Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Million Movie Meme

I wrote this post late Saturday afternoon and didn't have time to finish it before I had to get ready for my night out with the girls. Then I didn't get home until past midnight by which time we had had a terrible storm and lost power for the next 16 hours or so. It took me freakin' forever to write this hog because of all the pictures and links and by this point I'm just bloody sick of looking at it, so I apologize here in advance for any weird grammar or spelling errors.

With an intro like that I'm sure you are bursting at the seams to read this now.

I'm going to refrain from air kissing myself to avoid adding any extra strain to my already overtaxed neck. Yes. I've tagged myself for a meme, since nobody else would. I don't want to name any names here Tara.

Anyhoo... it's a movie meme and I couldn't resist because I love movies almost as much as I love eating and breathing.

There are just too many movie answers for me to choose from, so I have blatantly stolen an idea from New York Magazines weekly feature The Approval Matrix, where they section off Brilliant and Despicable things by labeling them either Highbrow or Lowbrow. I adore this feature. You can click on the image on the left to see the full size version of this weeks Approval Matrix. (I'm not sure how Rachel Ray and Dunkin' Donuts ended up on the Highbrow side.)

My movie meme will answer each question in the meme with the (Lowbrow) title of a mainstream, big name studio movie and with the (Highbrow) title of a lesser known or possibly totally unknown independent or foreign film or any combination of these things. This is my blog so I get to stand in judgment on what's Lowbrow and what's Highbrow - if you disagree leave it in the comments.

1. One that made you laugh:
Movie: Blazing Saddles (1974) - Because I can never resist a fart joke or anything with Madeline Kahn (RIP).

Film: Flirting with Disaster (1996) - I laughed throughout the entire thing and had to watch it again because I missed so much from laughing the first time.

2. One that made you cry:
Movie: Beaches (1988) - the whole thing with the dying and the daughter. It's just too much and I'm a huge Bette Midler fan. The music gets me every time.

Film: Hilary & Jackie (1998) - based on a true story, the whole thing with the success and the madness and the love of two sisters, plus it stars two actors I adore: Emily Watson and Rachel Griffiths. Also has great music.

3. One movie you loved when you were a child (I will eliminate the Highbrow/Lowbrow element here because as kid I didn't know the difference or really care. I'm going to list a few that I still love to this day and you may also notice that they are all pretty old. We didn't have a lot of money for going to the movies when I was a kid so I watched old movies on TV all the time):

Gigi (1958) - In retrospect the premise is probably a bit racy because it's about a little girl who is being groomed to become a courtesan, but I loved the songs, the costumes, and the fancy manners.

Harvey (1950) - What little kid wouldn't want to hang around with a guy who had an invisible 7 foot rabbit wearing a waistcoat and pocket watch for a best friend?

We can also include here anything with Cary Grant, Doris Day and Fred Astaire.

4. One you’ve seen more than once (I'll lean this one more toward movies that I will watch whenever I notice that they are on TV. There could be 15 minutes left and I will watch them anyway.):

Movie: When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Film: Cold Comfort Farm (1995) tied with Amelie (2001)

5. One you loved, but were embarrassed to admit it I'm going to dispense withe Highbrow/Lowbrow here too. I'm not embarrassed, but these are a couple that I didn't expect to love:
There's Something About Mary (1998) - I could not help myself.

Stuart Saves His Family (1995) - Yes. Starring Al Franken as Stuart Smalley, that 12-step program guy from SNL. I do not remember why I rented this stupid thing. I watched it in secret and then laughed so hard that I made all of my friends watch it with me. Trust me. It's really good.

6. One you hated:
Movie - Mr. Hollands Opus - I'm not going to put the year or a link because that would require an IMDB search and that might cause someone at IMDB to think that I give a shit about this movie - what a turd this was. It doesn't even deserve bold font. Forever known to me as Mr. Hollands Anus.

Film - The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) - I actually walked out of this film - crying. I had had enough cringing, gasping and covering my eyes in my friend Dan's armpit in the middle of a fully packed theater. It was in a word; awful.

7. One that scared you:
Movie: 28 Days Later (2002) - I don't watch a lot of scary movies, but I gave this one a shot because I like the director, Danny Boyle.

Film: El Orphanito (2007) - Scary, Spanish, ghostie goodness. Make sure you have already had a good crap before watching.

8. One that bored you: I think I can safely exempt myself from this one. I'm pretty careful with my movie selections, especially if I'm shelling out full price to see it in a theater. If I'm watching it on DVD I simply stop watching. Besides I rarely ever get bored.

9. One that made you happy:
Movie - Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985) - Never was the tale of a weirdo who lost his bike more delightful.

Film - Juno (2007) - Never was a tale of teen pregnancy more delightful.

10. One that made you miserable:
Movie - Leaving Las Vegas (1995) - a jolly little fable about a dude who wants to literally drink himself to death. 100% Charm Free.

Film - Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006) - My bad. I didn't pay close enough attention to the title of this piece of shit and take the word Imaginary to heart. I mean, I know that she was known for being really weird and that she eventually killed herself, but I had hoped for more insight into what made her tick and instead I was treated to middle aged nudists and gargantuan hair clogs. It made me itchy.

11. One movie you weren’t brave enough to see:
Movie - Any of those Police Academy things.

Film - Cloverfield (2008) - OK - I doubt that this is highbrow, but I can't think of anything else at the moment, and I know for certain that I do not want to see this thing. Not because it's too scary, but because I heard the camera work was not dissimilar to The Blair Witch Project, which caused me to get motion sickness and spend the second half of the film in the ladies room puking my guts up. No film is good enough for me to go through that again.

One movie character you’ve fallen in love with (oddly both of these characters appear naked in their respective stories):
Movie - Jason Segel's cleverly named character, Jason in the movie Knocked Up (2007).

Film - Julian Sands as George Emerson from the Ivory Merchant A Room with a View (1985). Upon deep reflection I have just realized that Julian Sands was the first man I ever saw naked. Of course in the same scene in which Julian Sands is naked you also see Simon Callow's penis bouncing around as well. Some of you may remember Mr. Callow as the chubby bearded guy that keels over from a heart attack and dies in Four Weddings and a Funeral. I choose Julian Sands as my happy memory even though he went on to totally bum me out by making that horrible Warlock movie.

Just to qualify I did not fall in love with George Emerson because I saw Julian Sands naked. George was a romantic guy (and not bad to look at either) who knew exactly what he wanted with Lucy Honeychurch and by the end of the story completely transforms her. In the movie George lives and that is how I like to remember him. I read the book about 5 years after I first saw that movie and was devastated to learn that his character dies in the war and that Ivory/Merchant kind of butchered EM Forrester's book, but I really don't care. I like it better when I think of George and Lucy living forever in love in that damn window.

13. The last one you saw (I'll qualify this with - in a theater):
Movie - Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) - S'ok.

Film - Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008) - I wrote about this already.

The next movie you hope to see:
How about the next movie I'm going to see? Because I don't just dream it baby - I live it. It's Sex & the City and I'm going to do the whole cliche all the way and see it with my girlfriends after dinner and drinks this very evening. Minus the expensive heels. Fuck that - I'm wearing flip-flops.

15. Tag Five People:
I'm only going to tag one person. The only person I can think of that loves movies more than me, and whose opinion of movies I value more than any other - yes my friend Dan - I mean you Dan G.

C'mon! Write us up a little something. It's about movies, you know you want to. Don't make me beg. Write!


Renaissance Woman said...

So many movies...so many comments! I LOVED Blazing Saddles. So funny and made me laugh out loud! Great pick. Beaches always good for a cry. Something About Mary - hair gel! Enough said. And Juno is such a smart and current film. Loved your picks and I'm going to rent a few now.

As for your next movie...saw it and liked it a lot. But wanted to warn you - all of the women there showed up in dresses, high heels and full make-up. All except my friend and I - we showed up in jeans and tennis shoes! Not so Sex & the City. But you will love it!

Boldly Serving Up Wheat Grass said...

Funny, my wife & I *loved* The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. We bought it on VHS ages ago.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Ren Woman - I wrote this on Saturday so I already saw the movie. Every one there was dressed just as sloppy as me - so it was all good.

BSUWG - I absolutely love Helen Mirren and this movie had a lot going for it, but I have a terrible time watching people be humiliated - I can't watch American Idol either.

Churlita said...

I loved Amelie. I don't think I could ever get tired of that movie.

Anonymous said...

Cloverfield was terrible...it scared me that I paid 7.50 to see it.

Anyone in the general age group seems to like Pee Wee's Big Adventure...I am another.

Gwen said...

We would be fast movie friends as I agree wholeheartedly with all of your assessments. I don't know another person who's even seen A Room With a View. I won't watch many movies more than once but it's one. City of Angels and French Kiss are two others.

I may just tag myself.

Tara said...

Eeek! Thank you for not mentioning my name...Oh wait, you did. Heh. Sorry about not tagging you. Be careful what you wish for, though. You've been warned. Muah ha ha ha ha.

I did see "Something About Mary"..And I'll leave it at that. Just glad I didn't watch it at the movie theater. I'll never think of styling mousse the same way again.

Oh and "When Harry Met Sally" is a movie I've seen a dozen times too, and I own it.

Jenna said...

El Orphanito was creepy as hell! I really liked it though.

I have the same motion sickness problem (don't ever watch an Irish film called "Intermission"), and Cloverfield wasn't so bad when you watched it on video. When it's not surrounding you, it doesn't nauseate you so much. I didn't have a problem watching it.

Alice said...

I'm so glad you mentioned 'A Room With A View'. I LOVE that movie and haven't seen it in a long time. I'll wait for a peaceful kid-free day and plop myself down to watch it soon! Now I must go to work on this meme which will take forever since my head immediately went blank when I tried to think of answers.

BeckEye said...

Pirates knocked up Shrek. Ehh heh hehehheheh.

I don't think "When Harry Met Sally" is lowbrow. I love it!

Glad to see "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" on your list. That's fab.

And as for "The Orphanage" (sorry I have to speak it in English because I'm a moron) that's simply one of the best movies I've seen in a loooong time.

BeckEye said...

By the way, I may have to steal this meme. I'm a meme hater, but this one actually fits my format and seems like fun.

Claire said...

Excellent, and not at all indicative of a big stick up your a$$. I'm so glad someone other than me hated The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover as much as I did. Ugh. And I'm not even slightly embarrassed to admit that I loved Something About Mary. You'll like SATC; my friend Maggie and I saw it last week (we were in jeans and flip-flops) and the theater was FULL of elderly ladies, all of whom were chortling like crazy at the racy parts.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Churlita - If you love Amelie then you might also like City of Lost Children. It's much (much) darker than Amelie, but by the same director and you'll recognize some of the same actors and the same kind of otherworld vibe.

Evil - I saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure in the theater like 3 times. It's awesome on so many levels.

Gwen - Room with a View is one of only 5 movies I actually own. I probably watch it once a year. Don't read the book - it's a total bummer.
Oh, and consider yourself tagged.

Tara - I assumed you would know that I was teasing. You do right?

I think I know all the lines to When Harry Met Sally - and it never gets old.

Giz - hey welcome back - haven't seen you here in awhile. I nearly wretched watching the previews for Cloverfield, there are so many other things to choose from and I'm not much into scary stuff - so I'll probably keep my pass.

Alice - Dude I hope one of your chitlins is a daughter so you can watch it with her someday.

Beckeye - The real challenge for you would be to only use Grease for one answer ;)

CDP - I saw Cook Thief Etc.. in the theater the day it released with my friend Dan and I felt like such an asshole, because nobody else was having the same reaction to it as me. Dan was really embarassed - I was freaking out.

Anonymous said...

a lot of people complain about the excited camera movement in this movie, but i appreciate the originality of it. Well, mostly original. It still didn't make people wonder if it was real as effectively as Blair Witch.

BeckEye said...

Funny...I was just thinking that before I read your comment! I'm so transparent.

Chris the Hippie said...

Hmmm... I kinda liked Mr. Holland's Opus. Or at least I liked what I saw of it. Well, I didn't really see it, but the commercial looked good...

Scott said...

that's funny, Mr. Holland's Opus is one of my favorite movies ever. I always used to say that it should be mandatory viewing for anyone who wants to become a teacher (in fact it was, at my college.) I found it so inspiring. What are your objections to it?