26 July 2012

Movie Confessions

My pal Jandy posted this prompt in her blog, The Frame, and I decided to take a whack at it. I will very likely forfeit whatever credibility I have as a movie reviewer before this is finished.

Which classic movie don’t you like/can’t enjoy and why?

Gone with the Wind. I could tell you it's because of all the racism, but I've managed to slog through other racist, sexist and other discriminatory films. If I'm being entirely honest, I'm pretty sure it's because the first (and, to date, only) time I've ever seen it, I watched it with an ex-girlfriend. Her name was actually taken from the film and she grew up practically obsessed with it. I was really into her, and then one day she just wasn't into me. That was nearly ten full years ago and the lack of an explanation still irks me. Unfair to hold against Gone with the Wind? Maybe. But somehow, I'm certain the warped paradigm of Scarlett and Rhett had something to do with undermining me.

Which ten classic movies haven’t you seen yet?

Just ten? I could probably list a hundred, but just off the cuff...
  1. The 400 Blows 
  2. Singin' in the Rain 
  3. A Clockwork Orange 
  4. Scarface 
  5. The Searchers 
  6. North by Northwest 
  7. Rear Window 
  8. Rocky 
  9. Sunset Blvd. 
  10. A Streetcar Named Desire
Have you ever sneaked into another movie at the cinema?

Nope. I have, however, sneaked concessions into theaters on countless occasions. My mom was a big proponent of this during my childhood. I gave it up in 1995 when I began going to the Oldham 8 on my own. When they first opened, they sold hot dogs and I'd get a couple of those and a Coke while waiting in the lobby for the movie to start. Then somewhere along the line, they stopped serving dogs. I've rarely had concessions since.

Which actor/actress do you think is overrated?

I'm not big on "overrated" questions in general, but for the life of me I cannot comprehend the following that Kristen Stewart enjoys. Even accounting for the projection of the character (Bella) onto the actress doesn't explain how she has effectively sleepwalked into stardom.

From which big director have you never seen any movie (and why)?

Akira Kurosawa. It's not a conscious aversion; just no real exposure. The first annual DVD Talk Criterion Collection Challenge was in September, 2010 and I originally planned to get to one then. That fell by the wayside when I fell in love with Ingmar Bergman's work, however, and concentrated on that. I decided to explore other continents in 2011, but by then The Criterion Collection had largely moved to HuluPlus and I was only a Netflix member so it was postponed then, too. Maybe this year, I'll finally get around to it.
Which movie do you love, but is generally hated?

I've developed an unhealthy love for Batman & Robin. I become defensive when I hear people bash it as "The Worst Movie Ever Made." I'm like, "Really? Have you not endured Legally Blonde 2? Epic Movie? The Quest?"

Have you ever been “one of those annoying people” at the cinema?

In the mid-to-late-90s, it was semi-fashionable to do the Mystery Science Theater 3000 bit of joking about the film. My friends and I tried to confine it to just a whisper among ourselves, though sometimes one of us would pop off with something particularly clever and the laughter would become conspicuous.

Did you ever watch a movie, which you knew in advance would be bad, just because a specific actor/actress was in it? Which one and why?

Hmm. I honestly can't think of any examples. Truthfully, I'm not big on knowing much about movies before I see them. I've shared it before, but it bears repeating that in my teens, my friends and I would sometimes see a movie knowing only its title and show time - a hell of a way to find yourself seeing Event Horizon, incidentally! I have, of course, sat through countless movies I expected I would not enjoy for the basic reason that I was with someone who wanted to see them. Had I not been married, I would never have subjected myself to the first three Twilight movies, for instance.

Did you ever not watch a specific movie because it had subtitles?

I put off foreign films until just a few years ago. It wasn't an active resistance kind of thing, so much as just I wanted to tackle more of the prominent English language films first - and they were much more readily available. Foreign films required commitment, and I wasn't far enough along in my exploration of film to make that commitment until relatively recently.

Are there any movies in your collection that you have had for more than five years and never watched?

I'm not entirely sure I've had these a full five years, because my DVD Profiler data only goes back to 6 December 2008 when I first began using that software to track my purchases, but:
  • The Brave One 
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor 
  • Ewoks: Caravan of Courage 
  • Munich 
  • The Opium Connection 
  • Paint Your Wagon 
  • Painted Hero 
I've seen at least part of one of the Ewoks movies once upon a time, but I honestly don't really recall anything from it. Also, I have numerous DVDs that I haven't actually watched, but of movies that I have seen so I excluded those. For instance, I saw Mr. Holland's Opus when it opened in theaters. I picked up the DVD from a $5 bin at Walmart once upon a time, but have yet to actually pop in the disc to re-watch it.

Which are the worst movies in your collection and why do you still own them?

Mr. Baseball, because I had never seen it until a couple months ago to even know how awful it is. Ditto Hell Is for Heroes. Those two will be going to Half Price Books soon, I suspect. I also have some of the usual geek suspects (Batman & Robin, Die Another Day, Superman Returns, the Star Wars prequels) partly because I'm a completist and partly because I have a sort of Stockholm Syndrome thing for those.

Do you have any confessions about your movie watching setup at home?

Maybe I do and maybe I don't, but since you didn't ask what they might be, you'll never know.
Any other confessions you want to make?

The first time I ever visited a strip club was after seeing E.T. during its 20th anniversary re-release.