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:

Out Now – Boxing Day 2012

Back to the Doctor Terminator Not Guaranteed

Jack Reacher
Tom Cruise plays Tom Cruise as a pint-sized version of lots of people’s favourite literary detective famous for being tall and not at all like Tom Cruise. The plot involves a trained military sniper who presumably will fail to shoot Jack Reacher on account of expecting him to be a foot or two taller.

Parental Guidance
Hideous looking family comedy about two grandparents (Billy Crystal and Bette Midler slumming it) struggling to babysit their grandchildren. That really is the entire plot. If this were based on my childhood it would be me and my sister sitting watching Grease/Sound of Music/Seven Brides for Seven Brothers/The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone while my Grandma cooks us some bacon.

Safety Not Guaranteed (limited release)
Indie comedy about a potentially crazy man who thinks he can time travel and the journalists who investigate his story. Kat found the film funny and touching but ultimately called it “indie comedy drama by-the-numbers“. Just to be sure I wandered along to a press screening and I agree with Kat. Good old Kat.

Grabbers (limited release)
What appears to be a comedy film set in Ireland in which aliens/monsters invade and the locals head to their local. With the invaders allergic to alcohol the only way to survive is to get drunk.

Midnight’s Children (limited release)
Salman Rushdie gets his first film adaptation (we all remember our first don’t we?) and even gives narrating a crack with this story of two children born as India gains independence and growing up in a country different from the one their parents remember. The children are born at midnight rather than the children of someone called Midnight (I just gave it a Google, you’re very welcome).

Zaytoun (limited release)
“Beirut, 1982: a young Palestinian refugee and an Israeli fighter pilot form a tentative bond in their attempt to make their way across war-torn Lebanon back to their home.” Ladies and gentlemen, we have a film featuring an unlikely friendship! That make 256 this year.

Safety Not Guaranteed – Sundance London Review

Sundance has come to London! We were excited when we heard the news, even though it felt a long way off at the time. Yet over a year later, the spiritual home of American indie cinema really has ventured out of Utah for four days in our capital, albeit in the Millennium Dome O2. This government white elephant turned massive marketing exercise is not a venue that fosters a feeling of independent filmaking and it was quickly evident that Sundance has heard this criticism a lot: during his introduction to Safety Not Guaranteed, festival director John Cooper declared that a lot of people had asked why the O2? He gestured at the gigantic (and Sky sponsored) screen behind him. “Look at this screen! Films look amazing on it and that makes filmmakers happy.” Which is all very well if you’re in the perfect seat but scant comfort when you’re craning up from the fourth row. Oh well, moving on, what about the film?

Before the screening, director Colin Trevorrow claimed that Safety Not Guaranteed is a film that embodies the spirit of American indie filmmaking. Describing the fight to get movie financing as an example of the American can-do attitude in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances, that same attitude is shown by one the story’s main characters. Which makes it a real Sundance film.

Wanted: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.

Darius (Aubrey Plaza) is your disaffected, wise-cracking cynic who is making no money interning at a magazine. When the above ad appears in the classifieds, one of the journalists, Jeff (Jake M. Johnson) – cheekily lovable douche – pitches it as a potential story and takes Darius and another intern, Arnau (Karan Soni) – socially-inadequate Asian nerd – to check it out. On arriving in the Washington coastal town that is their destination, Jeff sets off to track down an ex from when he was 18 and leaves the interns to do all the legwork. Through this they find Kenneth (Mark Duplass), who apparently really is convinced he can travel back in time, and it’s up to Darius to get past his guard and dig out the real story. In a nice touch, during the post-film Q&A Trevorrow revealed that the original writer of the real classified ad appeared in a cameo role.

safety not guaranteed cast

Apart from Kenneth, who stands apart as a fascinating soul, you’ve seen these characters often, although with the slight twist that almost everyone acts as if they’re teenagers stuck in adult bodies. Which at one point I thought was going to be an actual plot twist in the naively sweet Kenneth’s case, so fixed is he on past slights and childhood traumas. But no. Regret has taken over all the characters to such an extent that their personalities all seem cemented in the past in some way. This is particularly evident in selfishly hedonistic Jeff, who appears determined to force Arnau into making the same mistakes he did.

While each character’s arc is disappointingly predictable, so are the film’s basic values – you know the ones:

  • No matter how smart you might be, to get the girl, you absolutely must play a musical instrument as well
  • To have a fulfilling life, get over your inhibitions and just get laid, it pretty much doesn’t matter who with
  • The lie that is the foundation for the situation you are in will be found out but will ultimately be forgiven if you feel bad enough about it
  • If you’re responsible enough to actually think about the consequences of your actions, you are the enemy of free-spirit and should be rejected

The premise is a fun and genuinely intriguing one and there are real laughs and touching moments but this low-budget HeKniSciFi brings few surprises. It’s a gentle narrative, smoothly put together so it was a surprise that the ending, with the most ineffective special agents I have ever seen on screen, was suddenly too clunky to bring any actual tension to the conclusion.

The whole piece is well-acted and Aubrey Plaza carries the film comfortably but charming as it can be, Safety Not Guaranteed is indie comedy drama by-the-numbers.

3 stars

Safety Not Guaranteed – Trailer

As re-watching all of Battlestar Galactica has stolen all of my valuable blogging time, allow me to plug the gap with a trailer.

Safety Not Guaranteed is adapted from a wanted ad and internet sensation. You can read all about this particular meme over at KnowYourMeme.com but I have shamelessly stolen the ad itself and placed it below:

The film follows three journalists investigating the man behind the ad and is exciting for the following reasons:

    • Aubrey Plaza – Scott Pilgrim and Parks and Recreation actress finally gets a leading role
    • Jake M. Johnson – A harmless version of Mark Ruffalo who gets bonus points simply for sharing screen-time with Zooey Deschanel in New Girl
    • Time Travel – Whether it happens or not time travel is always a draw
    • Time Travel (again) – If they do actually manage to time travel this could well be some Heavy-Knitwear-Science-Fiction, more on that next week.

And now for the actual trailer because that’s what you want to see and I have to do some work now: