Ask The LAMB #3

by Jason Soto · August 3, 2012 · Ask The LAMB · No Comments

What’s up, guys? Welcome to the third edition of Ask The LAMB, the ONLY movie advice column you need! EVER!! With that said, let’s get on with it!

Today’s guest contributor is Kristen From Journeys In Classic Film!

Joe From TwoDudeReview Asks:
How do I go about getting DVD/Blu-ray screeners from Studios or other sources to review without having to either shell out a fortune for them, or having to wait for their release on Netflix or at Redbox?

Dylan From Man, I Love Films:
Warner Blu-Ray Elite?  Though you’d have to ask an existing member about how to join, and I passed up on my opportunity to do so.  There’s a serious answer to be found here, but if I didn’t have the motivation to join the Warner program, you can’t expect to have the motivation to Google that for you, can you?

Simon From Screen Insight:

It really depends. Once you have been blogging a while and garner enough hits, you do begin to get a bunch of people offering you screeners and what-not. Though, in my own experience, it has always been pretty low-quality, straight-to-DVD standard releases which – unless its you schtick – you know you’d never watch it if it wasn’t for free. Practically, it is very difficult to create a single-man website that manages to ensure a broad range of hits for quality content. Unless you don’t have a job and can personally fund such a venture it is difficult to garner enough clout for your own website to get the attention of the big studios.

The alternative (and I think this is much better) is contributing to a bigger blog. I write for three blogs (Man, I Love Films, Flickering Myth and TQS Magazine) outside of my own personal blog and all of them have offered me plenty of opportunities to attend screenings for coverage (War Horse, Rock of Ages, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, etc). If you reside in a city-location, you are bound to have plenty of screenings available and you just need a blog with a bit of weight to get you the passes. That way, it forces you to learn from the contributors on the website, learn from the editors and get your hands on quality screeners and press-screenings. One site has a facebook group specifically for its contributors and the editor, when he receives/is offered a screener, he writes on the facebook group “we got a screener for Mirror Mirror – anyone fancy covering it?” or “anybody ok to go to a screening of The Watch?” and, its a case of first-come, first-served. The editor will email you directly if he believes something is your niche – so I wrote a review of a score that was released alongside a re-release of The Lodger, because I have a personal interest in Hitchcock.

If you can attend screenings, they are always great because you never know who you’ll sit next to…

Adam From Invasion of the B-Movies:

Hello Joe,

There are two ways to go about doing this: The Shady Way or The Legitimate Way.

The shady way involves going down to your local crappy flea market or the really trash parts of town and buying bootlegs of movies still in the theater.  As a bonus, you can have the review written months before it will ever see the light of day on video!  Here in Los Angeles, I decided to see how easy it was to get bootlegs, so I went down to Mac Arthur Park with $20.  Not only did I get a bootleg of The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers, but with the money I had left, I got a fake I.D.!  Unfortunately for you, my new name is Joe Giuliano.  Sorry about what’s going to happen to your credit score.

The legitimate way to do this is to ask.  Studios/Distributors usually have some sort of section for the Media/Press on their webpage.  It’s usually at the bottom by the crap nobody cares about like the Terms of Service or Jobs.  Do a little digging, you’ll find it.  Usually, this involves emailing the studio and explaining why you should get free stuff.  A lot of the time they’re going to want some hard data on the number of people who visit your site to make sure that you’re not just some guy trying to scam free movies.  So get that stuff ready.  Also, know that some of the movies you’ll receive are things you wouldn’t voluntarily watch in a million years.  And although some companies send you the exact same Blu-Ray or DVD that you’d buy in the store, some companies send out discs in a mere paper sleeve with warnings about how it’s encrypted and if you try to upload it to the internet, they’ll know it was you and they aren’t above breaking legs.

Hope this helped.

Sincerely,
Joe Giuliano

Anna From Defiant Success asks:
Is there a movie you recommend for any situation?

Matt From ChuckNorrisAteMyBaby.com:

Hi Anna,

I suppose making recommendations for movies that could play well in any situation might be easy if I were to look at commercially acceptable films that have a broad appeal, like Pixar movies, Tinto Brass films or any number of cardboard cutout Hollywood blockbusters. However, I would much rather try to actually give you a few recommendations that aren’t quite so obvious and should also be acceptable, regardless of the situation.

My Bodyguard – This might seem like an odd choice at first glance, but this tale of a defiant teen taking a stand against the school bully (with a little help from the titular bodyguard) can play to just about any audience. My Bodyguard covers a lot of ground, showcasing bits of comedy, action, drama, and even a slightly homoerotic love story, making it a film that can be enjoyed by just about any one in any situation. No matter how old or young you are, or if you’re a man, a woman or someone who’s got a little bit of both, it’s nearly impossible not to stand up and root for the inherently likable good guy, especially when his nemesis is one of cinema’s greasiest assholes (how’s that for a visual?).

Man on Wire – Possibly one of the most gripping and exciting documentaries ever put to celluloid (and certainly one of my personal favorites), Man on Wire is the definition of well crafted storytelling. This true account of Philippe Petit’s high-wire walk between the Twin Towers is filled with nipple biting moments of tension so engaging that anyone watching will be mesmerized by what they have just seen. This is a tale that’s as much about the triumphs of the entertaining and highly energetic Petit as it is a somber love letter to what this moment in time means to the history of the World Trade Center, and it’s all done without an ounce of exploitation for what would eventually come to happen in 2001.

Rear Window – My prerequisite for each of these picks is based on the multiple levels of entertainment that each film achieves, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window successfully hits on numerous cinematic notes. Rear Window is a tense thriller at its core, but like most great Hitchcock films, it’s also filled with generous humor, a dose of captivating romance and simply wonderful performances by the entire cast, specifically that of the great James Stewart and the hypnotically beautiful Grace Kelly. Rear Window is an execution in masterful cinematic technique and artistry, and regardless of the fact that it’s old enough to have wrinkled balls, its sense of style and creativity can still be looked at in astonishment, no matter who is in the audience.

Anyway, there you have it, three very different movies that I think could play well no matter what the situation. Actually, maybe they wouldn’t work well during an orgy. Or even a funeral for that matter. Otherwise, though, I think they should be right as rain.

Sincerely,
Matt-suzaka

Great White Dope From TheGreatWhiteDope’s Mecha-Blog-zilla:

Anna, first of all thank you so much for asking a question that is probably the most thought-provoking and difficult one for anyone to answer, let alone me.

I took the liberty of reading your blog (EXCELLENT subject matter, by the way) and I’m going to go out on a theoretical limb here and venture that yours is not the type of household where you participate in revering the works of Edward D. Wood Jr. or any films from the Asylum Pictures stable.  Fair enough; different strokes to move the world and all that.  But what you ask is a pertinent question for your average film-o-phile.

Say you want to watch a movie.  But you have guests over where you don’t want to offend any moral or sensibilities, younger people so you wouldn’t want to anger their parent or adult guardian with your choice, you certainly wouldn’t want to bore anybody and most importantly – it has to be GOOD.

This is actually an easier question than you may realize to answer.  Ready?

People are different the world over but they are all the same in one respect: everyone loves to laugh.  Therefore, I would go with a comedy, first and foremost.  However I tend to stay far from the more modern comedies – not only are A) most of them not funny, B) lots of them loaded with nudity and that swearing and sexual situations the kids love nowadays, and C) those faux-comedies that pretend to be parodies a la AIRPLANE! but most often are not (like Freidberg and Seltzer’s DISASTER MOVIE, EPIC MOVIE, DATE MOVIE, WHATEVER MOVIE), but a lot of times they D) don’t have good actors in them.

There must be some kind of universal middle ground that everybody can agree on… and there is.

The All-Out Slapstick Farce is always a good call and, safest bet, many can be found in the days when modesty was a benefit, not a liability.  I can readily nominate one right away:

Blake Edwards’ classic 1968 romp THE PARTY.  It features the late great Peter Sellers as an Indian movie extra who, instead of getting fired for screwing up on his first day shooting a major movie, is instead invited to the producer’s exclusive Hollywood party where all manner of slapstick hijinks ensue from beginning to end.  This is quite literally the funniest movie I have ever seen and just writing about it puts a smile on my face.  You can look up clips of it on YouTube and judge yourself (you might even find THE WHOLE movie there too, but you didn’t hear that from me).

And it’s a sure bet that anyone would find this film good in any circumstance, you have the guarantee of a Dope.

Happy watching!

Jason From Invasion of the B-Movies:
I guess I need to know more. I wonder what messed up situation you’re in. I guess I’ll have to make up my own.

Going Through A Break-Up: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I mainly mean the remake because it features more pretty people getting killed and I’m assuming you would date someone pretty. I know I did and it got me through a couple of break-ups. But if you dated a wheelchair bound jerk, watch the original. His kill is pretty awesome.

Plan On Robbing A Bank: Either Ocean’s 11 or the first Transporter. They’ll give you several helpful tips and you’ll learn how to do things as a team. I’m also assuming you’re not doing this alone. IF YOU ARE, watch “Inside Man”.

Finding Out Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend Is Cheating: The Room. It will teach you how to handle that shit.

You Accidently Took A Lot Of Drugs: 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Tree of Life, or Southland Tales . You’ll feel better and maybe you can understand what the fuck you just saw.

You Just Murdered Someone And Now You Have To Get Rid of That Dead Body Before Anyone Finds Out, Including Your Great-Aunt Susan Who Is On Her Way Home RIGHT NOW!-Grandma’s Boy. It’ll make you forget all your problems.

If none of the above pertains to your problem, write in again and be more specific. Otherwise, I hope this helps.

Yahoo User #5 Asks:
Which does Woody look better with his hat off or on?
I like Woody with his hat on because he is a cowboy. He has to wear it at all the time and he doesn’t like to wear without it. Which does he look better with his hat off or on?

Kristen:
When I first got this question I assumed you were talking about director Woody Allen who would look pretty sweet in a cowboy hat!  The man rocks a mean beret too.  Then I realized you meant Woody the cowboy from Toy Story (you did mean him right?).  In that case I’d have to say with his hat.  I mean, think of all the times Woody freaks out when his hat is missing.  Hell, a major plot point of Toy Story 3 is that he’s missing his hat which could be blamed for the toys almost getting incinerated!  In that case I’d say that the entire world could be dependent on Woody wearing his hat, and if the Mayan prophecy turns out to be wrong, I think we can thank your favorite Sheriff for keeping that hat firmly on his noggin.

Nolahn From Bargain Big Review:

Dear Yahoo! User #5,

First, let me congratulate you for being one of the first five users of Yahoo! Surely, that’s no small feat.

Now, to your question: While I, too, like Woody with his hat on, I think we should look at the bigger picture. If Woody was not with his hat, wouldn’t he still be a cowboy? After all, if “the clothes don’t make the man,” then wouldn’t is also be true that “the hat doesn’t make the cowboy”?

As you have aptly pointed out, Woody “doesn’t like to wear without it.” I once felt the same way about a hat — a gray tweed derby cap affectionately known as the Grey (with an “e”) Beret, despite the fact that it was, in fact, not a beret. I wore that hat almost constantly, starting in the 7th grade, for about 20 years. Except for in the shower, of course. That’d be weird.

That hat and I had some good times, but having to wear the hat all the time made the act of wearing it feel more like a job or an obligation than a fun and carefree fashion decision. Then, hip deep into my 30s, I came to a realization: I am just as funny-looking with the hat as I am without it. Which is why my answer to you is, hat on or hat off, Woody would look better with a mustache.

Yahoo! User #6 Asks:
Are movie directors that desperate that they need to put unnecessary nude scenes in their movies?
Not to be prude, but there are many unnecessary nude scenes in many movies. Are they not confident enough about the quality of the movies that they need to put nude scenes to attract men to watch their movies. Some nude scenes in some movies are of course necessary. But nude scenes in some horror movies for example are not! Why put them there? It’s distracting and killing the atmosphere. If you’re not that confident enough in the story quality those movies why do you make them in the first place? Make porn instead I’d be happy to watch em.

Dylan:
I feel your pain.  As much as I heart nudity, it’s superfluous in a lot of movies.  On the other hand, though, think of all of the movies in which you felt cheated because there wasn’t nudity (or enough of it) – sometimes, the universe is just balancing things out.  So the next time you see some egregious nudity, imagine you’re watching Megan Fox being nude in some movie where she had the nerve not to be nude.  It’ll make you feel better, I promise.

Kristen:
There’s several questions within this question so I’ll try to go through each.  There’s a difference between gratuitous nudity in horror and gratuitous nudity in every other genre.  For the most part, gratuitous nudity is relegated to the horror genre because teenage boys like to see boobies (now they can see them in 3D) and it ups the shock factor.  Back in the 1980s the whole point of nudity was to punish bad kids for having sex but now it’s just expected of the horror genre to have a stupid girl feel the need to take a shower whilst a homicidal maniac sits outside.  Sure the nude scene was great for him too.  To borrow from your question itself, yes the directors aren’t confident that you’ll love the story so if they throw in a little T&A at least you can say you saw some naked chicks but don’t remember crap about the plot.  It all goes back to dollars and sense.  How to make your horror movie successful: blood + stupidity + nudity.  We see gratuitous nudity in a lot of films these days including the pointless nudity in Immortals which again, masked the weak story.  As a female, I’m not interested in gratuitous female nudity but if you want to include a naked guy in there I’ll forgive your movie for all its flaws.  In fact in a post-Magic Mike world maybe horror movies will decide to give the ladies something to look at other than a girl brandishing a gun and her hoo-ha in my face in a third dimension.

Jason:
Well hold on there! It’s pointless to have nudity in horror movies? Do you not understand the underlying symbolism in every horror movie ever made, especially ones that feature nudity? Do you not get that Freddy Kruger, Michael Meyers, and yes even Jason Voorhees himself are actually devout Christians just spreading the word of Jesus Christ, our lord and savior? Anytime a “teenager” (AKA someone too young for sex) strips naked and fornicates BEFORE MARRIAGE, Freddy/Michael/Jason comes along, says “JOHN 3:16 BITCHES!” and smites them and banishes them to hell? I mean, I can’t be the only one to see that! These movies are highly religious films that should be watched every Sunday morning in every church across this great country of ours! In fact, when I’m done here, I’m gonna go light some candles, open a bible, pop in “Friday the 13th Part 6” and closely study all the scenes featuring nudity. Very closely. For Jesus.

As to the other part of your question, the reason nudity pops up in other films is because the film makers want people to watch Anne Hathaway movies. They find out people don’t wanna see Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal just talk for two hours unless they want to see if you can die from boredom. So they throw in Anne Hathaway’s tits and suddenly it’s the number one movie in the world! It grosses $800 billion! [Citation Needed] You know what would get me to watch “Crazy Stupid Love”? If Emma showed her Stone’s.

And for the ladies, would any of you watch that movie “Shame”? Probably not. But then you find out Michael shows his Fassbender and suddenly it’s the number one movie at Aunt Millie’s Book Club. So the only reason nudity exists in movies is so boring movies can be watched. Now if you excuse me, I have to go pray for your soul.

Thanks to everyone who sent in questions! If you have a movie related question, problem, or situation and you need our help, email me at invasionofthebmovies@gmail.com. Also, I am again accepting guest contributors, so if you’re interested, and you haven’t sent me an email yet, please let me know. Thanks for reading!
-Jason

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