Cinema City Film Quiz #219

[12 August 2018]

Winning Team:
Dude, Where’s My Avenger
Genre – A comedy of infinite proportions

Runners Up:
Gone Grill
Genre – Dyslexic bar-b-q owner, Ben Affleck, wakes to find his barbecue missing and that he is the number one suspect. Spoilers; the grill had grill-napped itself
The Vanishing
Genre – *the title was written and partially rubbed out*
Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: A Documentary
Genre – Uri Geller assembles a real-life magician dream team to wipe the collective memory of film-goers everywhere who saw the Now You See Me films

ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. How many miners befriend/enslave Snow White in Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
2. What are the titles of the Dark Knight trilogy (one point per correct answer)
3. Who played the title role in Pretty Woman?
4. The colony in A Bug’s Life is made up of what type of insect?
5. What colour is James Kirk’s uniform in Star Trek Into Darkness? (one point per correct answer)
YELLOW / GREY (ship uniform / officer’s uniform)
6. What is the name of Vin Diesel’s character in The Fast And The Furious?
7. Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves first starred together in which film?
8. The following quote is from which film, “This is Natalya. She is my sister. She is number four prostitute in all of Kazakhstan”?
9. Who composed the respective scores for Spider-Man, Batman, Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Justice League?
10. Titanic is set in which decade?

ROUND II: Filming [Missing People/Disappearance Special]
1. Who directed Prisoners? Duncan Jones? Denis Villeneuve? Sam Menses?
2.The Silence Of The Lambs was released in which year? 1989? 1991? 1993?
3. Gone Baby Gone is set in which US city? New York? Baltimore? Boston?
4. Which of the following did not appear in Shutter Island? Mark Ruffalo? Max Von Sydow? Michael Caine?
5. How many years passed between the Swedish and American releases of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo? 2? 4? 7?
6. 2006’s Silent Hill is an adaptation of the video game of the same name that was released exclusively on which console? PlayStation? XBox? Dreamcast?
7. Who played the British academic scientist in 1998’s Phantoms, alongside Rose McGowan and Ben Affleck? Patrick Stewart? Peter O’Toole? Richard Harris?
8. What is the title of the 1938 Alfred Hitchcock film about a young lady looking for her missing travelling companion on a train? The Lady Vanishes? The Empty Seat? Ticket For One?
9. What is the name given to the quarantined zone in Alex Garland’s Annihilation? The Shimmer? Alpha Site? The Barrier?
10. Ron Howard was fired from 2003’s The Missing but as most of the film was shot and the new director was more difficult to work with, Howard was re-hired. True or False?

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. What did Stanley Kubrick direct in between The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut?
2. What is the prince’s name in Beauty And The Beast?
3. Who directed the 1995 remake of Village Of The Damned?
4. How many films have Russell Crowe and Leonardo Di Caprio appeared in together?
TWO (The Quick And The Dead / Body Of Lies)
5. What two words are written on the pupil’s eyelids in Raiders Of The Lost Ark?
6. Aladdin was released in 1992 in America. What year was it released in the UK?
7. Al Pacino played the role of Carlito Brigante in which film?
8. The following quote is from which film, “You could learn from this guy, Gaff. He’s a goddamn one man slaughterhouse”?
9. What is Jean Val-Jean’s serial number in Les Miserables?
10. What are the titles of the two Disney films that featured Angela Lansbury? (one point per correct answer)

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. How many presents does Dudley receive in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone? 22? 36? 48?
2. In which film did Robin Williams play English teacher John Keating? Seize The Day? Dead Again? Dead Poet’s Society?
3. What is the title of the 2013 Boston marathon bombing film starring Mark Wahlberg? Lone Survivor? Patriot’s Day? Mile 22?
4. Who voices the role of the Wolf Man in Hotel Transylvania? Steve Buscemi? David Spade? Kevin James?
5. Who directed Stand By Me? Rob Reiner? Tobe Hooper? Frank Darabont?
6. Which of the following is not a Godzilla film? Monster Invasion From Below? Godzilla Raids Again? Destroy All Monsters?
7. Robocop was released in which year? 1984? 1987? 1989?
8. Which of the following did not appear in Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods And Kings? John Turturro? Jeff Goldblum? Sigourney Weaver?
9. Which infinity stone was housed in Loki’s sceptre in The Avengers? Mind? Space? Time?
10. Steven Spielberg never records director’s commentaries for DVD or Blu-Ray. True or False?

Screenshots: Pearl Harbour / Underworld: Evolution / The Aviator / Total Recall
Poster: Much Ado About Nothing
Actor: Kate Beckinsale


Heroes Don’t Get Any Bigger

Peyton Reed

Paul Rudd
Evangeline Lilly
Hannah John-Kamen
Michael Douglas

Following the events in Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang [Rudd] is nearing the end of his two year house arrest. In that time he has had no contact with Dr Hank Pym [Douglas] or his daughter Hope Van Dyne [Lilly] but when relaxing in the bath, a mere two days away from freedom, Scott has a vision of Hope’s supposedly deceased mother, Janet Van Dyne [Michelle Pfeiffer]. Freaked out, Scott contacts Dr Pym and we learn that this dream was no coincidence as Hope and Hank had been working on a quantum tunnel in an attempt to locate and retrieve Janet. But as wanted criminals, the scientists have been working with the nefarious Sonny Burch [Walton Goggins] and have got the attention of a mysterious quantum-shifting figure, known only as the ghost [John-Kamen].

When Ant-Man was released I was thoroughly disappointed. Avengers: Age Of Ultron had been a bit of a bust and the turbulent behind-the-scenes shift of directors left a strange chimera film with trails and remnants of Edgar Wright’s tropes and Reed’s direction. The final product was serviceable but I didn’t share the lauding that most critics and audiences were spouting. Subsequently, I was rather looking forward to an Ant-Man sequel, a chance to create something from the ground-up with a clear voice and, hopefully, a strong central female performance. Alas I only got one of those. One of the biggest problems this film encounters is the generally piss-poor, infantile, simplistic and flat comedy. From throw-away lines or setups to running magic jokes, nothing landed hard enough for me to laugh at and wholly enjoy. That isn’t to say it wasn’t entirely without humour, it simply failed to produce anything that I hadn’t seen before. On top of that there was a distinct lack of emotional resonance. Over the last decade, Marvel have wheeled out some pretty hefty emotional moments and connections between characters and while Ant-Man And The Wasp has the opportunity to, it rarely delivers. I will admit that the connection between Rudd and his daughter and the purveying theme of daughters and their screw-up dads is interesting but it’s nowhere near as gut-wrenching as something like the connection between Stark and Parker.

Sticking with performances for a second, I will absolutely defend everyone involved. Rudd tries his hardest and Lilly is wonderful but the script is so painfully cliché with abysmal dialogue, leading to stunted deliveries. From the completely mediocre jokes to the text-book “I thought I’d lost you” sentiments, nothing in this film feels fresh, realistic or relatable and while that may sound a bit harsh or stupid, you need some sort of grounding when the entire basis of the story is the fantastical. This film also drags Marvel back into the pit of questionable villains – which is a shame after the marvellous complexity of the last two. Ava Starr/Ghost is a decent enough sympathetic villain, even if she is never really fleshed out but Sonny is terrible and continues the weird trend of Goggins being fantastic on TV but getting terrible roles on film. And then there’s Woo (played by the genuinely funny Police Academy film.

Getting back to Ava for a second, the character highlights some of the film’s technical issues. While the ghost effect looked pleasing and felt like a simple layering technique harking back to silent movie techniques, the action was largely uninspired. Say what you will about the first Ant-Man film, at least it was creative. Here we have fights that suffer from rushed, fast-paced editing (which somehow seemed to be cut better in the trailer), far too many ropey floating-head CGI moments and shrinking/enlarging tech that fails to create anything of note. I mean, when a 2018 blockbuster is giving you flashbacks to 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded but never rising above it, something has to be going wrong. Having said all that, Christophe Beck’s score is magnificent, making great and sometimes playful use of the motif (something Marvel struggles with) while delivering something constantly fitting and appropriate. Additionally, the de-aging effects are remarkable, Marvel have been doing a stellar job with this innovative technology.. although I wasn’t as convinced by the de-aged Hope. That was a joke. Sorry. It was either that or a DC facial hair removal gag.

As with 2015’s Ant-Man, it came off the back of the high-stakes, ultra-scale Age Of Ultron and with its standalone, unique story, endeared a lot of people to it. Then Lang reappeared in Civil War and the character was cemented as a great asset to have others interact with, offering some fantastic levity and visuals. This sequel should have built on that momentum, giving audiences an opportunity for a light emotional lift after the dour close of Avengers: Infinity War. But it wasn’t. Missing is the outlandish comedic treatment of Thor: Ragnarok and the character/world building of Black Panther, in favour of some weirdly delivered dad jokes, call-backs and importance placed upon the quantum realm that still feels like a complete mystery. In truth, this whole corner of the MCU feels like an arc on Spider-Man: Homecoming – and that was amusing but this is ridiculous. All we see is an enlarged ant playing the drums in Scott’s absence – the scene takes place in the trailer! At this stage we have to ask, what’s the point? I know Marvel are expected to generate two sequences but that was an absolutely pointless piss-take and to have already shown it in not only the theatrical trailer but earlier in the film from a different angle emphasises its absurdity.

Notable Characters:
**huge spoilers**
So I haven’t mentioned Michelle Pfeiffer, despite the fact she appears on the poster. On one hand, I really enjoyed Pfeiffer’s performance and on the other, it generated so many logistical questions that go completely unanswered. After Dr Pym enters the quantum realm, he discovers his not-dead wife and brings her back. She has been living down there for thirty years. Somehow. A single line of dialogue about the curative powers of the realm itself leading to a sort of evolution is all we get to explain how she has survived in this mostly barren plane of existence.. with perfect make-up. But to dissolve the tension between our heroes and the adversarial Ghost character, is to stretch out her hands and say, “I can feel your pain” before curing her. That. Right there. Is Sybok from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Nobody understands her frankly magic powers (almost as if the constant magic talk is merely foreshadowing) and I’m sure they’ll be explored later but for a film that spends so much time doing so little, you’d think they would have been able to etch out some time to even loosely cover it.

Highlighted Quote:
“Do you guys just put the word quantum in front of everything?”

In A Few Words:
“I went into this film with reasonable expectations and hope for something semi-decent, what I got was disappointingly sub-par but it’s still worth mentioning that at their worst, Marvel films are still better than the standard superhero cinematic fare”

Total Score: