ARGO

The Movie Was Fake, The Mission Was Real

Director
Ben Affleck

Starring
Ben Affleck
Bryan Cranston
Alan Arkin
John Goodman



At the end of the seventies, Iran was in a state of uproar regarding the treatment of the people under the Shah’s totalitarian monarchist rule. Seeking immunity in the US, the Shah fled the country and the Iranians welcomed the Ayatollah Rudollah Khomeini as their new leader and adopted fundamental Islamic rule. With this came wave after wave of anti-American demonstration that came to a head in November 1979 when the US embassy was stormed and sixty hostages were taken. In an adjoining building, six Americans managed to escape the chaos and sought sanctuary with the Canadian ambassador. After seventy days, the Canadian and US governments agreed that time was running out for these six and they would need to be exfiltrated before being discovered. After several poor ideas were suggested, it was finally agreed that CIA agent Tony Mendez [Affleck] would fly to Iran, posing as a Canadian movie producer and return with the six hostages, under the guise of fellow film crew. In order to achieve this, Mendez must go to Hollywood and generate enough credible ‘buzz’ so that if anyone were to investigate this film, it would appear to be completely legit. For its absurdity and the high risk of national embarrassment, finding a willing producer, cast and crew to film something that will never happen proves tricky, not to mention interference from the upper echelons of the US government, who label the idea a mortifyingly stupid concept and thoroughly bad idea.

Much like Dog Day Afternoon, Argo takes a very simple but compelling premise and keeps the story grounded by focusing on a very clear set of individuals while maintaining the tension. Add to this superb editing and direction with strangely fitting bouts of humour and you have an absolutely hypnotic and captivating film. Furthermore, this really does feel like a call back to seventies filmmaking – which, in my opinion is a decade that produced some of the finest works known to cinema – not simply in style but in tonality. Granted, this is a period film that looks the part in terms of costume, hair, make-up and set design but also in the way in which is was filmed; the use of soft lenses, 8mm cutaways and stock newsreel footage really staple the story’s chronological setting.

In addition to the technical aspects, one of the reasons this film works so well, is the phenomenal casting. By utilising talented individuals who look, sound and act the part, rather than forcing big names into main roles, Argo delivers a very plausible and very real experience which only adds to the overbearing terror and thrilling suspense. Another key feature was the narrative parallel between the situation in Iran, the flippant nature of the Hollywood elite and the contradictory incompetence of higher government officials who wanted to avoid a scandal, or worse, a war. Having said that, I’m sure the actions of several characters will be marred when compared to those of their real-life counterparts – such a complaint is almost always present with this type of film. In my opinion, Affleck has crafted another fantastic release that is simultaneously entertaining and engaging and the criticisms this film will no doubt receive will more than likely centre on the nature and timing of the film, as opposed to how it was made. I’m quietly confident this isn’t an exact representation of the events that transpired and as with all films labelled ‘based on a true story’, it’s not a documentary and should not be treated as such. Ultimately, if you want the facts, read a book.

**One sentence in this tiny paragraph contains a rather monumental spoiler, just to forewarn you**
Despite attempts to tell a balanced story, there’s an unfortunate lack of Iranian dissidence. After all, the droves of protesters and gun-toting extremists didn’t speak for everyone. It’s also worth noting, the majority of people being executed in the streets were Iranian and despite the building suspense, not one American’s life is claimed. Personally, I’d recommend a double-bill, watching this release and Persepolis, to remind audiences that not everyone in Iran was a militant fundamentalist.

Although the two are completely unrelated, Argo gave me everything I wanted from Spielberg’s Munich: a decent story, gripping drama, sublimely subtle acting and a real sense of spectacle without resorting to the flash and overtly crass nature that big budget films often find themselves relying on. It’s not going to be to everyone’s liking but it is an undeniably powerful movie and simply confirms something I’ve known since 2007: Ben Affleck is an amazing director.


Release Date:
9th November 2012

The Scene To Look Out For:
After the brief opening summary, which cleverly uses photographs and stock footage through animated storyboards, we are thrown in the middle of a passionate and escalating protest outside the US embassy. The employees within have a mix of concern and dutiful calmness that is instantly relatable. The second the first few activists storm the grounds and aren’t simply shot on sight, a completely believable mild panic ensues and everyone begins destroying countless classified documents. Then the gates are forced open and the whole building is over-run with angry, militant individuals, who immediately round up and blindfold their captors. It’s a fantastically strong opening and really sets the tone and severity of the film without lowering itself to unnecessarily violent exaggerations. The key word here is realism and the controlled manner with which everyone executes their actions is strangely terrifying.

Notable Characters:
Singling anyone out in this kind of film is very difficult. Obviously Ben Affleck is centre stage and both Goodman and Arkin are the heavy-hitting comedic element, so they’re instantly memorable and likable. But if I had to pick a standout performance, I would say it was that of Scoot McNairy as Joe Stafford. As one of the more outspoken members of the group, he is afforded a great deal of screen time and really follows up his magnificent performance in Killing Them Softly illustrating immense diversity, to the point of being almost unrecognisable – arguably, everything an actor should be.

Highlighted Quote:
“John Wayne’s in the ground six months and this is what’s left of America!”

In A Few Words:
“Gripping from start to finish, Argo successfully captures something long since absent from cinema and presents it in a thoroughly entertaining manner”

Total Score:

5/5

SILENT HILL: REVELATION

Prepare For A 3D Ride Through Hell

Director
Michael J. Bassett

Starring
Adelaide Clemens
Kit Harington
Sean Bean



Before we delve into Silent Hill: Revelation, we should discuss its predecessor, Silent Hill. As a fan of the games, I really enjoyed Christophe Gans’ release and the various nods to the gaming series, not to mention an incredible performance by Jodelle Ferland. Despite all the references and video game inspired scenarios, Silent Hill was, at best, a 6/10; entertaining but overall a little lacklustre. The way the story closed, there really wasn’t a need for any sort of sequel but obviously, one was made anyway, a good six years later. So after six years, you’d expect superior visuals, a decent story and a convincing and compelling cast… yeah, none of that.

Following the events of the first Silent Hill film, an apparition of Christopher’s [Bean] dead wife appears and returns their daughter, Sharon to him. To ensure she is never returned to the possessed town of Silent Hill, Christopher and Sharon frequently change towns and aliases. So the story begins a few days before Sharon (now Heather) is due to turn eighteen. She’s used to moving around and has grown incredibly anti-social because of it. On the first day of school, Heather feels she is being followed and Christopher (under the name Harry) is kidnapped. With the help of fellow new student, Vincent [Harington], Heather journeys to Silent Hill to retrieve her father and hopefully provide some answers to her disturbing visions. Bad stuff ensues, oh my God a ghost, etc, etc.

There are a handful of positive notes to be highlighted, so we’ll address those first. Despite the fact this film didn’t look better than the original, it certainly didn’t look any worse. The set design was spectacular, offering a rusted, dystopian Jacob’s Ladder-esque nightmare world. Furthermore, the CGI and make-up for the beasts that inhabit said world were well handled and reasonably impressive. Their presence was pointless and inexplicably stupid but we’ll get to that later. Then there’s the film’s score, relying heavily on Akira Yamaoka’s mix of haunting melodies and chaotic clanging that made the games so immersive and petrifying. And I’d say that was about it. The film looked the part and sounded pretty good – only commendable points I can mention, that and they actually finished the damn thing; something always worth noting.

But it’s a well-known point that no amount of good actors, fancy visuals and decent music can make up for a terrible script and Silent Hill: Revelation has an astoundingly bad script. The story is a very loose adaptation of Silent Hill 3 with the previous film’s canon details shoehorned in for good measure but the whole thing comes off as more a checklist than a story. Monsters are used to pad out the running time, rather than actually serving a specific purpose and the creature designs are largely used as fan-service for those familiar with the games. As such, the scenes simply do not flow together and all character motivation and drive becomes questionable within minutes. Of course, the atrocious editing is no doubt down to the piss poor direction which manages to ensure that for a horror film, this movie is in fact not scary.. whatsoever. And as someone who immerses himself in film far too much (to the degree I will jump at pretty much any loud noise or creepy face), that statement is saying something. It’s not that Bassett doesn’t try to scare you, for there are quick snap cuts, long corridors, visceral gore, sudden bangs and confrontations aplenty but all of it comes off as hammy and rather pointless, especially when the audience couldn’t give a damn about anything happening on screen. Then there’s the recycled footage. After all, it’s been six years! Surely everyone’s forgotten about Silent Hill by now! So, why not save on the budget and use as much as we possibly can from the last film.. just ’cause we can. Take it from someone who knows what he’s looking for, there is a staggering amount of previous footage used here and not in a clever retrospective way.

Part of me wants to feel sorry for the actors who took part in this but as they all received a wage, I really can’t express that much concern. The three central roles are performed by Clemens, Harington and Bean, none of whom are American and for the lads, this appears to be a bit of a problem. Now, I’ve heard bad accents before, you just laugh them off and point accusatorially at the casting director but what the hell happened here? Sean Bean is known for his inability to be anything other than Northerner (that’s a British thing, for all my international readers) and he’s a returning cast member but why cast Kit Harington if he can’t actually sound like a credible yank? It’s completely jarring! And in a film with as many faults and flaws as this, the last thing you need is to be taken out of the story to whinge about how one of the leads sounds! Having said that, they do their best, everyone does. They try their hardest and put as much into their performances as possible but are continually let down by abysmally plotted out circumstances and pitiful dialogue – to the degree that the laughable “I’m looking for.. my daughter.. Cheryl… have you seen HER!?” from the first video game sounded more believable. Going back to the checklist, Bassett’s script contains several references with regards to characters but these are merely odd and loose interpretations of the game characters, lacking all their redeeming or interesting qualities. But rather than keeping these cameos as background simplicities, Bassett draws the audience’s attention to them by casting people like Carrie-Anne Moss and Malcolm Mc-fucking-Dowell for all of three minutes each! I appreciate Radha Mitchell and Deborah Kara Unger returning for a cameo but what the hell was everyone thinking?

The biggest crime of this film, other than completely killing off any possibility of a continuing series, is the ten tonne shit it takes on the Silent Hill mythology. So what I’m going to do, to close this review, is digress quite heavily. I’m basically going to tell you the plot for Silent Hill 2 (the game) as if I were pitching it to you. James Sunderland receives a letter from his deceased wife, inviting him to Silent Hill, a town they used to vacate to while she was alive. Upon arrival and not knowing what to expect, James finds the town deserted bar a few eccentric types, all but one of whom are female. While investigating the town, James encounters several horrific figures and nightmarish manifestations which attack the survivors. More often than not, James’ response is one of cowardice. As the attacks worsen, we come to realise that James was in fact so cowardly that he couldn’t stand his wife being ill, so killed her. This world of horrors is the creation of her malice and rage to him, hence why everyone and everything he encounters is very feminine, even to the point of sexual – all except a executioner figure with an enormous blade and a pyramidal cone covering his head who rapes and murders the twisted monsters. There are a few different endings but basically, James feels like a shit and is punished. So rather than being a crappy action horror piece, it’s in fact a terrifying supernatural and psychologically horrific thriller. There! Now would it have been so hard to make that a film!? Honestly!


Release Date:
2nd November 2012

The Scene To Look Out For:
A prime example of the ridiculous fan service element taking precedence over common sense, we will analyse the nurse scene. The Silent Hill nurses are a bit of a fan favourite for two reasons: 1.) they were fucking scary in the game, playing on that childlike fear of staying still and quiet to avoid being seen 2.) they show a lot of cleavage and leg while their scarred faces are completely covered – this allows guys to ogle and women to cosplay, etc. From a narrative point of view, they sort of made sense in the first film, less so than in the game but still enough sense to warrant being there. Here, they’re just in an operating room in an asylum. A room which appears to be used a great deal. Why? Why the hell not. So when two members of the evil order wheel a restrained Vincent into the room they are instantly attacked but act surprised, resorting to poorly delivered dialogue such as “Hey you. Get offa him” and “What the.. oh no!” Clearly a product of someone sitting at a computer or around a writer’s table and blurting out, “Hey, you know what’d be cool here? Room full of nurses! Shit yeah! I’m gonna write that down… room.. full.. of.. nurses. Sexy.”

Notable Characters:
Despite the terrible scenarios and ridiculous requirement, Adelaide Clemens somehow manages to pull through with a little credibility. Granted, her character was dumb and haphazard and downright disorientating but at least Clemens kept a consistent level of professionalism throughout. I wouldn’t be surprised if she goes on to great heights and this is a mere blip on an otherwise decent career… either that or this will haunt her forever.

Highlighted Quote:
“It’s a key.. but what does it unlock?”

In A Few Words:
“Not only a disservice to the video games and a terrible sequel but an absolutely atrocious film that had no business getting past the first draft stage!”

Total Score:

2/5

SKYFALL

50 Years In The Making

Director
Sam Mendes

Starring
Daniel Craig
Judi Dench
Javier Bardem



To avoid spoiling the story, my brief plot synopsis is going to be somewhat more brief than usual. Skyfall opens mid-mission, in typical Bond fashion, as MI6 monitor James [Craig] scrabbling around Istanbul, elaborately chasing down an operative who has stolen a hard drive – a hard drive which apparently contains the name of every undercover operative in action. During a climactic brawl atop a speeding train, his fellow field agent takes a shot and accidentally hits Bond, causing him to plummet several feet into a seemingly watery grave. For losing the data, M [Dench] is reprimanded and brought to trial by the British government; at the same time, MI6 is subject to a massive terrorist attack and several undercover agents are exposed and executed. We soon discover Bond is alive and well but in order to regain his 00 status, he must first complete several trials. Bond’s investigations take him to China and to a figure from M’s past [Bardem].

As much as Timothy Dalton was probably the finest Bond, Daniel Craig is evidently the best choice for these contemporary tales. His steely determination, patriotic loyalty and determined resolve all mesh into one plausible individual who has signed his life away for queen and country. Furthermore, the wealth of positive elements not only counter the slight missteps in Quantum Of Solace, they connect the previous two films, feeling like a Daniel Craig trilogy rather than random instalments in this alternate Bond-centred universe. The action is gripping, the sets and locations are lavish and the pacing is, in my opinion, completely fitting for the three act structure. But everything unfolds just a little too neatly. In the same way that everyone (including myself) was taken in by the marvel that was The Dark Knight before really stopping to question the reality of such a fiendish plan. In other words, a lot of things had to go exactly according to plan for the plot to progress in the manner it did and while this niggling complaint didn’t disrupt my enjoyment of the film while watching it, it’s now all I can think about.

It’s wrong of me to compare the James Bond franchise to properties such as the Bourne series or Tinker Tailor Solider Spy but the lack of gritty realism really hits home and amid the myriad of series tick boxes, references and eye-rollingly blatant product placement, Skyfall’s plot is found slightly wanting. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the spectacle and exploration of Bond’s human side and backstory but the drama felt a little too underplayed, sinking into the background while the Aston Martins, Omega watches and general James Bondisms traipsed forcefully to the fore. In fact the majority of the references and nods to the previous films felt really forced. Uh-oh, James has gone to a private lockup somewhere, anyone think there’ll be an Ast.. oh, yep, there it is. Aston Martin DB5.. oh and a massive orchestral DUN DUN sting to remind you it’s a Bond car, in case this is your first Bond outing. But in case that wasn’t enough, we should probably reference the ejector seat….. badly. Ultimately, this has always been a problem with the Bond franchise. A new actor comes through and makes their mark on the series before eventually falling into the old, familiar pitfalls and comfort zones that fans expect (Dalton and Lazenby thankfully sidestepped these trappings), with mixed results.

**plenty of plot spoilers here, so just skip ahead to the next paragraph if you have yet to see the film**
So, we should probably discuss the implications and developments by the film’s close. Maybe I’ve just seen one too many films, or perhaps the blatant Bondisms left a trail of breadcrumbs with actual loaves but the whole Dench departure thing seemed rather obvious. I wouldn’t say it was badly done because it was actually a nice send off but it made the inevitability of the whole thing a little tedious – I think it was around the time she started quoting Tennyson. But what really irks me is the final shots of Eve bloody Moneypenny (surely they could have shoehorned that in a little smoother) taking her place behind the desk, hat rack neatly placed before Bond steps through the big padded door to his new employer’s office. Of course Ralph Fiennes was replacing Dench. If Albert Finney hadn’t shown up as the groundskeeper and wasn’t older than stone, I’d say it would be him. Bringing Bond’s operations back to a small wood-panelled room somewhere in Westminster is all well and good but it felt like Mendes was trying to step away from modernising Bond and bringing the story back to the 60’s films; a full circle, if you will. Now, if the series stopped there, I’d say that was the absolute perfect move but we all know there will be plenty more to come, a fair few featuring Mr. Craig, no doubt. So, my real frustration with this epilogue is a.) the unnecessary fan service literally pissing on the groundwork in Casino Royale b.) where do you go from there? But I digress, I have a few suggestions for the future of Bond but I’ll save those for my closing remarks.

For me, one of the defining features to any film is the music and for fifty years James Bond films have had the tradition of having two key musical elements; the score and the song. The former has been providing with long-time Mendes collaborator, Thomas Newman and it’s thoroughly disappointing. Newman has crafted so many distinctly haunting and beautiful melodies over the years but his presence here falls flat, sticking within the clear-cut boundaries of the familiar James Bond twanging and variations thereof. On the other hand, Adele Adkin’s Skyfall theme is superb, combining her own distinctive sound with that timeless Bond feel – much like Gladys Knights did with the theme for Licence To Kill. So, on the one hand, a timeless classic which will probably be remembered as one of the best Bond themes and a mesh of flimsy instrumental accompaniment taking us from scene to scene. Most unfortunate.

Then there’s the acting to take into consideration, I’m really not sure what to think of Javier Bardem’s character. At times he was utterly superb: a callous, driven, eccentric individual with genuine reason to seek revenge and then he suddenly morphs into this camp, moustache twirling, monologuing stereotype. Whereas this should make for a memorable villain, all it does is sully a potentially phenomenal performance. Also, as much as I like Naomie Harris as an actress, I felt her role here was so very forced. There was no real chemistry between her and Craig and it stapled the subtly sexist (though probably unintentional) theme of presenting an array of rather useless women. Now before you shoot off a couple of emails damning me, I’m not saying women are useless, I’m saying they are portrayed as fumbling, inaccurate, emotionally compromised, weak individuals. I’m not saying you need to butch them up and try and be a female Bond – akin to Halle Berry’s rather disastrous performance in Die Another Day – but surely there’s some middle ground here!

To summate, I’m not suggesting this Bond film is not up to par with its twenty two predecessors, more that as wholly rounded films, they’ve all been somewhat lacking. Enjoyable, entertaining nonsense but far from cinematic excellence. In my opinion it’s time to shake off the shackles of nostalgia; Bond should either be a 60’s cold war period piece or go in a completely ‘radical’ direction and imply James Bond is simply a codename, much like M, and cast Idris Elba or Colin Salmon. After all, as wonderful a film as Skyfall is, how many more decent Bond stories are there left to explore?


Release Date:
26th October 2012

The Scene To Look Out For:
Once again, two scenes to highlight here. The first is the siege of Skyfall Lodge.. yes, Skyfall is a house. Without wanting to divulge too much plot, it’s essentially a nice combination of a big action sequence, a classic Western set-piece and a nice little nod to more of Bond’s humanising backstory. Secondly, unlike my fellow critics, I actually enjoyed Chris Cornell’s theme for Casino Royale (You Know My Name) and the title sequence as an equally inventive and lush visual accompaniment. The same applies here, a fantastic song and beautifully haunting visuals which mirror the events that transpire and the overriding theme of death – of course, none of that really sinks in until the film finishes but it’s delightful nevertheless.

Notable Characters:
One element returning from the previous films is the Q branch representative, affectionately dubbed, Q. Ben Whishaw has always been a commendable thespian and his role here is exactly as expected. Reserved, arrogant, outspoken yet somehow timid, Q is a fresh embodiment of a familiar character, rather than a mirroring pastiche to a beloved series regular.

Highlighted Quote:
“A radio and a gun.. not exactly Christmas, is it?”

In A Few Words:
“Another quality outing that does all it sets out to do but after fifty years, Bond is getting a tad old hat and one wonders how much longer the series can be resurrected”

Total Score:

4/5

Cinema City Film Quiz #82

[21 October 2012]


Winning Team:
Who Shot JRR?

Genre – A whodunit mystery

Runners Up:
The Motherboard Of The Rings
Genre – Disaster movie in which an IT meltdown results in humanity reverting to huts in grass, horses and folk songs
Stored In The Rings
Genre – Four wide-eyed Hobbits smuggle illegal drugs in an uncomfortable place all the way from the Shire to Mount Doom
Bored Of The Rings
Genre – A documentary about the first half of the first book
Fellowship Of The Things
Genre – Horror


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. What is George Bank’s relation to Annie Banks in Father Of The Bride?
FATHER
2. Oliver Stone’s Alexander tells the story of which leader?
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
3. Who directed The Shining?
STANLEY KUBRICK
4. The following songs are from which film: Summer Nights, Hopelessly Devoted To You and You’re The One That I Want?
GREASE
5. How many dice are used in Jumanji?
TWO
6. Taken is set in which European city?
PARIS
7. Elizabeth was released in which year?
1998
8. Who are the three top-billed actors in Galaxy Quest? (one point per correct answer)
TIM ALLEN / SIGOURNEY WEAVER / ALAN RICKMAN
9. How many Odd Couple films were made?
TWO
10. Who played the lead role in Brett Ratner’s The Family Man?
NICOLAS CAGE

ROUND II: Filming [The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy Special]
1. What is the name of the Elven co-ruler of Lothlorien? Gil-galad? Arwen? Galadriel?
GALADRIEL
2. What is Gollum’s real name? Deagol? Smeagol? Grima?
SMEAGOL
3. Which of the following characters do not live to see the end of the trilogy? Eowyn? Pipin? Boromir?
BOROMIR
4. How many rings were given by Sauron to the race of men? 8? 9? 10?
NINE
5. Faramir first appears in which film? The Fellowship Of The Ring? The Two Towers? The Return Of The King?
THE TWO TOWERS
6. The battering ram used to enter Minas Tirith, in Return Of The King, is shaped like what animal? Dragon? Wolf? Lion? [bonus point for stating the battering ram’s name]
WOLF [Grond]
7. What does the Elvish word Mellon mean? Friend? Fire? Run?
FRIEND
8. Frodo, Sam and Gollum are led to which city when they are attacked by Orcs and Nazgul, at the end of The Two Towers? Tharbad? Kazad-dum? Osgiliath?
OSGILIATH
9. Which character kicks Denothor into the funeral pyre, in Return Of The King? Aragorn? Shadowfax? Eomer?
SHADOWFAX
10. The same number of characters feature on each of the three main posters. True or False?
FALSE (F20 T10 R6)

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. Finish the quote from Training Day, “To protect the sheep you gotta catch the wolf. And it takes a [?] to catch a wolf”
WOLF
2. What is Druidia’s five digit shield combination, in Spaceballs?
12345
3. Which actor plays Eugene Jerome’s drill sergeant in Bloxi Blues?
CHRISTOPHER WALKEN
4. In what year was the Hong Kong film Police Story released?
1985
5. In the Indiana Jones series, Henry Jones Jnr and Snr are afraid of what respectively? (one point per correct answer)
SNAKES / RATS
6. Lt Jnr Grade Daniel Kaffee, Lt Cmdr Joanne Galloway and Colonel Nathan Jessep are characters in which military court room drama?
A FEW GOOD MEN
7. The opening dialogue in Snatch is allegedly a reference to which Tarantino film?
RESERVOIR DOGS
8. The following is the poster tagline for which film “How much blood would you shed to stay alive”?
SAW
9. Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Belushi, Peter Boyle, Gina Gershon and Laurence Fishburne all starred in which film?
RED HEAT
10. Which two films were released on 08-Jun-84 under the newly dubbed genre horror comedy? (one point per correct answer)
GHOSTBUSTERS / GREMLINS

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. What is Max’s surname in the Mad Max series? Cundalini? Rockatansky? Diabando?
ROCKATANSKY
2. How many films has Milos Forman directed? 9? 12? 18?
TWELVE
3. Who plays the role of landowner Frank Harlan, opposite Clint Eastwood, in Joe Kidd? Dennis Hopper? James Caan? Robert Duvall?
ROBERT DUVALL
4. Who cameoed as Paul McCartney in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story? Justin Long? Jason Schwartzman? Jack Black?
JACK BLACK
5. What form of transport does Ellie initially use to get to New York, whereon she meets Peter, in It Happened One Night? Train? Bus? Plane?
BUS
6. The following is a quote from which film, “I am a Cambridge man, first and last. I am an Englishman, first and last. What I have achieved, what I intend to achieve, is for my family, my university and my country”? Chariots Of Fire? Eight Men Out? Play It To The Bone?
CHARIOTS OF FIRE
7. Who was originally cast as Jack Ryan in The Hunt For Red October, before Alec Baldwin was hired? Bruce Willis? Kevin Bacon? Kevin Costner? [bonus point for naming the film that John McTiernan had to pass up, in order to direct THFRO]
KEVIN COSTNER [Die Hard 2]
8. Bill Murray has how many siblings? Five? Seven? Eight?
EIGHT
9. How many films feature both Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall? 4? 6? 8? [bonus points for identifying how old Bogart and Bacall were when they first met]
FOUR (To Have And Have Not, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, Key Largo) [19 / 44]
10. Whilst filming Heartbreak Ridge, Clint Eastwood was also the mayor of Carmel in California. True or False?
TRUE

BOUND IMAGE ROUND
Screenshots: Sleeping Beauty / Rebel Without A Cause / Independence Day
Poster: Bicentennial Man
Actor: Jason Isaacs

Cinema City Film Quiz #81

[07 October 2012]


Winning Team:
Team names lost to the electronic ether of the internet… sorry


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. What type of animal is Po in Kung Fu Panda?
PANDA
2. Who directed Inlgourious Basterds?
QUENTIN TARANTINO
3. What type of ‘monster’ is the main antagonist in Night Of The Living Dead?
ZOMBIES
4. He’s Going To Tell and Camelot are songs from which Monty Python film?
MONTY PYTHON & THE HOLY GRAIL
5. Who played the lead role in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind?
JIM CARREY
6. Walter, Donny and The Dude all partake in which pastime, in The Big Lebowski?
BOWLING
7. What is the top grossing film focused on a killer whale? [bonus point for box office takings]
FREE WILLY [$77 million]
8. What was the most recent film directed by Martin Scorsese?
HUGO
9. What are the names of the two mice that act as Cinderella’s sidekicks in 1950’s Cinderella? (one point per correct answer)
GUS / JAQ
10. Which two words did a German officer famously use to give away Flight Lt. Sandy MacDonald’s identity in The Great Escape? (one point per correct answer)
GOOD LUCK

ROUND II: Filming [Sean Bean Special]
1. Sean Bean appeared in which James Bond film? Die Another Day? The World Is Not Enough? Goldeneye?
GOLDENEYE
2. Patriot Games is based on the book by which author? Clive Cussler? Tom Clancy? Robert Ludlum?
TOM CLANCY
3. When Saturday Comes sees Jimmy Muir working his way up to play for which team? Sheffield Wednesday? Sheffield United? Manchester City?
SHEFFIELD UNITED
4. Which of the following did not star in Essex Boys? Sean Bean? Tom Wilkinson? Sean Pertwee?
SEAN PERTWEE
5. Which character does Sean Bean play in Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Rings? Aragorn? Boromir? Gimli?
BOROMIR
6. What is Ben’s estimated value of the eponymous National Treasure in the film of the same name? $One Hundred Million? $Ten Billion? $5 Trillion?
$TEN BILLION
7. Which of the following Michael Bay films starred Sean Bean? Pearl Harbour? Bad Boys II? The Island?
THE ISLAND
8. The poem heavily featured in Equilibrium was penned by which Irish author? WB Yeats? Patrick Kavanagh? Brendan Behan?
W.B. YEATS
9. Troy was made for $175 Million. How much did it make at the box office? $224 million? $366 million? $497 million?
$497 MILLION
10. The original script for Silent Hill contained an intentional entirely female cast. The studio sent a memo to Christophe Gans, demanding he add an equal number of male roles. True or False?
TRUE

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. Dr. Alan Grant explains in Jurassic Park III that no force on Earth or heaven could get him on that island. What specifically changes his mind?
MONEY
2. Who played the role of Debbie Jellinsky in Addams Family Values?
JOAN CUSACK
3. Canadian actor Christopher Hart is predominantly known for his roles in several films as which body part?
HAND (Addams Family series, Idle Hands, etc)
4. While on the phone to Avi, how many times does Franky Four-Fingers change clothes, in Snatch?
FOUR
5. Which actors played the lead roles in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (one point per correct answer)
JOAN CRAWFORD / BETTE DAVIS
6. What are the two longest running film franchises to date? (one point per correct answer)
JAMES BOND / GODZILLA (both 50 years)
7. Disney’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs was released in which year?
1937
8. Faber College is the university in which iconic US comedy?
ANIMAL HOUSE
9. The following is the poster tagline from which film: “Just because they serve you, doesn’t mean they like you”?
CLERKS
10. How old is Liam Neeson?
SIXTY

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Arkin and Dan Aykroyd all starred in which film? Bullets Over Broadway? Serendipity? Grosse Point Blank? [bonus point for spelling Aykroyd correctly]
GROSSE POINT BLANK [AYKROYD]
2. Who starred in the title role in Gilda? Rita Hayworth? Lana Turner? Ingrid Bergman?
RITA HAYWORTH
3. In The Boondock Saints, brothers Connor and Murphy McManus have respective tattoos that say Veritas and Aequitas. What do these words mean? Truth and Justice? Blood and Vengeance? Peace and War?
TRUTH AND JUSTICE
4. Which of the following is not one of Data’s gadgets, from The Goonies? Pinchers Of Peril? Slick Shoes? Handy Hand?
HANDY HAND
5. 1954’s The Barefoot Contessa was released and distributed by which studio? MGM? RKO? Paramount?
MGM
6. How many individuals make up the Young Guns in the film of the same name? Six? Seven? Eight?
SIX (Estevez, Sutherland, Diamond Phillips, Sheen, Mulroney, Siemaszko)
7. Who played the role of Giuseppe Baldini in Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer? Dustin Hoffman? Alan Rickman? Ben Whishaw?
DUSTIN HOFFMAN
8. During the opening sequence of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Raoul Duke is under the influence of which drug? Ether? Mescaline? Cocaine?
MESCALINE
9. What was the name of Edward G. Robinson’s character in Double Indemnity? Edward Norton? Walter Neff? Barton Keyes?
BARTON KEYES
10. Despite the title, none of the interior or exterior scenes were filmed in Fargo. True or False?
TRUE

Maximum Potential Points:
ROUND I: 13
ROUND II: 10
ROUND III: 12
ROUND IV: 11