Friday, January 26, 2007

The Best Horror Movie, New Nominee

I'm still getting the hang of the comments, and learned this morning that over on The Best Of Everything and on Thinking The Lions that there were comments from readers, so PLEASE don't think I'm not paying attention. I pay attention; I'm just very bad at what my nephew and now I call "'Puting."

Anyway, here's another comment I discovered today from Allex Spires, disputing Susan's nomination of Hostel for The Best Horror Movie, and putting in his own:

(I've inserted the pictures; Allex did the writing.)

What the hell was that?? How is that even considerable as horror? It's just special effect snuff. Horror is putting a man in front of a mirror, removing his eyelids, cutting of his nose, his ears, cutting out his lips and cheeks, removing an eye, letting him vomit into his wounds... BURNING! And then, sending him home to see if he is still loved.

Cutting off an artist's hands. And letting her live.

Chewing on a spoonful from a bowl of teeth... THAT's horror. This is just extravagant murder.

Horror is torturing a person and then letting killing them slowly. A slit throat, what a waste of time, the character didn't even have time to reflect on his failure.

Sin City. That is HORROR.

Allex Spires


What Allex sets out is, in fact, horrifying. I take a more traditional view of horror myself, dividing horror into genres such as "horror" (like Poltergeist or The Amityville Horror) and "slasher" (think Halloween or Friday the 13th) and "torture" (Hostel, Saw.) But people seem to want to group them all together.

Sin City, now, is a new type of entry altogether. I would have lumped Sin City into Modern Crime, like Pulp Fiction, Go, or Snatch (all great movies), but if Allex wants to nominate it for horror, horror it is.

This category is bulking up. Keep it going, everyone!

And, for your bonus viewing pleasure, a parody of Sin City's trailer:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Best Movie Line, New New Nominee

In a The Best Of Everything demonstration of Newton's third law of motion, and hot on the heels of my posting Allex Spires' nomination for The Best Movie Line, we've got our third submission.

And, it's from an Alex. Weird coincidence? Or cosmic conspiracy. We'll probably never know.

The new Alex is Alex M, and you can find out more about him here. Alex has some background in this, working in a production company, so his nomination might carry some weight even if it wasn't a good one on its own.

And Alex M's. nomination has the benefit (like mine) of being the actual quote, not the one that people (mis)remember.

Alex M.'s nomination:

"My fave, always, is "Play it Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By'""

Alex M. didn't explain why, and I won't purport to. But it's a good quote anyway, even if most people will tell you (erroneously) that the quote is "Play it again, Sam." (It's not, as you can see:

and that's a first for me: A parenthetical insertion of Youtube!)

Go here for what looks to be a good explanation of the actual sequence of the quotes. (Go here for a humorous reason why you might not want to trust Wikipedia all the time.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Best Movie Line, New Nominee

So I'm going through some stuff today, thinking I'll post a new article over on my new Gather site (check it out for the pictures; the articles are reposts of my blogs) and I realized that I had comments on here, comments that were unfortunately years old.

And my first thought was "You like me, you really like me."

My second thought was "Not anymore after waiting months to be acknowledged."

My third thought was "Yeah, but you still
liked me."

Then I read Allex Spires' nomination for The Best Movie Line. Here it is:

I am your father... that's crap from a crap maker to the crap lovers. CRAP!!!

"I am your father" is not particularly catchy and most people, outside of movie characters using it in good attempts at bad comedy, don't say it.

Thus, your nomination fails on that point.

It's not iconic, it was an utterly out of left field surprise and the closest thing I can think of that might be pop and fits in with it is Joseph telling his brothers who he was after they'd dumped him in a ditch and he became Pharoh of Egypt... hardly iconic.

It doesn't sum up the plot twist either, that happens when Luke holds his dying father in his arms at the end of the sixth chapter and they reconcile showing that evil and good can work together and be more powerful than either side alone.

It doesn't sum up the movie, either. Lando being forced by the wookie to turn the Millenium Falcoln around and pick up Luke just because Leia has a funny feeling, demonstrating that Luke is held up and simultaneously crushed by his family.

It doesn't sum up an entire Generation, either... "May the force be with you", the line that built an empire of New Age, did that.

"Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"

Is iconic, it holds and builds upon tradition going back beyond Sparticus and Metropolis and up into Roots, Indiana Jones, The Matrix, and "V" for Vendetta.

It is catchy and is used frequently in the most sensible and ridiculous of contexts all over the world.

It sums up the plot twist: though shot in the neck, Taylor heals and finds that he is able to speak again, which he and several people the first time they saw it thought would not happen, and not only does he speak but the first thing he does say is amazing, it shows the ragged slave garbed beast as a being, perhaps more powerful than his masters. It sums up the movie, All he wants to do is get away from the apes for the entire film and the apes are always trying get back on top of him.

It sums up three generations and all generations yet to come, the oppressed will always be there and at some time or other all people feel oppressed. The movie transcends racial barriers and gender barriers and class barriers. When the movie originally played in theaters, the producers were astounded that black and brown audiences and feminists loved it. People everywhere were able to so easily and clearly identify with Taylor.

Your quote does nothing you claim one should, mine does them all.

"Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"

-Allex Spires
Whew! I didn't think it was possible to get that upset over a movie line. I'm not going to rebut his arguments because my own original entry does that already. But I'd like to comment on his assertion that "May The Force Be With You" is more iconic and a better line.

I disagree.

"May The Force Be With You" is a good line, but not The Best because it doesn't carry the impact. It's more a catchphrase than anything else. It didn't hit you with a whipsaw like "I am your father" did. It might have been used a lot and paraphrased a lot, but in my mind The Best Movie Line is one that did more than stuck in your memory, it had to define the movie and hit home personally. It had to go beyond Dirty Dancing's kitsch value and mean something on many, many different levels. (In which respect I and Allex are not so far apart in how we choose our Best Movie Lines.)

Like I pointed out before, "I am your father" makes the cut because of how it affected all the kids who heard it; we'd all spent years pretending to be Luke Skywalker (and identifying with his need to go out there and be more than a water farmer) and suddenly you had to ask yourself: Do I want to be Luke? "I am your father" made the simple world of Star Wars morph into the complex world of The Empire Strikes Back. Now, things were not so straightforward. We weren't just going to get the Princess and destroy the Death Star. We were training for something bigger than us, and having to choose whether to listen to our teachers or our father-figures Obi Wan Kenobi, and had to wonder about whether the Landos in our lives would carbon freeze us. In "I am your father," George Lucas ushered a generation of Tweens into Young Adulthood. We would need The Force, because the universe had really become scary and the scariness was part of us.

But I like Allex's nomination, too. If you want to check in on Allex, go here. His nomination deserves some scrutiny. In fact, I liked it even better when Troy McClure used it in "Planet of the Ape The Musical" on The Simpsons:

Correction posted on 1/25/07:
From Allex Spires:

Okay, I went back and read it. Rather than put another longwinded response into the blog, I'll say that I didn't say that "May the force be with you" was Iconic, or even a good line, it just sums up the Star Wars/New Age generation.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Best Kind Of Joke

I enjoy a good joke as much as the next guy. More than that, I enjoy a bad joke. I am all about really, really stupid jokes, the kind that make you say things like "Oh, Jesus, what did I marry?"

Okay, you don't say things like that. Sweetie does, though, when I break out the bad jokes. Bad jokes like this:

Q: What did the hat say to the coat on the rack?
A: You hang around here, I'll go on ahead.

Get it? Ahead. A head. Go on a head.


And there are plenty of classic jokes out there, so many that they can be broken into categories. The knock-knock joke:

Knock knock...
Who's there?
I eat mop.
I eat mop who?

(Say that out loud.)(Thanks to the Middle Daughter for that one, which she got me with.)
Or this one:

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting Cow.
Interrupting Cow -- MOO!

(When you tell that one, you have to interrupt the listener's last line [interrupting cow who?] with a loud MOOO!

Beyond knock-knocks, there are the puns, in stories, like the one about Eric the Red's son, Rudolph, cancelling a trip because he feared bad weather. When one man's wife protested to him that the trip should go on , he tells her that they should not go and should listen to the boss. Why? Because Rudolph The Red Knows Rain, Dear.

I love it.

Or the pun can be in a simple short joke. What type of breakfast do ships eat? Boatmeal. Breakfast lends itself to that type of joke: What type of cereal is popular in the afterlife? Ghost Toasties.

There are also the word combination jokes: What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino? Elephino!

Again, probably best to say it out loud.

And I know, elephant jokes themselves are their own category: The elephant in the refrigerator (Tracks in the butter), how do you get an elephant into a tree (have it sit on an acorn and wait).

But the best type of joke of all (not the Best Joke; I've already nominated that one-- The Monk Joke ) is one that's so simple, it lends itself to almost any premise:

The Walking Into A Bar Premise.

The Walking Into A Bar joke is perfect. It can be job specific:

An proton walks into a bar. The bartender says "Hey, no atoms in here." The proton says, "I'm not an atom." The bartender says "Are you sure?" The proton says, "I'm positive."

It can be geared towards little kids and puns:

A snowman walks into a bar. The bartender says "Hey, you can't come in here." The snowman says, "Why not? I'm an ice guy."

Say it fast, and out loud. You'll get it.

Or it can be a slightly-older skewing anthropomorphized pun:

Three strings want to go out for drinks. The first string walks into the bar and the bartender says "We don't serve strings here." So the string leaves, dejected, and the second string says, "I'll talk him into it," and goes inside, but again the bartender says "We don't serve strings here." The second string leaves. The third string says, "I've got it," and messes up its ends a little until they're all loose. Then he twists himself into a loop and goes in. The bartender says, "Hey, aren't you a string?" And the string says, "No, I'm afraid not."

And if you don't get that one, I won't explain it.

And the bartender doesn't always have to try to kick them out:

A man walks into a bar carrying an alligator. He says, "Bartender, do you serve lawyers here?" The bartender says, "Sure, I guess so." The man says "Fine, I'll have a beer, and a lawyer for my alligator."

But I think beyond its versatility, what I truly love about the Walking Into The Bar joke is that it can go beyond the simple into the metaphysical. It can become a metajoke, something more than a mere punch line. The first time I heard the best of these type of jokes, it took a second, and then I got it, and it was hilarious in a somewhat strange way. So I'll leave you with the best of the Best Type of Joke, the ultimate best Walking Into a Bar joke:

A man walked into a bar. And said "Ouch."


How do you illustrate this column? You don't. The pictures have nothing to do with the topic. They're just pictures I took and liked. Enjoy! Posted by Picasa