Friday, June 22, 2012

My Life, Made Possible by the Movies...

I know I neglect what the theme of this blog started out to be. I know I neglect most parts of pop culture that aren't television. So today I am going to try to rectify both of those wrongs by taking a page out of this week's Entertainment Weekly and filling out the movie survey they gave Emma Stone. 

The First Movie I Remember Watching - Since I have no concept for chronology, I know The Neverending Story wasn't the first movie I saw, but it is the first theater experience I actively remember. I didn't like the movie, but it was a birthday party, and sitting in a theater, surrounded by ten or so of my little, giggly friends was one of the better experiences in a group outing to a movie I've had!

The Movie That Inspired By Fashion Sense When I Was a Kid - I really, really wanted to be like Courteney Cox in Scream. Yes, the over-the-top Gale Weathers. I was twelve when the first Scream first came out, and I didn't realize she was supposed to be seen as so over-the-top. I really liked her chunky highlights and sharp layers; I genuinely though it looked good. I also genuinely thought I looked good trying to copy her. I guess that's more a "hair sense" than full-on fashion, but I'm still counting it.

The Movie Character I Wanted To Be - There have been a lot of fictional characters whose lives I liked better than my own through the years, but I'm going to answer this question using the first one I was conscious of, and that was Ariel The Little Mermaid. Ever since I was a little kid and my mother forced me into swimming lessons, I felt more comfortable in water than on land. The fact that Ariel got to live under the sea and go shopping for cool (free) treasures found on the ocean floor-- a mix of the natural beauty from shells and long lost, or attempted trashed, items from ships, made me so jealous! And you know, the handsome prince and awesome singing talent didn't hurt.

The First R-Rated Drama I Ever Saw - I honestly have no idea. I know my dad used to watch a lot of films that were deemed inappropriate for my young eyes after he thought I had already fallen asleep, and I know most of the time, even if I didn't plant myself on my bedroom's side of the louver doors to peek through the slats, I could usually hear a good chunk of the cursing and explosions before I actually fell asleep. But I don't remember specifics.

My First Move-Star Crush - I guess Jonathan Taylor Thomas shouldn't count, even though I was quite obsessed with Man of the House. After all, I was already in love with him thanks to Home Improvement before he turned his attention to the other medium. And Prince Eric shouldn't count either, because he was a cartoon. So I think that leaves Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic.

The Scariest Movie I've Ever Seen - I was honestly haunted by Frailty. There's something really dark and twisted about a man who believes he is getting messages from God, telling him who to kill because they are already horrible people or because they have a high probability of doing a horrible deed. But there is something even creepier about him instilling the same work values into his sons, punishing the one who doesn't believe. Now, if you are a person of faith, who desperately wants to believe there is a God communicating with some of His children and for good, then you may not see this movie the same way. No part of me ever thought Bill Paxton's character wasn't crazy, regardless of what was written on the page or played out on-screen, and because of that-- because I saw him as a man who snapped, I saw how scary people could be.

The Movie That Made Me Want To Be A [Writer] - The very first movie that made me want to be a writer was Camp Nowhere, simply because the concept was one that was so perfect for where I was personally, I couldn't believe someone else thought of it. I hated my summer camp, too, and my dream was to just go away for the summer with some friends, hanging out by the water all day and eating s'mores by the fire all night. But the very first movie that made me want to write (and direct) movies was Traffic. That film spoke to me in a number of ways, and I was extremely impressed with the interweaving of storylines from the simple, every day human stories, to the much larger scale government issues.

The Last Movie I Bought - I really don't buy movies. The last one I purchased was probably Toy Story 3, and that was a while ago. The last screener film I received was Morgan Spurlock's Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, but I really don't receive many films on screener loan, either.

The Remake I'd Love To [Write] - I've always been curious at how Fight Club could/would (if it could/would) work if the protagonist was a woman. In such a hypothetical remake, the actual "fight club" would be more of a metaphor; I wouldn't want to do an exact replica, and I would be curious to see what kind of alternate persona a woman who felt so trapped would create. I'm sure Hollywood would want her to be a madam of some kind, using her sexuality even freer than Brad Pitt did, but that would be the challenge-- to avoid the cliches and still make something compelling. Of course, there are other movies I'd love to remake simply because I feel they were great ideas with poor execution (or casting), but that's really a whole other blog entry!

The Movie I Can't Turn Off When It's On TV - Mean Girls. Hands down, even though it's usually on TBS, and they choose weird points for their edits and commercial breaks, I can never turn this movie off. It's become a bit sadder these days, looking back at what Lindsay Lohan could have been had she listened to Tina Fey more, but it's just such perfection in so many ways, and a timeless representation of teenage life.

The Movie I've Seen More Times Than I Can Count - I think this has to be a tie between Troop Beverly Hills and Miss Congeniality. Most of the other movies I watch over and over, I can actually count because I watch them during designated times. Every summer, for example, I mark the new season by screening Camp Nowhere, so that's once a year for X number of years, while every Thanksgiving I watch Home Alone, so again, once a year for X number of years. But randomly when I'm home on a rainy afternoon or not feeling so well or just need an escape after a particularly stressful time at work I'll put on these two for some easy laughs. I know them so well, I know them through walls.

The Movie Musical I Know All The Words To - This maybe shouldn't count, but RENT. Obviously. I've been singing those lyrics, and saying it should have been a movie, since well before Christopher Columbus actually butchered it on the big screen.

The Movie I Quote All The Time - This may not be the most intellectual answer, but I think it might be Clueless. I used to quote The Sweetest Thing with some friends from college-- mostly to annoy one friend in particular who hated the movie-- but the majority of my quotes, when used unironically come from television. Cher Horowitz is a rare gem whose wisdom crosses mediums and generations.

The Last Movie That Made Me Cry - Through the lack of volume of movies I actually consume and my proclivity to reach for a comedy over a drama any time, the last time I cried at a movie was way back with The Descendants. It was mostly because of how close to home it hit when George Clooney's wife was wasting away in her hospital bed, especially when compared to how the promos made it seem like a much lighter-hearted tale. Jim Rash is a genius and a gentleman.

The Movie I Can't Wait For - I'm really excited to see Safety Not Guaranteed, which I know is technically already out, but I haven't had time to get to it yet. It's the kind of quirky indie film with a somewhat existential message that is right up my alley. But I'm also excited for Magic Mike for completely gratuitous reasons.

The Movie I'm Always Telling People To See - Since I went to USC film school, I know the "appropriate answer" is something cinematic and artsy like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or The Shawshank Redemption (which I do tell people to see, but most already have), or even The Godfather, but in all honesty, the most truthful answer is a little-known and even lesser remembered 1980s made-for-TV movie, Dance Til Dawn. It has a sophomoric plot (the Hoover High senior class preps for prom, including taking the glasses off of a nerdy girl to see she's really pretty underneath), but it featured the biggest names in sitcoms at the time-- from Kelsey Grammer to Tracey Gold to Christina Applegate.

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