The Best Punchlines in Film

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A couple of weeks back, we perused the entirety of film history and pulled out our very favorite break-up lines — the meanest, the sharpest, and the funniest. For a follow-up, we decided to focus on the latter: selecting some of the best punchlines ever uttered in movies. By definition, a punchline isn’t just a funny bit of dialogue or an amusingly awkward moment: it’s the payoff to a setup, whether in situation or dialogue, and thus must be carefully teed up and smoothly executed. We think these 25 examples do just that, with panache.

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Sign the End of Polio Petition!

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April 6, 2013 · 8:40 pm

Sign the End of Polio Petition!

#globalcitizen

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April 6, 2013 · 8:40 pm

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We’ve all heard of Physics for Poets and Rocks for Jocks, but a few college classes skip the pretense of hard science altogether and get straight to the fun stuff. While these courses may not get you into medical school, they’ll leave you well-prepared for any cocktail party conversation, as long as you go to the kind of cocktail party where guests talk shop about Harry Potter and Joss Whedon. Best of all, many pop culture classes post their syllabi online, making it easy for those of us too old for frat parties to join in on the fun. We compiled the best classes on TV, music, and even video games that colleges have to offer, including a selection of readings so you can hit the books without doing the whole midterm-and-paper thing. Read on for the highlights; it’s just like college, but all electives and absolutely no math!

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In early December, Bret Easton Ellis tweeted, “FYI: There. Is. No. New. Novel. Being. Written. Except for maybe The James Deen Story and something called ‘Come Over At Do Bring Coke Now.'” But now, he admits that there just may be, writing that “It started with an image revolving around the blood-red Emser tile sign situated on a rooftop at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Holloway Drive: the view from behind the windshield, an accident, the mystery unfolding, something about the past, about that last year in high school, intimations of a murder disguised as a suicide.” These days, Ellis is probably at least as well known for his combative, sometimes apparently drug-addled Twitter feed as he is for his novels, so we decided to turn there to fuel our wild speculations about what themes a new novel from the writer might contain. Whether it’s The James Deen…

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It’s certainly no coincidence that Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), the enigma at the center of Park Chan-wook’s Stoker, shares the name of the murderous uncle in Hitchcock’s classic Shadow of a Doubt. That’s not all the films have in common; both take place in seemingly idyllic, isolated communities (the family’s house is less a home than an island), and leave us with the impression that quiet evil can lurk behind every door and around every corner. But from an emotional standpoint, Stoker is like an inversed Shadow. In that film, a young woman who loves her uncle unlocks his past and is repulsed. In this one, a young woman who loathes her uncle unlocks his past, and responds with a bit more moral ambiguity.

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