VideoReport #214- Videoport’s Got the Answers
1.In addition to directing the insightful, left-wing documentaries Wal-Mart: The High Cost of a Low Price, Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War, and Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, Robert Greenwald’s resume can also boast the 1980 mega-flop Xanadu.
2. The wonderful indie baseball drama Sugar, about a young Dominican baseball prospect, gets the nod for accuracy from Pedro Martinez.
3. Although we suspect that Clint snuck a firearm somewhere on the cover for The Bridges of Madison County, Videoport’s Andy assures us that Mr. Eastwood is brandishing a gun only on the box art for: Gran Torino, High Plains Drifter, The Gauntlet, A Fistful of Dollars, Coogan’s Bluff, Dirty Harry, The Enforcer, The Dead Pool, Magnum Force, Bronco Billy, In the Line of Fire, Unforgiven, and The Outlaw Josey Wales. Any five’ll do.
4. Again, it’s Andy who spotted Jack Nicholson’s smiling choppers on the covers of: Hells Angels on Wheels, The Shining, The King of Marvin Gardens, Something’s Gotta Give, As Good As It Gets, Man Trouble, The Bucket List, The Witches of Eastwick, Ironweed, Prizzi’s Honor, Goin’ South, and One Flew Over he Cuckoo’s Nest. You needed only five.
5. Steven Seagal can be seen, moving as little as humanly possible, in the direct-to-DVD flicks Out for a Kill and Out of Reach, while he must look wistfully back to the day when Out for Justice actually played in real movie theaters.
6. The general rule is: avoid any movie where Matthew McConaughey is either dressed in pastels or leaning on his co-star, as he is in Failure to Launch, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and we decided to accept him leaning on the tree, which does about as much acting as he did in Surfer, Dude.
7. The great character actor Stephen Tobolowsky’s insurance salesman Ned Ryerson referred to his nicknames ‘Needlenose Ned’ and ‘Ned the Head’ in Groundhog Day.
8. As far as directors who have remade their own, feature-length films, Videoport’s finest came up with Alfred Hitchcock (two versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much), Michael Haneke (two versions of his Funny Games), George Sluizer (two versions of his The Vanishing, with the American remake being a huge mistake), while Videoport’s finest customers chimed in with Cecil B. DeMille (who did it twice,remaking his own The Ten Commandments and the unfortunately-titled The Squaw Man), and Tod Browning (who remade his film Outside the Law).
9. ‘Futurama’‘s wisecracking Bender Bending Rodriguez is, at various points in the series, said to be made up of 30% iron, 40% dolomite, 40% titanium and 40% zinc, with a 0.04% nickel impurity, perhaps as a result of the writers just making crap up as they went along.
10. The excellently-spooky Mexican horror film The Devil’s Backbone takes its name from a slang term for the disease Spina Bifida.
11. After a successful Broadway career brought her only a minor role in the film Thirteen Women, actress Peg Entwistle leaped to her death from the ‘H’ in the HOLLYWOODLAND (later HOLLYWOOD) sign.
12. Molly Ringwald’s sassy friend in the John Hughes-penned Pretty in Pink (she was the one smoking in gym class), Alexa Kenin was beaten to death in her NYC apartment before the film was released.
13. Actor Jon-Erik Hexum, star of the sci-fi series ‘Voyagers’ (available at Videoport, natch’) thought it was safe to point a prop gun loaded with blanks to his head and pull the trigger on the set of his show ‘Cover Up’. It wasn’t. Important safety tip.
14. The excellent film Henry and June, about the tumultuous erotic relationship of novelists Henry Miller and Anais Nin and their spouses was the first film to receive the utterly superfluous NC-17 rating, which protects us all from boobs and wieners and the like.
15. The Chaplin film Limelight won an Oscar for best original score in 1972, even though it had been released 20 years earlier. It had not been eligible since it never played in an LA theater until then, owing to right-wing a-holes effectively banning Chaplin’s films for years.
16. Poor Lon Chaney Jr., never to escape his famous father’s shadow, nonetheless played all four of the classic movie monsters (Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolfman, Dracula, and the Mummy) on screen in his long career.
17. IT IS NEVER OKAY TO TOUCH THE SHINY SIDE OF ONE OF OUR DVDS!
18. IT IS NEVER OKAY TO LEAVE ONE OF OUR DVDS OUT OF ITS PROTECTIVE CASE WHEN IT IS NOT BEING PLAYED.
19. WHEN CLEANING ONE OF OUR DVDS (WHICH IS NEVER NECESSARY, REALLY, AS VIDEOPORT CLEANS EVERY, SINGLE DVD WE SEND OUT WITH YOU), YOU SHOULD USE D). A SOFT, CLEAN CLOTH OR ONE OF THE DVD CLEANING WIPES AVAILABLE FOR SALE AT VIDEOPORT!!! C’MON!! (And, seriously, a wrong answer on either 17, 18, or 19 will cost you ten points for each wrong answer, and perhaps a few decades in purgatory).
20. Legend has it that Buster Keaton suggested to disgraced silent comic Fatty Arbuckle that he change his name to Will B. Good, in order to get some work.
21. That’s writer/director/actor Tony Stone who felt the need to show Viking verisimilitude by taking an on-camera poo in the loopy-but-still-interesting Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America. (Those who guessed John Waters- well, nice guess, but still wrong. And Vincent Gallo in The Brown Bunny did not excrete on camera, but did, well, the other thing…)
22. The ever-ambiguous Marlene Dietrich serenaded Cary Grant with the song ‘Hot Voodoo’ whilst wearing a gorilla suit in Blonde Venus.
23. It’s in professional abomination Uwe Boll’s wretched Postal that all you Kids in the Hall fans finally get to see Dave Foley’s weenie.
24. That’s perennial tough guy Yul Brynner all dolled up and lip-synching to ‘Mad About the Boy’ (to Roman Polanski, no less) in The Magic Christian.
25. Catherine Deneuve, in Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, spends the weekend with, among other things, her own craziness and a skinned, decomposing rabbit.
26. In the utterly out-of-its-tiny-little-mind Possession, the lovely Isabelle Adjani does some unspeakable things with a tentacle-y thing, in lieu of husband Sam Neill.
27. In Cecil B. DeMille’s biblical epic The Ten Commandments, the Paramount logo is replaced with an image of Mount Sinai.
28. Idaho’s House Concurrent Resolution Number 29 recognizes Jared and Jerusha Hess for their feature film Napoleon Dynamite, which (according to HCR No. 29) brought national attention to the state of Idaho, to Preston High School, and to Idaho’s leading export, Tater Tots.
29. Pixar’s A Bug’s Life is Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai with lots o’ legs.
30. Chicken Run combines Stalag 17 and the Great Escape.
31. The Lion King is, essentially, Hamlet on the veldt.
32. A Shark’s Tale tries to be an underwater Godfather.
33. In 1992’s Chaplin, Geraldine Chaplin played her own grandmother, Hannah.
34. Legendary rapscallion John Huston directed both his dad (Walter Huston-best supporting actor for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) and his daughter (Anjelica Huston- best supporting actress for Prizzi’s Honor). But did they ever say thank you….
35. The Matrix and Dark City share more than a reality-bending premise: many of the same the buildings and sets were used for both films. Whoa — there is no spoon.
36. One-time glamrocker David Bowie has had the privilege of playing Nikoli Tesla (in The Prestige), Andy Warhol (in Basquiat), and Pontius Pilate (in The Last Temptation of Christ).
37. Since budget restrictions required actors to supply their own costumes, Jamie Lee Curtis spent an afternoon and a hundred dollars at J.C. Penney’s to outfit herself as terrified but levelheaded babysitter Laurie Strode in John Carpenter’s seminal horror film Halloween.
38. TV’s House (Hugh Laurie) is clearly patterned after Sherlock Holmes: a female patient in the first movie named Adler, an electric guitar instead of a violin, vicodin instead of cocaine, a best pal named Doctor Wilson/Watson, a nemesis named Morairty (the guy who shoots house at one point), his diagnostic skills and crabby demeanor, and even his apartment number in 221B.
39. Malcolm McDowell suffered for his role as Alex in A Clockwork Orange: his cornea was scratched by the eye-spreading device during the Ludovico Process, he cracked his ribs, and nearly drowned when his breathing tube malfunctioned during the trough-torture scene.
40. Upon receiving his 1954 Best Actor Academy Award, William Holden kept it short and sweet, saying only “Thank you,” before leaving the stage. Director Alfred Hitchcock beat him by 50%: after receiving an Honorary Academy Award, Hitch uttered merely, “Thanks.”
41. In 1987s cult vampire film Near Dark, no one actually ever says the word ‘vampire’; I guess it never came up.
42. Lance Henriksen, Jeanette Goldstein, and Bill Paxton had teamed up as good guys in the previous year’s Aliens before getting the band back together, this time as Near Dark’s bloodsuckers…whatever those are called.
43. That’s Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy as the older gentleman who stands up to the Joker at Bruce Wayne’s party; apparently, the Senator’s just a big fan.
44. Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore were roommates at Yale. Hey Al, don’t bogart that jay…
April’s Disney Corner (45-50)
45. “HAKUNA MATATA …it means no worries” – The Lion King
46. “Remember: Always let your conscience be your guide.” – Pinocchio
47. “A dream is a wish your heart makes” – Cinderella
48. “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” – Mulan
49. “Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.” – Lilo & Stitch
50. “Better read it first, for if one drinks much from a bottle marked “Poison“, it’s almost certain to disagree with one sooner or later.” – Alice In Wonderland
Regan’s John Hughes Memorial Quote-o-rama (51-64)
51. That’s Mary Stuart Masterson as Watts in Some Kind of Wonderful (c)
52. Bill Paxton as Chet in Weird Science (d)
53. That’s Annie Potts as Iona in Pretty in Pink (b)
54. Scott Coffey as Ray in Some Kind of Wonderful (c)
55. This one comes from Pretty in Pink (b)
56. That’s The Breakfast Club (a)
57. Annie Potts being all saucy again in Pretty in Pink (b)
58. Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink (b)
59. Mary Stuart Masterson, again as the awesome Watts, in Some Kind of Wonderful (c)
60. That can only be Paxton again, as Chet, in Weird Science (d)
61. Spader! In Pretty in Pink (b)
62. The Breakfast Club (a)
63. Watts, how I love you, still in Some Kind of Wonderful (c)
64. That’s Portland’s pride, Judd Nelson as John Bender in The Breakfast Club (a)
65. Pee Wee (he was hiding out in the adult section, ‘natch) is wearing a button claiming ‘Proud to be an American’. Several people, when asked to describe one of his buttons, said ‘round’, which we chose to give credit to as a clever, technically correct answer (rather than, as some might, a pedantic, picayune stickler-type answer).
66. There are three less-than-safety-conscious dancing girls dancing on the wings of the fighter plane at Videoport.
67. The ancient-yet-futuristic TV lurking in the corner at Videoport (which would, no doubt, irradiate us all if it were ever plugged in) is a Philco Predicta.
68. The Hulk gloves (given to Regan by her aunt Chocolate Covered Kimmy) say, among all the shouting and breaky noises, ‘Hulk smash!’, and ‘You’re making me angry! You won’t like me when I’m angry!’
69. Malcolm McDowell replaced Donald Pleasance in the role of Dr. Loomis in the remake of John Carpenter’s Halloween, while Selma Blair replaced the infinitely-cooler Adrienne Barbeau as the lighthouse deejay in the crappy remake of John Carpenter’s The Fog.
70. Ball of Fire was remade as A Song Is Born as Hitchcock remade his own The Man Who Knew Too Much as, well, The Man Who Knew Too Much.
71. In Goodfellas, the young Henry Hill was played by Christopher Serrone, while his grown-up version is Ray Liotta. In The Reader, David Kross was Michael Berg as a youngster while Ralph Fiennes was Michael Berg the elder.
Videoport Scavenger Hunt (72-76)
72. There’s, not surprisingly perhaps, a nun holding a chicken on the cover of Pedro Almodovar’s dark comedy Dark Habits.
73. Criterion released the 1989 Apollo space mission documentary For All Mankind which, unsurprisingly, features an astronaut on the cover.
74. Perhaps stretching the definition of ‘classic’, Videoport places the 1957 ‘green lizard man holding a lady’ sci fi flick 20 Million Miles to Earth in our Classics section.
75. There’s a lady dancing with a boxy-looking robot in the Incredibly Strange section on the cover of The Strange Case of Senor Computer. Videoport’s JackieO says it’s terrific.
76. Those crazy hippies took over the government and modified the presidential seal with some joints and an electric guitar on the cover of Wild in the Streets. You can find it in the Incredibly Strange section on a double feature disc with the equally-groovy Gasssss.
77. The song ‘In Heaven’ (sung by the Lady Behind the Radiator) from the cult classic Eraserhead has been covered by the likes of DEVO, The Pixies, Bauhaus, and Miranda Sex Garden.
The Rage’s Foreign-y Title Funhouse (78-82)
78. The Memory of a Killer was originally E. De Zaak Alzheimer
79. Undercover Kitty was D. Minoes
80. Death Proof was A. Boulevard de la Mort
81. Let the Right One In was C. Criatura de la Noche
82. The Vanishing was B. Spoorloos
The Rage’s Anagram Madness (83-92)
83. COKED PUNK = KNOCKED UP
84. WACKO ANGLO ROCKER = A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
85. NEAREST TO A URINAL = NATIONAL TREASURE
86. MACAQUE FOOLS NUT = QUANTUM OF SOLACE
87. FORLORN COUNTY DEMON = NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
88. DRESS GROOVIER = RESERVOIR DOGS
89. URBAN LENDER = BLADE RUNNER
90. THE HATED FROG = THE GODFATHER
91. BUS GETS SHORTER = GHOSTBUSTERS (if you take out the extra ‘er’; sorry gang, but points for all!)
92. MAD SNIPER =SPIDERMAN
JackieO’s Movie Roundelay (93-101; someone wrote ‘These questions make me sad’, and we get that. Try and follow this, though…)
The Clive Owen/Julia Roberts movie is Dupicity, which costarred the guy who wrote and directed The Station Agent, which starred Peter Dinklage, who had a funny monologue about dwarves in the movies in Living in Oblivion, which costarred Catherine Keener, who was born on the same day as Ed Asner, who recently voiced the main character in Up, which was cowritten by Thomas McCarthy, who, in addition to directing The Station Agent, also acts in the film Michael Clayton which was directed by the same guy who directed Duplicity. See? Easy as pie…
102. In the tagline “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest twin of all?”, JackieO points out that the adjective ‘fairest’ is incorrect. Since there are only two twins by definition, the comparative ‘fairer’ should be used instead of the superlative ‘fairest’. Don’t ever argue grammar with JackieO…
103. Spalding Gray, in his younger days, costarred in the full-on, Zebedy Colt directed, The Farmer’s Daughters. Think about that the next time you watch Swimming to Cambodia.
Well, as Dr. Ray Stantz said after he thought they’d just dispatched Zuul, “Well, that wasn’t such a chore, now was it?” And, like in Ghostbusters, we’re getting shot a lot of dirty looks right now. But hey, we hope you all had fun playing, googling like demons, and cursing our names and whatnot; for all it’s evil, the annual trivia contest is a chance for the movie loving folks at Videoport, on both sides of the counter, to share their love of movies, and Videoport, and have a good time. Thank you all for playing, and for continuing to support Videoport, the best, damned movie store in the world.
And, to say thanks, everybody who entered will find two shiny free Videoport rentals on their account! Boo-ya!
And a special boo-ya to our three winners who scored highest and proved that the quiz was child’s play for their huge, squishy brains: Alex O, Ben W., and Peter B.- expect a call and get ready to pick out your choice of the new seasons of ’30 Rock’, ‘Rescue Me’, or ‘The Office’. You’ve earned it guys!
Oh, this week’s new stuff: Observe and Report, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Battle for Terra, ‘The Mentalist’- season 1, ‘Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles’- season 2, ‘The IT Crowd’- season 3, ‘Sanctuary’- season 1, Wagon Master, ‘Ugly Betty’- season 3, ’30 Rock’- season 3, Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, Scooby Doo: The Mystery Begins, Sugisball, Tulpan, Adam Resurrected, Edges of Darkness, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, That Hamilton Woman, The Magic School Bus Catches a Wave, Rumba, Camille, Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East?, O’Horten, and ‘Castle’- season 1.