Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wake up! Quiz time.


The part of the title that comes after the colon is something I've written about numerous times on this blog. It's an increasingly common crutch, which we seem to think of as dumbing down the movie title, or at least the studio hedging its bets to include the name of the franchise for easier recognition.

Funny, though -- couldn't you say that the post-colon part of the title actually has a proud tradition in academic journals and books of great intellect? The title of almost every non-fiction book these days is constructed in the following way:

[Short clever phrase that hints at what the book is about]:[Longer detailed explanation of what the book is about]

Example:

Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People is Greater than the People in Power, by Wael Ghonim.

(This just happens to be a title I heard discussed earlier this week on NPR. The author is an Egyptian Google executive who created an anonymous Facebook page that helped lead to the protests in Tahrir Square. His book is not actually a perfect example of the phenomenon I'm discussing because a) the part after the colon is still somewhat abstract, and b) the full title, as listed on Amazon, actually has yet another colon and the words A Memoir at the end. But you get the idea.)

Wow, I'm already off track.

And the book example doesn't actually make much sense anyway, because especially in the case of non-fiction writing, the pre-colon part of the title is rarely the name of a familiar franchise.

Jeez, I am about to lose you. Please continue reading.

Anyway, that post-colon part of the title is now prevalent in Hollywood movies, with the latest example -- Underworld: Awakening -- coming out today.

So I thought, to mark the occasion of the release of the fourth (yes, fourth) Underworld movie, I would quiz you to see if you can match the post-colon part of the title with the appropriate franchise. (Fair warning: Just about every synonym for "revenge" has been used at least once, leaving many of these things feeling completely interchangeable.)

You can easily cheat, but there are no prizes, so it's hardly even worth it. To make it a little harder, some of these movies may not have actually come out yet.

(For those of you who live and die by the latest developments in the Underworld mythology -- all two of you -- please forgive me for making light of your obsession. I'm sure this movie will be, like, really important and good.)

Shall we begin? We'll start easy ...

1. Rise of the Silver Surfer

a) The Fantastic Four
b) X-Men
c) Blue Crush
d) Watchmen

2. Apocalypse

a) Underworld
b) Dawn of the Dead
c) Ultraviolet
d) Resident Evil

3. Book of Shadows

a) Sherlock Holmes
b) The Blair Witch Project
c) National Treasure
d) The Spiderwick Chronicles

4. The Lightning Thief

a) Percy Jackson & The Olympians
b) Thor
c) The Chronicles of Narnia
d) Clash of the Titans

5. Europe's Most Wanted

a) The Pink Panther
b) Deuce Bigalow
c) Agent Cody Banks
d) Madagascar

6. Retaliation

a) Resident Evil
b) G.I. Joe
c) Taken
d) The Punisher

7. Monsters Unleashed

a) Monsters Inc.
b) Monsters vs. Aliens
c) Scooby Doo
d) Pokemon

8. Armed and Fabulous

a) Miss Congeniality
b) Legally Blonde
c) Rupaul
d) Zoolander

9. Cruise Control

a) The Fast and the Furious
b) Speed
c) Speed Racer
d) Crank

10. Retribution

a) Ghost Rider
b) Resident Evil
c) Max Payne
d) The Crow

11. Texas Blood Money

a) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
b) From Dusk Till Dawn
c) Natural Born Killers
d) Deliverance

12. Marauder

a) Lara Croft
b) Starship Troopers
c) G.I. Joe
d) The Punisher

13. When Nature Calls

a) Over the Hedge
b) Open Season
c) Ace Ventura
d) Ernest

14. Back in Business

a) Barbershop
b) Daddy Day Care
c) The Santa Clause
d) Wall Street

15. Fully Loaded

a) Crank
b) Inspector Gadget
c) Herbie
d) Ghost Rider

16. The Far Side of the World

a) Pirates of the Caribbean
b) The Hobbit
c) Master and Commander
d) Prince of Persia

17. Bloodline

a) The Omen
b) Bloodrayne
c) Children of the Corn
d) Hellraiser

18. The Movie

a) Star Trek
b) The Brady Bunch
c) Garfield
d) All of the above

19. Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

a) Bruno
b) Borat
c) Ali G
d) Corky Romano

20. Chipwrecked

a) Alvin and the Chipmunks
b) Alvin and the Chipmunks
c) Alvin and the Chipmunks
d) None of the above

Okay, how many did you honestly -- honestly -- get?

I don't have the ability to write these upside down, so don't cheat:

Answers: 1 - a, 2 - d, 3 - b, 4 - a, 5 - d, 6 - b, 7 - c, 8 - a, 9 - b, 10 - b, 11 - b, 12 - b, 13 - c, 14 - a, 15 - c, 16 - c, 17 - d, 18 - c, 19 - b, 20 - a, b or c

Bonus poll question:

1) Which of these post-colon titles is the most ridiculous?

a) Port of Call New Orleans
b) Voyage of the Dawn Treader
c) The Owls of Ga'Hoole
d) Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

3 comments:

Mike Lippert said...

I think the colon has different purposes when used for academic papers or novels than it does for movies. For academia you have the title and then a colon and a statement that hints the main subject matter of hypothosis. To use one of my own examples: La Strada: The Road to Fellini's realism.

With movies though it seems to act as a way to punch up or underline the awsomeness of what you're about to expereince more than a simple number would. X-Men 3 isn't just another X-Men movie, by god it's The Last Stand and we're not just getting more Underworld this time, we're getting some sort of awakening so fans better not miss out on it. And you know, it kind of works.

Vancetastic said...

It's true. That was a tangent that had nothing to do with my reason for writing the post, and I'm glad you waded through it.

There are, however, a few movie titles that do function in the same way as the academic papers. Just off the top of my head, I'm thinking of things like The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters and Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. Of course, these are both documentaries, making them closer in spirit to an academic paper anyway. The jury is still out on how we should view Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.

But what I really want to know is ... how did you score on the quiz?

Vancetastic said...

Oh, and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.