Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Drama Llama Alphabet Meme

Well, 2013 has come to a close, and what better way to close it out then to post my contribution to The Drama Llama's Alphabet Meme.  This was a great idea.  I did a Movie Alphabet once before, but this is more focused and has a set question for each letter of the alphabet, so it made it almost more challenging as I really had to think about these answers.  Luckily, a lot of them came to me right off the top of my head (and those are usually the most meaningful answers as you aren't trying too hard). 

Let's get right into it!

nticipated Movie of 2014...
I have been awaiting the return of Russell Crowe for years now.  He is my favorite working actor (shamelessly holding onto that title despite actors like Michael Fassbender putting in more interesting work) and I just want him to regain the glory and traction he had coming out of the 90's and dominating the first quarter of the aughts.  Sadly, this hasn't really happened yet.  Last year though, he managed to deliver a very strong (though critisized) performance in 'Les Miserables', and then this year he turned in a surprisingly deep and layered performance in 'Man of Steel'.  While I am going to be first in line for both 'Noah' and 'Winter's Tale', it is his directorial debut, 'The Water Diviner', that has me the most excited.  The material is extremely baity, and this could prove to be a return to form for the actor.  

ook Adaptation I'd Love to See...

I read a lot of books, but one that I read a few years ago has stuck with me for a while.  In fact, I tell myself that when I'm 40, have no more kids in the house and can actually do something for myself, I'm going to find a way to make this movie myself.  I'm talking about 'The Wake of Forgiveness' by Bruce Machart.  It's a fascinating debut novel, one of the best I've ever read, so rich with character development, back-story and true soul.  I'd love to see someone like John Hillcoat grab the reigns here, get a killer cast (Crowe in the father's role would be perfect casting) and make this THE Western of the new era.  

elebrity I'd Most Like to Meet...

Really, there is no contest here.  Russell Crowe.  I love the man.  He's not only talented but absolutely gorgeous (yes, I'm straight...mostly...but I'd let him jump my bones in a heartbeat) and a man date with him would absolutely make my life complete.  Seriously...I'd need nothing more, ever!  We could sit and drink Jack & Coke and talk shit about George Clooney and we'd laugh and laugh and we'd exchange numbers and he'd call me the next day and invite me to visit him on his ranch and I'd just move in because we'd become the best of friends and...yeah, he'd probably call the cops because I'd become a bit of a stalker, but a boy can dream!

ream Director/Actor Pairing...

You don't know how badly I was fighting the urge to say 'Russell Crowe/David Fincher', but I really don't want to make this the Russell Crowe show, and we're only four letters in and I've already talked about him three times (restrain yourself) so I decided to go another route.  I'd LOVE to see Sophia Coppola get ahold of Scarlett Johansson again, but I fear that won't happen (apparently they don't like one another or something like that) so I went with another young actress who is just amazing in everything; Carey Mulligan.  Seriously, the two of them would create magic together.  Coppola is just brilliant with her actresses (Dunst, Johansson, Fanning, Watson) and so seeing her take on one of the greatest actresses working today would be exciting.

ssential Classic Film...

I honestly live on a healthy diet of late night TCM, so narrowing down Classics I consider essential to just one was really hard, but the first one that popped into my head was 'My Man Godfrey', and that film really is just utter perfection.  It's romantic and charming and funny and dramatic and an intelligent social commentary that is on the one hand utterly ridiculous and then on the other perfectly poignant, even today.  But, above all else, it is just shamelessly entertaining.  If you don't think you like Classic films, you need to watch this movie.  Even my wife, who loathes all things black and white and pre-1990 absolutely loved this movie!

avorite Film Franchise...

This one was a tad hard because I don't watch a lot of franchise films, and really...a straight up Trilogy isn't going to count here.  My first inclination was to say 'The Godfather' films because they've been somewhat franchised, but not really.  All superhero films would count, but how many of them are all that wonderful and while I love the first three 'Pirate' films, my current loathing of Johnny Depp has me actively rooting against them here.  So, I decided to just go with 'Batman', which is kind of obvious and yet really deserving when you consider that the image of Batman has been used in various forms of film really well (and really badly), but he's franchised to the high heavens so he wins.

enre I Watch the Most...

I could just say 'drama', but really I should try and be more concise than that.  So I decided to look back at my picks for Best Film since 2000 and the majority are family centered dramas (Billy Elliot, In the Bedroom, Far From Heaven, Cache, After the Wedding, A Christmas Tale, Declaration of War) so that's what I'm going with.  I like to watch films that I feel a connection to on a personal level, and these familial dramas hit that spot for me.

idden Gem...

I just posted about this the other day, but my 1994 Fisti Awards are up and my Best Picture winner from 1994 is a brilliant biopic from New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson, which marked his debut and the debuts of his stars, one of them being Kate Winslet!  Yes, I'm talking about 'Heavenly Creatures'.  If you haven't seen this movie, you really must.

mportant Movie Moment in My Film Life...

Quite easily, 'Gladiator'.  I was 15 years old sitting in my bedroom with my best friend.  We had snuck the movie in, since my parents were anti-R rated films, and we were sitting pressed up against my 13" TV trying to listen and watch as Russell Crowe, who I hadn't ever seen in a film before that night, fight his way to redemption in the gladiatorial arena.  Then he (and the film) goes on to win the Oscar and I realized that this Oscar thing might be something I want to look into.  I haven't missed an Oscar ceremony since and I've indulged in Crowe's filmography and quite frankly, my film world has never been the same.

ust Right Movie for Any Rainy Day...

This may be an obvious choice, but 'Singin' in the Rain' is the PERFECT rainy day movie!

iddie Movie I Still Shamelessly Enjoy...

I love a lot of them, but Disney movies do tend to have a hold on me, and one in particular continues to keep me enthralled.  In fact, watching 'Frozen' over and over again this past month has me even more in love with 1991's 'Beauty and the Beast'.  It's just the perfect Disney film, and more than that, it's just a perfect film.  The music, the lavish colors, the plotting and memorable story telling; it all just works on such a beautiful level.  Probably the greatest animated film ever made, this splendid film keeps me coming back for more and more and more!

ocation I'd Most Like to Visit...

I've made it clear before, but Jean-Luc Godard is my favorite filmmaker.  His contribution to film in the 60's is really unprecedented.  So, when I was thinking about this particular question the first place that popped into my head was The Louvre!  One of the most iconic scenes in film history is when our protagonists in 'Band of Outsiders' run through the Louvre, and it is a moment I've always dreamed of reenacting.

arathon I First Attended...

Sadly, none...

etflix Movie I Actually Watched...

I'm not really sure what this question is referring to.  I watch movies on Netflix Stream all the time, and so I thought it was a movie produced and featured only on Netflix, but that's not what Drama Llama picked and so I was lost.  So, I decided to just go with the first movie I ever streamed on Netflix, 'Antichrist' (yes I was late to the streaming game).  

ne Movie I Saw in Theaters More Than 5x's...

What am I, made of money?!?!  I don't have the funds to see movies more than once at the theater (well, sometimes twice) but when I was a young kid and I could steal money from my dad's wallet I did frequent the theater more than once, and one film in particular I was obsessed with at the ripe old age of 13 and wound up seeing six times (because I had to take all of my friends) and that was 'Lost in Space'.  LOL, I mean, as a young teen it was perfect and I loved every freaking minute of it!

referred Place to Watch a New Movie...

The movie theater, duh (but more specifically...here)!

uote that Inspires Me...

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." ~ Moulin Rouge!

emakes (Friend or Foe)

This is actually a tough one, since the answer isn't that black and white.  For the most part, they are simply unnecessary.  I mean, why make them?  But some remakes are really well done.  For me, a great remake is less a remake of a film but a reinterpretation of the source material.  In other words; if you are adapting a book that has previously been adapted but are planning on making it your own or giving us something that hasn't been done before, then have at it.  If you are remaking a foreign film in English because it had a great critical response and you just want to milk it for money, fuck off.  Well, unless you are David Fincher, because you actually made a better film that followed the book better and made a bigger impact.  Honestly, the movie going public needs to widen out, see more foreign films and dig through the TCM archives and then we wouldn't have this problem.

nack I Enjoy Most...

I don't really eat at the movies.  I'm not a giant fan of popcorn to begin with, but I have a munching problem and so if I get a bucket of popcorn I'll devour the whole thing before the previews are through.  When I was a kid though, I used to chew on Twizzlers all the time, and they are really the perfect movie snack.  Crap, now I want a bag.

wist That Boggled My Mind...

Is anything really all that surprising anymore?  I mean, in this day and age when the internet spoils everything, if you don't see a movie before it starts filming, you are going to know everything, and don't even get me started on the trailers that tell you the story from start to finish.  'The Sixth Sense', 'The Crying Game', 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'Titanic'...the endings were all spoiled before I ever sat down to see them.  That being said, there was one foreign film that no one saw (or at least no one talked about) that took me for a loop, and that was 'High Tension'.  The reason this completely blindsided me was also because it basically follows Dean Koontz 'Intensity' from start to 'almost' finish and I had just read the book and so I was expecting something so much different than I got.

napologetic Fanperson For...

I could say Jennifer Lopez, because she's so damn watchable, of even Channing Tatum because he's so damn charming, but I'm going with Peter Sarsgaard mostly because I feel like I shouldn't have to defend my fanboyism of him (please don't judge that 'early' post from this blog...it's awful I know, but you have to start somewhere) and yet I kind of understand why I do.  What has happened to his career?  He was so versatile and so richly diverse and his run from 2003-2005, not to mention his stellar breakthrough in 1999, is just unprecedented.  Sadly, he has become pigeonholed and doesn't seem to be picking the same kind of exciting roles he had in the past.  I NEED him to do something special.  I thought that maybe his role in 'Blue Jasmine' could do the trick, but sadly it was too underdeveloped to make any real impact.  He has the talent, and I'm still holding out hope, but he needs to do something fast.

ery Excited for Awards Season?

Um, I do blog about films so...

ish I Never Watched...

There are many of them, sure, but the first one that came to mind is the last film I saw in the theater; 'Walking With Dinosaurs' (the review for that steaming pile of shit will come soon).  The thing is, I knew going in that this was going to be awful.  The previews were terrible and made this look as corny and as stupid as they come, but my kids BEGGED and PLEADED and I wound up in a theater trying desperately to sleep through the pointless, ridiculous, stupidity I saw on the screen.  There is nothing of merit here, at all, and so for that reason this is easily the WORST film of this year.

XX Movie I Saw at a Really Young Age (R or NC-17)...

I've actually only seen a handful of NC-17 films (mostly directors cuts of R rated films) but I have always been into movies and so even as a child I was sneaking to see films I knew I shouldn't see.  One of my very first R rated memories comes in the form of a little doll named Chucky.  I absolutely love that both I and Drama Llama have the same pick here, but the 'Child's Play' films were popular when I was a kid.  I still remember the very day I saw this film for the first time.  What makes it even more hilarious (and terrifying) was that the whole family was rushing to get ready for a religious event and I was downstairs tucked behind the sofa watching this movie in cable and it scarred me for years!

our Latest Movie-Related Obsession...

This was actually pretty easy for me.  Greta Gerwig has been my obsession since last year, and her tremendous performance in 'Frances Ha' has only solidified her status with me.  I wrote a piece about her last December, and I have only grown more and more in love with her since.  

ZZ-Catchers (name a movie that has put you to sleep)...

The first thing that came to mind was Tim Burton's disastrous 'Planet of the Apes'.  What is so hilarious is that I actually saw this movie twice in the same night and fell asleep BOTH times!  It was opening night and I had two groups of friends who all wanted to see it at separate times and so I went to a 7 and a 10 o'clock showing and just could not stay awake for either.  I wound up renting the movie with my wife when we were first married because she said that she liked it and that I should see it and I...FELL ASLEEP!!!  Yes, I have never seen the movie all the way through and I don't really give a damn.


  1. Great post! I am a fan of Heavenly Creatures, too. My daughter convinced me to watch it, and I was surprised at how much I liked it. The acting and character development made it hard to forget. I am also a definite fan of Peter Sarsgaard. I love some of your other picks too, including Cache, In the Bedroom, Billy Elliott, and Far from Heaven.


    1. Thanks Steph! This was fun to put together, although time consuming!

  2. Such an interesting! Thank you for participating in my movie meme. I've added your post to the official page. :)
    I'm so excited for Noah and to see Russell's directorial debut. My Man Godfrey is such a beautifully sad film, and wonderful essential pick.
    The Netflix category was just meant to a movie you watched - could be the first, most memorable, or something you watched when you were bored. Sorry if that was confusing! :)

    1. No worries on the confusion...looks like I answered it correctly! This was great fun. I love finding things like this on fellow blogs.

  3. That's a nice list. What I heard about the rift between Scarlett and Sofia was more to due w/ personality clashes during the Oscar period where it was a falling out. I think a reunion will happen. Scarlett isn't the same person she was 10 years ago and Sofia has also changed so maybe it will happen. I would definitely want to see that reunion happen.

    1. Yeah, that's kind of what I gathered as well. A reunion would be beautiful! They worked so well together then, and I have a feeling they'd make an even better pair now.

  4. I, too, brought the kid to Walking with Dinosaurs and it is in my bottom 5 OF ALL TIME. Look forward to your thrashing of it.

    1. I hope to have it up by the end of the week.

  5. Wonderful post! I started one of these, but I still need to finish it.

    I didn't know you loved the first three Pirates. Dig those, plot holes and all. I usually watch the first film at least once during the year.

    I'm thinking The Water Diviner will get pushed to 2015, but let's hope not.

    Haha, the film I watched 6 times in theaters is probably as bad as yours.

    1. Yeah, Water Diviner could get pushed back, but it is already filming so that is a good sign.

      Can't wait to see yours.