Sergio Leone and the Infield Rule is the creme de la creme of film blog sites and author Dennis Cozzalio seasonally offers an intriguing questionnaire to all his readers. I've finally decided to stop being a sideline spectator and actually answer them.
Here you go:
1) Classic film you most want to experience that has so far eluded you.
There's a lot of the foreign classics that I have yet to experience. For example, the only film by Andrei Tarkovsky I've seen is Solaris.
2) Greatest Criterion DVD/Blu-ray release ever
I should probably pick something arty or foreign to show my bona fides, but really the answer is the epic Dazed and Confused two disc edition that I waited 10 years for.
3) The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon?
I adore both, but The Big Sleep is sexier and not beholden to logic, therefore it wins.
4) Jason Bateman or Paul Rudd?
If it's television, Bateman's the answer, but Rudd's performance in Wet Hot American Summer was one of the greatest comedic turns of the last decade.
5) Best mother/child (male or female) movie star combo
Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis are the first to come to mind.
6) Who are the Robert Mitchums and Ida Lupinos among working movie actors? Do modern parallels to such masculine and no-nonsense feminine stars even exist? If not, why not?
There are no other Robert Mitchums or Ida Lupinos and there will never be. Timothy Olyphant has displayed the ability to play similar head strong masculine tropes as Mitchum, however, his most impressive work has been in television (Deadwood and Justified). I can't think of any parallels even that tenuous to Lupino, and for that, we are lesser people.
7) Favorite Preston Sturges movie
Sullivan's Travels is my favorite overall. The Miracle at Morgan Creek is the one that elicits the most laughs.
8) Odette Yustman or Mary Elizabeth Winstead?
While I hear her work as "Socialite" in Transformers was a performance for the ages, I have no recollection of her from that atrocity nor her role in Cloverfield. Winstead's the winner, she's cuter too.
9) Is there a movie that if you found out a partner or love interest loved (or didn't love) would qualify as a Relationship Deal Breaker?
I had a girlfriend whose taste aligned almost perfectly with mine. It end disastrously. My wife and I have as much common interest (film noir, Hitchcock, Barbara Stanwyck, Almodovar, etc) as we do differences (my love of horror, European genre fare; her taste in Jane Austen adaptations and romantic comedies), and it really doesn't matter. So the answer is no.
10) Favorite DVD commentary
I've always been fascinated with The Limey's commentary where screenwriter Lem Dobbs repeatedly berates director Steven Soderbergh for removing pages of back story. And for comedic purpose, I also recommend the Step Brothers track which is 90% comprised of Adam McKay, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly singing to a live score by composer Jon Brion, plus an appearance from Los Angeles Clipper Baron Davis.
11) Movies most recently seen on DVD, Blu-ray and theatrically
DVD: The Crimson Kimono
Blu-Ray: Enter the Dragon
Theatre: Soul Kitchen, however, Labor Day weekend was a great movie watching weekend for me as I saw two double features at the New Beverly (Deep Red & Suspiria; Tell Them Willie Boy is Here & Ulzana's Raid) and Machete at the Vista (the manager taking tickets was in costume as the titular character)
12) Dirk Bogarde or Alan Bates?
Dirk, for The Servant alone.
13) Favorite DVD extra
Well I usually clamor most for those exciting Interactive Menus, but a close second place would be the "Love Conquers All" edit of Brazil and the two hour documentary about the making of the film also included in the Criterion DVD.
14) Brian De Palma’s Scarface— yes or no?
I, like pretty much every teenage boy, loved it at the time. Now I consider it second-tier DePalma, but how can you say no to chainsaws, cocaine mountains, and Pacino's Cuban accent? And hopefully it will serve as a gateway to more intriguing DePalma like Blow Out for future teenage boys. Besides, where would the development of rappers and ESPN commentators be without it?
15) Best comic moment from a horror film that is not a horror comedy (Young Frankenstein, Love At First Bite, et al.)
"My art...keeps me sane."--Scanners
16) Jane Birkin or Edwige Fenech?
17) Favorite Wong Kar-wai movie
Chungking Express is the one I have the greater connection to, though I admit In the Mood for Love is probably his most accomplished.
18) Best horrific moment from a comedy that is not a horror comedy
Ray Liotta's character in Something Wild takes a sweet comedy and turns it on it's head.
19) From 2010, a specific example of what movies are doing right…
Mother--the effective balance of suspense, horror, comedy, character study and emotional impact.
20) Ryan Reynolds or Chris Evans?
Don't feel particularly passionate either way about them.
21) Speculate about the future of online film writing. What’s next?
Hopefully we get to a point where people stop confusing box office receipts with quality for starters.
22) Roger Livesey or David Farrar?
I will skip this since I had to look at IMDB to find out who these gentlemen are. I guess the theme of this question is supporting players of Powell/Pressburger films?
23) Best father/child (male or female) movie star combo
How about, Walter Huston to John Huston, and John Huston to Angelica and Danny Huston?
24) Favorite Freddie Francis movie (as Director)
Tales From the Crypt is the only I've seen, but I loved it.
25) Bringing Up Baby or The Awful Truth?
Bringing Up Baby, due to the fact I've never seen The Awful Truth, which is I guess could be another possible answer to question 1.
26) Tina Fey or Kristen Wiig?
27) Name a stylistically important director and the best film that would have never been made without his/her influence.
While Italians made westerns before Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars, and probably would have made more without it, I don't think the genre would have flourished with out the film, meaning no The Great Silence, Django, etc. Not to mention the impact it would have had on the careers of composer Ennio Morricone and star and future filmmaker Clint Eastwood.
28) Movie you’d most enjoy seeing remade and transplanted to a different culture (i.e. Yimou Zhang’s A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop.)
Well since his career was jump started with a homage to City on Fire, it's only fair that Quentin Tarantino allows Jackie Brown (or Elmore Leonard's source novel Rum Punch) to be adapted in Asia, with Maggie Cheung (slight aging makeup applied) as the titular character and Chow-Yun Fat in the Max Cherry role.
29) Link to a picture/frame grab of a movie image that for you best illustrates bliss. Elaborate.
While Death Proof is probably my least favorite Tarantino joint (though still very good) this still of Rosario Dawson's face as it transforms from terror to excitement perfectly captures the bliss we find when we experience the remarkable.
30) With a tip of that hat to Glenn Kenny, think of a just-slightly-inadequate alternate title for a famous movie. (Examples from GK: Fan Fiction; Boudu Relieved From Cramping; The Mild Imprecation of the Cat People)
Apocalypse Five Minutes Ago
The Gangster Whose Visage is Slightly Besmirched by a Scar
The 4 Year Old Virgin