io9 has spotted a new and exciting supercut: every single line uttered by Bill Paxton’s Private Hudson in James Cameron’s 1986 film “Aliens.” Truly this is game over, man.
As supercuts go, it’s a good one. It’s funny, of course, to see all of Paxton’s whinging re-edited into one six minute long mega rant. But played out this way, Hudson’s arc takes on tragic dimensions too. He’s priggish in the beginning then terrified and scared after the first alien attack. He also has a moment of personal reflect that I must admit I’ve never really paid attention to before while watching “Aliens” at its full length; babbling about how he was four weeks away from getting out of the Marines. After that, he regains his resolve before succumbing to his final fate. Oh, Hudson. You were too beautiful for this world.
That’s the value of these supercuts beyond their superficial pleasures: they give us an opportunity to reevaluate texts we think we understand. Also: by my count, Paxton says the word “man” 31 times in the movie. 31 times! Man, that’s a lot.
Spend Valentine's Day weekend with IFC's Underworld movie marathon.
Posted by Emmy Potter on Photo Credit: Screen Gems/courtesy Everett Collection
Romance takes many forms, and that is especially true when you have a thirst for blood or laser beams coming out of your eyes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a werewolf, a superhero, a clone, a time-traveler, or a vampire, love is the one thing that infects us all. Read on to find out why Romeo and Juliet have nothing on these supernatural star-crossed lovers, and be sure to catch IFC’s Underworld movie marathon this Valentine’s Day weekend.
1. Cyclops/Jean Grey/Wolverine, X-Men series
The X-Men franchise is rife with romance, but the steamiest “ménage à mutant” may just be the one between Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Cyclops (James Marsden), and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Their triangle is a complicated one as Jean finds herself torn between the two very different men while also trying to control her darker side, the Phoenix. This leads to Jean killing Cyclops and eventually getting stabbed through her heart by Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand. Yikes! Maybe they should change the name to Ex-Men instead?
2. Willow/Tara, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Joss Whedon gave audiences some great romances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — including the central triangle of Buffy, Angel, and Spike — but it was the love between witches Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber Benson) that broke new ground for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a LGBT relationship.
Willow is smart and confident and isn’t even sure of her sexuality when she first meets Tara at college in a Wiccan campus group. As the two begin experimenting with spells, they realize they’re also falling for one another and become the show’s most enduring, happy couple. At least until Tara’s death in season six, a moment that still brings on the feels.
3. Selene/Michael, Underworld series
The Twilight gang pales in comparison (both literally and metaphorically) to the Lycans and Vampires of the stylish Underworld franchise. If you’re looking for an epic vampire/werewolf romance set amidst an epic vampire/werewolf war, Underworld handily delivers in the form of leather catsuited Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and shaggy blonde hunk Michael (a post-Felicity Scott Speedman). As they work together to stop the Vampire/Lycan war, they give into their passions while also kicking butt in skintight leather. Love at first bite indeed.
4. Spider-man/Mary Jane Watson, Spider-man
After rushing to the aid of beautiful girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the Amazing Spider-man is rewarded with an upside-down kiss that is still one of the most romantic moments in comic book movie history. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the shy, lovable dork beneath the mask, his rain-soaked makeout session is the culmination of years of unrequited love and one very powerful spider bite. As the films progress, Peter tries pushing MJ away in an attempt to protect her from his enemies, but their web of love is just too powerful. And you know, with great power, comes great responsibility.
5. Molly/Sam, Ghost
When it comes to supernatural romance, you really can’t beat Molly and Sam from the 1990 hit film Ghost. Demi Moore goes crazy for Swayze like the rest of us, and the pair make pottery sexier than it’s ever been.
When Sam is murdered, he’s forced to communicate through con artist turned real psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg in her Academy Award-winning role) to warn Molly she is still in danger from his co-worker, Carl (a pre-Scandal Tony Goldwyn). Molly doesn’t believe Oda is telling the truth, so Sam proves it by sliding a penny up the wall and then possessing Oda so he and Molly can share one last romantic dance together (but not the dirty kind). We’d pay a penny for a dance with Patrick Swayze ANY day.
6. Cosima/Delphine, Orphan Black
It stands to reason there would be at least one complicated romance on a show about clones, and none more complicated than the one between clone Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) and Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu) on BBC America’s hit drama Orphan Black.
Cosima is a PhD student focusing on evolutionary developmental biology at the University of Minnesota when she meets Delphine, a research associate from the nefarious Dyad Institute, posing as a fellow immunology student. The two fall in love, but their happiness is brief once Dyad and the other members of Clone Club get involved. Here’s hoping Cosima finds love in season four of Orphan Black. Girlfriend could use a break.
7. Aragorn/Arwen, Lord of the Rings
On a picturesque bridge in Rivendell amidst some stellar mood-lighting and dreamy Elvish language with English subtitles for us non-Middle Earthlings, Arwen (Liv Tyler) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) bind their souls to one another, pledging to love each other no matter what befalls them.
Their courtship is a matter of contention with Arwen’s father, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), who doesn’t wish to see his daughter suffer over Aragorn’s future death. The two marry after the conclusion of the War of the Ring, with Aragorn assuming his throne as King of Gondor, and Arwen forgoing her immortality to become his Queen. Is it too much to assume they asked Frodo to be their wedding ring-bearer?
8. Lafayette/Jesus, True Blood
True Blood quickly became the go-to show for supernatural sex scenes featuring future Magic Mike strippers (Joe Manganiello) and pale Nordic men with washboard abs (Hi Alexander Skarsgård!), but honestly, there was a little something for everyone, including fan favorite Bon Temps medium, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis).
In season three, Lafayette met his mother’s nurse, Jesus, and the two began a relationship. As they spend more time together and start doing V (short for Vampire Blood), they learn Jesus is descended from a long line of witches and that Lafayette himself has magical abilities. However, supernatural love is anything but simple, and after the pair join a coven, Lafayette becomes possessed by the dead spirit of its former leader. This relationship certainly puts a whole new spin on possessive love.
9. Nymphadora Tonks/Remus Lupin, Harry Potter series
There are lots of sad characters in the Harry Potter series, but Remus Lupin ranks among the saddest. He was bitten by a werewolf as a child, his best friend was murdered and his other best friend was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for it, then THAT best friend was killed by a Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic as Remus looked on. So when Lupin unexpectedly found himself in love with badass Auror and Metamorphmagus Nymphadora Tonks (she prefers to be called by her surname ONLY, thank you very much), pretty much everyone, including Lupin himself, was both elated and cautiously hopeful about their romance and eventual marriage.
Sadly, the pair met a tragic ending when both were killed by Death Eaters during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving their son, Teddy, orphaned much like his godfather Harry Potter. Accio hankies!
10. The Doctor/Rose Tyler, Doctor Who
Speaking of wolves, Rose “Bad Wolf” Tyler (Billie Piper) captured the Doctor’s hearts from the moment he told her to “Run!” in the very first episode of the re-booted Doctor Who series. Their affection for one another grew steadily deeper during their travels in the TARDIS, whether they were stuck in 1950s London, facing down pure evil in the Satan Pit, or battling Cybermen.
But their relationship took a tragic turn during the season two finale episode, “Doomsday,” when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose found themselves separated in parallel universes with no way of being reunited (lest two universes collapse as a result of a paradox). A sobbing Rose told a holographic transmission of the Doctor she loved him, but before he could reply, the transmission cut out, leaving our beloved Time Lord (and most of the audience) with a tear-stained face and two broken hearts all alone in the TARDIS.
Today’s essential piece of Internettery comes from Moving Image Source and writer Tom McCormack. It’s entitled “Compilation Nation: The History and the Rise of the Supercut.” And just what is a Supercut, besides a single unit in the popular and surprisingly affordable hair salon chain? It is the prevailing nomenclature for those compilation videos we all love to watch on our computers, this website and author included. You know the ones I’m talking about: stuff like 160 Greatest Arnold Schwarzenegger Quotes and “I’m Not Here To Make Friends.” With the sort of OCD comprehensiveness that characterizes the best examples of the genre, McCormack identifies the hallmarks and highlights, strengths and weaknesses of the recent supercut trend, and places them into larger context of experimental and avant-garde cinema. A brief excerpt:
As a vehicle for social critique, though, the supercut as such may have limited potential. Mostly the form translates a cliché into an experience of duration; the best supercuts are indeed durational affairs, offering a way of knowing that can only be achieved through time. But often the movies fail from obviousness. “He Didn’t Make It” (2010), “You Look Like Shit” (2010), “It’s Showtime” (2011) and others offer the bare pleasures of rhythm and symmetry but little else. Some cuts focus on repetitions we were meant to notice in the first place. One video collects every time Jeff Bridges says “dude” in The Big Lebowski, another collects the line “That’s what she said” from “The Office.” These videos testify to nerd cred and offer a chance for superfans to relive aspects of their beloved object, but probably have a small life outside of the initiated. The most engaging supercuts tend to stretch the form, moving beyond obvious tropes and into stranger territory.
Viral videos are, by their nature, disposable items. The maw of Internet eyeballs demands constant newness. But so many people watch these supercuts — that Schwarzenegger one has been viewed over six million times — that it’s important to consider why. So major props to McCormack for a fantastic piece of critical history. Go read it. Oh, and hey, look: another supercut is making the movie blog rounds today, this one about decades in the life of a single sound effect, “The Wilhelm Scream.” Seems like this web trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Which, in Internet time, means they’ll be out of fashion in like five and a half weeks.
It’s an idea so crazy it just might work (and just did, in my opinion): make a movie about product placement and advertising with funding entirely from the world of product placement and advertising. That’s the premise of Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary “POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.” That’s right: POM paid big bucks to get their brand in the title. Spurlock’s not drinking a bottle of it during our interview out of the goodness of his heart.
Last month at South by Southwest 2011, I hosted Spurlock and his producer and co-writer Jeremy Chilnick at our IFC Crossroads House, where we talked about the origins of the project, the larger implications for the movie industry of branded titles and in-movie advertising of the kind “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” contains, and what it feels like to be the Brundlefly of documentarians (it made sense at the time).