Cinema City Film Quiz #173

[28 August 2016]

Winning Team:
No Chocolate: No Name
Genre – Bank holiday/writer’s strike

Runners Up:
Flame Of Stoves
Genre – The cast build a camp fire and tell stories around it
The Greyjoy Of Sex
Genre – Dour boatpeople show their dreary sexual positions

ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. In which film does Matt Damon play an astronaut stranded on the planet Mars?
2. Boris Karloff famously played many monstrous roles, which one had him made-up with a flat top, green skin and neck bolts?
3. The character Jar Jar Binks first appeared in which film?
4. The character Crocodile Dundee comes to America from which country?
5. Who directed and starred in Zoolander?
6. Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne are the two male characters vying for the attention of the lead in which dystopian franchise?
7. Which actor plays the villain, The Deacon, in Waterworld?
8. According to the Indiana Jones films, Indy has a fear of what?
9. Groundhog Day was releasaed in which year?
10. What is the name of the Candelabra in Beauty And The Beast?

ROUND II: Filming [Overboard Special]
1. [Peter Dinklage] In X-Men: Days Of Future Past which character is sent back to the 1970’s to avert an apocalyptic future? Shadowcat? ? Wolverine? Professor Charles Xavier?
2. [Charles Dance] Which Alien film was directed by David Fincher? Alien? Aliens? Alien 3?
3. [Lena Heady] What is the name of the drug in Dredd? Slo-Mo? Hyper Speed? Flux?
4. [Nikolaj Coster-Waldau] Black Hawk Down is set during which military conflict? Battle of Fallujah? Battle of Mogadishu? Operation Kheibar?
5. [Liam Cunningham] What is the name of Michael Fassbender’s character in Steve McQueen’s Hunger? Gerry Conlon? Paddy Armstrong? Bobby Sands?
6. [Diana Rigg] Where does On Her Majesty’s Secret Service come in the Eon Bond canon? 5th? 6th? 7th?
7. [Sean Bean] Which of the following did not appear in 1998’s Ronin? Stellan Skarsgard? Clive Owen? Jean Reno?
8. [Jonathan Pryce] Director Alan Parker wrote the screenplay for Evita with which other director? M Night Shyamalan? Terry Gilliam? Oliver Stone?
9. [Jason Momoa] Which of the following is not a quote from Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice? You can call me whatever you like, take a bucket of piss and call it Granny’s Peach Tea? While I ate my hero cake their horses were drowning. I used to hear them wailing in my sleep? You have abandoned the principles that bound us together, you’ve taken up the sword against your own people?
10. [Rory McCann] Angelina Jolie played Colin Farrel’s mother in Alexander despite being one year younger than him. True or False?

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. Finish the following quote, “It’s anchor man not anchor lady.”
2. In The Woodsman, Kevin Bacon plays Walter, a man who is released from prison after twelve years for what crime?
3. “A homespun murder story” is the poster tagline for which film?
4. In what year was the Jackie Chan Hong Kong film Police Story released?
5. Which actor played the roles of Davy Jones, Friedrich Olbricht, Rattlesnake Jake and Slartibartfast?
6. The Conqueror Worm was the American title for which British film starring Vincent Price?
7. How many films has Sofia Coppola directed?
FIVE (The Virgin Suicides / Lost In Translation / Marie Antoinette / Somewhere / The Bling Ring)
8. Henry Hill, James Conway, Tommy DeVito and Karen Hill are the lead characters in which film?
9. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory was released in which year?
10. What did Disney animation studios release in between Frozen and Zootopia/Zootropolis?

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. What is the fifth rule of Fight Club? If this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to fight? One fight at a time? Fights will go on as long as they have to?
2. Which of the following films was not directed by Akira Kurosawa? Floating Weeds? Ran? Dreams?
3. Which of the following did not feature in Philadelphia? Charles Napier? Albert Finney? Antonio Banderas?
4. How old is the character Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist? 10? 12? 14?
5. The following quote is from which film, “Old age. It’s the only disease, Mr Thompson, that you don’t look forward to being cured of”? Amadeus? Meet Joe Black? Citizen Kane?
6. Who voiced the role of William Clayton in the Disney animated film, Tarzan? Brendan Fraser? John Goodman? Brian Blessed?
7. Which of the following Danny Boyle films has the longest run time? Trainspotting? 28 Days Later? Slumdog Millionaire?
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE – 120 MINS (Trainspotting 93mins, 28 Days Later 113mins)
8. The following is the poster tagline for which film, “the story of an uncommonly gentle man”? Mr Deeds? Rudy? Edward Scissorhands?
9. What did David Fincher forbid cast members from doing once successfully cast in The Social Network? Rehearsing lines with the other actors to ensure the deliveries felt real? Meeting their real-life counterparts so as not to affect or dilute the performance? Using any social media to get into the mindset of a life before facebook?
10. Before Charlize Theron was cast in Patty Jenkins’ Monster, Kate Winslet was the original choice for the role of Aileen. True or False?

Screenshots: Taxi Driver / Elysium / Carnage
Poster: A Very Long Engagement
Actor: Jodie Foster

Cinema City Film Quiz #172

[15 August 2016]

Winning Team:
Jason Bourne Again
Genre – Matt Damon decides to sing ABBA in church

Runners Up:
Boarded Over
Genre – Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn board themselves indoors to escape Donald Trump
The Hawn Identity
Genre – Super spy Goldie Hawn is brainwashed into being Kurt Russell’s house slave – her memory returns and she brutally murders him over 30 minutes
Oldie Horns
Genre – A team that can’t remember a thing
Hawn Of The Dead
Genre – From infected Botox, Goldie Hawn becomes a zombie and goes on a rampage
Team Immaculatta
Genre – That’s the boat in Overboard you know
Iceberg Straight Ahead!
Genre – Tragedy

ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. What is the name of Elwood Dowd’s invisible friend in Harvey?
2. What is the title of the seventh Star Wars film (Episode VII)?
3. The following is the poster tagline for which film, “His goal was freedom for India, his strategy was peace, his weapon was humanity”?
4. Who played the role of Superman in Superman I-IV?
5. What type of animal is Manfred ‘Manny’ in Ice Age?
6. The Simpsons Movie was released in which year?
7. What is the subtitle of Die Hard 2?
8. Basil Rathbone and Robert Downey Jr have both played which character?
9. Who directed Crimson Tide, Man On Fire and Top Gun?
10. The following quote is from which animated film, “phenomenal cosmic power, itty-bitty living space”?

ROUND II: Filming [Overboard Special]
1. Overboard was released in which year? 1982? 1987? 1994?
2. Dean has four sons, which of the following is not one of them? Hank? Travis? Greg?
HANK (Travis, Charlie, Greg, Joey)
3. Who plays the role of Andrew the butler? Spencer Tracy? Art Carney? Roddy McDowall?
4. How does Dean convince the hospital staff that he’s married to the loud and demanding Joanna without documentation? Describes a birthmark? Lists the clothes she was wearing when she went missing? Bluffs by saying, “Fine, you keep her then”?
5. What is the response to the following quote, “What could I possibly give you, ever, that you don’t already have?” A little girl? A challenge? Happiness?
6. What is the name of the yacht in Overboard? SS Splendida? SS Immaculata? SS Lusso?
7. Who composed the score for Overboard? Alan Silvestri? Bill Conti? Miles Goodman?
8. Dean’s closet is rejected when he uses oak instead of which type of wood? Beach? Pine? Cedar?
9. Overboard was distributed by which studio? MGM? Warner Bros? Columbia Pictures?
10. This is the third and last movie to date that Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have appeared together in. True or False?

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. Tim Rice, Elton John and Hans Zimmer worked on which two films? (one point per correct answer)
2. The following actors appeared in which film: Kirsten Dunst, Tommy Lee Jones, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ernest Borgnine?
3. The Ludovico Technique is an aversion therapy that appears in which film?
4. How many times has Kurt Russell worked with John Carpenter (excluding their first collaboration, Elvis)?
FOUR (Escape From New York, The Thing, Big Trouble In Little China, Escape From LA)
5. In Zhang Yimou’s 2002 release, Hero, colour schemes are used to illustrate character perspectives retelling the same story. Which four colours are used? (one point per correct answer)
6. Bruce Bogtrotter, Jennifer Honey, Harry Wormwood and Agatha Trunchbull are characters in which film?
7. Who appeared in The Lady From Shanghai, Waterloo and Transformers The Movie?
8. The following is the poster tagline for which film, “Someone has taken their love of sequels one step too far”?
9. What is the name of the dwarvish goblin that helps Sarah in Labyrinth?
10. Disney’s The Hunchback Of Notre Dame was released in which year?

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. The following is a quote from which film, “You clean up the dirt, there’s just more dirt to clean up tomorrow. Make the beds, they just have to be made tomorrow. Wash the dishes, more to wash tomorrow. Make dinner, it gets eaten, doesn’t it? The world keeps growing and you feed it but it doesn’t feed you, does it? But how much can you take before you snap?”? Easy Rider? The Shining? The Witches Of Eastwick?
2. What type of fish is Gill, voiced by Willem Dafoe, in Finding Nemo? Moorish Idol? Regal Tang? Longnose Butterflyfish?
3. What is the name of the bad guy, who goes by the alias Ajax, in Deadpool? David? Francis? Tyler?
4. The smuggled West German typewriter in The Lives Of Others prints what colour ink? Blue? Brown? Red?
5. What team does Paul Ashworth support in Fever Pitch? Chelsea? Arsenal? Manchester United?
6. What is the name of the dance club in Save The Last Dance? Stepps? Beatz? Groov?
7. What is the name of the group in RockNRolla, made up of One-Two, Mumbles and Handsome Bob? The Wild Bunch? The Diamond Geezers? The Three Amigos?
8. Which of the following methods does Brewster not use to get rid of the $30 million given to him, in Brewster’s Millions? Buys the Bronx zoo? Runs for Mayor of New York City? Rents a suite at the Plaza Hotel?
9. The titular mountain from Brokeback Mountain is in which US State? Colorado? Wyoming? Texas?
10. A Blackadder movie called Blackadder’s Finest Hour was shot in 1996 but unreleased so as not to clash with Bean The Ultimate Disaster Movie. When reassessed, the film was dubbed inadequate and all copies destroyed. True or False?

Screenshots: Sexy Beast / Schindler’s List / Ender’s Game
Poster: Bugsy
Actor: Ben Kingsley


Justice Has A Bad Side

David Ayer

Will Smith
Margot Robbie
Viola Davis
Joel Kinnaman
Cara Delevingne
Jai Courtney
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Jay Hernandez
Karen Fukuhara
Jared Leto

After last year’s Fantastic Four bombed, several critics and fans pointed out that a Fantastic Four adaptation shouldn’t be difficult at all, as it was already achieved by The Incredibles years ago. Equally, while Suicide Squad may seem like a radical new concept, we already have the perfect Suicide Squad film in Escape From New York; a criminal sent on a hopeless mission with a time limit and a virus coursing through his bloodstream to ensure obedience – not to mention it’s a damn-near perfect film. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This is the third film in the DC shared cinematic universe, following Man Of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. With the death of Superman, government official, Amanda Waller [Davis] decides that the rise of meta-humans is something the United States needs to prepare for. As such, she pitches the idea of an expendable team of incarcerated villains who could be sent on errands. Should they fail or desert, they would be eliminated. At a Pentagon meeting, Waller demonstrates the powers of a woman possessed by a shamanistic witch called Enchantress [Delevingne] and gets the green-light for her group. From there she assigns military golden boy, Rick Flag [Kinnamen] to oversee the team, made up of a crack-shot assassin, Deadshot [Smith], a notorious mentally unhinged murderer, Harley Quinn [Robbie], an ex-gangster with the ability to control fire, El Diablo [Hernandez], a cannibal with reptilian features, Killer Croc [Akinnuoye-Agbaje] and a dastardly Australian thief nicknamed Captain Boomerang [Courtney]. The film then takes a bit of a weird leap and drafts the group against the Enchantress, who Waller loses control of. This leads to a city being under supernatural control and a large magic/machine being created for.. some purpose.. it all got a bit convoluted to be honest.

Beneath the surface of this oddity are two rather different films hacked and mashed together through brutal editing and studio interference. On one hand there’s a very manic, self-aware cartoony release filled with visual vibrance but a stuttering narrative flow and the other is a sombre looking, back-talking analysis on the difference between bad and evil.. and if that sounds familiar, it should, it’s exactly how one could describe one of this year’s best films, Deadpool. The difference is that Deadpool had a simple drive, scope and scale, was cleverly and clearly written, charming and remained wonderfully loyal to the source material. While there are entertaining elements to Suicide Squad, it falls flat on a lot of basic technical and narrative functions, feeling like a step in the right direction but far from the leap we were hoping for. The biggest flaw is following Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’s odd two act structure which boils down to a rather weighty introduction and then a drawn out action-filled conclusion, leaving the events feeling simultaneously drawn-out and confusingly rushed regarding certain plot points. What’s more, Suicide Squad also adopts Batman v Superman’s character motivation, or complete lack thereof, outside of a few two dimensional developments. The musical accompaniment is equally divisive, with Steven Price’s pleasing score and heavy use of songs which could be considered either fitting or extremely heavy-handed. Ultimately it depends on what type of audience member you are, some will think “Oh! This is the perfect song for this person right now!” and others will think, “Fortunate Son? Bit obvious isn’t it? Quentin Tarantino you ain’t, mate.”

For such a character-driven piece, it should come as no surprise that this film is largely sold on charming performances. The story is very trite and formulaic, the direction is vanilla so the only hope it has is to sell you on these people and hope you form a connection with them. This both works really nicely and fails fucking miserably. Doing a quick rundown, the cast can be divided between Deadshot, Harley, Waller, Diablo, Boomerang and Flag, Katana, Croc and Slipknot. As I don’t think I’ve praised the film at all yet, let’s start with what works. As the recent sequel proved, a lot of Independence Day’s success was down to the incredibly charming Will Smith. That man has an uncanny ability to deliver so much heart, gusto and swagger with enough charm to ensure none of it is annoying; a talent all actors need but few possess and it’s on fine form here. Wonderful presence, brilliant performance, relatable (to a degree) and fun to watch. Equally amazing is Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Robbie is not only perfect casting for the role physically but absolutely nails that incredibly dangerous combination of cute, psychotic, hilarious and irritating-as-fuck. She’s incredibly capable, emotionally damaged and much like Deadshot, is a nicely rounded character. There is one huge problem but I’ll get to that later. Another example of off-the-page casting, Viola Davis is a great Amanda Waller, a sociopathic figure with seemingly no conscience and no problem treating those above and below her station with the contempt she clearly feels they deserve. An utterly fantastic performance. El Diablo was a character that didn’t seem to feature much in the trailers and, in all honesty, could have been worked on more but provided enough of a unique temperament to give us something different. Equally surprising was Captain Boomerang. The phrase “stop trying to make Jai Courtney a thing” resonates with me as he keeps cropping up in major features but brings so little to each respective film. Not here. Boomerang is an amazingly self-centred quipping Australian prick who should have been horribly infuriating but came off as quite amusing; much to my relief. I mean, there are still a lot of quirks that were solely there to be quirky, which I can’t stand but in a way he was a largely stronger character than the remainder. I understand the need for Rick Flag but he’s still a tedious individual with completely wasted potential (could have been an example of the grey between the black and white of good and bad, acting as a good comparative/juxtaposition for our leads) but never really gets there. Katana [Karen Fukuhara] is a really interesting and solid hero in the comics that is reduced to a few throw-away exposition lines and flashbacks and only present as another body in the fray. Killer Croc was also wasted, nothing more than a big-heavy given little else to do other than smash things and utter a few monosyllabic lines that are frankly anticlimactic. And Slipknot [Adam Beach] is barely worth mentioning, recruited to prove a point – which didn’t have the desired impact because we knew nothing about him and could have been written better to avoid his inevitable fate.

Sticking with the performances for a second, there are two particularly odd standouts: Cara Delevingne’s dual performance as Dr June Moon and the feral mystic, Enchantress and Jared Leto as the infamous Joker. Part of me feels sorry for Delevingne. Her performance started out pretty strong, feeling like someone coping with a severe mental illness rather than “oh no, my body is possessed,” displaying clear anxiety, post-traumatic stress and trust issues. But then the film forces her into the role of primary antagonist and suddenly the strange language and unsettling otherworldly traits are replaced with weird Tina Turner gyrating and an out-of-place refined English accent. On top of that she produces a secondary villain that turns out to be little more than a henchman and mutates the citizens of Midway City into that overused blockbuster favrourite, a sea of genetic faceless monsters.. this time with the added twist of kissing them to initiate their transformation. Had she not transitioned from half-decent to hammy-as-hell, I would have said she was one of the better aspects present, unlike the Joker who was easily one of the most upsetting points of the film. So much was made (mostly by Leto himself) about the depths he had to go to get into this mind-frame, how mind blowing his performance was that people “will have to lock him up in an asylum” for what he’s done and that’s without taking into account his off-screen antics, sending cast and crew members dead animals, used condoms and other horrors allegedly “from the Joker.” So with all this fed into such a performance, what captivating madness could we hope for? The simple answer is fuck all. Leto is a terrible Joker for three reasons: 1) rather than being this ethereal equilibrium, acting as the personification of evil to Batman’s virtuous ways, he’s just a street criminal with an extremely pronounced visual flare which makes him, disappointingly, not at all scary! 2) his relationship with Harley is fine as a standalone but seems completely alien to the dynamic seen in other mediums and finally 3) Joker and Batman share no chemistry and the clown prince of crime seems almost oblivious to the Bat’s existence. I’ve always maintained that the Joker is not a hard character to get right; he is such an unpredictable, over-the-top creation that any actor can bring him to life in some way, shape or form. The trick to nailing the performance is not to get bogged down in outside inspiration, which is why people were blown away by Nicholson and Ledger respectively. For a crazy character, Leto gives us wide-eyed stares, hisses and the same creaky laugh over and over but connecting him so strongly to Harley Quinn was probably a mistake. As the film progresses, Joker becomes obsessed without Harley Quinn and while that’s all well and good, it doesn’t feel right for the character. See, Joker is obsessed with Batman but settles for Harley as she’s the clingy fan-girl who will do anything for him. Harley loves Joker, Joker loves Batman, Batman loves justice; it’s a brutal tale of unrequited attention and affection that this film simply rebrands as crazies love crazies. I dunno, maybe in the manic edit a lot of the finest building blocks making up Leto’s performance were left on the cutting-room floor to be restored at a later date but having seen the extra half an hour of Batman v Superman, I highly doubt it.

And yet, despite all this, I was entertained. Putting technical accomplishment to one side, it was a fairly acceptable comic release that tried something different, teased a lot of the bigger universe it inhabits and delivered some impressive moments. It will probably please audiences in a way that critics cannot relate to (much in the same way the Fast & Furious films existed.. up until a certain point) but it does now put a lot of pressure on the upcoming Wonder Woman to be so far above and beyond what we’ve had to date in order to keep this largely displeasing sprawling franchise alive. And that kind of jittery mindset is probably how we ended up with this film in the state it’s in now, so I’m not holding my breath.

Release Date:
5th August 2016

The Scene To Look Out For:
**Spoilers within**
Amidst the clutter of this film are a few really standout moments and key scenes that illustrate everything you need to know about these characters. As stated, Will Smith makes this look effortless. During the recruiting scene, Waller and Flag turn up at Belle Reve prison and present Deadshot with a table of assorted weapons. He is asked to demonstrate his abilities, so loads a gun and immediately turns on a particularly obnoxious guard. Cockily, Deadshot feels he has the situation sussed out, explaining the hammer is probably filed down and the rounds are real-feel blanks. Waller goads him, telling him to pull the trigger to find out. He does so, opting to aim the gun in the air and seems genuinely shocked that the ammunition is live. At which point he expertly races through the weapons illustrating his precision before listing his demands. It’s a very simplistic scene but allows two of the strongest pillars of this release to shine.

Notable Characters:
**More spoilers**
Having gone into reasonable detail about most of the characters, I haven’t really left a lot of room for anyone else, so let’s talk about the cameos. So we get another look at Batman and The Flash [Ezra Miller], albeit briefly with regards to the latter so we’ll start there. From the footage released thus far, I hope Miller’s Flash will be a fresh entertaining wave of humour, cockiness and emotion to counter the supreme brooding we’ve seen thus far. We were also treated to a few Batman scenes and as the strongest part of Batman v Superman, he’s a welcome addition. Granted, his relationship with the Joker seems completely non-existence but his presence in Gotham is nicely felt, which is what you would hope for in an expanded universe of this kind.

Highlighted Quote:
“Harley Quinn, nice to meet ya. Love your perfume, what is that? The stench of death?”

In A Few Words:
“Severely disappointing but rather entertaining nevertheless. Whatever the producers are doing to pump and pollute these films needs to stop quickly or audience patience and leniency will dry up extremely quickly, along with any soaring profits”

Total Score: