The holidays through movie quotes – is there any other way to see the world?

December 28, 2007

Naturally, I meant to write during vacation, but, you know, the best intentions… and family always seems to take up much more time than planned (how do they do that?). I have just lots of really brilliant (or, okay, “why not pass the time and read it?” interesting) things to say, of course, about the holidays, and movies, and holiday movies, and, um, the sociopolitical struggles inherant in media portrayals of festive interactions between genetically linked members of the human race. Sigh, gotta love college-bred gibberish. But those’ll just have to wait until after the holidays. Instead, I’ll leave you with this. It’s a Blockbuster commercial – because what are the holidays about but cynical commercialism? And lots and lots (and lots) of movies?

See you in January!



December 20, 2007

Notting Hill

BLIND DATE (Emma Bernard): I’m a fruitarian.
WILL (Hugh Grant): And, um, what exactly is a fruitarian?
BLIND DATE: We believe fruits and vegetables have feelings so we think cooking is cruel. We only eat things that have actually fallen off a tree or bush – that are, in fact, dead already.
WILL: Right… right. Interesting stuff. So these carrots…?
BLIND DATE: Have been murdered, yes.
WILL: Murdered? Poor carrots. How beastly.

For some inexplicable reason, the above quote in particular seems to come up quite often in conversation, where it is always endlessly funny. Must be something to do with those murdered carrots, poor things. Or the word “beastly.” (ah, British words) Or, um, the wine we’ve had with dinner. Whichever.

MARTIN (James Dreyfus): Did you know, and this is pretty amazing, but I once saw Ringo Starr.
WILL: Where was that?
MARTIN: Kensington High Street. At least I think it was Ringo… um, it could have been that guy from Fiddler on the Roof. You know, Toppy.
WILL: Topol.
MARTIN: Yes, yes… that’s right, Topol.
WILL: Um, actually, Ringo Starr doesn’t look at all like Topol.
MARTIN: Yes, but he was – he was quite a long way away from me.
WILL: So it actually could’ve been neither of them?
MARTIN: …yes, I suppose so.
WILL: It’s not really a classic anecdote, is it?
MARTIN: Not a classic, no.


December 14, 2007

National Treasure

One of my “junk food” favorites. And no, I would not care to say how many times I’ve seen it – not because the number’s embarrassing, of course, but just because, you know, I don’t want anyone to fell intimidated (or, well, scared).

And again no, this is not intentionally a “Best of Riley” collection, but hey, he does have all the best, and some might say “the only good,” lines. (gotta love the role of comic relief / brainy technology sidekick)

SCARY BAD-GUY HELPER: [looking at an elaborate, underground wooden staircase] How do a bunch of guys with hand tools build all this?
BEN (Nicolas Cage): The same way they built the pyramids, and the Great Wall of China.
RILEY (Justin Bartha): Yeah… the aliens helped them.

RILEY: We didn’t miss it because… [pause] you don’t know this? I know something about history that you don’t know!
BEN: [tense] I’d be very excited to learn about, Riley!
RILEY: Hold on one second, let me just… [deep breath] let me just take in this moment. This is cool. Is this how you feel all the time? Cuz, you know… Well, except for now, of course…
ABIGAIL CHASE (Diane Kruger, our very own Helen of Troy): Riley!

BEN: Your accent… Pennsylvania Dutch?
ABIGAIL: Saxony German.

BEN: Do you know what the preservation room is for?
RILEY: Delicious jams and jellies?


[whining] When are we gonna get there…? I’m hungry… This car smells weird…

Albuquerque. See, I can do it too. Snorkel.

That means… by the time Ian [Sean Bean] figures it out and comes back here… we’ll still be trapped… and he’ll shoot us then.

Yeah, someone that did something in history and had fun. That’s great. Wonderful.

♦ ♦ ♦

For more fun quotes from this American history / Indiana Jones combo (an interesting pitch meeting, no doubt), go to IMDB or Wikiquote.

To learn how You Too Can Walk In The Steps Of History like Ben Gates (dramatic capitalization added by me), click here for National Treasure film tourism.

Quotes – The Birdcage

November 16, 2007

A staple of my family’s collection when I was a teen, I find much of this movie extremely hilarious, perhaps more so than is normal (or so my friends tell me, anyway). This Robin Williams / Nathan Lane take on La Cage aux Folles was by no means universally liked (78% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes), but all I can say is that I find certain lines very, very funny and addictively quotable. Perhaps it’s nostalgia for where I grew up, or nostalgia for Robin Williams back when (remember those days?), or just my own sense of humor, but whatever the reason, I often turn to this film on a rainy day (yes, literally and figuratively). It must have something to do with Hank Azaria’s – sorry, Agador Spartcus’s – “natural heat”…

Here are some of my favorite lines:

[when asked about a football game] How do you think I feel? Betrayed, bewildered… [pause] Wrong response?

So this is Hell. And there’s a crucifix in it.

One does want a hint of a color.

I made you short?

– All right, I’ll bite, where are you going?
– To Los Copa.
– Los Copa? There’s nothing in Los Copa but a cemetery.
– I know, that’s why I’m packing light.
– Oh I see. You’re going to a cemetery… with your toothbrush. How Egyptian.

– What are you doing?
– What?
– Why are you giving him drugs? What the h*** are pirin tablets?
– It’s aspirin with the “a” and the “s” scraped off.
– My God, what a brilliant idea.
– I know.

– Who put Playboy in the bathroom?
– It’s what they read.
– Don’t add! Just subtract!

– No good?
– Actually, it’s perfect. I just never realized John Wayne walked like that.

For more quotes, go to IMDB. For Entertainment Weekly’s look at “funny film dads” Armand and Albert Goldman (remember, the “d” is silent), click here.

Movie quotes in everyday conversation

November 13, 2007

A British website recently came out with a survey asking people which quotes they most commonly use in everyday conversation. Probably not surprisingly, “I’ll be back” (I don’t need to say where it’s from do I?) came in first. Of course, this begs the question, do people actually say the Schwarzeneggerian version (you know, more like “Ah’ll be bahck”) or just the phrase itself, which, let’s admit, is quite a common expression that doesn’t always have Terminator connotations?

Personally, I prefer “I’ll be right back” (said ominously, naturally), it gives the moment more of a Scream-esque feeling and really, makes those you’re speaking to a lot more interested in seeing you come back.

I can also certainly understand “You talking to me?” (Number 4, from Taxi Driver) and “Life is like a box of chocolates” (Number 5, Forrest Gump). Not hard to fit a simple response and life metaphor into our daily lives.

But “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”? (Number 10) I have to ask, does that really come up in everyday conversation? Perhaps my life is just very unexciting (and that’s not so unlikely), but I can’t say I’ve come across many, or really any, scenarios where that quote is appropriate. Not that I haven’t heard that phrase quoted before, but usually in a what’s-that-quote-again or let’s-share-fond-chick-flick-memories context.

Of course, this is coming from someone who probably most often quotes Jafar from Aladdin (Patience, Iago, patience), with a dose of Albert from The Birdcage (How do you think I feel? Betrayed, bewildered…) and Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Leaves only the fresh scent of pine), so who am I to talk?

Oh, and “Bewaaare the groooove…” That’s applicable to so many life situations, really. I also like “only mostly dead” but (well, fortunately) that doesn’t come up that often in conversation.

Quotes – The Emperor’s New Groove

November 9, 2007

This much underappreciated film is an animated comedy classic that, in my opinion, deserves to rank among Disney’s best. Yes, it doesn’t have princesses, lions, songs, or even a love interest (although isn’t the lack of that nice from time to time?), but it does have a murderous witch queen, an evil curse and jaguars! Close enough, I think. Plus, it includes that ever more popular “child + adult” humor mix – in a film released before that became really overdone.

Understandably, David Spade as the voice of an “Incan” emperor named Kuzco who has been transformed into a llama – yes, a llama – probably doesn’t sound like a winner, but the dryly sarcastic comedian does a pitch-perfect job. And in any case, the real stars here are Eartha Kitt as the evil queen Yzma (okay, she’s actually an empress) and the hilarious, as always, Patrick Warburton (aka, David Puddy) as her – how to put this delicately? – dim sidekick / arm candy Kronk. Just goes to show that playing the villain in an animated film really is a seriously fun job.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from The Emperor’s New Groove:


I’ll turn him into a flea. A harmless little flea. And I’ll put that flea in a box. And then I’ll put that box in another box. Then I’ll mail that box to myself, and when it arrives, [evil laughter] I’ll smash it with a hammer! It’s brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, I tell you! Genius, I say! [a potion is knocked over onto a plant, plant dies] Or, to save on postage, I’ll just poison him with this!

Loooking for thisss? [holds up potion, then realizes she’s turned into a cute little cat with a small, squeaky voice] Is that my voice? Is that my voice?… Ah well.

[said angrily, as she’s smashing Kuzco-shaped stone heads placed in front of her by Kronk]
Who does that ungrateful little worm think he is? Does he… a little to the left… have any idea who he’s dealing with?

YZMA: It is no concern of mine whether your family has – what was it again?
PEASANT: Um, food?
YZMA: Ha! You should have really thought of that before you became peasants!

KUZCO: Okay, I admit it. Maybe I wasn’t as nice as I should have been. But, Yzma, do you really want to kill me?
YZMA: Just think of it as you’re being let go, that your life’s going in a different direction, that your body’s part of a permanent outplacement.

YZMA: And do you want to know something else? I’ve never liked your spinach puffs. Never!
[gasps from Kronk and his shoulder devil and angel]
SHOULDER DEVIL: That’s it. She’s goin’ down. [“cocks” pitchfork]


Oh, they’re so easy to make. I’ll get you the recipe.

Said I was sorry. Can’t just let it go, not even on your birthday.

KRONK: Oh, right. The poison. The poison for Kuzco, the poison chosen especially to kill Kuzco, Kuzco’s poison. That poison?
YZMA: Yes! That poison!
KRONK: Got you covered.
YZMA: Excellent. A few drops in his drink, and then I’ll propose a toast, and he will be dead before dessert.
KRONK: Which is a real shame, because it’s gonna be delicious.


[about Yzma] Whoa! Look at those wrinkles. What is holding this woman together? What the… [shot of spinach in Yzma’s teeth] How long has that been there?

He’s doing his own theme music?
[as Kronk hums a Mission: Impossible-esque tune, badly, while sneaking around the city]

KUZCO: [sing-songy] Soooo… whoooo’s in my chaaaair?
KRONK: Oh, oh! I know! Yzma! Yzma’s in your chair, right?!
KUZKO: [as if to a child] Very good, Kronk! Here. Get the snack!
[Kronk dives after snack, and falls off platform]

Spunky old man

GUARD: [coolly] I’m sorry, but you’ve thrown off the emperor’s groove.
[old man who destroyed groove thrown out palace window]
OLD MAN: Soooorrrry!!! [as he falls]

[in spooky voice] Bewaaare the groooove.

Oh, it’s not the first time I was tossed out of a window, and it won’t be the last. What can I say? I’m a rebel.


KRONK’S SHOULDER DEVIL: [to angel] Look at that guy! He’s got that sissy, stringy, music thing.
KRONK’S SHOULDER ANGEL: We’ve been through this. It’s a harp, and you know it.
DEVIL: Oh, right. That’s a harp, and that’s a dress.
ANGEL: Robe!

KID: You know, I don’t believe that you’re really my great aunt. You’re more like my great-great-great-great-great…
[it goes on for quite a while – or, according to IMDB, 23 “greats”]
YZMA: Are you through?
KID: … great aunt.

For more, see IMDB or Wikiquotes.

Click here for the New York Times review. And here for lots of pictures of the characters.

Favorite movie quotes

October 17, 2007

I received a comment yesterday from the eloquent blogger of Ripple Effects asking me for my favorite movie quotes.

By no means an unreasonable request – after all, how can I post quotes day after day without pointing out my own favorites?

So, here they are, the many, many quotes I know and love and quote incessantly to my friends (Eventually, that’s gotta make them love them too, right?… Right?). No “Rosebud” or “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” here, this is a list of personal favorites, ones that caught me for some inexplicable reason and somehow stayed among the various other miscellanies I seem to collect. They’re not necessarily classy, or even profound in any way (at all). But I just can’t get enough of ’em. They’re my guilty pleasure quotes, if you’d like.

This is personal, so be gentle – but not too gentle, of course. What do you think? Anything I missed? What quotes are your guilty pleasures?

Quote marks

Superman II

Oh, I’ve been, uh… working out.
[Clark Kent pumps his arms up and down a bit.]

The Incredibles

Edna Mode…
[a gun appears out of the ceiling immediately and aims at Helen]
… and guest.

– Everyone’s special, Dash.
– Which is another way of saying no one is.

Monty Python

I’m not dead!… I’m getting better!

Blue. No yel – aaaahhhhh!

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

He’s got a two day head start on you, which is more than he needs. Brody’s got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan. He speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom. He’ll blend in, disappear, you’ll never see him again. With any luck, he’s got the Grail already.

[later on in the film]

– But you said he had a two day head start. That he would blend in, disappear.
– Are you kidding? I made all that up. You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum.

Young Frankenstein
(Yep, this was the inspiration for the Aerosmith song.)

Walk this way. No…
[Igor hunches his back even more, shambling along]
this way.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
(pretty much anything I put in my post on the film, but here are some of my favorites)

Into the weenie mobile. Weenie man awaaaay!

Leaves only the fresh scent of pine.

– Are you boys cooking up there?
– No.
– Are you building an interocitor?
– No.


So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.


Daddy, some people lost all their belongings, don’t you think that includes athletic equipment?

Well, uh, I thought they declared peace in the Middle East.
[said over a shot of the TV news featuring turmoil in Bosnia]

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

I put some Windex on it.

Oh, that’s okay. That’s okay. I make lamb.

Star Wars trilogy
(the first one – or rather, episodes 4-6)

– No time to discuss this as a committee.
– I am NOT a committee!

And now, young Skywalker… you will die.

(Okay, I admit that might sound a bit disturbing as a favorite quote, but you just have to hear the way the Emperor says it. Classic.)

Ever After

Some people read because they cannot think for themselves. [wicked stepmother, of course]

– She is mute, my lord.
– Really? She spoke quite forcefully.
– Well, it comes and goes…

The Third Man
(you knew I had to throw a classic in there somewhere – couldn’t help myself!)

Hello, old man, how are you?

In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Do these attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are they the result of previous study?

Fight Club

The first rule of fight club is – you do not talk about fight club. The second rule of fight club is – you do not talk about fight club!

Galaxy Quest

By Grabthar’s hammer!

The ship is breaking apart and all that. Just FYI.

Roman Holiday

May I say, speaking for my own press service, we believe your Highness’s faith will not be unjustified.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

Wait for the opportune moment.

The Mummy

– Well, if it ain’t my little buddy Beni. I think I’ll kill you.
– Think of my children.
– You don’t have any children
– Someday I might.

(You’re probably thinking – these? They’re even more random than the rest! Well, point taken, but, probably much to the dismay of my friends and family, these somehow pop up quite often in conversation.)

– Patience, Iago, patience. Gazeem was obviously less than worthy.
– Oh, there’s a big surprise.

Calm yourself, Iago.

PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS! Itty bitty living space.

The Princess Bride
(Saving the first for last – besides Aladdin, these are some of the first quotes I remember reciting.)

Well, it just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead.


(and, of course…)

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.

Quote marks