Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Awesome, oh Wow, ...

Thanks in part to an enjoyable response to Monday's edition, it's: more summer games! Instead of doing the "good" counterparts for the same categories though, we'll vary it a bit. It is summer after all, the time for lighter fare (though I'm not personally big on action/superhero movies). And if you're inclined to be embarrassed at all, best to keep in mind Chuck Klosterman's take on "guilty pleasures". So:

1) Best Teen Movie. Not sure what the precise definition is, but basically any movie where both the main characters and the target audience are teenagers. I'll go with Bring It On, mainly because Kirsten Dunst is to me as Natalie Portman is to Pat, but also because it's damn funny. Close seconds: Ferris Bueller, Breakfast Club, Clueless, Karate Kid, Can't Buy Me Love. Dazed and Confused might be the best of them all, but I disqualified it because I think it's a bit too ambitious to be considered a teen movie.

2) Best Chick Flick. Pretty much any romantic comedy or relationship drama is a suitable answer here, although an answer like The Wedding Singer would be edging pretty close to a cop-out... that's probably an Adam Sandler movie 1st and a romantic comedy 2nd. To be sure I'm nowhere near that line, I'm saying Fried Green Tomatoes. Lots of great performances, including Edmonton's own Gary Basaraba, but it's the Parker/Masterson/1930s parts that make the movie; the Kathy Bates/Jessica Tandy parts are meh.

3) Best Movie Part. As in portion, not role. You see a movie playing on your TV guide, and flip to it hoping you can see that scene or series of scenes. The diner scene (or bank robbery) in Heat; the finale of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World where they're dropping off the building; the car chase in Blues Brothers; etc.

I'm sure I'm missing my actual favourite (memory being what it is), but the one that's fresh is the first 15 minutes or so of The Wedding Crashers; the setup, through the montage of the various crashed weddings, up to (and including) where Owen Wilson tells Rachel McAdams what all the (wrapped) wedding gifts are.

4) Funniest movie made more than 30 years ago. It seems like in movies and TV both, most comedy just doesn't age well, but there is still the odd gem. My favourite classic comedy is Peter Sellers' The Party.

5) Funniest movie, period. Toughest one of all, so I will make a pretty safe pick and say Caddyshack, which moves right along and is funny the whole way. What's one way to know that a movie was extremely funny? When IMDB's "Memorable Quotes" page for it is basically the entire screenplay.



1)Bring it On is great (Eliza Dushku and Snaggletooth in bikinis and short skirts, rowr!) but Fast Times at Ridgemount High is number one in my books.

2)Breakfast at Tiffany's - Audrey Hepburn is the best.

3) Aw shit, that's too hard. Um, opening scene of Pulp Fiction ("Le Big Mac") or the "You Do Know How To Whistle" scene from To Have and Have Not.

4)Blazing Saddles

5)Have to go with Animal House, I think, although I could be convinced otherwise rather easily.

1.) The Breakfast Club
2.) The Princess Bride
3.) Goldfinger. If you don't know this part by the quote, watch the movie. "You expect me to talk?" "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." Honerable mention to Oddjob killing the girl with his hat.
4.) Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail
5.) I'm sure I'll want to edit this later, but the last half of Hot Fuzz is funnier than most movies I've seen.

1) Best Teen Movie. Null data set.

2) Best Chick Flick. English Patient in the relationship drama sub-category. Groundhog Day in the romantic comedy category.

3) Best Movie Scene. Chariot race in Ben-Hur. Final scene of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

4) Funniest Movie > 30 years ago: The General (Buster Keaton). His Girl Friday, or, Arsenic and Old Lace (Cary Grant). The Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis). Some Like It Hot.

5) Blazing Saddles

Can't believe somebody already beat me to The General.

Don't let Andy hear you say that Wedding Crashers hits the brakes after the amazing first act. I already had this argument with him.

Groundhog Day is an epic achievement, but describing it as a romantic comedy seems kind of wrong, even though it's strictly true. (Like calling Schindler's List a war movie.)

As for Wedding Crashers, it's not like it's *bad* after the Wilson-McAdams meet-cute, but it has nowhere near the pace or laughs.

4) Funniest movie made more than 30 years ago.

If you'll allow for a movie made 29 years ago, I love the first version of "The In-Laws". It remains one of my favorite funny movies ever.

5) Funniest movie, period.

I'm a dork. "Top Secret" gets me every time.

1) Best Teen Movie. Orange County.

2) Best Chick Flick. I'll second the Princess Bride. Great film.

3) Best Movie Part. This is almost impossible to answer, so my favourite movie part of this summer was Maxwell Smart peeing/not peeing so as to eavesdrop on the KAOS agents. Awesome scene.

4) Funniest movie made more than 30 years ago. My Man Godfrey was an excellent film.

5) Funniest movie, period. I'm going to go with Princess Bride again. What a show.

teen: well, i remember the movies WE watched as teens - 'C.H.U.D.', 'Bachelor Party', Weird Science', etc.

chickflick: 'Amelie'? although mostly i want to say 'Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!'

movie part: the last few minutes of 'Shawshank Redemption'. the first 5 minutes of 'Superfly'. The last 5 minutes of Don McKellar's 'Last Night'. and so many more…

comedy 30+: amen to the Sellers movies - 'The Pink Panther Strikes Again' made me laugh til snot came out my nose.

funniest ever: obscure NFB reference - Richard Condie's 'The Apprentice'.

Best Teen Movie - American Pie

Best Chick Flick - Serendipity (Wife cried, I enjoyed - good night had by all)

Best Movie Part - the climax scene in Last of the Mohicans, no one speaks, incredible emotion, amazing spine tingling music, incredibly well done.

Funniest Movie 30 years old - A Shot in the Dark (the first movie centered around Inspector Clouseau - and introduces Cato's surprise attacks)

Funniest Movie Ever - Dumb and Dumber - Jim Carrey's funniest

1) Best Teen Movie: Drop Dead Gorgeous -- funny, funny movie. Maybe even too funny by half. :-) Plus, Kirsten Dunst is in it.
- if that doesn't count, Clueless

2) Best Chick Flick: Sense and Sensibility

3) Best Movie Part.
3.1: Get Shorty -- Chili Palmer (John Travolta) walks up stairs to meet Bear (James Gandofini) and Bo Catlett (Delroy Lindo). Awesome scene, and the music is perfect

3.2: The Matrix -- Neo and Trinity rescue Morpheus. Great action, and again, the music tops it off.

4) Funniest movie made more than 30 years ago: Some Like it Hot (I know Matt disagrees, but then he's a Flames fan. :-) B&W version BTW. The IMDb page has some colour stills...forget that.

5) Funniest movie, period. Trading Places
- runners up: The Big Lebowski, Napolean Dynamite

BTW, the "edited for TV" version of The Big Lebowski is of course, totally butchered. Watching the entire edited movie is probably quite confusing--particularly if you haven't seen the original. Still, if you're familiar with the theatrical version, some edited scenes are hysterical. For example, the scene with Goodman weilding a tire iron and then vandalizing a Corvette: "You see what happens? You see what happens Larry? This is what happens when you find someone in the Alps." Too funny.
Edited for TV
Theatrical (and obviously NSFW)

1.) Probably Fast Times, but I'd have to say Mean Girls is a close second. Keep in mind I first watched it before LiLo went bat shit crazy (at least publicly).

2.) Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. Freaking hilarious.

3.) Scene in Swingers (well almost any scene in Swingers, really) where Vince Vaughn and "Sue" are playing NHL '94. It speaks to me on so many levels.

4.) Dr. Strangelove. "You can't fight in here, it's the war room!"

5.) Lebowski

1. I have an irrational love for 10 Things I Hate About You. That porn-writing secretary gets me every time and I don't know why because it's so Goddamned stupid. Sigh...

2. I can't think of any chick flicks I've seen start to finish. Notting Hill, maybe? Does America's Sweethearts count?

3. I get giddy every time I watch the buildup to the initial space battle, and the battle itself, in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, as well as the subsequent war of viewscreen scenery chewing between William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban. That whole stretch of 10-15 minutes is pure sci-fi camp gold.

4. I'll second Art with Arsenic and Old Lace. I dunno if it was the first horror movie parody (likely not), but it's one of my favourites.

5. Saying Monty Python and the Holy Grail seems like such a cop-out, though it is one of the five most quoted-to-death movies in history. Maybe I'll nominate Live at the Hollywood Bowl instead.

1) Clueless

2) Somewhere in Time

3) Final roundup in The Man From Snowy River

4) Drawing a blank

5) Fletch

1. Risky Business - I don't care much for Tom Cruise but this is pre Scientology and funny. Honourable mention goes to "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".

2. Amelie - Smart, funny chick flick that doesn't require the guy to worry about his gag reflex. Audrey Tautou to me is as Natalie Portman is to Pat and Kirsten Dunst is to Matt. Caution: Foreign film with sub titles.

3. Bullitt - The car chase scene. 'Nuff said. Honourable mention to "Alien" (the scene where the "baby" alien burst out of John Hurt's chest).

4. Dark Star - Hilariously funny, cheesy B science fiction comedy. Trivia: Dan O'Bannon got his writing start on this project. He would later end up as a writer for the movie "Alien" (among other projects). Enthusiastic honourable mention to "The Party"

5. A Fish Called Wanda" - This is a tough category for me. A truly funny movie is a rarity for me. Having said that this is a very funny movie.


...and add to category 5 as honourable "The Blues Brothers"


arghh...I mean honourable mention


1. Dazed and Confused. Very funny movie with characters who could have walked onto the set from anyone's high school, so it qualifies. I owned the T-shirt from this movie and wore it ragged. Jesus, it was good.

2. When Harry Met Sally. Because it was pretty truthful from the male perspective, women sat through it and STILL don't believe it. Classic dialogue.

3. From IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, the portion leading up to and including Sidney Poitier saying "They call me Mr. Tibbs!" Rod Steiger was brilliant in that film, probably the best thing he ever did. Poitier's best role was either this one or Lilies of the Field.

Honorable mention to the entire movie 12 Angry Men (the original).

4. Annie Hall. Let me be clear: NO ONE can defend Woody Allen or his personal character but this is a wonderful, funny movie. Christopher Walken was in this movie. Seriously. Includes the line "They give awards for that kind of music? I thought just earplugs...They do nothing but give out awards. I can't believe it. Greatest Fascist Dictator - Adolf Hitler!"

5. It's going to sound lame and no one will agree. Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It's a beauty.

best comedy period has got to be Big Lebowski. I can always throw that shit in and laugh till it hurts.

5) Hotel Terminus

1. Teen movie: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. From So-crates to swearing Napoleon going bowling, it had a lot of memorable laughs in a genre I avoid like the plague.
2. Working Girl was a great date flick - female empowerment for the chicks; Melanie Griffith in her prime in lingerie for the guys.
3. Since Shawshank and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly have been said, I'll say the manager ranting in the shower scene from Bull Durham (it has about three or four scenes that are stuck in my head forever).
Honourable mention to the climactic piano-playing scene in The Pianist for you dramatic types.
4. Dr. Strangelove.
5. Duh, Slapshot

1. Superbad - take away the crazy cops and that was high school.
2. I liked Billy Crystal as the NBA ref in "Forget Paris"
3. "Coffee is for closers" scene in Glengarry Glen Ross or The Endor/Space battle in Return of the Jedi.
4. The Italian Job (the original)
5. Bad Santa is the funniest movie I have ever seen. Hands down.

I've held off on this, mostly because it's so hard to nail down these things, but here's my take:

1) John Hughes is the gold standard here. Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off...I'll go with Bueller's, myself.

2) Princess Bride is pretty hard to top, but I'll throw Say Anything into the mix. Like they say, "To know Lloyd Dobler is to love him."

3) I can't believe no one has dropped the opening scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark or the final fight scene in Star Wars into the mix. I'll also go all film nerd and toss in the sewer chase scene in The Third Man, and the singing in the rain scene from Singin' In the Rain. I could watch that scene over and over and over. "Make 'Em Laugh" from the same movie is also a delight.

4) The Philadelphia Story. Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Katharine Hepburn. Grant pulls off a move in the first few minutes of this movie that will have every guy who has ever dated a nutso dame applauding like crazy.

5) The Big Lebowski. I'm also partial to Caddyshack, Swingers, Mallrats, Rushmore...ah, I could go on and on. Let's just say Lebowski.

As for the other list:

1) Worst well-regarded film-- Gone With The Wind.

2) Most overhyped film--Little Miss Sunshine. Good movie, but cmon. Close second: My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

3) Worst film to win a best picture Oscar--Driving Miss Daisy. I still can't believe Do The Right Thing didn't get a Best Picture nod that year.

4) Most disappointing film--Has to be Phantom Menace, really.

5) Worst movie, full stop--Darkman.

Fletch is pretty close to Caddyshack in sheer density of laughs, as is Dumb and Dumber (that movie is 14 years old and I still snicker when I walk past someone with a Big Gulp on the sidewalk). I had just about forgotten about A Fish Called Wanda, but since Dano brought it up, I totally remember the entire roomful of people I was watching it with in tears at Kevin Kline. (Or should I say, K-K-K-Kevin.)

I didn't like Risky Business much, but I think Tom Cruise is (or at least was) fantastic, and I'm changing my chick flick vote to Jerry Maguire.

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: one of my 5 favourite movies ever, and I might well pick it as Best Movie that's a Comedy, but I don't think I could defend it as "funniest".

Which is not a bad thing, Christ. Career-best performances by two legendary comic actors, and touching as all hell. One of the last times I sat through church (I was about 14) the minister gave a sermon about it.

5) Worst movie, full stop--Darkman.

This is so true...but I love that horrible film because it's so gut-bustingly bad. It makes me laugh more than most comedies.

Not too many of us addressed the "undiscovered gem" part of the original McArdle "bad movie" post, but the mention of Dr. Strangelove reminded me of:

Being There. Peter Sellers as the dimwitted gardener. That scene where Shirley MacLaine rolls around touching herself and moaning while Chauncy Gardener watches TV and says, "I like to watch, Eve" cost me my spleen last time I watched it, I laughed so hard.

1. No strong feelings on this. If Superbad qualifies, I'll give it to that. If not, Mean Girls and Orange County are worthy picks, though I don't love either of those.

2. The American President. The political plot, though not really all that believable, is actually well-developed enough not to be a flimsy structure around which the love story is built. Also, I believe it led to Spin City.

3. The "Over the line!" scene in the Big Lebowski.

4. I re-saw Blazing Saddles for the first time in years recently, and honestly I don't think it's aged very well. Hate to say it, but it's true. Airplane! is almost old enough to qualify, but until it does I'll probably agree with either Dr. Strangelove or Holy Grail. Honourable mention to Casablanca for being the wittiest move more than thirty years old (actually, if you qualify it as a chick flick, I'll drop it in as my answer to #2 as well).

5. The Big Lebowski.

Earl - Top Secret is brilliant stuff.

"I know a little German. He's over there."

dano - love Audrey Tautou as well. Oh boy.

Have to bring up Dazed and Confused as well. Terrific movie with Matthew McConaghey (sp!?) brilliant as Wooderson.

"I love them redheads."

1) Superbad. Tough choice between that and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

2)Does Ghost count? That movie is freaking awesome.

3)Tough to call. I tend to like really epic death scenes or paradigm shifts. I'll go with the scene in Fight Club where Ed Norton realizes he's actually Tyler Durden, but I'm sure there are better scenes.

4) Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Never get's old.

5. This blog is called 'Battle of Alberta' and no one has nominated Fubar for number 5? For shame. Although it's actually a tossup between that and Dumb and Dumber.

1. Revenge of the Nerds. Honourable mention to Can't Buy Me Love.

2. Love Actually.

3. The line-up scene from The Usual Suspects.

4. Slap Shot. Seriously, what's wrong with you people? I love Blazing Saddles and the Holy Grail, but come on...

5. This is a toss-up between Borat and Jackass Number Two.

1. Is Pump up the Volume a teen flick, or for the parents of teens?
2. Lovely and Amazing
3. I agree with several of the selections here, how about - the poker game on the train in The Sting
4. The General OR not side-splitting but whimsical Charade
5. The best ones have been copied & overly repeated - MP & The Holy Grail or Airplane.

1) Best Teen Movie.

Almost Famous - not sure if this qualifies as a "teen movie" by your definition but what a fabulous flick.

Off the Beaten Track: Battle Royale - In a dystopian future Japan marked by escalating juvenile disobedience, each year the gov't sends one class of high school students to an uninhabited island where they have to kill off one another. Only one can survive. Not the best executed film but still twistedly engaging.

P.S. Most definitely concur on Ferris Bueller

2) Best Chick Flick.

Relationship Drama: Before Sunrise

Romantic Comedy: Four Weddings and a Funeral

Off the Beaten Track: Lovers of the Arctic Circle - lovely flick but kinda hard to explain...

3) Best Movie Part.

Action: Saving Private Ryan - Omaha Beach landing sequence. Felt that in my gut.

Dramatic payoff: Cinema Paradiso - The grownup Salvatore watches the movie reel made by his old friend Alfredo.

Comedy: Borat - two guys wrestling nude in bed. Audacious.

Speech: Apocalyse Now - Marlon Brando on little children and their arms.

Camera work: Children of Men - Inside car, chased by motorcycle gang.

Horror: The Descent: from the point when they see that thing on the camcorder til the end (UK version).

Erotic: The Dreamers - Eva Green in the nude, various scenes ;)

Off the Beaten Track: The Host - the opening sequence in which the monster emerged from the river and mauled down parkgoers in broad daylight. Unfortunately, this marked the high point of the movie.

4) Funniest movie made more than 30 years ago.

Just can't come up with any old movies that are funny. I guess I'll vouch for "Airplane" as I recall finding it funny when I was a kid. But that only goes back to 1980.

5) Funniest movie, period.


Off the Beaten Track: Shaolin Soccer - though I think you really need a command of chinese to fully get it.

In a dystopian future...marked by escalating juvenile disobedience, each year the gov't sends one class of high school students to an uninhabited island where they have to kill off one another. Only one can survive.

Dystopia? Sounds a lot more like Utopia.

1) Best Teen Movie: I know they've both recent but I think Superbad and Juno both stand out above a lot of the others I've seen mentioned.

2) Best Chick Flick: Does High Fidelity count then? I wouldn't consider it a chick flick, but it's a relationship movie.

3) Best Movie Part: I like the final speech in Scent of a Woman... can't resist it. I would take a FLAME THROWER TO THIS PLACE!

4) Funniest movie made more than 30 years ago: So... 1978? Hmm. Python works for me too.

5) Funniest movie, period: God how do you chose? There's so many different kinds of funny. My favourite may still be Happy Gilmore... but I wouldn't call it the best.

1) Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I watched this in the middle of the night when I was 16, just before going to work the morning shift on no sleep at McDonald’s.

2) Flashdance. A girl dreams big and hits a homerun in the audition. I also liked Working Girl a lot.

3) The chase scenes in the last two Bourne movies

4) Matt’s right, comedies don’t age well, unless you have a soft spot for slapstick (there are still some scenes from Marx Bros. movies that make me laugh out loud), but I’m going to pick The Thin Man, although I can’t remember if it was more witty than funny.

5) Oh man, this is tough. The non-sequiturs in Zucker Bros. movies always get me. But I guess, if pressed, I’d say Three Amigos. It holds up well.

1) Better Off Dead. "I want my TWO DOLLARS!"
2) I enjoyed About a Boy. Not ashamed to admit it. But if it counts, I'll say the original version of Fever Pitch (not the Jimmy Fallon Red Sox abomination).
3) Really? Nobody? First 45 minutes of Full Metal Jacket. Shut it off for the rest and I'm perfectly happy.
4) I don't think I can bypass the Holy Grail here.
5) That's so hard to pin down. I've laughed so hard at some movies that I've never watched again; even Dumb and Dumber doesn't really stand the test of time even though I split my sides the first time I saw it. But for funny, timeless, and yes, quotable, I'll go with Lebowski.

Just to add my bit. These are choices not already mentioned (I think).
1. I'm not sure if there's better than DnC, but I'll toss out Mean Girls for discussion. I also have a soft spot for Empire Records.
2. Hmm, maybe Definitely Maybe? It does have 3 of the hottest females in Hollywood in it. Now if only Ryan Reynolds wasn't. And Abigail Breslin is the most precious young'un since Lohan (pre firecrotch phase). In my defense, I often forget chick flicks and this one is the one I saw most recently.
3. Well, as an example, The Natural was on the other night and I couldn't turn it off until Hobbs knocked that dinger into the lights. That music is incredible.
4. The (original) Producers, but The Pink Panther is amazing too. Anything with Niven or Sellers.
5. The Big Lebowski

1) Ferris Bueller's Day Off
2) I got nothin'.
3) First five minutes of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas;
4) Love and Death
5) Animal House

I can't believe someone mentioned Three Amigos. I thought I was the only one who laughed at that movie. The scene where the bandit chief gets all choked up because his gang made him a sweater still makes me laugh ... but then I might be the only person who actually enjoyed Ishtar.

I'm afraid to watch Top Secret again because I loved it so much when I was younger I would be afraid it wouldn't hold up. But so many great lines in that movie:

1. Deja Vu saying "Haven't we met before"

2. The professor extolling the irony of his rescue just as his escape tunnel was finished - revealing a two lane paved tunnel with lighting as he holds the bent tin spoon he created everything.

3. "What's your hurry!" when sneaking in dressed in the cow costume

4. The whole Blue Lagoon/rescued by greek fisherman thing

5. Skeet-Shooting USA

6. The ballet scene

On an on ...

For those who have said comedies >30 don't hold up - go way back and watch anything directed by Preston Sturgess or Frank Capra, You Can't Take it With You, It happened one Night, The Philadelphia story, pretty much any movie with Carole Lombard or William Powell etc. The whole screwball-comedy genre has writing that still holds up ..

M. Ilard

1. "Mean Girls," with Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams. Wickedly funny movie.

2. "The English Patient" works for me.

3. Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty in "Blade Runner." Final scene, death scene: "I have seen things, you humans 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 these moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time to die."

4. "The Party," with Peter Sellers.

5. "Dumb and Dumber."

1) Superbad

2) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

3) The end of Tombstone (not the lame dancing in the snow, the Doc Holliday ending)

4) Bad News Bears or Caddyshack

5) Dumb and Dumber




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