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13 March 2003 — Comfort Films

Metafilter's not dead yet; occasionally it can produce gems such as this thread on "the greatest one-liner in the history of film".

As I considered my favorite one-liners, I realized most of them are from my comfort films -- those films that I watch again and again and again, that I watch to take the sting off a bad day, that I watch just to kill time. These aren't the best films ever made, but they're my favorites.

This being the internet, I wondered if it was possible to find the scripts for each of my comfort films. Sure enough:

  • This is Spinal Tap -- "This one goes to eleven."
  • The Big Lebowski -- positively filled with memorable quotes, such as: "Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."
  • When Harry Met Sally -- "I'd like the pie heated and I don't want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side, and I'd like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it's real; if it's out of the can then nothing."
  • The Princess Bride -- "INCONCEIVABLE!! "
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail -- "Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
  • Buckaroo Banzai-- "Evil! Pure and simple from the eighth dimension!"
  • Joe Versus the Volcano -- "I'm a flibbertigibbet."
  • Alien -- "Ash, that transmission -- Mother's deciphered part of it. It doesn't look like an S.O.S."
  • Blade Runner -- "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan -- "Khaaaaaaannn!!!"
The only script I couldn't locate was for the recent Amelie; there's probably a French script out there someplace.

I've been craving the seriously underrated (and misunderstood) Joe Versus the Volcano lately; I need to watch it soon.

Joe Versus the Volcano resources from around the web:

Kris' favorite comfort film? Hopscotch.

Comments
On 13 March 2003 (09:20 AM), Buckaroo Banzai said:

Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.


On 13 March 2003 (10:16 AM), Dave said:

"Joe versus the Volcano"? I just don't get your fascination with it. You keep mentioning it, and although it was on one of the cable channels a weekend or two ago, I could only get through a limited portion of it (although the part where he leaves his employment was amusing in a tragic way given it's obvious attempt to analogize to post-Industrial work compartmentalization). For some reason it reminds me of that Harrison Ford/Anne Heche movie, "Six Days, Seven Nights". And no, that's not a favorable comparison. Still, I've generally agreed with most of your comments on movies (and yes, the hobbits DO get their rocks from the Ent, damnit!) so perhaps I'll check it out some evening.

Is this your favorite movie? I notice that you've listed Kris' favorite "comfort" movie, but didn't make a similar comment regarding J v. Vol. Although it would seem somewhat uncharacteristic, my preference in movies runs straight to "Amadeus", which to my mind competes directly with "Dangerous Liasons" for my favorite movie, comfort or otherwise.


On 13 March 2003 (10:37 AM), J.D. said:

My favorite movie is West Side Story, though Dr. Zhivago is a close second. Other favorites include Magnolia and Being John Malkovich.

The movies I listed above are favorites, but the list was meant to highlight comfort films.

I tend to like films that my friends don't care for. How many of you like Farewell My Concubine? How many of you have even seen it?

Dana and I (and to an extent, Joel and I) have had a conversation about the difference between "favorite" and "best".

I don't think anyone could claim, for example, that Buckaroo Banzai is a good film, but it's still one of my favorites.

Dana likes truly goofy stuff. Time Bandits? Yuck! :)


On 13 March 2003 (04:35 PM), Dana said:

"I'll tell you one thing.... No matter where we go, we're taking this luggage."
--Joe vs. the Volcano

"Oh, so that's what an invisible barrier looks like."
--Time Bandits

(In my defense, Terry Gilliam has stated that Time Bandits, Brazil, and Baron Munchausen make up a metaphorical trilogy of related works. So, Nyah! :) )

"I find that a modicum of snuff can be quite efficacious."
--Baron Munchausen

"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."
"You seem a decent fellow. I'd hate to die."
--The Princess Bride

"Why is there a watermelon there?"
"I'll tell you later."
--The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension

"Once again we see that Evil triumphs over Good, because Good is Dumb!"
--Spaceballs

"No way, eh! Radiation has made me an enemy of civilization!"
--Strange Brew

"Throw me the idol! I'll throw you the whip!"
--Raiders of the Lost Ark

"And then, I saw the most disgusting thing...Laslo Holleyfeld in his pajamas."
--Real Genius

"Look; we've been over this. Lance Hunt wears glasses. He can't be Captain Amazing."
--Mystery Men

"I have a bad feeling about this."
--Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones

"You know; for the kids!"
--The Hudsucker Proxy

"Damn! We're in a tight spot!"
--Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

"Strange things are afoot at the Circle K."
--Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

"End of Line"
--Tron

"Listen! Do you smell something?"
--Ghostbusters

"...[W]hat is your quest?"
"I must kill a man."
"Tell me--does this walking corpse have a name?"
--Ladyhawke

"Why is that cork there?"
--Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

"A bear in his natural habitat. A Studebaker!"
--The Muppet Movie

"We'll catch them red handed!"
"What color are their hands now?"
--The Great Muppet Caper

"You activate it and leave it on the ground. Anybody that picks it up is vaporized."
"Why would anybody pick it up?"
"Look."
Turns the grenade over to show the words pick me up written in large letters.
--Mom and Dad Save the World

"I don't know. It's a mystery!"
--Shakespeare in Love

I could go on, but it's time to go home from 'work' :)


On 13 March 2003 (08:44 PM), Nikchick said:

It's wonderful to see someone else with an appreciation for Joe Versus the Volcano. Really like that movie.

Nicole


On 14 March 2003 (09:34 AM), J.D. said:

Testing...I'm trying to post a new entry, but Movable Type won't load. Do comments work?


On 14 March 2003 (10:05 AM), joelah said:

Whassa matter with Time Bandits? Not a happy enough ending for you, you Amelie-loving Broadway Boy?


On 14 March 2003 (03:28 PM), Dana said:

How does Time Bandits not have a happy ending?

  • Evil is defeated
  • The 'robbers' get their jobs back
  • Kevin's more or less ignorant, shallow, parents are no longer a bother
  • Og is no longer a pig
  • Fidget is resurrected
  • Kevin has met the Supreme Being
  • Agamemnon is a fireman

Seems pretty happy to me :)


On 14 March 2003 (05:03 PM), J.D. said:

My problem with Time Bandits is just that I don't like it. It's a personal preference thing. I like Brazil (and have it on my Amazon wish list), and think Munchausen is okay, but Time Bandits is tedious. The story isn't compelling. And, worst of all, it's got midgets. It's rare that I like a movie with midgets. I'm sizeist.


On 14 March 2003 (07:01 PM), Scott said:

Sorry I am a day late on this one.

JD - I am a huge Joe fan. I cannot begin to tell you how much I've enjoyed that film - everthing from the obvious but often missed sight gags to the layers of metaphor - it's the good soil for a playground of diversion. Anyway, it's good to know at least some of us appreciate the truly underappreciated JOE!!!


On this day at foldedspace.org

2007Rating the Bond Films: The Brosnan Era   In which I rate the last seven Bond films.

2006Nora   In which Eleanor Pearl Briscoe comes into this world

2005Gadgets   In which I play with my iMic (recording birdsong) and my Nikon d70 (photographing cats).

2004My Husband, the Chef   In which describes the terrible ordeal of the Texas Sheetcake.