Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

The Last Movie Quiz…of 2020, that is…I’ll Do

Well, I’m only a few weeks late for the most recent, but wonderful, distraction to our current pandemic. And once again this was when Dennis posted answers to his own movie quiz a month ago. Rinse and repeat, I reckon. Appropriately enough, this Fall edition carries with it a baseball1 and Halloween theme. So, there’s that.

Among his regular readers, blogger Dennis Cozzalio (he of the wonderfully titled Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule site) is well-regarded for his in-depth film knowledge and the thoughtful essays he gladly shares. The L.A.-stationed Mr. Cozzalio remains one of my long-time reads and his a fellow TCM Film Festival regular2. Plus, his semi-regular movie quizzes remain a joy to answer. Especially during our Love in the Time of COVID, he’s another teed up :


Personally, I regard these as interview questions. But, that’s me. Anyone interested in film or sharing your thoughts are invited to take part. You can paste the questions and craft your answers into Google’s sometimes temperamental Blogger comment system in Dennis’ post or publish your answers on your own blog (if you have one) and leave a comment on his post with a link back to your answers. As Dennis encourages:

“There are only two suggestions, as always:

Be as verbose as you like, remembering that the staff always favors the lengthier response.

If you choose to answer the questions in the comments section below, please copy and paste the questions as well as the answers do readers can more easily reference what insipid query you are responding to. Try to do the same if you choose to answer on the FB page or, if you still have one, your own blog.”

So let’s get to it, shall we…

1) Ricky Vaughan or Nuke LaLoosh? (question courtesy of our main Maine monster, Patrick Robbins)

Ricky Vaughn

I’d prefer it be Nuke LaLoosh, but have more in common with Ricky (and the actor who portrays him) than I care to get into. Changing the subject (please)…

2) Best moment in the Friday the 13th film series.

SPOILER WARNING: Betsy Palmer portraying Pamela Voorhees in the first film’s killer big reveal of the series.

3) Henry Hull or Oliver Reed?

Oliver Reed

Just no question.

4) What is the last movie you saw in a theater?

Nothing has changed since the last movie quiz: The Gentlemen (2020), right before the COVID-19 shutdown of movie theaters in L.A. County earlier in this cursed year. And maybe some have re-opened, but I’m not going back till the pandemic situation stabilizes more than it has3.

5) Best movie casting for a real-life baseball player, or best casting of a real-life baseball player in a movie.

Jim Bouton in The Long Goodbye (1973).

6) D.B. Sweeney or Ray Liotta?

Field of Dreams reference

Ray Liotta, since we’re on a baseball theme.

7) Given that the fear factor in 2020 is already alarmingly high, is there a film or a genre which you would hesitate to revisit right now?

The popular answer, I reckon.

8) The Natural (1984)– yes or no?

Sure, why not.

9) Peter Cushing or Colin Clive?

Peter would also happen to be my favorite Van Helsing.

10) What’s the lamest water-cooler hit you can think of? Of course, define “lamest” however you will, but for “water-cooler hit” Dr. Savaard is thinking about something zeitgeist-y, something everyone was talking about the weekend it opened and beyond, something everyone seemingly had to see—The Other Side of Midnight residing at #1 in 1977 for two weeks is not what the professor has in mind.

This was it for a number of us who survived the ’70s (Andy Warhol’s Dracula less so).

11) Greatest single performance in horror movie history.

So many to choose from, but will give my current favorite the nod:

Lupita Nyong’o in Us (2019)

12) Ingrid Pitt or the Collinson Twins?

Has got to be Ingrid.

13) Name one lesser-known horror film that you think everyone should see. State your reason.

Splinter (2008)

The above little gem. No vampires, werewolves, ghosts, or God-forbid zombies need apply. The film’s idea and concept has not worn out its welcome. As well, Splinter is fast-paced but relies more on the movie’s characters, rather than its special effects, to move it along to a satisfying conclusion.

14) Do the same for an underseen or underappreciated baseball movie.

This ’70s period piece about a group of Negro League all-stars putting together a traveling team to barnstorm the country in the segregated 1930s should be a must-see. With a formidable cast that included the likes of Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Stan Shaw, and Richard Pryor portraying some of the supreme baseball talent denied access to the major leagues due to the color of their skin.

15) William Bendix or Leslie Nielsen?

I give you Lt. Frank Drebin.

16) Would you go back to a theater this weekend if one reopened near you?

Not at the moment.

17) Your favorite horror movie TV show/host, either running currently or one from the past.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

18) The Sentinel (1977)—yes or no?

Oh, Hell YES! And here’s why.

19) Second-favorite Ron Shelton movie.

This criminally underrated thriller, with Kurt Russell giving an under-appreciated performance. Of course, Bull Durham is my #1.

20) Disclaimer warnings attached to broadcasts of films like Gone With the Wind and Blazing Saddles– yes or no?

Yes. Put them in context to the period they were made, highlight the stereotypes each promoted and the ill to society such things caused. And don’t forget to point out the disenfranchisements made to those typecast by filmmakers and Hollywood that still persist to this day. This is part of a larger struggle, and cinema (and those who support it) needs to do its part if we’re to prevail against injustice. Many may argue they are aware of the context and don’t need reminding, or that it doesn’t matter since it’s a movie and not real life. I say we need reminding as there’s much more to be done. And while cinema is great, it’s certainly big enough and can stand up to such scrutiny and criticism to make the art and us the better angels of our nature.

21) In the World Series of baseball movies, who are your NL and AL champs?

Bull Durham (1988) and A League of Their Own (1992).

22) What was the last horror film you saw?

Per my daughter’s recommendation.

23) Geena Davis or Tatum O’Neal?

Has to be Geena.

24) AMC is now renting theaters for $100 – $350, promising a more “private,” catered party-movie experience. What do you like or dislike about this idea?

In this pandemic era, it’s the only relatively safe option (if the venue and participants follow social distance and masking guidelines) for seeing a movie in a theater, IMO. Might be enough to keep a chain afloat, if it proves viable, and most importantly, safe. Sorry, but no movie is worth contracting even a mild case of COVID-19, and/or spreading it inadvertently to others who didn’t even go to the theater.

25) Name the scariest performance in a baseball movie.

Bar none, it’s Alan Tudyk‘s performance as Phillies manager Ben Chapman in 42 (2013). His “unapologetic racist” spends most of his time on screen screaming obscenities at Jackie Robinson, and it is the most chilling thing in a sports-related movie. The reason is we know this behavior is not relegated to the past or to just baseball. It’s still in the very midst of American lives. [while I’ll get off my soapbox, for now, I’m quite adamant for what I’ve expressed here]

26) Second-favorite Jack Arnold movie.

The Incredible Shrinking Man would be first.

27) What would be the top five films of 2020 you’ve seen so far?

Been spending more time streaming classics and/or personal favorites, plus whatever I have on-hand in my movie library, than watching those from this year since I’ve not been to a theater to see first-runs (like more than a few of those reading this). So, among the few, these would be my personal picks:

28) What are your top three pandemic-restricted movie viewing experiences so far in this… unusual year?

  1. Seeing what’s playing at the drive-in.
  2. Mapping the drive-ins in my city.
  3. Asking, “Why aren’t there more drive-ins?”

  1. Let’s hear for our L.A. Dodgers winning the World Series, while we’re at it. 
  2. 2020’s version of the live festival was canceled due to COVID-19, and next year’s will be a virtual event
  3. And given the current exploding cases across the country as I write this, that won’t be anytime too soon. 

7 Responses to “The Last Movie Quiz…of 2020, that is…I’ll Do”

  1. johnrieber

    This is terrific! I plan to jump in and give some answers, as these are terrific questions and/or answers are inspired….as someone who DEVOURED “Ball Four”, the greatest sports book of all time, your choice of Jim Bouton made my day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Claire Packer

    Ohh, I’ve enjoyed reading this, Michael. I don’t know all of the references (being a Brit, not an American) but I completely agree with No 7!

    Not sure if you remember me but I used to love reading your blog years ago. I’ve just published my first blog post after four years away and planning to keep posting 🙂

    Pleased to see you’re still blogging! And I’ll check out Dennis’ blog soon.

    I hope you’re keeping well and staying safe.

    Liked by 1 person


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