What kind of movie are you?

September 19, 2007

People say (perhaps more often than is necessary) that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but can you judge people by what movies they like, or even by what type of movie they most resemble?

I’ve compiled a list of popular movie genres and the telltale signs that someone might be starting to identify with that genre a little too much. See anyone you know?

Action

When falling through a glass window, do you:

a) Start screaming.

b) Pray.

c) Shout a witty comeback to the man who pushed you while pulling on the ripcord to your backpack parachute.

You live by the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. Or if not prepared, you always, always act like you are – and improvise (if you don’t think that Kleenex is a potential weapon, this is not the category for you). A man (or woman) of few words, you have a gift for phrases that are catchy and memorable, and, of course, almost improbably timely. Your voice is often a bit gruff from years of some sort of addictive habit and/or being knocked down perhaps one too many times by black-attired anonymous assassins.

You have perfect aim and an uncanny ability to distract enemies to the point where their own aim is nonexistent. You have very strong feelings about monologuing, especially by scheming loner types with weird, five-minute-long laughs. Unfortunately, you’re probably not great at long-term relationships, but on the bright side, you have almost no trouble finding temporary flings. Finally, you’re barely ever wrong (or won’t ever admit that you are) and you don’t like being told what to do, except, shall we say, by more “aged” citizens, particularly ones wearing expensive suits. And if you do find someone to trust and possibly even love, you’re fiercely loyal.

If you answered c to the question, the above description matches your personality and you can picture every possible escape route from the place you are now, then you’re most definitely Action.

Movies you should watch: Die Hard, Indiana Jones, James Bond, Bourne, The Matrix, Robocop, anything with Arnold Schwarzenegger (and probably almost everything on this EW list).

Horror

When leaving a party to go home late at night, do you:

a) Call a car service.

b) Tell your friends you don’t need their help and walk home alone, preferably only taking poorly lit streets and dark alleyways.

c) Grab pepper spray, a bullet-proof vest and your three, ex-Secret Service bodyguards and walk down as many brightly lit, heavily populated sidewalks as possible.

A bit naive and trusting, you tend not to be very suspicious (or even aware) of what’s going on around you. You commonly forget to lock, or just close, the door and/or you don’t think twice about telling a mysterious stranger which door you leave unlocked at night. You really like the phrase “I’ll be right back.” You carry around a grainy, digital camera – just in case. You or someone close to you might also be one or more of the following: a bully, a very attractive woman, a frequent babysitter, someone who is sexually active, a jerk, an insensitive tourist, someone who likes to take daring, out of the way trips, a corporate and/or rich snob.

If you answered b, the above description matches your personality and your phone is ringing right now, then you are Horror.

Movies you should watch: Halloween, The Exorcist, Psycho, Carrie, Silence of the Lambs, Night of the Living Dead, Alien, 28 Days Later (and, for some levity, Shaun of the Dead)

Lifetime Original Movie

You are:

a) Male.

b) Female.

You like long walks on the beach and watching the sun set. You are really attracted to obviously bad and seriously sketchy men. You can be a bit jumpy at loud noises and are often paranoid about sounds coming from outside the house, but probably for good reason. You have unfortunately suffered many, many personal, professional, family, and romantic tragedies in a very short span of time. You have a mentally unstable twin and/or a murderous family member and/or a traitorous best friend. Most importantly, however, you firmly believe that you can always learn to love again and that if you believe in yourself, everything will work out all right in the end. Requirement: you must currently have or have had, or know someone with, amnesia.

If you answered b, the above description matches your personality and you have Kleenex and a pint of ice cream handy, then you are a Lifetime Original Movie.

Movies you should watch: Sleeping with the Enemy, anything on Lifetime that stars Meredith Baxter-Birney and Tori Spelling, and other movies in this EW Lifetime Movie article (and go here to create your own Lifetime movie title!)

Romantic comedy

You are engaged. Do you:

a) Happily plan your wedding and future with the man or woman of your dreams.

b) Unconsciously sabotage your own wedding while secretly dreaming about the guy or girl who recently appeared in your life.

c) Never agree to get married in the first place.

You either have a very eligible (and single) good friend of the opposite sex (but you just don’t see them that way), or you know absolutely no one of the opposite sex. You are not known for your long-term relationships. On the other hand, you are an excellent internal monologuer.

You deal with relationship woes and/or self-esteem issues by talking to your quirky, self-deprecating, not-unattractive-but-not-competition friend(s), although you don’t often follow his or her (or their) advice. You might like to go out to parties (when your friends insist), but more often than not you prefer to be a homebody. You might also be dealing with some difficult personal style issues.

If you answered b or c (this one could go either way), the above description matches your personality and you’re planning to be at the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day, then you’re a Romantic Comedy.

Movies you should watch: You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Pretty Woman, While You Were Sleeping, When Harry Met Sally…, Roman Holiday, The Philadelphia Story

Comedy

You are at a restaurant for a job interview, do you:

a) Arrive right on time, fully prepared.

b) Arrive a bit late (volunteering at that soup kitchen took a bit longer than expected), apologize profusely, and proceed to wow them with your eloquence and graceful manners.

c) Arrive ten minutes late (your pet ferret got loose), trip and spill hot soup all over your new suit, go to the bathroom to wash and blow dry your pants/skirt, run into your interviewer there while you’re in your underwear, and then belatedly realize they’re not the bathroom attendee after you’ve handed them some change.

A bit of a klutz, you are frequently physically awkward around the opposite sex and/or their family and friends. A man or woman of perhaps too many words, you commonly end up referring to somewhat inappropriate parts of the human anatomy, whether on purpose or tragically by accident. Normal, everyday situations just don’t seem to go your way – in fact, they often seem to go horribly, horribly wrong. You are one of the following: a parent with a very large family, a young guy in high school/college (literally or spiritually) who has lots of similarly-minded friends, an eeevil dictator, a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be…, someone who is not very sexually active, an acerbic New Yorker, a worker with a very boring profession or a job that caters to highly annoying, preferably snobbish customers.

If you answered c, the above description matches your personality and you have already spilled your morning coffee in a very inconvenient place, then you are probably a Comedy.

Movies you should watch: Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wedding Crashers, Office Space, There’s Something About Mary, Annie Hall, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Airplane!, Some Like It Hot, Blazing Saddles, Caddyshack, National Lampoon

Independent films, preferably with subtitles

In your spare time, you:

a) Listen to classical or otherwise obscure musical recordings and finish up your own translation of “Crime and Punishment” while nibbling on some bread made fresh that morning by the local baker (whom you know by name).

b) Go on a pub crawl with some friends, crash when it’s getting light out and then wake up at 4pm.

c) Play games on your Xbox.

You like talking. A lot. Or at least writing or otherwise expressing yourself artistically in a very deep and passionate way. Unfortunately, you are not often happy – but more as a way of life rather than as a mood. You care deeply about sociopolitical issues and/or are a keen observer of human behavior. You like slow walks through forests or sitting by the fire in old country estates. Requirement: you must love to read, particulary books that are bound in leather.

Movies you should watch: Any miniseries on Masterpiece Theatre, Merchant Ivory films, Marcel Pagnol movies, Before Sunrise/Sunset, Stranger than Paradise (and check out Empire Magazine’s list of the 50 greatest independent films)


Bond vs. Bourne

August 17, 2007

With the recent release of The Bourne Ultimatum, and the remaking of the Bond franchise, there’s been a lot of talk (well, among my friends at least) about which über-spy is better – or, what we really care about, which one could take the other.

So who’s better? The all-American ex-government spy – rough, relentless, anti-establishment, monogamous, and tormented – or the British gentleman playboy – loyal to the government, tricked out with space age gadgets and Aston Martins, and a girl in every hotel room?

Here’s how the two spies stack up according to various online sites:

TIMES UK

[W]ho would win in a fight? Bourne is an expert in krav maga, the martial art used by Mossad. In close-quarter fighting he’s deadly. Sadly, that would be no match for Bond, who could press a button and dispatch Bourne with a harpoon through his fisherman’s jumper.

MSN.COM UK

Distracted by his need to come up with a witty bon mot to start the fighting, Bond is staggered when Bourne goes straight for his jugular. Bond buys some time by asking Bourne who he is and wrestles the angst ridden everyman to the floor as he ponders life’s mysteries. Bourne’s vicious response is to pick up a handy sporting implement and try to hit Bond between the legs; ‘That’s just not cricket’ counters the Brit, gesturing towards the bat. Bourne goes in for the kill but is blinded by the laser in Bond’s watch and is kicked from the building. “That’s MY Bourne Ultimatum”, says Bond.

BBC (also includes a point-by-point comparison of the two men)

Arguably Bond is a Sixties cliche, with an unhealthy dependence on wine, women and high-tech gadgets. That said, he is probably a lot more fun than Bourne…

MSNBC

Spy vs. spy: Bourne tops Bond.

…Unlike Bond, who clearly enjoys his job too much considering the omnipresent wry smile on his face (regardless of which actor is in the tuxedo at the moment), Jason Bourne never smiles…

At one point [in The Bourne Ultimatum] when Joan Allen, who reprises her role at CIA director Pamela Landy, questions the wisdom of “black ops,” her CIA counterpart (played by David Strathairn) scolds her: “you know we need these programs.”

Many people in the United States government and around the world would agree. In 2007, it’s where we are as a nation. It’s also the reason why Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne has just eclipsed James Bond as cinema’s top new secret agent. Instead of a detached spy for a Cold War, Bourne is a conflicted man for our complicated age.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Sure, for a long time, Jason was the hands-down winner. After all, The Bourne Identity introduced a much more visceral, energetic, edgy kind of spy thriller to audiences in 2002 — the same year in which my man Pierce Brosnan’s 007 went out with a whimper in Die Another Day. But then, all of a sudden, unexpectedly, as if out of nowhere, Daniel Craig thoroughly reinvigorated the James Bond franchise last year with Casino Royale, a film that certainly owed a huge debt to the Bourne flicks — but, in my opinion, exceeded them.

So, that’s right, my vote’s for James.

USER ON ROTTEN TOMATOES:

Bond walks into battle each time with a full briefing of who he is facing and an endless array of weapons and gadgets at his disposal. Bourne has a frayed memory and a pistol….yet still comes out on top.

Bourne kills Bond any day of the week.

And Bourne himself, Matt Damon, says (from CNN):

“It’s tough. I wouldn’t bet against Bourne,” Damon said. “Bond had all those gadgets, though.”

Also available: AOL Movies slideshow comparing the two superagents.

With all this in mind, I have to say, with movies like Alien vs. Predator already released, can a Bourne vs. Bond blockbuster be far behind?


Quotes

August 16, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

JASON BOURNE: This is Jason Bourne.

NOAH VESON: I was wondering when you were going make this call. Perhaps we can arrange a meet.

JASON BOURNE: Where are you now?

NOAH VESON: I’m sitting in my office.

JASON BOURNE: I doubt that.

NOAH VESON: Why would you doubt that?

JASON BOURNE: If you were in your office right now, we would be having this conversation face-to-face.

For Bond vs. Bourne, go here.


The Bourne Ultimatum

August 13, 2007

When I first saw the Bourne Supremacy, I must admit that I was a bit shaken by its jerky filming. I even came out of it with a bit of headache, an event I particularly remember because when I exited the theater, they were handing out free samples of Advil. Coincidence?

This time around, I barely even noticed it. A friend of mine told me the film made her a bit nauseous, but, perhaps due to the current prevalence of handheld-style filmmaking, I found the style more exciting and engaging than anything else. If you find that style difficult to watch however, you might want to skip this latest installment.

You’ve gotta hand it to the team behind the Bourne movies. They somehow consistently manage to put out interesting, quality action thrillers – and, in my opinion, that is no humble feat. Personally, I love action movies (and yes, I know I said I’m an Austen junkie as well. What can I say? I’m half tomboy, half closeted 19th century society girl). I still get choked up when Harrison Ford yells “Get off my plane!” and I can’t avoid a gleeful grin watching Brendan Frasier save Rachel Weisz from the Mummy for the fourth time (okay, ninth or tenth time…okay, maybe more, I’m not sure). However, as any action junkie can tell you, it’s not easy to consistently make action blockbusters that continue to thrill (see: The Mummy 2).

This installment of the Bourne franchise starts off where the last movie ended, and I mean that literally. Remember when Matt Damon’s Bourne visited that Russian girl and then limped away into the snow-covered horizon? Well, at the start of this movie, he’s a few limps further down the road. This serves to set the tone for the rest of the movie. Bourne visited the girl to help atone for past sins and The Bourne Ultimatum is all about delving deeper into Bourne’s troubled past – who is Bourne really? what’s with all the flashbacks? does he get tired of brooding?

But let’s face it, what we really want to see from this movie is more of Bourne’s cool-handed a**-kicking. And there’s plenty of it here. The movie is essentially one long decathalon, comprising car and motorcycle chases, rooftop long jumps, fancy walking maneuvers, swimming, and sprinting through the streets of Moscow, London, Madrid, Tangiers, and New York (leading to one particular, and unfortunately somewhat incorrect, New York address, as The Gothamist pointedly observes. Note that this link contains spoilers, so don’t go here if you don’t want to get details on the movie’s plot.).

In other words, go for the heart-stopping action. Go back again for the solid acting, good characters, conspiracy-laced plot, and yes, just to watch Matt Damon pull that nifty “the call is coming from inside the house” trick again.