Saturday, 28 June 2008

They're called films, by the way

Here are my answers to the Movie Questionnaire that was on Ken Armstrong's blog just lately. Except I call movies 'films' (sometimes even in a slightly geordie accent fi-lum) and I'm not changing now!
Just to be annoying I've added on some I remembered later.

1. Name one film that made you laugh
Recently with Small Girl 'Shrek the Third' but recently on my own 'Spanglish' (Tea Leoni's spoilt-rich-wife character is hilarious). I quite often like films that kind of miss the big 'must-see' promotional ride but are lovely little films just going about their business.
Also 'Festival' - the Annie Griffin film - that's very funny as is 'Shaun of the Dead' but the film I remember laughing like a drain at years ago is 'A Private Function'.

2. Name one film that made you cry
'Brokeback Mountain' – just this week. I'd been putting off seeing it as I expected to hate it...and then halfway though there I was blubbing like a ....well, like a big old poof. I love poofs by the way...always have done. In fact I have a masters degree in fag haggery.
I forgot 'Billy Elliot'. I don't like the whole film but I love a couple of its scenes. Jamie Bell was brilliant in it.

3. Name one film that you loved when you were a child
'Bedknobs and Broomsticks' is one I remember enjoying at the cinema. To be honest I watched much more TV shows than films as a child so I had to think about it for a while. Mostly my older brothers were in charge of the remote* and we didn't go to the cinema much so if I did watch films it was ones they chose. This meant lots of war and cowboys and unsuitable films for small girls...I remember for example enjoying 'Marathon Man' and 'The Ipress File' (I think it was that one). Also as a teenager I liked 'Scum' (in so, so many ways).
Can't believe I forgot 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' - we watched it whenever it was on. It was probably one of the only films we all liked in our family. I loved 'Calamity Jane' too.

4. Name one film that you've seen more than once
'The Big Chill' – one of the best screenplays about human behaviour and relationships and everything ever written. Plus some great actors doing great acting. Plus great music. Plus Chinese food in those little cardboard boxes we don't have in Britain. And some funny jokes.
I've seen 'Rainman' a lot too and 'Educating Rita'.

5. Name one film that you loved but were embarrassed to admit it
I'm quite hard to embarrass but...every time Small Girl watches 'High School Musical' I do really enjoy it. I'm not sure I love it but I cry at the right bits ('oh look, they're both doing what they really, really want'), I laugh at the right bits...and I quite enjoy the gay boy who nobody knows/admits is gay. Disney has its moments...I loved 'Enchanted' too.
I liked bits of 'Forrest Gump' and that's pretty naff.

6. Name one film that you hated
There are loads I dislike but hate is quite a word so I've tried to think of one that deserves it. Mostly I hate films that use rape and suicide for effect/shock but I think I blank a lot of them out afterwards. I dislike 'Love Actually' et al but I don't think I really HATE them. I watched all the Porky's films as a young teenager and I'm pretty sure I would hate them if I saw them now. I may have to get back to you on this one.

7. Name one film that scared you
Sexual abuse and related cruelty scare me more than your traditional horror stuff (ghosts, monsters, supernatural etc) so I think I might go for 'Requiem for a Dream' – a film about drug use where the users start off high and end up really, really low. That end sequence...I couldn't sleep afterwards. It was all a bit...'there but for the grace of fate' for me I suppose.

8. Name one film that bored you
'Lord of the Rings III (the Final Tranquilliser)' or whatever it was called. I found all the LOR films just too sub-Monty Python for words (as in they were so like a pisstake...I couldn't watch them without laughing and upsetting all the devoted fans).

9. Name one movie that made you happy
I watched 'Big' recently when feeling low - yes, the Tom Hanks thing from way back when. We had taped it for Small Girl forgetting that in fact it was more adult than you think...luckily she didn't like it and wandered off to do something else but I ended up wanting to watch it to the end, as you do. It cheered me up...and it's always odd when a big Hollywood film cheers you feel a bit easy, a bit lazy, a bit cheap. Oh is honest answers...maybe I just am cheap.

10. Name one film that made you miserable
It doesn't usually take a movie to make me miserable...but anything about cruelty would do it....'Life is Beautiful' maybe...or anything that was a criminal waste of money to make. When you think what could have been done with the money they used to make half the big budget chick flicks (I mean any predictable romance with the painful half-attempts at humour and philosophy)...that upsets me. Most of them you could just watch the same film over and over and nobody would notice. Any suggestions for an award called 'film that was the biggest waste of money ever'?
Other films that brought on misery - 'Nil by Mouth' and Michael Winterbottom's 'In this World'.

11. Name one film that you thought would be great but wasn't
'The Sixth Sense'...twist? TWIST!! People said it had a great twist! And it was obvious from the first stupid is the rest of the world!! All that guy's films are crap.

12.Name one film that you weren't brave enough to see
Someone else mentioned 'Hotel Rwanda' in a different answer but I'll put it in here. I will watch it one day. I just have to be in the right mood for such real-life horror though..and I have to feel there is any point to me sitting through it. I do believe it's important to know about history (recent and distant) and I do believe it's important to know about current events but I can't always deal with the worst bits of life plus I don't want to be miserable depressed parent (and that is always a possibility...'what's for tea Mum' 'Oh, what's the point in having any tea...we'd be better off to starve ourselves off this mortal coil as quickly as possible.'). It's a weird old balancing act.

13. Name one film character you've fallen in love with
Henry Hill in 'Goodfellas' that an odd one? The mafia links, the pock-marked skin? I have to say I've never had a boyfriend anything like him. Maybe it's just that 'Goodfellas' had to come in somewhere and 'The Big Chill' had to be no 4. Or maybe it was all the talk of food...'don't let the spaghetti sauce stick, hon'..I won't Henry, I won't!
I did have a little something for Jerry Maguire in the film of the same name...but I'm over that now.

So that's me...I kept it as short as I could...

* Remote - who am I kidding! When I was kid we didn't have remotes...we had the big dial thingeys. Funny how easy you forget...


Jim Murdoch said...

A lot of people say that Lord of the Rings was a boring trilogy. I think they're mistaking boredom for exhaustion. They're an endurance test and the worst thing is, I think they skip over stuff. The special effects kept me entertained. But that was about it. I hear that they're planning to make The Hobbit in two parts.

M. Night Shyamalan has ability but I'm disappointed that he keeps going for this shock ending malarkey. I agree, The Sixth Sense was fairly predictable but I did get caught up in Unbreakable – I've always loved comic book characters and the premise of the film was excellent. It demonstrated a great understanding of the genre. Since then they've gone downhill. I found The Happening downright wearisome to be honest. Great soundtracks mind. I have them all bar his last film.

Big is a good choice as a happy movie. So much better than 13 Going on 30 despite hard work by Jennifer Garner.

hope said...

There is a local radio DJ that can't for the life of him pronounce M. Night Shyamalan's he calls him Sham-a-lam-a-ding-dong. :)

I agree about the sense of "How on earth did that movie maker convince someone that his/her idiotic idea was worth THAT much money for NOTHING?!" Yes, it needs a shorter title. Maybe like Ranting & Raving Ramblers Unite.

It's a shame that so many bad movies get made...makes you forget you've ever seen a really good one. I have a bad habit of liking character actors, like Kevin Spacey or David Strathairn, meaning I'll watch anything they're in because they tend to have intelligent taste in material. ;)

Rachel Fox said...

Lord of the Rings...I did watch all 3 films (although we watched the second one at home and I think I was reading the paper for most of it). I went to the 3rd at the cinema as the beloved was keen to see it but I nearly had to be gagged to stop taking the mickey. 'And now we must go to war!' What again? I nearly put 'Morvern Callar' as my boring film (I wanted to like it but just couldn't...I like Samantha Morton but the script was too rambly..even for me!).

We did watch 'Unbreakable'...again good acting but it's the bad scripts that bug me. All those writers and editors in Hollywood...and yet (or because of it) so many weak scripts/screenplays.

As for 'Big' I'm not sure I'll watch it again for another 20's probably that long since I saw it. But just on that day, in that did the trick.

And yes, Hope, I'm a Kevin Spacey fan too. I'd watch him in almost anything but I really like 'American Beauty' (his stint in the burger drive-thru is one of many fine scenes).

Rachel Fox said...

Sorry about adding in some films's school holidays...we have visitors...I'm trying to fit it all in!

Ken Armstrong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Armstrong said...

(Sorry for post removal, I *so* needed an edit)

'Festival': Saw this and enjoyed, 'was surprised it got a mention, no idea why I should be though.

'Brokeback Mountain': I just couldn't understand what they were saying...

'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' and Marathon Man': both written by my-man William Goldman. Great!

'Rainman': Have you seen 'I Am Sam'? Sean Penn plays it very much like Dustin's 'Raymond'.

'High School Musical': 'Was surprised at how well done it was... Jays! All cred gone now! :)

'Big': Don't you love it when the play the big piano. why is that scene so magical?

'Life is Beautiful': I don't know how to feel about this fil-um - I usually do. I think I like it.

'The Sixth Sense': I went to this knowing there was a 'Twist' and spent the movie trying to figure it out... AND DIDN'T. Ya could've knocked me down with a feather. Of course, it's a hall-of-mirrors, it works in the scenes that we see but not in any supposed real-life which should exist between the scenes in any good movie.

'Goodfellas': You fancied Henry Hill eh? This tells me something deep-and-meaningful about you - I just have no idea what it is. :)

Rachel Fox said...

Guys...we all love 'Big'...what a bunch of ...(insert appropriate noun...).

Ken, glad you liked 'Festival' too. I liked Griffin's 'The Book Group' on TV too. I wonder what she is working on next...

I haven't seen 'I am Sam'. Nor am I a very good driver.

'Life is Beautiful' - one of the things I like about it is it is so hard to know what to make of it, I think.There's no film like it.

Which is worse - liking HSM or not guessing 'The 6th Sense'?

Yes, Henry Hill...I'm a little worried what it says about me too. I'm not sure I fancied him... I don't think I do fancy people in films really. I think I was sucked in to the whole film..the excellent 1970s clothes, the spaghetti sauce, the helicopters, the music. I like most Scorsese films. 'Casino' was a bit dull in places, mind you.

Jim Murdoch said...

My wife has decided to join the fray and what interests me is her choice of favourite film, Giuseppe Tornatore's Un pure formalité which she made me watch and refused to tell me a damn thing about it. M. Night Shyamalan could take a leaf out of his book. Don't look it up in Wikipedia. Just find a cheap copy and order it. Your brain cells will thank you.

Fiendish said...

I, too, pronounce the "u" in "film".

Interested to know what parts of Billy Elliot you didn't like - it's years since I saw it but I remember loving it. A re-watch might reveal some dodgy bits, of course.

By the way, are you actually a Geordie? You might like my new poem if you have a chance to check it out ;)

Rachel Fox said...

Hi Fiendish
I'd have to watch 'Billy Elliot' again and take notes to be sure but it was more that I really liked certain scenes - the one where he dances out of the yard to The Jam, the one at the audition, the ones with the two boys - and I wasn't so keen on the whole family drama (angry Dad, angry brother) or the teacher drama (love Julie Walters but the part was...a bit...cliched?). Also I wasn't 100% sure about how the history/politics side of it was mixed in (miners' strike etc.). Saying that it was probably a good mix for younger viewers (maybe the age you were when you watched it) but not for old bags like I was. That's why I say I'm not sure if I loved the whole thing...but I do like it. I love the fact that a film about a boy ballet dancing in Co Durham was such a huge hit...I grew up not far from there (see below) and it is a fairly macho area in many ways. I haven't seen the theatre desire to either. The one song I've heard from it sounds pretty dire. I don't mind some of Elton John's 1970s songs but nothing much he's written since. I'd rather have the T Rex and The Jam from the filum.

As for geordiness I was born in the county Durham/Teesside area which is south of Tyneside (real Geordieland). There isn't really a well-known nickname for people from there and my parents were incomers anyway so my accent was never completely Teesside either. My accent is English - part Teesside, part Yorkshire (lived there for years), part Southern (there for a few years)...bit of all sorts. I am a mongrel linguistically speaking...and picking up bits of Scottish little by little.

Off to read your poem.

Ken Armstrong said...

My youngest lad's middle name is 'Elliot' because we were due to go and see 'Billy Elliot' in the cinema on the evening he was born.

Probably a good job it wasn't 'Lord of the Rings'.

Rachel Fox said...

I have a friend with a dog called Frodo...but named from the book not the filum, she insists...