Ask and Ye Shall Receive: The TDYLF Q and A

Michael: Kay, don’t ask me about my business.

Kay: Michael…

MichaelENOUGH!!! [calms down] All right. This one time…this one time, I’ll let you ask me about my affairs.

Today is Chinese Valentine’s Day. And even though I’m not Chinese in any way, even though I hadn’t even heard of Chinese Valentine’s Day until 24 hours ago, I’m going to use it as an excuse to take the day off and not write an article. You know… in observance of Chinese Valentine’s Day. But the day won’t be a total wash. Today, let’s play a game. Anything you ask me in the next 24 hours (before 3 a.m. CST on 8/24), I will answer it. Anything you’d like to know about my background, this site, my opinions, serious, not serious, even my politics… ask and I will answer. Think of it as having your own movie (or TV) themed magic 8 ball. Simply leave your questions in the comments section. And I promise there will be a new article tomorrow.


Filed under Movies

38 responses to “Ask and Ye Shall Receive: The TDYLF Q and A

  1. How did you find out today was Chinese Valentine’s Day? Can I ask another, please, what do you think of the prequel Star Wars trilogy? My favourite from all 6 is still the first, Episode 4 – to make it fair on everyone else just answer one of these.

    • I was googling “August 23 holidays” to find an excuse to not write for the day.

      I thought the prequels ranged from average to (mostly) awful, in varying shades. What I find sad about it is that I find my opinion of the original trilogy sagging, hurt by the prequels. But I did like the prequels when I first saw them. In retrospect, it was 100% nostalgia that made me feel that way. If I were ranking them, I’d go: Empire, New Hope, Jedi, Sith, Clones, Phantom Menace. There were things that I liked about Revenge of the Sith- namely, I thought the action sequences worked, and the lava duel was really great. Clones amounted to a love story with a whiny emo teen, and Phantom Menace was just… wrong, other than Darth Maul and Liam Neeson.

  2. OdanUrr

    What is your honest opinion about Richard Linklater? What do you like about him, what don’t you like about him and so on?

    • My exposure to Linklater is a little limited. I’ve seen three of his films- Dazed and Confused, A Scanner Darkly, and The Waking Life. Oh… and I guess I saw the Bad News Bears re-make. I didn’t realize he’d made that.

      I like his willingness to take huge chances, like he did with the animated style (and the philosophical content) of A Scanner Darkly and The Waking Life. Those really aren’t the kind of movies you make if you want to make a lot of money, which tells me they were pet projects and he wanted to create something unique. He wasn’t just in it for the money. And I really, really like The Waking Life, even if there are a few of the vignettes that I disliked. It has more to do with my personal philosophies vis-a-vis those in the individual vignettes than anything else.

      As for Dazed and Confused, I’m not really sure what to make of it. I like it quite a bit but I don’t really understand why it’s held in such high esteem (for instance, I think Quentin Tarantino just placed it in his Sight & Sound top 10).

      • The guy who met Kevin Meany

        I really like Dazed and Confused…maybe it paints a high school existence that was more fun than my own, makes me long for a better time (its my Midnight in Paris golden age). The convenience store clerk takes your word that you are 18, girls were easy, music was better, life was simpler, etc.

        • They’re like horses.

          • heyzeus

            You’ve never seen Slacker? I wouldn’t say it’s, you know, life changing or anything. But it’s an enjoyably ramshackle slice of its genre. Doesn’t everyone want to be a 20 something Austin slacker?

            • I’m actually wiping out a ton of stuff that I missed from the 80s and 90s (just saw the original Terminator and the two Bill and Ted movies for the first time ever). I might as well add Slacker to the list.

  3. nimorphi

    Do you think Shia LeBeouf’s movie career will be irreversibly damaged by doing unsimulated sex scenes in the upcoming Lars Von Trier movie or do you think he will get a pass because he is doing it for von trier or do you think he career is just going to end because the universe will have corrected itself from the damage he caused to ‘Indiana Jones and the Thing that Won’t be Named’

    • Honestly, my first reaction to finding out that he was a) doing a Von Trier movie and b) taking a big chance, like having real sex on screen, was “This is the first thing LaBeoeuf has done that I’ve liked. Ever.” My opinion of the guy drastically improved.

      I think he’ll come out alright in the public eye. It seems like an obvious play to get away from doing Transformers 8 or whatever, and move his career towards award-winning (or at least, award-quality) films. If he sticks with it, continuing to make movies with directors like Von Trier, it can only be good for his career, on-screen sex and all. He just might not make as much money.

  4. nimorphi

    also, what’s wrong with Czech film makers? Even their kids movies (like Alice, the only one I saw) are messed up.

    • I have a theory that all of that cold weather makes them do funny things. I’m mostly kidding, and technically I’m borrowing this theory from one of my friends, but there’s probably some truth to that. Italy is warmer and it produces stuff like Fellini. Go north where it’s freezing cold and you get Ingmar Bergman.

  5. What movie could you watch everyday for the rest of your life? (I ask only because I am trapped in a Toy Story groundhog day loop with my 2 year old)

    • Damn, that kid won’t even let you go with Shrek anymore?

      I’d go with Lebowski. My answer to that question sort of changes from month to month, but I almost always answer Lebowski, Hot Fuzz, or Animal House. And I answer Lebowski more than the others.

      • Actually….we watched Shriek yesterday. I will say that the worst thing about watching the same movie over and over again is that it takes all the excitement and emotion out of it. Stuff you used to laugh at isn’t even funny anymore.

  6. martini

    Dear John,
    When is your birthday? Also, happy birthday.


  7. surroundedbyimbeciles

    How do you find the time to watch as many movies as you do? I need to figure out how to do it.

    • Hmm… this feels like telling someone how to smoke, or buy booze before they’re 21. It’s a habit I don’t know that I’d recommend. Honestly, I’m really lazy so I’ll veg out and watch a ton on the weekends. And during the week, watching movies keeps me out of bars, which is probably a good thing.

  8. Phil

    If you were asked to vote for the Sight and Sound poll, what would be your top ten films? (They don’t need to be ranked)

    • Ha… my article tomorrow is about the Sight and Sound stuff, although I don’t have my own list. Let’s see… without putting TOO much thought into it:

      -The Seventh Seal
      -Sullivan’s Travels
      -The Godfather
      -Citizen Kane
      -Sunset Boulevard
      -Zero for Conduct (and I’m only excluding A Trip to the Moon because it’s a short)
      -Andrei Rublev

      I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but I think those are kind of the peak of movie-making. Goodfellas, 2001, The 400 Blows, Grand Illusion, Modern Times, The General, and 8 1/2 would be just on the outside looking in.

      • Phil

        Good list! I haven’t seen Napoleon or Zero for Conduct, but I have no disagreements with any of your choices. I’d put Stalker on my list but I need to give Rublev another viewing. Ikiru would also be on my top 10 and was surprised that it didn’t get more love from Sight and Sound.

        • Ikiru’s a funny one. 1/2 of Kurosawa fans point to it as their favorite. And then the other half choose the more obvious stuff (Rashomon, Seven Samurai). It’s tough to grumble about, though, because I love the tar out of those others. Just not as much as Ikiru.

          I still need to see Stalker.

      • The guy who met Kevin Meany

        Kurosawa’s ghost thanks you for including Ikiru.

  9. aleksa

    Has a film ever been too bad for “Don’t Watch in, John”?

    • Oooh, I LOVE this question. I can’t say that there is a movie that’s too bad for it. If ever there was such a movie, it would’ve starred Paris Hilton. And I saw The Hillz, which was as bad as I can imagine.

      I guess there’s not really a “too bad”, but I could see avoiding a “too gross” movie. Anything that involves people eating human waste is on really thin ice.

  10. Max

    I like to know about websites as you know.
    What is your biggest source of traffic? Who is your best commenter? Would you ever consider moving your website on its own hosted site?

    • It’s defunct now, but IMDb’s Hit List is still the biggest source of traffic, all-time. They account for 30% of my all-time page views. After that, a generic “search engines” list includes 15% of my all-time traffic; Facebook shares have given me 2.2%; 1.3% comes from StumbleUpon; and then there’s a big batch of other sites that are all tightly tied together-,, a Toronto Star article, Twitter, WordPress from the Freshly Pressed articles,, /Film, and I Love Charts.

      It’s tough to choose any one commenter. That’s really putting me on the spot. I guess I’ll shine the light on Dave Enkosky, who has commented more than anyone in the most recent iteration of the comment stats.

      I would definitely consider hosting my own site, but there’s a big step there- I know absolutely nothing about code. Or not nearly enough, anyway, to make it work and look cogent.

  11. Hilarious Opening,John.I LOVE the Chinese Valentine’s Day reference,and that’s an excuse even Chinese people don’t use,haha.

    OK,I’m gonna ask you a question you can’t refuse,what’s your favorite Chinese film and what’s your favorite “love film”?

    • I’m ashamed to say, David, I really haven’t seen many Chinese films, unless Hong Kong counts. If so, I’ll go with Five Fingers of Death. That movie was a blast. I clearly have a lot of catching up to do.

      My favorite romance… is it cheating to count Casablanca? If so, then I’ll say Adam’s Rib with Hepburn and Tracy. It’s kind of a cop-out but I really like it and it’s a rom com of sorts.

  12. Hilarious opening,John.I love your Chinese Valentine’s Day reference,but even Chinese people don’t use that kind of excuse,haha.

    I’m gonna ask you a question you can’t refuse:What’s your favorite Chinese film and why?

  13. I didn’t even know about Chinese Valentine’s Day and I’m half Chinese, ahah. Bummer I missed out on the ‘ask John a question’ window. I was gonna ask how you got all the great ideas for your blog! 😀

    • Ha… It was all an elaborate ruse to avoid saying “It’s my birthday today and I’m not going to write”, so I went with Chinese Valentine’s Day instead.

      My ideas come from all over the place- conversations with friends, bar conversations, I find a lot of fun things on the tropes website (which is the inspiration for a lot of the obscure lists)… You should see my home. It’s a post-it note graveyard. Whenever I get an idea, I jot it down on a post-it note and put it where I won’t lose it.

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