Infrequently Asked Questions 2013

Michael Fassbender Pianist

Following the success of last year’s Infrequently Asked Questions I have decided to repeat the exercise in the hopes of satisfying lost Googlers. The concept is simple, I trawl through all the search terms from 2013 that lead to this site and answer any questions people had that they would not have found the answer to on Mild Concern. The only questions I will ignore are people looking for various actors in a state of undress; there is a limit to what I will do for hits.

As with last year the most popular search query was people searching for nude pictures of Michael Fassbender, pictures that sound very similar to how you might describe the above picture… For the full stats on that particular search term see the pie chart at the end of this post.

Did the actors play their instruments in A Late Quartet? The cast studied their instruments to at least look like they were playing them but no, it is not their playing that you hear in the film.

Anyone know the sunglasses Giovanni Ribisi wore in Gangster Squad? Not entirely sure but he is the face of Barton Perreira eyewear. Apparently.

Are there snakes in The Hunger Games? Look carefully in the credits and you’ll find Jonwilder Lee Bartlett credited as “snake wrangler”. But can I remember any snakes? No.

Does After Porn Ends show nudity? Yes. You all asked this last year. IT IS A FILM ABOUT PORN STARS!!!

Does Claire wear a wig in Lost? Not at first but in flashbacks she certainly does and from memory she wears one on the island in later years. Sometimes an actress cuts her hair. Things happen.

How much swearing is in Philomena? Let’s ask the BBFC: “There are two uses of strong language (‘f**k’). Milder language includes the terms ‘bloody’, ‘crap’; ‘fecking’, ‘shit’, ‘shite’ and ‘tits’.”

How much of Philomena is based on fact? Most of it. Philomena is a real woman who was forced to give up her son and did not mention it for fifty years. She was also helped by Martin Sixsmith and they did indeed discover the thing that they discovered in the film. (No spoilers here.) The only thing that was fabricated was that in real life Philomena did not make the trip to America with Martin but followed his progress through phone calls.

Do you need to see Avengers Assemble before seeing Thor: The Dark World? Not really no. So long as you know that Thor is from another world, has an evil brother, and pines for Natalie Portman who is living on Earth then you’re all set.

Natalie Portman Thor wellies? Not so much a question but an oddly frequent request. Here you go perverts:

Portman Wellies

Do you like Doctor Who? Yes thanks, as does Kat, but we didn’t care much for the latest Christmas special. Stephen loathes it though if you’d prefer a balanced view.

Why do people like Doctor Who so much? It is scary, funny, and has a lot of heart. Also, Jenna Coleman is hot.

I don’t get Doctor Who He’s a centuries old alien who travels through time in a spaceship the shape of a police telephone box. The box is massive on the inside and he only has a limited number of lives which was recently reset due to receiving new regeneration energy via a rift in space from his home plant. He likes to travel with an assistant who is normally young, female, attractive and human. What’s not to get?

What is premise of How I Met Your Mother? I’ll take this slow for you. A man. Is telling his kids. How he met their mother. Admittedly he takes his sweet time but it’s not that hard to understand. Maybe they confused you by writing the title in the second person?

Is Lily in How I Met Your Mother bisexual? From the HIMYM wiki: “Lily could be bisexual, this could be proven as she said in one episode that she wants to have a lesbian experience, and that she told Robin she had a great ass. She also admitted to having some romantic dreams about Robin. It stated that whenever she drink martinis she wants to make out with Robin and she has dreams about her when she’s pregnant.”

What are Tim Burton’s Batman movies? Batman and Batman Returns. Now let me introduce you to IMDb, it will save us both some time.

Was The Strangers movie connected to The Cabin in the Woods? Not any more than every other horror film ever made. In many ways The Cabin in the Woods provides an alternative way to watch The Strangers in a non-canon way and those masks are awfully similar…

The Cabin in the Woods The Strangers

What team does Nicholas Hoult support? You asked this last year and I still don’t know. I have tweeted him to ask so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Where does Nicholas Hoult stay at in California? How would I know and why do you care? Stop trying to stalk Nicholas Hoult and get yourself a nice boyfriend instead.

What’s new pussycat? Not much thanks.

What’s the film called that was released on boxing day in 2012? How specific! Grabbers, Jack Reacher, Midnight’s Children, Parental Guidance, Safety Not Guaranteed, and Zaytoun.

What has happened to Cameron Crowe? Since you asked last year he has written and directed a film starring Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, and Rachel McAdams. I’m hoping for another Almost Famous and not another We Bought a Zoo.

What certificate is Pulp Fiction? 18 for strong violence, sex references and hard drug use.

Who did Jon Cryer play in Clarissa Explains it AllHe was never in it but a lot of people seem to think he looks like a grown up Ferguson.

Who are Matt Smith’s parents? There’s a Doctor Who pun to be had but I will ignore it. You can find his mum on Twitter, she likes “all things Fabulous”.

Who is Edgar Wright dating? Not Anna Kendrick. That’s as deep as my knowledge goes.

Social concern about Jurassic Park? Well the first thing to worry about is the misuse of science. The second is OH MY GOD THE DINOSAURS ARE ALIVE AND TRYING TO EAT MY FACE!!!

Rupert Grint’s acting ability? On average about 6.32 out of 10. Source

rupert grint chart

Why is David Cameron such a prick? His upbringing perhaps? Or something to do with having to live with that face 24/7.

Why does Mama DVD have no extras? They’ve put them all on the Blu-Ray to try to make you buy that instead. That aside the film is AWFUL so why are you even buying it?

He loves me he loves me not He loves you!

Is there an alpha gibbon? Yes.

Dancing as a metaphore for freedom in 1984 Footloose First of all that is not how you spell metaphor. Second of all… yes. Footloose is clearly a subtle adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984.

Is Simon Bird in Plebs? No. The lead actor is Tom Rosenthal who stars in Friday Night Dinner with Simon Bird so you were close.

Lead female in Philomena? Seriously?! Who is the lead in Philomena?! Dame Judi Dench you ignorant fool!

Movie with yellow Volkswagen Well Little Miss Sunshine and Footloose both feature a prominent yellow VW. Were either of those what you were thinking?

When is Me Myself and Mum in general release in the UK? Still no idea which is a shame as it was the best film I saw last year. You can get it on DVD though.

Who was Andy Dick’s character in Laputa: Castle in the Sky? He voiced Henri. For future reference let me introduce you to the Internet Movie Database. You’ll love it.

I thought I’d finish by answering a question nobody asked; just what proportion of search terms related to Michael Fassbender’s appendage? The answer is below:

Loving, Hating, and Tolerating
How I Met Your Mother

howimetyourmother

In 2005, I was pushing two American television shows on everyone I knew: one was Veronica Mars, a teen private eye drama, which, after being cancelled in 2007 is on its way back with a crowdfunded film. The other was How I Met Your Mother, a Friends-esque sitcom that’s now into its eighth season and has a ninth (and last) promised. Seven years ago, I was introducing Ted Mosby and co to all my friends, now I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I ever watched the show, let alone still do. What changed?

A quick recap: the slightly shaky premise of How I Met Your Mother is that in the year 2030, a man called Ted Mosby is telling his two teenage children the story of how he met their mother, with a lot of digressions to the varying antics he and his friends got up to while living in New York during their twenties and thirties. (Personally, if I was telling my kids the story of how I met their other parent, I’d skip all the other people I slept with en route but I’m repressed like that.)

Although American and showing a real lack of ethnic diversity amongst its regular cast (apart from Ranjit the taxi driver and Barney’s Brother of Colour), HIMYM did a pretty good job of showing what life was like for western middle-class, urban twenty-somethings in different relationship situations. It had distinctive, easy to like main characters, comprised of long-established couple Lily Aldrin and Marshall Eriksen, serial womaniser Barney Stinson, career-focused Robin Scherbatsky and Ted himself, trying to find The One. It made smart, snappy observations about modern day life and gave them catchphrase-friendly names. It used its format cleverly – in the episode How I Met Everyone Else, Future Ted was unable to remember the name of a girl he dated, resulting in her being referred and addressed to as ‘Blah Blah’ for the whole episode.

HIMYM was one of those rare sitcoms that, for a while at least, didn’t just make you laugh but made you care for the characters at the same time. Lily leaving Marshall made me weepy and when they got back together again, it made me smile somewhere deep inside.

himym-castHave you met Ted? (And Lily, Marshall, Barney and Robin?)

Given the whole premise of the show, HIMYM has a history of potential-mother fake-outs. We questioned whether each woman Ted had a relationship with could be The Mother: Victoria, Stella and Zoey were all possibilities, but it began with Robin. HIMYM’s very first fake-out when way back at the beginning Future Ted told his kids about his first date with “Aunt” Robin.

And in that very first episode was the root of one of things that went sour. I got so sick of the roundabout that was Ted and Robin. We learnt in episode one that Robin was “Aunt” to his children, once round with them was enough to learn why it could never have worked, why did we have to keep seeing them sabotage each other’s relationships? A little bit of foreshadowing works but this tendency has leaked out across the rest of the series. There are now too many incidences of advance knowledge that we are working our way towards, making a lot of plot developments seem pointless.

So, I don’t understand why we had to witness Ted steal Victoria away from her impending marriage, when we knew full well that they were never going to make it as a couple. Or suffer the indignities that Robin is putting herself through to get back together with Barney when we’ve already known for months that she’s going to (I’m ten episodes into Season 8).

Possibly more infuriating than too much advance knowledge given to the viewer, is not enough background established by the writers. Almost every episode features an instance of retconning and it’s very tiresome. Frequently Future Ted tells us about something that the gang “always” did but that we’ve never seen before. The series used to actually build up its plots but when Robin broke up with Nick because he was stupid, there had been no previous examples of his stupidity before that one episode.

The characters I loved so much have become caricatures of themselves. Acceptable personality traits have been exaggerated to the point that I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be part of that group. Ted’s pedantry and snobbishness is no longer just quirky. Robin is shallow, horrible to people and has gone way beyond self-involved. Lily has reached new levels of manipulation of her friends, Marshall is increasingly wet and pathetic – whereas Barney, meant to be the moral vacuum of the group has probably remained the most consistent. Holding him to such low standards means that when he makes a generous and mature action, it’s a pleasant surprise.

I have so many other gripes: how Lily’s bi-curiosity is treated as either a trivial joke or something for the men to drool over; how every single main character has either been left at the altar, broken off an engagement or tried to end someone else’s wedding; the lack of depth to any of Robin’s relationships away from Ted or Barney… so why am I still watching?

Well, familiarity makes for comfort-viewing – it’s the TV equivalent of putting on an old hoodie and it’s not as if I’m putting myself out by trying to keep up with USA pace; I catch up in blocks on 4oD when I’m having a quiet evening. But mostly, it’s because I’ve been sucked in by the whole premise of the show: I’m waiting to find out who the mother is. Even though I expect I’ll be disappointed by however they set about revealing her to us, I just want to know. Which apparently is enough to make me tolerate a once-loved television series that I wish had ended four seasons ago.

And all of this brings me back to the Veronica Mars Kickstarter (you didn’t see that coming, did you?) I’m extremely ambivalent about donating to the project, so ambivalent that I haven’t done so yet. As well as not being thrilled at the idea of paying a media giant for anything other than for my cinema ticket (as previously commented on by Tim), I’m worried that the legacy of a brilliant television series will be damaged by a bad feature-length film. And if something else I once loved is going to be ruined, I don’t want to be personally responsible for it.