The All-New Flesh for Memorial Day Film and TV Challenge

Courtesy of Dennis Cozzalio at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. Feel free to take the quiz and post your responses over at his site, where a number of great people have already thrown their answers up for debate and discussion. And if you don't know the reference made in the title, it's time to review your Cronenberg collection!

My answers below:

1) Best transition from movies to TV (actor, actress, producer/director, movie/show)

...and back again? David Lynch, who was brilliant early in his film career and then went on to make a little something called Twin Peaks. And although it's kind of a reversal, I can't forget that the greatness that is MULHOLLAND DRIVE started as a television pickup ABC failed to capitalize on.

2) Living film director you most missing seeing on the cultural landscape regularly

Francis Ford Coppola. I think YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH is a messy burst of exuberance and passion, and he needs to take that and run with it. Preferably more often than once a decade.

3) Eugene Pallette or Charles Coburn

Eugene Pallette. My favorite scene in THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD is his great entrance/fight with Errol Flynn.

4) Fill in the blank: “I pray that no one ever turns _____________ into a movie.”

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. "Who is John Galt?" Freddie Prinze jr.

5) Jane Greer or Veronica Lake

I could go either way, but will settle on Jane Greer just because I like OUT OF THE PAST a little more than SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS.

6) What was the last movie you saw in a theater? On DVD? And why?

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL in the theater, and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS on DVD. The former because it was the only thing playing weeks ago when I could squeeze a movie in, and the latter because I had just finished reading Sidney Lumet's Making Movies which prompted a re-visit of his films.

7) Name an actor you think should be a star

I think Nathan Fillion has a vast wealth of talent that only Joss Whedon has been able to fully tap into.

8) Foxy Brown or Coffy

Only Coffy will put razor blades in her 'fro.

9) Favorite TV show still without its own DVD box set

Spaced, which I hear is being rectified.

10) Jack Elam or Neville Brand

Jack Elam, man...that dude is baaadddd.

11) What movies would top your list of movies you need to revisit, for whatever reason?


12) Zodiac or All the President’s Men

Damn...ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, but I'd like to point out that that doesn't mean I don't love ZODIAC.

13) Using our best reviewer-speak, what is an “important” film comedy? And what is to you the most important film comedy of the last 35 years?

"Important" film comedy subverts convention and holds a carnival mirror to a society it mocks, yet must accept to survive... Sorry, I mentally added "pretentious" to the above question. I'll go with AIRPLANE! for the past 35 years.

14) Describe the ideal environment for watching a movie.

Early matinee, only a few people there. I have a small Diet Coke and a package of Twizzlers I will inevitably eat before the movie starts. My wife is next to me, the sound is great, the bulb is bright, and we're seated square in the middle mid-way between the front and the middle, in those chairs that recline a little bit. And afterwards I'm squinting from the sun and the smile on my face.

15) Michelle Williams or Eva Mendes

Michelle Williams. Put her up as a candidate for Question #7 as well. She's a great actress.

16) What’s the worst movie title of all time?

THE GOOD SON, but that's because it had the misfortune of being attached to my nomination for the Worst Film of All Time.

17) Best movie about teaching and/or learning


18) Dracula (1931) or Horror of Dracula (1958)

HORROR OF DRACULA. It's just so crazy, and without Lugosi the '31 version would really be well, bad.

19) Why do you blog? Or if you don’t, why do you read blogs? (Thanks, Girish)

Blogging allows me to let off steam, solidify my thoughts, practice my writing, engage with a community of like-minded people, find things out I wouldn't find on my own, and finally, answer questions like the above.

20) Most memorable/disturbing death scene

Watching Ralph Fiennes randomly pick off prisoners in SCHINDLER'S LIST.

21) Jason Robards or Robert Shaw

Flip a coin. You've got JAWS and PELHAM 1-2-3 for Shaw, but don't forget how great Robards was in MAX DUGAN RETURNS

22) A good candidate for Most Blasphemous Movie Ever

I'll again go with my stand-by THE GOOD SON. They made Macauley Culkin curse!!!

23) Rio Bravo or Red River

RIO BRAVO without breaking a sweat.

24) Werner Herzog is remaking Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage—that’s reality. Try to outdo reality by concocting a match-up of director and title for a really strange imaginary remake.

I hear Michael Bay has a new take on Penny Marshall's AWAKENINGS.

25) Bulle Ogier or Charlotte Rampling

Charlotte Rampling for her amazing break-down scene in STARDUST MEMORIES.

26) In the Realm of the Senses— yes or no?

Eh, didn't do much for me.

27) Name a movie you think of as your own (Thanks, Jim!)

CASABLANCA. But I have to share it with my father.

28) Winged Migration or Microcosmos

I've only seen WINGED MIGRATION, but MICROCOSMOS looks great.

29) Your favorite football game featured in a movie


30) Wendy Hiller or Deborah Kerr

DEBORAH KERR, although Wendy Hiller was freaky good in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS.

31) Dirtiest secret you have that is related to the movies

I was 30 before I saw GONE WITH THE WIND. And I didn't like it.

32) Name a favorite film and describe how it is illuminated and enriched by another favorite film.

Again, CASABLANCA. For me it's the distillation of everything I love about Bogart. And every other film I see with him serves to open up or accentuate another facet of his performance.

33) It’s a Gift or Horsefeathers

HORSE FEATHERS, not so much because I love the Marx Brothers (though I do), but because I sheepishly admit to not having know IT'S A GIFT existed.

34) Your best story about seeing a movie at a drive-in

The first film I remember seeing as a kid was STAR WARS at a drive-in. It made me the geek I am today.

35) Victor Mature or Tyrone Power

Tyrone Power. ZORRO, baby...

36) What does film criticism mean to you? Where do you think it’s headed?

Oh man...I don't know. I love it. It's a language that I don't understand until the lights dim and the images begin to flicker. And then everything that I read makes sense. Maybe I agree and maybe I don't and maybe (best of all) I come up with something that's new and vibrant and shows a part of my soul. And with everything I see on the Internet I truly hope and think it's going where it needs to be - out to more people who have always had a desire and love of movies, but no one to help shape and expose the views they've only until recently kept in marble composition notebooks to use in late night coffee conversations with friends and lovers.

There. Pretension over. Geek heart laid bare for all to see. Have a great Memorial Day!