As I’m fairly new to blogging, this first Liebster Award is both a surprise and a burden. A surprise as I don’t exactly know what they’re for, and a burden in the sense that in searching for those to nominate to continue this chain I’ve read countless new blogs that all seem absolutely worthy of your readership but I’m limited to just a small number to pass this on to. It must be said that I’d nominate The Marcko Guy in return, but as he nominated me I’d be putting him back into a cycle of responding that I think might be burdensome to him too. It’s always lovely to receive support from anyone whether anonymous or otherwise, so it’s with many thanks to The Marcko Guy for my award, and is hopefully the start of further involvement from me with other blogs than just mine. It’s an eye-opener to the online blogging community that I’m glad to have received.

Now, on with the questions that have been posed to me:

1. Is there a movie remake that you actually think is good?

Absolutely. Two of my favourite films are untouchable remakes that bettered the original in every conceivable way: David Cronenberg’s The Fly, and John Carpenter’s The Thing. There’s also a handful that aren’t just ‘good’ remakes, but genuinely wonderful reimaginings in their own right: the musical update of The Little Shop of Horrors is far more entertaining than its predecessor, and the winding complexities The Departed are thrilling in ways that Infernal Affairs wasn’t. Of course, there exist remakes that are hideously pointless, but there are much worst trends in cinema than this: if the remake is shit, then it may turn a whole new audience toward the original. Just because The Thing (2011) exists, doesn’t mean I have to watch it, and hopefully, someone – who either took pleasure in it or loathed it – sought out the 1982 version and discovered a new favourite film.

2. You’re gonna be stuck in a prison cell for a long time, name three books that you’d bring with you to pass the time.

One, I hope it’s not for life, and two, I’m not much of a book reader. I suppose I’d take three books that have been recommended to me but I’m going to cheat and choose massive tomes because if I’m in for life then I want ones that take an inordinate amount of time. I’d go for Mark Z. Danielewski’s ‘House of Leaves’ because it looks baffling and therein is the reason I’ve still not read it; Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’ series because – again – it’s a massive series and King is a largely entertaining author, even with his shittier ones, and maybe David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’ for the fact I’ve had it recommended multiple times. Instead, just give me a kindle with loads of little books downloaded to it, that should count as one.

3. Are there any movie adaptations that you think are better than the book it’s based on?

This is a tricky one because the adaptations that I love are mostly just perfect companion pieces and no better or worse than their source novel. No Country For Old Men plays like a script that the Coen’s transposed onto screen perfectly (save for one understandably omitted scene) and American Psycho is the best-timed adaptation of a consistently repulsive novel, had it been released later, it would have been far more graphic and shocking, but it matches the dark humour of the novel perfectly without being gratuitous. For pure emotive resonance, I’d choose Stand By Me as the best adaptation. While the book – Stephen King’s The Body – is faultless, it just can’t match the film for the sheer brilliance of the cast of young actors and the general joy I felt with its coming-of-age narrative. 

4. Best/Worst film you’ve seen so far that came out this year?

This is the first year that I’ve had to quality control my cinema trips as I’ve actually had to pay (working in a central London cinema had numerous perks) and so luckily I’ve not experienced any truly terrible films released this year, so to avoid just putting an average film down as the worst, I’ll just comment on the best: a toss-up between the heartbreakingly brilliant Room and the similarly titled furiosity of Green Room. I hope this year I struggle with making a Top 10 Worst list.

5. Should the United states presidential campaign of 2016 be called Tron or Clump?

‘Tron’ reminds me – obviously – of Tron: a frankly boring 80s sci-fi and its bloated, shitty sequel Tron: Legacy. ‘Clump’ reminds me of The Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps, which is far from brilliant, but this scene in the restaurant is pure comic perfection and shouldn’t be ignored because of the rest of the film. So: ‘Clump’.

6. What was your favorite toy as a kid?

Before N64 changed my childhood and turned me into a gamer, I was mostly obsessed with Star Wars (I had dozens and dozens of replica X-Wings and Tie Fighters) or Mighty Max: a series of Polly Pocket-style playsets with a horror theme. Some were massive, like this one, and others were pencil toppers – known as Dread Heads, like these. All of them were absolutely badass and just by looking them up again I’m now toying with the idea of re-igniting my collection.

7. Global warming: Scientific fact or total bullshit?

Scientific fact. There’s proof literally everywhere.

8. Is there a song that always gets you emotional/makes you cry?

After the death of a friend, a lot of music can make you emotional.

9. What’s your favourite documentary film?

There are some questionable gems such as All This Mayhem, The Thin Blue Line and The Act of Killing, but Paradise Lost – a 9-hour 3-parter (and it’s sort-of companion piece West of Memphis) is an unreal, unflinching, and infuriating look at the justice system that was documented in a way that fans of Making a Murderer would lap up. It’s genrally the one that I recommend without fail, and hopefully it’ll turn more people toward it.

10. Cats or dogs?

Dogs. Unequivocally.

11. What is your most anticipated movie of 2017?

Considering I’m allergic to superhero films and comic book adaptations, 2017 doesn’t offer a great deal of choice, so for pure cinematic popcorn entertainment, I’ll go with Fast 8 because that franchise is stupidly entertaining in it’s knowingly ridiculous flourishes and its completely bonkers and implausible action set pieces. That, or Star Wars: Episode VIII purely because Rian Johnson is the most exciting director that the franchise has ever had.

And now, the nominations for those who deserve The Liebster Award and should answer my series of questions. As I said before, there were quite a few that I read in preparation for my response, but most have all recently had an award, so even though there are a bunch more worth your time, I’ll give those guys a break and choose six.

Film and Nuance
On The Screen Reviews
Drew’s Movie Reviews
The Sixth Station
Motion Picture Blog
Sporadic Zoe

1. Talk about your favourite cinema, where is it and what does it do that’s so much better than the rest?

2. 35mm or digital?

3. Home or cinema?

4. Name the most obscure film you’ve seen. How did you discover it and what could you say about it to get other people to watch it?

5. Think of your favourite director who no longer works (either dead or living) and what you’d like to see them do if they could make one more film.

6. Ever had an idea for a film of your own?

7. What’s are your favourite TV shows: one that is finished, and one that is currently airing?

8.What’s your favourite trope in media? Mine, for example, is where someone traces their finger on a map or in a book and then double-taps something of importance to the story.

9. If you could wipe any song from history, what would it be?

10. What helps you maintain creativity?

11. Why do you write?

Thanks again to The Marcko Guy for the award, and be sure to check out each of those I’ve nominated as they’re all worth your time for in-depth reviews, amusing features, and smartly written opinion pieces.

Until next time!