PROMETHEUS

They Went Looking For Our Beginning.. What They Found Could Be Our End

Director
Ridley Scott

Starring
Noomi Rapace
Michael Fassbender
Charlize Theron
Logan Marshall-Green
Guy Pearce



To describe Prometheus’ plot is to give away quite a lot, so you’ll have to forgive me if I omit certain details. Having discovered a common factor in several ancient civilisation’s writings, scientists Elizabeth Shaw [Rapace] and Charlie Holloway [Marshall-Green] have identified a constellation which perfectly matches their findings. In the interest of scientific discovery, dying trillionaire Peter Weyland [Pearce] authorises a deep space expedition to seek out these so called ‘engineers’. Accompanying Shaw and Holloway are a handful of scientists, pilots, Weyland board member, Meredith Vickers [Theron] and a synthetic life form named David [Fassbender]. Upon arrival, the crew discover several structures and chart a reconnaissance mission. Upon entering one of the structures, we learn that the engineers are either dead or abandoned the facility thousands of years ago. The scientists encounter their first alien life form (albeit decapitated) and decide to take the head back to study, later realising that their presence and opening of doors has activated a biological agent. From here on in it gets a little convoluted and trying to piece together how/why specific scenes and events are related is a tad difficult, so I’ll just say that they make some discoveries and people get attacked and the characters learn that human life is not exactly treasured across the universe.

You would be hard-pressed to find a review that didn’t compliment the sprawling visual frontier that Ridley Scott has created, with sets, effects and cinematography all awash with a rich blue/grey hue. One of the key reasons Prometheus is a visually stunning release is the sheer wealth of practical effects, over use of CGI. That’s not to say there aren’t thousands of digital effects shots but the heavy use of models and lavish sets really adds to the credibility of the production scope and scale. Another key component to the successful visuals is the return of Giger and his genital-inspired alien life forms. Granted, everything present barely compares to the intricate detail of Giger’s work on Alien and Species but his distinctive designs are clearly a welcome addition to the structural and extraterrestrial elements. In addition to the superb visual treat, there is an incredible sense of tension and suspense that runs from start to end but a very distinct lack of pay off. Whereas this would usually frustrate the hell out of me, the mounting tension is sufficient enough without the over-the-top jump scares – which, in my opinion are a cheap and easy trick when compared to growing psychological terror. This, of course, may have something to do with the classification and categorisation of the film’s genre – without any real personified villain, Prometheus is clearly more of an explorative sci-fi than a space horror. Which in turn adds to the confusing nature of Streitenfeld’s score. Marc Streitenfeld has been Scott’s go-to composer since 2006 but despite some key harmonies, I think he really missed the main structural theme, favouring a sort of triumphant, upbeat brass tone with far too much majesty – almost a patriotic anthem for humanity.

Every single performance is somewhat all over the place and the only one with any semblance of consistency is Michael Fassbender’s automaton, David. However, despite Fassbender’s brilliant performance, David is a bloody cryptic individual. In an attempt to recreate something akin to the other-worldly presence of Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence or David Bowie’s Thomas Jerome Newton, we’re presented with a fascinating individual devoid of any clear motivation or structured agenda, whose sole purpose is to act peculiarly and set in motion several random plot threads. Besides David, the leads are left spinning in the wind with predictably two dimensional roles and there were far too many forgettable background actors gone to waste – Benedict Wong comes to mind for starters. Granted, Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron and a handful of others have some key moments but the manner in which they interact was beyond absurd: screaming lunacy during relatively subdued scenes, playful coyness when actually faced with certain danger and a moronic sense of intrepid exploration when presented with a clear quarantine issue.

The ultimate problem with this entire feature is the script, which has been penned by a fanboy (Damon Lindelof) and for all the good intentions he may have had, he has planted too many grand ideas that didn’t gel and weren’t fully explored. Furthermore, there were a lot of intentionally open-ended questions that just came off as plot holes and continuity issues – leading to the announcement that this is a completely original film, not a prequel to Alien.. which is a lie. I appreciate this story takes place on LV-223 not LV-426 and the film is sort of set in the Alien universe, without actually showing the events directly preceding the Alien narrative (which reminded me of a similar claim by Cameron about Avatar) but you can’t pitch the word ‘Alien’ without raising audience expectations. You see, the problem with prequels (whether they claim to be or not) is their inherently flawed nature. No matter how interesting the story or the execution, audiences will sift through the plot looking for connections and waiting for the familiar developments that lead to the events of the original film. By removing or altering these, all you serve to do is infuriate the audience and cheapen your release.

**The following two paragraphs are swarming with spoilers.. and pretentious assumption**
In light of the extremely layered and convoluted script, here’s my interpretation of how the filmmakers would like you to view the story. I’ve stated before that adaptations of mythology can provide the strongest source material for cinematic plots (see my Snow White And The Huntsman review for more) and the concept of human interpretation of actual events through legend is a fascinating one. So first off, we have the massive allusions to the Greek mythology and legends of the titan Prometheus. Prometheus took pity on man and descended from the heavens to give us fire. The gift of fire is also a nod to mankind’s technological advancement, the punishment of the one who granted us that ability and the gods who would have denied us that right. Additionally, the philosopher Dworkin said, “playing god is indeed playing with fire” – and if to staple my point, he added that man must play with fire and suffer the consequences as the only alternative is cowardice and ignorance.. but more on that later. The film’s introductory sequence serves as a comparison between these events and the main narrative. We can assume that the bald albino alien stood atop the waterfall of ancient Earth is the Prometheus equivalent, who saw the potential in mankind and sacrificed himself to ensure that we had a fighting chance against the biological weapon that had been created to destroy us. However, this is assuming that this event takes place either a.) before the rise of man and the DNA samples in the water gives birth to us or b.) shortly after the dawn of man and the water we consume gives a modicum of immunity. Sticking with the fire analogy, we have links with the nature of fire consuming and destroying everything in its path, not to mention its unpredictable and unforgivable nature. Then we have the T.E. Lawrence references with the direct quotes lifted from David Lean’s film, explaining that the destructive nature of fire is not its finest quality and we must overcome its ability to burn us – “Of course it hurts, the trick is not minding that it hurts.” This entire reference can play to the idea that scientific and technological progression should not executed with concern, safety or hesitation but with swift, bold and confident action. If this is the case, it completely explains the almost unrelatable attitudes and actions of the entire crew. Alternatively, you could argue that the absolutely stupid zealousness with which these scientists conduct their investigations (stimulating the decapitated head for example.. fucking idiots) is a comment on mankind’s immaturity with fundamental knowledge and technology that was given to us, rather than earned.

Setting aside the Greek mythology, we step boldly into the deep religious undertow present throughout. With the considerable amount of faith based conversations between David and Shaw, one can’t help but analyse the obvious Old Testament references. Starting with the intro sequence again, we have the actions of one that leads to either the birth of mankind or mankind’s possible immunity to evil (depending on where you place said event in a timeline). If we go with the latter, he’s a Christlike figure and according to the former, he’s God. As the ‘engineers’ are responsible for creating man and the Christian belief stems from the trinity being one God, we’ll go with the former. So, God stands on a waterfall and rather violently creates sentient life of himself; flawed and immature but in His image. Centuries later, man has reached the stage of technological progression where he can successfully create life in his image, i.e. David. Thus man destroys faith by overtaking the work of God and becomes its own god. At the same time, man finds clues to God’s location (part of the African myth of origin states that God descended and left a trail for us to grow and then come find Him) and mounts an expedition with questions and favours to ask. In the same way, David seeks answers from his creators only to be told he is a servant, whose sole reason for being created was “because we could.” Hence, we have the simultaneous betrayal of man with a loss of faith and David’s loss of faith in his own creators which leads to his own betrayal by communicating with the engineers and acting without orders or supervision. Then we have the New Testament elements of the virgin birth.. sort of – with the alien black goop DNA (concentrated god gene) which is placed within man and seeded naturally in woman to produce a new being. After the abortive caesarean operation, the creature somehow survives and mates with the ultimate being to create the perfect species. To recap there, mankind becomes its own god, then our creation plays god by experimenting with his god, which creates a new being that aggressively mates with our God and produces the finest of all ‘gods’, a perfect being. But despite everything, Shaw still has faith and chooses her interpretive belief claiming that how we perceive certain events does not devalue them – a very contemporary science friendly spiritual belief and interpretation of religious texts and morals. And that’s all without analysing the whole Adam & Eve, garden of Eden elements and the incompressibly cruel punishment of a vengeful God. So, in conclusion, man was made by aliens that may have either been the Judeo-Christian God or the ancient Greek Titan and as we were unable to fully comprehend our origin, we went into space to find our creator and get answers. Turns out the answers were quite shitty and everything we create turns on us (which is possibly a universal truth of all creators/creations).. but don’t worry because although we may have helped spawned the universe’s perfect killer, we were destined to do so to gain perspective and redemption. NONE OF WHICH is openly said in the film.. just heavily fucking implied.

In spite of all my whinging, why the 8/10? Most notably because I sat talking about it for a few hours and then for the next few days following and even now I can’t get the damn thing out of my head. Any film that can resonate with you, for better or worse, has done its job. Unfortunately, Prometheus will probably not improve with age and viewings, unlike Blade Runner and when held up against the sheer cinematic glory that is the first two Alien films, it falls short. However, I really enjoyed it, I have no idea why but I did. I walked away entertained and content that I had witnessed something a bit silly but ultimately curiously rewarding. As I stated in a text the same night as the viewing (the following morning to be accurate), Prometheus is the kind of science fiction film I would love to have written; taking a very clear cautionary tale from mythology and religious passages and slapping it in a luscious sci-fi environment.. of course, I would hope if I wrote it, I’d ensure the bastard made sense. Either way, watch it for yourself, watch it again and then send me your thoughts.


Release Date:
1st June 2012

The Scene To Look Out For:
For the visuals alone there are countless scenes that could be highlighted or considered the finest. Personally, I think the opening sequence, detailing the almost ceremonial suicide of the engineer was the most stunning, combining spectacular cinematography, jaw-dropping effects and a really immersive introductory statement… that was unfortunately lost on most of us.

Notable Characters:
As stated earlier, a great deal of praise will be laid upon Fassbender for his exceptional portrayal of David but as the character is a little hard to really justify (yes, justify), I’ve decided to highlight Idris Elba’s Captain Janek. Janek is probably the most human, most pragmatic and one of the only realistic characters throughout the film. In a script littered with deep philosophical undertones and scientifically minded individuals, you really need someone down-to-earth who can take stock of the situation. Unfortunately this often means he’s Mr. Exposition and tends to just bleat lines that further the plot but I still enjoyed the performance.

Highlighted Quote:
“A king has his reign and then he dies. It’s inevitable”

In A Few Words:
“I have no idea how to summarise Prometheus – stunning, intelligent, bold, challenging, beautiful yet hollow and without resolution, almost like watching the entire six seasons of Lost condensed into two hours”

Total Score:

4/5

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN

Who’s The Fairest Of Them All?

Director
Rupert Sanders

Starring
Kristen Stewart
Chris Hemsworth
Charlize Theron
Sam Claflin
Sam Spruell



I’ve always believed that myths, legends and folk stories make for some of the greatest cinematic tales. Granted, they are often predictable, over the top and littered with two dimensional characters but they usually contain the finest moral backbone. As such, the announcement of a classically dark adaptation of Snow White should stir a great deal of nostalgic joy for most – something the likes of Disney usually prey upon – and had this project been helmed by Guillermo Del Toro, we would have been presented with something truly spectacular.. but the final project distinctly lacks that magical spark and what we’re left with is a very interesting but ultimately disappointing affair.

As you’re no doubt familiar with the Snow White story, I’ll try to spare you the obvious details. The film opens with the birth of Snow White, a princess of the realm gifted with the finest qualities of her parents. While the princess is still very young, her mother grows sick and succumbs to illness. It is around this time that a dark and mysterious army appears and taunts the grieving king out of his castle. After besting the mystical combatants, the king discovers they had a young woman captive, Ravena [Theron]. Enchanted by her beauty, the king married her the following day. Naturally, this was a trick and part of Ravena’s plan all along. Once crowned queen, Ravena kills her husband and permits a very real army into the castle. Many people are slaughtered and the princess is locked up in a tower, believed to be dead by the general populace. Several years later, the land has fallen to ruin, everything is poisoned, decayed and dying from the people to the plants. The Queen discovers that in order to stay young and beautiful forever, she must cut out and consume Snow White’s heart. Showing great strength, courage and initiative, Snow White [Stewart] escapes her cell and heads off into the dark woods, a place where few men dare enter and uniquely immune to Ravena’s power. Subsequently, a drunken widower, the huntsman [Hemsworth] is recruited and tasked with retrieving the princess alive.

From a production standpoint, Snow White is breath-taking. The costumes are rich and impressive, the world the characters traverse through is teaming with life and activity, the set design is lavish and the CGI effects are immersive. Visually, this film is beyond striking and looked more like a Tarsem Singh film than Singh’s own adaptation of Snow White. One of the most surprising elements was the appearance of the seven dwarves (which I thought might be absent from the film entirely). The only reason to really highlight them is the impressive visual treatment they’re given, not only in a costume and make-up sense but also as a visual effect. We’re all too familiar with the Lord Of The Rings hobbit style of green-screening their hobbit actors against the human cast and then using little people for the long shots. This film actually makes the proportions seem correct and you’re left momentarily puzzled each time they are on-screen, wondering how they achieved it. However, scratch away the glossy surface and a wealth of flaws begin to form; sure, the score is grand and the pacing is perfectly adequate but outside of the visceral visuals, the remainder feels a little underdone.

This film’s biggest problem is, without question, the acting. The cast is made up of a wealth of acting talent yet no one gels and despite the on-screen developments, it’s really difficult to actually like any of the characters. Arguably, this could be down to the source material. As I stated earlier, fairy tales, myths and legends all play upon very base archetypes and as such this tends to produce incredibly two-dimensional, under developed heroes and villains – their motives, their interactions, their goals, they all seem a little hollow. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the extremely over-developed characters, who end up a bit of a hammy mess; the main offender being Charlize Theron. At times her portrayal of Queen Ravena is stirring, bitter, whilst simultaneously tender but then she just goes that inch too far and descends into this ridiculous screaming mess. Kristen Stewart does her usual thing and no doubt people will parrot “I was really surprised” and “Such a big difference between her and Bella” etc. In all honesty, it’s nothing new but at least the strong feminist elements have been neatly woven into the plot rather than feeling hack-handed and forced. Same could be said for Hemsworth, for that matter. He has a Scottish accent and he’s mourning his dead wife.. that’s nothing like Thor. Again, not a dramatic leap from what the public expect of him but different enough to make them think he’s doing something out of his comfort zone.

Unfortunately, this is a very familiar tale and subsequently, everyone thinks they have a valid opinion as to what you can and can’t change. There will be people who won’t be able to stomach the campy performances, the liberties taken with plot and the casting decisions made but alternatively, there are those who will see this as a rich visual treat, laced with excitement, romance, adventure and action. Personally, I think it’s a very strong movie and for a directorial debut it’s an incredible achievement. I will admit there are several design flaws but I’m more than willing to overlook them in light of the overall impact of the finished product.


Release Date:
1st June 2012

The Scene To Look Out For:
The most memorable scenes are the most visually entertaining. The first time the mirror speaks with the queen, the encounter with the army of volcanic glass, the milk bath; there are plenty to choose from, providing you can forget about Hemsworth’s waning accent, Stewart’s rather pitiful attempt at a rally speech and Theron doing whatever the hell it was she thought she was doing.

Notable Characters:
To my mind, the worst performance was without a doubt, delivered by Bob Hoskins. I’m not entirely certain if the fault was primarily his own but he has a great deal of explaining to do. As the blind elder of the dwarves, Muir, his sole function is to stare off into the distance, sense things and then spout expository explanations of things we blatantly already knew. Just when you think the story’s getting good, Hoskins appears, looks almost directly into the camera and whispers, “Bruce Willis! He’s a ghost! Who would have thought?” It’s lazy, insulting and I cannot bear scripts that feel the need to convey what is so apparent.

Highlighted Quote:
“By fairest blood it is done and by fairest blood it can be undone”

In A Few Words:
“Vibrant and lush visuals compensate for an all too familiar story and some oft hammy acting”

Total Score:

3/5

MEN IN BLACK III

They Are Back.. In Time

Director
Barry Sonnenfeld

Starring
Will Smith
Tommy Lee Jones
Josh Brolin
Jemaine Clement
Emma Thompson
Michael Stuhlbarg



You’d think after the nightmare that was the second Men In Black film , we’d know not to trust whatever Sonnenfeld is pitching. You’d think that we’d see him waddling over with a big ol’ Stetson on his head and we would just shout, wave our arms and push him back out the door he squeezed through. But no, we think, ‘Will Smith’s signed on.. it can’t be that bad. Right? He’s learned his lessons from Wild Wild West, this might fun, this might be another Addams Family.’ And then it hits you, MIBIII is a colossal mistake but you’re still watching it and it makes.. no.. fucking.. sense!

Set ten years after the forgettable events of Men In Black II, K [Jones] and J [Smith] are still working with the MIB ensuring alien activity on planet Earth is lawful and adherent to code. Meanwhile, on a prison on the moon (’cause why the fuck not), a tart with a cake – who I am told was Nicole Scherzinger but I’d be surprised if anyone noticed.. I didn’t – helps the dreaded intergalactic war criminal Boris The Animal [Clement] escape. Actually, his name is just Boris – a joke that I never really got, despite the fact they repeat it some fifty times. Upon his escape, Boris travels back forty years and ensures he is never arrested in the first place by killing K. Somehow J is unaffected by this ripple and simply turns up to work the next day, looking for his moody partner. His new superior, O [Thompson] informs him that K has been dead for decades and a Boglodite invasion fleet will be entering Earth’s atmosphere shortly. Subsequently, J is sent back in time to prevent whatever changes Boris made in the past.

For a two hundred million dollar budget, it’s really hard to understand how this film got to be so insanely ugly. All the visual gags, action sequences and effects are pretty much lifted from the first two films without much alteration or improvement. Every time you think that an alien looks interesting or one of the props gives you that awesome b-movie vibe, you’re reminded that you’ve seen the exact same thing before.. over a decade ago. I’d say the cinematography is commendable but as the plot relies on so much green-screening, it’s almost impossible to compliment. Especially as everything sails by with almost no comprehensible structure, characters jump all over a single scene, the plot sluggishly crawls around looking for somewhere to lay down and die and the score flails wildly trying to figure out just what the hell is going on and how to express it musically. Ultimately, the visual and aural elements that should make this release so enjoyable feel tired and lacklustre, leaving Smith and Brolin on-screen desperately trying to cling onto some sort of artistic integrity. In fact, the only real reason this film is tolerable is the chemistry between Brolin and Smith which reignites the reason the first film worked so wholly.

One thing people will say with unanimous conviction is of the strength of Brolin’s performance and how he impersonates Tommy Lee Jones with exemplary accuracy. This much is true and I’d be happy to say the exact same, his performance was stellar. So was Smith’s for that matter.. I mean, he didn’t get the lines he needed from the script but he still hits every emotional note – one of his finest qualities that makes him one of the only actors you can happily watch in terrible films. On the other hand, there’s Jemaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg and Emma Thompson. All of whom are incredibly talented individuals who have more than adequately proved themselves over the years, only to be squandered in minimal 2D characters, with absolutely no redeeming features.

Furthermore, by the film’s conclusion it’s obviously apparent that they had two or three clear ideas in mind: 1. Have some space badass escape from prison 2. Time travel to see a younger K 3. Have a touching scene at the close. That’s it, everything else was up for grabs and if what actually made it to the finished release was better than the stuff they didn’t use, it must have been fucking dire – probably along the lines of “Will Smith sees a huge alien fish in a tank and says, ‘You must be from the planet daaamn'” …oh wait, that was actually in the film. In all honesty, there’s no way to repair this. Men In Black was a really fun standalone action sci-fi piece and the animated TV series wasn’t half bad for those that wanted to revisit the world. The first sequence was an utter disgrace and this one’s highest point of praise is that it didn’t suck as much.


Release Date:
25th May 2012

The Scene To Look Out For:
**this paragraph contains a major spoiler, albeit a baffling one**
Ok, so Young K and J are attempting to activate the ArcNet by attaching it to the top of Apollo 11 ….just go with it….. and both future and past Boris are trying to foil their plan. The thing that really confused the hell out of me was one single sequence, maybe even just one shot. J sees future Boris and calls out to him, then runs at him taking several barbed spines straight to the chest. Pierced and probably dying, J tackles Boris and both men fall to the base of Apollo 11, only for J to activate the time device sending him back thirty seconds. Which is just enough time to repeat his plan, foreseeing exactly where Boris would aim the deadly spiney spike things, avoid them and then throw him to his death. So the part that confuses me is a.) how come Boris doesn’t remember that exact sequence of events not moments before and b.) why does J tackle him the second time only to be locked in some weird hug briefly. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know what I’m talking about, if not.. don’t watch this fucking film.

Notable Characters:
As stated earlier, Josh Brolin does a wonderful job of portraying a young Tommy Lee Jones.. but not a young K. I appreciate that over the last few films they’ve made K more cynical, jaded and run down but in the first film he was loud, vibrant and entertaining. Brolin gives us a brief glimpse at that but the script calls for far too much staring and frowning. So, instead, my highlighted character would have to be.. er.. those lanky little Mexican aliens or Frank the talking fucking pug, for not being in this movie and annoying the hell out of me. I tip my hat to you.

Highlighted Quote:
“Mommy, the president is drinking my chocolate milk”

In A Few Words:
“A handful of well executed concepts butchered by terrible editing, sloppy direction and mediocre acting”

Total Score:

2/5

Cinema City Film Quiz #71

[20 May 2012]


Winning Team:
Schindler’s Shopping List

Genre – Comedy

Runners Up:
The Breakfast Club Sandwich
Genre – Five mis-matched teenagers are forced to work in Subway on a Saturday
Cream Horn Of The Dead
Genre – Horror starring Goldie Hawn
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Games
Genre – 12 young caterpillars must eat or be eaten in The Hungry Games
The Cabinet In The Woods
Genre – Horror, teens find Eric Pickles, Michael Gove and Danny Alexander in the woods
Eat The Fockers
Genre – Comedy featuring Yoghurt DeNiro, Barbecue Streisand and Ben Stillwater


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. What was the name of the doctor that created the monster in Frankenstein?
FRANKENSTEIN
2. 1964’s Viva Las Vegas starred which musician in the lead role?
ELVIS PRESLEY
3. What colour are the aliens in Mars Attacks?
GREEN
4. What was the first Pixar feature to be released?
TOY STORY
5. Magnum Force is part of which Clint Eastwood series?
DIRTY HARRY
6. What was the name of the sequel to Bruce Almighty?
EVAN ALMIGHTY
7. What were the titles of the two asteroid blockbusters released in 1998? (one point per correct answer)
DEEP IMPACT / ARMAGEDDON
8. The first Harry Potter film and first Lord Of The Rings film were released in which year?
2001
9. Who played the two leads in 1983’s Trading Places? (one point per correct answer)
DAN ACKROYD / EDDIE MURPHY
10. Which three actors had top billing in Ocean’s Eleven? (one point per correct answer)
GEORGE CLOONEY / BRAD PITT / MATT DAMON

ROUND II: Filming [Films With Food & Drink In The Title Special]
1. What product is predominately manufactured at the factory, in Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory? Bricks? Prophylactics? Chocolate?
2. Ratatouille is set in which European country? Italy? France? Spain?
FRANCE
3. What is the name of the character played by Jason Biggs, in American Pie? James Levenstein? Kevin Myers? Paul Finch?
JAMES LEVENSTEIN
4. What colour is the hat that Juliette Lewis’ character wears for the majority of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Red? Green? White?
WHITE
5. Which of the following actors does not appear in Tea With Mussolini? Judi Dench? Helen Mirren? Cher?
HELEN MIRREN
6. How is Buddy killed in Fried Green Tomatoes? Shot while being mugged? Drunk driving accident? Hit by a train?[bonus point for naming the actor who played Buddy]
HIT BY A TRAIN [Chris O’Donnell]
7. In A Clockwork Orange, what does the Nadsat word “gulliver” mean? Loud? Stupid? Head?
HEAD
8. George Clooney appeared in which Killer Tomatoes film? Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes? Return Of The Killer Tomatoes? Killer Tomatoes Strike Back?
RETURN OF THE KILLER TOMATOES
9. Which of the following groups did not appear in films titled Duck Soup? Charlie Chaplin? Laurel & Hardy? The Marx Brothers?
CHARLIE CHAPLIN (L&H 1927 / MB 1933)
10. In Soylent Green, Edward G. Robinson somehow managed to ad lib an entire scene with Charlton Heston, despite being deaf. True or False?
TRUE (due to cancer, Robinson could no longer hear unless talking directly into his ear)

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. In what year was the original Parent Trap released?
1961
2. What is the main drug featured in Basic Instinct?
COCAINE
3. In Airplane! the plane’s wing destroys the tower of a radio station that plays which type of music?
DISCO
4. Which animated character made their debut appearance in 1940’s A Wild Hare?
BUGS BUNNY
5. What type of animal fur was used to cover the stop-motion King Kong?
RABBIT
6. What year did Humphrey Bogart die?
1957
7. In The Blues Brothers, Carrie Fisher plays the ex-fiancée of which brother?
JAKE BLUES
8. What type of weapon does Lewis use to kill the hillbillies raping Bobby in Deliverance?
BOW AND ARROW
9. Who played the lead role in Empire Of The Sun?
CHRISTIAN BALE
10. What is the name of the diamond in The Rescuers?
THE DEVIL’S EYE

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. Which actor played the lead in the following films: The Mark Of Zorro, Blood And Sand, The Black Swan? Tyrone Power? Errol Flynn? Douglas Fairbanks?
TYRONE POWER
2. What is the name of the third Herbie film? Herbie Rides Again? Herbie Goes Bananas? Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo?
HERBIE GOES TO MONTE CARLO
3. You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun, There’s No Business Like Show Business and They Say It’s Wonderful are songs from which musical? Annie Get Your Gun? Calamity Jane? There’s No Business Like Show Business?
ANNIE GET YOUR GUN
4. Which European country is Judy Benjamin assigned to, midway through Private Benjamin? Austria? Switzerland? Belgium?
BELGIUM
5. A plot thread of which Lee Marvin western includes a Mormon arriving in a mining town and selling one of his wives to the highest bidder? The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance? Paint Your Wagon? Cat Ballou?
PAINT YOUR WAGON
6. “Look up, look down, look out” was the poster tagline for which James Bond film? Thunderball? You Only Live Twice? For Your Eyes Only?
THUNDERBALL
7. Which of the following actors appeared in both Disney’s Pocahontas and Terrence Malick’s The New World? Mel Gibson? Christian Bale? Christopher Plummer?
CHRISTIAN BALE
8. What follows the opening line in the title song for The Sound Of Music? The hills fill my heart with the sound of music? With songs they have sung for a thousand years? My heart wants to sing every song it hears?
WITH SONGS THEY HAVE SUNG FOR A THOUSAND YEARS
9. Which of the following is not a James Cagney film? Blonde Crazy? The Mayor Of Hell? Dead Reckoning?
DEAD RECKONING
10. Despite set in Rome, La Dolce Vita was actually filmed in Barcelona. True or False?
FALSE

Cinema City Film Quiz #70

[06 May 2012]


Winning Team:
The Seventh Seal Clubbers

Genre – Gory sequel to The Goonies

Runners Up:
The Seventh Ronseal
Genre – Does exactly what it says on the tin
Ignoring Me Through A Glass Darkly
Genre – Unclassified
Hank Marvin And The Dark Shadows
Genre – Mockumentary about a vampire guitarist’s assault on the pop charts
Ingmar Bergman Of Alcatraz
Genre – Swedish director imprisoned in America befriends birds, teaches them to play chess
Drive Happy
Genre – Nicolas Cage musical remake
The Wild Thorberries
Genre – Thor gives up thunder and takes up strawberry growing
There’s Juan In The Bed
Genre – Nursery zombie musical


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. What type of natural disaster is the central focus of Twister?
TORNADO
2. Which US city is Kong brought to in King Kong?
NEW YORK
3. Who played the title role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?
MATTHEW BRODERICK
4. What are Riggs and Murtar’s profession in Lethal Weapon?
POLICE OFFICERS
5. What is the name of the head of the Addams Family (I.e. the father), in the film of the same name? [bonus point for naming the actor who played him]
GOMEZ [Raul Julia]
6. Alfie was released in which decade?
SIXTIES
7. The plot for Sliding Doors hinges largely on which mode of transport?
UNDERGROUND / TUBE
8. What was the subtitle of the first Pirates Of The Caribbean film?
CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL
9. What does Daniel Plainview mine/harvest, in There Will Be Blood?
OIL
10. What is Devils Tower in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind? [bonus point for naming what US state it’s in]
MOUNTAIN [Wyoming]

ROUND II: Filming [Ingmar Bergman Special]
1. Who directed All These Women? Ingmar Bergman? Stefan Jarl? Sven Nykvist?
INGMAR BERGMAN
2. What year was Prison filmed? 1920? 1949? 1981?
NINETEEN FORTY NINE
3. What was the title of Bergman’s first film? Woman Without A Face? A Ship To India? Crisis?
CRISIS
4. Which Bergman film is the story of an old man evaluating his life through nightmares and daydreams? The Virgin Spring? Brink Of Life? Wild Strawberries?
WILD STRAWBERRIES
5. How many films has Ingmar Bergman directed? 40? 45? 50?
FORTY FIVE
6. What is Albert Johansson’s profession in Sawdust And Tinsel? Circus Ringmaster? Olympic Swimmer? Blind Carpenter?
CIRCUS RINGMASTER
7. Which of the following is the first film in Bergman’s Cinematic Triptych? Winter Light? The Silence? Through A Glass Darkly?
THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY
8. Summer With Monika mostly takes place in which Swedish city? Stockholm? Gothenburg? Nacka?
STOCKHOLM
9. Who is Henrik Egerman in love with in Smiles Of A Summer Night? His step-mother? His half-sister? His grandmother?
HIS STEP-MOTHER
10. The iconic dance of death scene, in The Seventh Seal, was filmed with extras and tourists, as the actors had gone home for the day. True or False?
TRUE

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. The following quotes are from which film, “I don’t eat anything with a face”, “Trust the fungus” and “Nobody touches President Koopa”?
SUPER MARIO BROS
2. What was the budget for 2001: A Space Odyssey?
10.5 MILLION DOLLARS
3. What did the children used to call Elijah Price in Unbreakable?
MR. GLASS
4. What are the two ways you can have a steak cooked in Jack Rabbit Slim’s diner, in Pulp Fiction? (one point per correct answer)
BURNT TO A CRISP / BLOODY AS HELL
5. Who played the title role in 1941’s The Wolfman?
LON CHANEY, JNR. [bonus point for Jnr]
6. Which film had the following poster tagline, “When the gangs take over the highway, remember he’s on your side”?
MAD MAX
7. The first cowboy to answer Chris’ call in The Magnificent Seven is Chico. Which actor played Chico? [bonus point for naming the first cowboy to be accepted]
HORST BUCHHOLZ [Harry Luck / Brad Dexter]
8. What film was Harold Ramis’ directorial debut?
CADDYSHACK
9. In The Mummy, the word Amenophus is represented by which type of bird?
STORK
10. Wayne Szalinski is the main character in which film? (one point per correct answer)
HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS / HONEY, I BLEW UP THE KID/BABY / HONEY, WE SHRUNK OURSELVES

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. What was the title of the first film directed by Chris Columbus? Home Alone? Heartbreak Hotel? Adventures In Babysitting?
ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING
2. Which of the following did not star in 1970’s Catch 22? Christopher Walken? Martin Sheen? Jon Voight?
CHRISTOPHER WALKEN
3. Which of the following actors did not appear in Beavis And Butt-Head Do America? Bruce Willis? Kurt Russell? Demi Moore?
KURT RUSSELL
4. What was the title of Steven Spielberg’s feature directing debut? 1941? Always? Duel?
DUEL
5. What was the last John Landis film to make a profit at the box office? Burke & Hare (2010)? Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)? Beverley Hills Cop III (1994)?
BEVERLEY HILLS COP III
6. Which of the following is not a sequel to the blaxploitation film, Shaft? Shaft In Africa? Shaft Downtown? Shaft’s Big Score?
SHAFT DOWNTOWN
7. Who gives Barbarella her assignment to rescue Dr. Durand Durand from Tau Ceti, in Barbarella? Pygar The Angel? The King Of France? The President Of Earth?
THE PRESIDENT OF EARTH
8. In Alien, what word does Brett reply to Parker with following every sentence? Right? Sure? Ok?
RIGHT
9. Who played the role of Hawkeye in 1970’s MASH? Alan Alda? Donald Sutherland? Elliot Gould?
DONALD SUTHERLAND
10. For its negative portrayal of French soldiers, Paths Of Glory was banned in France for eighteen years. It was instead premiered in Germany, putting a strain on new relations with France, after WWII. True or False?
FALSE