This is topic Litmus Test Movies in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

To visit this topic, use this URL:;f=2;t=020037

Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
I once heard in an interview someone refer to Wes Anderson's movies at "litmus tests as to whether I'll like a person. If they don't like the movies, I know I won't like them."

So, what are your litmus test movies? I'd say mine are Wes Anderson movies and the Lord of the Rings.
Posted by msquared (Member # 4484) on :
If they don't laugh at the Princess Bride they are out of here.

Posted by Carrie (Member # 394) on :
A lot of the times it's LotR for me. At least then I'll always have something to talk to them about.

If people's favourite movies are "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," "She's All That," or, frightfully enough, "Titanic," I will not like them. End of story.
Posted by jehovoid (Member # 2014) on :
It's not that I know I won't like them as much as I know that I will like them.

For example, if you like:

Pulp Fiction
Blazing Saddles
The Princess Bride
The Godfather

then I'll probably like you.
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
Yeah, if someone doesn't really like LOTR I usually mentally brand them as galloping mongoloid jackasses. I just can't help it.

That's just me, though. [Wink]

[ December 04, 2003, 02:17 PM: Message edited by: Book ]
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
O Brother Where Art Thou
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
You got good taste, lady. My family would love you.
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
*grin* We should be friends.
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
I like the horrendously ugly man whose sole line is "And stay outta Woolsworth's!"

And later Delmar says, "And we got robbed by a bible salesman, and thrown out of Woolsworth's... I don't know if it was all of em or just the one..."
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
"I am the paterfamilias!"

I love a man who quotes Latin when he's upset.
Posted by Dan_raven (Member # 3383) on :
oooh, Eek blurry bus Un-M. Does that count Kath?
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
Searching for Bobbie Fischer

*is sad that Carrie doesn't like her* Titanic's not my favorite movie, though, I just really like it. Does that help?
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
That's very, very close, Dan. Here's the killer question: are you upset?


I love Searching for Bobby Fisher. It's one of about fifteen movies I actually own on DVD.

[ December 04, 2003, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: katharina ]
Posted by Dan_raven (Member # 3383) on :
For you Kath, I'll get upset. I'll even say my favorite line for the Shakespeare Pizza & Sub Shop:

"Eat Two Brutus."

Oh, and litmus test movies:

Princess Bride
Monty Python (any/all)
Blazing Saddles

[ December 04, 2003, 03:35 PM: Message edited by: Dan_raven ]
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
[Blushing] That's... that's very cute.
Posted by Olivet (Member # 1104) on :
LotR is a biggie. I changed hairdressers over this one. [Blushing]

O Brother, too. Princess Bride

To a lesser degree, Moulin Rouge. I sort of mentally marginalize the old fogies who don't get it. [Razz] I don't do it on purpose, mind you.
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
See what I mean about Searching? [Big Grin] Ralphie likes it too.
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
Yes!!! Olivet, I knew there was a reason I liked you! [Big Grin] I like Moulin Rouge too. Lotsa people look at me funny if I admit that.
Posted by Strider (Member # 1807) on :
Big Lebowski.

If someone has seen and liked both Donnie Darko and Boondock Saints, they get some big bonus points in my book too.
Posted by saxon75 (Member # 4589) on :
That's just like... your opinion... man...
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women, man.
Posted by celia60 (Member # 2039) on :
We do sort of the opposite. I don't know how many people we've forced Naked Lunch and Forbidden Zone upon, but those are really just to gage people's humor/offense boundaries more than to tell if we like them. Of course, some people decide they don't like us after watching those movies [Big Grin]
Posted by Bob the Lawyer (Member # 3278) on :
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a great one. As is Oh Brother. All my litmus test movies would be comedies. I can still respect someone who doesn't like, say, LoTR but if we don't share the same sense of humour we're going to hate each other.
Or, they're going to hate me at any rate.
Posted by Strider (Member # 1807) on :
Celia, Naked Lunch is like a bad acid trip.
Posted by celia60 (Member # 2039) on :
Strider, do you recall that I'm terrified of centipedes?
Posted by Strider (Member # 1807) on :
No, i but i find it interesting that you would subject yourself and others to that movie repeatedly given that. Sort of like a sadomasochistic thing or something?

Don't get me wrong, the movie was very cool. It's just not a movie on too many peoples' "must see" list.
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
Have you guys seen 1984? The one that was made in 1984, with Richard Burton and John Hurt? That has to be THE best book adaptation ever. Maybe even moreso than LOTR. At the end of the movie you just want to die.
Posted by celia60 (Member # 2039) on :
We've loaned it out for a few of those instances. But I guess I am a bit of a masochist because I really enjoy torturing myself with the creepy giant centipedes.
Posted by Trisha the Severe Hottie (Member # 6000) on :
Gone with the Wind
Posted by Carrie (Member # 394) on :
Man, I'm getting excited at all of these good movies and that people might actually like me for liking them!

rivka, as long as Titanic's not your absolulte favourite movie ever made in the history of cinema, it's alright. You can like it and I'll still like you [Smile]

And I hate to say it, but I fall in the minority of girls under the age of twenty who absolutely hates Moulin Rouge!. The only semi-good part is Ewan singing.

Upon further perusal of my movie collection, I've come up with a couple other litmus movies: Trainspotting and the Robin Williams HBO Special.
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
I can't really do this because every movie I consider a litmus movie I can think of a friend who dislikes/likes it. I guess I have a very diverse set of friends. I loose respect for people who like certain movies which I consider stupid, or people who don't like movies that I consider far too good to be overlooked. But I know, and like people who like both types, so for me there is no litmus movie.
Posted by Olivet (Member # 1104) on :
I won't hold it against you, Carrie. [Smile]

Do I sense the presence of another Ewan McGregor fan? One of the ladies at Ewan's Daily Journal Just posted links to video captures of scenes from Scarlet and Black, a Brittish TV miniseries he was in a long, long time ago. Isn't available in the US.

He has matured some since then, and is less likely to be prettier than his co stars. [Big Grin] Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
I would have said "Raising Arizona" but one friend of mine could not stand it. Then again, she did drop me after I got married.

Rivka, I also really liked "Titanic". But my husband didn't get it.

Trish, for a while my sister and I were debating which was better, "Titanic" or "Gone with the Wind." Is there any comparison in your mind?

Just the other night my brother in law was asking something about this, how he would know a prospective wife would get along well with his family. At least that's what I took away from the conversation, but I said "well, if she likes 'the princess bride'..." The funny thing is his other two sisters-in-law, they can tolerate it but they aren't line-quotin' fools.

Ah, what's my absolute favoritest line from OBWAT?
"My Hair!"
Posted by Sugar+Spice (Member # 5874) on :
LOTR would be mine, except that my best friend hated it and we've got loads in common. I don't think that movies are a good test for who I get on with - my taste in movies is very varied.

Basically I like comedy, horror, romance and fantasy. I'm a great person to invite to a video party as I'll watch anything. I think OSC himself once wrote that just because someone has the same taste in movies as you, doesn't meant that they're someone you'd let watch your children.

However, cutting out the horror movies as some great people find them disturbing.
LOTR (obviously)
Sixth Sense (Ok it's horror, but it's not too scary and I love it.)
The Princess Bride and Labyrinth
Little Women
Indianna Jones and the Last Crusade
I quite like 'Elizabeth' too, although the historical inaccuracies annoy me hugely.I used to love Titanic, but now I can't imagine why.
Posted by imogen (Member # 5485) on :
Have to agree with The Princess Bride. Mind you, I've never met anyone who didn't like that movie, so as a litmus test its application is limited.

I loved Moulin Rouge but I can't use it, because too many people I like can't stand it.

Definately Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
If you're Australian, liking The Castle is mandatory. If you're not, liking it gives bonus points, but I'm more willing to forgive you not liking it.
Most Coen Brothers films, with the exeption of Fargo.

I have one reverse litmus test: Save the Last Dance. If you loved it, chances are we'll never really get on.

I also have one litmus tv series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Particulary if you realise that Once More With Feeling is a work of genius.
Posted by Sugar+Spice (Member # 5874) on :
Loved that episode. Why more people don't spontaneously break into song in the middle of the street more often is beyond me. I do it all the time.
Posted by imogen (Member # 5485) on :
See, I like you already!

I have the soundtrack. It's great music to clean to - somehow even vacuuming is more fun if you can sing along.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
Now that I think about it, there are very few movies that are favorites of both myself and my husband. "Speed", maybe. He LOVES "Ever After" and I think it is one of the dumbest movies ever. Vice versa with "Titanic". Actually, I guess we were both really into "The Matrix" and "Groundhog Day".
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
Groundhog Day! That's a good litmus test one. [Big Grin]
Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
Sixth Sense isn't horror. It's suspense.
Posted by Synesthesia (Member # 4774) on :
I love Kiki's Delievery Service and if you hate that or any Miyazaki film you are a useless stick figure and you suck.
I hate:
Fatal Attraction
Dr. T and the Women
What women want
and movies like that and will surely throw you into the sea where you belong if you like those.
Posted by Speed (Member # 5162) on :
When I was dating, I used to show girls A Fish Called Wanda. It may be the funniest movie ever made (at least in the top 5), and while it's not as shocking as, say, Pulp Fiction or something, it's just dirty enough that if a girl likes it, it means she's not too good for me. When a girl likes that type of humour and isn't put off by a little smut, it's a good indication she's on my wavelength. Needless to say, my wife passed that test with flying colours.

Another test my wife passed... the first movie we ever saw in the theatre was Rush Hour. See, I'm as into chick flicks as anyone. I actually introduced my wife to movies like Pillow Talk, The Sound of Music, It Happened One Night and many of the like. But I have a bunch of friends that, after they got married, could never, ever watch a movie with action in it again. Rush Hour is a funny movie, and I was impressed with the fact that this girl I was dating could get past the idea that it existed in an action genre and laugh at the jokes. She loved the movie, and I took it as a good sign.

Finally, a great litmus test movie for a person, not necessarily a girl I'm dating, is Harold and Maude. It's a great movie, and if a person can (1) get the dry, quirky style of comedy, and (2) get past the disturbing facade and appreciate the theme, that's a good sign that they're my type of person.
Posted by sarcasticmuppet (Member # 5035) on :
My litmus tests:

While You Were Sleeping: If you don't laugh at the paper boy slipping on the ice, you have no humor at all.

The Princess Bride: This goes without saying.

Life is Beautiful: If I go with a guy and he cries I will marry him.

I like Oh Brother and Monty Python. Love LotR. I remember seeing part of Searching for Bobby Fischer on Disney once (back when Disney Channel had good movies) and liked what I saw. Hated Mulin Rouge. That's it as far as other's litmus tests.

[ December 04, 2003, 11:07 PM: Message edited by: sarcasticmuppet ]
Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
Life of Brian


Being There

If you can laugh at both of those, you have as broad a sense of humor as I could hope for. And that means I'll certainly fall somewhere in-between.

Bonus points for liking the Marx Brothers.
Posted by imogen (Member # 5485) on :
ooh, I forgot Monty Python. Life of Brian is essential. You must also be able to get the reference if I start whistling "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"

:wanders off whistling:
Posted by Bob the Lawyer (Member # 3278) on :
Uh oh. I saw The Castle in the theatres, no less. I laughed myself silly and proceeded to force it upon many others who didn't appreciate it nearly as much as I thought they should.
And, while I have not seen many Buffy episodes, I have seen said musical episode and even not knowing who everybody was I had to say that I thought it was hilarious.

I guess what this means is Imogen and I now have to be best friends.

Bob, I grew up watching the Marx Brothers! I believe my first was Duck Soup and it all went downhill from there.

And, y'know, while I realize I can't have them. I really feel I should have the *right* to give birth.

[ December 04, 2003, 11:11 PM: Message edited by: Bob the Lawyer ]
Posted by Jeni (Member # 1454) on :
And I hate to say it, but I fall in the minority of girls under the age of twenty who absolutely hates Moulin Rouge!. The only semi-good part is Ewan singing.
Thank you, Carrie. I was beginning to think I was the only one.
Posted by fiazko (Member # 5812) on :
I make it a rule not to associate with anyone who doesn't swear by The Full Monty.

*beats back my anti-snobbish tendencies*

If i used the litmus test method, I would have no friends. End of story. After this post, it may not matter anyway. Go ahead. Turn your backs.
Posted by Speed (Member # 5162) on :

I cried like a baby in Life Is Beautiful. Unfortunately, I'm already married. [Wink] [Big Grin]
Posted by imogen (Member # 5485) on :
So far I have an affinity with the two Bobs... what does this say about me?!?
Posted by Hobbes (Member # 433) on :
I don't think I could pick a litmus test movie. There's some movies that really love but I don't think really reflects anything about the charecter of the people who like it. Also, some of them everyone loves (i.e. Groundhog Day). I might be able to think of a few movies that if you did like them you're not the person for me (as had been suggested before on this thread). Not that any of this matters, I've found the perfect person. [Big Grin] [Kiss]

Hobbes [Smile]
Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
So far I have an affinity with the two Bobs... What does this say about me?!?
I think it says you should change your screenname.
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
About A Boy

This one isn't essential, but if someone deeply loves that movie, then they might understand me. I love it.
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
I knew a girl who hated Groundhog Day. She thought the idea of the same thing over and over again was stupid. So, yeah, I thought she was stupid.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
My mother in law hates groudhog day. But can you quote it? I hope someday they do an expanded edition with outtakes. And I recently realized that must be what life is like for actors.

I finally looked up Wes Anderson in the imdb, and I really liked "The Royal Tennenbaums".

If you liked the paperboy slipping on the ice, it's an indication you probably liked "Better Off Dead".
Posted by FoolishTook (Member # 5358) on :
Movies to test people with:

Lord of the Rings (of course)

Pride and Prejudice (A&E mini-series version)


The Pianist

Not liking these movies is a sign of questionable character.

But if aforementioned shady character tops it off by loving the likes of The English Patient, Save the Last Dance, She's All That, any movie with Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal in it, any movie with the word "Booty" in the title, or any movie starring a female pop star, then it's bad news all around.
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
*small voice* I liked Save the Last Dance.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
Was "save the last dance" with Julia Stiles? I liked that one okay. Julia Stiles is about the only actress under the age of 30 that I like.

That reminds me... "Strictly Ballroom". I seriously wondered if our marriage had a future when my husband dissed this one. But he's a special case, since he actually danced Ballroom in college. So "Strictly Ballroom" for him is like "Stargate" for me (as a linguist with some familiarity with Arabic. "The Vowels are different?" Come on, they don't have vowels!) Anyway, does "Moulin Rouge" hold a candle to "Strictly Ballroom"? Anyone even seen both?
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
I love them both. They are different, but both are wonderful.
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
My main litmus test movie is Army of Darkness. If you like it you're automatically cool. if you don't, I pity you.

You can still sit at my lunch table, though. [Wink]

Posted by Speed (Member # 5162) on :
Army of Darkness rules, dude.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
You know, I used to have a list of litmus test movies, which included titles such as The Princess Bride, Raising Arizona, This is Spinal Tap, etc, but then I met my wife, who has radically different taste in movies, is basically going to go the ROTK only to hang out with me and eat popcorn, and is the most incredible human being I've ever met.

You know, I have a cousin that looks almost exactly like Julia Stiles. Her sister looks startlingly like Cameron Diaz. It's kind of weird.
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
[Cry] ((doesn't pass Bob_Scopatz's litmus test))

Actually, I do love Being There and have seen it several times....

but don't think I've ever heard of Life of Brian

Posted by jeniwren (Member # 2002) on :
Strictly Ballroom is top on my litmus test list. I can't think how many people I've had over for dinner to watch this movie. Second is The Princess Bride. They get extra points if they have also read the book and liked it. They lose the extra points if they went looking for the original by S. Morgenstern.

Groundhog Day is another good one, though I can't list it because it isn't one I've ever actually used.

They win gobs of points if they have not only heard of Burn the Floor but liked the dancing and hated the camera work. Better still if they saw it on stage.

Anyone who hates A&E's Pride and Prejudice must be ... must be.... [Eek!] well, they must be someone not on my list of people to see movies with.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
What's weird is that we talk about litmus test as if it were an on and off thing (the main example being reproductive rights as a litmus test for Federal Bench nominees). But if you know what a litmust test is, it's a scale of acidity or baseness ranging from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Sorry to wax nerdy all the sudden.
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
Never heard of Life of Brian? Wow! That just throws my sense of perspective entirely out of whack.

And I loved Being There. But if acting stupid got you very far in the world, you'd be talking to Emperor Book the First.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
Farmgirl, you've never heard of Life of Brian? Have you heard of Monty Python at all?

You should go and rent Life of Brian. If you haven't seen them, you should also rent Holy Grail and The Meaning of Life.
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
Are they clean enough for my kids to see? (teenagers)

I'm familiar with Monty Python -- just haven't seen a great deal of it.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
Well, there's a little male full frontal nudity in Life of Brian (just a few seconds), and there's a little bit of gore in both Meaning of Life and Holy Grail, but all three movies would proably be pretty tame in the eyes of a typical teenager. I know that when I was a teenager I didn't find anything in them shocking.
Posted by ae (Member # 3291) on :
What Noemon said.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
Oh, there's a bit of gratuitous female toplessness in Meaning of Life, and a little bit of non gratuitious female nudity in Life of Brian. I'd forgotten.

And Meaning of Life has a pretty funny song about Catholic attitudes toward sperm, and a kind of tedious song about penises.
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
LOL, pooka! I thought about pointing that out, but I guess I wasn't secure enough in my science-geekiness. [Big Grin]

OTOH, some people DO change colors when watching certain movies.
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
...male full frontal nudity???? [Eek!] :running to get the movie right now!!:

Just read the Amazon review on Life of Brian -- it does sound like a riot! As long as it doesn't make TOO much fun of religion (wouldn't want my kids to start dissin' the church)..

Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
I like the sketches the most though. You can buy the DVD's online at for the low easy price of $149.95, a fourteen volume set of 1400 minutes, call or order today to for this great, low bargain!

(They give me a bucket of fish every time I say that.)

[ December 05, 2003, 01:18 PM: Message edited by: Book ]
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
There is one scene in Meaning of Life that everyone told me I *had* to see. so I finally sit down to watch it, and it was so raunchy that even though we got withing three minutes of "One thin mint" I just couldn't stand it and turned it off. And this was when I was a teenager. Also not great for teaching your children tolerance of other religions. Okay, I need to go take my anti-geek-essants.
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
yeah... there's this guy here next to me at work who tells me now he loves Life of Brian, but he loves it because he (my co-worker) is an atheist (or agnostic) and loves making fun of religion...

Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
Yeah pooka, when I was watching The Meaning of Life with my wife day before yesterday (I got the extended edition DVD for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't gotten around to watching the deleted scenes yet), I just skipped that scene. I thought that the scene was pretty damned funny the last time I watched it, but I was only about 16 at the time, so who knows what I'd think of it now. In any case, had I been by myself I would have happily watched it, but I knew that C would hate it enough that it would sour her to the rest of the movie.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
If you can get the delux version of The Life of Brian, with all of the deleted scenes, do. There is one deleted scene that I found absolutely hilarious.

As for making fun of religion--I don't really think that it does so. I mean, it jokes around *about* religion, human weaknesses, sillinesses, and so forth, but it doesn't really leave its audience thinking "hee hee, Christianity, what a farce" or "bwah-ha ha, Judiasm, what a load of crap" or anything.
Posted by StigLarson (Member # 5579) on :
Spinal Tap. If their amp doesn't go to 11, we won't get along. But you don't wanna go raga.
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
The scene in LoB where the Roman guard corrects the revolutionary's grammar on the anti-Roman graffiti is hysterical.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
It is, isn't it? So is the part where the Judean People's Front (or is it the People's Front of Judea?) is having the whole "what have the Romans ever done for us" discussion.

The whole Stan/Loretta thing is pretty funny too.

Let's face it, most of that movie is incredibly funny. It's definitely my favorite of the Python movies.
Posted by Beca (Member # 4340) on :
Hrm. I wasn't impressed with Moulin Rouge, though I do like Ewan. I'm over 20, so I can't fall into your minority, though. Popular songs mushed together do not a musical make.

I don't know what movies would make up my litmus test, mostly because I get along with people who don't share my tastes in movies, and there are people who share my tastes in movies with whom I don't get along.

However, if you love both Until The End Of The World and Aliens, chuckle at Joe Versus The Volcano, can quote Mothra, and have seen Major Dundee more than 20 times, you might be one of my siblings. If you also really, really like a Michael Powell movie called I Know Where I'm Going, you might be me.

I should just write a list of movies you'd have to have seen to become an honorary Erickson. Also, we hate having to watch anything that has been modified to fit your TV screen. (Evil pan-n-scan.)
Posted by Olivet (Member # 1104) on :
Oy. I love Monty Python movies, and monster movies. You know what I mean-- the ones with a guy in a rubber Godzilla outfit, et al? Love 'em. *giggles*

I guess I don't really do the "litmus test" thing either. Like with Moulin Rouge, I didn't like the medleys all that much, but some stuff was just too catchy. Ron hated it the first time we saw it, but still caught himself singing "if you can can-can!" at odd moments. For me it was the visuals, and the camp- factor more than the 'music'. And I'm over 30. [Big Grin]

The LotR thing has more to do with the books than the movies. My beloved is generally unhappy with the movies, but we both have shared a reverence for the books.

We have friends who really, really loved George of the Jungle, and many movies of that particular cultural stripe. We... don't usually like those movies, but we still like the people. We watch movies with them, but usually meeting in the middle somehwere, like with AotC or Sixth Sense.

We have other friends who are big into foreign films, Greenaway films and their artsy ilk. I don't think they've seen FotR, even yet. *snicker*

Thing is, I know what they will like and I know what to talk to them about. I knew the Tarpleys would go for The Wicker Man and the Smiths wouldn't. The Smiths would probably like the Cat in the Hat movie and the Tarpleys (or, you know, the hubby and I) wouldn't.

Actually , I lean more towards movies the Tarpleys would dig, and Ron is a little closer to what the Smiths would go for (they are a typical he-likes-action-she-likes-romantic-comedy couple, so Ron and Mr. Smith have more in common than I and Mrs. Smith do, with the exception of our LotR addiction). But the Tarpleys fear the geek cachet of LotR, and will remain LotR virgins until we arrange to force them to sit through one of them with us. [Wink]
Posted by Jon Boy (Member # 4284) on :
Sorry to wax nerdy all the sudden.
What's with the "all the sudden"? I thought you had always been a nerd, pooka.
Posted by MattB (Member # 1116) on :
I made a kind of gurgly half laugh, half sob noise when the tank rolled onto screen at the end of Life is Beautiful.

The only other film I think I've cried in is Field of Dreams. And I still do, every time, at the end.

I like people who like Scorsese and Coen brothers movies (even - nay, especially - Barton Fink), yet who still appreciate Die Hard and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

I also love The Book of Mormon Movie for its A)absolutely oblivious ballsiness, and B) colossal lack of skill. I loved it the way my parents loved the thirty minute Macbeth that I was in in fourth grade. Three or four of my good friends had exactly the same reaction to it I did, which, I think, indicates why we're friends.

Favorite Oh Brother line: We're in a tight spot!
Posted by Rolf Singer (Member # 3972) on :
I like way too many movies to ever judge people by whether they like the same ones I do...BUT if a person likes Donnie Darko or Magnolia or Happiness, they go on my list for "People Who Are Truly Cool"
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
I like the first two (in fact, I;m the first person I knew who first saw donnie darko) but I've never seen Happiness, or heard of it.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
I thought you had always been a nerd, pooka.
I'm actually more of a Runt(tm).

The movie I have yet to find anyone else who likes: "Point Break".

There are people more prude than me. My in-laws switched off "Oh Brother" (SPOILER?)

when the moonshine started flowing, because they thought it was about to erupt into unbounded wanton debauchery.

[ December 05, 2003, 09:11 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
Wow. That's just crazy to me.

But (SPOILER) you didn't see any debauchery, all you saw was some unhappy toad mistaken for a man.

[ December 05, 2003, 09:22 PM: Message edited by: Book ]
Posted by Eaquae Legit (Member # 3063) on :
For me, I like a person who can laugh a those great old Disney movies. Robin Hood, or The Sword in the Stone.

I'm also impressed by someone who enjoys The Three Stooges.

But really, I like so many different movies, I don't know if there's a single one I could pick as a litmus test.

And I think I have to second that "Titanic" comment. Unless you're the Porterman, but he's a special case, and only really watches it to see the boat go down.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
The movie that proves you are a Chiu is "Strange Brew" Looking back, I have no idea why my mom would have taken all her children under the age of 15 to that one. It's probably because me and my big sister wanted to see it, and my mom believes in supervised exposure to questionable influences. "Cool special effects, eh?"
Posted by Jon Boy (Member # 4284) on :
Questionable? Isn't it PG? And anyways, it's a modern adaptation of "Hamlet." So it's like, um, a cultural experience.
Posted by Lene' (Member # 6019) on :
I can't bring myself to use movies as a litmus test simply because some of my good friends think I have very odd taste, and I love them too much to dump them for being so clueless. <g> But I admit, in our house we love many of the above-mentioned flicks. O Brother is one of my own favorites, and we all love the Pythons. How 'bout Army of Darkness, any Ash fans here?

Some others, off the top of my head: Galaxy Quest, The Commitments, Office Space, The Mission, Hudsucker Proxy, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, Breaking Away, and Raising Arizona.

I love being snowed in during the winter. I make a batch of cookies or cinnamon rolls, and we settle in to watch videos togther. Bliss!

Oh, we're all addicted to the LOTR movies, too. My husband's birthday is the 17th, and we're all going to the show as part of his birthday celebration. I was in the hospital back in May with a pulmonary embolism, and I joked that I knew God wasn't so cruel as to let me kick off without getting to see the 3rd LOTR movie first, so I would at least make it to December. My son has reminded me that I have at least til *next* December, because of course I have to be able to see the extended version of move #3. <g>

Posted by saxon75 (Member # 4589) on :
Hail to the king, baby.
Posted by Lene' (Member # 6019) on :
Just as long as you don't ask me to give ya some sugar. <g>
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
Pooka - there are two versions of the Groundhog Day DVD. The "special edition" doesn't have bloopers or deleted scenes per se, but there are documentaries on the making of the movie and you get to see the actors goofing around. Worth the search.

It's gotten so I'm afraid to buy DVDs without making absolutely sure there's not more than one version. The Princess Bride has two, one with just the movie and trailer and one with featurettes and interviews and commentaries and stuff. I just found out recently that there's a version of The Mask of Zorro that has behind-the-scenes stuff and a fencing featurette, which is annoying because that's not the version I have. Grr...
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
Questionable? Isn't it PG?
Right, well it was before PG-13 was invented (just barely). As I recall, she was going through a "as long as it shows the bad effects" policy. Thus she let me see "Nightshift" on cable when I was 13. Because, you know, I needed to be shown that prostitution isn't all glamour and fun.
Posted by Bob the Lawyer (Member # 3278) on :
See, a while ago I posted about seeing Evil Dead -- The Musical while in Toronto. Nobody seems to have noticed so I've come to the conclusion that there are, in fact, no Ash fans on this board.

Posted by Brinestone (Member # 5755) on :
See, I'm one of those people who has kind of weird taste in movies. I've never expected to find many people who share my taste, let alone a guy. Although, Jon Boy earned major points for sitting down with me and watching some of these. [Smile]

Little Women: I think this may be my favorite movie of all time. I can't tell you why. I get more out of it every time I watch it, and I've seen it about 30+ times. I was very pleased with Sugar + Spice for mentioning it at all, since no one else seems to get a darned thing from it. Jon Boy is one of two men I know of (the other is my father) who has watched this movie all the way through. Though I'm wondering where his motives were . . . [Wink] I do admit that this movie is 100% girly and has no redeeming value for most men. Oh, well.

Kenneth Branaugh's Hamlet: Oh! This is a wonderful movie. It's so beautiful to watch, so artistic. Shakespeare's language just flows off their tongues like water. Mmmm. But it's so long that I've only seen it four times or something.

Contact: I just watched it again yesterday and remembered why I love science fiction, space, and the movie in general. *starts reading the book*

Chicken Run: Hehehehe. Jon Boy got major bonus points for suggesting this movie.

You've Got Mail: I love the wittiness and the beauty of the cinematography.

And The Princess Bride and Monty Python (Holy Grail). So I can be mainstream if I want to. [Smile]
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
For me, not so much litmus test as yardstick. Or horizontal dipstick, with measures of "humor" and "depth" and "quirkiness," and so forth.

The Princess Bride
Groundhog Day
Monty Python (in general)
Raising Arizona
This is Spinal Tap

(why goodness, I believe I agree with Noemon [Smile] )

but also

Being John Malkovich
Blazing Saddles
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Bulletproof Heart
The Truman Show
The Godfather
Babette's Feast
A Clockwork Orange
Blade Runner
Apocolypse Now

and of course,
LOTR series

Bulletproof Heart is the one I will never get over. For me, it's like the Desiderata of movies: I always find something more of myself in each time I see it. The pained cynic, the overeager young hot shot, the weary nihilist, the One Who Gets It All Wrong. I've never found anyone else who even remembered it, though.

[PS: katharina, I liked Save the last Dance, too. [Smile] ]

[ December 13, 2003, 11:06 AM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]
Posted by Lene' (Member # 6019) on :
Bob, I dadn't heard about the musical. Must've been a hoot. Toronto is, alas, a bit out of our way, even for Ash. <g>

I'm looking forward to seeing Bruce Campbell in Bubba Ho-tep, though, when it finally comes through here. (Or on DVD, whichever comes first.)

Btw, I second the praise for Branagh's Hamlet. I *wish* that one were on DVD, but so far I haven't seen it anywhere. I also liked his mini-series about Shackleton and the Endurance.

Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
I've had a long running debate with a friend once about who you would give the only shotgun to when the aliens land (or the zombies arise, etc.).

I said Ash, hands down. He said Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China).

I said he's nuts. He questioned my parentage. Things got ugly after that.

Ash has the best one-liners of any action hero:


"Give me some sugar, baby."

"It got in my hand, so I lopped it off at the wrist."

"Aw, baby. That's just what we call pillow talk."

"I could've been king. But in my own way, I am a king. Hail to the king, baby!"

And of course:

"Good. Bad. I'm the guy with the gun."

All Jack Burton gets to say is, "You know what Jack Burton always says..."

[ December 13, 2003, 11:22 AM: Message edited by: Dagonee ]
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
Hey ... Big Trouble in Little China! [Big Grin]
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
BTiLC was kind of too weird for me. It seems to appeal guys who have a creepy obsession with Asian women. So I'd say it's a litmus test, but not in a good way. Same for You've got Mail. Did he know she would rather be a writer when he stomped her store into the ground? Or was he taking away the thing, from what he could tell, that she wanted most? I guess if I want to keep criticizing it, I'm going to have to watch it again. But I guess I have a particular problem with my husband liking it.
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
*wants pooka to know that she has no creepy obsession with Asian women

Mind you, not that I don't like Asian women. It's just, you know, I really liked the cheesy one-liners.

I do remember the guy who shot lightening. That was cool. But I remember that the stereotyping really made me uncomfortable. And I had the same reaction as you to You've Got Mail.

[ December 13, 2003, 12:40 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
Aw, man, but the dipstick has to include Real Genius, as well as Tatie Danielle.

[PS: is "dipstick" still an insult, or has that gone the way of "square?"]

[ December 13, 2003, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]
Posted by Brinestone (Member # 5755) on :
Did he know she would rather be a writer when he stomped her store into the ground? Or was he taking away the thing, from what he could tell, that she wanted most?
See, I didn't see this as a personal competition at all. Near the end, Meg Ryan's character says to his constant "It's not personal; it's business,"

"What does that mean anyway? Maybe it's not personal to you. But it's personal to a lot of people. It was personal to me."

And he asks for her forgiveness. He starts to realize by the end that smashing someone's beautiful little store like that is personal and hurtful. I've always thought that it would be cute if he re-rented her little "Shop Around the Corner" and made it the children's section of Fox Books. But then, I'm not a business-oriented person, so I'm not even sure that would work.

[/defense of You've Got Mail]

[edit: one too many syllables in competition]

[ December 13, 2003, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: Brinestone ]
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
"This is ice. This is what happens to water when it gets too cold."
Posted by ana kata (Member # 5666) on :
The litmus test only works in the positive sense for me. If I hear that someone likes a certain book or work, then I know that I will like that person.

(I can't really do it for movies, because I have missed too many. It's sad. I realize I should have seen all these movies y'all are talking about, but I've only seen about a quarter of them. (I need for people to drag me to see movies, I guess. I won't go by myself, for some reason.))

But anyway, my litmus test works are these:

Dostoyevsky's The Idiot
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Round the Bend by Nevil Shute

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Posted by Bokonon (Member # 480) on :
One of my litmus test movies is Gattaca. If you don't like it, I'll have to worry about you.

Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
Gattaca, really? This is another one my husband really liked, but I thought it was creepy that the Jude Law character did what he did in the end. Whew. I do know how to kind of avert a spoiler. I guess I've spent too much of my life persuading myself that that is just wrong to tolerate it. I mean, my husband countered that it was necessary to the success of the hero, but...

See, my husband puts this in the same category as "Erin Brokovich", "Men of Honor" and "The Matrix". But I had issues.
Posted by Wonko The Sane (Member # 2945) on :
Aw, man, but the dipstick has to include Real Genius
i second that
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
So I married an Ax Murderer. What's the difference between a litmus test movie and a cult movie? Like I was looking at Groundhog day sites and they only gave it a 2 for cult value. But they gave it a 3 for rewatchability (I'm assuming out of 10) so obviously this dude could NOT be a good person.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
I found a new movie my husband and I both really enjoy: "Big Trouble". Now I realize almost no one else did like this movie. And it does have a lot of swearing, especially in the first scene. Apart from that, most of the swearing falls into the "I might react that way also" category. Actually, I might even say that about the first scene.
Posted by AvidReader (Member # 6007) on :
It was written by Dave Barry. It has the guy that played Johnny Johnson, Krunk, and the Tick. It makes fun of Martha Stewart. Stanley Tucci, Tim Allen, Rene Russo. They're all funny. The guy that played Friar Tuck as the wandering jerk.

And best of all Jason Lee in the intro. Anyone who likes any of the Kevin Smith movies must rent Big Trouble for Puggy alone.

It has a great ensamble cast, a warped sense of humor, and even some sweetness. I can't understand why anyone would not like this movie now. There's a bit that would be rough post 9/11, but I think it's been long enough that only family members of the deceased would still be bothered.

Of course, I can't understand why anyone would think American Wedding was funny, either, so I may not be the best person to ask.
Posted by Jalapenoman (Member # 6575) on :
Someone is reviving an old thread, so I'll throw in my opinion.

My litmus test is a little on the opposite side. If someone likes certain movies that I abhor, I tend to shy away from them.

Movies that I detest with a passion:

Titanic (the only decent thing about this movie is Wierd Al's knock off of the theme song)

Pretty Woman

Any and all Adam Sandler films (the same can be said for Van Damme, Steven Seagal, and Vin Deisel).

Silence of the Lambs (and sequels)(the most disgusting and disturbing movie I have ever seen-and one of only two movies that I ever walked out of)

The Pokemon and Digimon movies (if you are an adult)


The Little Mermaid (lets take a little girl who breaks every rule and does everything she isn't supposed to, and give her everything she ever wanted in the end-worst message for kids from a Disney film)

and my all time least favorite movie ever:

Nightfall (worst adaptation ever and I have only found a few people who even saw it and none that ever liked it)
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
Wow, I thought Silence of the Lambs was a great movie. I know it almost line for line.

Go figure.
Posted by Alucard... (Member # 4924) on :
I agree with CT and Dagonee that although someone might not like the same movie, we could still be friends and/or sit at lunch together. However, I can think of some movies at each end of the scale of my own tastes, which are very, very ecclectic:

Movies that would lead me to take an instant liking to you:

Any old Godzilla movies (pre 1980)
Donnie Darko
The Evil Dead 2
The Godfather
The Abyss
Time Bandits/The Neverending Story (tie)
2000 Maniacs

Movies that make me wonder about you (There IS a pattern here [Wink] )

Godzilla, The Movie
Legend of the Overfiend
Killer Clowns from Outer Space
The Man With One Red Shoe
The Evil Dead
The Godfather III
Deep Six
Alien 3
Wyatt Earp
The Pirates Of The Carribean
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets/Neverending Story 2
Microwave Massacre
Posted by Godric (Member # 4587) on :
Ooh... I loved Speed's listing of A Fish Called Wanda and Harold and Maude. Also on my list of must-like films would be:

The Princess Bride
The Big Kahuna
Lawrence of Arabia
and all of Hal Hartley's films

Also, it's a must for anyone who spends a lot of time with me that they have no aversion to reading subtitles. Some of my favorite films aren't in English. [Smile]
Posted by Damien (Member # 5611) on :
Alucard, I enjoy many flicks on both sides of your list, where does that leave me?

And I almost didn't read the second half, after seeing Akira I just wanted to post and say AKIRA! ^_^

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2