Movies, for a variety of reasons, are hard to make. They’re even harder to get right. Science fiction and fantasy are also hard to get right — in addition to all the other challenges of storytelling, they require much more imagination and invention than fiction based on reality or history. This, in large part, accounts for the truth of Sturgeon’s Law.
So it’s not often that a science fiction movie gets all the notes exactly right. Many are lucky if they have just a few good ones that make the film worth seeing. A very rare few get enough right to make an SF film notable. (For my money, Elysium and Oblivion are recent good examples, and Ender’s Game and Edge of Tomorrow weren’t bad.)
And once in a blue moon a film gets it so right that the horse sings.
Bear with me; I have another get it off my chest rant about how something on the TV machine made me angry. In this case it concerns a show that’s risen quite high on the list of shows I watch: NBC’s Grimm.
I enjoy the show a lot, but I’m really annoyed about one particular aspect. It’s a glaring flaw in an otherwise very appealing show. I understand why the flaw exists, but it concerns something that’s generally bugged me in storytelling for a long time. In the case of Grimm it especially grates; I wish the writers had taken another tack.
The issue concerns keeping secrets from loved ones.
Earlier this week I read an NBC News blog post that cited a Telegraph (UK) post concerning the funniest movies ever. The British article involved a study by a movie subscription service. The study attempted to rank the funniest films ever based on laughs per minute. The NBC article added their own informal staff picks to the mix.
What tickled me is that the Brits named Airplane! as the funniest movie ever. I’m not sure I have a definite all-time #1 pick, but Airplane! is unquestionably in the top three. A while back, I wrote about my funniest films, and Airplane! was my first pick (of four—third place had a tie).
So the Brits and I share a funniest movie pick, but we diverge from there.
An earlier Sideband references the, “These go to eleven,” bit from This is Spinal Tap. As I mentioned, some people I know consider it one of the funniest bits in all of film, but the phrasing I just used should clue you in that it’s not mine.
Make no mistake, I do consider it a classic moment, a very funny moment, and a moment that has become a cultural icon. But it didn’t make me laugh until I hurt too much to laugh anymore.
And that begs the question, “So what are those funniest moments?”