Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Blood Lust.

Talk about the essentializing of culture. Mel Gibson's new film is not so much a narrative of the Mayan Empire's decline as it is a fetishizing spectacle of violence and excessive gore. Ignore word of an apparent analogy being drawn to the United States and its method of foreign policy. This is basic blood lust, a flat-out horror film, and a reprehensible attempt to codify and script Mayan culture as inherently brutal and sacrificial. As Lauren put it, it's another colonizing of sorts on Gibson's part under a seemingly noble attempt to represent an entire people and way of life. More to come... F

Saturday, November 25, 2006

You are all going to hate me...

and probably lose tons of respect for me after I disclose this information. Especially since I've gone on and on in the last few months about my distaste for this particular film. But first, let me frame the situation: my cousins and I planned on watching Casino Royale tonight, but by the time we got to the theatre, the 7:15 show had sold out (and the next was at 10:15 or so.) The only film playing in the same time frame that all of us had interest in watching was The Fountain. I agreed to see it again, because even though I disliked it the first time around, I thought a second viewing might prove beneficial.

And gosh, it was a totally different experience this time around. I can't explain it; maybe back in September, my festival fatigue made me more pessimistic and impatient than usual. Maybe I was sitting too close to the screen. Can it be that my expectations were just too high that nothing would have lived upto them?

Tonight though, it worked. I was completely drained by the end, and had shed my share of tears. What does this mean? I don't even know if the film is a total success, but I feel that my prior review is kind of useless now. This is a very strange situation; never has my reaction to a film gone 180 in such a short span of time.

Anyways, just thought I would offer a sort of confessional post to explain the question mark.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Oratorical Fireworks

In celebration of my 100th post:

[Bridget blows into the unresponsive microphone, taps it tentatively]

One, two. Ladies and Gentlemen... L- ladies and gentlemen.

[then throws fingers into the air and shouts:]

Oi! Oi! Sorry. The uh mike's not wo- working.

[clears throat]

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the launch of Kafka's Motorbike, 'the greatest book of our time."

[applause; Bridget notices Salman glowering]

Obviously, except for your books, Mr. Rushdie, which are also very good.

[applause; Bridget notices Jeffery]

Aaand Lord Archer. Yours... aren't... bad.... either.
Anyway, what I mean is..uh. Welcome ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to the launch of... one of the top *thirty* books of our time, anyway. At least.

And here to introduce it, heh, *properly* is the man we all call -

[Bridget's inner monologue offers its perspective]


Mr. -


Mr. -

[Daniel giggles]


[Bridget regains control]

Fitzherbert. Because that... is his name. Mr. Fitzherbert? Thank you!

[scattered applause; Mr. Fitzherbert takes the stage]

Fitzherbert: Thank you, Brenda. Just switch this on.

[turns on microphone, screechy feedback is heard throughout the entire hall]

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oscar Predix: Mid-November 2006 [Part Two]

And forging onwards... Click here to see the first part of this post, specifically the predix for Picture, Director, Actress and Actor.

1. Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls (1) [Going Lead?]
2. Adriana Barraza, Babel (-)
3. Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine (-) [Going Lead?]
4. Anika Noni Rose, Dreamgirls (4)
5. Maggie Gyllenhaal, World Trade Center or Stranger than Fiction (10)
6. Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal (-, moved from Lead [rank: 6])
7. Rinko Kikuchi, Babel (-)
8. Sylvia Syms, The Queen (-)
9. Emma Thompson , Stranger than Fiction (-)
10. Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada (-)

For my money, the most exciting category this year. Comments coming soon.

1. Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls (1)
2. Jack Nicholson, The Departed (6)
3. Brad Pitt, Babel (-, moved from Lead [rank: 3])
4. Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine (-)
5. Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children (5)
6. Michael Sheen, The Queen (9)
7. Adam Beach, Flags of Our Fathers (-)
8. Steve Carrell, Little Miss Sunshine (-)
9. Ben Affleck, Hollywoodland (2)
10. Robert Downey Jr., Fur (4)

Comments coming soon.


1. Peter Morgan, The Queen (9)
2. Guillermo Arriaga, Babel (2)
3. Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine (10)
Emilio Estevez, Bobby (1)
5. Pedro Almodovar, Volver (7)
6. Paul Greengrass, United 93 (6)
7. Andrea Berloff, World Trade Center (-)
8. Eric Roth, The Good Shepherd (3)
9. Anthony Minghella, Breaking and Entering (4)
10. Christopher Guest, For Your Consideration (5)
10. Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines, Borat (-)

Comments coming soon.

1. Bill Condon, Dreamgirls (2)
2. Patrick Marber, Notes on a Scandal (5)
3. William Monahan, The Departed (-)
4. Paul Haggis, Flags of Our Fathers (1)
5. Todd Field, Little Children (4)
6. Steve Conrad, The Pursuit of Happyness (-) [Original?]
7. Iris Yamashita, Letters from Iwo Jima (-)
8. Jeremy Brock, The Last King of Scotland (3)
9. Ron Nyswaner, The Painted Veil (-)

10. Alan Bennett, The History Boys (8)

Comments coming soon.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Getting ready to barf like I promised.

Ali had said on Javier's blog:
I'm already barfing at the thought of Will Smith up to bat again. He's so obnoxious - I can just see him showing up on Oprah campaigning for it.
What did I tell you? WHAT DID I TELL YOU???%@%$@!#

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Oscar Predix: Mid-November 2006 [Part One]

Okay, it's time for the second batch - my September predictions are so embarrassingly "off" in light of recent happenings that updates simply must be made. While some films have held constant in their high positions, once-hopefuls like Little Children, Catch a Fire and Running with Scissors have failed to get significant traction. For more Academy musings and undoubtedly superior ones than my own, I suggest Nathaniel, Kris and Sasha. And as usual, I am sticking solely to the big eight categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actors, & Original/Adapted Screenplay) until January rolls around. Let's get on with it...

1. Dreamgirls – Dreamworks (1)
2. The Departed - Warner Brothers (-)
3. The Queen - The Weinstein Company (-)
4. Little Miss Sunshine - Fox Searchlight (-)
5. Flags of Our Fathers - Warner Brothers (2)
6. Babel - Paramount Vantage (-)
7. Bobby - The Weinstein Company (5)
8. World Trade Center - Paramount (-)
9. The Good Shepherd - Universal (3)
10. Volver – Sony Pictures Classics (-)

Somehow, it has retained its frontrunner status from last year to now - Dreamgirls is clearly living up to the hype. Is it our winner? Never underestimate the influence of a backlash (see Brokeback Mountain last year), but I honestly can't see The Departed or The Queen as having the power to topple it. What do you all think? Those two latter films are definitely in the mix, both having some of the best reviews of the season (while the Scorsese picture has the added bonus of being a box office hit.) The final two spots are up for grabs, and with the fall of the Eastwood film (but it's not dead yet - see below), we can speculate. Unfortunately, the miserable Little Miss Sunshine seems to have found a following among critics and audiences alike, and I can certainly see it crossing the finish line in this race. Inevitable future successes among the guilds such as WGA, PGA and especially SAG will cement it as a major player, and it's a real crowdpleaser for many. The big question mark is Flags of Our Fathers, which - despite earning fairly strong critical support - has lost steam in the weeks since its release. Can Eastwood actually go 3/3 with Best Picture nominations for his films this decade alone? The voting body clearly adores him. I liken this to the Munich situation last year - pretty much everyone thought it was dead, and then it rebounded in an incredible way Tuesday morning when the nominations were announced. Lesson: don't count it out completely, even if the precursors don't go for it (remember that the Globes nominated only two of the eventual Best Picture nominees last year [Brokeback and Goodnight], and Munich itself had seemingly no visible support at all.)

Meanwhile, I'm still not on board with Babel: it's an extremely difficult film that requires a lot of commitment on part of the viewer. And plus, will the voters go for something so critical of US foreign policy and white middle-class privilege? I would love to see it nominated myself, despite some reservations - certainly I prefer it to hogwash like Little Miss Sunshine or Bobby - but I'm not thinking it right now. I stand by my prediction regarding Bobby. I'm not as confident as I was immediately post-Toronto, but am I alone in thinking that this sentimental star-studded picture will follow in the path paved by Crash last year? My audience was incredibly moved by it, and we know that the Academy membrs vote with their hearts more often than not. World Trade Center would certainly be more to their liking, but it will need considerable love in the coming weeks from other voting bodies. The Good Shepherd is, like I said earlier, very reminiscient of A Beautiful Mind, and it's also directed by Hollywood royalty. No one has screened it yet though, so it is difficult to determine where it stands in the race currently. Additionally, Universal also has Children of Men to push; why else would the studio have moved it from September to Christmas if they didn't believe it had potential? Either way, which film will they fully rally behind? Meanwhile, Volver probably has the best chance of any foreign-language film (unless one wishes to include Babel in that category.) Sony Pictures Classics is behind it in a big way, so it is not completely out of the question, especially since Almodóvar is popular with voters.

1. Martin Scorsese, The Departed (-)
2. Bill Condon, Dreamgirls (1)
3. Stephen Frears, The Queen (-)
4. Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel (4)
5. Guillermo del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth (-)
6. Paul Greengrass, United 93 (5)
7. Clint Eastwood, Flags of Our Fathers and/or Letters from Iwo Jima (2)
8. Emilio Estevez, Bobby (6)
9. Robert DeNiro, The Good Shepherd (3)
10. Pedro Almodóvar, Volver (10)

What a difference a few months can make! Who would have thought just last month that Martin Scorsese would even be in the running for a directing nomination - let alone the win - for his re-working of Infernal Affairs? The movie stands as his biggest financial success to date, and coupled with the raves from critics (a "comeback" of sorts?), that will work in his favour here. Although I wouldn't go as far as to say he's a lock for the statuette (every time I predict such a thing, I am rudely proved wrong *coughClintEastwoodcough*); therefore, I will wait for DGA to make the call in the end. Meanwhile, Marty's biggest competitor is no stranger to Oscar attention either, although all of his mentions have been for writing. I can't imagine Bill Condon sitting out while Dreamgirls sweeps the categories, so he is in on the buzz of the film alone. And although The Queen is very much being sold as Helen Mirren's movie, I'm sure voters will invite Stephen Frears back to the party after throwing him a nod for The Grifters way back when (I think it's important the film missed out on a Best Picture mention, and he still got in.) After Frears, it gets less clear: Little Miss Sunshine and Bobby look like strong contenders for the big prize, but will directors take the bait? The roadtrip movie and ensemble drama are praised more often due to the acting work/writing rather than the direction. I think one of the last two spots will go to Iñárritu, because the director's branch will likely appreciate the scope of his vision even if the overall voting body finds Babel too scary to get behind fully. And my final pick is a little "out there", especially considering Pan's Labyrinth is opening dangerously late in the game, but del Toro's work here makes a lasting impression. Who knows?

Things have been very quiet on the United 93 front so far, even with the DVD release a couple of months ago, but I suppose it only makes sense. This is not the kind of film that is likely to have its audiences cheering as the closing credits begin to roll. As many Oscar gurus have stated before, it is difficult to gauge what the industry will make of this film (especially when placed next to World Trade Center, which is a lot more audience-friendly.) Still, United 93 has received some of the best reviews of the year, and I can't see it walking away with only technical nominations. Let's see how the next few weeks go, and if Greengrass pops up on any critics' lists or makes the cut with the precursors. And speaking of Clint Eastwood earlier, will we indeed have a repeat of the Bening/Swank rematch with him and Marty competing once again? Will Letters from Iwo Jima solidify his campaign, or only work to cut into his votes? How will Warner Brothers play his campaign considering they have a shot for Marty to finally make history? Hmm. The thought of Emilio Estevez receiving a nod from the directors for Bobby is enough to make me ill, but who would have thought that Paul Haggis would make the final cut this time last year? Crash was not foremostly loved because of its directing, but as the Academy has shown us time and time again, when they love something, they love it to death. Robert DeNiro is in the mix for me until The Good Shepherd is finally shown to someone - until then, I can't delete him. Movie star turned directors always must be watched carefully. What of Pedro? I'm sure Volver's chances are much stronger in the lead actress and original screenplay categories, but let's ride this one out...

1. Helen Mirren, The Queen (1)
2. Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada (2)
3. Penélope Cruz, Volver (4)
4. Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal (-, moved up from supporting [rank: 6])
5. Kate Winslet, Little Children (3)
6. Renée Zellweger, Miss Potter (-)
7. Beyoncé Knowles, Dreamgirls (7) [Jennifer Hudson???]
8. Sienna Miller, Factory Girl (-)
9. Annette Bening, Running with Scissors (9)
10. Nicole Kidman, Fur (5)

Although I am always wary of calling a winner in any category this early (just look to Julianne, Imelda and Sissy), it looks like Helen Mirren will finally be breaking the twenty/thirty-something trend this year with her role as Elizabeth II in The Queen (unless voters really go for Cruz for their sexy young'un fix and Volver overall.) Streep and Dench should look out for their names being called on the morning of January 23rd, but they are likely to lose votes to fresh blood. Meanwhile, it is funny how Kate Winslet went from a virtual shoe-in to barely hanging on to that fifth spot in the last few weeks. I blame it all on New Line, because it's pretty much consensus across the board that she is stunning in her role (even if you hate the film, you must concede this point.) New Line is entirely to blame. Why is Little Children still in limited release? The studio really needs to get its act together; it's becoming painfully obvious that they really don't know how to mount a campaign unless it involves Lord of the Rings. Consider how they pathetically fumbled last year with The Upside of Anger, A History of Violence and The New World. All of these films could have been major players, but all of them received a paltry three noms in total by the end. I am convinced that Joan Allen was snubbed because of their shoddy work last season. They better not screw it up with Winslet either... get a move on it!

Because the Weinstein Brothers absolutely love to release their films at the last possible second, we cannot really leave
Renée Zellweger out of our speculation games. If they were able to win her that accursed Oscar for Cold Mountain despite such superior competition, there's no telling what could happen this year. Keep in mind that this is the studio that managed to get three of their actresses into the category in 2002 (Spacek/Zellweger/Dench.) Beyoncé Knowles may have to sit out on the Dreamgirls love considering the space constriction in this category, especially if voters feel that Hudson and Murphy are enough (see Giamatti, Madsen and Haden Church and the former's Sideways snub.) Sienna Miller, known primarily for her association with Jude Law and less so for her acting talent, has a shot with Factory Girl this year. Never say never, because the Academy has a history for rewarding actors that "prove themselves". Annette Bening's pretty much out of the race at this time; you can blame it on mixed reviews for both her performance and the off-putting film it is featured in. Sad, but true. Nicole Kidman got some early raves for her performance as Diane Arbus in Fur, but there's little of that excitement apparent now that the film has actually opened. Even if the Globes bow down, it won't be enough to make her a major player this year.

1. Peter O'Toole, Venus (-)
2. Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness (6)
3. Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland (1)
4. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed (-)
5. Derek Luke, Catch a Fire (5)
6. Matt Damon, The Good Shepherd (4)
7. Ryan Gosling, Half-Nelson (-)
8. Will Ferrell, Stranger Than Fiction (-)
9. Ed Harris, Copying Beethoven (9)
10. Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America... (-)

Someone wake me up when this category gets even remotely interesting, because right now I can't passionately throw my complete support behind one contender here. I liked DiCaprio in The Departed and Ryan Gosling in Half-Nelson enough (the latter would be in my lineup... for now), but beyond that, I'm already bored. Granted, I have not seen Peter O'Toole in Venus, but the vehicle itself looks positively awful and this is clearly one of those cases where past Academy wrongs are made right by rewarding an owed performer in a mediocre film. Are we already looking at our winner? Truthfully, I'm not really thrilled about his main competition here either, so this is basically a no-win situation for me. Forest Whitaker's buzz started off with a bang pre-Toronto, but for some reason The Last King of Scotland has been practically wiped off the map (so strong was the advance word that I had it down as a Best Picture nominee!). Whitaker is definitely in for a nod, but the less-than-fiery response to the film indicates that his initial frontrunner status was largely overestimated. Beyond these three, the category is open: DiCaprio is presently being pushed supporting like all other cast members in the Scorsese film, but this is a really awful idea. Blood Diamond does not look even remotely Oscar-baity, and the actor would have a much better chance of going with the inevitable Best Picture nominee (a la Kidman a few years ago, who wisely chose Moulin Rouge! over The Others to avoid cancelling herself out.) I think eventually Warner Brothers will get their act together, because this could be another Scarlett Johannson situation. Then there's Derek Luke for Catch a Fire, who got incredible reviews while the film disappeared entirely (it played for a week here before getting its theatre count cut from about twenty to less than five - what gives?). The chances are weak, but for now I keep him in on the strength of his reviews alone: plus, Focus Features is a great studio in this kind of FYC work.

The Good Shepherd remains a frustrating player right now, because it could go either way given the various elements at play (A Beautiful Mind or All the King's Men.) Matt Damon is certainly well-liked and has The Departed in the mix as well, so voters could definitely invite him back. But will the performance be too low-key/cold for their liking? Meanwhile, Ryan Gosling has received some of the best acting reviews of the entire year for his work as a flawed role model in Half-Nelson; he could definitely ride the heat to a nomination a la Terrence Howard last year. But does he care about this sort of thing at all? He is very anti-Hollywood. Will Ferrell goes serious in Stranger Than Fiction, and despite the okay-ish box office reports, the film has been getting a good response. But most of the attention has been placed on Emma Thompson and Maggie Gyllenhaal... Copying Beethoven looks like one of those films that could fall off the radar very easily, but the Academy adores Ed Harris, and he is very much overdue for a win. And although Borat is currently in the midst of a backlash with all the legal suits directed at Cohen, the industry cannot deny that his film was one of the true events of the year.

Click here to continue with Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay, and Adapted Screenplay...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

yes, Yes, YES.

Oui, j'adore. J'adore!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I'll tag you (A Movie Meme.)

1. Popcorn or candy?
It's no secret that I have an unhealthy affection for all things chocolate and Diet Coke-related, so if those fall under "candy", then it's the one I choose here. Lately, I've been sneaking a dark Lindt bar into screenings; I crack the sheet of cocoa into several small pieces, and then I make the whole things last for hours and hours. It's so much more fun that way. And Diet Coke, well, a must. And while I concede that sometimes popcorn is very appropriate for those big, action-y spectacle movies, I hate it when people bring bags into a film like, say, Elephant or United 93 (!!), and then proceed to make as much noise as possible (crinkling the paper, chewing loudly and obnoxiously, etc) during the most inappropriate scenes. The food you choose should reflect the atmosphere/subject matter of the film you're watching.

2. Name a movie you've been meaning to see forever.
Gosh, this will be embarrassing. Let me just give you a list of all these DVDs I own, but have not got around to giving a spin on the player: Gone with the Wind, Dark City, The Godfather Part II, Lilya 4-Ever, Ugetsu, Le Samouraï, Devi, The Golden Fortress, Ankur, Madhumati, and dozens more that I cannot recall right now. But the one I am most ashamed about? Lawrence of Arabia. *ducks*

3. You are given the power to recall one Oscar: Who loses theirs and to whom?
Everyone else has covered this so well, I don't really know what else is left to address (shows how rarely the Academy is on track with these sorts of things.) But I think All About Eve winning all those Oscars and somehow Bette Davis not being handed one when she *is* the film... Yeah, I know the vote split between her and Anne Baxter, but still. Sorry Judy Holliday. Hmm, what else? Two Best Supporting Actress wins in the nineties really bother me: Judy Davis losing to Marisa Tomei in '93, and Mira Sorvino trumping Kate Winslet in '96.

4. Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe. Which will it be?
Just one? I suppose I would have to choose Kunal Kapoor's sherwani in Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities. But I doubt it would look as good on me. Sorry, no pictures exist...

5. Your favorite film franchise is...
The Scream movies, Before Sunrise/Sunset: I adore these films (yes, even Scream 3 has its strengths here and there), but Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy (I know "franchise" is pushing it, but it still works) is... I don't know, it's like the cinematic wonder I've been searching for all my entire life. I watched the whole thing over two days and was crying throughout every frame. It is the most beautiful piece of art I have ever seen in my life.

6. Invite five movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why'd you invite them? What do you feed them?
Five? Pish. Not enough. Yeah, I'm so cheating, but what are you going to do about it?
1. Mira Nair, because, you know. Apparently, I'm related to her (!) through my stepdad's side of the family (his brother-in-law's cousin is married to her or something like that.) I know. When I was told this information back in December before the wedding, I had to be sedated (I only half-exaggerate here.) Communication between the family members has been spotty over the years, but as soon as I get the chance, you know I'll be there, prostrating at her feet. I should add that I have loved Mira a full ten years before I was told she is in my extended family. So no accusations of nepotistic film criticism, please. I didn't bring this up until now for this very reason...
2. Emma Thompson, 'cause you know she's the life of the party. When I first listened to her commentary with producer Lindsay Doran on the Sense and Sensibility DVD, I was struggling for air while giggling hysterically at her dry musings. You don't know how funny the idea of "period sheep" is until you hear her talk about it at great length.
3. Viola Davis. This character actor rocks my socks, and in a fairer world she would have won the Academy Award for her small appearance in Solaris. And it was a great year for supporting female actors that year, so you can tell how much I like this performance.
4. Shabana Azmi. Just because she can elevate any film just by appearing in it. She had nothing to do in Umrao Jaan recently... and fashioned a character out of thin air. She is possibly the greatest actor ever to grace the Indian screen. And she's intelligent too, with lots to say about film, politics, development and women's rights.
5. Hilary Swank. Yes, you heard me correctly. I think the venemous vitriol directed at her lately is reaching absurd highs. No, she didn't deserve the second Oscar, and her behaviour of late has been pretty off-putting (the drippy Clint-praise, the "Insolence" campaign, spilling the beans on Chad's addiction.) But I like her nonetheless - she's spunky, cute, and above all, personable.
6. David Cronenberg. Have you ever read any of his interviews? So intelligent. Plus, we'd get hours of conversation just out of discussing Naked Lunch.
7. Tilda Swinton. Did you ever read that "State of Cinema" speech she gave? Holy shit. We'd get along just fine.

Runner-ups: Winona Ryer, Frances Conroy, Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Cheung, Joan Allen, Cate Blanchett, Viggo Mortensen, Tabu, Christian Bale, Kate Winslet, Sally Potter, Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Bullock, Shefali Shetty, Maria Bello, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Bradford, Justin Therox, Emily Blunt, Jaye Davidson, Sissy Spacek, and so many more...

7. What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater?
I still cannot believe this sort of thing happens, and it never fails to perplex me everytime. Why on earth would you carry out a conversation during a movie you paid to watch? An emergency? Leave the theatre then. Otherwise, a phone should be left on vibrate or turned off. Their punishment is obvious - they are distracting themselves from what could be a great work of art. Let them suffer in their ignorance.

8. Choose a female bodyguard: Ripley from Aliens. Mystique from X-Men. Sarah Connor from Terminator 2. The Bride from Kill Bill. Mace from Strange Days.
Ripley, Connor, The Bride and Mace all kick ass, but they don't seem like a lot of fun to be around. I'd want to chat with my bodyguard and feel comfortable around them; therefore, Mystique it is. We'd have a blast. Too bad the X-Men films never really expanded on her character beyond what we got - they were too busy packing in every character possible.

9. What's the scariest thing you've ever seen in a movie?
I've screamed/shouted/closed my eyes in a few number of films over the years (not frequently at all, but it occassionally happens.) The ending of The Blair Witch Project left me sleepless for weeks afterward, but since so many people talked about that, I'll go with that one scene in the kitchen in Michael Haneke's Caché. I lost control over my nerves, and my body left the seat for an entire second. Not "scariest" per se, but it was just... so jarring. Horrifying in such a quiet way.

10. Your favorite genre (excluding comedy and drama) is:
Umm... I like horror done well. But I love me some trippy science fiction.

11. You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. How do you wield this power?
* I'm going to tweak this one a bit for fun:
- Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp, Michael Caine, Will Ferrell, Ridley Scott, Jamie Foxx, Keanu Reeves, Kirsten Dunset, Jake Gyllenhaal, LINDSAY LOHAN, Kristen Chenowith, Jude Law, and Cate Blanchett + Kate Winslet (love you both, but too much output lately) are to take immediate sabbaticals for at least two years re-energizing their creative batteries. Some don't even have to come back (*cough*Orlando*cough*).
- BROOKE SMITH, Viola Davis, Emily Blunt, Tilda Swinton, Kerry Washington, Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Regina King, Maggie Cheung, Joseph Fiennes, Dan Futterman, John Cho, and many other actors who do not get enough work will fill in for those vacancies. Especially more actors of colour and diversity. I'd like to see some of myself and others reflected on screen without having to actively seek it out (and not only in supporting roles either, okay?).
- Woody Allen's scripts will have to proof-read by Nick M. and myself. And absolutely no more casting Scarlett.
- Sally Potter, Alejandro Amenábar, Terrence Malick, Shyam Benegal, Mira, and all my other fave directors will have the spoils of the intended budgets for all those horrible romantic comedies and gore splatter flicks that everyone will forget about anyways in a matter of months. They will do so much more with that money, you know it.
- No more computer-animated flicks for a year, and even then, no more focusing on animals. I've had my fill of talking creatures voiced by loud-mouthed celebs.
- When a film is set in a non-English speaking country, the dialogue will reflect this and be respectful of other languages (meaning that we will have no more of this Memoirs of a Geisha-like nonsense.) People need to stop whining and read the fucking subtitles already. I got used to it, so can you.
- No film is to be over $30 million, period. This rule will be strictly enforced unless the case can be made that a production team is in dire need of some more. Things are getting out of control in Hollywood and elsewhere. It's absolutely disgusting.
- Less sequels of Saw III and The Grudge 2 ilk, more sequels of Before Sunset credibility. Just because a film opens at $20+ million should not automatically greenlight another installment.

12. Bonnie or Clyde?
Sadly, I haven't seen the film, so I will say... both? Neither?

13. Who are you tagging to answer this survey?
Nick M., Kathleen and Jesse. Go forth.

Important Question

For everyone who has been following the currently-stalled Countdown of my favourite 25 male performances from 2000-2004, I have a problem. Recently, I saw a performance that impressed me so much, I could not think of continuing the list without including it. The issue is that I initially said I would not include ties, because twenty-five spots should only include twenty-five actors. So, I leave the choice upto you. Should I...

a) Change the rule and therefore cause two actors to share a spot, or
b) shift everyone down one position to accomodate the new addition?