Top 50 Moments Series, Dialogue, Part Two

The sun is shining and my mouth is open. That can only mean one thing: I’m talking crap whilst rubbing myself in the front garden…

11. Aliens. (1987, Cameron): Aliens has a nice blend of Science Fiction, Drama, Horror, Comedy, even Romance, and dialogue which would shine in any genre film from the aforementioned genres, AND manages to blend into a seemless whole. Nothing seems out of place, and the balance between the gung-ho and the tender is perfect. Most of the film fixes on our group of hard as nails Marines, but we also get great lines from Scientists, suits, mothers, and children. Bit players like pilot Ferro get to say future Buffy classic ‘Five by Five’, and Frost (when informed they can’t use their firearms) ‘What the hell are we supposed to use man? Harsh language?’ while Sgt. Apone gets the best military dialogue sounding like a hardened, Vietnam vet: ‘Check those corners’, ‘Look into my eye’, ‘Assholes and elbows’ etc etc. Ripley and Hudson get the best bits. Everyone knows Hudson’s ‘Game over, man’ and Ripley’s ‘Get away from her, you BITCH’, but rarely a minute passes without something special being uttered; I honestly can’t pick a favourite, but I imagine it would be something from Paxton.

12. Battle Royale. (2000, Fukasaku): Battle Royale is less about the quotes and more about the action, emotion, and general Japanese wackiness. Although the likes of Kitano and Mitsuko get some memorable one liners, I think my favourite (and yours) has to be taken from our favourite fun-filled BR survival video; Woman is explaining that you each get a back-pack with food, water, and special item/woman produces hatchet from back-pack/woman grins and says ‘This one’s super lucky!’

13. Dawn of the Dead. (1979, Romero): Romero’s epic is filled with entertaining pie, gore, and blood pressure machine related hijinks, as well as plenty of well documented social commentary. Naysayers would say that this is just a mindless zombie film, but in many ways the power of the script is in the quiet moments where nothing is said; Fran staring through the shop windows at begging zombies, the utter horror of the situation felt by a suicidal soldier in the opening segment. The script does have plenty of zingers and memorable speak, best of all when discussing the inevitability of it all. Fran says ‘It’s really all over… isn’t it?’ when viewing the last gasp talk show solutions, Roger gives the simple comment ‘Jesus, it’s everywhere’ and gives my current favourite line in his final moments when hoping that he won’t die and come back as a zombie ‘ I’m gonna try… not to… I’m gonna try… not to… come back. I’m gonna try… not to… ‘ It’s at once funny, pathetic, tragic, and horrific.

14. The Crow. (1994, Proyas). The Crow made superhero movies Tits at a time when superhero movies were Balls. A lot of this was down to the Proyas look and feel, but most of it was down to the faithful adaptation of O’Barr’s grim comic. While there is the expected assortment of action movie one-liners, the script transcends the norm with moments of poignancy, thankfully none of which require the volume to be turned up to 11 and a world language/accent chip inserted into your brain.

The Sound Of A Dog Barking Backwards

The message of the film is ultimately one of redemption and remembrance, though it is the downbeat lines which come off strongest such as ‘Victims; aren’t we all’ and ‘childhood’s over the moment you know you’re going to die’ and my current favourite ‘nothing is trivial’ which can be understood in many ways.

15. The Stand.  (1994, Garris): Stephen King’s greatest standalone epic gets an insane but justified amount of praise. The TV mini-series which adapts it? Not so much. Looking past the cheese, the (at times) cheap feel, the Molly Ringwald, you’ll find there is a bad-ass story about the end of the world which retains a bright outlook throughout even though almost everyone dies. Not to mention the glorious soundtrack. King wrote the screenplay, so you can be sure that there will be plenty of creative swearing and memorable one lines.

Why So Serious?
Why So Serious?

There is plenty of religious and spiritual spewing and some classic baddy lines from Flagg and crew, and even those who haven’t seen it or read the book know about M-O-O-N – that spells Meme. If I’m ever in dire need of some motivation though, nothing helps quite as much as a dose of Mother Abigail. ‘I’m 106 years old and I still makes my own bread’ is great while ‘mayhap it is or mayhap it ain’t’ gets used at least once a week. My choice today goes to immortal poultry related madness, a quote which I will endeavor to reenact frequently once the apocalypse hits: ‘Come down and eat chicken with me, beautiful, it’s sooo dark!’ Beautiful indeed.

16. The Thing. (1982, Carpenter): For a film which features only men, dogs, and aliens in extreme isolation , you’d be right in assuming that those on screen aren’t the chattiest bunch. Most of the men keep to themselves, either swearing at chess cheating computers (‘cheating bitch’),  or following through after an Antarctic Curry (‘Which one of you disrespectful men have been tossing his dirty drawers in the kitchen trash-can, huh?’). All it takes to spice things up is the introduction of a spindly booty-stealing, arm-chomping alien freak. This leads to such treats as ‘I don’t know what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off whatever it is’ and ‘You believe any of this voodoo bullshit?’. However, one of the greatest movie shapeshifting scenes leads to one of the greatest sci-fi one liners ever. It’s not much of a line in and of itself, but after what we’ve seen and the way it is impeccably delivered, it is undoubtedly a classic: ‘You gotta be fucking kidding’.

17. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  (1989, Herek): As we eagerly await the inevitably disastrous 3rd film in the series, it’s good to look back at a more simple time – the late 1980s. This was a time when there was no such thing as terrorists in the US, when we had no idea what a Snooki was, when a Hilton was something to climb into at night and regret staying in for so long the next day

Indeed
Some Things Never Change

Music was more simple too, with MTV playing a healthy dose of good rock, bad rock, and crap rock. Senor Cobain and his wonderful ilk were on the verge of telling us that rock music did not have to be vacuous, empty, juvenile, flaccid garbage but until then we had to rely on Mr Reeves and Mr Winter for most excellent guidance. Amongst all the obvious ‘wooos’ , ‘boguses’ and ‘San Dimas High School Football Ruleses’ it is my little French friend, Napoleon, who gets my most quoted lines. ‘Le glace?’, ‘Attend!’ and of course, the reason why Bill’s little brother stopped looking after him – ‘He was a Dick!’

18. Edward Scissorhands. (1990, Burton): A timeless, perfect movie with wonderful performances all round, Edward Scissorhands is a bittersweet, twisted fairytale which catapulted Johnny Depp to superstardom. You’d expect a film about a weirdo with scissors instead of hands to be ripe with interesting dialogue

Short back and sides, sir
Short back and sides, sir

but Scissorhands charms us more with its imagery, quirky style, and performances. It’s also surprisingly funny, something which people seem to have forgotten over the years, with plenty of slapstick and visual gags. My favourite comedic line from Ed: ‘Mrs Monroe showed me where the salon’s going to be….. And then she showed me the back room where she took all of her clothes off’.

19. Scream. (1996, Craven): Scream was revolutionary in many ways, almost single-handedly bringing the horror genre back to profitability and back into the minds of critics who normally dismiss the genre for being dumb. Williamson’s script plays with plenty of tropes of the genre in a post modern way, but while poking fun at the genre it also pays its utmost respects. Unlike many of the other movies which were played for cools at the time, the dialogue here hasn’t aged at all – the only thing that has changed is that today we have a group of kids who are much more aware of horror clichés and old movies thanks to ease of access; in 96 it was still an unusual geeky thing to be a massive horror movie fan, now it’s much more widespread and acceptable. We all remember the questions and the rules, but what about Billy’s epic ‘That woman was a slut-bag whore who flashed her shit all over town like she was Sharon Stone or something’? or Sidney’s simple but evocative and pertinent ‘But this is life. This isn’t a movie’.

Neve Campbell
Why Yes, Mr. Nightman, I Will Marry You

20. Wayne’s World. (1992, Spheeris): Like Bill and Ted before it, Wayne’s World can be accused of dumbing down the rock music genre and making its fans look like morons, but this isn’t a satire, it’s just a love story about our relationship with the music we adore with a lot of silly moments and appreciation for big hair and guitars. Once again, we all know the obvious lines which have gone down into folklore, or worse, memes. I offer my quartet of underappreciated delights from Garth: ‘If she were a president, she would be Baberham Lincoln’, ‘Hey Mr. Donut Man, who’s trying to kill ya? I don’t know but they better not! AUGH UGH oh, that’s not good, I’m not happy! Oh NO!’, Glen: ‘You know, if you stab a man in the dead of winter, steam will rise up from the wounds’ , and Wayne: ‘No Stairway. Denied!’

Body Snatchers

Body Snatchers

This was the third official version of the film so far (Kidman and Craig’s version being the fourth), updated to modern day and set in a US army base. Gone is the paranoia of the 70s version, replace by a gritty end of the century gloom. The whole film is set up for tension and the sense of being surrounded with little chance for escape. It is very short, adding to this quality and giving a sense of urgency few recent films have been able to match.

A family moves to a military camp as the father has to run some scientific tests in the area. His new wife and son come too along with his daughter Marti from a previous relationship, setting up an ‘evil step-mum’ dynamic. Marti is 17 and feels estranged from everyone, imprisoned, and believes she will soon be free of it all when she turns 18. Her father does his tests, under strict supervision from armed guards, her brother finds his new classmates and teacher to be a little odd, and she makes a few friends- the first being the daughter of the Base General, the other a soldier. Soon a plot to replace the human race with alien clones is uncovered. It becomes a race for the family and their friends to escape and warn the world, but who is human and who is not?

Ferarra creates a great deal of tension in a short time, and excellent performances from all, particularly Anwar and Tilly help to add to the fear. We do not know who to trust, and the film differs enough from previous versions to keep us guessing. Whitaker’s performance is also very good, an accurate depiction of a soldier succumbing to sleep-depravation, paranoia, and the terror of being ‘replaced’. Tilly’s ‘where you gonna go’ scene is terrifying, and some of the effects are very effective. There is little humour, and few signs of emotion all adding to the idea that people may not be what they seem, though giving the film a very cold, bleak tone. We are left feeling that many people may already be emotionless, not caring for each other. A vastly underrated movie, almost as good as its predecessors.

The DVD is cheap, so it is a must-have for fans, but there isn’t an extra feature to be found so it’s another sad case of missed opportunities.

Feel free to comment on the movie- how do you feel this compares with the 2 earlier versions and the later Kidman interpretation?

Aliens

Aliens

James Cameron made his second masterpiece with this, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic space horror show. Cameron, a director who will always ensure he gets exactly what he wants, extremely talented and ingenious, brought the series in a new direction, keeping much of the tension of the original, but upping the excitement and action.

After Ripley went into hyper-sleep at the end of Alien, hoping that someone would find her floating through space and pick her up, she travelled for over 50 years before being picked up by ‘The Company’. She wakes up and tries to come to terms with all that has happened since she was asleep-her daughter grew up and died, ‘The Company’ has become more interested in the alien she claims to have encountered, and the planet where she found the alien has become a mining colony. During interrogation she tells the suits what happened to her, and expressed the need for someone to investigate the ‘alien’ planet. They charge her with the destruction of her previous ship. However, when they receive a distress call from the planet, a group of marines is ordered to investigate. Burke, a company Rep persuades Ripley to come along as she is the only one to have encountered an alien, and because her recurring nightmares are stopping her from living her life. We are introduced to each marine, all tough, hardened fighters, seemingly well-equipped for any danger.
Aliens must surely rank as one of the most exciting movies ever made. At well over 2 hours it is a testament to Cameron, the script-writers and the cast that the pace of the film never slows. Every time the characters think they may have a chance, something happens to make them think otherwise. Everything is giving the most acute detail, from the marines’ garb, to the miniature sets and craft designs. The score is militaristic, keeping with the charge and feel of the movie, and the action is very strong and brilliantly edited. The aliens themselves are still terrifying, and The Queen is awesome. The famous power-loader fight scene is excellent, just one of the many highlights. The planet itself is grim and dark, the perfect place for the creatures to be, and the darkness and tight corridors of the colony add to the tension, atmosphere and claustrophobia.

There is a wide range of characters here, each distinct much like the first film. Even if we do not get to see them for very long, we are given a strong impression of their backgrounds because of their own personal dress and dialogue. Every performance is worthy of mention too, and Weaver’s performance was definitely worthy of the Oscar. Ripley progresses here, becoming one of the strongest female characters in movie history, learning and adapting with the Marines, but retaining her maternal instincts and disgust for the company. In fact, the fight and chase involving the Queen, Ripley and Newt is almost like custody battle, a fight to see who is the best mother. Burke begins seeming friendly, but of course his interest is in bringing back a specimen. Bishop is a brilliant inclusion remembering Ripley’s last encounter with a Droid. Hicks, played by Biehn is an excellent character, strong marine but not an emotionless, stupid grunt. Paxton steals many scenes as Hudson, spitting out some of the film’s best dialogue, at times tough and terrified. Henn as Newt is a revelation in her first performance, dealing with the script and content perfectly. Vasquez must go down as one of the best cult action characters, equally as strong as any of the men, even if she has a short fuse. Goldstein is very good in the role. Apone as the ‘Sarg’ is also good, and Gorman begins as a fool but redeems himself later. The rest of the cast are all good, even if most are only their to be killed. With such a good cast, Aliens becomes even better.

This film cannot be praised enough. Although there are those who feel it is inferior to the first because it has more action and supposedly weaker characterisation, it has to be said that the two films are different entities, the first a horror, the second a sci-fi action. Like The Terminator, Cameron puts in many effective scares so that it transcends the genre, becoming something more. Cameron says he wants to return to Sci-Fi. Please make one as good as this.

This Double discer has everything an Alien fan would want and the presentation is perfect. Essential.

Feel free to leave some love for the movie here, share your thoughts and let us know if you think this is the best of the series.

Chronicles Of Riddick: Quite Good!

Once on upon a time, there was a young boy called Rodger. He lived in Outer Spac, on a planet called Qwop 127. One day a ship full of bad guys came and killed all the adults and abducted the children. Rodger and his friends were taken away and trained to be killers or else they would be killed. As time went on, most of the kids got older, became renegades, mercenaries, cold blooded killers and criminals, and forget where they came from. Rodger was the toughest of them all, but he never forgot. As Rodger was the name of a fool, he changed his name to Riddick a name meaning ‘The man who will get rid of all d*cks’. He made it his quest to kill his captors. Of course many years had passed and most of his captors had gone on to become family men, rich business men, and politicians. He killed them all one by one which turned him into public enemy number one. Every cop in the galaxy was after him, and soon he was arrested and imprisoned. However, fortune was to shine on him: whilst being transported on a ship to another prison planet his ship crashed. They landed on an abandoned planet, just him and a few other criminals and cops. They soon discovered the planet was full of zombies and most were killed. Riddick escaped only to be captured once more. This film depicts the latest chapter of the Chronicles: his latest escape and some sort of mission to kill a pile of bad guys.

This proves that modern books are better than all that old Shakespeare stuff like The Chronicles Of Narneo. Those books were written by boring old wrinkly people and were filled with stupid stuff like romance, but didn’t have any excitements or action set pieces. This story is filled with killings, chases, and fights without even the slightest hint of romance. Van Diesel plays Rodger again, his rippling chest and muscular arms perfect for the role. There are plenty of other actors, but most are just there to die. Unfortunately there is more talking in this film than the first, and no monsters. I assume this is a middle chapter leading up to the final part where Riddick gets together a gang of marines to return to the planet and wipe out all the monsters from the first film. That would be cool as no-one has done a film like that before! The end.

Best Scene: When Riddick is being chased by the ultra hot sunlight and he has to swing from vine to vine in the jungle like Hercules so he can escape. He makes it to safety but drops his sunglasses as the light is only feet away. He reaches out, snaps them just as the ground burns. He quips as he puts them- ‘Toasty!’

Aliens: Not nearly as good as the First, very dark

Riply Scott’s prequel to this film was a tale of intergalactic terror. Seven friends and their Bumbling Side-kick Jones were travelling home after a long vacation when they encountered a monster. Hearing its distress call, they let it board their ship, but rather than show its gratitude, it decided to kill off the friends one by one in a terrifying game of cat and monster. The survivors from that film appear again here, namely Captain Ridley and of course Jonesy our heroic side kick. Ridley wants revenge for the death of her friends and recruits a team of super tough marines (that’s soldiers to the lay person) to go to their home planet and wipe out the monsters once and for all. This darker tone is in stark contrast to Riply Scott’s original, and it continues throughout. This leads to a series of let downs- Jones disappears without explanation early in the film, without explanation so much of the comedy from the first film is lost. Add to this the lack of Cyborg Ash, whose little dance was a hilarious highlight of the first, and there are few laughs to be found here. Bill Pullman’s marine Ernie ‘Dry Heat’ Hudson attempts some improvised one liners ‘Hey Vasquez- you look like a man!’ and tries some banter with his Sergeant. ‘Can I wear your slippers, Sir?’ he asks ‘LOOK AT MY EYES!’ Capone riplyies. I didn’t really understand this comeback, but I assume The Searg was in no mood for fun and games. This is obviously because the film was under the fierce stranglehold of famous control freak Jim Cameroon, known for a lack of humour in all his films. Cameroon reluctantly casts Paxman in all his films as they’re cousins and there is a definite tension between the comic genius of the actor, and the ultra serious ‘I’m The Daddy’ mentality of the Director.

Ridley and crew fly down to the planet to hunt down the monsters but are shocked to find a survivor- a little boy called Newt. This is a deliberate attempt to soften the almost unrelenting darkness of the film, and possibly bring in a wider female audience who may enjoy the mother/son relationship which develops between Ridley and Nuke. The child doesn’t talk much which in fact adds to the bleak tone, and the fact that he carries around a decapitated doll’s head is rather disturbing. I mean, everyone knows boys don’t play with dolls. Newt mumbles things like (in response to Ridley asking if he’s hungry) ‘I’m mostly scared. Mostly’ and the bizarre ‘Hi, Firmative!’. Presumably Firmative is some imaginary friend, or possibly futuristic slang. Throw into the mix the fact that among the marines is a geeky science geek who wants to steal one of the monster eggs to bring home and experiment on or sell or something. Indeed, he hatches a plan to impregnate one of the gang with the egg so that no-one suspects anything. I think if I woke up with an 8 foot monster mounting me in an attempt to give me its seed, I might suspect something was not right. But back to the film. The gang underestimates the sheer number of the monsters (at least 25) and the fact that their King is on the island too, and soon it is the humans that are on the run. Cameroon is clearly adding a subtext here about man’s destruction of nature and of other species, and that eventually it will turn around and we will be on the receiving end. I have studied film studies for at least a year, and have over a year’s experience in social anthbiology, so I know what I’m talking about. The last half of the film is really a series of chase scenes- in the alien base with tanks etc, in a bedroom with spider monsters, through the living quarters, and then into the sewers until The King wakes up. That’s not to mention the super robot fight at the end which was a precursor to Cameroon’s next film Terminator 2. So yes, there is much action and excitement, and lots of mistrust between characters which lends another level of tension.

Most of the characters are killed off, but all fight well and you really feel like you got to know them. Ridley is a true mother- fighting for her family and friends, strapping on a grenade launcher to take on the bullies, Hudson is a comedian but also a bit of a moaner, Capone, Hick, and Vasquez are all super tough and ultra cool. There is also Bishop, a cyborg who doesn’t dance but preaches the Gospel and does magic tricks with knives. Perhaps if Riply had directed this he would have let some more comedy in, and it would have been a stronger film. At times I wanted to jump into the TV, grab a gun and help out my chums, pumping bullets into skulls. ‘Come on, man! Shoot them! Here they come, quick, let’s blow them away and get out of here! ARRGH!’ I would have been shouting like that. Because the film is so dark and depressing though, I didn’t have the energy to jump in and help. So all I could do was sit back and watch each of my friends get eaten, killed, or worse. Overall this is an excitement film, but Cameroon needs to relax and let some light in. I mean what’s the point in having all these characters only for the planet to blow up at the end and kill them all?

Best Scene: When the soldiers are walking through the alien corridors, and all the bleeps are getting closer, but no-one knows where they’re coming from. It was quite scary, but would have been better if Hudson had jumped out with his underpants on his head and shouted ‘ONLY ME!!!’

GAME OVER, MAN!