The Watcher - Holman vs. Feaster
CL critics battle for Ultimate Film Fanatic
Remember "Beat the Geeks," the short-lived game show where regular folks tried to defeat freakishly knowledgeable pop-culture aficionados? Independent Film Channel's "Ultimate Film Fanatic" resurrects the geek-glorifying game-show format, this time pitting cinemaphiles against each other.
Playing the game is more fun than watching it, not because the show is bad, but because it's more fun to test your film knowledge. Just for fun, we put CL film critics Felicia Feaster and Curt Holman to the test to see how they measure up.
Round 1: Trivia
In the show, the trivia round eliminates three of the six contestants, who face off in pairs. Losers get plane tickets home, winners advance. Felicia and Curt face off in the category, "Musicals that Don't Suck."
What 1980 musical featured a rocking Neil Diamond performing in blackface?
Felicia: The Jazz Singer.
Name the Terrance and Phillip movie that got all of the kids swearing in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.
Curt: That would be Asses Of Fire.
Felicia: I hate this category.
Name the new album Spinal Tap is promoting in This Is Spinal Tap.
Felicia: I really hate this category. I know this has to be something crude. Maybe Balls to the Wall?
That's incorrect. Curt, would you like to guess? It's not worth any points, but you would get the glory.
Curt: Well, for the glory, it's Smell The Glove.
Curt, what actor played the wife-slapping, gun-toting father of Prince in Purple Rain?
Curt: I'm not sure, but I'm going to guess ... Richard Roundtree.
Wrong. It's Clarence Williams III, the guy who played Link in the original "Mod Squad." Felicia, who directed the Beatles in both A Hard Day's Night and Help!? And which movie was in color?
Felicia: Help! was in color, but I don't know who the director was.
Curt: Richard Lester.
Name the writer of The School of Rock as well as the man who directed it.
Curt: Well, the writer was Mike White. And I think the director was Richard Linklater.
Oh, Felicia, you get all the multipart questions. Name the first five movies Elvis Presley made. And just for fun, do it in the order that they were released.
Felicia: Are you serious? I'm not sure, but I think I'll start with Jailhouse Rock.
You're already wrong. The right order is: Love Me Tender, Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, Kid Creole, G.I. Blues. That one was way too hard. Curt, what is the character name of the nun Belushi and Aykroyd raise five grand for in The Blues Brothers?
Curt: Oh, I should know this one. I know it's something that sounds stern and tough. I'll go with Sister Mary Elephant.
Close, but it's Sister Mary Stigmata. Curt wins Round 1.
Round 2: Debate
Show contestants must debate each other for 30 seconds, followed by 10-second rebuttals. Celebrity judges Traci Lords, Richard Roundtree and Jason Mewes pick the winner. We use staff members instead.
Does the partisan slant of Fahrenheit 9/11 overshadow the message's impact on audiences?
In a nutshell, Curt asserts that "by not acknowledging points that might argue against his case, like that Saddam Hussein was a ruthless dictator, Moore undermines the strength of his argument." Felicia's key point: "One of the pretenses of documentary has been that it is objective, which is never the case ... It is actually more valid to make it clear that it has one point of view."
Felicia is the unanimous winner of Round 2.
Round 3: Memorabilia
Contestants present their film collectibles and judges decide whose goodies are the most obsessive. The show's contestants present everything from the original Book of the Dead from Evil Dead to a snowflake stolen from the set of The Wiz. Remarkably, our critics live up to the geek precedent set by the TV contestants.
Felicia: I brought in a film still, which I know isn't terribly unique, but it's of my favorite film noir, Double Indemnity. But the weird thing is that I keep it in the bathroom, on a wall with all my family photos, as if Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck are my kin. Which, they're not.
Curt: I have an early screenplay of Tim Burton's Batman. But I got this before you could get screenplays online. I was in an Athens comic book store and happened upon the script, which featured the Robin/Dick Grayson character. I bought it for $20. But Robin never appeared in the movie.
The judges unanimously declare Curt the winner of Round 3 and CL's Ultimate Film Fanatic. On the show, the national champion wins $10,000 and the opportunity to program and host IFC for one night.
Curt, CL's Ultimate Film Fanatic, won nothing and was politely asked to go back to work.
"Ultimate Film Fanatic" airs on IFC, Fridays, 10:30 p.m. Atlanta-hosted Southeast semifinal airs July 30. National final airs Aug. 27.