Movie Trivia & Lists

Nat's Top Ten Favorite Movies

It's a tough job to narrow the field to just 10, but this is pretty close: Two comedies, a scary movie, a thriller, an action-adventure, a sci-fi, a romance, a musical, a Scorsese, and Citizen Kane. Click on a poster for more info.

The Matrix Revolutions Review

Matrix Revolutions makes the first movie look great and the second look worse. Matrix Reloaded set way too many plans into action, and resolving them all makes for a messy third installment: There are only two fight sequences in the Matrix in Revolutions; One is all too similar to the marble-lobby gun battle from the first film, and the climactic fight between Smith and Neo is nothing we haven't seen before. The Merovingian and Persephone are only in one scene, and it's totally irrelevant. A large portion of the film covers the battle to defend Zion, which is overwhelming in its scale. The "whoa" factor is impressive, but it's hard to become engaged: we've met a few of the people fighting the battle, but they've barely been fleshed out. Morpheus and Niobe's storyline barely matters at all. Very little of the movie is set in the Matrix- we see very little of Agent Smith until the very end of the film, which is a shame. Hugo Weaving is wonderful in this role. Revolutions collapses under its own ambitions, overloaded with slight characters and half-baked ideas.

Scary Scenes In Scary Movies

Three Acclaimed Horror Films Which Didn't Scare Me

I know horror movies are scarier if you first saw them as a child. My list (above) is full of late 70s/early 80s movies. I just don't think these three stand the test of time. The fact that I saw them for the first time as an adult is probably a factor.

The Top Eight Clean Slate List

In the age of hyper-marketing, it seems like you cannot avoid awareness of upcoming films. It has become all to easy ofr a movie buff to learn too much about a movie they haven't seen yet. Wouldn't it be nice to go into a theater with zero expectations, no foreknowledge, and be totally surprised by a movie? It doesn't happen very often. I went through my own Movie Diary and made a list: The Top Eight Clean Slate List
The Godfather, Part III - January 1991
I was aware, of course, of what The Godfather was, but I had not seen either part 1 or part 2 yet. I was only 19 at the time, and I only saw G3 'cause all my friends were going. I haven't seen it all the way through since, but I think G3 is better if you don't know how good parts 1 and 2 were.

The Last Seduction - January 18, 1995
This movie is the reason I made this list. I had read about a different thriller with a similar name, and got the titles mixed up. I figured out pretty quickly that I was in the wrong theater. I appreciated the unflinching noir tone of the film, and I enjoyed a movie with a irredeemable female protagonist.

Vanya On 42nd Street - April 20, 1995
I was expecting something totally different. I was not expecting a bunch of very talented actors sitting in a circle reading the script.
Sullivan's Travels - July 16, 2001
The second half of a double feature with It Happened One Night, I left halfway through. I don't appreciate "wrongly imprisoned" films.
The Killers - July 22, 2002
All I knew about this was the blurb in the Brattle Theater schedule. That was enough to lure me to the screening.
The Barefoot Contessa - January 19, 2004
I was in a movie-going mood, and the Brattle Theater's blurb sounded interesting.
The Station Agent - February 26, 2004
All I knew about this was that there was a midget in the movie, and Patricia Clarkson too. What else did I need to know?

The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg - April 3, 2004
All I knew about TUoC was "French movie, all-singing".

How Old Is James Bond Anyway?

James Bond has been portrayed by five* actors since his screen debut in 1962. It is widely believed that Pierce Brosnan's next appearance as 007 will be his last. As the producers of the Bond film franchise consider who to cast as the sixth James Bond, take a look at this table of Bond Ages:
Film (Year) Age, Actor
Dr. No (1962)32, Sean Connery
From Russia With Love (1963)33, Sean Connery
Goldfinger (1964)34, Sean Connery
Thunderball (1965)35, Sean Connery
You Only Live Twice (1966)36, Sean Connery
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)30, George Lazenby
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)41, Sean Connery
Live And Let Die (1973)46, Roger Moore
The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)47, Roger Moore
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)50, Roger Moore
Moonraker (1979)52, Roger Moore
For Your Eyes Only (1981)54, Roger Moore
Octopussy (1983)56, Roger Moore
Never Say Never Again (1983)53, Sean Connery
View To A Kill (1985)58, Roger Moore
The Living Daylights (1987)41, Timothy Dalton
License To Kill (1989)43, Timothy Dalton
Goldeneye (1995)42, Pierce Brosnan
The World Is Not Enough (1997)44, Pierce Brosnan
Tomorrow Never Dies (1999)46, Pierce Brosnan
Die Another Day (2002)49, Pierce Brosnan
Brosnan's Last Bond Movie (2005?)52, Pierce Brosnan
The Next Generation Bond Movie (2007?)

Overheard At The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy Marathon (thanks Anita)

  1. "I know they're lonely and a long way from home, but should Sam and Frodo be spooning?"
  2. "If the cave troll and the Incredible Hulk had a fight, who would win?"
  3. "I think I just saw a Hobbit with Birkenstocks?"
  4. "I think I sprained my imagination!"
  5. "I will not rest until there's a black elf in Hobbiton."
  6. "When do the Hobbits play Quidditch? Did I miss it?"
  7. "You know, once you've made it with an elf, you never go back."
  8. "Would it kill them to "accidentally" leave a few reels out?"
  9. "If Frodo and Sam would just *drive* to Mount Doom, this film would be a lot shorter."
  10. "You know what this film needs? More dancing."
  11. "Gee, there are a lot of furry feet in this movie."
  12. "I can't feel my ass- will you carry me to the bathroom?"
  13. "I just stepped out to watch "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" next door. Did I miss anything?"
  14. "I think I see Peter Jackson."
  15. "Seven hours of trailers for "Return of the King," what were they thinking?"
  16. "Frodo dies!" (shouted by interloper at theater door; riot ensues)
  17. "Wow, these extra scenes add so much nuance to the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..."

Pulp Fiction in Chronological Order?

If you've ever been unemployed, you know the kinds of meaningless projects you'll undertake just to make the day go by. When I was vocationally challenged in 2001, I borrowed my friend's Criterion laserdisc copy of Pulp Fiction and decided to copy it to VHS, but in chronological order. One of the devices Quentin uses to make Pulp Fiction interesting is to take the linear action out of sequence. After watching the VHS tape, you can make the argument that the non-linear stories are the whole reason for the movie's existence.
Title and Description
Jules & Vincent Whack A Couple Guys
Royale with Cheese Jules and Vincent driving, chatting about fast food overseas. They arrive at the apartment building, discuss Tony "Rocky Horror", and "taking out" Mia Wallace.
Ezekiel 25:17 Jules and Vincent confront Brett and "Flock of Seagulls". For some reason, Brett (Frank Whaley) is eating a Big Kahuna burger at 7:20 in the morning. The scene ends when Brett is shot...
Divine Intervention We rejoin the Jules/Brett conversation, this time, from the perspective of the cannon-wielding, bathroom-using fella, who's hearing Jules' scripture monologue from behind the closed door. After Brett is shot, this fella runs out, then shoots and misses Jules and Vincent six times. Jules and Vincent discuss divine intervention, then leave with Marvin in tow.
“I just shot Marvin in the face.” This is why you put the hammer down and put your gun away- poor Marvin gets shot in the face.
The Bonnie Situation Jimmie explains why they need to get the "Dead N***** Storage" sign off the front lawn so quickly.
Winston Wolf He takes his coffee with extra cream and extra sugar, and he drives really f*ckin' fast. Sounds just like me!
Monster Joe’s Truck & Tow Marvin and Jules' wheels get crushed, Winston advises the guys to "move out of the sticks, fellas"; Jules and Vincent call a cab and go for breakfast.
“Personality goes a long way.” Jules and Vincent discuss pork products and Jules' resemblance to David Carradine.
Pumpkin & Honey Bunny Meanwhile, at another table, this sequence from the beginning of the film gets spliced in: Pumpkin and Honey Bunny spontaneously decide to rob the restaurant they're in; Pumpkin (aka Ringo) learns some French.
“trying to be the shepherd.” All hell breaks loose at the coffee shop. Vincent is taking a crap while this is happening. Thankully, Jules is in a "transitional period" and no one get shot.
Jules & Vincent at Strip Club/Butch Payoff In the movie, this scene comes in right after Brett is shot. At one of Marcellus's strip clubs, Butch gets paid off to take a fall. Jules & Vincent show up in their t-shirts and flip-flops, with the Mystery Briefcase. Vincent taunts Butch at the bar.
Vincent & Mia Go On A Date
I was never clear whether this was the same day or the next day- I gotta watch it more closely next time.
Piercing: Vincent buys junk Vincent, back in his work clothes plus overcoat, learns more about Jody's (Rosanna Arquette) piercings than anyone needs to know. He also tries some of Lance's best skag. He is doped to the gills when he shows up at Mia's front door.
Vincent meets Mia Vincent picks up Mia at her house. Mia takes a toot of coke for the road.
Jackrabbit Slim’s Mia and Vincent go to Jack Rabbit Slim's, and John Travolta does the "I'm On Drugs" walk all the way around the restaurant.
Twist Contest The funniest thing about this scene is the totally straight face on Vincent while he's doing all those silly dance moves.
Mia OD’s Mia and Vincent arrive at her house, trophy in hand. Just when you think some shenanigans might ensue (QT has certainly led you to believe this), Mia (wearing Vincent's coat) mistakes his heroin for coke and snorts it. And where is Vincent while Mia is snorting the heroin? In the bathroom again, of course!
Adrenaline The only thing worse than screwing Marcellus Wallace's wife (see Tony "Rocky Horror" Rockamora) is killing her with your dope. Vincent panicks and takes her to Lance, who luckily has a shot of adrenalin on hand.
Butch, Fabienne, and The Gold Watch
This story must take place at least one day after Vincent and Mia's date.
Captain Koons Christopher Walken, in Butch's dream, explains where you wear a gold watch while in a POW camp (it's not on yor wrist, that's for sure). Butch wakes up and goes out to fight, and win, despite the payoff.
Esmerelda Villa Lobos After the fight, Butch has one of those enigmatic and mysterious cab rides which only happens in the movies. We learn that Butch spent the payoff money betting on himself to win- the odds were against him winning because Marcellus laid down a lot of cash on (what he thought was) a sure thing. Marcellus, standing over the dead boxer's body, declares they will kill Butch no matter what. English Bob says he'll take care of it. We learn later what a half-assed job English Bob does.
“Donde esta la zapateria?” At the motel, Butch and Fabienne make love, and then shower.
“Where’s my watch?” The next morning. Fabienne is fantasizing about blueberry pancakes and pie, when Butch discovers she forgot to get the watch. Butch shows admirable restraint in not beating up Fabienne.
Pop Tarts: Vincent dies Marcellus' crack team of assassins consists of Vincent, who is in Butch's bathroom (another potty break?) when Butch shows up. Butch shoots Vincent with Vincent's own machine gun. Vincent is unlikely to make it into the Hitman Hall Of Fame after this embarassing incident.
Crash at the Teriaki Donut Just when you think Butch is free and clear, Marcellus crosses the street in front of him, a dozen Teriaki Donuts in hand. Butch runs him over, cracks up Fabienne's Honda. Marcellus is helped off the ground- bystander Kathy Griffin points out Butch. A chase ensues, and they end up in the basement of a couple sexual predators, and The Gimp.
“Bring out the gimp.” Zed and Maynard have no idea who they've got tied up in their basement. In the movies, the hero is never tied to a chair properly. Being tied to a chair is the automatic signal that that person will be escaping soon.
Getting medieval Butch escapes. The only thing worse than betraying Marcellus Wallace on a fixed boxing match, then running him over with your car, then punching him in the face a couple times, is doing all that then leaving him to be sodomized by a pair of maniacs.
“Zed’s dead baby, Zed’s dead.” Butch steals Zed's chopper and picks up Fabienne, who never got her blueberry pancakes.