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!’

Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey

Bogus Journey

Two years on from the original and we are into the nineties. Grunge has taken over from hair metal, and some intelligence has been injected back into rock music. Therefore the antics of slackers Bill and Ted do not have the same impact as they had in their first movie. However, this is still a worthy sequel, and a funny movie.

In the future, the music of Bill and Ted has led to world peace, but a maniacal villain decides that if he can go back to before Bill and Ted were famous and kill them, he can change the future thus preventing their music from being heard. He creates two robot versions of Bill and Ted who quickly kill the humans and take over their lives. If the robots mess up the Battle of the Bands contest, the future will be sealed. Meanwhile Bill and Ted find themselves in Hell, their eternities going to be spent living a constant ironic punishment. This can be seen as a metaphor for the decisions youth must make- should we be forced to choose one path and follow it for the rest of our lives? Like the first film, the theme of choices, and what to do with your life is prominent here. Bill and Ted however realise the alternative- Defeat Deat at Chess, and return to the land of the living once more. This they do, and return to earth, via Heaven, to take back their lives, and save the world. Death comes along too.

The film has many moments of humour, lots of one liners and keeps the charm of the first outing. Yes it is all still very simple, with the message that music can heal the world being a little child-like and dated. However, if you read the message as being-music is escapism, freedom, then it works better than most other films. Reeves and Winter again are perfect for their roles, Death is excellent, and Rufus is as cool as always. As with the first film, it is not as stupid as it sounds, with many references to past works of art and literature mirrored beside modern works of music. An entertaining film whichever way you choose to look at it.

The DVD only has a trailer, but as with many others which cost a fiver, you can’t ask for more

As always, feel free to leave your comments- did you think this was better than the original?

Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure

A Most Excellent Adventure

Another great, innocent eighties teen movie about rock, hope, the future, the past, the present, babes etc. It may seem to send out the message that rock fans are dumb, these two are, but it is a comedy and wouldn’t work if they weren’t. The film is simply about friendship and trying to do something worthwhile in your life, that even a high school nobody can make a difference. Hardly original ideas, but given a totally excellent twist for the genre.

Bill and Ted are two typical high school losers from San Dimas. They love their rock music, dream of being in a band and meeting some radical babes. Reality states otherwise- that exams are approaching and if they fail, it’s off to military school. As they believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife, their prospects of passing their history final are not good. One night, hanging around the Circle K, they meet themselves-from the future, and a guy named Rufus. He tells them they must pass their exam or there will be grave consequences for the world. They must travel back in time to find historical figures to bring back for their exam, travelling in a phone booth of course. On the way they fall in love, meet many people and get into a few scrapes. Soon though, their historical figures run riot in a local mall and get arrested. Time is running out- but they have a time machine…

A silly idea, but very cleverly executed, and the result is much smarter than you might expect. Keanu and Alex are both excellent in their roles, and the rest of the cast are all very good. Special mention to Terry Camilleri who is very funny as Napolean. He gets some of the best lines-‘Le Glace?’ and ‘Idiot!’ amongst others. There are many one-liners, the film creating an inane language of its own which is both repeatable and harmless. The plot does fly all over the place, but it remains easy, and deals with the concept of time-travel much like Back to the Future did. There are many references which rock fans will get, modern audiences may not understand half the film now and will no doubt see it as extremely cheesy. The dialogue and fashion may have dated hideously, but so will all today’s teen shows and movies. This however retains charm over the years, and is still cool. There are many interesting ideas here, some very funny moments, and is more original than many would admit. Good solid entertainment, executed with a unique style. Not many extras on the DVD though.

As always, feel free to comment: What do you make of a young Keanu Reeves? Is this a guilty pleasure for you?

Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey: Party On Bill! Party On Ted!

Die Hard 2: Die Deader

Will and Ted’s Bodacious journey is an existensial trip through themes of mortality, religion, time, Heaven and Hell, man’s quest for fame and his fears of the body being overcome by a soulless machine. It is the most intelligent work of fiction since Paradise Lost and references many great past works of art- Dante, Iron Maiden, Virgil, Shakespeare. This time the dudes are a famous rock band having travelled through time collecting icons from the past- Napolean, Joan Of Ark (Noah’s wife), Oscar Wilde, and Charles Darwin. They took the skills they learned from each of these people, abducted a couple of Princesses, and finally learned to play their guitars and write hit songs. These songs teach the world to love again and war, hunger, evil are vanquished for eternity. We fast forward into the distant future where an evil dictator who despises good music called Simon Cow-Al wants to rule the world. He eats Rooshus (the cool guy from the first film who helps Bill Playboy Esquire and Ted Theodore Alvin) and gains the power to send two cyborgs back in time. The cyborgs are living tissue over metal exoskeleton and coated in memetic poly alloy allowing them the survive the turmoil of time travel, and they can imitate anything they sample by physical contact. It is their job to Kill the good Biff and Fred and take over their lives by making terrible music that no-one could like. By doing this they will change the world forever- Gryll and Jed’s music will never be made leaving a world of war, famine, and hatred, and more annoyingly, bland boy/girl group pop music. There is a startling twist as the good guys actually are killed and they have to work out a way to save the world, themselves, and their wives from the evil Dopplebangers inhabiting their bodies.

Penelope Spheerhead shows her knowledge of both youth culture and real culture by mixing modern day music and phrases with post modern sets and artistic references, and seeks to teach us all something by delving into our very psyche to show us ourselves. She presents the nightmares which faced the late 80s teen in a society which had abandoned them and beckons us to dissect the post structuralist jingoism, self love, and malaise of the time. Charging us with a belief that we can indeed change the world it is an inspiring message, but in oeder to achieve such dreams we must traverse and indeed face our nightmares. To overcome is to succed, to defeat Death is the first step in truly living and not merely surviving. In the words of Kenneth Reeves- ‘Wow!’

Best Scene: For a fun game- see how many songs, bands, and albums cover references you can spot throughout the film. There are at least 6.