Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Celluloid Ramblings: Magic Movie Title Game!

by JB
Yet another DVD/Blu-ray game? Is he Milton… or Bradley?

As regular readers of this column know, I am all about the fun. As I sit in my palatial home office and contemplate the universe, I love to invent ways to amuse myself because KEEPING ONESELF CONSTANTLYAMUSED IS THE BIGGEST RESPONSIBILITY ANY HUMAN BEING WILL EVER HAVE. This is why we all watch movies! Let’s be honest, that whole “art is an engine of empathy” angle is just the gravy.

This is why I frequently invent games for movie lovers. Five years ago, I invented “Movie Shelf Double Feature!” You can read that column here.

Worried that my failing vision would impede my enjoyment of watching movies all day, I invented the game “Beer Fighter” to distract me from the grim fact of my own mortality. I pushed that thin premise way past its “SELL BY” date by wringing three full columns from it:

Round One

Round Two

Round Three

Today, I am back with a game ANYONE with a hearty movie shelf can play. Hell, even if you own a grand total of zero movies, you can just pick up an old copy of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, and pretend his “dictionary of movies” is your movie collection. Either way, the game plays the same (and stays mainly on the plain!)
HOW TO PLAY: Take a friend or loved one to your movie collection. Say, “I wonder which words are the most popular beginnings for movie titles?” Then both of you try to guess. Each time someone guesses a word, check the shelf and count how many movies you own (or how many are listed in the Maltin book) that begin with that word. ARTICLES AND CONJUNCTIONS DO NOT COUNT, so ignore “the,” “a/an,” “but,” “and,” etc. NAMES ARE ALSO DISALLOWED, so please, no “Frankenstein” or “Sherlock Holmes.” Don’t be a wise guy!

Wait—you say that your movies are NOT in alphabetical order? Go do that now!

So, you guess a word; your friend guesses a word. Whoever’s guess begins more movie titles wins that round. In theory, you could play this game forever. Go ahead and play—you will be surprised how much fun it is. You’re welcome!
HOW TO CHEAT: Losing too often? I can fix that. First, do not play the game with anyone who reads this column (if, indeed, you choose to fraternize with that type of miserable movie-phobe.) Second, I have taken the liberty of combing my collection for HIGH-YIELD TITLE WORDS. Feel free to use them in the game as if they JUST OCCURRED TO YOU! I’ve also pulled together a list of low-yield words to AVOID.

Flawless! Now, feel free to bet money on this game, money you do not actually possess.


1. “I:” My collection: 8/Maltin: 106
2. “Night:” My collection: 14/Maltin: 91
3. “Last:” My collection: 5/Maltin: 59
4. “It:” My collection: 9/Maltin: 44
5. “Doctor (Dr.):” My collection: 8/Maltin: 42
6. “Day:” My collection: 4/Maltin: 35
7. “Blood:” My collection: 5/Maltin: 32
8. “Adventures:” My collection: 5/Maltin: 28
9. “Ghost:” My collection: 4/Maltin: 26
10. “Kiss:” My collection: 4/Maltin: 21

1. “Babadook”
2. “Macedonia”
3. “Moist”
4. “Spiffy”
5. “Circumnavigate”
6. “Pincocle”
7. “Tuber”
8. “Psoriasis”
9. “Wankel Rotary Engine”
10. “Glockenspiel”

BTW: The Amorphous Blog has published an interesting list of the most popular words in movie titles by GENRE. You can find that here.

F-Heads, what are the top title-starters in YOUR collection? How much money did you win cheating your friends? Share in the comments!

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