Thursday, August 18, 2016

If You Only Know The Late Arthur Hiller As The Director Of That Crap Movie Love Story, Try These Instead

Love Story! Love Story! Bad enough the man is dead, all the papers think to mention is that he directed Love Story. Love Story stunk on hot ice in 1970 and it stinks worse now!

Try these instead:

1) The Americanization of Emily (1964) — A tart anti-war comedy starring James Garner and Julie Andrews in arguably their finest roles.

2) The In-Laws (1979) — Peter Falk as a CIA agent, Alan Arkin as his impossibly buttoned-down in-law. The most underrated comedy of the 1970s.

3) The Hospital (1971) — A savage black comedy about the sorry state of American medicine starring George C. Scott and a very hot Diana Rigg.

4) The Out-of-Towners (1970) — A salesman and his wife (Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis) try to check into a hotel in New York for 101 hilarious minutes.


5) the very first episode of television's The Addams Family! You gotta love a guy who directed the very first episode of The Addams Family!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Professor Abronsius's Robustly Random, Eccentrically Inquisitive, Garlic-Infused Mid-Summer Back-To-School Quiz

From Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. Play along on your own blog, here in the comments section or at Sergio Leone's site.

1) Name the last 10 movies you've seen, either theatrically or at home
Last ten movies? I can't remember the last ten minutes! Okay, okay, the last ten movies I saw for the very first time — that's the best I can do: Love & Friendship (2016) (yes!); The Rum Diary (2011) (no); Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) (yes!); The Martian (2015) (a qualified yes); Der Müde Tod (1921) (not really); Bardelys the Magnificent (1926) (yes); The Parson's Widow (1920) (yes); The Jungle Book (2016) (yes); Spectre (2015) (no! worst Bond film since Moonraker); Beyond the Line of Duty (short) (1942) (no).

2) Favorite movie feast
I assume this means a feast that takes place in a movie, in which case, the dinner party at the end of The Thin Man. Otherwise, that time Katie-Bar-The-Door and I ate chicken wings at Wings Over College Park while watching Rear Window, which happened to be on behind the counter. Speaking of which ...

3) Dial M for Murder (1954) or Rear Window (1954)?
Is this a trick question? Rear Window, of course!

4) Favorite song or individual performance from a concert film
Pete Townshend's performance of "Drowned" in The Secret Policeman's Ball

First runner-up: Anita O'Day (Jazz on a Summer's Day)

Second runner-up: The Beatles performing "Hey Jude" on The David Frost Show

Excluding another film from the same director, if you were programming a double feature what would you pair with:

5) Alex Cox's Straight to Hell (1986)?
Never heard of it, but from the look of the poster, I'd guess something by Tarantino.

6) Benjamin Christensen's Haxan: Witchcraft Throughout the Ages (1922)?
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

7) Federico Fellini's I vitelloni (1953)?
Never seen it. Didn't The Earrings of Madame de ... come out the same year?

8) Vincente Minnelli's The Long, Long Trailer (1953)?
Such a bad, bad movie, I'd have left the theater long, long before it was over. Pair it with Endless Love, my least favorite movie ever.

9) Sam Peckinpah's The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)?
Dunno, Little Big Man, another comedy western from the same year, perhaps?

10) George Englund's Zachariah (1971)?
Never heard of it. Based strictly on the poster, Tommy.

11) Favorite movie fairy tale
Is The Wizard of Oz a fairy tale?

12) What is the sport that you think has most eluded filmmakers in terms of capturing either its essence or excitement?

13) The Seventh Seal (1957) or Wild Strawberries (1957)?
The Seventh Seal

14) Your favorite Criterion Collection release
Robinson Crusoe On Mars.

15) In the tradition of the Batley Townswomen's Guild's staging of the Battle of Pearl Harbor and Camp on Blood Island, who would be the featured players (individual or tag-team) in your Classic Film Star Free-for-all Fight?
An amusing bit from Monty Python. No need to do it again.

16) Throne of Blood (1957) or The Lower Depths (1957)?
Throne of Blood

17) Your favorite movie snack

18) Robert Altman's Quintet — yes or no?
Never heard of it.

19) Name the documentarian whose work you find most valuable
Bruce Brown.

20) The Conversation (1974) or The Godfather Part II (1974)?
The Godfather Part II

21) Favorite movie location you've visited in person
I've worked in and/or visited many places that are incidentally movie locations, but I can't honestly say I think of them in those terms.

22) If you could have directed a scene from any movie in the hope of improving it, what scene would it be, and what direction would you give the actor(s) in it? (question submitted by Patrick Robbins)
In Bull Durham, Kevin Costner's line reading of "Come on, rook. Show me that million-dollar arm, 'cause I got a good idea about that five-cent head of yours." The only clunker line-reading in an otherwise terrific movie.

23) The Doors (1991) or JFK (1991)?

24) What is your greatest film blasphemy or strongest evidence of your status as a contrarian? (H/T Larry Aydlette)
A contrarian is a conformist who pretends to think for himself.

25) Favorite pre-1970 one-sheet
Gone with the Wind

26) Favorite post-1970 one-sheet
Star Wars

27) WarGames (1983) or Blue Thunder (1983)?
War Games

28) Your candidate for best remake ever made
The Maltese Falcon (1941) with Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet and Elisha Cook, the third version of Dashiell Hammett's classic novel.

29) Give us a good story, or your favorite memory, about attending a drive-in movie
Saw four or five movies at the drive-in as a kid. Forget the nostalgia and mythology, it was a miserable way to see a movie.

30) Favorite non-horror Hammer film

31) Favorite movie with the word/number "seven" in the title (question submitted by Patrick Robbins)
Seven Samurai is the best, but The Magnificent Seven (1960) is my favorite.

32) Is there a movie disagreement you can think of which would cause you to reconsider the status of a personal relationship?

33) Erin Brockovich (2000) or Traffic (2000)?
Most decidedly neither.

34) Your thoughts on the recent online petition demanding that Turner Classic Movies cease showing all movies made after 1960
Daft nincompoopery, to put it mildly. The petition, that is, not my thoughts.