Film

Return of the Movie Blurb Game

Notional, portable and entirely analog, the Movie Blurb Game can be played anywhere, at any time.

A long-running competitive activity among my circle of film geek friends, the Movie Blurb Game is a 20-questions style time-killer that involves improvising movie descriptions.

It works like this: Player One improvises a blurb-like description of a movie that combines the names of two or more famous films.

Example: Michael J. Fox stars as a time-traveling teenager in this second installment of George Lucas' original space opera trilogy.

Answer: The Empire Strikes Back to the Future

The only real rules are that words from the titles of the film can't be used in the blurb, and the movies have to be fairly well-known.

You can also earn style points for mimicking the tone of hyperbolic studio press releases (“sensational blockbuster”), or snobby film criticism (“maverick iconoclast”), or trade magazine jargon (“boffo box office”). Bonus points for brevity and/or inspired lack of brevity.

The Movie Blurb Game predates YouTube film trailer remixes, music mashups – even the Internet itself. Notional, portable and entirely analog, the Movie Blurb Game can be played anywhere, at any time. It's good for long car trips, or family holidays, or waiting out profoundly disappointing presidential administrations.

I've provided below ten new puzzlers for our Movie Blurb Game, Happy New Year Edition. At least one of the films in each item was a popular mainstream release from 2011, paired with one or more well-known movies from movie history.

Remember that films can be mashed up phonetically as well, e.g. "Nosferatu Kill a Mockingbird". Answers are provided at the bottom of the quiz.

+++

1.) Kristen Wiig and Robin Wright headline cinema's raunchiest fairy tale.

2.) This odd '60s-era prequel pits civil rights leader Denzel Washington against Magneto.

3.) A 13-year-old Eminem accidentally makes a monster movie.

4.) Maverick director Terrence Malick is mistaken for the Messiah.

5.) Golf prodigy Kevin Costner finds himself inside a Belgian comic book adaptation.

6.) Fast Eddie Felson invents sabermetrics.

7.) Hugh Jackman and Julia Roberts stars in this classic weepie about fighting robots in small town Louisiana.

8.) Chuck Norris and Jake Gyllenhaal headline this thinky sci-fi thriller about exploding passenger trains, corrupt cops and Hannibal Lecter. (three films)

9.) Sandra Bullock and Clint Eastwood headline this fantasy rom-com about Hugh Grant, vigilante cops and boy wizards. (three films)

10.) This deeply confusing 1943 classic pairs Harrison Ford with Daniel Craig as dueling space monsters – co-starring Roy Rogers and Simba. (four films)

Answers:

1.) The Princess Bridesmaids

2.) Malcolm X-Men: First Class

3.) Super 8 Mile

4.) The Tree of Life of Brian

5.) The Adventures of Tintin Cup

6.) The Color of Moneyball

7.) Real Steel Magnolias

8.) Source Code of Silence of the Lambs

9.) Dirty Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two Weeks Notice

10.) The Lion King of the Cowboys and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image