Godfather (the newly restored print, which is apparently "sensational"), The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. These are three of my favorite movies of all time, they are movies that would do well on the big screen and I've never seen them on the big screen. Also, since I am a business owner, these are three very popular movies as well, and sure to draw in big crowds (the only one that might not work in that respect would be 2001, but I think it'd draw enough people in).
18) What’s the name of your theater? (The all-time greatest answer to this question was once provided by Larry Aydlette, whose repertory cinema, the Demarest, is, I hope, still packing them in...)
I have no idea. Probably something uninspired like The Movie House. If I were really opening my own theater, I think I'd really just need to get a lot of suggestions from people before naming it.
19) Favorite Leo McCarey movie
I have not seen any of his movies, but I do have Duck Soup in my Netflix queue. Of course, it's in position 92 and hasn't really movied up much in the past year that's been in there... but it is there!
20) Most impressive debut performance by an actor/actress.
My First thought was Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, but that's also something of an obvious choice. Unfortunately, I can't seem to think of any others.
21) Biggest disappointment of the just-past summer movie season
The aforementioned The X Files: I Want to Believe, was pretty disappointing. The Happening was a trainwreck... but I genuinely liked Shyamalan's last two movies which were also universally panned by critics, so I was actually a little surprised by just how bad this movie was... Pineapple Express was also disappointing.
22) Michelle Yeoh or Maggie Cheung
Michelle Yeoh, though I'm not an expert on either of these...
23) 2008 inductee into the Academy of the Overrated
Without a doubt, this goes to Iron Man. It's not that it's a bad movie... it's just that some people talk about it like it's one of the best Superhero movies ever, and it's really not even close.
24) 2008 inductee into the Academy of the Underrated
To be honest, I'm having trouble with this one. For me, this has been a bit of a lackluster year. It's October and I only really have 2 solid candidates for my annual top 10. One of those is The Dark Knight, which is emphatically not underrated. The other is Timecrimes, a quirky, Spanish time-travel thriller (and my favorite from the 2008 PFF). I don't know that I would call it "underrated" but considering that it's a foreign film that hasn't really had a theatrical release in the US, I'd say this could qualify. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how available this movie will be because Hollywood is apparently going to remake it, and with that comes the asanine practice of suppressing the original film until after the remake comes out.
The mysterious bandaged man from Timecrimes
25) Fritz the Cat—yes or no?
I have not seen it, but it sounds like a Yes to me.
26) Trevor Howard or Richard Todd
27) Antonioni once said, “I began taking liberties a long time ago; now it is standard practice for most directors to ignore the rules.” What filmmaker working today most fruitfully ignores the rules? What does ignoring the rules of cinema mean in 2008?
This question implies that there are actually rules of cinema these days. For the sake of argument, I suppose the obvious answer would be David Lynch, but I don't generally like the results he produces (and thus that's not a "fruitful" ignorance of rules for me). Perhaps the Coen brothers? They consistently seem to defy expectations and almost never take the easy, mainstream path to moviemaking. Even their Oscar winning No Country for Old Men is pretty hostile towards traditional storytelling. And they always seem to follow up their most popular and successful movies with a confounding movie, like The Big Lebowski or even Burn After Reading.
28) Favorite William Castle movie
I haven't seen enough to really say, but I did enjoy House on Haunted Hill. If Rosemary's Baby counts, there's that too.
29) Favorite ethnographically oriented movie
I'm going to cheat on this one because what immediately comes to mind is The Wire. So it's not technically a movie, but really, watching a season of the wire is like watching a 13 hour movie. Actually, the whole series is like a brilliant 60 hour movie. And while I'm no expert on inner city Baltimore, I don't think I've ever seen a movie portray the ethnographic background of the drug trade the way The Wire has...
Update: I thought of two good, non-cheating ethnographically oriented movies: The look at Rio de Janeiro in City of God is compelling and Zhang Yimou's brilliant portrait of the upheavals in China, To Live.
30) What’s the movie coming up in 2008 you’re most looking forward to? Why?
The obvious answer is Quantum of Solace, but I'm also a bit wary of that one. A more unconventional pick would be Let the Right One In, a Swedish movie about a 12 year old boy and his Vampire neighbor. I'm mostly going on the mad ravings of Devin from CHUD on this one, but the movie is coming out in limited release near me on November 14, so why not check it out?
31) What deceased director would you want to resurrect in order that she/he might make one more film?
Stanley Kubrick (duh). (Update: Spencer notes in the comments another "Duh" selection: Alfred Hitchcock)
32) What director would you like to see, if not literally entombed, then at least go silent creatively?
This is a tough one because I don't generally wish ill will upon people who make art I don't like. I seem to have the ability to easily ignore them, so they don't bother me much. Sure, I guess I got a little miffed when Brett Ratner came on for X3, but that's not entirely his fault either. So I don't know. Maybe Uwe Boll?
33) Your first movie star crush
This is a very tough one. I can't seem to remember really crushing on any of the big names from when I was younger and it feels dumb to say someone I'm crushing on now:p
And so there you have it. That was really, really long, but I had fun.