Without further ado:
1. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
“Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas!”
Everyone loves to hate on Prince of Thieves, but honestly, I totally enjoy this movie. Yes, Kevin Costner doesn’t even attempt an English accent, and it takes a special kind of arrogance to pick a famous folk hero from another country and not even try to emulate their speech. Can you imagine a movie where, say, Pecos Bill spoke with a British accent? Seriously, watch this horrifyingly inspirational clip of Tall Tales and replace Patrick Swayze with — I don’t know — Benedict Cumberbatch. (NO, THAT DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY MAKE IT GOOD, INTERNET.)
Still. The supporting cast is all pretty strong. Alan Rickman plays the best villains. (Holy shit, why didn’t I think of it before? This is what Marvel needs. Alan Rickman, please call Marvel immediately — don’t you have grandchildren you want to entertain or something? That seems to be a common motivation.) I’ve always enjoyed Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Maid Marian, and Morgan Freeman gets to spend at least half the movie making fun of Kevin Costner. Come on, what’s not to like?
2. The Addams Family
“My heart, it beats only for you. Listen closely. It says, ‘Gordon, I love you, Gordon, the vault.”
A couple of people guessed The Addams Family, but alas — you both specified Values, which is the second film. This quote is actually from the first movie. (Edit: kudos for Teacups, who realized the problem.) To be honest, I generally prefer the sequel (Wednesday’s at summer camp with little Harmony and the boy who grew up to kill Kelly Martin; meanwhile, Joan Cusack is a graceful, DELICATE ballerina), but I do like parts of the original movie too: the school play, the mamushka, Raul Julia’s incredibly obvious stunt double. Oh, and Little Harmony’s in this one too, only here she’s trying to sell Girl Scout cookies and make sure her lemonade is made from real lemons.
My other favorite part of this movie is the quoted line above. I’m not actually a huge fan of Fester in either film, but I do love his evil not-mom telling him that the heart wants what it wants — and what her heart wants is money. I’m sure we can all relate to that.
3. L.A. Confidential
“Have you a valediction, boyo?”
I love this movie. Admittedly, I still don’t think Kim Basinger should have won an Oscar for it, and I’m especially flummoxed that none of her co-stars even got nominated. (It’s not that she’s so bad — it just doesn’t seem like that challenging of a role, and come on. Who’s really giving MVP to Kim Basinger over Kevin Spacey in this movie?) But I love the whole Hollywood noir thing. Actually, this movie might very well go on a list of Top Ten Favorite Noir Films, should I ever make one. (I’m not sure, though — I’d have to sit down and think about it, which is clearly too difficult for me right now. But I do know one thing: if I did make such a list, I’m pretty sure it would skew heavily to modern noir over classic — and Touch of Evil would not be anywhere near it.)
4. The Chumscrubber
“Right, so, strictly speaking, Troy was your best friend. And how do you feel about the suicide of Your Best Friend? In the world?”
So, this was my ace in the hole, the quote that I was 99.9% sure no one would ever get because, really, who’s even heard of this movie? (Actually, I had two such aces. But I have to make things a little challenging, right?) The Chumscrubber is this weird, independent, suburban dramedy thing, and it doesn’t really come together the way you need it to. There’s this whole dolphin/fate deal that just never quite works for me, and the kidnapping side plot is kind of stupid and not really helped by the fact that I don’t buy either King Douchebag or the Nice Girl in their respective parts. Also, Jason Issacs is criminally underused.
Still, there good things about The Chumscrubber: Glenn Close sweetly telling random people that she doesn’t blame them for her son’s death. Jamie Bell’s minor split from reality; also, his conversation with Close at the end of the film. And then there’s William Fichtner and Allison Janney. These two. These two need to star as the parents in every dysfunctional family dramedy from now on. (Allison Janney’s well on her way — she’s been in, like, at least three of these movies.) They are perfection.
(Oh, and if you were wondering, it’s Fichtner I’m actually quoting above. That guy is just the best. I should really watch Drive Angry again.)
5. Empire Records
“Stop calling me Warren! My name isn’t FUCKING Warren!”
“His name isn’t fucking Warren.”
“His name isn’t fucking Warren.”
“His name isn’t fucking Warren.”
“I thought his name was Warren.”
Man, I love this movie. It’s kind of a guilty pleasure cause, well. The whole thing is one long, ridiculous, teenage dream job anti-establishment fantasy, and it’s hard to know if I’d really like it as an adult if I hadn’t first fallen in love with it as a teenager. (It was a recommendation from a friend of mine whose opinion I didn’t entirely trust. I still feel a little bad about that for some reason.)
But the movie is also hugely quotable and funny and I love all the characters — okay, most of the characters, because who really gives a shit about Berko? But everyone else. I’m still annoyed that I can’t buy a version of “Sugar High” with Renee Zellwegger providing vocals, and a big part of me still wants to work at Empire Records, even though it’s a pretty terrible place when you think about it, because they give jobs to annoying teenagers who come in shooting real guns, and that’s not really the kind of place I’d feel very secure. Still. They have quasi-funerals for their troubled and still-living employees in the back and, hey, there’s Rex Manning Day to think of!
Hell with it. Damn the man. Save the Empire.
6. The Village
“Do you wonder what your color is? Well, that I won’t tell you. It’s not ladylike to speak of such things. You shouldn’t even have asked.”
A lot of people hate this movie. I can understand why, but I’m not actually one of them — I’m frustrated by The Village because there are aspects of it that I really like . . . and then there’s everything else. One of these days, I should get around to that Shyamalan retrospective. If nothing else, I feel sure I’d get comments. It would annoy one friend of mine in particular, which is always a bonus.
I do really like Bryce Dallas Howard in this movie. I think she’s great. She’s a love interest who becomes a hero, a disabled character who isn’t useless. She’s also funny, which always helps. If this movie was just her teasing the hell out of broody Joaquin Phoenix, it’d probably be a much better film. (Oh, and let’s keep Judy Greer too. When in doubt, always add Judy Greer.)
“I make 40 G’s a year plus dental. You may NOT have a Skittle.”
My beloved crazy genre-bender. It’s not without its problems — one scene early on makes me roll my eyes pretty hard — but there’s a whole lot I love about this movie. The 90’s nostalgia. Mullet vs Ponytail. Unusual characters surviving. The awesome intertitles. “MMMBop.” The bear. Without spoilers, I can’t be more specific than that, but this movie does make me smile an awful lot. Maybe I’ll watch it this week to make myself feel better for all the bullshit’s that coming down at work right now.
“Listen, Betty. Don’t start up with your white zone shit again.”
I grew up on Airplane!, but I don’t find myself going back to it a lot. I can’t even remember the last time I actually watched the whole thing all the way through. Still, parts of it just exist in my head forever. I think my favorite bit is when the singing stewardess nearly kills the sick kid with her guitar and good cheer, but I also crack up at the white zone/red zone argument. Because of this, I pretty much always snicker whenever I hear the PA at an airport.
9. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
“Well, if my cathedral of cutting-edge taste holds no interest for your tragically Canadian sensibilities, then I shall be forced to grant you a swift exit from the premises . . . and a fast entrance into HELL!”
I love this movie. I love pretty much everything about it. (Well, almost. There’s one small thing that I’ve never been a huge fan of, but I generally just choose to ignore it because everything else makes me so happy.) I love all the Evil Exes — Chris Evans remains my favorite, I think, but Brandon Routh is a very close second. (“Don’t you talk to me about grammar” was another potential quote-contender.) Then there’s Kieran Culkin, Brie Larson, Ellen Wong, Alison Pill. Ramona’s ever-changing hair and giant-ass hammer. The fight scenes. The music. Nega-Scott. Earning the Power of Self-Respect.
This movie is like a geek paradise. I will always treasure it.
“Hmmm. Murdered by pirates, heart torn out and eaten, meet Victoria. Can’t quite decide which sounds more fun.”
I haven’t actually watched this one in a while, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. (I know, I know. Can’t imagine why.) I really enjoy this movie, though. I’m sure it’s a pretty loose adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel, although honestly it’s been so long since I’ve read it that I barely remember what happens anymore. (Other than the ending, which I never cared for.) But I’ve always liked this movie. I love how different it feels from other fantasy films. I love the humor, Lamia, all the ghosts. In retrospect, I’m not entirely crazy about Captain Shakespeare, but pretty much everything else works for me. I’m pretty sure this was my introduction to Mark Strong, and I have adored him ever since.
Although if there is a flaw in this movie: who the hell decided that stars shouldn’t have eyebrows?
“I’ll kill you! You’ll be dead and I’ll be happy!”
We played poker a lot growing up; coincidentally, we also watched Maverick a lot. Happily, I still love it — I don’t harbor any particular guilt for liking Mel Gibson movies, and this is easily one of my favorites. He’s plenty enjoyable, actually — you have to like a hero who babbles whenever he gets nervous. Also, Jodie Foster is seriously playing against type, which only makes me wish she’d do more comedies. Graham Greene is just the best — Joseph might be my favorite character in the whole film — and I adore everything about James Garner. This is also the first movie I ever saw Alfred Molina in, although it would take me years to connect him to the stuffy Comte de Reynaud from Chocolat.
Poker movies always seem so serious. Maverick is just about my speed.
“All I know is this: you don’t confront your demons and then defeat them. You confront your demons, then you confront them, then you confront them some more.”
Here is just my absolute favorite thing: I usually give these Quotes Challenges to my sister a few days before the rest of you. She tends to do well, as we watch nearly everything together, but usually there are a few she doesn’t know or can’t remember. This quote, Mekaela knew she knew but just couldn’t put her finger on, and eventually guessed Good Will Hunting. It’s a perfectly reasonable guess based on the nature of the quote. It is also so hysterically wrong because oh my GOD — that movie won Oscars; meanwhile this one has Val Kilmer, Christian Slater, LL Cool J, a veritable bevy of continuity errors, and a 25% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
I’ve written about Mindhunters before — it’s one of our very favorite, most ridiculous guilty pleasures — so all I’ll say here is that Jonny Lee Miller is probably the best part about it, despite the atrocious Texas accent he goes for.
“It can be hard to keep track of those things because lunch — lunch is a lot of things, lunch is difficult.”
1/2 points will be given to Pat on this one. Joseph Gordon-Levitt isn’t actually the person speaking here, but he is in the movie — in fact, he’s the guy Brain’s talking to. So kudos for that.
Brick would also go on my hypothetical list of Favorite Noir Movies — probably higher than LA Confidential, actually. I enjoyed Brick the first time I saw it, but it’s one of those movies that I’ve just grown to love more and more with each and every viewing. I think it’s exquisitely well-crafted, stylish, intelligent. It might actually be my favorite Joseph Gordon-Levitt role to-date, and that’s not an easy call. (I can’t help but feel like I’m letting down all the Arthur/Eames shippers by even suggesting it.)
I’d planned to watch and review Brick last year as a reward for finishing all my other noir movies, but I never got around to it. Maybe I’ll have to squeeze it in this year. (If I ever catch up on Best Pictures Winners, anyway.)
14. The Losers
“Did you know that cats can make one thousand different sounds and dogs can only make ten? Cats, man. Not to be trusted.”
The Losers is kind of a hot mess, but I still really enjoy it. Jensen is my hero. I would totally get a Petunias shirt. And Zoe Saldana rocks — Aisha is actually my favorite role of hers, I think. The movie has a great cast and awesome dialogue and probably the best use of Journey ever — it just has some balance and tonal issues. Also, a better villain would help. (Although Wade remains amazing.)
Still. Chris Evans singing “Don’t Stop Believin'” is a cherished memory. It makes me smile in the dark times. I’ll keep it in mind when I go back to work tonight.
15. In & Out
“FUCK Barbra Streisand! And you!”
Finally, I haven’t seen In & Out in a really long time, and I don’t know if the humor holds up or not. I know I absolutely did not want to see it when it first came out because I thought it’d be two hours straight of making fun of gay people. But when forced to watch the movie, I actually thought it was pretty funny and not dickish at all. I really only remember bits and pieces of it now, like Kevin Kline dancing around his house and Joan Cusack dramatically collapsing to the ground in a starving, miserable heap. I think anyone who’s ever dieted ever can appreciate that scene. Joan Cusack is the best.
Okay, that’s it for today. Thanks, everyone, for playing.