Danny Does the Movie Challenge - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Danny Does the Movie Challenge

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site Pre-Code.com

It's my birthday today. Yeah, I've turned 28, yeah, I'm working today, yeah, I'm old.

Yes, to save my friends, loved ones, and people I vaguely recall from college the trouble of suffering through this for thirty days straight, I'm instead posting it here.

1: Favorite Film - Duck Soup - A political satire that's daring in the way it treats its analogues of both Nazi Germany and America, it's infinitely crazier when the Marx Brothers are added to the mix. Relentlessly funny and unendingly silly, Duck Soup is a film that transcends rational humanity and becomes a way of life.

2: Least Favorite Film
- Da Hip Hop Witch - I've watched a great number of terrible and incomprehensible films in my life, but this mishmash of interviews, improvisations, and sheer unremitting vulgarity will always take the cake for me. Oh, and the 'twist' ending is insulting to anyone, even those who ironically like Vanilla Ice. Which, Christ, don't be that person.

3: Favorite comedy - Heathers - Already used up my two Marx Brothers flicks, might as well pick one of my favorite black comedies. Heathers is both a ruthless deconstruction of high school contemporary film wisdom (to be liked and popular are the only aspirations) and most romantic comedies (the mysterious loner is handsome perfect, even though there's probably a reason he's a loner).

4: Favorite drama - Sunset Boulevard - My favorite director deconstructs Hollywood with vitriol and fire. The Franz Waxman soundtrack is great, and the look of this film is immaculate.

5: Favorite action movie - Kill Bill - Yeah, it's pretty much a cliche for film nerds to love this movie, but that includes me. This movie would be followed by "every Jackie Chan movie ever" on my list.

6: Favorite horror - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - A beautiful extension of German Expressionism, and containing some special effects that still look good today. Rouben Mamoullian's direction puts anyone watching into Jekyll's shoes, and creates a terrifying world for the viewer to imagine their own darker impulses out of control.

7: Favorite animated feature - Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer - The Iron Giant is always the one that makes me get all teary eyed, but this is the movie that really opened my eyes to how beautiful film silence can be.




8. Favorite thriller - North by Northwest - Hitchcock's increasingly improbably thriller relies heavily on the charms of Cary Grant, and he caries it off in spade. The scenes between him and Eva Marie Saint are onscreen sexual chemistry at its finest.

9: Favorite musical - Singin' in the Rain -Yeah, gasp, shock, disbelief. There are man things I love in this movie, from the titular singing in the rain to the point where it segues into a ten minute dream ballet sequence all for the sake of one bad joke. And, of course, Gene Kelly can dance.

10: Favorite foreign film - Amelie - I don't like spreading this around much, but foreign films usually leave me feeling distant, which is fine when the movie wants that, not so much any other way. I also usually have trouble with foreign comedies since humor is such a cultural  thing, but Amelie is the exception.

11: Favorite kid's movie - Up - And, no, it's not because of the growing old montage. When I was a wee one, I, too, was a dinky little boy scout. Getting to vicariously live through this adventure, flawed as it may be, is a treat.

12: Favorite love story - Annie Hall - Pretty much describes my ideal sort of comedy: reality tinged with pain. This also describes Shaun of the Dead! No, really!

13: Favorite chick flick - My Best Friend's Wedding - Yeah, I know. This is a strangely brilliant mixture of highbrow romantic comedy and something a bit darker has some great music and great acting. It's the rare romantic comedy that keeps all of its characters real, and, since it stays true to its characters, it's one of my favorites.

And that preview image for the video below is terrifying.


14: Favorite documentary - For All Mankind - I just looked at my shelf and realized that this is the only non-film documentary I own. And why would I put a film documentary on here? That's cheating, really.

15: Favorite play adaptation - Inherit the Wind - A re-imagining of the Scopes Monkey Trial, this is one of those all-talking, all-speeching film that sets Creationists against science in a sweaty Tennessean courtroom. Spencer Tracy was never better.

16: Favorite book adaptation - Murder My Sweet - My other favorite noir, Dick Powell (who's one of my favorite actors for this and the cheekily adorable Gold Diggers series) is the definitive Phillip Marlowe. His tale here is twisted enough to keep things suspenseful, and the visual touches that Edward Dmytryk sprinkles the film are striking.

17: Least favorite book adaptation - The worst adaptation is still interesting enough in its decisions to justify its existence.

18: Film that is your guilty pleasure - Josie and the Pussycats - The first movie I ever drove myself to see in the theater, and, because of the film's extensive unpopularity, one of the few films I've seen completely alone in the theater. It's also a fun, weird movie with an adorable performance by Rachel Leigh Cook at the center. I've had the poster for this since it came out, and it still proudly hangs in my living room.

19: Film that made you cry the hardest - Iron Giant - I'm not much of a crier in general, but the end of this film gets me every time.

20: Movie with your favorite actress - Double Indemnity - Barbara Stanwyck is the only actor or actress who gets a whole shelf in my DVD collection. A fiery, independent woman and one of the few women in Hollywood who maintained their fiery personality after the Pre-Code era, she will size any man up and can instantly tear him down. This, Ball of Fire, and The Lady Eve all contain her at the pinnacle of her considerable charms.

21: Movie with your favorite actor - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? -Richard Burtonhas a demeanor that could melt steal.

22: Movie you wish you could live in - I'm actually pretty good with reality, thank you.

23: Movie that inspires you - Elvira: Mistress of the Dark - At some point, in our culture's history, someone saw fit to make a PG-13 rated family comedy based on a horror film host who had enormous breasts. And they spent fifteen million dollars on this. I live every day in awe of this fact.

24: Movie with your favorite soundtrack - Young Girls of Rochefort - A candy infused trip through idealized romantic love, Michel Legrande's downright zippy soundtrack is a pleasure to listen to over and over and over again. A good example of the music and look can be found here.

25: Movie with the most beautiful scenery - Roman Holiday - I've written extensively about this one before, but to simply summarize: a thing of beauty is a joy forever.

26: Movie you're most embarrassed to say you like - Shouldn't this also constitute as my guilty pleasure? If I had to answer, I'd probably say friggin Gidget, a syrupy cutesy teen movie from the 50's that has nothing redeeming sans the actors' charms and the joy of surfing enshrined within.

27: Movie with your favorite villain - The Seventh Seal - If you ask me, that death guy is pretty damn scary.

28: Movie with your favorite hero - Sherlock Jr - I suppose I could just go with 'Buster Keaton' in general here, since he's always the most stoic but determined bastard in the world, but his turn as both the poor projectionist and the titular Sherlock Jr. is immensely charming and sweet.

29: First movie you ever remember watching - Now, I don't actually remember watching it, but I remember what happened afterward. I was watching Short Circuit when I heard some swearing from the other room. My dad had injured himself installing a screen, and exclaimed, quite loudly, "SHIT!" I ran into the room and looked puzzled. "Shit? No shit! Where see shit?!"

... this is quoting the movie, for those of you lacking encyclopedic knowledge of Short Circuit for some reason.

30: Last movie you watched - The Trip - My review will be up on Friday. It was fun!

Speaking of trips, thanks to everyone who made my 27th year on this planet a good one, and thanks for reading this site. Let's hope I mysteriously stop aging and live forever, shall we? Thanks!


Posted by Danny

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  1. Nice list, but isn’t the category “Least Favorite Book Adaptation” not “Least Favorite Book Adaptation That’s Not Worth Discussing In The Slightest”?

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