Monday, December 15, 2008

Top 25 Battlecries

Have you seen this? It is a well-edited clip of 40 inspirational speeches from famous films, all mashed into about 2 minutes! Rami passed it along to me and then Frank made a kind request for a list of the best battlecries of film and television.

We at PaRMLoT are nothing if not eager to please!

25. "Oh captain, my captain!" - Dead Poets Society
You know how sometimes movies end on a resoundingly inspirational note, but then, when you think about it for a while, you're like, "Wait, those people's lives are all about to get way worse!" This is kind of one of those movies, yes? Their cool professor gets canned, their hot-shot-ringleader is dead... everything sucks! I'm just being honest. Once those kids get down from their desks, there come those tears again.

24. "Fuck you, pay me." - Goodfellas
This is less of a battlecry and more of just a really intense, awesome thing to hear Ray Liotta say over and over in a voiceover. 

23. "BAYONETS!" - Gettysburg
Tom yells this sometimes. Tom yells a lot of things, frankly. He can be surprisingly terrifying. Then again, I can be surprisingly timid. All of this has so little to do with Gettysburg. (Note: I have not seen Gettysburg.) I hear Gettysburg is super great!

22. "Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever." - The Replacements
Yeah, I have a big ol' film-crush on The Replacements. (The movie, not the band. I carry a full-on Cross of Love for The Replacements, the band.) For some reason, this is perfect for Keanu Reeves in a way that few other roles have been. And the big speech at the end, where he's all, I don't wanna give a big speech at the end, and then he says this quote... I mean, it's cookie-cutter sports movie formula, but what's so wrong with that?

21. "You're so money!" - Swingers
This has been done to death by dudes in shiny shirts who think the message of Swingers is "you should totally act like Vince Vaughn in this movie all the time"... still though, when a film holds up after 12 years, something has gone right.

20. "Have fun storming the castle!" - The Princess Bride
How did this movie not win Best Makeup for the work they did on Billy Crystal and Carole Kane?! Also, I used to say this to my friends when they left my house (like, in the sixth grade)... again, I wasn't much for normalcy as a kid.

19. "It's the fuckin' Catalina Wine Mixer!" - Step Brothers
You guys, go see Step Brothers. It's like Adam McKay and Will Ferrell read every review of their films that used the phrase "man-child" and then they said, "Why don't we just go full out?" It is both maddening and perfect.

18. "They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!" - Braveheart
What's fun about this one is that you can submit really anything for "freedom" and it will be funny. Seriously. Get a person to give you a list of 10 nouns, replace "freedom" with each noun, say the line to yourself in your head (or better, scream it in a crowded office), and if you don't laugh at least half the time, I'll buy you a stick of yours. (Can we start saying that as a thing?)

17. "A day may come when then courage of men fails, but it is not this day." - Return of the King
Back in the old days, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, me and friend-of-PaRMLoT Matt Schratz would drive around Buffalo in his big white van and write things in chalk on people's driveways. This was to be considered a huge, huge honor. (Most of our chalkings were quotes from Hook or the ODB.) Anyway, once we wrote this quote on this girl Bridget's driveway, and it took so much chalk and so much effort, but we followed through, because that's the kind of guys we were.

16. "No one gets left behind!" - Little Miss Sunshine
Remember that time Rob made a joke about his sentient portside buttock? My heart grew three sizes that day, and my love for Rob turned into a shark.

15. "This is your time!" - Miracle
It probably makes more sense to put the actual Al Michaels call of the win versus the Soviets ("Do you believe in miracles? Yes! YES!!!), but this moment--all Goonies allusions aside--tugs at the hockey-taped heartstrings.

14. "Steve Holt!" - Arrested Development
You can't help but say it with your arms in the air and your fists clenched. You will feel so full of pride! (I am doing it right now and I feel great.)

13. "Let's get into it!" - The Darjeeling Limited
Said by Owen Wilson to his brothers (Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody) during a spiritual journey to reclaim what the three have lost over the years, at a point where the spiritual journey has lost its course and the "what has been lost" has been deemed essentially unreclaimable. This movie should have been seen by more people.

There is a wonderful little scene in this classic portrait of post-college inertia (Noah Baumbach's first film!) where Skippy (Jason Wiles) decides that his group of guys needs a name. He's gunning for "Cougars". It's a terrific moment--a guy who has nothing left to belong to, deciding that if nothing else, he can declare his friendships an official institution and belong to them.

11. "Business drunk!" - 30 Rock
Maybe the best line from maybe the best episode of Season Two. There were so many totally necessary references to Milos Forman's Amadeus in that one!

10. "I'm in the goddamn club, aren't I?" - The Monster Squad
Listen. LISTEN. I have said my peace about why I prefer this film to The Goonies. But if you'll indulge just a few more sentences, this line is the perfect reason why. Goonies has its whole "Up there it's their time, down here, it's our time!" thing and that's just great. (Way to spawn an entire generation of cheer-up-emo-kids, movie.) But The Monster Squad has balls, and by balls, I mean a leather-clad 15 (?) year-old bad-ass named Rudy who shoots stakes into vampire babes. UM, EXCUSE ME BUT I HAVE TO GO JUMP UP AND DOWN BECAUSE THAT IS SO AWESOME.

9. "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" - Network
There was a security guard who liked to call me Peter Finch, once. I miss that guy. I miss people calling me things.

8. "I am a golden god!" - Almost Famous
Screamed from atop a roof at a houseparty thrown by real Topeka people, no less. 

7. "Smile, you son of a bitch!" - Jaws
As in, smile because there is an airtank in your mouth and I am going to shoot it with a rifle and blow you up. You haven't foreseen this, because you are a shark, and even though you are a perfectly engineered killing machine that swims, eats, and makes baby sharks, you have a small brain. And I, Chief Martin Brody, do not. Also, I have that rifle I mentioned.

6. "I serve at the pleasure of the president." - The West Wing
Not exactly a battlecry, but goddamn, if this line doesn't charge me up and make me wanna push the big gun control reform bill through Congress. Then, President Bartlett will quote a book we've all heard of but never actually read and tell us an amazing, off-the-cuff story. If I'm lucky, they'll play Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah", although that might mean that someone in a B- or C-plot has been shot.

5. "Suit up!" - How I Met Your Mother
I am only still writing so that I have something to do until they post tonight's episode on I hear there are even more Minnesota references than usual in this one. Speaking of that, DUDES did you see the Vikings destroy the Cardinals on Sunday? Yeah, that wasn't at all awesome. OH WAIT, IT'S OPPOSITE LAST SENTENCE. (That is like when it's Opposite Day, but it's only relevant to the last sentence. Well, two sentences ago now. Look, I am just trying to say that the Vikings are on a roll and How I Met Your Mother is a criminally underwatched show, and also the reason I wear suits so often.)

4. "Ducks fly together!" - The Mighty Ducks
We at PaRMLoT have not minced words about our adoration for the Mighty Ducks films. Simply put, we think they are just great. But it's little touches like this, the chronic cinematic underachiever Emilio Estevez, acting his little black-sheep-Sheen heart out, whipping the Ducks into a frenzy as they prepare to take on the fearsome crosstown rivals, the Hawks. (Hawks, it should be noted, do not fly together. Hawks don't give a fuck. That's actually what the Hawks were yelling in their locker room, which is also why they lost the championships. That, and the triple deke.) 

3. "Today we celebrate our Independence Day!" - Independence Day
Is there a more contrived, more masterful speech recorded on film? Back when I used to cast people in things called plays, every once in a while, some kid (AKA: the greatest person on earth, at that moment) would toddle in and recite this speech. I would immediately high-five them and cast them as Jesus the Christ, even if the play didn't have Jesus in it, which was always. This is why I am so good at rewriting plays to include Jesus as a character.

2. "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!" - Friday Night Lights
Anyone who has watched Season Three is well aware that FNL is more than just back in the playoff hunt. This is a team leading its division, with a really solid shot at state. Okay, that was a horrible and unnecessary sports metaphor, but the fact of the matter is, you need to be watching this show. Watch the pilot online, it's one of the best ever made, you will understand what I'm talking about, and you'll want to hear the rest of the story.

1. "La Marseillaise" - Casablanca
Classic. Just... classic.


El Gigante said...

Thanks for the shout-out about shout-outs, but no "It's clobberin' time!"???

I would also argue that the official battle cry of 30 Rock is either "Shut it down" or "Yes! Hornberger!"

Another shut out nominee "Run away!" from Monty Python.

Oh and "SPOON!" from The Tick.

El Gigante said...

Also isn't the battle-cry of the Bartlett administration "What's next?"

Peter said...

Yeah, super-good call on "What's next?" Also, my mom says I should have put on a Boston Legal battlecry. "Denny Crane!" works, eh?

T. said...

(I guess you're too young for that one to be meaningful.)

Peter said...

As someone who has considered the feasibility of Red Dawn: The Musical, I find fault with your insinuation.

Anonymous said...

"Let's do it. Let's go get the shit kicked out of us by love."