Mar 27 2014

5 Editing Room Quotes That Are Both Illuminating and Hilarious

Published by at 10:00 am under Lists,Movies

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The Editing Room is a site that’s been around for a while (grading on the curve of the internet), and like its spiritual brother-in-arms, MST3K, it never fails to deliver.  There’s something delightfully amazing about a joke that’s both incredibly funny and incredibly incisive, pointing out something you’ve never thought of in quite that way before.

It’s an internet stalwart that those of us who follow pop culture surely have stumbled upon at least once.  For my column this week, I wanted to pay tribute to the site by highlighting a few of the lines that made me laugh as well as kick myself for not realizing something basic about a movie.

For those of you who are unaware, or possibly just need a refresher, The Editing Room’s premise is simple: they write abridged movie scripts, with the actors’ names in place of the characters.  That’s pretty much it.  The genius is in the execution.

So, without further ado, I’ll get out of the way and let the experts demonstrate the art of hitting the nail squarely on the head.

After Earth

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The line:

JADEN SMITH

Dad, I appreciate your willingness to leave literally all of your trademark charm at the door so as not to upstage me, but I’m afraid I can’t carry this whole thing by myself. Don’t you think maybe you could do a couple “psssh”‘s or “aww hell naw”‘s?

WILL SMITH

Absolutely not. Jazzy Jeff gave his kid a Camaro for his birthday, so I’m giving you your very own movie, all to yourself.

JADEN SMITH

An M. Night Shyamalan movie, though?

WILL SMITH

It was a used Camaro, Jaden.

The impact:

Because so much of After Earth had nothing to do with the movie.  I heard so many nepotism jokes about After Earth, but none of them captured the particular flavor of snarky yet not mean-spirited that’s so perfect for a gentle ribbing of Will Smith.

After Earth wasn’t the worst movie I ever saw, and it was kind of interesting to see Smith go so much against type, but this is a case where the easy criticism was pretty spot on – while it’s certainly possible Jaden Smith becomes a solid actor one day, he’s definitely not there right now.

 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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The line:

FADE IN:

INT. IAN HOLM’S HOUSE

IAN HOLM sits down to write a book. Or if you’re reading this in 48FPS, a GIANT IAN-HOLM-SHAPED BLOB OF MAKEUP sits down to write a book.

IAN HOLM (V/O)

Once upon a time, a city of dwarves built a completely unsustainable economy based on gathering precious raw materials and then keeping them.

The impact: Oh my god, who did I never think of that?  In every fantasy game/story ever, dwarves mine for gems and metal and then… hoard it, basically.  I know the economics of fantasy worlds is a pretty niche interest, but did you ever think about the labor requirements for building something like the mines of Moria?  Without the benefit of, say, industrialization?

Seriously.  That makes no sense.

 

The Avengers

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The line:

(As Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor proceed to fight each other for some reason)

They proceed to act out their STATS from THE AVENGERS COLLECTIBLE TRADING CARD GAME and establish they are all EXACTLY EQUAL IN POWER, somehow. Guy on steroids, genius in a robot suit, invincible deity: basically identical.

CHRIS EVANS

Hang on a second, your hammer has decimated everything you’ve ever hit with it, you had no way of knowing my shield or Robert’s armor would protect us. Did you just attempt to straight-up murder us? Don’t change the scene, I want an answer to thi–

The impact: The Avengers is a movie that practically begs you not to think about it too hard.  It’s not like it’s thoughtless, but between the action, the inner 12-year-old squealing at seeing your favorite superheros fighting things, and the constant Whedon-style quips, there’s not much room to stop and think about what’s actually happening.  This quote pokes fun at that phenomenon in the best way possible.

 

Twilight: Eclipse

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The line:

KRISTEN STEWART

Robert, we have to go make sure Taylor didn’t get hurt, which he almost certainly did since Stephanie Meyer’s magical typewriter can only produce cliches!

KRISTEN and ROBERT arrive at the BATTLE just as it’s ending.

ROBERT PATTINSON

God, the last movie made 300 million dollars, how can the wolf effects still look this bad?

KRISTEN STEWART

Because the movie is going to make the exact same amount of money regardless of how they look. We’re lucky they aren’t drawn with permanent marker on the film reel.

The impact: I’m actually really happy Twilight exists, because some truly excellent comedy has come out of mocking it.  RiffTrax’s Twlight commentary was one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard, full stop.  I always wondered why the CGI was so 1995 terrible, and I’d never really thought about it in terms of the fact that when you have a franchise with such a rabid fan base, they’re turning up for the movie no matter what.  Huh.  The things people do…

 

Avatar

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The line:

BLUE ZOE SALDANA

We Na’vi are one with nature. We reject your culture’s love of technology and instead we appreciate the harmony and beauty of the world.

BLUE SAM WORTHINGTON

I sure am glad computer technology has gotten sophisticated enough that James Cameron could make his $230 million 3D IMAX movie about rejecting technology! I think I understand: technology bad, nature good!

BLUE ZOE SALDANA

Exactly! Not counting the technology that cryogenically froze you, transported you to this planet, sustains your oxygen supply, or allows you to wirelessly link into an avatar, of course.

BLUE SAM WORTHINGTON

Of course.

BLUE ZOE SALDANA

Now, see the winged animals behind me?

BLUE SAM WORTHINGTON

Yes. Do we appreciate the beauty and majesty of these grand creatures?

BLUE ZOE SALDANA

Huh? No, we enslave them. Plug your ponytail into one to take control of its mind. F— you, blue pterodactyl!

The impact: Again, this is the genius of the Editing Room.  It’s a well-worn criticism of Avatar - that the theme and plot are hackneyed, if not blatantly ripped off from other movies, but not too many people really dug into the hypocrisy of one of the most technologically-dependent movies of all time doing a paean to the world of nature.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend your next chunk of free time browsing The Editing Room and hitting up some old classics.  It’s a great little trip down memory lane, both to remind yourself of some of your favorite movies, and to chuckle at their absurdity.





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6 responses so far

6 Responses to “5 Editing Room Quotes That Are Both Illuminating and Hilarious”

  1. Andyon 27 Mar 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you for this, Indy. I had no idea it existed and now I know where the rest of my day will be spent.

  2. Godlingon 27 Mar 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Cool site Indy. Never heard of it before but now I’ll have to check it out.

    Disagree with the Editing Room’s take on Avatar though. I think it’s obviously about the “misuse” of technology… and isn’t it always anyway? Suggesting that it’s about “all” technology is simplistic in a pre-school logic sort of way. To prove the point, the Navi’s hammock “is” technology as technology isn’t limited to being only electronic in nature.

    What this juvenile point of view then boils down to is the baby being thrown out with the bathwater… an “all or nothing” attitude.

  3. David Ron 27 Mar 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I don’t know James Cameron, but I suspect that he might make the case that he used technology to draw attention back to the things that are important, whereas the baddies in Avatar used it to exploit and nearly exterminate a sentient species/planet.

    Whether one agrees with Cameron’s take on his own work is its own discussion, but I think there’s a way for him to be operating that isn’t necessarily hypocritical. People made the same accusation of Wall-E, which I found a little misguided, if understandable.

  4. Indy Zon 27 Mar 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Always happy to help. Isn’t it a treat when you find something cool like this and can sink a good 4-6 hours into it?

  5. Indy Zon 27 Mar 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Replace “technology” with “industry.” Potato, patahto.

  6. Indy Zon 27 Mar 2014 at 5:36 pm

    It doesn’t seem a bit out of whack that the story he’s telling, the way that he’s telling it, is literally incapable of being reproduced without the industrial complex he’s bashing?

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