Thursday, March 8, 2012

Doug Asks Patrick Questions About Movies

Patrick knows a lot about movies. Doug has seen Caligula dozens of times. In an effort to expand Doug's cinematic horizons, he'll be asking Patrick questions about movies in a column we're calling "Doug Asks Patrick Questions About Movies."

When you were sick (assuming you're human) and stayed home from school in the '80s and '90s, what were the go-to movies that you'd watch from the comfort of your couch?

The only two movies I have a really distinct memory of watching when I was sick are actually from when I was a little older. I got mono in high school (you would think it was from all of the kissing, but the more likely explanation is dirty needles) and would watch The Sure Thing on a continuous loop -- hence my belief in the curative powers of Daphne Zuniga. Same goes for Jackie Brown, which was released on VHS around the same time I had my appendix out. I know I also saw The Man in the Iron Mask, Hard Rain and The Gingerbread Man during my recovery, but Jackie Brown was the one I kept going back to. That makes sense, too, because some of those other movies were actually more painful than my appendectomy. ZING!

Is there one actor or actress whom you'd see in any movie, regardless of how bad the trailer may look? Who is it?

I wish I could say there is, but pretty much every actor I really love is capable of appearing in some shit I can't deal with. I love John Cusack, but I managed to stay away from Martian Child. Sandra Bullock is adorable, but her last three movies were The Blind Side, All About Steve and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. FUCK ALL THAT. I'm actually much more likely to go see every single movie from a given director than an actor.

I guess the closest thing to an actor whose every movie I will see -- and this isn't just because I'm on an action movie kick lately -- would be some of the action movie stars. I enjoy their movies for the same reason I like double cheeseburgers from McDonald's: they have no real nutritional value, but I always know exactly what I'm going to get and I always know I'm going to enjoy it. And, yet, I've missed even those from time to time; though I saw every single Arnold Schwarzenegger movie in a theater from the time I was 10 years old (beginning with Predator), I intentionally skipped Junior and haven't seen it to this day. I like Jason Statham, because even though he makes a ton of shit, at least I know what kind of shit I'm going to get and it's the kind of shit I'm into -- except for when it's In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale or Killer Elite, neither of which I saw.

If you could be any character in any movie for a day, who would it be?


What are your five favorite animated movies? I'll accept both hand-drawn and CGI.

That's tough, because there are a bunch of animated movies (I call them 'toons) that I really like but hardly any that I loooove. Of the classic Disney movies, I know I should say Pinocchio, but I like Sleeping Beauty more. Toy Story 2. Beauty and the Beast. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut. The fifth spot could go a whole bunch of different ways -- there are probably three other Pixar movies I could name, and How to Train Your Dragon was pretty good -- but I'll just say A Scanner Darkly and be done with it.

What's a better movie -- The Godfather or The Godfather: Part II?

Back to the Future.


  1. The only filmmaker that I've watched all of his work (even early TV work and film-student caliber nonsense like "Stereo" and "Crimes of the Future") and has a guaranteed/automatic viewing from me of his new stuff when it comes out is director David Cronenberg. He's the same intellectual guy that used to get off on stomach-turning wounds/gore and explicit sexuality to get his points across. Now Cronenberg's skills and control of mood in his movies are such that he can achieve the same level of shock and discomfort with just words and scenes with fully-clothed adults engaging in mind games ("Spider," "A Dangerous Method"). I want the much-talked about sequel to "Eastern Promises" to happen so bad I can taste it. No other actor/director exerts this need over me to watch all their stuff, although the more of Jean-Luc Godard's and Andrzej Zulawski's movies I see the more I want to track down and watch all their filmographies. Even their shit movies are so mesmerizingly addictive! :-)

    "The Man In the Iron Mask" would make for a gret 'F'ing podcast: lots of stars (Malkovich, Irons, Depardieu, Byrne, a then-unknown Hugh Laurie, etc.) clearly in it for the paycheck, worse-than-"Braveheart" twisting of history for a Hollywood narrative, shockingly-bad-for-'98 special effects/camera work, etc. It was already in the can when "Titanic" made Leo DiCaprio a huge star, and both films actually went head-to-head at the box office the week "Iron MasK" came out (it did OK that weekend but the boat sinking won the box office marathon). It would give you guys a chance to shit all over writer/director Randall Wallace again (he got "Iron Mask" as a reward for "Braveheart's" success) making him an 'F This Movie' three-peat offender (because "Pearl Harbor"), and it beats the hell out of the alternative: 'F'ing "We Were Soldiers" (yikes!).

    When I got sick and stayed home from school I'd rather watch gameshows and cartoons than movies. Man, I'd watch "The Price Is Right" (back when Bob Barker had black hair!), "$25K Pyramid," "Scrabble," "Press Your Luck," "The Woody Woodpecker Show," "Jayce and The Wheeled Warriors," "Thundercats" (because HOOOOOOOOO!), "Transformers" (but not "G.I. Joe"... Cobra Commander may have had the same voice as Starscream but the latter's cartoon was ten times better than that 'Yo Joe!' crap), etc. Good times! :-)

  2. Glad you mentionned A Scanner Darkly, love that flick as well as Waking Life. I'd put Jin-Roh : The Wolf Brigade on my list, one of the best animes ever made.

    My sick days movies were the Indy films,Beverly Hills Cop 1 ,Short Circuit 1 and 2 and Young Sherlock Holmes.

    I'll see anything thing with Jack Nicholson in it, I even saw Anger Management (the horror, the horror).

    I think you can't really compare the first two Godfather films,but if I had to choose I'd go with the first one. Great beginning and ending sequences, Marlon Brando and the fact that it didn't really need a sequel make it better in my book.

    1. My anime knowledge is lacking. Big time. But I'll try and check out Jin-Roh.

      Obviously, my answer was a cheat, but I'm with you on preferring the first Godfather. It's pretty much perfect, as movies go.

    2. "The Godfather" minus "The Godfather Part 2" equals still "The Godfather." "The Godfather Part 2" minus "The Godfather" equals 'who are these people again?' I personally prefer the edited-for-television "Godfather Saga" version that showed both movies in chronological order plus threw in added/deleted scenes. Both movies kind-of disappear and you're left with basically seven hours of awesome stuff. I'm in the minority though, and Coppola has basically disowned the chronological-order version as a TV stunt he was forced to do. Oh well.

      Lacking in your anime diet? Get yourself some potent shots of "Akira," "Ghost in the Shell" and "Gunslinger Girls" (13-episode TV series; basically "Leon: the Professional" with robotic Natalie Portmans... feel free to insert Princess Amidala joke here), stat!

    3. Add ''Perfect Blue'' to that anime list.


    I realized also that I've watched a lot of crappy movies with Denzel Washington, but I always enjoys that Denzel charm and charisma that he brings to it. It's awful to think how much worse Man on Fire or Deja Vu or (other uneven Denzel flick) would be without him.

    1. I kind of like Deja Vu. Don't judge me. Maybe I'm just a sucker for time travel.

    2. My favorite 'bad' Denzel Washington movie is "Fallen" (1998). When you stand outside yourself looking at it the flick makes no freaking sense and it's goofy as hell. But, the couple of times I've seen "Fallen," I get caught up in it like I did with "End of Days" (1999) because Denzel is so charismatic you root for him even though the deck is clearly stacked against his character (like Arnie was fighting against the devil). The ending absolutely blew me away (the mostly-black theater audience I was with were ready to start throwing their seats at the screen) but again, looking at it impartially "Fallen" doesn't have a leg of logic (cinematic, religious, etc.) to stand on. Director Gregory Hoblit also directed "Primal Fear," so I should have seen the ending coming a highway away but I didn't and got run over. Still, Denzel alone (though having John Goodman and Donald Sutherland in supporting roles helps) is the reason "Fallen" is even watchable to begin with.

    3. I don't judge you, because I loved the crap out of Deja Vu when I was watching it. It's a testament to the power of Denzel (or my unconsciousness) that I only noticed the flaws waaay afterwards.