Friday, August 22, 2008

Shall we play?

We haven’t done one of these in a while, so just in case you’ve forgotten the rules, your answers in the comments if you please.

1) Favourite Marilyn Monroe film and why.

2) Favourite science fiction film and why.

3) And, just to change things up, name your favourite song from a musical.

Me first.

1) I’m going to break my own rule and name two — Bus Stop and How to Marry a Millionaire. The first because her portrayal of Cherie, the hillbilly, wanna-be showgirl, was so very sad in some ways. And the second because her portrayal of ditsy, nearsighted, model Pola was just hilarious

2) While some would argue that it’s not "classic sci-fi", I’m going to say Blade Runner — Ridley Scott’s dark, dystopian and somewhat prophetic view of the future. With its overcrowded street scenes and neverending rain, a by-product of pollution and global warming, it’s almost oppressively claustrophobic and is, without doubt, one of the most interesting and clever films I’ve ever seen. Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Rick Deckard was such a dramatic departure from Han Solo that at times it almost felt like it wasn’t the same actor. And Rutger Hauer was just brilliant as Roy Batty, the violently intelligent, "more human than human" leader of the renegade replicants trying desperately to live just a little longer.

3) While I’ve never been a huge fan of the musical genre (it’s just too weird), this song from Funny Girl has always appealed to me since the first time I heard it years ago.

Your turn.


Romantic Heretic said...

I don't believe I've ever seen a Marilyn Monroe movie so I can't answer that.

Favorite SF movie would probably be Aliens. It's got lots of tough chicks in it and I like tough chicks. Equilibrium come pretty close though. It deals with topics I like dealing with; ethics and humanity.

Favorite musical song would be Poor Jerusalem from Jesus Christ Superstar.

liberal supporter said...

Favourite (though I haven't seen it) Marilyn Monroe film. Why? Because it probably has one of the highest ROI of any film made, considering the production cost must have been low.

Favourite SF: I would have gone with Blade Runner too. Instead, I'll go with The Matrix. Why? Interesting premise. Plus they can explain away all the mistakes as being glitches in the matrix.

Favourite musical song: The Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Why? It's the pelvic thrust, of course.

Lindsay Stewart said...

1. Favourite Marilyn Monroe film, definitely Phantasm with that flying chrome ball of deathwith the blades and shit. Awesome.

2. Fave SF flick, hmm, Blade Runer is the obvious choice though an argument can be made for 2001 given sufficient skunk weed. So, I'll go for The Quiet Earth a brilliant New Zealand (I believe) oddity about an engineer on a worldwide atmospheric power grid. He realizes something's about ot go very wrong and decides to kill himself at the moment it goes online. Indeed something goes kerflooie and there he is. Alone, or so he thinks. His reaction to being the only man on Earth is fascinating. Highly recommended.

3. From a film with music!

Crapping stupid blogger wouldn't let me embed.

Just watch it.

CC said...

That's freakin' weird. Just this one time, I was going to throw in my $0.02 and suggest The Quiet Earth as my favourite SF flick.

And, yes, I have it on DVD.

deBeauxOs said...

1) Some Like It Hot
Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, story action that bounces along as well as Marilyn does and some of the best dialogue ever written in comedy.

2) Dune
Still waiting for the director's cut, as if ....

3) Oklahoma
Haven't seen the film but I've heard the original sound track many times as I grew up.

Red Tory said...

1) Seven Year Itch Why? What’s not to love about this movie? Monroe is an absolute delightful in every respect. It’s witty, charming, sophisticated… all that good stuff. Plus, it features the iconic scene of her dress being blown up by a gust from a subway grate and the signature line “Isn’t it delicious?”

2) Dark City I’ve seen this movie countless times and never seem to tire of it, even though it obviously holds no surprises any more. It’s a wonderfully crafted movie that works quite effectively both a film noir detective story and a dystopian sci-fi film. The premise is captivating (no pun intended) and the story is well-paced considering the fairly complex plot that involves the “reality” of the city (that exists in perpetual night) being gradually revealed through the unraveling of a murder mystery by a fugitive attempting to regain his memory. The scenes of the eerily floating “Strangers” transforming the city’s gloomy landscape and people’s identities every night at midnight, during which time everyone is unconscious are just magical to watch. Although he doesn’t have a huge role, Ian Richardson is wonderfully grim as the malicious “Mr. Hand” the leading figure of the parasitic “strangers” and Keifer Sutherland is also quite memorable as the wheezing, dyspeptic Dr. Schreber. In many respects, it shares some common threads with The Matrix but is less ambitious (or pretentious, depending on your POV) in the way it deals with simulated reality and more self-contained (difficult to imagine any kind of sequel to it).

3) Do spoofs count? If so, Waiting for Guffman had some great numbers.

STOOL BOOM! Just three legs and watch the sales zoom! Like a fever it’s a stool boom! And it’s spreading out from Blaine!
Working, building, never stopping, never sleeping, working, making, some for selling, some for keeping, working, building, never stopping, never sleeping, working, making, some for selling, some for keeping…


Frank Frink said...

1) There's a number of Monroe's film I rather enjoy. Some have been mentioned and good arguments put forth for them. If I have to pick one as a favourite I would have to go with Some Like It Hot. - Comedy, terrific script, jazz musicians on the lam, the St. Valentine's Massacre, Jack Lemmon's performance. Plenty there to keep me interested.

2) My choice of Frank Frink as a blogging pseudonym wouldn't happen to have anything to do with being a ginormous Philip K. Dick fan, now would it? Why do you ask? So, yeah, I also have to go with Blade Runner, for mostly the reasons mentioned above. It's the very first of Dick's stories adapted to film. Still the best conceived PKD adaptation and still the best at capturing Dick's vision of the near future. (although I will say I thoroughly enjoyed the recent A Scanner Darkly mostly for it's faithfulness to PKD's original novel, that one is not quite in the same league as Blade Runner.)

Maybe someday some producer/director team will have the money and the smarts to make a film adaptation of Man In The High Castle. When they do, that one will be my favourite.

Let me fix just one tiny little thing in LuLu's description:
Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Philip K. Dick's dark, dystopian and somewhat prophetic view of the future.

There. much better.

3) Heh. A 3-question game where I can't use Spinal Tap!!?? It was a mockumentary not a musical. Dayum!

I love the Time Warp, too. But, to switch things up a bit I submit for your approval a hard-drinking Lee Marvin croaking his way through Wand'rin Star" from Paint Your Wagon.

Honourable mention from the same movie musical to the cameo by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band singing 'Hand Down That Can O' Beans'. ;-)

Now, I gotta go get dressed for 'church'.

Balbulican said...

1) Favourite Marilyn Monroe film and why.

I'm not sure "Some Like It Hot" was her best performance, but it was certainly the most enjoyable of her films...that frantic, Preston Sturges-like farcical blend of innocence and cynicism.

2) Favourite science fiction film and why.

Wow. Too many to name. Maybe the original Ridley Scott "Alien". If it didn't create the dark grunge-in-space antidote to the sterile, immaculate interiors of 2001 (that honour goes to John Carpenter's no-budget "Dark Star"), it certainly used that look better than almost any film before or since. An incredible cast (John HIRT! Harry Dean STANTON! Ian HOLM!), and ensemble scenes as good as anything Altman ever did.

3) And, just to change things up, name your favourite song from a musical.

"Send in the Clowns", Stephen Sondheim, A Little Night Music. The better known versions of this (like Judy Collins' recording), make it sound like a love song. It's closer to a lament for lost love, the jokes that life plays on us, middle age wistful curiosity for all those roads not taken, but with a saving edge of rueful self-mockery that saves it from sentimentality.

pierre poutine said...

1. The Misfits.
Monroe's and Gable's last film and one of Clift's last. Not only among the best performances of their respective careers but a brilliant piece of ensemble acting. Thelma Ritter and Eli Wallach in supporting roles. Screenplay by Arthur Miller, written to Monroe's strengths, letting her play a real person for once. Masterfully directed by John Huston. The Old West ends with a wimper. Bittersweet. Haunting.

2. Toss-up between Blade Runner, Brazil and Metropolis because of the mood each creates and the scenes that stick with me. Expect WALL-E (assuming it qualifies as sci fi) may top the list when I get around to seeing it. But not really my genre (shoulda started posting back when the topic was film noir).

3. Not really a musical kind of guy but of the few I've seen, it'd have to be something from Guys and Dolls. "Fugue for Tinhorns"? "Luck Be a Lady"? "Take Back your Mink"? "The Oldest Established Floating Crap Game in New York"? They're all so good -- do I really have to choose? All right: "Adelaide's Lament". Because it makes me laugh every time and "la post nasal drip" is one of the rhymes.

Among musicals I've not seen -- well, quelle richesse but "Love for Sale", preferably sung by Ella. Witty, wistful, sexy, unflinchingly real ("old love, new love, anything but true love" -- this in a 1930 Broadway show), the seamless melding of words and music and a really great tune (caught, like it should be, between major and minor and a natural favourite of jazz musicians). Everything I treasure about Cole Porter.

ThinkingManNeil said...


1) Not much of a Monroe fan though I do admit in some roles she was a definite talent.

2) Sci Fi: so many films, so little time. 2001 is my sentimental favourite as I grew up watching that film again and again and again. It covered such an amazing scope of where we'd come from as a species to where we could go if we chose to do so, so it's a poignant film for me as well as it underscored that the choices we've made have not been ones of permanent moonbases, large scale space stations, and in-depth manned exploration of our solar system and beyond.

"Blade Runner" is certainly up there, too, as are "Brazil" and "Contact", plus the original "Planet of the Apes", which, despite it's goofiness, is still an honest sci fi film in IMO.

The original "Thing From Another World" I can watch again and again without getting bored with it. The scene where the team of scientists and air force types spread out to form a circle around the saucer that has crashed into the ice and the exhortation to "Watch the skies! Keep watching the skies!" at the end of the film always tickles me and shows how the idea of flying saucers and UFO's had worked themselves so completely into the public's psyche in so short a time. "The Day the Earth Stood Still" also shows how the concept of alien life was becoming just another part of the everyday.

George Pal's "War of The Worlds" and "When Worlds Collide" are films I love for both their Technicolor lushness and production values as well as the intimacy of some of their scenes. They're always fun to watch ("Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death." THRUM! THRUM! THRUM! THRUM! THRUM!)

The one sci fi film that's always a train wreck for me to watch - meaning it's so awful but I just can't tear my eyes away - is "2010: The Year We Make Contact". Despite the presence of HAL, the Discovery, and the Monolith, it's about as un-2001 you can get. I loved Clarke's novel 2010, but the movie is an embarrassment. How is it that despite the story's timeline being further along in the future from the original, the "Leonov" - and Helen Mirren's hair - looks like it's from the Disco Era?

3) I'm not a fan of musicals; to me they're just regular movies cluttered up with pointless singing and dancing. If you want to make a movie ABOUT music and/or dancing fine, but why take a standard boy-meets-girl-boy-loses-girl-boy-wins-girl-back romance with a lot of fantastical production numbers? Having Fred woo Ginger through dance is one thing, but the big Rodgers & Hammerstein extravaganzas - no thanks. That being said, and I don't know if it can be strictly classified as a musical, but the "Wizard of Oz" has my vote, with "If I Only Had a Brain" the tune de fave. Once I start humming or whistling that, it's stuck in my head for hours.

Oh, no....


KEvron said...

1) the seven year itch. a brilliant script (every line mined for comedy gold) and a brilliant co-star (ewell's timing is sheer genius), and she's at her sexiest and kookiest.

2) tough to thin this field. robinson crusoe on mars is a swell bit of 50's nuts and bolts sci-fi. corny but sincere.

3) instead of favorite (and there are dozens)....
kurto's memorial really took a toll on me. i hadn't been able to sleep for a couple of days prior. learned only days before that his death hadn't been the result of a car wreck, but of suicide. had reconciled with my estranged brother at the service. and other stuff. got home that evening and switched on the tube. jesus christ superstar was on, just at the point when they sing "could we start again, please". could we ever, please. i can't make it through that number anymore.

KEvron said...

"it features the iconic scene of her dress being blown up by a gust from a subway grate and the signature line 'Isn’t it delicious?'"

<lecherous grin>isn't it, though?!</lecherous grin>


Chimera said...

1) I've never been a fan of Marilyn-for-the-sake-of-Marilyn movies. I don't find any of them to be any more outstanding than Elvis movies were, in that she's delightful eye candy for anyone who likes to look at that sort of thing. Maybe for that reason, most of the time she was woefully underused for her talent level. However, at the other end of the scale was the telephone scene in Some Like It Hot, in which you can plainly see that she's reading her lines from an off-camera cue card.

The performance that I liked best was from her minor role in All About Eve. She actually had a bright future, then.

2) I've seen lots and lots of science fiction and fantasy films, but probably the best of them (not necessarily my personal favorite, though -- that changes with my mood) was Forbidden Planet. Everybody in the movie world stole ideas from that movie! So much so that if you were to see it now for the first time, you'd probably complain about the number of cliches...

3) Memory from Cats. Pretty much brings me to my knees every time I hear it. It's a been-there-done-that reaction...

Beijing York said...

1. Marilyn Monroe: She was a great comedic talent and Red Tory and kevron beat me to Seven Year Itch. But I have to agree with Craig that there is something mesmerizing and powerful about her performance in Misfits. The ensemble cast and direction are top notch and there is this tremendous undercurrent of despair that makes it a modern tragedy. I find that I discover some new nuance or other every time I watch it.

2. Science Fiction: My first thought went to The Quiet Earth (great choice psa) but I'll put Total Recall on the list. I thought Arnold Schwarzenegger was very good in this and Paul Verhoeven is in his element crafting a suspenseful sci-fi action flick. (Nonetheless, my favourite Verhoeven films are The Fourth Man and Flesh and Blood.)

3. Musical Song: This is tough because I love musicals. I think three of my favourites from start to finish are West Side Story, Wizard of Oz and All that Jazz. But I guess if I'm going to have to pick one song, I'm going to go with one of the grooviest gospel numbers ever, from Sweet Charity:

(Love Sammy Davis Jr. in this!!!)