Monday, July 7, 2014

Five for the Fifth: my answers to Ruth's questions...

Every month, on the fifth of the month, Ruth over at Flixchatter has a special post entitled 5 for the Fifth, where she asks us five entertainment related questions to gather our opinions on them.  I generally try and respond with my own post exploring my answers to those questions, mostly because it's fun to elaborate and her questions are always so interesting.   is special, for she asked me to be a quest for her post and so I got to ask a question!

Wait for it...

1) So do you have a go-to Summer movie you like to watch every year? 

This question was obviously inspired by Independence Day, which we just had over the weekend (thank you careless neighbor for setting off your fireworks directly in front of my house at midnight and waking up my three year old AND my eleven month old and causing me to have 'kids with nightmares' for the next two hours).

For me, there has always been one blockbuster film that I had no qualms watching over and over, and in my late teens I made it almost a monthly tradition.  I'm talking about The Fast and the Furious.  It has some of the dumbest aspects to it, the plot is rather under-worked and Paul Walker (R.I.P.) was such a horrific actor, and yet the car race scenes were awesome, Ja Rule had that hilarious cameo and the whole 'Vin Diesel can lift Michele Rodriguez by her butt cheeks' kind of got me riled up when I was a teenager.  It was just a whole lot of fun.  Every time I'd watch the film I'd swear to work out more, but that never happened.

And that soundtrack was pretty awesome too!  Nostalgia at its finest.

2) Are you as excited as I am for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?

This one doesn't have James Franco, so I'm more inclined to be excited, and the early word is really good for this one.  I rather liked Rise of the Planet of the Apes, so at least there is a good feeling associated with this reboot (especially since I was largely skeptical of the whole thing).  That being said, something about that trailer didn't really work for me, and so I'm wondering how well this is going to work.  I'm on the fence with how I feel it will all work out, but I'm totally in for the ride.

3) What do you think of Hans Zimmer concert? Which other composer would you pay to see live on stage?

I think composers going on concert is such an inspired and interesting idea, and I wish I lived overseas too, but for MANY reasons!  

For me, this new breed of composers would make a really interesting concert.  Clint Mansell is probably king, for me at least.  The scores composed for all of Aronofsky's films (Noah, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain), not to mention films like Stoker and Abandon, are marvelous.  So much atmosphere captured in every musical note.  He understands how to layer an entire experience and create a complete character all its own.

Nathan Johnson is also really inspired.  I love his work with his cousin Rian, for it has brought such depth to these films.  His scores for The Brothers Bloom and Brick are just exquisite.

But breaking away from the more experimental (at least from a rough and modernist standpoint), I think my favorite composer working today is Dario Marianelli.  I mean, come on.  The man is a genius of sound.  His work alongside Joe Wright is some of the best film pairings I've ever seen.  He breaths such life into Wright's work.  Atonement was such an inspired work, incorporating the themes alongside what could have been gimmick (but never was), and his recent work on Anna Karenina is deliciously theatrical, while maintaining a level of intimacy needed to make it feel fresh.  It's no wonder that Marianelli has three Fisti Awards to his name!

And who are we kidding.  We can hate Slumdog Millionaire all we want, but we all know an A.R. Rahman concert was be pretty awesome.

4) Have you been watching more TV than movies lately? Which shows are you addicted to right now and/or highly-anticipating?.

Guess what girl; I don't really watch TV at all.  Like, I watch cooking competition shows and reruns of The King of Queens, but that's about it.  It is such an investment of my time and energy to get into a television show, and I always find myself missing the first few episodes and I hate playing catch-up.  The only show I ever watched all the way through to completion (from season one till the series finale) was The Sopranos, and that wasn't even when it was was years afterward.  I tried Mad Men, tried Glee, tried something else that I can't remember but ultimately I gave up on all of them a season or two in.

Now, I did just watch all of Fargo, which was pretty awesome, and I'm hoping that they come back for another season.  I also plan of watching Gotham this fall, because I think it looks awesome (and I have been obsessed with Benjamin McKenzie for years despite never having actually watched him in anything (he looks so much like a young Russell Crowe to me, so I've been secretly crossing my fingers for a career to blossom for him).

5) Which decade of film have you found the most rewarding to explore, and which ‘quality’ makes it so rich?

We've finally arrived at my contribution to this post.  I've dedicated the better part of this year into delving into the 40's, which was the one decade of film I was least versed in, and I've found it to be such a bounty of awesome.  In exploring this decade, I've discovered that each decade of film, while varied and full of individual flavor, tend to carry a distinct flavor, or at least be remembered for a certain genre or style.  I think of screwball comedies when I think of the 30's, noir's when I think of the 40's, French New Wave when I think of the 60's, pulpy melodramas when I think of the 80's...

Yes, there was MUCH more in each decade of film, but those are the first things I call to mind.

So, I wanted to know what decades were the richest for you to discover.  I'm finding so much joy in the 40's right now, but I'm still sorely underversed, so I can't say it's my favorite decade.  But, it's getting up there.  Right now, the 60's still reign supreme (with the 90's trailing VERY closely behind).  Everyone who knows me here knows that I worship the likes of Godard, Fellini and Truffaut.  Their contributions to cinema have held such incredible weight and have lasted so long (and have felt so modern in their scope) that I can't help but feel inclined to call the decade of their surge (yes, they made films before and after as well) to be the best of the best.


  1. Love these kinds of lists!

    1. I'm a disaster movie junkie so I return to the big ones, Airport, The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno often. But in the summer I'm more apt to rewatch The Day After Tomorrow. It's super cheesy and I laugh out loud when they outrun the down draft of the new Ice Age but I still watch it at least once every summer.

    2. I'm not big on Planet of the Apes and its many, many sequels and redos but I like Jason Clarke and some of the rest of the cast, Judy Greer is always worth watching, so I'm more inclined than usual.

    3. The composer who first popped into my mind was Richard Robbins who did all the Merchant/Ivory films but he died in 2012. I don't have another current composer who I'd make a point to see but if it was expanded to any film composer ever than definitely Max Steiner, whenever I see his name in the credits I pay special attention to the score.

    4. If I have the time I watch more TCM than anything else but I am a faithful Downton Abbey and Revenge viewer. Nothing coming up this year has caught my interest yet but I usually sample a few things when they premiere. The trouble is that what I take to almost invariably gets quickly cancelled.

    5. My favorite decade without question is the 40's. I love the studio sheen of the films although sometimes the rear projection does annoy me. I'm a star watcher and will view films solely on the cast list, sometimes that bites me since a great many of the big stars toiled their way through a lot of quickie junk on their way to the top. But it was the peak of the star system and I love the fact that they are STARS and the glamour that entailed.

    Since the production code was at its height I also enjoy the way the scriptwriters found to work around it. They had to be more inventive and I think it lead to better and more entertaining writing. I'm no prude and swearing can be effective but when the dialogue of a film is too graphic or expletive filled I become bored and check right out of the picture, I think it's a sign of laziness on the writers part.

    I'm also a fan of film noir and the mid forties into the early 50's were it's peak years. That was the time when after years of experimentation the cinematographers had mastered the effectiveness of black and white photography, of course just as it was starting to be phased out in favor of color.

    My other favored periods are the thirties especially pre-code, the grittiness of the 70's, the bubblegum colors of the late 50's/early 60's and I've even started to appreciate some silents but their rhythm isn't always easy to me to adjust to.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment, and for taking your time to really COMMENT!

      Do you have a blog Joel? I can't seem to find one linked to your user name, but if you do I'd love to explore it.

    2. No blog of my own but thanks for asking!

      Haven't had a chance to work through much of your blog yet but what I have I've enjoyed very much, looking forward to getting more deeply into the past archives. Really like the Twice a Best Actor Roundtable. I've been following the Best Supporting Actress Smackdown over on The Film Experience blog and between the two I'm in heaven although I'd love to see a Twice a Best Actress next!

    3. I'm actually planning on putting together a Twice a Best Actress Roundtable when this one is done!

  2. Yay! Thanks as always for doing this Drew and July edition is extra special because of YOU :) Yikes! Sorry to hear about your noisy neighbor Drew, that’s NOT cool!

    1. Ahah, The Fast and the Furious eh? I enjoyed the few that I’ve seen but yeah, generally pretty silly with horrendous acting all around.

    2. Oh I didn’t know you’re not a fan of Franco. I’m not either, he’s just so overrated it’s not even funny. I do like Jason Clarke, like many Aussies, he’s a great actor who’s VERY underrated. Kind of like your fave Joel Edgerton.

    3. I’m afraid I’m not that familiar w/ Clint’s work, but then again I haven’t seen the three films by Aronofsky. I can’t remember what Stoker score sound like. Hey, Fernando mentioned Dario and now I remember I love Atonement’s score and also Anna Karenina!

    4. Well I’m glad I’m not the only one! I’m lucky if I catch an entire season of two shows in a year! I finally finished Black Sails, I probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for my love for Toby Stephens! Gotham does look pretty good, we’ll see if that can retain my interest past a few episodes though.

    5. Awesome question! ;) I have a huge viewing hole when it comes to the 60s but YAY on the 90s, I love so many films from that era, maybe because that’s when I REALLY started to appreciate film.

    Again THANK YOU for taking part and devoting a post for it! You rock man!

    – ruth

    1. Yeah, I'm over Franco...but he has his moments (one can't deny).
      You should seek out those Aronofsky films. Requiem is a MUST see for sure!
      I'm so glad you included me this month. It was an honor!

  3. 1. The Fast and the Furious is pure nostalgic awesomeness! The only film in that entire series I didn't really like is the fourth one. I actually loved the latest one, and it just missed a CinSpec nod for Best Sound.

    2. I liked Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but the sequel looks even better form what I've seen. Can't wait to check it out!

    3. I only give him the win for Atonement so far, but I love that Dario Marianelli has three Fistis! I'd go with John Williams (that concert would be EPIC), but an A.R. Rahman concert would be amazing.

    4. Oh, I want to watch Fargo and Gotham. One day perhaps. :/

    5. Great choice! Glad to see the 90's, which might (surprisingly) be my favorite, in second.

    1. Fargo was well worth watching. Gotham just sounds so intriguing. I hope my gut reaction is the right one.