Monday, December 5, 2011
Doug Asks Patrick Questions About Movies
I want to buy my first Criterion Blu-ray disc, but there are a ton of excellent options. What should I buy?
Wow. Tough question. Seriously, how about a couple of softballs first? I thought you were my best friend. This is a new column, and you're making me look like an asshole.
My immediate thought is the BBS box set that came out in 2010, America Lost and Found, because it has a bunch of great movies from that awesome period of the late '60s and '70s including Easy Rider, The Last Picture Show and Five Easy Pieces. But mostly because it also includes Head in 1080p HD, with a commentary by The Monkees.
Maybe that answer is cheap, though, because it's a bunch of movies and not a single title. It really all depends on what you're looking for; if you just want the best possible version of one of your favorite movies, go with Rushmore (because I know you love that one; for me, it would be Blow Out or Beauty and the Beast). If you're looking to learn something about movie history, there's many more to choose from. In that case, I would go with The Rules of the Game or The Seven Samurai or The 400 Blows or something like that. Then there are those discs with incredible bonus features, which Criterion pretty much invented and do better than anyone. For that, I would suggest Night of the Hunter, which has a documentary about the making of that movie (Charles Laughton Directs) that's almost as good as the movie itself.
These answers only apply until Criterion upgrades their DVD of The Rock to Blu-ray, because then the answer is The Rock. I'm just borrowing your Humvee.
If I were to own only one Chris Farley movie, which one should it be?
I know that Tommy Boy seems like the obvious choice, but there's a reason for that: it's his only good movie. Even he must have known that, since he remade it as Black Sheep. I'd like to think that in some alternate universe, the version of The Cable Guy in which he starred (he was originally cast in the lead) would have tapped into his need to be loved the same way Punch-Drunk Love understood Adam Sandler's bubbling rage, but I suspect it would have instead been a movie in which Chris Farley falls down and shows his ass crack while hooking up illegal channels.
Which brings me back to Tommy Boy, the movie that showcased so much of what made Chris Farley great. There's crazy physical comedy and juvenile slob comedy, but there's also tremendous sweetness. Everything you'll ever read about Chris Farley will tell you he was one of the nicest, big-hearted guys in show business, and Tommy Boy demonstrates that without trying too hard to make us like him (the downfall of so many other overly saccharine comedies). Plus, his chemistry with David Spade is great, and fat guy in a little coat.
What I'm saying is this: the answer is Beverly Hills Ninja.
What the hell does Merchant Ivory mean?
Merchant Ivory is a company formed in the early 1960s by Indian producer Ismail Merchant and British director James Ivory. They specialized in British period pictureszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Sorry. Just talking about it put me to sleep. Can we talk about The Rock some more?
I love spaghetti, but I'm indifferent towards westerns. Would I like Spaghetti Westerns? Also, what is a Spaghetti Western?
"Spaghetti Western" is a slang term given to a series of low-budget westerns made in Italy during the 1960s, much like "chop socky movie" (which were kung fu movies made in the small Chinese city of Socky) or "giallo" (a kind of Italian slasher movie made in the small Chinese city of Socky). Sergio Leone is basically the godfather of the spaghetti western, thanks to his very famous "Man With No Name" trilogy, but that doesn't include his Once Upon a Time in the West, which is awesome (it's a toss-up between that and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly for the best spaghetti western ever made). There are some other Italian westerns of the period that kick ass, too; once you've worked your way through OUATITW and the Clint Eastwood movies, I would start with Django, starring Franco Nero. It's fascinating to see just how much both Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino have borrowed from that movie.
Aside from "Annie Hall," what would you consider essential Woody Allen movies?
Funny you should ask! Here at F This Movie! -- the site that you yourself write for, and the one you're probably reading right now -- we do a series called "F Directors!" One of the entries was on Woody Allen, and it dealt with this very question. I won't repeat the movies here, but you should check it out.
What I'm saying is this: the answer is Scoop and only Scoop.
If you've got a question you want Doug to ask Patrick, email it fthismoviepodcast(at)gmail.com