The Spoon is happy to announce that Sadie from Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady is our Name That Movie Champion!

I'm very impressed with Sadie's resourcefulness as the contest picture was not only just a head shot, but not even an attractive head shot either. That's like an automatic two strikes against figuring out the answer. But Sadie perserved and deserves mad, wicked, sick props. Or something.

For those of you not in the know, The Hunt for Red October was the big budget movie based on political thriller writer Tom Clancy's first published novel. Here's how Red October met my previous hints:

Hint#1: Our hero (not shown), probably wishes he just wrote a memo.
Red October
centers around the actions of CIA analyst turned super badass agent (kind of) Jack Ryan (played by some dude named Alec Baldwin - never heart of him). This movie (and book) marks Ryan's first of many apperances in the Clancy universe. It also follows him as he uncovers the secret motives of a Russian captain who may or may not wish to defect to America with a super bad ass submarine named Red October.

Hint#2: Brought the term "caterpillar" back into the water.
What makes the Red October so special is it's underwater propulsion system which is able to use state of the art technology, code named: caterpillar drives, (that don't actually exist) to run almost completely silent. This is a major bonus to submarines that want to kill stuff without being killed in return. It's also a big reason why the Russkies do not want the Americans to get access to its technology.

I will grow this flower to be a flawless symbol of our love. I will nurture it each day with fresh soil and water and sing Scottish love songs to make it strong and vibrant. When it is fully grown I will rip it from the ground and f*** it.

Hint#3: Features the most Scottish Russian ever.
Sean Connery is the captain of the sub, instantly raising the Red October's hotness rating by a factor of 10.


Version 2.o
I'll admit it. The last version of Name That Movie! was dang hard, so naturally I'll do the same one again - but with two more hints. (By the way, good try Squish but not quite right.)

Hint#1: Our hero (not shown), probably wishes he just wrote a memo.

Hint#2: Brought the term "caterpillar" back into the water.

Hint#3: Features the most Scottish Russian ever.

The Picture:


I'm impressed. Really. I admire the restraint you all are displaying by not flooding the comments with praise and reckless displays of virtual nookie. I've therefore come to the conclusion that some form of release should be organized for your reading pleasure.
And so to that end, I hereby begin the next installment of Name that Movie!

You all know the rules, and if you don't then here they are again because I'm such a nice guy.

The Rules:
1)Guess the movie title of the displayed picture.
2)Write said movie title in comments section.
3)First correct answer receives recognition and adulation.
4)Second correct answer receives Miss Congeniality Award

The Picture:

The Hint:
Our hero (not shown), probably wishes he just wrote a memo.


Your Horoscope is Back!
Take a glimpse into your near-future but be warned - you may not like what you see. Also be warned, I totally made this up.

You will run into an old friend from high school and spend at least fifteen minutes catching up on each other's lives. After you leave, your "friend" will spend another twenty minutes trying to remember who the hell you are.


Pan's Labyrinth keeps it real
(as far as fairy tales can keep it real)
This may come as a shock to some of you, but today’s fairy tales are for wusses. Not only is there a disturbing lack of violence in most modern tellings of fairy tales but very often there is also a distinct lack of torture, death, bestiality, and character development. Fairy tales are also the putative vessels of morals and life lessons but they’re in sore need of some updating. For example, if I followed the lessons taught in Jack and the Beanstalk and traded my “heifer” for another man’s “beans” I’d probably end up with a sore butt and a weepy appearance on Cops. Thankfully, we have Pan’s Labyrinth to rectify this sorry situation.

Pan’s Labyrinth has been billed as a fairy tale for adults and as we’ll see, this is a key distinction for its success as a modern fairy tale. Of course, “adult fairy tale” conjures images of bound and gagged fairies and little hairy fauns with an appetite for tickling (at least for me), but the “adult” tag instead describes a darker, more subtle style of storytelling that eschews happy talking animals in favor of freaking huge goat men with cryptic motives and Nazis. This turns out to be a very good move for audiences with the exception of small children who will probably become confused and perhaps more than a little afraid of the woods, the dark, and authoritarian military regimes.

A hairy faun with a penchant for tickling or the director of Pan's Labyrinth?
You be the judge.

As most fairy tales go, the set up is simple: during the ominous period of World War II, a young girl (played by Ivana Baquero) and her pregnant mother move into the Spanish countryside to be with her militant stepfather (Sergi Lopez). The young girl’s name is Ofelia and her new home is full of surprises as she is soon approached by creatures of the underworld (ie: the freaking huge goat man/faun) who promise her the eternal life of a princess if she is able to complete a series of tasks. Admittedly, this may sound a bit blah, but there’s much more going on beneath the idyllic surface because as it turns out, the stepfather isn’t just your run-of-the-mill-abusive-man-of-the-house (whew), but a Nazi general tasked with the destruction of the region’s anti-fascist rebels. And it isn’t long before little Ofelia’s quest for princess-hood throws her smack dab in the middle of this very real and very violent conflict. With princesses and fairies, freedom fighters and Nazis, we certainly have the makings of a modern fairy tale and fortunately Pan’s Labyrinth looks like one too.

Little Ofelia and her horny friend

Visually, this is a stunning movie. The settings range from the vibrant green forests to a flickering-candlelit dinner party of death (check, please?) and they all look faaaabulous. The lack of computer-generated effects is also a strength as the fauns and creepy baddies prowl and lurk with a realism that will keep you awake at night (or so I’m told - ahem). Even during gunfights and torture scenes (oh yes, there is torture) the lights and colors are appropriately bright and cheery or dark and threatening. Everything on the screen is just a little more beautiful and a little more haunting as befitting a fairy tale.

I may be creepy and wrinkly but I have the heart of a little boy. In my fridge.
I'm saving it for a potluck.

What sets Pan’s Labyrinth apart form other fairy tales (and other movies) is its ability to put shades of gray into every character. Ofelia may appear as your average young princess-in-training, but only over time does it become clear whether her dreams are purely selfish fantasy or perhaps something more altruistic. There are several scenes in which Ofelia puts herself and those around her at great risk and the audience is constantly left to wonder what she is thinking. The combination of excellent dialogue, cinematography, and acting make every character, including the monstrous stepfather, more than just a cardboard cutout.

And the acting really is top notch. Ivana Baquero deftly walks the fine line of innocence without falling off the edge. Sergi Lopez also stands out as the loathsome stepfather/dictator. There isn’t a weak link in the cast and Pan’s use of Spanish lends the entire film a sense of exoticism that further serves the film’s fairy tale roots.

If I were a smarter man with a larger ego (mine is actually small, humble, and modestly gorgeous), I might argue that Pan’s Labyrinth could be seen as an allegory for that troubling passage between childhood and a full blown case of adult-itis. I’ll leave you, my beautiful readers, to draw your own conclusions, but it is thanks to Pan’s layered nuances in both plot and design that this interpretation is even possible. You may ultimately agree or disagree with my deductions here, but you will also thank me for seeing this film.

Pan’s Labyrinth is a haunting, beautiful film that deserves to be seen on the big screen. If you haven’t seen it yet, go now. Otherwise, go see it again. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’ve awarded Pan with a John rating (4 out of 4 stars).