1. Answer the 11 questions given by the person who nominated you.
2. Nominate other bloggers (up to 11) and give them 11 questions to answer.
The questions look fun, and after a busy couple of weeks, I finally have the time to answer them, so here goes!
1. Are there any movies you like better than the books they were based on?
I first watched the 1995 Sense and Sensibility not long after I'd read the novel, and I was obnoxious in hating on all the ways it differed from the book, but a couple of years ago, I watched the movie again and adored it. Sense and Sensibility is my least favorite Jane Austen novel, and the movie improves upon the book in so many ways. The romance between Elinor and Edward feels real, important and emotional. Colonel Brandon gets to perform a big romantic gesture for Marianne that outdoes Willoughby's, and their marriage feels like one of love, rather than something Marianne settled for because Willoughby didn't work out. Margaret is one of the liveliest, most fun characters in the story instead of just a name mentioned a couple of times. The relationship between Elinor and Colonel Brandon is so sweet and supportive that I almost wish they would have ended up together. I wish the movie included Willoughby's apology scene, but that shot of him longingly watching Marianne's wedding is almost as moving.
I love this movie so much that my copy of the book has the movie tie-in cover, plus I own the screenplay and Emma Thompson's production diaries. The movie is beautiful and witty, and never fails to calm me down and cheer me up. My least favorite Austen novel turned into one of my absolute favorite movies.
2. Have you ever liked a remake better than the original film?
I can think of very few movies where I've watched both the remake and the original, and in all those cases, I've liked the original better, so I'm cheating a bit with my answer.
The second half of the original Star Wars is great--action, banter, fantastic Han/Leia chemistry--but the first half is such a '70s movie that it's painful. Since it's the '70s, every shot lingers at least thirty seconds longer than it needs to. Do we really need to watch the droids cross the desert? Or watch the entire process of them being loaded into that transport van thingy? The movie doesn't really pick up until they free Princess Leia.
The first half of the NPR radio drama is much better, partly because the lack of visuals means that the time is spent on character and plot rather than on lingering shots of the desert. The radio drama has tons of extra details and extra plotlines, since the two-hour movie was expanded into thirteen half-hour episodes. Best of all, Leia's role is expanded so that she's a co-lead with her own plotline--there's an entire episode devoted to her run-ins with icky Empire officials, and we actually get scenes on Alderaan with Bail Organa. In my limited experience with Star Wars, I've learned to judge stories on how well they treat Leia, and this one is near the top of the heap.
The half-hour episode format really fits Star Wars; the short chunks of story end before anything gets too boring, plus the narration at the beginning of each episode helps to keep the plot straight and adds a fun retro feel. I'm not entirely sure I'd say it's better than the movie--their Han Solo is no Harrison Ford, and the final dogfight is much less thrilling without the visuals--but much of this material forms my personal idea of the Star Wars story.
3. What movie do you enjoy introducing other people to?
I have the most fun introducing people to movies that I liked in childhood, preferably ones that are a bit silly so I feel less offended if they don't like them. Things like the Princess Diaries movies or Wakko's Wish.
4. Do you identify strongly with any movie characters?
I identify with Belle from Beauty and the Beast, because I, too, would like to receive a giant library as a present.
5. Do you have any favorite film score composers?
I'm going to be unimaginative and say John Williams. I don't know movie composers well enough to point out any others as specific favorites and, you know, John Williams is the man.
6. What's the oldest movie you've ever watched?
7. What's the newest movie you've watched?
I watched Captain America: Civil War at the movie theater two weeks ago. Hard to get much newer than that!
8. Do you have any favorite movie-watching snacks?
Can't beat the classic: popcorn. A trip to a movie theater always feels disappointing without it. I also like Cherry Coke at the movie theater, and on rare occasions, I'll buy Junior Mints.
9. Whose movie recommendations do you tend to trust?
My dad and I have similar taste in shows and movies. Though lately, I see things before he does, so I'm the one giving the recommendations.
10. What was the last movie you watched?
11. What's the next movie you plan to watch?
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. On VHS. Because I roll old school! (Actually, it's just that the VHS was available when I stopped at the library, and I'm way too embarrassed to request the DVD from another branch). Since The Force Awakens turned me into a Star Wars fan, I'm giving all the older movies another chance, including this one. I plan to watch it for Padme's costumes and fast-forward through as much Jar Jar as I can.
I'll keep the movie theme going with my questions.
1. What was the first movie that you considered your favorite?
2. What's your most recent favorite movie?
3. What's a great "stand up and cheer" moment in film?
4. What's a movie that you feel is underappreciated?
5. What movie character do you feel is misunderstood?
6. Are there any actors whose movies automatically go on your "must-watch" list?
7. What's a movie you initially hated and then grew to love?
8. What's a movie you initially loved and then grew to hate?
9. What's your favorite animated movie?
10. What's your favorite way to watch movies--theater, DVD, Netflix, etc.?
11. What's your favorite way to find new movies--browsing the store, recommendations, random chance, etc.?
I haven't been blogging for very long, so I don't really know enough people to pass on the nomination. So, on the off-chance that anyone reads this and wants to play along, consider yourself nominated and put your answers on your blog or in the comments.