The answers...

Here's my answers to yesterday's MEME I linked to. Discuss. Respond.

1. Popcorn or candy? Candy... sometimes. Mike and Ikes.

2. Name a movie you've been meaning to see forever. All About Eve.

3. You are given the power to recall one Oscar: Who loses theirs and to whom? I can't decide, either Robert Redford or Kevin Costner needs to volunteer giving up their best director Oscar to Martin Scorsese, who deserved it both times.

4. Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe. Which will it be? Aragorn's grubby ranger outfit from The Fellowship of the Ring.

5. Your favorite film franchise is... Indiana Jones (I don't care if they make another one or not.)

6. Invite five movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why'd you invite them? What do you feed them? Assuming they have to living: Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks, Martin Scorsese, Natalie Portman, Peter Jackson. Why? Just for the stories they'd tell about their experiences and the people they've worked with. Also, I'd feed them cheese pizza.

7. What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater? A Mike and Ike to the back of the head.

8. Choose a female bodyguard: Ripley from Aliens. Mystique from X-Men. Sarah Connor from Terminator 2. The Bride from Kill Bill. Mace from Strange Days: Hands down, The Bride from Kill Bill.

9. What's the scariest thing you've ever seen in a movie? The Facehugger in Aliens.

10. Your favorite genre (excluding comedy and drama) is? Crime/Gangster

11. You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. How do you wield this power? Run it to the ground funding as many dream projects as possible for my favorite Indie directors= Best movie year ever.

12. Bonnie or Clyde? Bonnie all the way.

13. Who are you tagging to answer this survey? Some friends at work.


Film on the web

Today is random movie link day, where I send you, the reader, across the web to distant sites where you will find movie related entertainment and revel in your movie-geekdom.

First off, at Nostalgia Central, I found a list of 40 things that only happen in the movies, very funny list, and so true.

Next stop, over at Film Experience Blog, Nathaniel posted a fun movie MEME; fill it out and post it here or send it to your fellow cinephiles.

The Independent online has a good write up about CGI and the direction it is taking Hollywood.

Slate.com has a funny parody of It's a Wonderful Life, starring the Bush administration.

On to a new site I found called The Aspect Ratio; they have a list of good but overlooked movies. Most of them are Indies and sound like they're all worth watching.

And now two articles from the NY Times, one about how A Christmas Story is just now becoming a popular holiday classic, and the other is an interview with Zack Snyder and Frank Miller about the upcoming adaptation of Miller's 300.

Finally we wrap up today with a list from Mark Beall's Geek Beat over at Cinematical: Eight Things I Learned From The X-Men.

Marie Antoinette review

Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette is fun movie to look at and to listen to, however the story itself feels a bit disjointed; even those who enjoyed Lost in Translation may find themselves wanting a bit more substance. The cast is actually very good; Kirsten Dunst radiates while portraying the character of the free-spirited Queen while Jason Schwartzman plays the subdued and bewildered King Louis XVI. Other supporting players include Rip Torn as the outgoing King and Molly Shannon as one the Queen's social friends. There's a lot of turning up of noses, and extensive learning of the rules on how a Queen behaves and spends her day; many of which are broken by the young Queen, even more so as she grows bored of the royal life.
I enjoyed the music and the costumes and getting a glimpse of the pallace at Versailles (they filmed on location). I did not enjoy the abrupt ending, nor the lack of any real history, save for a the occasional moment when someone would run up to Louis with bad news about peasants. This movie feels a lot longer than it is and we get bored with it about the same time the Queen does; only for serious fans of Coppola, Dunst, or costume dramas.


Borat review

In case you're looking for something funny to see this weekend, here's some advice: Go see Borat. If you've already seen it, see it again; after that go see Stranger Than Fiction (opening Friday). Seriously though, Borat is hysterical. I've never laughed as hard as I did at this movie; there are a couple of parts where it started to hurt to keep laughing but I did anyway. A while back I wrote about Sacha Baron Cohen and his role in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and how he was even funnier than Will Ferrel.
In Borat, Cohen again lives and breathes his character, this time as Borat, the fictional Kazakhstani journalist who travels to America to gain "Cultural learnings of America for make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan" (as the title informs us). Basically he acts like a clueless foreigner and unknowing Americans make themselves look quite stupid by either ignoring his outrageous statements about Jews, Women and Homosexuals or even worse, they show their true colors and agree wholeheartedly with him.
Watching the film you may stop and realize that you yourself might not handle an encounter with Borat any better; any one of us would act one way or the other. I was impressed however with how some of the duped dealt with Borat by being polite and trying to correct him on how things are done in Western Civilization. Then there are the people who made me ashamed to be American, like the rodeo manager or the road-tripping fraternity members. Borat makes us laugh at own awkwardness but also at our ignorance.
Borat was the number one movie last weekend and it only played in 800 theaters as compared to the standard 3000+ theaters a typical widely released film receives. This weekend it should be showing just about everywhere (that way even the rodeo manager can see himself on the big screen). If you want to know more about the character of Borat check out the Wikipedia article devoted to him.

Another film opening this weekend, in addition to Stranger Than Fiction, is Babel (in case you're not in the mood for laughs). The reviews and buzz on Babel are good so I'd say it's a safe bet and would be an interesting follow-up to the culture clash themes of Borat.


Random film links

Today is random movie link day, here you'll find neato articles and lists from some of the websites I read periodically.

The Independent has a great list of
the best and worst quotes, monologues and one-liners from the movies.

Newsweek has a feature on recent and upcoming prequel releases (there are quite a few coming out soon).

Yahoo's Holiday Movie Preview is up and running, check it out to take a look at all of the end of the year releases.

I found this cool site the other day: it's a list the 1000 greatest movies. It's compiled from over 1,000 top ten lists by filmmakers and critics, the most comprehensive one I've seen yet.

And lastly I have some late Halloween links. Over at The Geek Zine they have a list of the 13 best horror films and the 20 greatest killers on film. Also, Time Magazine has a feature on the new class of horror films called "The Splat Pack".


The Prestige review

Before all the highly anticipated films of November and December start coming out, let me tell you about the best film October had to offer. The Prestige, directed by Christopher Nolan, stars Hugh Jackman (Wolverine from X-Men) and Christian Bale (Batman) as two competing magicians during the early 1900s. A while back I reviewed The Illusionist and was mildly surprised to find that I enjoyed it. However, I had a hunch that The Prestige was going to be better and more fun to sit through; I was right.
Nolan's magical mystery shows a dark side to all of the onstage fun and showmanship of being a magician. Secrets and betrayal run rampant, lives are ruined, friends and loved ones suffer from the dedication these men have for their craft. Supporting roles from Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson and David Bowie add much flavor to the narrative but Jackman and Bale are the keys to what makes this film so engaging.
I can't say much about the story because I feel you should know as little as possible before seeing it but I will say this: pay attention; the opening lines of "are you watching closely?" are more important than you realize. If you catch yourself thinking about your shopping list or something during the movie you may miss something important and get totally lost; keep up and you will be rewarded. Go see The Prestige, It's on my short list of my favorite films of the year with A Scanner Darkly and Little Miss Sunshine.