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mygif

I’m pretty sure you are misreading the Lion King, because the Mustafa/Simba reigns have significantly better food distribution than Scar’s domain and yet all three have an elite ruling caste.

Also, how does that typo (lose->lost) appear in the process of cutting and pasting from Apocalypse Now to Cast Away?

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Mitchell Hundred said on June 19th, 2013 at 9:52 am

Goodfellas: Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Fiddler on the Roof: Change is not the end of the world.

I’ve heard it said that the message behind Grave of the Fireflies is that life is a fleeting, ephemeral thing, to be treasured whenever possible. That certainly fits better with the title.

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I thought the message of Jurassic Park was “Don’t put your lives in the hands of people who really suck at security.”

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I think the message of Quarantine is “If there’s a foreign-language original, just go see that instead.”

Rec, though, yeah.

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I just saw JURASSIC PARK this past weekend, so it’s fresh in my mind. I don’t think this summing-up fits; the proximate cause of the chaos on the island is Dennis (Wayne Knight), the computer programmer who betrays his employer and risks everyone’s lives because of his own sense of entitlement. He’s hardly a “little person” (ahem); he’s just an asshole.

Better, I think, would be the following:

“The law of unintended consequences means that you should never try to do anything remarkable, because it will just bite you in the ass.”

Yes, that’s JURASSIC PARK: entertaining thrill ride, lousy contribution to philosophy.

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mygif

One of Cracked’s many lists had a note surmising that Simba’s reign was able to stabilize the ecosystem via the expedient of just eating all the excess jackals that Scar had hanging around.

See, you can do good things with immigrants without exiling them!

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mygif

Seeing as the entire savanna starved under Scar, but flourished under Mufasa and Simba, clearly it was the hyenas gobbling up all the food.

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NCallahan said on June 19th, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I, Robot taught us that the secret to a successful movie is to read Isaac Asimov and do the opposite.

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highlyverbal said on June 19th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

The Matrix: timeworn SF premises that don’t make sense can blow the minds of the masses when coupled with good special effects.

Twilight: Dysfunctional, sociopathic stalkers are just misunderstood, and you can change their nature because they’re really into you!

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Sean D. Martin said on June 19th, 2013 at 1:01 pm

The Terminator: Even though it might feel like you’re an ordinary person powerless to affect the vast sweep of history, you can do more than you might think.

On the contrary, in Terminator no change was made to history at all. The final scene made that very clear.

So it’s more: You can’t fight against fate, but can have some good sex on your way to Armageddon.

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mygif

There’s a theory that John Connor had a father other than Kyle Reese in a previous time loop.

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Admiral Snackbar said on June 19th, 2013 at 2:45 pm

The Dark Knight should probably be “Being a hero sometimes means sacrificing the rights of others without their consent or knowledge.”

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@Thok, Sean C.: The system under Simba and Mufasa was great…for the lions. They basically kicked all the hyenas out of the Pridelands and said, “There’s enough here for us but not everybody. You go over there to the dank, creepy elephant graveyards and squabble over scraps of elderly pachyderm. We’re going to eat all the juicy, fresh antelope. **turns to antelope** Which you should be totally thrilled with, dude, because Circle of Life and all.” Granted, Scar’s plan of letting everyone gorge themselves on antelope wasn’t going to work either, but the film clearly presents oligarchy as the only possible alternative to chaos. That’s its message: A ruling class that gets the majority is the only way to go. Scar’s communist dystopia is as much a part of that message as Mufasa’s monarchist utopia.

@Andrew: As presented in the book (and never contradicted in the movie), the line “I’m sorry about your financial problems, Dennis, but they are your problems,” refers to Hammond’s refusal to pay Dennis to debug the software he designed. Dennis isn’t stealing the embryos and hacking the system because he’s greedy, he’s doing it because Hammond won’t pay him the money he’s owed and he’s getting it from another source. They cut that part down both for time and to make Hammond more sympathetic, but the whole mess is still down to his refusal to pay Dennis what he asked for. (In the book, he’s a greedy little shit who gets eaten by compys.)

@Sean D. Martin: You can see it both ways. I see it as, “Sarah Connor can’t prevent Armageddon, but her tiny human action brought about the end of Skynet.” Which is a big deal.

@Thok: I never cut and paste. You all deserve my finest original typos with each sentence. :)

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mygif

Fight Club: Travelling a lot for work might seem glamorous, but actually kinda sucks.

Aliens: No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.

Jacob’s Ladder: War is Hell.

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Sean D. Martin said on June 19th, 2013 at 6:40 pm

There’s a theory that John Connor had a father other than Kyle Reese in a previous time loop.

There’s a theory that John Connor was actually the secret love child of Kim Kardsahian and Justin Beiber. But you won’t see anything to support it in the actual movie.

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Sean D. Martin said on June 19th, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Man of Steel: Stopping someone from committing mass murder is important, even if you have to kill thousands to do it.

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Oh boy is it fun to do these for kids’ films.

Sleeping Beauty: Evil can be unbelievably, magnificently petty, and that doesn’t make it less terrifying.

Wreck-It Ralph: Taking a day off from work because you feel down will cause the end of the world — multiple worlds, actually.

How To Train Your Dragon: Different factions of workers (some of whom are dragons) who have historically fought over resources can have a happy ending if they all put aside their differences and rise up against the greedy 1%.

Kung Fu Panda: Being a young, sloppy, inconsiderate but enthusiastic everydude is more important than a lifetime’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dedication to your art.

Hercules: James Woods and Gospel music really can improve anything.

Spirited Away: When your parents drag you into dark faerieland, don’t eat the food.

Labyrinth: When your baby brother drags you into dark faerieland, don’t eat the food. (Or: Your enemies only have the power you give them.)

Brave: When you run away into dark faerieland, don’t serve the food to your mother.

The Princess Bride: Being beautiful is your only avenue to wealth, but money can’t buy happiness.

Aladdin: Money can’t buy happiness, but being beautiful is your only avenue to love.

The Parent Trap: Money can buy happiness, if you’re transcontinental twins.

And some of these are more than one sentence, but not by much.

http://cdn.madamenoire.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/14.jpg

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mygif

Which you should be totally thrilled with, dude, because Circle of Life and all.”

The antelope prefer Mustafa/Simba’s reign to Scar because there’s actually grass to eat. The laissez faire government of Scar leads to nothing for anybody to eat (and Scar’s government is clearly closer to laissez faire than communism.)

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Fred Davis said on June 19th, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Blade Runner: What is a human? A miserable pile of memories.

Night/dawn/day of the Living Dead: Man is the real monster.

Alien: Man is the co-dependant abused spouse of, and mother of the children of, the real monster.

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Batman (1966) : Sometimes you just can’t get rid of a bomb.

Batman and Robin: Sometimes you just can’t get rid of a bomb.

The Wizard of Oz: There’s more to you than you think there is.

Oz the Great and Powerful: Don’t lead the crazy chick on because it WILL end badly.

Fight Club: You’re your own worst enemy.

Hellboy: Nurture is more important than nature.

Every Superman movie except the last one: Invest in real-estate; they aren’t making any more of it.

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mygif

Jurassic Park is, to me, more like: You can’t truly master anything, because living things serve only self interest, and everything else serves only randomness and chaos.

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The Incredibles: Everybody is special in a different way, and not recognizing this leads to suffering.

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Wreck-It Ralph: With electric power comes great responsibility.

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Avatar: No matter what terrible stuff you do, everyone will still love you if you tame the giant bird thing

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Flimflammery said on June 20th, 2013 at 3:06 am

If you think Lion King is trying to present a communist dystopia for us to frown and tut over, why would they try so hard with the Nazi imagery during Be Prepared? Sorry to Godwinise the thread, but at least it’s clearly there in the text.

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Flimflammery said on June 20th, 2013 at 3:12 am

Also, isn’t Scar’s regime just as much an oligarchy as Mufasa’s?

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The hyenas are a tiny percentage of the total population of the savanna. They’re excluded because they screw it up for everyone else.

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Sisyphus said on June 20th, 2013 at 9:01 am

Rinkworks.com (http://www.rinkworks.com/bookaminute/) has a whole set of these for books. My absolute favorite is the summary for the Giving Tree:

Reader: I can’t believe you cut that tree down, you jerk.

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NCallahan said on June 20th, 2013 at 10:36 am

I think The Lion King requires a reading akin to the Fisher King myth — the health of the land is directly tied to the health of the monarch. In this case, Scar is a morally and mentally weak degenerate (he associates with hyenas, for god’s sake!), so the pride lands wither with him on the throne. It’s only with a pure and strong leader on the throne, first Mufasa and then Simba, that the land flourishes.

All of which ignores actually lion ecology, but you know, Disney.

@Thornae

I read Aliens as “macho postering can’t compare to the strength of a victim confronting her rapist”.

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any moose said on June 20th, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Responses to the lion king bit: ‘but don’t you see, the villains in THIS blatant piece of propaganda are REALLY BAD!’

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Eric TF Bat said on June 20th, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Shrek: It doesn’t matter what your love looks like, as long as they look like you.

Beauty and the Beast: When the narrative tells you that someone is a good person despite their appearance, you can trust this regardless of the ample contradicting evidence.

Daybreakers: With sufficient attention paid to style, it’s possible for a movie packed with ideas to make no sense at all and still be memorable. See also: The Matrix.

Sexy Beast: Just surviving can count as a win.

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Groundhog Day: Your life sucks more than you realize, and won’t improve until you pull your head out of your ass and do something about it.

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Alan Richardson said on June 21st, 2013 at 4:04 am

It should be noted that the Wachowskis aren’t brothers – one came out as a transwoman after the movies were all made.

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Scavenger said on June 22nd, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Re: Jurassic Park and Nedry
“You know anybody who can network 8 connection machines and debug 2 million lines of code for what I bid for this job?

Nedry underbid and regretted it. There’s nothing as presented in the movie that Hammond is screwing him over, but that Nedry decided he wanted more money beyond what he was owed.

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Travesty said on June 24th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

And now, a Cohen Brothers medley.

The Ladykillers: everybody gets what they have coming to them in the end.

Miller’s Crossing: some people are just going to keep biting the hand that feeds them.

Fargo: it’s all going to end in tears and it’s not worth it.

Burn After Reading: the things that seem world-shaking to you are nothing to the big picture.

True Grit: the pursuit of revenge is a hollow one.

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kingderella said on June 24th, 2013 at 1:56 pm

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Hedonism isn’t as bad as some people proclaim it to be, and only uptight prudes get upset about casual sex and transvestitism…and, um, murder…and…er…cannibalism.

so maybe im a uptight prude, but the cannibalism part really undid the movie for me. thats when it kind of becomes really hard for me to cheer for the “heroes”, despite the otherwise likable message of the movie and the obvious goofiness of it all.

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