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The Hyperliteral Film Critic: 2016 Edition

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The Hyperliteral Film Critic: 2016 Edition

Postby Neel Mehta » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:49 am

The original thread about 2015 films can be found here. This is the sequel, which means it has to be better. Right?

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 2016. Can you identify each movie?

1. "Concert films can be a mixed bag, but you'll sit through a bad one if you love the musician. Following around Bruce Springsteen would have been enjoyable. Watching an obnoxious comedy about applying dirty CEO tactics to neighborhood cookie sales was not."

2. "I wanted to learn about the hook-up culture among anonymous physicians, but instead I got this culturally insensitive exercise in showing off a big special effects budget."

3. "Ever since my shop class in high school, I've been fascinated with sharp tools. So I was very excited to see what I thought would be a documentary on the fine teeth that run along the handheld blade that workers use to cut pipes, even metal ones. I was less excited to learn yet another lesson that war is hell."

4. "Look, in the right mood, I probably would have appreciated a movie about the unauthorized reveal of secrets that go to the heart of the conflict between privacy and national security. But the title made me think I was going to explore the homes of arctic foxes. I blame the kerning on the theater's marquee sign."

5. "I'm ashamed to admit this, but my favorite part of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is when the main characters find and beat up the people who say bad stuff about them on the Internet. It would be great to see a whole movie about these online provocateurs, and a much better use of my time than another song-and-dance cartoon for kids."
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Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic: 2016 Edition

Postby Bill » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:05 am

I actually had not heard of most of these films, having spent little time at the movie theatre in the past year. But thanks to your expert clue-giving, I was able to guess the titles of 1, 4, and 5 correctly, and later confirmed they were actual films of 2016. The only film I had heard of was 2, but I had to visit Urban Dictionary to understand your clue. The hardest one for me was 3, since I had no idea on either end, but it made sense when I found it.

Since I had to use the Internet for all five answers, I won't post them here, but in keeping with tradition, here's my contribution to the game:

6. "I had been looking forward to finally learning the real story behind Congress amending the Stafford Act in 2006. But this movie turned out to be an animated kids' flick about talking animals that shed little light on any shady backroom deals that went into passing this legislation."

7. "You rarely see a good movie about the early days of the Supreme Court, and I was expecting to learn about what I had assumed was one of their lesser-known cases. But I ended up sitting through another superhero movie that had little to do with the history of the legislative branch."

8. "If anyone deserves a biopic, it's the star of The Matrix himself! But this movie was a disappointing tribute. He was in it, but his talent was wasted just doing the voice of a cat."

9. "I've always wanted to see a behind-the-scenes look at a crisis hotline. I guess i'll have to keep waiting, because this was a movie about a bunch of super-villains recruited by a secret government agency."

10. "I've been waiting twenty years for a sequel to the 1996 science-fiction epic with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. I was very disappointed with this movie, but not because it turned out not to be a sequel to that movie. It was. But it was pretty bad."
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Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic: 2016 Edition

Postby Neel Mehta » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:47 am

Bill wrote:The only film I had heard of was 2, but I had to visit Urban Dictionary to understand your clue.


Ha! I visited Urban Dictionary when I wrote that clue.

I had to research #6 to get it. Impressive. There is no other way to do that movie. Is #10 just you being straightforward? You work on so many levels that I can't tell. #7-9 solved:

Spoiler: show
7. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
8. Keanu
9. Suicide Squad


11. "Earlier in the year, I might have appreciated a documentary about Sarah Palin breaking from the mainstream and helping start the alt-right movement, engaged in a battle among famous headliners for control of the Republican Party. But by December, I was exhausted by modern politics, and was glad that the title actually described a much different battle from a distant time and place."

12. "I know that studios like to keep titles short, but you don't often see a whole film described by a single verb. I imagined this film was about the unfortunate effects that suspicions have on one's reputation. Turns out, the film kind of did that, but was ultimately about a pilot being validated as a hero despite some regulatory concerns."

13. "For once it would be nice to see Oktoberfest celebrated in a film without mocking the aprons, suspenders, and lederhosen. Just people enjoying bratwursts and knockwursts and each other's company. Not this. Oh, not this. I shouldn't be feeling sympathy for the food."

14. "How unusual to see a reality show graduate to the big screen, where we would get a behind-the-scenes look at the media, sports, and fashion empire created in New York by the title actress and her husband, NBA player Carmelo Anthony. But no. This was a West Coast story with a lot of singing and dancing."

15. "Using initials as your movie title can create multiple interpretations. I was surprised to see such a high-profile director tackle the subject of obscenely large weaponry normally reserved for video game culture, but instead he made a fairy tale about a cordial colossus."
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Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic: 2016 Edition

Postby BrennerM » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:17 pm

Here's my guesses:
Spoiler: show
1. ?
2. Doctor Strange
3. Hacksaw Ridge
4. Snowden
5. Trolls
6. ?
7. ?
8. Keanu
9. ?
10. Independence Day: Resurgence
11. Rogue One : A Star Wars Story
12. Sully
13. Sausage Party
14. La La Land? (a guess - I have no idea who Carmelo Anthony's wife is)
15. The BFG


And I came up with 4 more, the first of which is a twofer:

16. I really enjoy going to the airport to watch people deplane, so I thought this movie would have brought that experience to the big screen. Unfortunately instead it was a sci-fi movie with spaceships. (Provide both applicable 2016 movies!)

17. Reading in the rainforest is really up my alley, but unfortunately this movie just had a bunch of computer-generated animals interacting with a human kid.

18. Who wouldn't enjoy a film about the hordes of Romans saluting their leader? I sure would, except this movie was actually a slightly convoluted comedy set in the 1950s. Weird.

19. We've all lost a small boat at some point in our lives, so I expected this film would have universal appeal. Unfortunately it was an animated movie, and it was about fish instead of boats.
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Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic: 2016 Edition

Postby Neel Mehta » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:37 pm

BrennerM: All your guesses are correct. (Well, I think #10 is correct, but it's not mine.) And nice job with #16-19! My favorite is #16 -- I always appreciate clues with multiple answers.

Spoiler: show
16. Arrival AND Passengers


20. "About time they gave Emily a leading role. I was, of course, referring to Emily the steam locomotive from the Thomas the Tank Engine series, with such a friendly face on the front. As it turned out, this was a movie for grown-ups, starring a different Emily."

21. "I was unprepared for how dirty it was. I only expected still water tinted slightly green from a lack of chlorination."

22. "A strong character drama about a male soldier, sworn to protect the borders of a country famous for its neutrality... was not what I saw. This was a film about a farting corpse. I'm not kidding."
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Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic: 2016 Edition

Postby Neel Mehta » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:08 am

It's been a week with no activity, so I thought I'd wrap this up. Last year's thread had 24 movies. This one has 22. Just as predicted: with a sequel, you get diminishing returns.

Here are the answers. Bill and BrennerM: thanks again for contributing, and please correct me if I make a mistake.

1. "Concert films can be a mixed bag, but you'll sit through a bad one if you love the musician. Following around Bruce Springsteen would have been enjoyable. Watching an obnoxious comedy about applying dirty CEO tactics to neighborhood cookie sales was not."

Spoiler: show
The Boss


2. "I wanted to learn about the hook-up culture among anonymous physicians, but instead I got this culturally insensitive exercise in showing off a big special effects budget."

Spoiler: show
Doctor Strange


3. "Ever since my shop class in high school, I've been fascinated with sharp tools. So I was very excited to see what I thought would be a documentary on the fine teeth that run along the handheld blade that workers use to cut pipes, even metal ones. I was less excited to learn yet another lesson that war is hell."

Spoiler: show
Hacksaw Ridge


4. "Look, in the right mood, I probably would have appreciated a movie about the unauthorized reveal of secrets that go to the heart of the conflict between privacy and national security. But the title made me think I was going to explore the homes of arctic foxes. I blame the kerning on the theater's marquee sign."

Spoiler: show
Snowden


5. "I'm ashamed to admit this, but my favorite part of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is when the main characters find and beat up the people who say bad stuff about them on the Internet. It would be great to see a whole movie about these online provocateurs, and a much better use of my time than another song-and-dance cartoon for kids."

Spoiler: show
Trolls


6. "I had been looking forward to finally learning the real story behind Congress amending the Stafford Act in 2006. But this movie turned out to be an animated kids' flick about talking animals that shed little light on any shady backroom deals that went into passing this legislation."

Spoiler: show
The Secret Life of Pets


7. "You rarely see a good movie about the early days of the Supreme Court, and I was expecting to learn about what I had assumed was one of their lesser-known cases. But I ended up sitting through another superhero movie that had little to do with the history of the legislative branch."

Spoiler: show
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice


8. "If anyone deserves a biopic, it's the star of The Matrix himself! But this movie was a disappointing tribute. He was in it, but his talent was wasted just doing the voice of a cat."

Spoiler: show
Keanu


9. "I've always wanted to see a behind-the-scenes look at a crisis hotline. I guess i'll have to keep waiting, because this was a movie about a bunch of super-villains recruited by a secret government agency."

Spoiler: show
Suicide Squad


10. "I've been waiting twenty years for a sequel to the 1996 science-fiction epic with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. I was very disappointed with this movie, but not because it turned out not to be a sequel to that movie. It was. But it was pretty bad."

Spoiler: show
Independence Day: Resurgence


11. "Earlier in the year, I might have appreciated a documentary about Sarah Palin breaking from the mainstream and helping start the alt-right movement, engaged in a battle among famous headliners for control of the Republican Party. But by December, I was exhausted by modern politics, and was glad that the title actually described a much different battle from a distant time and place."

Spoiler: show
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


12. "I know that studios like to keep titles short, but you don't often see a whole film described by a single verb. I imagined this film was about the unfortunate effects that suspicions have on one's reputation. Turns out, the film kind of did that, but was ultimately about a pilot being validated as a hero despite some regulatory concerns."

Spoiler: show
Sully


13. "For once it would be nice to see Oktoberfest celebrated in a film without mocking the aprons, suspenders, and lederhosen. Just people enjoying bratwursts and knockwursts and each other's company. Not this. Oh, not this. I shouldn't be feeling sympathy for the food."

Spoiler: show
Sausage Party


14. "How unusual to see a reality show graduate to the big screen, where we would get a behind-the-scenes look at the media, sports, and fashion empire created in New York by the title actress and her husband, NBA player Carmelo Anthony. But no. This was a West Coast story with a lot of singing and dancing."

Spoiler: show
La La Land


15. "Using initials as your movie title can create multiple interpretations. I was surprised to see such a high-profile director tackle the subject of obscenely large weaponry normally reserved for video game culture, but instead he made a fairy tale about a cordial colossus."

Spoiler: show
The BFG


16. "I really enjoy going to the airport to watch people deplane, so I thought this movie would have brought that experience to the big screen. Unfortunately instead it was a sci-fi movie with spaceships." (Provide both applicable 2016 movies!)

Spoiler: show
Arrival AND Passengers


17. "Reading in the rainforest is really up my alley, but unfortunately this movie just had a bunch of computer-generated animals interacting with a human kid."

Spoiler: show
The Jungle Book


18. "Who wouldn't enjoy a film about the hordes of Romans saluting their leader? I sure would, except this movie was actually a slightly convoluted comedy set in the 1950s. Weird."

Spoiler: show
Hail, Caesar!


19. "We've all lost a small boat at some point in our lives, so I expected this film would have universal appeal. Unfortunately it was an animated movie, and it was about fish instead of boats."

Spoiler: show
Finding Dory


20. "About time they gave Emily a leading role. I was, of course, referring to Emily the steam locomotive from the Thomas the Tank Engine series, with such a friendly face on the front. As it turned out, this was a movie for grown-ups, starring a different Emily."

Spoiler: show
The Girl on the Train


21. "I was unprepared for how dirty it was. I only expected still water tinted slightly green from a lack of chlorination."

Spoiler: show
Deadpool


22. "A strong character drama about a male soldier, sworn to protect the borders of a country famous for its neutrality... was not what I saw. This was a film about a farting corpse. I'm not kidding."

Spoiler: show
Swiss Army Man
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Re: The Hyperliteral Film Critic: 2016 Edition

Postby Bill » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:01 am

All of mine were correctly answered.

This was fun. Thanks!
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