Friday, April 24, 2009

Boil It Down

Recently I came across a site where a guy took film summaries, and condensed them into a single sentence - sometimes boiling a movie down to this point makes you see it differently.

Here are a few of my favorites:
WARNING: There may be some spoiler-type-things!

  • ALIEN: Ship fails to deliver cargo, crew don’t get bonus.
  • ALIENS: An unplanned pregnancy leads to complications.
  • AMADEUS: Man with health problems receives help from rival.
  • AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON: Tourist causes riot.
  • BATMAN: Wealthy man assaults the mentally ill.
  • BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Peasant girl develops Stockholm Syndrome.
  • BENJI: Family abandons beloved pet, forcing it to engage in a dangerous cross-country journey.
  • BREWSTER’S MILLIONS: Black man abuses line of credit.
  • BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: Teenage serial killer destroys town in fit of semi-religious fervor.
  • CHRISTMAS VACATION: Incestuous relatives teach family the meaning of Christmas.
  • CUJO: Family neglects to give family pet rabies shots, pays price.
  • DELIVERANCE: Tourists experience local hospitality.
  • DEMOLITION MAN: In a future where crime is completely eradicated, a black man steals and murders.
  • DIE HARD: Dysfunctional cop saves marriage by murdering foreign national.
  • DRACULA: Immigrant clashes with locals.
  • E.T.: Out-of-control pet causes mayhem, sadness.
  • FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF: Amoral narcissist makes world dance for his amusement.
  • FIELD OF DREAMS: Schizophrenic builds ball park, almost kills girl.
  • GHOSTBUSTERS: Unemployed college professors destroy hotel with nuclear weapons.
  • GLADIATOR: Convict murders head of state.
  • GREMLINS: Distant father ruins son’s life, puts entire town at risk.
  • GROUNDHOG DAY: Misanthropic creep exploits space/time anomaly to stalk coworker.
  • HARRY POTTER: Celebrity Jock thinks rules don’t apply to him, is right.
  • HIGHLANDER: Elderly immigrant destroys property.
  • IRON MAN: Alcoholic rich white man with technology fetish goes vigilante.
  • JURASSIC PARK: Theme park’s grand opening pushed back.
  • KARATE KID: Boy gains acceptance through violence.
  • KINDERGARTEN COP: Incompetent left in charge of children, who are eventually fired at by convicted felon.
  • KING KONG: Endangered animal stolen, shot.
  • LABYRINTH: Girl is negligent baby-sitter.
  • LORD OF THE RINGS: Midget destroys stolen property.
  • LOVE ACTUALLY: Prime Minister risks war with United States over a sexy secretary.
  • METROPOLIS: Efficient society undone by unions.
  • MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL: British comedy troupe inadvertently creates language lab for nerds.
  • O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU: Southern musicians encounter massive flooding and government incompetence.
  • OCEAN’S ELEVEN: Gang of career criminals commit act of terror to facilitate robbery and romance.
  • PREDATOR: American military-industrial complex ruins first contact with alien life.
  • RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: American yahoo murders soldiers and desecrates religious artifacts for money.
  • RAISING ARIZONA: Convicted felon seduces police officer in kidnapping plot.
  • RATATOUILLE: Vermin infest restaurant until it is forced to close doors.
  • ROBIN HOOD: Disgruntled veteran protests taxes.
  • SERENITY: Men fight for possession of scantily clad mentally ill teenage girl.
  • SHORT CIRCUIT: Rogue scientist steals top-secret government weapon.
  • SPIDER-MAN: Nerd gets bitten by spider, complains about how this ruins his life for years to come.
  • STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE: Religious extremist terrorists destroy government installation, killing thousands.
  • STAR WARS: EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Boy is abused by midget, kisses sister, attempts patricide.
  • STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI: Handicapped mass murderer kills septugenarian, is lauded.
  • SUPERMAN RETURNS: Illegal immigrant is deadbeat dad.
  • SWEENEY TODD: Businesses flourish when freed from stringent regulation.
  • TERMINATOR: An unplanned pregnancy leads to complications.
  • THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE: College professors help illegal alien evade authorities.
  • THE MATRIX: Hacker is given perfect justification for mass slaughter.
  • THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS: Dangerous insurgent invades neighboring country.
  • THE X-MEN: Minority group seeks overthrow of social order.
  • TOP GUN: Pilot routinely endangers Air Traffic Controllers.
  • TWILIGHT: Girl gives up college for stalker.
  • WALL-E: Obsolete robot disrupts big business, disrupts lives of millions of innocent civilians.
  • WAR OF THE WORLDS: Immigrants face difficulty acclimating.
  • WEEKEND AT BERNIES: Two employees take advantage of their boss’ hospitality.
  • WONDER WOMAN: Princess from isolationist culture lectures Americans on equality.

Skewed points of view? Maybe. A little cynical? Probably. But it made me laugh. Can you boil your favorite movies down to one sentence?


--jeff * said...

well, you've spoiled "cujo" for me, saying that the dog get rabies....
but that spoiler was still worth the list. several of those were really very clever.
i'll come back when i've thought of distillations for some of own favorites.

i noticed that "serenity" was out of alphabetical order, yet it was right where "firefly" would have been...?

--jeff * said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katya said...

"Married couple work out issues through violence."

"New ending spoils book, but not movie."

--jeff * said...

sorry- wanted to reword it (every word counts in a summary).

"2001: a space odyssey" spaceship doesn't run on mac osx, has to reboot computer.

Bryon said...

The porn industry does all that in their title.

The Former 786 said...

Yes, Jeff. You found me out. I was trying to do only movies, so when I saw "Firefly" I saw that was Serenity was on the list and put it on there. Whoops.

Loved the 2001 summary, even if I don't belong to the church of Mac.

And Katya, that first one is Mr. and Mrs. Smith, yes? But the second one could be a number of films based on books. What were you thinking of specifically?

And yes, Bryon, the porn industry, though a wretched hive of scum and villainy, is quite creative and informative in their titles.

Katya said...

It's not a movie based on a book, it's a movie about a book, if that helps.

Katya said...

Also, "singing goblin royal steals baby."

The Former 786 said...


That would be Stranger than Fiction and Labyrinth, then.