Another device for writing is the meme: a list of questions that get you thinking and writing. This one is about movies:
1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.
Most movies that I own: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek II, the first three Star Wars movies, October Sky, The Blues Brothers, Ben Hur come to mind. There’s a few more.
2. Name a movie that you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.
Short list. That would be Grease, The Blues Brothers and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Note that all of them are over 25 years old. I don’t spend much time in darkened projection rooms.
3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.
Harrison Ford. I’ve seen many of his movies. I would also add Matt Damon, especially if there is another Jason Bourne sequel.
4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.
Jake Gyllenhaal. He did a good job in October Sky, but has annoyed me ever since.
5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.
The Blues Brothers. I cannot start a road trip without at least thinking “It’s 120 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it!” or “I’ve always loved you” anytime I hear the strains of Flight of the Valkyries. Or when pleading: “There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! It wasn’t my faaaaaauuuuult!” When at a certain friend’s house, I’ll intentionally hold up an incorrect glass just so she can say, “Wrong glass, sir!” I then motion her to fill it, just like Dan Ackroyd.
Can’t play poker without quoting from the card shark swindle in Trinity is Still My Name.
Also have to mention my favorite from Return of the Jedi: “When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not.”
If the meme was cartoon shorts or TV shows, I can quote lots of those.
6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
There used to be two: Man of La Mancha and My Fair Lady. Make that three: Oliver. I’ve long since forgotten most of them. Haven’t seen any of those in a long time.
7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.
Disney’s Tarzan. Phil Collins had much to do with this.
8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.
October Sky. Boy from coal-mining town overcomes impossible odds with the help of townspeople. They help him because he willing to do what it takes to lay the groundwork for his success. He sees opportunity where his friends see a “slack dump.” If the Vatican endorses it and it’s not either a religious biography or made 50 years ago, you know you have a winner.
9. Name a movie that you own.
Not already mentioned would be the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fugitive, The Village, Fantasia, Blade Runner and about 20 more.
10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.
Female: Kim Basinger. Nobody seems to remember that she started out as a model for Cover Girl cosmetics. Now she has an Oscar.
Male: Gotta be Will Smith. I remember him rapping as The Fresh Prince long before the Bel-Air show ever aired. I could put Kris Kristofferson here, but he already had several movies under his belt by the time I learned he was also a recording artist.
11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?
Yes, I have. Unfortunately for this meme, all of them were so atrociously bad that time has mercifully wiped them from my memory.
12. Ever made out in a movie?
No. By the time I had my first serious girlfriend (or even somewhat of a girlfriend) I didn’t need a movie theater for a necking spot.
13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven’t yet gotten around to it. The director’s cut of Blade Runner. I saw the original in the theater–once–have the DVD ready to go–still haven’t removed the plastic.
14. Ever walked out of a movie?
No. If it’s that bad, I’ll Mystery Science Theater 3000 it.
15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.
The Passion of the Christ.
Yes, except for The Passion of the Christ. I felt it would be disrespectful to be mucnching on popcorn while Jesus is going through several illegal trials and getting the stuffing beaten out of him.
17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?
Rarely. Too expensive and crowded.
18. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
19. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?
I’m a guy. Action. Preferably when the antagonist is a real scumbag and dies horribly in the end at the hands of the protagonist. Cobra–a crappy movie otherwise–is the gold standard.
20. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
A Boy Named Charlie Brown
21. What movie do you wish you had never seen?
There isn’t a movie that I’d wished I’d never seen, but there is a movie I vowed to never see: Jaws. PBS once ran the clip of Quint getting chomped while the movie was still in theaters, and I swore that day I would never see that film. That clip scared the shit out of me. That vow is still intact, even though I could easily handle that scene today. The book and that movie have blackened the reputation of sharks. Even Peter Benchley has expressed regret for ever writing the story.
22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?
Dr. Strangelove. I got the humor, but it is still weird to me.
23. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?
I don’t watch scary movies as a rule. But I vote for anything by Alfred Hitchcock. He was a master at making you feel helpless with ordinary surroundings and objects.
24. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?
Gay Purree, a full-length animated movie by Loony Tunes’ Chuck Jones, with the voices of Judy Garland, Robert Goulet and Red Buttons. There’s cartoon-style action for the guys and well-done songs and scenery for the gals. There’s also a scene in this movie that makes tears come from my eyes I laugh so hard. I can’t even describe it without laughing. It made me almost choke when I first saw it as a kid, and it still kills me 35 years later.