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:

Give Divergent a Chance Snooty Face

Divergent

Sit down kids I want to have a word with you. I’m going to tell you an incredible story, the story of how I met your mother…. Nope, sorry, wrong topic. I want to tell you why Divergent is worth your time and shouldn’t be dismissed as another Hunger Games rip-off. For an introduction to Divergent have a look at my previous post.

First a disclaimer. When I say Divergent is “good” and “worth your time” I mean that it is good relative to other series in this genre and worth your time if you enjoy YA novels set in a dystopian future. This is not going to win Oscars or Man Booker prizes so take your snooty face and get out of here.

Because I believe in consuming any and all media without judgement (HA!) I have read both the Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies. As I have said in the past the Divergent series “are not great works of literature but they are engaging, engrossing, very quick to read, and in my opinion are superior to The Hunger Games.” As Divergent star Shailene Woodley has said the two are as alike as Star Wars and Star Trek; both feature a female lead fighting for freedom in a dystopian future but the journeys they take are very different.

I was not a fan of The Hunger Games and despite it being a quick read took forever to read the first book. It wasn’t until I was faced with overnight coach trips to and from Amsterdam that I found myself isolated enough to consider finishing the trilogy. Sadly in my mind the series just got worse and worse as our “strong female lead” Katniss Everdeen continued to spend her time worrying about boys and having things happen to her rather than take much action herself. For balance I know plenty of people who love the books and these opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the BBC (why would they?). Yes I enjoy the films in their own way but I can’t be sure how much of that is down to the sheer amount of Jennifer Lawrence they involve and the amount of leeway I am willing to give her.

KatnissTris

Divergent is better than The Hunger Games (there, I’ve said it again) because “strong female lead” Tris is strong, female, and leads. Tris makes decisions, takes action, and never passes out during climactic battle scenes. More importantly the Divergent series gets better with each edition. While The Hunger Games declined in quality before boring me senseless in the final book, soon to be two whole films, Divergent not only is at its best in book three but actually explains the myriad of grievances I had in the beginning. Plot holes become part of the plot meaning that what could be seen as a weak opener is made more coherent when the series is looked at as a whole.

The result of this is that you might need to give Divergent a chance even after having seen the first film. Reviews are a little mixed and I am worried that this might turn people off what has the potential to be a solid teen franchise. I haven’t seen the film yet (angry glance at PR agencies) so can’t comment myself but I am pretty confidence that some of the story’s weaknesses will be addressed later on in the trilogy.

Most importantly of all the Divergent book trilogy is being adapted into a Divergent film trilogy meaning that the final book will not be split into two money-grabbing, story-stretching films. I think we can all be thankful for that.

Divergent is in UK cinemas from 4th April 2014 and I need someone to go with.

Close Your Eyes and Everything Will Be 12A*

So far this year two big releases, The Hunger Games and The Woman in Black, have had mere seconds of footage shaved from them in order to drop down from a 15 certificate to the Box Office friendly rating of 12A. What intrigued me about this, rather than the fact that studios are hunting for a 12A rating which makes financial sense, is the fact that the barrier between a 15 and a 12A certificate can be a few seconds of removed or edited footage. Does being three years older make you better able to handle an extra seven seconds of gore?

This got me thinking about the way our bodies naturally censor every film we watch, shaving minutes off the runtime and shielding us from all kinds of images, by blinking. So now the question is whether we blink for long enough during a film to effectively censor it enough for a lower age certificate. That is what we were all thinking, right?

I did a bit of Google investigating and found that we blink 10 times a minute under laboratory conditions and 3.5 times a minute when focussed on something (a film perhaps?). The duration of the average blink is very roughly 0.25 seconds. Are we excited yet!?

The next step in my journey into testing a pointless theory was to pick four films as test subjects. Joining The Hunger Games and The Woman in Black are The Human Centipede II and A Serbian Film; both films having undergone significant cuts to achieve a release at 18 certificate and escape being banned outright. Using the running time for each film I have calculated the total amount of blinking time, under laboratory conditions and for focussed eyes, the average viewer would experience. The results of my calculations are below:

Film Running time Blinking time
(lab)
Blinking time
(focussed)
Amount cut by BBFC
The Hunger Games 142m 18s 5m 56s 2m 5s 7s
The Human Centipede II 86m 50s 3m 37s 1m 16s 2m 31s
A Serbian Film 99m 25s 4m 9s 1m 27s 4m 11s
The Woman in Black 94m 47s 3m 57s 1m 23s 6s

What does this tell us? In reality nothing, but in the delusion you are following me through it means that both The Hunger Games and The Woman in Black could have been released uncut with a 12A rating and our natural eyelid movements would have censored the films dramatically without the BBFC’s help. Staggeringly under laboratory conditions The Human Centipede II could have been released uncut and our blinks would have hidden all the worse of the gore for us! Only A Serbian Film, a truly grim piece of cinema, has too much offensive material for our blinks to take care of.

Taking this even further it is worth considering the fact that for the more scary/gory/extreme films we self-censor even more extensively by clenching our eyes shut, hiding behind coats, and running screaming from the room. When I first saw The Sixth Sense I spent so much time hiding behind a towel, pink and the nearest shield to hand, that I effectively edited it down from a 15 to a PG certificate. I barely saw any dead people thank you very much.

In conclusion: I have too much time on my hands. The BBFC can stop suggesting cuts and just have a BBC Sport style announcer telling viewers when to blink. I stand by my findings 100%.

*Now that you have read the whole thing the title is all the more witty and hilarious, please take a moment to quietly applaud a well written pun.

Out Now – 23rd March 2012

The Hunger Games
It’s the new teen literature film adaptation franchise hoping to charm money from our pockets and get us all giddy about a fantastical world where good struggles against evil. In a dystopian future each year 12 young people are selected to fight to the death for the amusement of everyone else. Kat liked the film calling it “solid and well-made, it’s a satisfying couple of hours of entertainment but it doesn’t stay with you”. If you want to chat to/up a young person make sure you see this.

Act Of Valour
Film about Navy SEALS trying to recover a kidnapped CIA agent. They are making a big deal about having used real Navy SEALS to play the characters but honestly I’d have preferred it if they had used real seals instead. See image above for an idea of what this film would be like.

Wild Bill
Dexter Fletcher (Press Gang/Hotel Babylon/that one time I saw him in Leicester Square) makes his directorial debut with a gritty British drama about a man coming out of prison, having to become a dad and struggling to avoid his old life of crime. With 100% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes they might want to get a better poster or people (OK me) are likely to underestimate it.

The Kid with a Bike (limited release)
Foreign film I want to see alert! A young boy abandoned by his father hunts down one last symbolic link to his father, his bike. He also starts an unlikely friendship (yes, another one of those) with a hairdresser. Clearly I have no real grasp of the plot, something I hope to rectify by actually seeing the film.

The Hunger Games – Review

Having fought off my fellow contributors for the opportunity to review the adaptation of one of the most addictive Young Adult novels in recent memory, I then worried that I’d be forced to say it was tripe. But no! Against all expectations, The Hunger Games is a Good Film. If that’s not enough, carry on reading.

For those not up to date on the latest teen literary phenomenon, The Hunger Games takes place in the dystopian future Panem, where North America currently is. After putting down an uprising in the country’s 12 districts, the ruling Capitol devised the Games as a way of reminding those pesky workers what happens when they get a bit uppity and forget their place. Each year every district, excepting the Capitol itself of course, is required to send one boy and one girl along to a fight to the death. The last standing is then showered in riches to pay for their lifetime of therapy.

We join the action as Katniss Everdeen prepares her little sister, Primrose, for the lottery to pick District 12’s representatives. She assures the youngest Everdeen that as it’s her first time in the pool there’s no way Prim could possibly be picked. I assume you see where this is going. As a result, Katniss immediately steps up to take her sister’s place.

Both uncommunicative and frequently alone, Katniss lacks a lot of dialogue. Yet, she’s brilliantly portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, who carries the film with confidence. She also does a good line in fake smiles – in most reviews, that comment would be a negative but not when playing unsociable Katniss.

For a film about 24 teenagers trying to slaughter each other, there is horror to be had but its 12A rating has sapped some of the punch. The handheld shaky cam does add tension to the hunt and the sound editing was excellent but when a wimp like me is able to sit through that much death without looking away, there’s something missing. This is particularly glaring when, in order to explain why we should be scared of a situation, the action is sometimes forced to pause for some exposition from the commentators.

I’ll reiterate, The Hunger Games is a good film: entertaining, engrossing and emotional without being manipulative. The adaptation is well-judged, the script zips along at pace and as such, it stands on its own two feet – no extra-curricular reading required. Purists expecting Madge to appear or any back story to the Avox girl should probably just stick to the books. Solid and well-made, it’s a satisfying couple of hours of entertainment but it doesn’t stay with you. Instead of dwelling on the cruelty of the Capitol’s rule, or the barbaric actions of some of the kids, I left the cinema puzzling over something I had noticed in the closing credits: There were snake wranglers? When in the film were there snakes?


4 stars = Rather Pleased