Best Film Player

Elaborate on the merits of specific tournaments or have general theoretical discussion here.
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Best Film Player

Post by CadenPetrosian » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:25 am

Who is the best film player? Currently, of all time, whatever. Also, do you think they could beat Edgar Wright in a film side event if Edgar had a day to learn about quizbowl (assuming Edgar isn't at all familiar with quizbowl)?

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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Cheynem » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:15 pm

The best I've ever seen is Yogesh Raut. Other people I've seen who are good:

Rom Masrour, Matt Lafer, John Lawrence, Tommy Casalaspsi, Jonathan Magin, Will Nediger, Trevor Davis, Sam Bailey, and myself, just to name a few. I'm sure I'm forgetting a number of older film players. Seth Teitler once won a film tournament.

One of the challenges of a lot of film players is that they tend to focus on particular genres or styles more. John and myself are more "English-language, old film" type players. Matt is more of an indy, foreign film guy. If we were just doing pure trash films, Chris Ray might make the list. There are also excellent trash generalists who obviously know some film, like Matt Weiner and Mike Sorice. If we only focused on mumblecore, Carsten Gehring might possibly make the list.

If you only counted the films he's seen, Saul Hankin would make the list, but he hasn't seen a lot of films. I think he once told me he thought The 400 Blows was about a guy blowing out a big birthday cake.

I noted that in playing Will Nediger's recent Scattergories tournament, the team I was on had some of the best film coverage I've seen (myself, Shan, Andrew Hart, and Tamara).
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:37 pm

Watching Yogesh play my visual film tournament confirmed my suspicions that he's the best overall film player.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Red Panda Cub » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:10 pm

Yogesh is obviously the best, but we have several very good players in the UK. The top three are probably Oliver Sweetenham, Charlie Clegg and Jonathan Gibson, but Mark Grant and Tris Cole are also really good.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:23 pm

Perfect time for me to pub my own side-event *cackle*: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=20695

I'm really excited about how the set is turning out so far--I think I've been judicious in getting a really good blend of trash, historic film, academic film, and artsy fartsy foreign film. Maybe come play it and we can settle this thread's question?
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:25 pm

Yeah the only grail I saw was Yogesh beating a team at some movies tournament a few years ago. Although to be fair, his teammate Seth Teitler did get one of the questions.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Beast Mode » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:28 pm

Cheynem wrote:If you only counted the films he's seen, Saul Hankin would make the list, but he hasn't seen a lot of films.
This is a very accurate assessment. My taste is a mix of modern trashy stuff and Turner Classic Movies stuff, and I have deep knowledge of a smattering of such movies, but I haven't watched nearly as many films as the other players Mike listed.

Other players that come to my mind are:
  • Alec Vulfson: The best evidence I can offer is the excellent showing he had when I ran The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes at a Columbia summer practice. Definitely merits a spot on a ranking of film players.
  • Harrison Yu: One of Michigan's current freshmen, who destroys film questions in practice. He'd also be ahead of me on the ranking, and he'll be someone to watch out for if he plays more stuff.
    [*]Aidan Mehigan: I'm basing this solely on the fact that he 30'd the 2016 ACF Nats bonus on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and the fact that he's eagerly awaiting SHAWARMA II.
  • Connor Teevens: His tastes are very similar to mine (which is why I did so well at TAMIL), but he's also watched more movies than I have.
  • Kurtis Droge: Also has interests and knowledge similar to mine, and I think would join me and Connor on some kind of "honorable mention" list.
[quote="Cheynem"]I think [Saul] once told me he thought The 400 Blows was about a guy blowing out a big birthday cake.[/quote]

I have no memory of even joking about this, much less thinking it. The only thought on it that I remember expressing (definitely to Will Nediger, maybe to you as well) is that I found the ending abrupt and unsatisfying because I'm an uncultured heathen with wrong opinions about movies.


EDIT 1: Added Alec and Kurtis to my list.
EDIT 2: I'm not only an uncultured heathen with wrong opinions about movies, but also a dumbass who can't tell when Mike is kidding.
EDIT 3: Aidan is a modest fellow.
Last edited by Beast Mode on Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:35 pm

Derek So had an excellent showing at CO Visual Arts last summer.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:39 pm

Yeah, I was going to say I would have hubristically considered myself the best "art film" player among people who currently play a bunch of stuff, except then Derek outscored me by 5 points or something on the film at Jordaens.

Speaking of Canadians, I foolishly seeded Andrew Yim and Ian Greig in the same prelim bracket as Yogesh at The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes, and then they ended up the 2nd and 3rd scorers in the top room.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Cheynem » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:40 pm

To be clear, The 400 Blows thing was a joke--nobody would ever believe that, that's like someone thinking Eugene v. Debs is a court case.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by settlej » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:47 pm

I'm not sure where he stands among the rest of the players already mentioned, but I think Taylor Harvey deserves a shout (yes I'm kind of biased because he's my teammate, but still). He has good coverage between "trash film" and "art film" from my experience being next to him while he does film things at various tournaments, but the stats from Jordaens online, ARTSEE, JCD, etc. seem to back that up.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by heterodyne » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:59 pm

I don't think anyone has mentioned Nathan Weiser- judging from the 4 rounds of Scattergories I played with him, he's quite good at film indeed.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:21 pm

Beast Mode wrote: [*]Aidan Mehigan: I'm basing this solely on the fact that he 30'd the 2016 ACF Nats bonus on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and the fact that he's eagerly awaiting SHAWARMA II.
Unless we decide the film canon should consist only of, like, that one bonus plus Saul's SHAWARMA tossup on Muppet Treasure Island, the idea that I should be anywhere near this list is laughable. I really don't think I'm exaggerating all that much when I say I've seen maybe a dozen or two non-kids movies in my entire life.

If we were compiling a list of the best Madagascar franchise players on the other hand...
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:26 pm

Paul Kirk-Davidoff is quite good, though it seems like his specialties are things like African and Middle Eastern film, which don't come up too often.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by vinteuil » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:29 pm

Muriel Axon wrote:Paul Kirk-Davidoff is quite good, though it seems like his specialties are things like African and Middle Eastern film, which don't come up too often.
"Shockingly," Isaac is also excellent at many similar areas of film, as well as more generally.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Progcon » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:31 pm

I wanted to give a shoutout to former MSU player Dillon Edwards who got a ton of points on FLOREAT versus some of the people mentioned in this thread. I think he finished second to Mike Cheyne. When he was my teammate freshman year, he would consistently nail film questions.

He has an eclectic taste in film but he is pretty dominant at horror movies.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by gyre and gimble » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:35 pm

heterodyne wrote:I don't think anyone has mentioned Nathan Weiser- judging from the 4 rounds of Scattergories I played with him, he's quite good at film indeed.
Nathan is probably better at film than anyone mentioned in this thread, excluding Yogesh, Will N., Matt L., and maybe Tommy (I haven't seen Tommy play that many film questions, but his reputation precedes him). I can't point you to a record of how well he did on Act of Seeing, because he played it at a Stanford practice, but he probably powered ~30% of the questions (maybe more?). Instead I'll point to his 10 powers on Eyes VIII, of which I think 8 were film. I like to think he might have repeated the feat this year had I not crushed his sense of self by beating him to a film he's seen five times. But I digress. My point is, Nathan is better at film than you.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Cheynem » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:14 pm

I forgot Nathan mainly because I've never met him and I keep thinking he's Kieren Weisert. From all accounts, he seems like an excellent film player.

Am I incorrect in thinking that Stephen Liu is also a good film player?

At the film tournament I wrote, somebody whom I have never met named Michael Mungen (was this a friend of Mike Bentley's?) put up a line of 31/46/8, which would have been probably tournament winning if not for Yogesh.

I think Yogesh is clearly the best, but things get shaky after that once you start trying to determine if you are only doing academic films, if you count trashier stuff, if you account for independent and foreign films, etc. For example, Will Nediger is probably the superior overall film player to me, but I've beaten him on packets and sets that reward more old Hollywood stuff (i.e., the guerrilla set in which I created the distribution).

I looked at the stats for the visual film tournament--the only other person who finished in the top room that hasn't been mentioned so far is Richard Yu.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by bradleykirksey » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:22 pm

settlej wrote:I'm not sure where he stands among the rest of the players already mentioned, but I think Taylor Harvey deserves a shout (yes I'm kind of biased because he's my teammate, but still). He has good coverage between "trash film" and "art film" from my experience being next to him while he does film things at various tournaments, but the stats from Jordaens online, ARTSEE, JCD, etc. seem to back that up.
I'd second this. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about because I've only seen Will N play one film tossup, but Taylor is as good at film as anyone in Florida is at anything. I've seen him early-power a handful of things like Gerty the Dinosaur. Even if he doesn't get everything early, he's always good for a few really stunning buzzes.

It's a shame that Regs only had 2 films tossups (1 of we we couldn't play because UF wrote it IIRC) because Ophirstats has the potential to end these sort of debates in the future. It's going to be exciting to see the potential it has.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by ErikC » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:04 pm

bradleykirksey wrote:
settlej wrote:It's a shame that Regs only had 2 films tossups (1 of we we couldn't play because UF wrote it IIRC) because Ophirstats has the potential to end these sort of debates in the future. It's going to be exciting to see the potential it has.
While I always submit a film question to try and remedy this, the opera and ballet lobby is strong.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:49 pm

vinteuil wrote:
Muriel Axon wrote:Paul Kirk-Davidoff is quite good, though it seems like his specialties are things like African and Middle Eastern film, which don't come up too often.
"Shockingly," Isaac is also excellent at many similar areas of film, as well as more generally.
Paul's better! Paul's very good.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by heterodyne » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:14 am

Cheynem wrote: Am I incorrect in thinking that Stephen Liu is also a good film player?
Also judging from Scattergories 2, no.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Cold Stone Steve Austin » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:58 pm

Last year I read multiple packets of the 2012 Cheyne Film Tournament to Anderson Roloff, who first-lined a bunch of tossups, although I have beaten him to Fellini whom he hates, so he's probably slightly more of a Hollywood player than a European art film player, I could be wrong here.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Mike Bentley » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:21 pm

Cheynem wrote:At the film tournament I wrote, somebody whom I have never met named Michael Mungen (was this a friend of Mike Bentley's?) put up a line of 31/46/8, which would have been probably tournament winning if not for Yogesh.
Michael Mungen was a one-time University of Washington player (going back to when it was still a CBI school) who was always quite good at film.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by MLafer » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:26 pm

I'd posit that not only is Yogesh the best film player but is more dominant at film than any other player is at any other semi-major category.

Putting him aside, I think Mike Cheyne or Rom are the best at classic Hollywood.
Mike is probably the best at trash film.
Will is the best at art film (especially ones that like 10 people have watched), though Derek is also very good.
I think I have a pretty balanced knowledge of art, indie, trashy and mainstream films, but am not the best at any of these. I'm pretty bad at Classic Hollywood.

Mike D'Angelo, Mike White (Projection Booth host) and Matt Lynch would both probably be really good players if they played quiz bowl.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by adosreme » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:07 pm

ErikC wrote:
bradleykirksey wrote:
settlej wrote:It's a shame that Regs only had 2 films tossups (1 of we we couldn't play because UF wrote it IIRC) because Ophirstats has the potential to end these sort of debates in the future. It's going to be exciting to see the potential it has.
While I always submit a film question to try and remedy this, the opera and ballet lobby is strong.
The distribution of other arts at ACF regionals was as follows:

3/2 Architecture
2/2 Film
3/2 Other Visual (Fashion, magazines, Mughal art / film inspirations from other visual media, installation art)
1/1 Photography

0/1 Ballet (there is also a classical music tossup on Appalachian Spring)
2.5/3 Jazz
3.5/3 Opera (there was a common link tossup on "Pharaohs" on jazz with Phillip Glass and Aida clues near the end)
1/2 Other Music (flutes / musicals, throat singing)

People usually tend to think that the parts of a subdistribution that they like personally are being underrepresented when in reality it tends to be much more balanced than you think.

Now if you wanted to argue that opera should be rolled into classical music to make room for more of the things you like, then that's another different debate altogether.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:47 pm

ErikC wrote: While I always submit a film question to try and remedy this, the opera and ballet lobby is strong.
Assuming the tournament divides Other Arts evenly between Auditory and Visual within each packet (which virtually every well-edited tournament does), it is simply not possible for film to get pushed out by any sort of Auditory Art.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:54 pm

I once invited Rom Masrour to play with my pub trivia team. We got a question that was like "what was the first sports movie to win Best Picture". Rom proceeded to recite, from memory, every Best Picture winner from the first Oscars onward until he got to the correct answer (Rocky, sometime in the 70's). I'm told he can do the same for Best Actor and Best Actress.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Cheynem » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:37 pm

Isn't Ben-Hur the first sports film to win Best Picture? If you accept a lot of modern sports network's idea of what a sport is, The Sting would also qualify.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by OctagonJoe » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:36 pm

Alice (née Andreas) Stoehr was really good at film back in the day and probably still is.
Cheynem wrote:If we only focused on mumblecore, Carsten Gehring might possibly make the list.
Or if we made a list of people who have made you swear by beating you to movie tossups.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by ErikC » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:38 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:
ErikC wrote: While I always submit a film question to try and remedy this, the opera and ballet lobby is strong.
Assuming the tournament divides Other Arts evenly between Auditory and Visual within each packet (which virtually every well-edited tournament does), it is simply not possible for film to get pushed out by any sort of Auditory Art.
I didn't know that. How are ballet questions about performance classified?
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by adosreme » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:28 pm

ErikC wrote:
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:
ErikC wrote: While I always submit a film question to try and remedy this, the opera and ballet lobby is strong.
Assuming the tournament divides Other Arts evenly between Auditory and Visual within each packet (which virtually every well-edited tournament does), it is simply not possible for film to get pushed out by any sort of Auditory Art.
I didn't know that. How are ballet questions about performance classified?
Typically as Other Arts - Auditory (I believe that the bonus in pack H is a typo since the other arts tossup in that pack is visual)
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Cheynem » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:07 pm

You can really see how different whims of different authors influence how someone's film knowledge is rewarded or not. John Lawrence's line at FILM, while nothing to sneeze at, was just pretty good (and no superpowers, if I recall), but he then utterly destroyed my event.

Tim Morrison is really good at film and had a ton of great buzzes at both events.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by rylltraka » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:22 pm

MLafer wrote:I'd posit that not only is Yogesh the best film player but is more dominant at film than any other player is at any other semi-major category.
This is from long ago when Yogesh and I were teammates, but once in practice the two of us played, I think, Ray Luo's (now that's a name from way back) film tournament against each other in practice. It was something like 150 questions total. I'm an okay trash player. I answered two questions; two went dead; Yogesh got the other 146.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Aaron's Rod » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:45 pm

Cheynem wrote:You can really see how different whims of different authors influence how someone's film knowledge is rewarded or not. John Lawrence's line at FILM, while nothing to sneeze at, was just pretty good (and no superpowers, if I recall), but he then utterly destroyed my event.
Agreed. Carsten's performance at FILM this weekend really blew me away. Perhaps the FILM distro was too trashy to reward JL's knowledge, but I want to highlight that Carsten put up 100 points against JL/Will/Rama. (And that's with the formidable Tim Morrison on his team, too.)
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Cheynem » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:00 pm

Carsten is good at film--he reminds me of Will Nediger but trashier.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:55 pm

Aaron's Rod wrote: Perhaps the FILM distro was too trashy to reward JL's knowledge
A common (if perhaps understandable) misconception. The opposite was true. I'm lousy at art film. I'm strictly a trash film player. It's just that I'm better at older trash than I am at newer trash.
Cheynem wrote:You can really see how different whims of different authors influence how someone's film knowledge is rewarded or not. John Lawrence's line at FILM, while nothing to sneeze at, was just pretty good (and no superpowers, if I recall), but he then utterly destroyed my event.
I do wonder if this is mainly attributable to the fact that movies (specficially non-foreign/non-art movies) are a tiny part of the standard distribution, and therefore few people actively study them for quizbowl. Thus, most film players are more reliant on their "natural" knowledge bases, which differ widely.

For something like literature, all of us aspiring to be good "literature players" have made an effort to plug the gaps that are left by our personal tastes. (Although Gorilla Literature 2014 showed that the choice of literature editor makes a big difference too.) If literature had as small a place in the quizbowl distribution as film has, I imagine that literature players would end up being as editor-dependent as film players are, maybe even more dependent.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Cheynem » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:23 pm

John makes a good point. I think compared to some film players, I enjoy reading about film and Hollywood history, as well as reading a fair share of Wikipedia plot summaries (and own and read through Leonard Maltin movie guides on like flights and stuff), so that helps me learn about films that I don't personally care for or who haven't seen. However, that still doesn't help me too much on indie and foreign films.
Mike Cheyne
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UlyssesInvictus
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:47 pm

Tooting the horn for the Kirk-Davidoffs, who I got to see play in person over the Boston Open Weekend. Their coverage of art and international film is unsurprisingly amazing, but they were also pretty grand at non-academic film. Chip Horton also excelled at the trashier answerlines, while picking up the occasional academic answer.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by nadph » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:17 am

I think Nathan Weiser and Benji Nguyen should both be somewhere on this list.
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Cheynem
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Cheynem » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:10 pm

Chris Ray I think deserves more accolades as a film player, although his knowledge seems more towards the trashier end of the film spectrum.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

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ValenciaQBowl
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:57 pm

Ugh, since none of you punks is ever going to mention me, I'm going to have to. I saw The Star Wars in the theater in 1977.
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:58 pm

Cheynem wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:10 pm
Chris Ray I think deserves more accolades as a film player, although his knowledge seems more towards the trashier end of the film spectrum.
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:
Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:57 pm
- Un Cheyne Andalou: This was by far one of my favorite quizbowl experiences of all time. Between matches at KABO, Chris Ray approached me and said "Hey John, you know film, right? Because I know movies." I didn't give any sort of detailed reply, but admitted that I considered myself an underrated movie/film player generally.
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Coelacanth
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Re: Best Film Player

Post by Coelacanth » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:57 pm

ValenciaQBowl wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:57 pm
Ugh, since none of you punks is ever going to mention me, I'm going to have to. I saw The Star Wars in the theater in 1977.
I saw it in the theater in 1977 six times.

I'm still the worst film player I know by a wide margin.
Brian Weikle
I say what it occurs to me to say when I think I hear people say things. More, I cannot say.

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