Pedantic, moi?

February 7, 2012 in Movies, Quizzes

Correcting quizzes is essentially a thankless task. Writing questions is fun. Hosting is fun (though less so for the audience if your host-with-the-most persona is a git). Marking sheets and totting up scores is free of any such glamour. All you need is a red pen and a bit of cop-on. Which brings me neatly to the pedantry at this week’s quiz.

What constitutes a right answer is a long-standing bugbear of mine. Most quizzes accept surnames without firstnames, though some penalise for incorrect attempts at both (a bit harsh, but you’re usually forewarned). Phonetic answers are usually acccepted, unless you’re asked to spell Schwarzenegger or similar. In my book though, what’s crucial is whether the stem of the answer is in place. In movie quizzes, that identifier may distinguish a movie from another entry in a franchise, or a movie with a similar title. However, I’d challenge whether denying us a point in the last movie quiz for identifying the poster for The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is truly in the spirit of quizzing. Surely we gave the pertinent information? Likewise for giving Bella’s full name from Twilight series as Bella Swann (as in the Wiki entry) as they only accepted Isabella. Pendantic or what?!

Anyway, onto last night’s quiz. We finished third again – the model of consistency recently – with 30/31* points in each half. Fair play to the eventual winners with 71 points, only dropping 3 points in the first four rounds. We were three points off the placings at half-time, so we were relatively pleased by our performance in the music clips and ‘Who wrote the book on which the movie was based?’ round, which was oddly flagged as exceedingly hard. Perhaps our background as general knowledge quizzers helped us to a 9 here 🙂

A few last observations before the ones we missed. We’ve discussed at length the ‘art’ of writing questions and catering to your audience, but similarly notable is a narrow focus on your own areas of knowledge or experience. For instance, good as these movie quizzes in Kellys’ are, they betray a bias towards 80s movies and almost entirely neglect cinema before then (indeed, Q11 below stands out like a sore thumb). Given the extraordinary movies the pre-date the question-writer’s 80s adolescence, is it too much to ask? I can’t imagine a music quiz that would omit any mention of music from the 60s and 70s.

At least – and I was ready to rant if this was repeated – this week didn’t see a repeat on the obsession about character names, which are – to my mind – inherently unfair. You may well know an actor, director or even plot synopsis of a film you haven’t seen but a character name? I’ve watched 15 movies this year and can safely bet that I can’t remember a single character’s name. It’s simply not important. Ask about directors, screenwriters, composers by all means. On to the ones we missed:

  1. Who played the lead character, Mallory Kane, in the new release, Haywire?*
  2. Underworld: Awakening is currently clogging up the cinema screens. Name the previous films in that franchise.
  3. Who plays the drug dealer in the current Jonah Hill film, The Sitter?
  4. Name the movie, below left.*
  5. Name the actress, below.
  6. Who plays Harold & Kumar in that movie franchise?
  7. What Irish town did Michael Fassbender move to from Germany as a young child?*
  8. Name the movie, below right.*
  9. Who wrote the novel The Devil Wears Prada?
  10. In The Rock, what deadly (and real) gas does Ed Harris’ character, General Hummels, threaten to use on San Francisco?
  11. Who played the title character in Sam Peckinpah’s 1970 movie The Ballad of Cable Hogue?
  12. What nickname was given to the asteroid in Armageddon?
  13. Whose painting was stolen by the eponymous character in The Thomas Crown Affair remake?
  14. Name the character actor, who died last week, who played  porn-film producer Jackie Treehorn in The Big Lebowski and also had a supporting role in The Thomas Crown Affair?


Update: Answers up now. Some hard-luck cases discussed from the asterisks above 😉

4 responses to Pedantic, moi?

  1. Nice post Mike.

    Re #13, did they mean whose painting was stolen in the set-piece at the end of the film? Cos that I know. A lot of paintings were stolen during that film though!

    I’m also pretty sure I know the answer to 7, 8 and 10. Well, I definitely know the county for 7 so an educated guess could be made…

  2. Not entirely sure what his wording was on #13, but there’s one big heist and that’s the set-piece you’re thinking of.

    Same boat for #7. I’d have been fairly confident of one answer but another town popped into my head all of a sudden and I wrongly followed that instinct.

    Jot down your answer for #8 and we’ll see if it matches what they were after.

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