My Liebster Retirement

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“filmscorehunter” at the blog The Cinematic Frontier has nominated me for a Liebster Award. And while I am flattered as always, I think it’s time for me to quit participating in this ritual. I’ve done five of these already, and I suspect that my readers are getting as tired of reading my answers as I am of trying to come up with them.

Therefore, I’m going to post the usual Liebster rules, as well as the questions given to me by “filmscorehunter”. But I’m going to be all defiant and follow only the first rule. When you are nominated for a Liebster, you are asked to

  • Answer his or her nominator’s 11 questions.
  • Nominate 11 additional bloggers.
  • Ask 11 questions of your nominees.
  • Share 11 additional facts about yourself.

Also, “filmscorehunter” is probably not going to like that I am going to reply to two of his questions with a single answer, but here are those questions:

  1. What is your favorite new release of 2016 so far?
  2. Which film recently made you reflect on it long after the credits were over?

These are good and valid questions. The trouble is that I can’t answer them because I haven’t been to any recent movies. The last new movie I saw in a theater was Simon Pegg’s The World’s End in 2013. Curmudgeon that I am, I’ve completely turned off from the moviegoing experience in recent years. I far more enjoy watching them on my computer in the sanctuary of my man-cave, or Twittering about them on Live Tweets.

3. Which Comic Con have you most recently attended (or, if you’ve never been to one, which one do you plan or wish to attend?

Sorry, the closest I’ve ever gotten to a Comic Con was watching the 2011 movie Paul. (Another Simon Pegg reference.)

4. Do you prefer 3D or 2D?

2D, most definitely, I’ve yet to see a movie where the 3D effect ever enhanced the experience for me.

5. What is your favorite film from the year you were born?

101 Dalmatians (1961).

6. Blu-Ray or streaming?

To further demonstrate how un-hip I am, I’ve never seen a movie in Blu-Ray in my life, so I guess it’s streaming for me. (“filmscorehunter”, I’ll bet you’re glad you nominated me now, aren’t you?)

7. Name your favorite ’80s song in a film.

“On Your Shore” (1988) by Enya, as it was used in Steve Martin’s 1991 comic gem L.A. Story. I’d never even heard of Enya until I saw this movie, but it’s a beautiful song, and the movie used it perfectly.

8. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Hard to say. I enjoy elements of both, I’m not feverish about either one, and I’d say that each one had only one movie that was a real five-star gem (respectively, The Wrath of Khan and The Empire Strikes Back). If I had to choose in a pinch, I guess it would be Star Trek, as that’s the one I grew up with and it’s a little more thoughtful.

9. What is your favorite film based on a book?

Director/co-star Barbra Streisand’s rendition of Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides. Most books that are really good end up with terrible movie versions, or vice versa. The Prince of Tides seemed to condense all of the best stuff from the book without losing its essence.

10. What is your favorite (or least favorite) Nicolas Cage haircut?

I’ve seen Nicolas Cage in quite a few movies, but I have to say that whenever I think of him, that wack-job look from Raising Arizona always comes to mind.

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11. Who is your favorite composer?

If we’re talking movies, Bernard Herrmann. For the rest of civilization, John Lennon & Paul McCartney.

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I hope “filmscorehunter” and everyone else will forgive for cheating on the Liebster rules, but I think everyone’s had enough of my Liebsterness for the rest of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ladies and gentlemen, this is Liebster No. 5!

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I can’t believe it. Less than two weeks since receiving my last Liebster, Trav S.D. from the sterling show-biz blog Travalanche has nominated me for yet another Liebster Award!

While I am honored as always, I bear the same concerns that I mentioned when I answered the questions for my previous Liebster Award nomination. Therefore, as with that one, I am only going to answer the questions that were put forth to me. I know there’s a whole list of things you’re supposed to do when you’re Liebster-nominated; read my previous entry to see how I responded to that.

With that, here are Trav S.D.’s questions and my responses.

Where do you stand on colorization?

From the time it was first widely used, I have regarded it as an abomination. Don’t bother telling me that the filmmakers would have used color if they could have. Even if that’s so, they made their movies to look the best they possibly could with the tools at hand. Slopping some color on it to please indiscriminate tastes does nobody any favors. To paraphrase Orson Welles’ comment to Ted Turner about Citizen Kane, keep your goddam Crayolas off our movies.

What’s your favorite moronic movie, to watch with a bunch of friends while drinking?

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I don’t drink anymore, and I don’t hang out with friends to watch movies. (Time out for a big “Awwww…”) But I have sat with my son several times and watched Strange Brew, the movie spin-off of the Bob & Doug McKenzie characters from “SCTV.” Dumb as a bag of rocks. But as soon as Bob says, “Do our new movie theme, eh,” and Doug opens his mouth and orchestral music comes out, I know another 90 minutes of my life is gone.

What’s your favorite wound-licking movie, to watch for comfort when you’re alone and feeling morose?

Glengarry Glen Ross. If you ever want a movie to remind you that other people have it far worse than you at their jobs, this is the one.

What’s your favorite cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare?

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Kenneth Branagh’s version of Much Ado About Nothing, a sumptuous celebration of life. If you’re expecting a generic camera-nailed-to-the-floor Shakespeare adaptation, you’ve come to the wrong movie.

What director or actor would you most like to punch in the nose?

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Jerry Lewis, on both counts. His directorial stance is the height of self-indulgence, with gags and scenes that go on long beyond their payoffs. (And I’ve yet to find even a die-hard Lewis buff who has the nerve to defend Hardly Working.) And yet, taken in small doses — or reined in, as he was in early works such as Don’t Give Up the Ship — he could be one of the funniest men on Earth. If only he would have kept just one person on his payroll to tell him “No.”

Haha, here’s one to get you in hot water. [I’ve cut out the middle of this question due to repetition and for brevity’s sake.] Which nation besides the U.S. makes the best movies, and why? (My first answer would be the U.S., though I don’t trust it.)

T.S.D., I think you should have trusted your first instinct. I admire a lot of movies from other countries, but I still think the ol’ U.S. of A. does it best. If we don’t, then why have other countries turned to ours for movie-making inspiration for the past several decades?

What movie makes you really hungry?

The Age of Innocence. Martin Scorsese fetishizes food in that movie the way he usually fetishizes Mafia violence.

What movie makes you want to throw up?

The Blair Witch Project. With that pretentious jumpy-camera style, it was all I could do not to lose it right in the theater.

Who’s your favorite screen comedian?

This question is as painful to me as the old “Who’s funnier, Chaplin or Keaton” debate. Great movie comics are not so plentiful that we should hold one in high esteem at the expense of his brethren. In my just afterlife, Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, and The Marx Brothers will be performing me to vie for the title.

What movies were so terrible you walked out, or turned them off, or changed the channel?

As much as everyone got off on it, I walked out on a first-run showing of Brian DePalma’s Scarface. Call me square, but watching guys getting their limbs chainsawed off was not my idea of entertainment.

Name some favorite directors who aren’t male, white, straight, etc. Who should I seek out and watch to expand my perspective?

I am by no means an expert on the field of female directors, and I don’t mean this to sound condescending. But I’ve always maintained that, if someone tells you a woman can’t direct a movie as well as a man can, sit them down and show ’em a double feature of Jodie Foster’s Little Man Tate and Barbra Streisand’s The Prince of Tides — two movies I found as quietly shattering as anything any male director whipped up.

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So that takes care of another Liebster Award. If you don’t want to hear any more of my tired opinions on the state of cinema, stop sending me the damned things!

 

 

A Christmas Eve Liebster Award

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Yesterday, Virginie at the blog The Wonderful World of Cinema nominated me for a Liebster Award. I hesitated to respond to it, as I have already received three such awards and have probably bored most of you to death with my Liebster talk. But you know what? It’s Christmas Eve, so this is my holiday gift to myself. (Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginie!)

However, I’m going to play a little fast and loose with this particular Liebster Award. The official Liebster rules are that each nominee is expected to:

  • Answer his or her nominator’s 11 questions.
  • Nominate 11 additional bloggers.
  • Ask 11 questions of your nominees.
  • Share 11 additional facts about yourself.

Well, to be frank, it’s been my experience that most of the bloggers whom I nominate do not respond to my nomination. So I’ll keep it real this time. I hereby nominate any blogger who would like to respond to this. For my 11 questions, I give you a choice. Either create and answer 11 questions about yourself (keep it clean!), or list your top favorite 11 movies of all time. (If you actually do this, please do link back to this blog and share them with me — I’d love to read your response.)

Also, I’ve already shared 33 facts about myself. I can’t think of anything else interesting about me, and I don’t think anyone else is that interested either. If you have suggestions, send them to me and I’ll be glad to respond to them.

As for the other Liebster obligations, here are Virginie’s questions and my answers.

1- If you had to “promote” a not too well known classic film, what will be your choice?

Cinema Paradiso. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film of 1988, and yet my wife and I hadn’t really heard of it until my sister-in-law recommended it to us a couple of years after it came out. I suspect it still, unfairly, suffers the same fate. I recently wrote about it here on my blog.

2- You are participating in the making of a film. What’s your job?

I’ve always thought I wanted to be an editor. Of course, a movie is nothing without writing, directing, and acting, but I’ve always thought the editing makes it all work. For confirmation of this theory, read the book When the Shooting Stops…The Cutting Begins, by Woody Allen’s early and long-time editor Ralph Rosenblum.

3- Do you share your birthday with one of your favourite movie stars? If yes, who?

About the only notable is Jack Klugman, whom I thoroughly enjoyed in TV’s “The Odd Couple” and 12 Angry Men.

4- What is your favourite movie score?

This is a cheat, but the one I’ve certainly listened to the most often is The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. After that, I refer you to my Christmas list of favorite scores.

5- How many films per week do you usually watch?

I’ll be honest with you. I hardly ever see any new movies. The last movie I saw in a theater was 2013’s The World’s End. The modern-day movie experience has gotten too overblown for me. Most of the movies I watch these days are oldies on TCM or campy stuff via Live Tweets on Twitter.com.

6- What do you think is the most CREATIVE movie ever made and why?

I hate “most” categories because why must I choose one great star out of all the gems in the galaxy? That said, for me, “creative” means a movie that makes me bolt up in my seat because I can’t wait to see what happens next. Movies that have done that to me include Citizen KaneYellow SubmarineGodfather II, and Steve Martin’s L.A. Story.

7- Do you have a child named after a certain movie star or movie character? Or are you planning this for your future kid (if you plan to have one, or many!). 

Sorry, my children are named Aline (after her maternal grandmother) and David. My wife had actually considered giving my son the middle name of “Kane” after the above-mentioned movie, but she got over it.

8- How much do classic films influence your everyday life?

Way too much. Frequently, my wife and I will be discussing some random situation, and I’ll always end up tying in some movie or pop-culture reference. My wife thinks movies have given people mistaken impressions about life (romance, relationships, etc.). I only wish that people had soaked up the smart parts of movies. Imagine if everyone spoke as intelligently or wittily as they do in a Preston Sturges movie or The Big Sleep.

9- What are you planning to do to honour Olivia de Havilland’s on her centennial next July? 😉

Nothing in particular — not a big fan. Let the brickbats begin.

10- What do you enjoy the most about blogging?

Here’s my answer to this question from my second Liebster Award response: I really like the cameraderie and the sense of community. I’ve met so many like-minded bloggers whose work is fun to read and who appreciate the kind of opinions that used to get me sneered at when I’d try to share them back in high school.

11- Do you have any advice or suggestions for future bloggers?

It’s the same advice I have about anything creative: As long as you’re not hurting anybody, do what you want, and don’t let anyone discourage you. If you’re doing it from the heart, you’ll be surprised at how many hardcore fans you get.

Let me end by wishing happy holidays and a blessed new year to Virginie, all of my fellow bloggers, and my readers and subscribers! Keep on soaking in all the great things the world has to offer!

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A Liebster for Leah – 3rd in a series

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I am rapidly turning the Liebster Award into a blog genre of my own! But don’t blame me. When I wrote questions for my previous Liebster nomination, one of the recipients was Leah at the blog Cary Grant Won’t Eat You, and she proceeded to nominate me right back — so here we go again! (If you don’t believe me, click on her blog’s name, above, for the link.)

Happily, I have persuaded one of my favorite actresses, Adrienne Barbeau, to model my Liebster Awards. Don’t her friends look impressed by them?

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In any case, if you’re bored with my Liebster talk, feel free to ignore this blog entry. Otherwise, here, once again, are the Liebster Award rules. Every Liebster nominee is expected to:

  • Answer his or her nominator’s 11 questions.
  • Nominate 11 additional bloggers.
  • Ask 11 questions of your nominees.
  • Share 11 additional facts about yourself.
  • Forfeit his or her Liebster Award if he or she is unable to fulfill the Award obligations for any reason for the upcoming year. (Nah, that last one’s a fake. It just sounded good.)

Without further ado, here are Leah’s Liebster questions and my answers.

1-5. What’s your favorite movie when you’re feeling these moods, and do they help you get over the mood, or intensify it?

Blue – Glengarry Glen Ross. It always makes me feel better because it reminds me that there are a lot of people out there, particularly in the job market, who are a lot worse off than I am.

Angry – The War of the Roses, with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. So many movies about anger nevertheless have an undercurrent that shows they want you to like them. Roses was one of the few movies I’ve seen where a couple started out unapologetically nasty and stayed that way right to the very end.

Nostalgic – Any 1930’s or ’40s movie set in New York or L.A. I get a rush watching actors saunter through that classic style, as if their characters knew they were making movie history.

Giddy – The Palm Beach Story. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: That movie is like mainlining joy right into my soul.

Undercaffeinated – W.C. Fields’ The Bank Dick. That movie was written and performed by an unrepentant drunk, and its very rhythm gives you the effect of feeling cheerily soused all the way through.

6. What invention in your lifetime has affected you the most?

The Internet, if that counts as an invention; if not, definitely the personal computer. I have enough social skills to get by in life, but I don’t really interact that well with live people. The Internet allows me to socialize all I want without having to come up with superfluous small talk.

7. Which actor or actress (the performer/character he/she plays) would make the best superhero in your estimation? Why?

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It’s a pity that Jane Russell was never asked to play Wonder Woman in her lifetime. Physically, Lynda Carter looked smashing in the role, but she never seemed to have much fun with it. I can just imagine Jane tossing off one-liners under her breath as she saved the world.

8. Which classic movie character would you ask romantic advice?

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Buster Keaton — not the real man, but the character he plays. He starts out every feature film behind the eight-ball, and by movie’s end, he has conquered some major hurdle and gotten the girl. I’d just have to ask him where he finds so much reserve. I’d have lost it by the end of the first reel.

9. Which movie character (classic/current) would give you terrible advice about everything?

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Just the other night on TCM, I saw In This Our Life for the first time. I couldn’t resist mis-advising Stanley Timberlake (Bette Davis) just so I could watch her f**k everything up. (I’d also yank her chain by asking her if all her hang-ups had to do with the fact that she’s a female named Stanley.)

10. Which literary/movie character would you ask to help you with your least favorite errand?

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Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) in Working Girl. I do most of the housecleaning duties in my home, but they really are drudgery. Having Tess help me topless would certainly make the job more tolerable.

11. Which actor/actress are you surprised you like? Why?

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Susan Sarandon. I first saw her in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and it didn’t surprise me that she wasn’t all that great in that movie, since it was meant to be campy. But for a while, her acting never seemed to get any better. I think the turning point for me was Dead Man Walking, where I was astounded at what a three-dimensional role she was playing. I’ve been pretty impressed with her ever since.

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I’m not going to bother nominating 11 people, because most of my nominees are too busy (at least that’s what I tell myself) to answer my questions anyway. However, I am happy to provide 11 questions. If you deign to answer them, please let me know — I’d love to read your replies!

  1. Past or present, who is an actor or actress whose popular appeal you have never been able to comprehend?
  2. What movie would you like to insert yourself into (either as a major character or an extra), and why?
  3. Colorization debate aside, is there a black-and-white movie whose settings you’ve ever wondered (or fantasized) about in color?
  4. If your life story was made into a movie, which genre would you prefer it in?
  5. What fictional movie city would you most like to live in?
  6. Your all-time favorite movie musical number?
  7. Which modern-day actor or actress do you think would have been tailor-made for silent movies? (Please leave Johnny Depp out of the discussion; he’s pretty much proven his chops already.)
  8. If you could, what movie character would you grab by the lapels or collar and give a good talking to?
  9. The gods have granted you 10 seconds to appear as a ghost and give a piece of advice to a movie star, past or present. Which star, and what do you tell them?
  10. You have the opportunity to yank moviegoers’ chains. What’s a movie in one genre that you’d remake in another genre (e.g., a drama you’d remake as a comedy)?
  11. What advice would you give to the current Powers That Be in Hollywood?

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Scraping the bottom of the barrel even further, here are 11 more facts about little ol’ me.

  1. I never tried shrimp until I was 22 years old — and when I did, I didn’t know you were supposed to peel it first. My brother had a great time when he found out why I hadn’t left behind any shells.
  2. When I was a kid, I didn’t like ice in my soda because it melted too fast and left you with a watery drink. One day when I was 11 years old, I went to a theater to see a movie. I bought a large soda, and I actually went so far as to dip my hand in it, pull out the ice, and drop the ice into what I thought was a tall trash can. Then an usher came up to me and said, “That’s where we put all of the torn movie tickets.” Oops.
  3. In grade school, I won the school spelling bee twice and was a first runner-up another year. I very much identified with the movie A Boy Named Charlie Brown where they made a big deal out of him winning the spelling bee.
  4. Long before he died, I somewhat “corresponded” with Roger Ebert via his “Movie Answer Man” column. That is to say, he actually answered, online, a few of the questions I submitted to him. One of them is even printed in his book Questions for the Movie Answer Man. That meant a great deal to me because I hugely admired his movie criticism.
  5. About six months after my wife and I got married, we were sitting around one day talking about the University of Florida, where we had attended college at approximately the same time without knowing each other (or so we thought). We compared notes and realized that seven years previously, for about three months, we had worked together in a work-study job, after which we promptly forgot about each other. My wife said the turning point for her was when she asked me out with her friends to the on-campus pub one Friday afternoon, and I told her I had a class to attend. She said she knew then that she didn’t want to have anything to do with a guy who would rather go to class than drink beer.
  6. I have lived in Florida for the last 37 years, with the exception of June 1987 through February 1988. In ’87, when I was 26 years old, I had long nursed a dream of moving to L.A. and become a writer of or about movies. On a whim, in May of that year, I spent five weeks gathering up all the money and belongings I could and then headed out to L.A., where the only person I knew was my best friend from high school. I thought I’d end up spending the rest of my life out there, but I moved back less to Florida less than a year later due to a strange case of homesickness. It turned out to be quite an adventure, though.
  7. I had mononucleosis when I was 8 years old and spent a week in the hospital. I had no idea how deadly it could have been; I just knew I loved the nurses fawning over me. The only part I hated was when they drew blood from me for the first time in my life.
  8. As I mentioned in my first Liebster factoid, I’ve written several plays that have been performed locally. I taught myself how to write scripts. First, I read some scripts that were printed in books. Then when I was about 13, I transcribed a TV show one night and “wrote” it back out in script form. It was like Malcolm X learning how to write by copying the dictionary. You’d be surprised how much you can teach yourself by rote.
  9. Have you had a moment where a piece of entertainment “spoke” to you? I first heard John Lennon’s first solo album Plastic Ono Band when I was 16, and I’d swear it saved my life. When he sang, “They hurt you at home and they hit you at school” on “Working Class Hero,” it made me realize, as Lennon himself said he realized through art, that I wasn’t crazy — that someone else had gone through the same kind of dysfunctional growing-up years as I was going through.
  10. I am always impressed by people who can express themselves physically — ballet, dance, etc. Maybe that’s why I enjoy physical comedians such as Chaplin and Keaton. I’m always astounded when I see Internet videos of things such as pre-K kids who can do kung-fu moves. My family doesn’t even trust me with a hammer.
  11. I’m not terribly proud of this, but I listened to the Bob & Doug McKenzie comedy album so much in the 1980’s, I found that I had memorized it. Decades later, when I had a son who got into their humor, I astounded him by putting on a CD of the album and reciting to the CD almost word for word.

That’s it for this Liebster episode. Thanks for reading!

Liebster Award – Special Questions-Only Edition

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Even though I’ve already been nominated twice for a Liebster, I can’t get enough of it. Somebody you know only online actually solicits your opinions. Heck, my wife hardly does that these days!

Anyway, a woman named Angela runs a blog named The Hollywood Revueand she was recently nominated for a Liebster. She stated that she didn’t want to nominate anyone herself, so she stated her 11 questions and then left them open for anyone to answer. Cue the attention-seeking blogger!

1. Favorite movie blonde bombshell?

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Valerie Perrine, a talented and outrageously built actress who, in the 1970’s and early ’80s, seemed to have no compunction whatsoever about posing nude. As a randy college student, I called this a win-win.

2. Do you think Citizen Kane is overrated?

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On the contrary. I first saw it in a college film class 35 years ago and was totally floored by it. I still watch it every so often, checking it on it as if it was an old friend, and it never fails to satisfy.

3. Name your four favorite movies from the 1940’s.

Citizen KaneThe Palm Beach StoryDouble Indemnity, and Fantasia.

4. If you could own a prop from any movie, which one would it be?

I guess it would be the accoutrements of Buster Keaton’s regular silent-film costume, the way it’s shown in the photo on the opening page of Rudi Blesh’s biography Keaton.

5. Favorite non-American film?

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Cinema Paradiso, a movie that’s a compendium of all the reasons I love movies.

6. Name a movie you hope they never, ever announce a remake of.

Is it overstating the case to just go with everything? You know the remake craze has gone out of control when they’re re-making superhero movies less than a decade after the first version came out. Go out on a limb and try something original already.

7. If you could have attended the world premiere of any film, which one would it have been?

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It’s my favorite movie musical, and I’d have probably been popeyed to see Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in person — although in retrospect, they’d have probably kicked me out for suggesting to Jane that she dip something other than just her hands in the Grauman’s Chinese cement.

8. What’s your biggest guilty pleasure movie?

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Swamp ThingAdrienne Barbeau, braless…Oh, don’t make me rehash this again for my regular blog readers, it’s just too painful.

9. Name a movie you feel doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves.

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Albert Brooks’ priceless 1985 comedy Lost in America. Full of some of the funniest movie dialogue ever, plus a sly indictment of America’s upper-middle-class and the kind of people who claim they want to live life more basically…but not without their creature comforts.

10. What’s your all-time favorite movie quote?

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“There’s always a bigger fish.” It’s from Star Wars Episode I, not exactly regarded as a film classic, yet I find that line fits so many situations in life.

11. If your life were turned into a biopic, who would you want to direct it?

There’s only one person whom I’d deem appropriate, and Ed Wood is long gone.

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The Least Liebster-Worthy Recipient Ever

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Today I was informed by Karen at the blog Shadows and Satin that she nominated me for a Liebster Award. And so, standing humbled before you, I proudly carry on the Liebster tradition. When you win a Liebster, you are asked to:

(a) Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you;

(b) Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself; and

(c) Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the award, and give them 11 questions to answer on their blogs when they post their nominations.

So let me begin with the questions I received from Karen:

1. On your perfect viewing day, what five films would air back-to-back on TCM?

I’ve seen a lot of great movies, but I can think of only three that mainline me with pure joy from the moment they begin: Preston Sturges’ The Palm Beach Story, The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, and the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. Honorable mention to Laurel & Hardy’s Way Out West and the musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. An eclectic quintet, to be sure, but that’s what I’d go for.

2. What’s your favorite movie-related book?

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The Silent Clowns, by Walter Kerr. It’s a coffee-table book that transcends coffee-table books. It’s as beautifully put together as the best silent movies, and its critiques of the era read like a summer breeze.

3. Name an underrated film that you’d recommend.

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Strange Invaders (1983), a deadpan, dead-perfect send-up/tribute to 1950’s sci-fi flicks, filled with delicious performances and dry wit.

5. What’s your favorite western?

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You won’t believe this, but it’s Django Unchained. I have never been romantic about the American Western and have longed to see a movie that peeled away the cobwebs of the genre’s sentimentality. Quentin Tarantino done it.

4. What movie do you watch every time it comes on TV?

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The Beatles cartoon Yellow Submarine. That “Once upon a time” opening sucks me in every time.

6. If you had Aladdin’s lamp, what three wishes would you make?

I am actually quite happy with my lot in life as is. The only wish I would make is to go back in time and make passionate love to my freshman English teacher. (She had enormous breasts. I don’t expect you to understand.)

7. What movie have you seen more often than any other?

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I was a teenager right when it became a midnight phenomenon. As for how many times I’ve seen it, I lost track after 50.

8. Name one thing you believed as a child that turned out not to be true.

I wish I had a nickel for every adult who lorded it over me because I was a kid who knew nothing and they knew everything. It’s amazing, what you see from the other side once you become an adult.

9. What is your favorite guilty pleasure movie?

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Swamp Thing. It gets by on a pass because it’s based on a famous comic-book series, and it has a fairly decent plot. So not everybody notices that you’re waiting for the scenes where Adrienne Barbeau bounces around bralessly.

10. Name a movie that it seems everyone has seen except you.

I have seen none of the post-’90s Batman movies. Nihilism just doesn’t do it for me.

11. Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum?

Bogie. He could play a creep, but he always had somewhat of a redeeming quality. I’m not sure Mitchum even tried to ever have that.

Now, because nobody asked, here are 11 random facts about me.

1. My job is Social Media Specialist. It’s too complicated to explain, except that it involves a lot of writing and Facebook. But I’ve been at it for two years, and I absolutely love it. I’ve been in the workforce for 30 years, and I never thought I’d be able to say that about any job I ever had.

2. I have written, directed, and starred in plays — nothing you’ve ever heard of, but I have done a number of them on a local basis. If you have a creative bug, don’t ever let anyone talk you out of it. Do whatever you can to get your work seen (or heard or read, or whatever). I haven’t done a play in years because I no longer feel the need to do so. I got it all out of my system after keeping it bottled up inside for decades.

3. Via phone, e-mail, and (rarely) in person, I have interviewed some damn interesting people: cartoon director Chuck Jones, movie director Richard Brooks, movie composers Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, actress Adrienne Barbeau (see #9 above), and Laurel & Hardy biographer Randy Skretvedt. Nobody cares about interviewers — you don’t read an interview with Brad Pitt to catch the byline “By Joe Blow.” But I’m pretty proud to have talked to some people whom a lot of other people would love to chat with.

4. I saw Diane Keaton once, in a mall in L.A. I saw her across the counter, and I guess my eyes must have lit up, because she gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look, as if to say, “Please don’t embarrass me in public!” I just smiled wildly and moved on.

5. I love chicken. As I’ve grown older, most of my tastes have changed and I’ve given up a lot of the junkier foods, but I can still hunker down on a chicken. Fried, roasted, grilled, somewhat raw, it doesn’t matter. I’ve seen the PETA videos and I know I should care more about the bird’s welfare, but I maintain the same philosophy that I’ve always had: If it’s a choice between me and the chicken, the chicken’s gonna lose every time.

6. I have a 22-year-old daughter. Having a 22-year-old daughter is like starting out a drive on the most beautiful pathway in the world, then heading into a deep, dark, seemingly interminable tunnel, and then being gratified to finally reach light on the other side. Seasoned parents, you know what I’m talking about.

7. I appreciate my bed at this point in my life far more than I ever previously did. These days, when I wake up on Saturday mornings, I will remain in bed for a half-hour and luxuriate in the fact that I don’t have to rush to be anywhere.

8. I’m not a workaholic by any means, but I am amazed at the amount of time that people waste at my office just wandering around and shmoozing with co-workers — and they’re getting paid for it! And a lot of them can’t figure out why I’m not more social with them. I’ll tell you why I’m not more social with you —  I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL 35 YEARS AGO.

9. I despise whistlers. I guess that’s silly, but when someone starts whistling, I get so distracted that I’m caught up in actually trying to figure out what tune they’re whistling. But no matter what tune they’re whistling, it always sounds as though they’re farting out the wrong end.

10. I love blogging. I always thought I had to be Roger Ebert, sharing my brilliant reviews with millions of eager readers. Now I figure, what’s wrong with having just 100 followers? That’s 100 more people than were interested in my reviews a few months ago.

11. I saved this one for last. A lot of my readers and fellow bloggers are female, so I truly hope this won’t offend you. But I have to confess, I am mesmerized by large breasts. I don’t get it, it’s embarrassing, and I try my best not to stare. But then, Christina Hendricks. Or somebody who dresses like her. And then she’s mortified that I’m wide-eyed over the very appendages that she’s put on display. It’s God’s curse on me.

I mean, come on.

I mean, come on.

Now that I’ve offended virtually my entire readership, here are the blogs I nominate as the recipients for a Liebster. I didn’t go for 11, but the ones that I’ve nominated are great blogs, so check them out!

Silent-ology

Girls Do Film

Outspoken and Freckled

Once Upon a Screen

A Shroud of Thoughts

And here are my 11 questions for my Liebster-lings:

1. “All-time favorite movie” is too tough. What is your favorite genre, and what is your all-time favorite movie in that genre?

2. “Theatrical” is too easy. What’s your all-time favorite TV-movie?

3. The Great Movie Genie is allowing you to permanently change the ending of one movie. Which one do you choose, and why?

4. You’re the latest heinie-kissing Hollywood exec, slavishly following trends. Which movie, good or bad, would you like to sequelize or remake?

5. Name the movie whose screening you’d like to co-host on TCM with Ben Mankiewicz.

6. Describe your most memorable movie occasion — not necessarily your favorite film, but a movie you enjoyed with friends, one that evoked a particular memory, etc.

7. What is your favorite line of movie dialogue?

8. Why are movies special to you?

9. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

10. What is your favorite book about movies?

11. You have your favorite movie actor or actress to yourself for 24 hours to do with what you will. Name, please.

And that is that! I’ll be interested to read everyone’s responses!