Cinema City Film Quiz #128

[31 August 2014]


Winning Team:
Bugs Jordan

Genre – Katie Price and Bugs Bunny have a tall black love child with big ears

Runners Up:
I Want To Touch Michael Jordan’s Magic Ball And Drink His Secret Stuff
Genre – Sports Opera
Space Jam 2: Jordan’s Sweaty Balls
Genre – Jordan (Katie Price) fingers Michael Jordan’s basketballs and covers them in sweat after a vigorous workout
Spaec Jam II: Space Jam It In Ya! ..with sexy results
Genre – Sexy sports movie with Soviet montage inserts
Toe Jam
Genre – An outbreak of athletes foot threatens the future of the team
Sissy Spacek Ham
Genre – After the blood scene in Carrie, Sissy felt it was important to not let the pigs corpse go to waste and starts a lunch deli company


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. What is the name of the villain in the Steven Spielberg film, Hook?
CAPTAIN JAMES HOOK
2. What type of animal is the title character in the family film Beethoven?
DOG
3. What is the codename of fictional secret agent, James Bond?
007
4. Which Pixar film is about an old man who attaches several balloons to his house and goes on an adventure?
UP
5. Michael Corleone, Tony Montana and Frank Serpico were all played by which actor?
AL PACINO
6. The aliens in 1953’s War Of The Worlds are from which planet?
MARS
7. Complete the title of this Clint Eastwood western: High Plains
DRIFTER
8. Which film series starred Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez (amongst others)?
THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS
9. What was the title of the 2007 pseudo-biopic about Bob Dylan?
I’M NOT THERE
10. How many Rambo films have been made to date?
FOUR

ROUND II: Filming [Space Jam]
1. What do the Nerdlucks use to steal the NBA all-stars’ talent, turning them into the Monstars? A kazoo? A lasagne? A basketball?
A BASKETBALL
2. Space Jam was released in which year? 1992? 1994? 1996?
1996
3. When Michael Jordan retires from basketball, he takes up which sport? Baseball? American Football? Hockey?
BASEBALL
4. Who voices the role of the evil Mr. Swackhammer? Christopher Lloyd? Danny DeVito? Bob Hoskins?
DANNY DEVITO
5. What is the only item of clothing worn by the Nerdlucks (before they transform)? Cap? Bow tie? Shorts?
BOW TIE
6. When Bill Murray makes a last minute appearance, Mr. Swackhammer breaks the fourth wall and says, “I didn’t know [name] was in this picture.” Which actor does Swackhammer think Murray is? Rick Moranis? Gene Wilder? Dan Aykroyd?
DAN AYKROYD
7. What is the name of the failing theme park run by Mr. Swackhammer? Terror Town? Moron Mountain? Goofy Rhymes?
MORON MOUNTAIN
8. Which character wears the number 8 jersey? Lola Bunny? Yosemite Sam? Porky Pig?
PORKY PIG
9. How much did Space Jam take at the box office? 80 million dollars? 140 million dollars? 230 million dollars?
230 MILLION DOLLARS (230,418,342)
10. All of Michael Jordan’s product endorsements at the time were referenced in one sentence. True or False?
TRUE (C’mon Michael, it’s game time. Slip on your Hanes, lace up your Nikes, take your Wheaties and your Gatorade and we’ll grab a Big Mac on the way to the ballpark)

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. In which film did Dennis Hopper and Stephen Dorff play ‘space transport entrepreneurs’ with Charles Dance as a cyborg trying to stop a race of killer robots from taking over the earth?
SPACE TRUCKERS
2. How many films were directed by Richard Attenborough?
TWELVE
3. Sarah Harding, Roland Tembo, Kelly Malcolm and Alexis ‘Lex’ Murphy are characters in which film?
JURASSIC PARK: THE LOST WORLD
4. Despite being puppets in a larger conspiracy, which two countries act as the main opposing forces in The Sum Of All Fears? (one point per correct answer)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / RUSSIAN FEDERATION
5. The following quote is from which film, “If I’m wrong, nothing happens. We go to jail, peacefully, quietly, we’ll enjoy it. But if I’m right, and we can stop it, Lenny, you will have saved the lives of millions of registered voters”?
GHOSTBUSTERS
6. What type of animal is Ash (voiced by Jason Schwartzman) in Fantastic Mr. Fox?
FOX
7. How much money does the Joker distribute while releasing his Smilex gas via balloons in Batman?
TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS
8. At the end of The Town, Doug, Jem, Dez and Gloansy rob Fenway Park. What sport is played at Fenway Park?
BASEBALL
9. The following is the poster tagline for which film, “Get ready for rush hour”?
SPEED
10. How old is Louis when he is turned into a vampire in Interview With The Vampire?
TWENTY FOUR

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. Which of the following actors did not appear in Shakespeare In Love? Martin Clunes? Tom Wilkinson? Jim Broadbent?
JIM BROADBENT
2. How many feature films did Stanley Kubrick direct? 11? 13? 15?
THIRTEEN (Fear and Desire, Killer’s Kiss, The Killing, Paths Of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut)
3. What was the name of the woman Azeem was to be executed for, in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves? Jharana? Jalini? Jasmina?
JASMINA
4. Michael Douglas played the role of Nicholas Van Orton in which film? The Game? Traffic? Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past?
THE GAME
5. How many years is Andy Dufresne in prison before his escape, in The Shawshank Redemption? 19? 24? 32?
NINETEEN (1947-1966)
6. What is Colin Blythe’s (played by Donald Pleasance) one word catchphrase in The Great Escape? Splendid? Delightful? Brilliant?
SPLENDID
7. What was the highest grossing film of 1992? The Bodyguard? Aladdin? Basic Instinct?
ALADDIN
8. The following quote is from which film, “Which one of you nuts has got any guts”? One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest? 12 Monkeys? Girl, Interrupted?
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
9. How many Oscars were awarded to 1982’s Gandhi? 6? 8? 10?
EIGHT
10. At the close of Kingpin, Bill Murray’s character scores three strikes to win a bowling tournament. These three strikes were obtained in a row by Bill Murray on his first take. True or False?
TRUE

BOUNS IMAGE ROUND
Screenshots: Mystery Men / Fargo / Jurassic Park III
Poster: Thank You For Smoking
Actor: William H Macy

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

There Is No Justice Without Sin

Director
Robert Rodriguez
Frank Miller

Starring
Mickey Rourke
Jessica Alba
Josh Brolin
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Eva Green
Bruce Willis



Do you know what Godfather: Part 3 Syndrome is? It’s the diminished return after a long wait. The cast and crew are largely the same, the stylistic elements are present but the golden window of opportunity has long since passed. It’s no secret that I really enjoyed Sin City. For me, it was the perfectly timed release; I was in my early twenties, an avid comic reader and the stylistic elements were so bold and unprecedented that it stood out spectacularly. Nine years later we’ve finally got a sequel and any good grace Sin City bought has been squandered by the likes of The Spirit, 300 and .. basically everything Rodriquez has released in the interim period. Had this been put out in 2007, it’d be a roaring success, instead, I can only feel rather disappointed.

For those that don’t know, the source material is made up of seven collected editions of stories. The first film drew on three large tales (The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill, That Yellow Bastard) and one short piece (The Customer Is Always Right). That left a The Big Fat Kill prequel (A Dame To Kill For), a The Big Fat Kill sequel (Family Values), the rather lengthy Hell And Back and a lot of other little stories. What we end up with, however, is a very brief Marv story (Just Another Saturday Night) which admittedly sets the tone neatly, the full pelt of A Dame To Kill For and two original stories (The Long Bad Night and Nancy’s Last Dance). Let’s start with A Dame To Kill For – arguably the best of the Sin City graphic novels – this plays out very well as the typical noir/femme fatale story and exercises every trope in the genre. Eva Green plays Ava Lord, a mysterious sultry figure from Dwight McCarthy’s [Brolin] past who seduces and coerces McCarthy to kill her rich sadistic husband. Once the deed is done, she turns on him and reveals that he was being played all along. Furious, Dwight seeks vengeance. Then we have The Long Bad Night, featuring a gambling prodigy named Johnny [Gordon-Levitt] who has honed his hustling skills and returned to Sin City for one last big score. Finally we are presented with Nancy’s Last Dance; after the death of Hartigan [Willis], the cop who saved her from being raped as a child, Nancy [Alba] descends into a drunken depression and slowly twists herself into the hand of retribution, targeting the man responsible, Senator Roark [Boothe].

As Sin City is such a stylistic series, let’s start with the technical aspects. It’s been nearly a decade since we’ve graced the streets of Sin City; remember how ground-breaking the original was? Imagine how things will look now. Turns out, they look exactly the same. Sure the rendering on the backgrounds are a little smoother perhaps but the only real development in this technology is that it’s become cheaper and more readily available to amateur/low-budget filmmakers. But that’s fine, maybe they’re pioneering in other areas, such as sound and music? Nope, Rodriguez has pumped out the same score. Not just the same themes and harmonies but the exact same score, even reusing the same song for Nancy to dance to in Kadie’s Bar. So while everything is still rather impressive and serves to entertain visually, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before and the green-screen/CGI-heavy environments soon take their toll (as we’ve been force fed them for almost every release over the last decade). The pacing and direction are no different. With more money Rodriguez seems to have lost a lot of that energy and passion that defined his early career. Several scenes and circumstances are tired, simple and unimaginative. Where he once pushed the envelope, everything looks more like a sequel under the reins of lesser hands. The pacing is shoddy, the episodic arrangement loses all fluidity, leaving the ending abrupt and cold, the action sequences are flat, the stark monochrome negative space cut-aways feel brief, rushed and out-of-place; the word I would use to summate the whole thing is amateur.

As with the first film, the cast are great and every segment has at least one standout moment but nothing holds the same weight. Overall, the stories don’t gel well enough and the references to things that have happened in the last film and things yet to happen (but still shown in the last film) can be a little disorientating. For the returning cast, everything is exactly where they left it. Alba’s character develops nicely but not nearly enough time is awarded to her, so by the time we get to her story, we don’t really care anymore. Mickey Rourke once again feels completely at home in the role of Marv but it’s obvious this is one of Miller’s favourite creations as he is brought back time-and-again – much in the same way Stallone would happily write Rocky films from now until his dying day if the studios would let him. And then there are the new additions. Eva Green is, as mentioned before, fantastic and perfectly cast as the part of the twisted seductress. Brolin and Gordon-Levitt are also wonderful and somehow obvious inclusions, as if they always belonged to this curious hyper-reality. I have no qualms with recasting roles, I completely understand the necessity but let’s just see how this movie could have looked had it been put out on time: Brittany Murphy would be alive, Michael Clarke Duncan would be alive, Devon Aoki could return as Miho, Michael Madsen could return as Bob and more importantly Clive Owen could have returned and saved this film from one of the most hideous uses of a cheap wig and facial prosthetics – but more on that a little later.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For isn’t a bad film, it’s just a badly timed one. With a little tweaking, rearrangements, more attentive editing and a fucking time machine, it would be a glorious success but as with most of Rodriguez’s recent releases, this just fell depressingly short. It’s quickly becoming apparent that Mr. Rodriguez is carving out a b-movie niche with a-list casts but to what end, I have no idea. But if the cinema I attended is anything to go by, the audience simply won’t be there for it.

Release Date:
29th August 2014

The Scene To Look Out For:
Not that it makes much of a difference but continuity-wise Nancy’s Last Dance doesn’t make any sense. It’s supposedly set four years after Hartigan kills himself at the end of Sin City but at the end of The Hard Goodbye (when Marv is executed), Nancy has long blonde hair, no facial scars and there’s a newspaper article in which Senator Roark (who is apparently now dead) outcries the murder of Cardinal Roark. It’s this kind of all-over-the-place shit that really sullies this film. The messy timeline is largely to blame but ultimately it suffers in the same way that 300: Rise Of An Empire did; in that it’s simultaneously both prequel and sequel. And on top of that, Bruce Willis plays a ghost. And I don’t mean just in Nancy’s head but a goddamn ghost. He appears in a mirror during a flash of lightning and scares Roark just long enough to distract him. That’s a fucking ghost. And that is bat shit. And now that I think about it, Roark visits Nancy in a dream and says a bunch of weird shit then disappears. Later, when she confronts him, he alludes to said conversation. This points to one of two things: a.) it’s all a dream and Nancy’s a crazy drunk or b.) Frank Miller can’t write any more. Hmm.. which seems more likely?

Notable Characters:
**Spoiler.. I guess.. in a way.. but not really if you’ve seen the first film**
Dwight’s new face. Dwight’s fucking new face. In the book Dwight gets shot to pieces and messed up by Ava. During his rejuvenation period he has an exceptional amount of plastic surgery done and arrives in Sin City with a new face. In the comic, this works really well, in the film, not as much; especially as we’ve already established that said new face is that of Clive Owen. So what did they do instead? I have absolutely no idea but it was bloody hideous! Brolin steps off a train pretending he’s somebody else, neither imitating the comic Dwight or Clive Owen’s Dwight. They slap a cheap floppy wig on him and a weird looking pointy chin that felt reminiscent of a character in the 1990 Dick Tracy flick. Terrible choice, terrible effect, terrible reasoning.

Highlighted Quote:
“Hell is watching the ones you love in pain”

In A Few Words:
“Let this be a lesson to all budding filmmakers. There’s no need to rush to sequels but there is a definite time and a place for follow-ups and if you have the opportunity, strike while the iron is hot, lest you end up with Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Total Score:

2/5

Cinema City Film Quiz #127

[17 August 2014]


Winning Team:
Nan Of The Year

Genre – Mrs. Doubtfire becomes President

Runners Up:
The Grand Overlooked Bates Hotel
Genre – Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan try to badly remake three different films
Dead Actor’s Society
Genre – Starring Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall and Mel Gibson’s career
Big Dick’s Halfway-Inn
Genre – One man’s struggle to fill his empty spaces
Ho-Ho-Hotel, No!
Genre – Sassy black Santa runs a hotel with hilariously racist overtones; starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. How many commandments were given to Moses in The Ten Commandments?
TEN
2. What colour is C3PO in the Star Wars films (excluding The Phantom Menace)?
GOLD
3. Cast Away belongs to which genre?
DRAMA
4. What nationality was Mrs. Doubtfire in the film of the same name?
SCOTTISH
5. The cave of wonders in Aladdin is in the shape of what animal’s head?
TIGER
6. The term bangarag comes from which 90’s film?
HOOK
7. In which year did Kenneth Branagh play the title role of Hamlet?
1996
8. The game Jumanji supports how many players on the board?
FOUR
9. What was the subtitle to the film, FernGully?
THE LAST RAINFOREST
10. Which 2005 best picture winning film starred Matt Dillon, Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Ryan Phillippe and Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges?
CRASH

ROUND II: Filming [Hotels]
1. Which of the following was set in a hotel? Hotel (2001)? Hotel (1967)? Hotel (2004 German)?
HOTEL
2. The phrase ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ features heavily in which film? The Grand Budapest Hotel? Lost in Translation? The Shining?
THE SHINING
3. What is the name of Janet Leigh’s character in Psycho? Marion? Caroline? Norma?
MARION
4. How many British pensioners seek out the retirement hotel in India, in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? Six? Seven? Eight?
SEVEN
5. What is the name of the hotel in Home Alone 2? Gramercy Park? Waldorf Astoria? The Plaza?
THE PLAZA HOTEL
6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall takes place in which country? Jamaica? Hawaii? Puerto Rico?
HAWAII
7. Over the last ninety five years, how many people have died in the eponymous room 1408? 56? 71? 102?
FIFTY SIX
8. Which of the following appeared in the animated family film, Hotel Transylvania? John Travolta? Steve Buscemi? Michael Keaton?
STEVE BUSCEMI
9. Who directed Maid In Manhattan? Martin Brest? Adam Shankman? Wayne Wang?
WAYNE WANG
10. The role of Grand High Witch in the 1990 film, The Witches, was played by two actresses. While in human form, she was portrayed by Anjelica Huston but when in make-up the performance was given by Cher. True or False?
FALSE (Cher lost out the role to Huston)

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. In One Hour Photo, Sy’s only real companionship outside of work is his pet. What animal is it?
HAMSTER
2. In the 2005 film Robots, what colour is Fender Pinwheeler, voiced by Robin Williams?
RED
3. Which film featured Kenneth Branagh, Bernard Hill, Eddie Izzard and Bill Nighy?
VALKYRIE
4. The following is the poster tagline for which film, “At the Museum of Natural History, something unnatural is occuring”?
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
5. The following quote is from which film, “Louis XVI wore a fabulous stone that was called the Blue Diamond of the Crown, which disappeared in 1792″?
TITANIC
6. How many films has Robert Rodriguez directed (excluding Four Rooms, including Sin City: A Dame To Kill For)?
SIXTEEN
7. The Birdcage is a remake of a 1978 film mutually produced by which two European counties? (one point per correct answer)
FRANCE / ITALY
8. What did Sam Mendes direct after American Beauty?
ROAD TO PERDITION
9. Popeye was released in which year?
1980
10. Despite possessing the body of a forty year old, what is the title character’s actual age in Jack?
TEN

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. In The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen, the Baron’s horse, Bucephalus, is named after the horse of which ancient ruler? Julius Caesar? Alexander The Great? Napoleon Bonaparte?
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
2. Who scored Good Will Hunting? Danny Elfman? Howard Shore? Hans Zimmer?
DANNY ELFMAN
3. What did Barry Levinson direct after Good Morning, Vietnam? Rain Man? Bugsy? Toys?
RAIN MAN
4. Dead Poets Society was released in which year? 1987? 1988? 1989?
1989
5. Which of the following did not feature Lauren Bacall? To Have And Have Not? All I Want For Christmas? The Big Sky?
THE BIG SKY
6. What is the name of Robin Williams’ character in The Fisher King? Barry? Larry? Parry?
PARRY
7. Which letter of the alphabet is used as the codename for the censorship device in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut? Z-Chip? V-Chip? T-Chip?
V-CHIP
8. In What Dreams May Come, Chris meets his future wife Annie while on holiday in which country? Switzerland? Austria? Hungary?
SWITZERLAND
9. What was the occupation of Robin Williams’ character in Insomnia? Local police chief? Fishing and tackle shop owner? Crime fiction writer?
CRIME FICTION WRITER
10. The rhino costume in Death To Smoochy had to be changed last minute from purple to orange, to avoid several law suits from Sheryl Leach, the owner of Barney The Dinosaur. True or False?
FALSE (it was actually pink)

BOUNS IMAGE ROUND
Screenshots: Me, Myself & Irene / Cold Mountain / Cinderella Man
Poster: Shark Tale
Actor: Renee Zellweger

WHAT IF

Being Friends Has Its Benefits?

Director
Michael Dowse

Starring
Daniel Radcliffe
Zoe Kazan
Rafe Spall

The story opens with an introduction to Wallace [Radcliffe], a young man who has only just got over his break-up one year prior. His best friend is hosting a party and insists Wallace finally shake off the maudlin funk and embrace the single world. Reluctantly, Wallace consents. While at a party, he makes the acquaintance of Chandry [Kazan], a charming twenty-something animator and they immediately hit it off. The night winds down and the two depart, with Wallace offering to walk Chandry home. Upon arrival at Chandry’s residence, she gives Wallace her number, explains that she had a good time but also subtly drops the hint that she has a boyfriend. Wallace, deflated by this, intentionally loses the number and carries on with his life. After some time, the two meet up again and agree to be friends, enjoying one another’s company. As the story progresses it becomes apparent that Wallace obviously has feelings for Chandry and anything she could reciprocate is ignored and buried, as she is in a relationship. Things become even more complicated when her boyfriend Ben’s [Spall] job sends him to Europe for six months.

Let’s be frank with each other, What If is not ground-breaking but it’s honest and the performances are completely credible. For a romantic comedy, that’s an exceptional foundation to start on; not to mention it’s something that most writers forget when they pump out mediocre dross. The story happily plods along without concern of time frame, flittering from genre trope to genre trope, meandering with less of a narrative drive and more an encounter based progression (before you send in emails, yes, there’s a difference). Admittedly, the framework is very formulaic and far from unfamiliar but there’s a large untapped market for quirky girls and bitter guys on-screen having blunt conversations about life and relationships – a fact which seems to have escaped the studio as the original title (The F Word) was altered, despite being better and more precise, to What If because censors were terrified of children seeing a poster with a double entendre.

As with (500) Days Of Summer, we are expected to believe a very bold faced lie: that these two individuals are less than they are. To explain, films can’t just take an honest portrayal of a woman, they have to take a beautiful woman and stick her in an unassuming dress and give her a fringe and say she’s quirky. Well done, you have created the average woman, there is hope for us all, thank you. Again, before you email in with accusations of misogyny, my point is that it’s all the same aspirational marketing, just dressed differently. Equally, we’re supposed to believe that Radcliffe isn’t just a little too short and has a weird grin, that he can pretty much attract any female member of the supporting cast. Nope, that’s not how people work, sorry. So once you sidestep that nonsense, you’re left with the chemistry and these two have it in droves. Wallace and Chandry interact wonderfully with each other, the conversations are delivered with sincere credibility and for brief moments you could happily believe that everything is pretty much ad-libbed. I’ll admit I haven’t seen much of Kazan’s work (outside a few supporting roles) but she’s a more than capable actress and rises above even the dumbest of genre set-ups: “I can’t believe Josh got the job of project lead, that should totally be yours” “Yeah, you’re practically doing all the work” “I turned it down, you guys” “What? But you’re the cutest, most funny, clever, talented but not so cute, funny, clever and talented to be threatening and alienate the audience kinda girl I’ve ever met” “I know, but it’s complicated” … ok, so I embellished a bit there but you see what I’m getting at. Furthermore, I like Radcliffe and here’s why; the guy is more than just a child actor, he’s a genuinely interesting and talented thespian with a keen eye for interesting projects. He’s clearly still searching for that defining role but if you watch a combination of this, A Young Doctor’s Notebook, Kill Your Darlings and the footage from the upcoming Horns, it’s evident he’s more than close. The supports are interesting but used selectively. There’s the best friend who acts as the fast-track relationship juxtaposition, the sister who’s also a single mum and the current boyfriend who isn’t anything bad but clearly doesn’t have the same spark that our two leads do; all of which are delivered well but thankfully also in a tasteful manner.

The direction is very inoffensive but also a little uninventive – too many contemporary comedies rely on dialogue and forget that camera movement and reveals can open up a whole realm of humour. Setting the film in Toronto was also a nice touch, changing things up from the generic US city we’re often stuck with, without waving flags and reminding the audience that this movie is SET IN CANADA! WHODA THUNK!? It’s the equivalent of a British comedy set outside London. I also thought the standard animated cutaways were unnecessary. Yes, I get she’s an animator and it sort of adds something visually interesting to the narrative but not by much and simply felt like it was included because it was expected. Speaking of which, the obligatory soft indie soundtrack also irked me – as it always does. I don’t know who has final call on these things but I’d like to watch an independent romantic comedy that didn’t feel the need to resort to some croaky-voiced, coffee-sipping, fart-sniffing, guitar-strumming arsehat groaning on about shoes in trees and canoes with knees and other adolescent rhymes that are being palmed off as cute or charming. Fuck you, indie music. Fuck you. You are not absolutely necessary, the film would get its message across just as well without you. Now kindly exit the cinema and return only on occasion, sparingly. Please.

Just as action films are inexplicably marketed and ‘intended’ for a male audience, romantic films of aaaany nature, are targeted at women. That’s because there’s this wonderful assumption that men don’t watch these types of films or don’t have these kinds of emotions – which is horseshit. And besides, men have hilarious raunchy comedies, so why would they need romance? No, the raunchy comedy is the knee-jerk reaction which surreptitiously cons men into seeing a romantic film ’cause there will probably be some nudity.. but the stories are largely the same. Personally, I adore gender neutral romantic comedies. Films that are honest and funny without lowering the bar or ham-fistedly pitching to either male or female stereotypes. So, am I saying that What If is as good as (500) Days Of Summer, High Fidelity When Harry Met Sally or Grosse Pointe Blank? No. But it’s definitely as good as Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist and so much better than the stunningly overrated Juno. So, leave your aspersions and prejudices at the door and just try this film. Chances are there will be something in here you’ll either relate to or will amuse you.

Release Date:
22nd August 2014

The Scene To Look Out For:
**Finale ruining spoilers**
The scene of note is arguably the final scene. For a film that sets out to answer the question of can a man and woman simply be plutonic friends, it sort of descends down an obvious path. Cleverly but obviously. You know it’s coming, the genre dictates it has to, otherwise it wouldn’t get mainstream release (I’m not saying I approve or agree). This is a difficult point to judge because Chasing Amy did the same thing. It posed an interesting question about lesbian relationships (from a male point of view) but still came to a very standard male conclusion. But that’s a conversation for another time; the way this film ends, uncertain and unfinished is brilliant. Too many romantic comedies (when I say ‘too many’ I mean ‘all but four’) close on this awful point, this fairytale finale that ends with an exaggerated “Aaaand they liiived haaapiilyyyy eeeveeer aaaafteeer.” Bullshit. Life isn’t like that, things evolve and progress with age and it’s not a simple and sudden stop of infinite happiness. Films should be a snapshot, a point in time of extreme interest and importance that merits telling but when the film comes to a close, we like to know that the universe we’re watching continues – after all, that makes it feel more real and gives the audience a sense of hopeā€¦ or despair, depending on the film.

Notable Characters:
This is probably more suited in the above section but fuck it, it’s my review, I’m putting it here. The role of Wallace’s sister, Ellie (played by the highly underrated Jemima Rooper) was well played and offered a pleasant and subtle look at a different story. All we know about Wallace’s sister is that Wallace lives with her, she has a child and she goes on dates that don’t work out sometimes. But that’s all we need to know. In one character building scene she goes out the door explaining to her brother that if the date goes well she’ll be back at midnight, if not, she’ll return at 8; the only other proviso is that Wallace watch horror movies with her son Felix. Sure enough, she leaves and both blokes are sat on the sofa watching The Thing, she walks in, they madly panic to change the channel and hide the ice cream as she sits next to them. Without a word being spoken, she retrieves the hidden ice cream and changes the channel back to The Thing. All three watch in silence and Felix gently holds her hand. Great stuff without being forcefully saccharine.

Highlighted Quote:
“Love is stupid monkeys dancing in a slapstick hurricane”

In A Few Words:
“A refreshing romantic comedy that cleverly presents all the tired genre elements as if they were new and somehow manages to convince us that it’s something different. Entertaining and very amusing”

Total Score:

4/5

Cinema City Film Quiz #126

[03 August 2014]


Winning Team:
Ernest Fails His CRB Check

Genre – And then dies without fanfare. Starring Jim Varney

Runners Up:
Hairy Trotter And The Philosopher’s Touchstone.. With Sexy Results
Genre – Mumblecore science fiction
Touching The Stone
Genre – A tender romantic comedy starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Emma Stone
I’ve Lost My Dentures Whilst Maybe Shitting
Genre – Mystery; a man searches for his dentures, which possibly were lost in the public toilets during a strenuous poo
O Brothers Vincent, Jonno And David, Where Art Thou?
Genre – A vintage absentee comedy
Volcano-Pussy
Genre – Disaster Bond film


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. In which film does Jim Carrey play the role of Truman Burbank?
THE TRUMAN SHOW
2. Rashomon, Yojimbo and Tokyo Story were made in which country?
JAPAN
3. What was the title of the sequel to The Fast & The Furious?
2 FAST 2 FURIOUS
4. How many Star Wars films have been made to date?
SIX (excluding any holiday specials or animated Clone Wars films)
5. The following songs are from which film, God Help The Outcasts, Hellfire and The Bells Of Notre Dame?
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
6. Who directed Bringing Out The Dead?
MARTIN SCORSESE
7. Which film did Robert Carlisle, Tom Wilkinson and Mark Addy star in, in 1997?
THE FULL MONTY
8. Which actor was nicknamed The Duke?
JOHN WAYNE
9. In which film does Samuel L. Jackson play a character who mockingly describes hamburgers as the cornerstone to any nutritious breakfast?
PULP FICTION
10. When introduced by Carl Denham, what title is given to King Kong?
THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD

ROUND II: Filming [Touchstone Pictures]
1. In The Rocketeer, what item does Cliff find and use to become a quasi-hero? Mask? Shield? Jetpack?
JETPACK
2. Who played one of the title roles in Turner & Hooch? Jim Belushi? Tom Hanks? Burt Reynolds?
TOM HANKS
3. Pretty Woman was released in which year? 1989? 1990? 1991?
1990
4. Three Men And A Little Lady was released how many years after Three Men And A Baby? 3? 4? 5?
THREE (1987 / 1990)
5. Who received top billing in the 1987 film, Stakeout? Richard Dreyfuss? Emilio Estevez? Madeline Stowe?
RICHARD DREYFUSS
6. What was the first film to be released under the Touchstone logo? The Colour Of Money? Ernest Goes To Camp? Splash?
SPLASH
7. Which film starred Al Pacino and Colin Farrell? Hart’s War? Pride And Glory? The Recruit?
THE RECRUIT
8. Where do Annie and Bryan go on their honeymoon at the end of Father Of The Bride? France? Egypt? Hawaii?
HAWAII
9. Touchstone Pictures is owned by which parent company? Disney? Sony? MGM?
DISNEY
10. Whilst shooting Lincoln, Spielberg felt out of place in comfortable contemporary clothes so directed in a suit. True or False?
TRUE

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. What is Sarah Connor’s middle initial, as seen in The Terminator?
J (Jeanette)
2. The Ladykillers was released and remade in which respective years? (one point per correct answer)
1955 / 2004
3. How many films has Dustin Hoffman directed?
ONE (Quartet)
4. What is the title of the film in which John Travolta unlocks genius level intellect and telekinetic powers with a brain tumour?
PHENOMENON
5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy opens on which day of the week?
THURSDAY
6. The poster for Signs is predominantly which colour?
ORANGE / BROWN / BURNT SIENNA
7. Excluding the upcoming Rampage 2 and In The Name Of The King 3, how many films has Uwe Boll directed?
27
8. The role of Roman cavalry officer Artorius Castus was played by Clive Owen in which film?
KING ARTHUR
9. The following quote is from which film, “I’m afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy”?
BATMAN & ROBIN
10. Mondego, Villefort, Danglars and Jacopo are characters in which film?
THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. Oliver Reed, John Malkovich and Kiefer Sutherland have all played which character? Athos? Willy Loman? Charles II?
ATHOS
2. Before Whoopi Goldberg was cast, who was the lead role in Sister Act actually written for? Barbara Streisand? Bette Midler? Meryl Streep?
BETTE MIDLER
3. Who plays the role of Grace MacLean, the girl injured at the start of The Horse Whisperer? Jennifer Lawrence? Scarlett Johansson? Amy Adams?
SCARLETT JOHANSSON
4. Ashamed that her husband is in prison, what does Penny tell her children happened to Ulysses Everett McGill, in O Brother Where Art Thou? He was hit by a train? He drowned? He fell off a barn roof?
HE WAS HIT BY A TRAIN
5. An American Tail, All Dogs Go To Heaven, Anastasia and Titan A.E. were all directed by whom? Don Bluth? Ted Berman? Ron Clements?
DON BLUTH
6. According to The Prestige, which of the following is the second part of the magic trick? The Prestige? The Pledge? The Turn?
THE TURN
7. Which of the following is not a quote from Team America? You will die a peasant’s death? I don’t know nothing about fancy cars and fancy restaurants? You didn’t kill your brother, it was those walruses?
YOU DIDN’T KILL YOUR BROTHER, IT WAS THOSE WALRUSES
8. In The Prince Of Egypt, which character was voiced by Ralph Fiennes? Rameses II? Seti I? Moses?
RAMESES II
9. The following is the poster tagline for which film, “Trapped in time, surrounded by evil, low on gas”? Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me? Evil Dead 3: Army Of Darkness? Spy Kids 4: All The Time In The World?
ARMY OF DARKNESS
10. The Burt Reynolds film, Cop And A Half, was originally supposed to be a sequel to Kindergarten Cop. True or False?
TRUE

BOUNS IMAGE ROUND
Screenshots: The Thin Red Line / Ocean’s Thirteen / The Ides Of March
Poster: The Peacemaker
Actor: George Clooney