Ken Jennings

Message Boards

The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

The place to talk. "On topic"? "Off topic"? We make no such petty distinctions here.

The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Neel Mehta » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:07 pm

(I'm working on a 2015: The Year in Trivia. There's a good idea and format there, but I just don't love the questions I'm asking. So I am posting this as an alternative, for now.)

Imagine a film critic who is burdened by his hyperliteral nature. He creates expectations based on the title of a movie, and is always disappointed when the movie is about something else. Below I have provided excerpts of some reviews he wrote for movies released in United States theaters in 2015. Can you identify each movie?

1. "As a general fan of comic book movies, I found this one to be a real letdown. Marvel has been great at casting older, prestige actors like Robert Redford and Glenn Close in recent years, so I was very excited to see DC Comics try to go the same route here. But what a mess. If a superhero showed up in this movie, it happened too fast for me to notice. Maybe he ran out of the production because he got second billing. And what was with all the live music?"

2. "Sometimes I like to go to paint stores and try to observe the differences between battleship and platinum, charcoal and heather, and so many others. It dulls the senses and calms me. This movie had the opposite effect."

3. "It was okay, and kind of funny in a raunchy way, but not at all what I expected. I missed the first one because I'm not a science or technology geek, and I heard you can watch these speeches for free on the Internet."

4. "One of my favorite documentaries is The September Issue, which is about the work that went into creating the fall fashion edition of Vogue, so I was really looking forward to seeing this. What happened? I thought we were getting a close look at a monthly publication that documents LGBT culture, but I didn't see any of that here. That said, it wasn't all bad. I liked that an individual's personality traits could form a rainbow, and that each color could take on a male or female form. That kind of gender fluidity is rare in cinema."

5. "Sorry for the abbreviated review. I watched the whole thing and kept waiting to see a grown up male cousin."
Neel Mehta
 
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:45 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby jbenz » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:41 pm

I'll start things off with 3 and 4...

3.
Spoiler: show
TED 2: Ideas worth spreading... again


4.
Spoiler: show
Inside Out


Nice stuff. I can dig it.
jbenz
 
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:22 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Bill » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:15 pm

Cool premise, bro.

I'll share the solution that gave me the most trouble of the five.

5.
Spoiler: show
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.


I don't want to post the other answers, because these are fun, and once all five are solved, we won't have any more of...

Hmmm...

6. "This movie was supposed to be about adult Jewish people praying in groups of ten. I don't know how what I saw related to that in any way. I was even more caught off guard, because I hadn't read anything about this film, and even had to ask someone what it was called."

7. "I would have expected this movie to take place in a kitchen with fry cooks and so forth. I don't know where the pirates were supposed to fit in."

8. "We used to have a young lady who would sell pastries in our office building. She wasn't in this movie, nor was anyone like her, as far as I could tell."

9. "With the baggy-pants trend so popular, I had assumed that this movie would show me how that would look in the summertime. But it was a lot of business people talking about stuff I didn't quite follow."

10. "I had been looking forward to learning about the range of careers packing cargo into ships, but the movie surprisingly focused more on the technology sector."
Bill
 
Posts: 1930
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:32 am
Location: New York City

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Neel Mehta » Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:41 pm

I spent some time yesterday working on the movie in #9, but your version is way better.

#3, #4, and #5 are all correct. Well done, and thanks.

11. "A thriller set behind the scenes of the Supreme Court? Yes, please! I wondered what the Chief Justice might have done to make the other justices so angry at him. But this was a different kind of thriller, not as modern or political, and set in, like, Wyoming."

12. "I don't know what those young women wanted to accomplish, but you can't even try to duplicate what Don Larsen did."

13. "Why get this stretch Hummer when that pimped-out Escalade holds twice as many? I was really hoping this would be a documentary chronicling the extremes of our wasteful culture, not some sappy romance between a cowboy and his girlfriend."
Neel Mehta
 
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:45 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Bill » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:42 am

1.
Spoiler: show
Ricki and the Flash


2.
Spoiler: show
Fifty Shades of Grey



14. "It would have been interesting to see how a musician's representation could help him attain so many number one singles, but I didn't get that from this movie. Really, it was just a lot of people shooting at each other. Maybe I'd have understood it better if I had seen the first 46 films in the series."
Bill
 
Posts: 1930
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:32 am
Location: New York City

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Neel Mehta » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:20 am

Solve two, add one? I can do that.

9.
Spoiler: show
The Big Short


10.
Spoiler: show
Steve Jobs


15. "I don't know if I will ever be ready for a Monica Lewinsky biopic, but here we are. The finished product is hardly recognizable: events take place in the private sector, and the filmmakers apparently decided to make a social statement by reversing the power dynamic between the older man and younger woman."
Neel Mehta
 
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:45 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Bill » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:04 pm

Sounds good to me.

11.
Spoiler: show
The Hateful Eight


12.
Spoiler: show
Pitch Perfect 2


16. "I love a good ghost story, which is why I was so excited to see this film. But it was an action movie about the British Secret Service."
Bill
 
Posts: 1930
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:32 am
Location: New York City

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Neel Mehta » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:00 pm

Neel Mehta wrote:11. "A thriller set behind the scenes of the Supreme Court? Yes, please! I wondered what the Chief Justice might have done to make the other justices so angry at him. But this was a different kind of thriller, not as modern or political, and set in, like, Wyoming."


Bill wrote:11.
Spoiler: show
The Hateful Eight


Fun observation: if you keep just the bolded part of the review, and if one of the associate justices is retired and not yet replaced, it describes a different 2015 movie.

17. "I don't favor the recent trend of dark and gritty reboots, but I must say I was looking forward to seeing the Looney Tunes characters from a real outsider's perspective. An anti-hero who is so fed up with Bugs Bunny that he must take action against all humanity. I didn't get that at all here. How do you like them potatoes?"

18. "Divorce stories can be hard to watch, especially from the child's perspective. I thought this would be a movie about the struggle to adjust when weekend visits to the father's bachelor pad became the new reality. But instead I saw a movie that was... not that."

19. "I love sports documentaries, and this one looked especially current. We would follow the process by which the Minnesota Timberwolves made the #1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. They get the towering 19-year-old they wanted, but is he the real thing, or just potential on a stat sheet? That's the teen drama I wanted to see, not whatever this was."

20. "There is a monster out there, and it fears the light. But it feasts in the dark. A group of young adults hide in an abandoned cabin, and the only source of electricity is an old generator. Will it stay operational until the dawn? Now that's a premise I can get behind. I'm tired of mob dramas."
Neel Mehta
 
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:45 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Bill » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:33 am

Neel Mehta wrote:Fun observation: if you keep just the bolded part of the review, and if one of the associate justices is retired and not yet replaced, it describes a different 2015 movie.


We could even take one more justice off the bench... but now we're starting to get a little silly.

13.
Spoiler: show
The Revenant


15.
Spoiler: show
The Intern


21. "I wondered if a documentary about the middle period of the Mesozoic Era would be entertaining. But this movie took place in present day, and it was no documentary."

22. "There was a lot of time spent on home shopping channels selling various products in this movie. But I never saw them advertise the dishwashing liquid that was supposed to be so central to the story."

23. "It might be nice to see a movie made of a variety show, with each act getting its turn under an illuminated center stage. But this was not that movie."

24. "It's not that I don't think that Ruben Bolling's comic characters are every bit as deserving of a movie treatment as Batman or Superman. It's just that I would have started with one of the higher-profile characters, such as Hollingsworth Hound or Percival Dunwoody. But since they chose this one, I have to admit it made a compelling film, even if all of the protagonist's superpowers were different."
Bill
 
Posts: 1930
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:32 am
Location: New York City

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Neel Mehta » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:13 am

Bill wrote:13.
Spoiler: show
The Revenant


#13 is incorrect.

I'm all out of reviews, so some housekeeping: still unsolved are #6-8, #13-14, and #16-24. The only one of these I don't know is #24, but it's a near-dead board with spambots poking the body, so maybe others can solve them.

Bill wrote:6. "This movie was supposed to be about adult Jewish people praying in groups of ten. I don't know how what I saw related to that in any way. I was even more caught off guard, because I hadn't read anything about this film, and even had to ask someone what it was called."

7. "I would have expected this movie to take place in a kitchen with fry cooks and so forth. I don't know where the pirates were supposed to fit in."

8. "We used to have a young lady who would sell pastries in our office building. She wasn't in this movie, nor was anyone like her, as far as I could tell."


Neel Mehta wrote:13. "Why get this stretch Hummer when that pimped-out Escalade holds twice as many? I was really hoping this would be a documentary chronicling the extremes of our wasteful culture, not some sappy romance between a cowboy and his girlfriend."


Bill wrote:14. "It would have been interesting to see how a musician's representation could help him attain so many number one singles, but I didn't get that from this movie. Really, it was just a lot of people shooting at each other. Maybe I'd have understood it better if I had seen the first 46 films in the series."


Bill wrote:16. "I love a good ghost story, which is why I was so excited to see this film. But it was an action movie about the British Secret Service."


Neel Mehta wrote:17. "I don't favor the recent trend of dark and gritty reboots, but I must say I was looking forward to seeing the Looney Tunes characters from a real outsider's perspective. An anti-hero who is so fed up with Bugs Bunny that he must take action against all humanity. I didn't get that at all here. How do you like them potatoes?"

18. "Divorce stories can be hard to watch, especially from the child's perspective. I thought this would be a movie about the struggle to adjust when weekend visits to the father's bachelor pad became the new reality. But instead I saw a movie that was... not that."

19. "I love sports documentaries, and this one looked especially current. We would follow the process by which the Minnesota Timberwolves made the #1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. They get the towering 19-year-old they wanted, but is he the real thing, or just potential on a stat sheet? That's the teen drama I wanted to see, not whatever this was."

20. "There is a monster out there, and it fears the light. But it feasts in the dark. A group of young adults hide in an abandoned cabin, and the only source of electricity is an old generator. Will it stay operational until the dawn? Now that's a premise I can get behind. I'm tired of mob dramas."


Bill wrote:21. "I wondered if a documentary about the middle period of the Mesozoic Era would be entertaining. But this movie took place in present day, and it was no documentary."

22. "There was a lot of time spent on home shopping channels selling various products in this movie. But I never saw them advertise the dishwashing liquid that was supposed to be so central to the story."

23. "It might be nice to see a movie made of a variety show, with each act getting its turn under an illuminated center stage. But this was not that movie."

24. "It's not that I don't think that Ruben Bolling's comic characters are every bit as deserving of a movie treatment as Batman or Superman. It's just that I would have started with one of the higher-profile characters, such as Hollingsworth Hound or Percival Dunwoody. But since they chose this one, I have to admit it made a compelling film, even if all of the protagonist's superpowers were different."
Neel Mehta
 
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:45 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Bill » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:38 am

Spoiler for #24:

Tom the Dancing Bug
Bill
 
Posts: 1930
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:32 am
Location: New York City

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Bill » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:37 pm

I actually can't figure out #13. I think I have the rest of yours...

17-20.

Spoiler: show
17. The Martian
18. Daddy's Home (nice!)
19. Paper Towns
20. Run All Night
Bill
 
Posts: 1930
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:32 am
Location: New York City

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Neel Mehta » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:22 pm

Bill wrote:I actually can't figure out #13.


In retrospect, I'm not sure if a bull rider is the same as a cowboy, but I think it's close enough.

13.
Spoiler: show
The Longest Ride


Closing this out:

6.
Spoiler: show
Minions (sounds like Minyans)

7.
Spoiler: show
Pan

8.
Spoiler: show
The Danish Girl

14.
Spoiler: show
Hitman: Agent 47

16.
Spoiler: show
Spectre

21.
Spoiler: show
Jurassic World

22.
Spoiler: show
Joy

23.
Spoiler: show
Spotlight

24.
Spoiler: show
Ant-Man
Neel Mehta
 
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:45 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA

Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic and the Movies of 2015

Postby Bill » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:24 pm

Also...

Neel Mehta wrote:Fun observation: if you keep just the bolded part of the review, and if one of the associate justices is retired and not yet replaced, it describes a different 2015 movie.


Spoiler: show
Furious 7


Bill wrote:We could even take one more justice off the bench... but now we're starting to get a little silly.


Spoiler: show
The Ridiculous 6
Bill
 
Posts: 1930
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:32 am
Location: New York City


Return to Main Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests