Novel: Oliver Twist
Description: “As he glided stealthily along, creeping beneath the shelter of the walls and doorways, the hideous old man seemed like some loathsome reptile, engendered in the slime and darkness through which he moved: crawling forth, by night, in search of some rich offal for a meal."
Occupation: Criminal mastermind (and the Artful Dodger’s boss)
DP Nugget: Fagin is a monstrosity who runs a pack of orphans as a criminal enterprise. He’s also used an example of Dickens’ alleged anti-Semitism because he is often referred to as “The Jew.” Jewish characters are few and far between in Victorian literature, but Dickens also created a likable Jewish character in “Our Mutual Friend.”
Why We Love Him: Fagin is a loathsome toad, but unforgettable as a villain.
Novel: A Christmas Carol
Description: “Marley's face. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were, but had a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. It was not angry or ferocious, but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead. The hair was curiously stirred, as if by breath or hot air; and, though the eyes were wide open, they were perfectly motionless. That, and its livid colour, made it horrible; but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face and beyond its control, rather than a part of its own expression.
DP Nugget: Amazingly, in the Walt Disney version “Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Marley is played by Goofy.
Why We Love Him: “Marley is imprisoned in death by his greed in life. It’s hard not to have this image seared into your mind: The chain he drew was clasped about his middle. It was long, and wound about him like a tail; and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel.”
Novel: Great Expectations
Description: “The lady whom I had never seen before, lifted up her eyes and looked archly at me, and then I saw that the eyes were Estella’s eyes. But she was so much changed, was so much more beautiful, so much more womanly, in all things winning admiration had made such wonderful advance, that I seemed to have made none. I fancied, as I looked at her, that I slipped hopelessly back into the coarse and common boy again.”
DP Nugget: Estella is referenced in Alanis Morissette’s song “All I Really Want.”
Why We Love Her: Beautiful and with a heart of ice, Estella is the prototype of the femme fatale.
Novel: A Christmas Carol
Description: “Alas for Tiny Tim, he bore a little crutch, and had his limbs supported by an iron frame.”
Occupation: None (an invalid little boy)
DP Nugget: What exactly was wrong with Tiny Tim? Dickens doesn’t tell readers, but there’s been speculation that Tiny Tim had renal tubular acidosis – a form of kidney disease.
Why We Love Him: Diseased and dying, yet beloved by his family and the always the eternal optimist. It’s almost impossible to read about Tiny Tim’s death (with his crutch leaning against the hearth) and not get misty eyed.
Novel: David Copperfield
Description: “As I came back, I saw Uriah Heep shutting up the office; and feeling friendly towards everybody, went in and spoke to him, and at parting, gave him my hand. But oh, what a clammy hand his was! as ghostly to the touch as to the sight! I rubbed mine afterwards, to warm it, AND TO RUB HIS OFF. It was such an uncomfortable hand, that, when I went to my room, it was still cold and wet upon my memory. Leaning out of the window, and seeing one of the faces on the beam-ends looking at me sideways, I fancied it was Uriah Heep got up there somehow, and shut him out in a hurry.”
DP Nugget: Was Uriah Heep a metaphor for masturbation? The character’s hands are often described as wet, clammy, and sticky.
Why We Love Him: Is there a more obsequious character in English literature? No one uses the word “humble” to better effect.
Novel: The Old Curiosity Shop
Description: “The creature appeared quite horrible with his monstrous head and little body, as he rubbed his hands slowly round, and round, and round again – with something fantastic even in his manner of performing this slight action – and, dropping his shaggy brows and cocking his chin in air, glanced upwards with a stealthy look of exultation that an imp might have copied and appropriated to himself.”
DP Nugget: Quilp a twisted, greedy hobgoblin – but he gets his just desserts when he becomes lost in the
Why We Love Him: One of the Seven Dwarfs he’s not. But he’s one of Dickens most dastardly characters.
Novel: The Pickwick Papers
Description: “’My man is in the right, although his mode of expressing his opinion is somewhat homely, and occasionally incomprehensible.’”
DP Nugget: Sam Weller is the funniest character in a humorous novel – and comes up with nuggets of witty – and often
Why We Love Him: He’s simple, yet wise – filled with anecdotes and crazy opinions, but very big hearted and kind underneath it all.
Novel: Our Mutual Friend
Description: “Half savage as the man showed, with no covering on his matted head, with his brown arms bare to between the elbow and the shoulder, with the loose knot of a looser kerchief lying low on his bare breast in a wilderness of beard and whisker, with such dress as he wore seeming to be made out of the mud that begrimed his boat, still there was business-like usage in his steady gaze.”
Occupation: Water man
DP Nugget: Gaffer is a minor character, but hard to forget. His occupation is trolling the waters of the
Why We Love Him: Despite his gruesome occupation, Gaffer is a hardworking honorable man – a difficult literary achievement and evidence of Dickens prowess as a novelist.
Novel: Oliver Twist
Description: “He was a snub-nosed, flat-browed, common-faced boy enough; and as dirty a juvenile as one would wish to see; but he had about him all the airs and manners of a man. He was short of his age: with rather bow-legs, and little, sharp, ugly eyes. His hat was stuck on the top of his head so lightly, that it threatened to fall off every moment--and would have done so, very often, if the wearer had not had a knack of every now and then giving his head a sudden twitch, which brought it back to its old place again. He wore a man's coat, which reached nearly to his heels. He had turned the cuffs back, half-way up his arm, to get his hands out of the sleeves: apparently with the ultimated view of thrusting them into the pockets of his corduroy trousers; for there he kept them. He was, altogether, as roystering and swaggering a young gentleman as ever stood four feet six, or something less, in the bluchers.”
DP Nugget: The Artful Dodger was a minor character in the Dickens’ novel, but has become so beloved – probably because of his name – that his role in movie and television adaptations is always amplified.
Why We Love Him: He’s a devious, but lovable son of a bitch.
Madam Therese Defarge
Novel: A Tale of Two Cities
Description: “Madame Defarge, his wife, sat in the shop behind the counter as he came in. Madame Defarge was a stout woman of about his own age, with a watchful eye that seldom seemed to look at anything, a large hand heavily ringed, a steady face, strong features and great composure of manner. There was a character about Madame Defarge, from which one might have predicated that she did not often make mistakes against herself in any of the reckonings over which she presided. Madame Defarge being sensitive to cold, was wrapped in fur, and had a quantity of bright shawl twine about her, though not to the concealment of her large ear-rings. Her knitting was before her, but she had laid it down to pick her teeth with a toothpick.”
Occupation: Knitter and wife of a wine-shop owner
DP Nugget: Madame Defarge knits the names of the dead into her quilt.
Why We Love Her: She is a quiet, but vengeful revolutionary who seeks justice for the death of her family.
32 Dingers from the Funniest Man in
“Everybody panic! Oh my God, there's a bear loose in the coliseum! There will be no refunds! Your refund will be escaping this deathtrap with your life! If you have a small child, use it as a shield! They love the tender meat! Cover your sodas! Dewie loves sugar!”
From “Blades of Glory”
“No exaggeration, I could not love a human baby more then I love this brush.”
“I see you still look like a fifteen year old girl, but not hot.”
“Troubled childhood? If you consider a 9 year old kid with a 35 year old girlfriend troubled.”
“Hey. They laughed at Louis Armstrong when he said he was gonna go to the moon. Now he's up there, laughing at them.”
“Dear Lord Baby Jesus, I want to thank you for this wonderful meal, my two beautiful son's, Walker and Texas Ranger, and my Red-Hot Smokin' Wife, Carley.”
“Dear Lord baby Jesus, lying there in your ghost manger, just lookin' at your Baby Einstein developmental videos, learning about shapes and colors. I would like to thank you for bringing me and my mama together, and also that my kids no longer sound like retarded gang-bangers.”
“Well let me just quote the late-great Colonel Sanders, who said...`I'm too drunk to taste this chicken.’”
“No one lives forever, no one. But with advances in modern science and my high level income, it's not crazy to think I can live to be 245, maybe 300. Heck, I just read in the newspaper that they put a pig heart in some guy from
From “Wedding Crashers”
“Yeah, her boyfriend just died. Dude died in a hang-gliding accident! What an idiot! `Aaaahhh, I'm hang-gliding! Take a good picture, honey, I'm dead!’"
“I almost numchucked you, you don't even realize!”
“Mom! The meat loaf! Fuck!”
“Let's make love in a hot-air balloon - let's make love in a candy factory - let's make love in a petting zoo. Let's make love at Sea World on the back of a killer whale!”
“Where is my dog? I will die if I do not have him back! Do you understand me? I WILL DIE IF I DO NOT HAVE HIM BACK!”
From “Kicking & Screaming”
“I am angry. I'm like a large tornado of anger, swirling about.”
“My dad, he's a coach. He knows the game, he's confident, he's smart, witty, dynamic, vicious, brutal, vindictive, a monster! And he will win by intimidation and forceful tactics if need be. I'm not like that. I don't know anyone like that. Do you?”
“Mike Ditka scares me! Have you ever looked into his eyes? Or at his hair?”
From “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”
“You're so wise. You're like a miniature Buddha, covered in hair.”
“I know that one day Veronica and I are going to get married on top of a mountain, and there's going to be flutes playing and trombones and flowers and garlands of fresh herbs. And we will dance till the sun rises. And then our children will form a family band. And we will tour the countryside and you won't be invited.”
“You've got a dirty whorish mouth.”
“I'm going to punch you in the ovary, that's what I'm gonna do. A straight shot. Right to the babymaker.”
“I don't normally do this, but I felt compelled to tell you something. You have an absolutely breath-taking... heiney. I mean, that thing's good. I want be friends with it.”
“It's just like Santa's workshop! Except it smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they wanna hurt me.”
“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.”
“You stink. You smell like beef and cheese! You don't smell like Santa.”
Deep down, I am feeling a little confused. I mean, suddenly, you get married, and you're supposed to be this entirely different guy. I don't feel different. I mean, take yesterday for example. We were out at the Olive Garden for dinner, which was lovely. And uh, I happen to look over at a certain point during the meal and see a waitress taking an order, and I found myself wondering what color her underpants might be. Her panties. Uh, odds are they are probably basic white, cotton, underpants. But I sort of think well maybe they're silk panties, maybe it's a thong. Maybe it's something really cool that I don't even know about. You know, and uh, and I started feeling... what? what I thought we were in the trust tree in the nest, were we not?”
“Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed,
“You're my boy, Blue! You're my boy.”
“Let me show you Derelicte. It is a fashion, a way of life inspired by the very homeless, the vagrants, the crack whores that make this wonderful city so unique.”
“SHUT UP! Enough already, Ballstein! Who cares about Derek Zoolander anyway? The man has only one look, for Christ's sake! Blue Steel? Ferrari? Le Tigra? They're the same face! Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! I invented the piano key necktie, I invented it! What have you done, Derek? You've done nothing! NOTHING! And I will be a monkey's uncle if I let you ruin this for me, because if you can't get the job done, then I will!”
“Todd! Are you not aware that I get farty and bloated with a foamy latte?”
The fourth installment of the Rambo series – simply titled “Rambo” (amazingly that wasn’t taken) – has an uncomplicated message:
Non-violence is for pussies.
That’s why more than 230 people are killed – on screen – in this blood lust of a movie. The violence is graphic: limbs blown off, skulls crushed under boots, throats torn out, and heads decapitated.
“Rambo” (2008) exploits the deplorable situation in
"Rambo" is a bad film. But it wants to be more than the sum of its parts. It wants to be an "important" action film -- blood, sweat, and bullets with a message. But it ain't.
“Rambo” features a lumbering Sylvester Stallone reprising his role as the conflicted, ultra-violent ex-Green Beret John Rambo. Stallone resembles the giant from Jack in the Beanstalk as he thuds heavily across the screen grunting and muttering gems like: “They would've raped her 50 times and cut your fucking heads off” and “Fuck the world.” He's supposed to be the wise old warrior -- but he comes across as a retarded oaf.
As the movie opens, we find a sweaty, bloated Rambo living in
The missionaries, with the exception of the pretty blond Sarah (played by Julie Benz), are portrayed as a bunch of sheltered, self-righteous wimps. When a perspiring Rambo mumbles that the only way to help the victims is to smuggle in weapons, the missionaries become aghast. Rambo, oozing like a sponge, scowls at them.
It’s amazing that the Christian Right didn’t go ballistic over “Rambo” because the underlying message of the film is that the Christian approach to conflict resolution: humanitarian aid, peaceful co-existence, etc. is crap. The movie portrays these do-gooder Christians as arrogant, weak-kneed morons.
As one of the mercenaries later growls at the leader of the church group: “God didn't save you, we did.”
Rambo reluctantly takes the missionaries into
The missionaries aren’t killed, of course, but taken prisoner so they can be tortured in creative ways (such as being devoured alive by starving hogs). Rambo, dripping wet after a rain storm, is hired by the missionary group’s reverend to lead a pack of mercenaries into
“There isn't one of us that doesn't want to be someplace else. But this is what we do, who we are. Live for nothing, or die for something,” Rambo mumbles at one point (wetness dripping from his forehead).
Now the real blood sport begins. The movie makes sure to justify all of the ruthless violence administered by Rambo – because the bad guys have already committed so many atrocities that the audience can only root for Rambo to kill them all.
And he does a damn good job. In fact, it's fantastically bad cinema at its finest (and dampest).
Unfortunately, “Rambo” doesn’t elevate much beyond the gore and the eye-for-an-eye mentality. What the movie does best is show the results of human growth hormone on the body of a 61-year-old actor (visualize: waterlogged).Fantastically Bad Cinema: Cocktail
“I told the doc I need a change in sickness/ and gave a girl herpes in exchange for syphilis/ Put my LP on your Christmas gift list/ You wanna get high, here bitch just sniff this.”
“I'm rappin to the beat/ and me, the groove, and my friends are gonna try to move your feet/ see I am wonder mike and I like to say hello/ to the black, to the white, the red, and the brown, the purple and yellow/ but first I gotta bang bang the boogie to the boogie/ at celebrated music, culture, and good times.”