Friday, September 21, 2012

90's Movie Quotes Quiz Answers

I'm sure you were all on the edge of your seat for this. But here are the answers to my 90's Movie (quotes) quiz from last week:

1) Goodfellas (1990)

2) The Big Lebowski (1998)

3) Rusmore (1998)

4) Dazed and Confused (1993)

5) Can't Hardly Wait (1998)

6) Miller's Crossing (1990)

7) Swingers (1996)

8) Go (1999)

9) Jackie Brown (1997)

10) Seven (1995)

11) The Matrix (1999)

12) Casino (1995)

13) Heat (1995)

14) Groundhog Day (1993)

15) Four Weddings and A Funeral (1994)

16) Boogie Nights (1997

17) L.A. Confidential (1997)

18) Clerks (1994) 

19) Fight Club (1999)

20) Beautiful Girls (1996)

Thanks for playing!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

90's Movie Quiz

90's Movie Quiz

So I found this quiz and I thought it might be.

The Rules

1) Pick 20 of your favorite 1990s movies.

2) Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.

3) Post them here for everyone to guess.

4) Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie title.

5) NO GOOGLING/using IMDb search or other search functions.

6) Put your answers in the comments

The Quotes

1) If you're part of a crew, nobody ever tells you that they're going to kill you, doesn't happen that way. There weren't any arguments or curses like in the movies. See, your murderers come with smiles, they come as your friends, the people who've cared for you all of your life. And they always seem to come at a time that you're at your weakest and most in need of their help.

2) What are you, a fucking park ranger now?

3) Now, for some of you it doesn't matter. You were born rich and you’re going to stay rich. But here's my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can't buy backbone. Don't let them forget it. Thank you.

4) Behind every good man there is a woman, and that woman was Martha Washington, man, and everyday George would come home, she would have a big fat bowl waiting for him, man, when he come in the door, man, she was a hip, hip, hip lady, man.

5) Witness Exhibit A: My 8th Grade science project - a working rain forest. Mike Dexter threw it out a third story window. It rains here no more. Witness Exhibit B: An eye patch I wore for a month after Mike beaned me with a raisin in home ec. My parents took me to a 3D film. I saw no third dimension. And of course, how could I forget the pudding incident? I know no one else has.

6) Tell Leo he's not God on the throne, he's just a cheap political boss with more hair tonic than brains.

7) How about if I wait six weeks to call. I could tell her I found her number while I was cleaning out my wallet, I can't remember where we met. I'll ask her what she looks like and then I'll ask her if we fucked. How about that? Would that be money?

8) Wow, I didn't know we'd become such good friends, because if we had, you'd know that I give head before I give favors and I don't even give my best friends head so your chances of getting a favor are pretty fucking slim.

9) AK-47. The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfucker in the room, accept no substitutes.

10) Wanting people to listen, you can't just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you'll notice you've got their strict attention.

11) I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.

12) A lot of holes in the desert, and a lot of problems are buried in those holes. But you gotta do it right. I mean, you gotta have the hole already dug before you show up with a package in the trunk. Otherwise, you're talking about a half-hour to forty-five minutes worth of digging. And who knows who's gonna come along in that time? Pretty soon, you gotta dig a few more holes. You could be there all fuckin' night.

13) You know, we are sitting here, you and I, like a couple of regular fellas. You do what you do, and I do what I gotta do. And now that we've been face to face, if I'm there and I gotta put you away, I won't like it. But I tell you, if it's between you and some poor bastard whose wife you're gonna turn into a widow, brother, you are going down.

14) I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life.

15) I seem to be stuck in the wedding from hell, ghosts of girlfriends past at every turn. Next thing I'll bump into Henrietta and the nightmare will be complete.

16) Want to hear a poem I wrote? "I love you, you love me. Going down the sugar tree. We'll go down the sugar tree, and see lots of bees: playing, playing. But the bees won't sting, because you love me." That's it.

17) 'It's Christmas Eve in the City of Angels and while decent citizens sleep the sleep of the righteous, hopheads prowl for marijuana, not knowing that a man is coming to stop them! Celebrity crimestopper Jack Vincennes, scourge of grasshoppers and dopefiends everywhere!' Ya like it, Jackie boy?

18) All right, look-you're a roofer, and some juicy government contract comes your way; you got the wife and kids and the two-story in suburbia - this is a government contract, which means all sorts of benefits. All of a sudden these left-wing militants blast you with lasers and wipe out everyone within a three-mile radius. You didn't ask for that. You have no personal politics. You're just trying to scrape out a living.

19) God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.

20) Diamonds are supposed to be colorless! You go out and buy a colored diamond for a girl you're not even seeing, man, you must be eating retard sandwiches again.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

25/50 Challenge - Twitterized

Yo yo yo everybody. This is your boy Perspicacious P aka White Jackal aka Gangsta Jonathan Livingston Seagull aka the Vanilla Thrilla. I am WAAAAY behind in reviews and don’t feel like writing a long one for each, so I am going to rapid fire review a bunch of different things Twitter-style -- 140 characters or less. Let’s do it:

Your Highness (Movie 22 of 50)

They left no ideas on the cutting room floor, tried to cross every line possible. More insane than funny, but I enjoyed it.

The Fifth Element (Movie 23 of 50)

I missed this as a kid and it came recommended. I like Luc Besson films, but this was kinda silly.

The Amazing Spider Man (Movie 24 of 50)

I don't love superhero movies but had to get out of the house for a couple of hours and enjoyed this more than I thought I would.

Po Di Sangui (Movie 25 of 50)

Had to watch this movie for work, it's an African folk tale and was way too arty for my taste. You probably haven't even heard of it.

The Dark Knight Rises (Movie 26 of 50)

Nice to see Hines Ward get signed by the Gotham Rogues, but it's a shame that the stadium blew up during his ill kick return.

Total Recall (Movie 27 of 50)

Was an entertaining two hours and don't get why critics shit on it. You're not getting Francois Truffaut, so chill the fuck out everyone.

Premium Rush (Movie 28 of 50)

Loved this fucking movie. As a non-car person, it was nice to see the bikes get some shine. JGL is becoming one of my favorite actors.

The Bourne Legacy (Movie 29 of 50)

I saw this right after Premium Rush and was a little 'chase scened' out, but I like Jeremy Renner and wasn't let down by it.

The Hurt Locker (Movie 30 of 50)

I liked it but didn't think it was THAT good. I think b/c it dealt with the Iraq War at a crazy time it got extra praise.

The Expendables 2 (Movie 31 of 50)

Ridiculously over-the-top and too self-aware, so you know I loved it.


Memoirs of a Rugby Playing Man (Book 16 of 25)

Rugby memoir by a professor I had at UMass-Lowell. He has been able to play into his 50s, I can't even walk five feet without getting hurt.

You’re Not Doing It Right (Book 17 of 25)

Michael Ian Black - I like his Twitter, but this was a little too raw in parts for me. He has a great podcast about eating snacks though!

The Wordy Shipmates (Book 18 of 25)

Loved this book way more than I thought I would. The author struck a nice balance between calling out the pilgrims and respecting them.

The Golden Ratio (Book 19 of 25)

I sort of liked this book, but ultimately it's about an equation. Took me six weeks to finish. Is there an equation for being bored?

Let the Great World Spin (Book 20 of 25)

Made me want to move to New York, even though some of it is really raw. I didn't love it at first, but it gained steam as it went.

So that's all for now, kids! Almost done the books, but I have a way to go with the movies. Stay tuned, the end of the year is going to be a wild ride...

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Look Back At Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey"

 Over the past few years, I have found myself watching fewer and fewer movies.  I hardly ever go to the movie theater anymore and though I have a Netflix account and subscribe to HBO, I rarely use those mediums to watch a film.  I really would like to get better about watching movies, but there is only so much time in the day and I suppose I just need to stop thinking about it and just do it. 

I moved to Maryland a few weeks ago and started a new job.  I’ve been living with my brother and his family while I try to arrange a living situation of my own, which will hopefully land me in the Bethesda area.  One of the things I am most excited about is living in an area with so much to do.  Yesterday represented the first time I took advantage of that reality and I headed to the movies with some friends to watch a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey at the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center.  The theater itself is structured in an old-fashioned style with large stadium seating and a stage complete with drawn curtains.  The theater’s website describes its role as such:

“Increasingly, our notions about history, human relationships, scientific exploration, psychology and art are influenced by watching movies. The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center examines this phenomenon by presenting an unprecedented variety of film and video programming, augmented by filmmaker interviews, panels, discussions, musical performances and other events that place the art on-screen in a broader cultural context, while amplifying its power to engage and affect an audience.”

In more simple terms, this place rules.  I picked up a pamphlet of its events while there and was blown away by the scope.  They're currently holding a variety of events including series of spy films, classic 80’s films, and Stanley Kubrick films.  In most places in this country you can only see current releases on the big screen, but here you can revisit old favorites and classics for a relatively reasonable price of $11.  So when my friend Josh invited me along to view this classic on the big screen in 70mm I couldn’t pass it up.  I had seen it before, several times actually, but there is just something about seeing a film on the big screen that makes it all the more special, especially one as grandiose and awe-inspiring as this one.  It is also worth noting that midway through the film, the curtains started to close and the theater actually held a ten minute intermission, which was awesome timing for me and my bladder.  The whole idea is something so antiquated that you forget that this was commonplace back in the day.  I for one think that’s something we should bring back.

I first saw 2001 while I was in college.  I had just watched the television special on the American Film Institute’s 100 greatest films of all time.  At that time I realized there were so many classic films that I had never seen before and I was intrigued by the interviews that were given by such prominent actors, directors, producers, and critics during the special that I decided to delve into some of the top films they listed that I had never seen.  So I rented 2001 and watched it in my dorm room on a very small screen.  And I was confused as all get out. 

Like many others who see this film for the first time, I found it slow, boring, and perplexing.  There seemed to be a great meaning behind the four parts the movie is divvied up into but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what it was.  The only part that I felt like I had some grasp on was the segment on the Jupiter Mission with the notorious artificial intelligence villain, Hal.  This was at least a somewhat familiar plotline where man creates a super computer, which may or may not have feelings, and it goes out of control and eventually turns on man.  Yep, seen that before, or at least some inception of it: Frankenstein, Terminator, Short Circuit.......well…….OK……Johnny 5 never turned on Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy, but damn if he wasn’t as alive as you and me I don’t know what is.  Anyway, other than that 45 minute segment, I was at a loss.  But I did very much enjoy that segment, particularly the famous scene where Dave learns that Hal has turned on him.

In the years since this initial viewing, I saw more Kubrick films and became more familiar with his style.  He often uses wide shots that just sit with the characters for painstakingly long times.  The dialogue he writes is very deliberate, drawn out, and ordinary.  His attention to detail is unparalleled and when you read stories about how many takes he’d order to get every last detail right in even the shortest of scenes, it’s a wonder he finished even one film, let alone the thirteen that he did.  So with my increased exposure to his films I became more patient as I watched them, and I can now say that I think he is easily one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

2001 is one of those films that the more you watch it, the better it gets.  I can only imagine what it must have been like to see this movie in the theater when it was first released in 1968.  The visual and special effects must have been awe-inspiring at the time and despite the fact that hardly anyone knew what it was all about, they probably could have put that all aside and just reveled in the audio and visual effects that permeated the film.  That was something I thought about frequently while sitting through this viewing.  Even by today’s standards, the film doesn’t seem all that dated.  The effects hold up very nicely for the most part and the times when you really see the 60’s come through are not so much with the scenes of outer space or the planets or the spacecrafts (however, the transport vessel labeled "Pan American" is quite humorous) but rather with the scenes shot inside the facilities and with the dress of the actors and the set props themselves.

Seeing this movie in the theater helped reinforce how great it is.  Yeah, there’s not much dialogue, and many of the scenes are dragged out, but it still manages to engage and excite you in a way that few other films can.  Take one of the most dramatic scenes in which Hal attacks and kills one of the two main astronauts, Frank.  Where most films would use music and sound effects in prominent ways to accentuate the tension and immediacy of such an event, Kubrick only uses the sounds of the oxygen tank and the breaths taken by Frank as his score.  After the deed is complete, there is only silence.  With the oxygen tank severed and the fact that Frank is no longer breathing, all that’s left is the vastness and absolute silence of deep space.  And it's utterly terrifying. While seeing this transpire on the big screen, I fully realized how gripping, suspenseful, and fantastically brilliant this style was.  Kubrick takes such pains to fully involve the viewer and to place him in the same environment the characters are in.  Just try and watch this film and not have your breathing be affected by it in some way.  It’s such a simple approach, but is immensely effective.  

I won’t go into the whole monolith/evolution/infinity theme that lies at the heart of the film, as that would serve no purpose (I still am not sure what the true meaning here is) and would only take up much more space in an entry that has probably already gone further than necessary.  Kubrick himself avoided any sort of explanation of the film’s meaning and wanted each viewer to interpret the film for himself.  For many, this aproach is alienating and turns them away from any meaningful discussion.  After all, people do not like ambiguity and want to have the questions answered in films so watching something like this will frustrate the majority of the movie-watching public.  I have mixed feelings on this.  On one hand I do like movies that force you to think and come up with your own conclusions, but on the other hand I feel that this film almost has too much ambiguity.  And when you talk to someone who knows a lot about it or you read articles dissecting the film itself, the answers you get are fairly general and ambiguous themselves.  But when you really think about it, in a film that addresses the extraordinarily complex topic of the origin, scope, and future of the universe and mankind, how can one honestly tackle this without laying some heavy ambiguity on it?  In the end, that is probably the largest reason this film has resonated so much over the years.

As a final side note, while watching this movie, I couldn’t help but think back to my collegiate days when I was working at the box office of the theater we had on campus.  I basically took phone orders for tickets to a variety of shows we’d have throughout the year.  There was one performance that came through that starred Keir Dullea, the very same actor who played the main role of Dave in 2001.  This was shortly after I watched the movie so I knew who he was.  For many of the performances, the groups would hold brief rehearsals during the day and I happened to be working on a rehearsal day for the play in which Dellea was starring.  Midway through my shift, I excused myself and headed for the bathroom.  A few seconds after I arrived Dullea walked up to the urinal next to me and did his thing.  You’ll be happy to know that I didn’t say anything to him (because what an awful time and place to do such a thing) but I do recall thinking to myself how cool it was that I was peeing next to Dave from 2001.  I’ve lived in a lot of different places and have had many different experiences but to this day, Keir Dullea is the only famous person I’ve ever peed next to.