Friday, November 17, 2006

movie meme, kind of

JJ tagged me.... and if I've learned one thing about this meme business, no matter how much I half-loathe/half-am-intrigued by answering them, I just can't say no. Besides, this one's about movies.... so I'll bite.

1. Popcorn or candy?

Candy, usually. I'm a fan of things gummy and sour. But, I don't renounce popcorn: I've learned some nifty tricks to ensure that the popcorn pump butter is evenly distributed throughout the length of the tub. It's all in the disposbale straws.

2. Name a movie you've been meaning to see forever.

Hmmmm.... I know there's one, it's just not coming to me. I've had The Grifters on my Netflix queue forever. Still haven't seen The Color Purple either.

3. You are given the power to recall one Oscar: Who loses theirs and to whom?

I could go on for days with this question.... but I am given only one choice. And the answer to that, HANDS DOWN, would be removing the Oscar from Opie's (aka Ron Howard) sentimentalizing hands for A Beautiful Mind and giving the statue to its rightful owner, David Lynch, for Mulholland Drive. No specifics necessary, that's just how it is.

4. Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe. Which will it be?

I have no idea. There are tons of cool clothes in movies. My answers would all be boring. Maybe I should say something a little more expected of a question like this.... Ghostbusters uniforms?

5. Your favorite film franchise is....

Star Trek. Yeah, that's right, don't knock it. I'm a screaming fan of everything Star Trek VI and onward (Star Trek: First Contact almost transcends the franchise on its own weight), and I don't have to be ashamed. Let's see.... if not Star Trek, I have an unusual affinity for the first two Jurassic Park movies....

6. Invite five movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why'd you invite them? What do you feed them?

This question feels too much like I'm being tested. How about this for an answer: Last year I was at this small seminar where Philip Roth was coming to talk about whatever it was he felt was important to self-reflexively talk about with grad students. The windbag organizer of the event was so enamored with the possiblity of the students aksing Philip Roth earth-shaking questions of absolute poignancy that he scoffed at the idea we ask him anything not on par with preeminent genius. He said, for instance, that we should never ask him what it was like to have dinner with Nicole Kidman (Roth wrote The Human Stain, so I imagine his connection to the film adaptation of his novel which starred Nicole Kidman would be cause for at least one dinner together). I say why the hell not? That would be exactly the question I'd want to ask.

7. What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater?

Drawn and quartered. All of them. To be honest, I'm actually surprised that people dare do that. But they do. Medieval torture for all.

8. Choose a female bodyguard: Ripley from Aliens. Mystique from X-Men. Sarah Connor from Terminator 2. The Bride from Kill Bill. Mace from Strange Days.

I haven't seen Strange Days, so maybe I'm not totally qualified to answer this question. That, and Linda Hamilton is more Dante's Peak than Terminator for me. I'd say a tie between Ripley and The Bride.... they're both badass but for completely different reasons. Sure they're both tough and both irresistibly sexy, but both for different reasons too.

9. What's the scariest thing you've ever seen in a movie?

I'm sure there's something scarier, but I was genuinely and thoroughly creeped out by the long-haired demon girl from The Ring crawling out of the television set and ambling like some kind of reanimated sloth toward her prey.

10. Your favorite genre (excluding "comedy" and "drama") is....

Psychological thriller? That genre on its own sounds so disgusting.... I'm not talking movie adaptations of James Patterson trash. But hey, if you can give me a puzzle box of a mindfuck movie and intrigue me enough to want to figure it out (at least with the promise that it can be done, and done so without spoonfeeding), you win.

11. You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. How do you wield this power?

Wow. This is a power I have not asked for. I agree that too many crappy movies are being made.... definitely go for quality over quantity. The other thing would be to get rid of prefabricated casting.... let the movie come before the star. Stop writing movies for actors and actually have actors come and audition for the leads.

12. Bonnie or Clyde?

I'd have to agree with JJ on this one.... the two go together. You cannot have one without the other. Besides, it's less fun to only choose one person to shoot the hell out of something with an automatic rifle.

13. Who am I tagging to answer this survey?

Those who feel inspired. Besides, I'd love to hear which Oscars you folks would recall.

Friday, November 03, 2006


It's amazing to think about how much different (i.e. sedentary) my life was not two months ago. I hardly have time to check email anymore. Recent developments that have struck my radar:

1) "Lost" has gone completely bonkers. Why make the impetus of Season 2 about a whole new cast of characters only to kill ALL of them off? The producers spit things like "the actor didn't want to make a commitment to a series" or "we ran out of stories to tell with that character". So, ahem, why bother hiring them and introducing them in the first place?!? Idiot showrunners. In any case, the show has no narrative confidence whatsoever as we begin Season 3, and it so painfully shows. The only good thing they have going for them is the steely hotness of new cast member Elizabeth Mitchell. How do I type out a sexy growl?

2) I've been reading short stories like crazy, like it's my job. Funny, because it is kind of my job. Lorrie Moore (my new not-so-secret favorite writer) just had a story published in the New Yorker, which is amazing, and the first paragraph alone has some virtuoso language going for it. Could this mean she has a new story collection coming around the bend? Bring it on, Lorrie. We're waiting.

3) Mark your calendars for the Giada DeLaurentiis vs. Rachael Ray Iron Chef showdown. This is perhaps the best new thing the Food Network has on its schedule except for Nigella Lawson's amazing/hilarious cooking show where she cooks things very Britishly (more on this below). I'm putting my money on Giada, given the fact that she is an actual ordianed chef whereas Rachael Ray is now a part-time Food Network cash cow and obnoxious syndicated talk show host. When the Food Network has sunk so far, this is actually a trashy glimmer of hope. Rue be the day "The Next Food Network Star" comes around; their new "celebrities" make me want to vomit blood, in somewhere public.

4) The first time I ever saw Nigella Lawson, it was on the television screen in front of me on a Virgin Atlantic flight from London to San Francisco. This was maybe six, seven years ago. The woman is luminous, and she cooked bizzare things with cream and roasts of beef and gelatin. BUT.... her show was absolutely intoxicating, and I scoured the American airwaves to find it. No luck, we never had BBC. Now the Food Network has snagged Nigella (on the appropriately named "Nigella Feasts", which if you say it too fast, sounds like "Nigella Feets"), and she is so very watchable. Recent Food Network hotshot Ellie Krieger got too dull too quickly, so hopefully Nigella will bring a good burst of non-hallucinogenic/antidepressant-fueled energy to the programming. Of course, I've only seen one of her episodes, because I never have time to breathe anymore let alone watch TV.

5) I tend not to be too spontaneous a person, but suddenly I'll be spending my weekend in Boston reunited with a friend I haven't seen in awhile. This will be the perfect medicine, despite the fact that I want to hibernate in my apartment and never leave: the claustrophobia of NYC has reached a suffocating level.