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Lobot
04-07-2005, 07:44 AM
In the Highlander thread, someone mentioned that the original Highlander film was part of the "Geek canon," and I thought the idea was quite interesting. There are enough geeks here of various ages to create a reasonably authoritative list.

So what are those films* that are held in high regard by geeks in general? What are geekdom's classic works?

Here are my suggestions:


The original Star Wars trilogy
The Matrix
Robocop


There are, of course, many others.

And feel free to debate! For example: should the Matrix sequels be included?

*If the thread works, it can be broadened to include novels, etc.

N9IWP
04-07-2005, 08:01 AM
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Adventures of Buckaroo Banzia
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Princess Bride
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
2001


Brian

QuizCustodet
04-07-2005, 08:42 AM
Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings
The South Park movie
Blade Runner
Army of Darkness (I may have the title wrong - one man with a shotgun against the zombie hordes)
Predator
Terminator

Re: the Matrix. Agreed that the first one is in the proper geek canon. Thinking of the travesties that were the second and third makes me wonder if we're taking too narrow a view of canon: it shouldn't only be for films that geeks /like/, rather for films that geeks must have seen. At least one of the Matrix sequels should make it in this category, since geeks love to criticize them. Others that geeks love to criticize include all of the Star Trek films, such timeless classics as Manos: The Hands of Fate and Willow.

Genghis Bob
04-07-2005, 08:50 AM
My Geek Trebuchet is getting a little old . . .











What?

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
04-07-2005, 08:50 AM
Star Trek: TOS.

Scott Plaid
04-07-2005, 08:59 AM
I can't believe no one has mentioned:
Doctor Who


Oh, wait, films. The movies were a commercial success, but they are not legendary. I suppose Labyrinth isnít on the same level of obsessions as others here.

never mind.....

Redwing
04-07-2005, 09:30 AM
Ice Pirates
Tron
Sneakers

Jonathan Chance
04-07-2005, 09:38 AM
I think you need to look at it in waves. For my generation (born 1967) the spate of movies in the late 1970s and early 1980s defined things.

Star Wars (and sequelae)
Close Encounters
Superman: The Movie
Tron
Alien/Aliens

and so forth defined a big chunk of it.

Later films would include

The Highlander
Princess Bride
Wrath of Khan

All good. All quotable.

Pushkin
04-07-2005, 09:40 AM
Held in high regard why (with regards canon?) :confused:

DrFidelius
04-07-2005, 09:50 AM
My Geek Trebuchet is getting a little old . . .











What?


No, silly.

We are talking of the device Archimedes used to project Geek Fire.

Aren't we?

Lobot
04-08-2005, 07:35 AM
I chose to focus on "The Best" films because, in my mind, the canon should be the core representative works, and in that case, being "too narrow" is better than being "too broad." Of course, "best" in geek terms does not necessarily mean being well made from a conventional perspective -- a work may succeed on geek terms because it is highly quotable, or has strong kitch appeal, for example. A good rule of thumb, IMHO, is, "Do geeks often refer favourably to this work (either directly or indirectly) in ordinary conversation?"

With that in mind, I submit:


The Big Lebowski
Brazil
12 Monkeys
This is Spinal Tap
X-Men/X-Men 2
Total Recall
Escape from New York


So far, then, the submission list looks as follows:


2001
Adventures of Buckaroo Banzia
Army of Darkness
Blade Runner
Close Encounters
Highlander
Ice Pirates
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Manos: The Hands of Fate (not sure?)
The Matrix
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Predator
The Princess Bride
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Robocop
The South Park movie
Sneakers
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
The original Star Wars trilogy
Superman
The Terminator
Tron
Willow (again, not sure here)


Not sure on including Sneakers, either. It's a fine film, but it doesn't seem to have inspired much discussion amongst geeks. I'd also expand Army of Darkness to the whole Evil Dead trilogy.

QuizCustodet
04-08-2005, 08:03 AM
I chose to focus on "The Best" films because, in my mind, the canon should be the core representative works, and in that case, being "too narrow" is better than being "too broad." Of course, "best" in geek terms does not necessarily mean being well made from a conventional perspective -- a work may succeed on geek terms because it is highly quotable, or has strong kitch appeal, for example. A good rule of thumb, IMHO, is, "Do geeks often refer favourably to this work (either directly or indirectly) in ordinary conversation?"


It's a fair distinction - I just wanted to raise the point for discussion. With that definition in mind, I'd definitely ditch Willow, amusing though it was, and probably (though less certainly, as it's pretty much the canonical 'so bad it's good' film) Manos.

E-Sabbath
04-08-2005, 09:42 AM
Godzilla (1956)
Akira
Cowboy Bebop (Series)

Ghostbusters, the lines are far too quotable.
Monty Python's Flying Circus (Series)
Tron
War Games
Weird Science
Real Genius
Transformers: The Motion Picture
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Plan Nine From Outer Space
Universal Monster Pictures (Series: Frankenstein, Wolfman, Dracula, etc)
MST3K (Series)

Podkayne
04-08-2005, 10:14 AM
In the Highlander thread, someone mentioned that the original Highlander film was part of the "Geek canon" . . .

That was me. I'm glad that you found it interesting. I think that geek culture is a distinct element of popular culture, and that it definitely has its own language of allusions. (Shaka. When the walls fell. ;) ) I agree that the defining characteristic is that these works are referenced, in converation, in cartoons, in comic strips, in movies. You don't have to like them, but you should be aware of them in order to be culturally literate. And, naturally, due ot the conversational element, different elements of the canon may be emphasized and de-emphasized by different subgroups.

May I add:

Dune
The Last Starfighter
Enemy Mine
Planet of the Apes

And some classics:
Clash of the Titans
The Day the Earth Stood Still
War of the Worlds (The 1953 version. . . We shall see what Mr. Spielberg does with it.)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Forbidden Planet


Much as I adore Willow personally, I agree that it's out because it's almost never referenced. Ditto Labyrinth, Legend, Neverending Story,The Dark Crystal. Memorable movies, all, and greatly admired in various circles, but for some reason they don't have successful memes that cause them to pop up over and over in different contexts.

Just Some Guy
04-08-2005, 11:29 AM
Tossing in a few more:

Ghost in the Shell (GitS and Akira are really the only anime that should be in the list, get much beyond that and we're in only the anime fans know about it territory)
Conan the Barbarian
Heavy Metal
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

mrklutz
04-08-2005, 11:35 AM
Now, unlike others, I would include Willow on the basis of quotability. There weren't a lot of them, to be sure, but the circle of geeks I hang out with frequently makes use of the brownies' "Thees way!" bit. ("You are drunk. And when you are drunk..." etc.)

GargoyleWB
04-08-2005, 11:36 AM
Geeks don't have to be scifi types...here are some genre-spanning geek canon films that are a must see if you are ever having a geeky critical discussion of cinema...

Enter the Dragon
Office Space
Labyrinth
Pink Floyd The Wall
Showgirls
Blues Brothers

brownie55
04-08-2005, 11:49 AM
I humbly submit for consideration:

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Bill and Ted's Bugus Journey

And in response to the inclusion of Showgirls, all I have to say is "Nomi, lick the pole!"

Cerri
04-08-2005, 12:24 PM
I'd have to nominate So I Married An Axe Murderer.

Miss Purl McKnittington
04-08-2005, 02:30 PM
Now, unlike others, I would include Willow on the basis of quotability. There weren't a lot of them, to be sure, but the circle of geeks I hang out with frequently makes use of the brownies' "Thees way!" bit. ("You are drunk. And when you are drunk..." etc.)

Same here. Well, I do at least. My friends, who aren't very geek-y, just look at me like I'm insane. "Beer!"

Maybe there's an age divide in regards to Willow. It's my favorite movie from my childhood, when I was but a wee geekling.

I'm mostly a book/English geek, so I'll wait for the thread to be expanded before contributing anything else.

Dewey Finn
04-08-2005, 03:00 PM
Ghostbusters, the lines are far too quotable.

If for nothing else, the line "Back off man. I'm a scientist."

Reloy3
04-08-2005, 03:12 PM
Recently I would add:
Napolean Dynamite

A little older:
Monty Python's Life of Bryan (Actually, the entire Monty Python collection would do).
Better Off Dead "I want my two dollars"
Princess Bride - Most geeks don't admit to liking it, but at certain moments, you'll catch me . . . Uh, I mean, them . . . quoting it.

Noelq
04-08-2005, 05:20 PM
Hackers!

Hack the planet!

pinkfreud
04-08-2005, 05:28 PM
Geeks don't have to be scifi types...here are some genre-spanning geek canon films that are a must see if you are ever having a geeky critical discussion of cinema...

Enter the Dragon
Office Space
Labyrinth
Pink Floyd The Wall
Showgirls
Blues Brothers
Aieee! Showgirls??!! As a female geek, I protest. That is not a geek movie. It is just a guy movie. And not all geeks are guys.

Office Space and The Wall are great choices, though.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
04-08-2005, 05:29 PM
Tossing in a few more:

Ghost in the Shell (GitS and Akira are really the only anime that should be in the list, get much beyond that and we're in only the anime fans know about it territory)
Conan the Barbarian
Heavy Metal
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

No-no-no. Willy lacks geek cred.


And at least 2 Anime qualify besides GITS--Voltron ("FORM BLAZING SWORD!" "DYNATHERMS CONNECTED! INFRACELLS ARE UP! MEGATHRUSTERS ARE GO!").
And every Geek worth his salt can sing the English themesong from Star Blazers.

pinkfreud
04-08-2005, 05:30 PM
Most of my geeky friends are fond of Fight Club and Pulp Fiction, both of which have lots of quotable lines.

ExTank
04-08-2005, 05:40 PM
Well, in addition to many that have alrready been mentioned, there's plenty of quotes from The Large Rouge One bouncing around my particular batch of geeks as well.

"Go to Red Alert!"
"Are you sure, Sir? It does mean changing the bulb."

Scott Plaid
04-08-2005, 05:43 PM
LabyrinthAs long as we are tearing down movies, I offered and then rejected Labyrinth in post six.

Wolfian
04-08-2005, 05:48 PM
So this thread came from this thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=310503) which came from this thread. (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=310489&highlight=highlander) How meta!

drachillix
04-08-2005, 05:51 PM
Much as I adore Willow personally, I agree that it's out because it's almost never referenced. Ditto Labyrinth, Legend, Neverending Story,The Dark Crystal. Memorable movies, all, and greatly admired in various circles, but for some reason they don't have successful memes that cause them to pop up over and over in different contexts.

Throw me in for a vote in favor of willow for the "when you are drunk, I am in charge!"

"The I stole the babaaay!" is a regular one as well.

I have also seen alot of mileage from "Of course not, you're a boy" from the dark crystal.

rjung
04-08-2005, 08:11 PM
Since Ghostbusters and Tron have already been nominated, I'll toss out:

Wargames


The first real "hacker" movie for the masses, plus Joshua's climactic revelation via tic-tac-toe, along with the immortal line, "Shall we play a game?" :)

Lumpy
04-08-2005, 09:23 PM
My measure of geekness is would Dean from Heart of the City go all fanboy over it? So far I've seen him do:
Star Wars
Star Trek
Lord of the Rings
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (well, UFOs in general)

ITR champion
04-09-2005, 12:34 AM
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Six String Samuri (If that's not quotable, nothing is.)
Real Genius
U.H.F.

And a few books, too:
Lord of the Rings
Ender's Game
Snow Crash
Anything by Terry Pratchett

flight
04-09-2005, 12:41 AM
Every one. I've seen every God Damn one. I think I need to rethink my lifestyle.

Sage Rat
04-09-2005, 12:59 AM
From the Kurt Russell collection:

Big Trouble in Little China
The Thing
Tango & Cash

Others:

Time Bandits
Spaceballs
Young Frankenstein
Real Genius
Top Secret

Though I think there might be two hierarchies of Geekdom.

Sci-Fiers:
Star Trek
Star Wars
etc.

Fantasiers:
Labyrinth
Willow
etc.

With some shared films:
Blade Runner
Princess Bride
etc.

Perhaps? Or am I only half geek (fantasier)?

Eonwe
04-09-2005, 01:50 AM
Much as I adore Willow personally, I agree that it's out because it's almost never referenced. Ditto Labyrinth, Legend, Neverending Story,The Dark Crystal. Memorable movies, all, and greatly admired in various circles, but for some reason they don't have successful memes that cause them to pop up over and over in different contexts.


Come on people! Clearly you are not hanging around the right geeks (and clearly you cannot chose the wine in front of me). Peck is a favorite insult amongst some of my friends (Well, that was really stupid, Peck! Peck peck peck peck peck peck!)

Labyrinth:

'elo!

Did you say "hello"?

No, I said "'elo," but that's close enough!

Or, even better, and much more applicable to random situations:

You have no power over me!

(there are probably others, but I've been out of geek company of late)

Neverending story:

They used to be such good, strong hands.

Falcor!!!!!! Atreyu!!!!

Chronos
04-09-2005, 02:08 AM
Princess Bride - Most geeks don't admit to liking it, but at certain moments, you'll catch me . . . Uh, I mean, them . . . quoting it.We don't? Dude, that's my favorite movie, and I've never denied it. And I've never heard any of my accquaintances (nerds all of them) claim to dislike it.

Also, I'm not sure that Dune belongs on this list. The novel, most definitely, but I think that the screen adaptations were only significant as reflections of the novel.

Now, then, on the basis of referencability, I'd have to say:
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (am I the first to nominate this one?).
The Princess Bride.
Episodes IV, V, and VI of Star Wars (the prequels' status remains to be decided by history).
At least some Star Trek... Certainly The Wrath of Khan, probably The Voyage Home, perhaps others.
The first two Indiana Jones movies-- I'm unsure about the third one.
Real Genius.
Weird Science.
Ghostbusters.
Alien and Aliens, but nothing else from that series.
The Day the Earth stood Still-- Nobody remembers anything but "Klatuu Baratta Nikto", but that's enough.
Army of Darkness, but not Evil Dead 1 or 2. They're not really connected, and the first two were straight gore-horror.
Forbidden Planet. Have you ever seen Robby's IMDB entry (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1119475/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxteD0yMHxsbT01MDB8dHQ9b258ZmI9dXxwbj0wfHE9Um9iYmllIHRoZSBSb2JvdHxodG1sPTF8bm09b24_;fc= 1;ft=21;fm=1)? That's enough reference for me.
Young Frankenstein. Possibly some other Mel Brooks movies, but that one's a must.
Men in Black, at least the original. I don't know the sequel.
At least the first Matrix movie, and possibly all three. The third one wasn't nearly as bad as everyone says.
Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings.

picker
04-09-2005, 03:28 AM
Perhaps? Or am I only half geek (fantasier)?

That's the beauty of being a geek, you can multi-class easily.

scabpicker
04-09-2005, 05:20 AM
I would agree with almost all of the movies on here , but Hackers? No, not ever, not even in the "so bad it has got to be good" category. Worse than The Matrix sequels.

Big thirds on 2001 and Buckaroo Banzai!

"Open the pod bay doors, Hal"

"Evil. Pure and simple from the eighth dimension!"

To add a book/author:
Do Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep? -Phillip K. Dick, almost anything else by him.

Nothing personal, Noelq. I hate that movie with a passion, though. It has more to do with skateboards than computers.

wampeter
04-09-2005, 07:29 AM
Maybe it's just me - and the geeks I hang out with - but I'd definitely include Dr. Strangelove . And most Mel Brooks movies.
I of course agree with all Monty Python, The Day the Earth Stood Still , and MST3K, and would like to add Invasion of the Body Snatchers (a personal favorite?).
Since the thread hasn't branched out to series much, I guess The Simpsons are still out... but obviously a must.

davenportavenger
04-09-2005, 08:11 AM
Some stuff that hasn't been mentioned yet:
"Galaxy Quest" (movie)
"Aqua Teen Hunger Force" (television show)
"Venture Brothers" (television show)
"Donnie Darko" (movie)
"Yor: Hunter from the Future" (movie--okay it was really just my ex and I who were obsessed with this movie, but I think it really has cult potential)
"Transformers: The Movie" (as well as the show)

This stuff all gets quoted or referenced from time to time among people I know, most of whom would be considered geeks. I'm including TV shows because they're kinda like movies. I'm really more of a book person but I don't want to get this thread off topic too much.

davenportavenger
04-09-2005, 08:57 AM
Oh! I almost forgot! All Kevin Smith movies (except <u>Jersey Girl</u>) and Coen Brothers movies (especially <u>The Big Lebowski</u>) are total Geek Staples.

ddgryphon
04-09-2005, 09:01 AM
Aieee! Showgirls??!! As a female geek, I protest. That is not a geek movie. It is just a guy movie. And not all geeks are guys.

Office Space and The Wall are great choices, though.

That's a guy movie?!?! Why is that my wife is the only one in the house that has been able to sit through the wretched thing!!

It doesn't qualify as anything -- maybe it should be nominated for worst unknown cast in a big budget movie or just movies that should never have been made -- but it definitely doesn't qualify as Geek!!!!

Eonwe
04-09-2005, 09:58 AM
Some stuff that hasn't been mentioned yet:
"Galaxy Quest" (movie)



Oh yes. One of the best. In fact, I think it's truly one of the most quotable geek movies in recent years.

Is there air out there? You don't know!!!!!!!

Don't you guys ever watch this show!?!?

Oooooh, that's not right!

But I have seen many rooms!

That's one hell of a thing!

DO I!?!?!? DO I!?!?!?!?

Look around, can you form some sort of rudimentary lathe?

shamrock227
04-09-2006, 12:26 PM
Every one. I've seen every God Damn one. I think I need to rethink my lifestyle.

I feel your pain. Not only have I seen every one of them - I own most of them.


I would like to submit The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy both the book and the original TV series.

A movie with that name last year? No. That must be your imagination. Never happened.

Hey, It's That Guy!
04-09-2006, 01:37 PM
I'd have to add the Joss Whedon canon: Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and the Serenity movie, for providing countless hours of discussion, debate, and quotable dialogue, and occasionally uniting geeks with pretty girls in their love for these shows.

Oslo Ostragoth
04-09-2006, 03:46 PM
Evidently, I am not a geek. I rented two of the movies regularly raved about here, The Princess Bride and Napoleon Dynamite, and found both only mildly amusing.

BrainGlutton
04-09-2006, 03:49 PM
In the Highlander thread, someone mentioned that the original Highlander film was part of the "Geek canon," and I thought the idea was quite interesting.

But only the original!

Miller
04-09-2006, 04:04 PM
Princess Bride - Most geeks don't admit to liking it, but at certain moments, you'll catch me . . . Uh, I mean, them . . . quoting it.

Where are these geeks who won't admit to liking Princess Bride? Everyone I've ever met who self-describes as a geek loves and quotes the film at length. It's up there with Monty Python in terms of how often it gets quoted. On this board alone, at least 75% of all threads in all forums will have at least one mention of, "That word you keep using? I do not think it means what you think it means."

Agnostic Pagan
04-09-2006, 06:52 PM
Every one. I've seen every God Damn one. I think I need to rethink my lifestyle. Do not fight it. Embrace your inner geekness. Then true happines you will find. :D

A movie with that name last year? No. That must be your imagination. Never happened.I think that is part of the anti-canon - you increase your cred by not watching it.

*If the thread works, it can be broadened to include novels, etc.The Hitchhiker's Guide, as noted above, and the rest of Mr. Adams novels are essential.
Other authors:
Robert A. Heinlein - Stranger in a Strange Land; The Moon is a Harsh Mistress; Have Space Suit - Will Travel; Starship Troopers; heck, everything.
H.P. Lovecraft - All of 'em, there ain't that many.
J.R.R. Tolkien - read before the films, of course. Bonus points for the Simarillion.
Isaac A. Asimov - The Foundation Trilogy and the Robot novels at minimum
Arthur C. Clarke - Rendevous with Rama; The Nine Billion Names of God; Childhood's End

This will be a long list in itself.

A movie I think will enter the canon - The Core, 100% cheesy goodness.

E-Sabbath
04-09-2006, 09:49 PM
The Core was written by one of us, by the way. Not a doper, a geek.

The Geek Cannon, by the way? A cannon or, on field sable, crossed by bar sinister gules.

Lumpy
04-09-2006, 10:11 PM
Starship Troopers would have to be added if only because every geek has seen it and hated it.

What about slasher/horror? Wouldn't Nightmare on Elm Street and the Friday the Thirteenth series qualify?

BrainGlutton
04-09-2006, 10:23 PM
What about slasher/horror? Wouldn't Nightmare on Elm Street and the Friday the Thirteenth series qualify?

Only if we also include the original Halloween.

E-Sabbath
04-09-2006, 11:19 PM
No, I'm afraid they don't. But Evil Dead does.

jayjay
04-09-2006, 11:55 PM
But only the original!

What are you talking about? There were no Highlander sequels...

Guy Incongnito
04-10-2006, 12:16 AM
I'll make a quick detour to examine the canonical geek music collection (which is not at all the same as a music geek's collection).

They Might Be Giants - Flood
Weird Al Yankovic - [I don't know any albums, but my guess is that most geeks just have loads of mp3s on their computer]
Weezer - Blue Album
Weezer - Pinkerton
Radiohead - OK Computer
Ween - The Pod
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
Fountains Of Wayne - Utopia Parkway
The X Files (Soundtrack)
Frank Zappa - Weasels Ripped My Flesh
Pink Floyd - The Wall
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

That's all I've got for now. I don't think this is as definitive as the movies, though, since music isn't one of the entertainment choices that primarily defines geekdom. However, I do find that geeks often gravitate toward music with novelty humor (i.e. quotability), geek themes or more "intellectual" composition (Radiohead, Pink Floyd).

Arien
04-10-2006, 12:31 AM
Since some people already mentioned TV shows, I'll add [i[Futurama[/i]. All those jokes in binary!

Lobot
04-10-2006, 01:55 AM
Wow, I've only got the barest of memories of starting this thread.

While we're on the subject of TV shows, how about Freaks and Geeks? (I'm not sure about quotability here, but the show seemed targetted towards and beloved by geeks, myself included, which, of course, meant that it had to be axed.)

Rachael Rage
04-10-2006, 05:05 AM
That's a guy movie?!?! Why is that my wife is the only one in the house that has been able to sit through the wretched thing!!

It doesn't qualify as anything -- maybe it should be nominated for worst unknown cast in a big budget movie or just movies that should never have been made -- but it definitely doesn't qualify as Geek!!!! I too must protest. Showgirls is far from a "guy movie." It's hardly an anyone movie. As a female geek-ish type who has seen (or at least recognizes references & quotes from) nearly all of the movies on this list, I feel the nomination of Showgirls is justified by the fact that it is, without question, the greatest postmodern comedy of our age. However, I don't think enough geeks appreciate it enough to consider it canon. Certainly it's not on the level of Star Wars, Monty Python, et. al., but the quotable lines...oh my, there are so many!

I also second/third whatever the Fight Club nomination.

Has anyone corrected the spelling to "Buckaroo Banzai" yet? That's one I haven't seen, but I bet I've heard every line from it at some point or another.

Coil
04-10-2006, 07:31 AM
Regarding Highlander
But only the original!

Of course, since we all know that "There can be only one!".

BrainGlutton
04-10-2006, 09:12 AM
What are you talking about? There were no Highlander sequels...

http://www.galactanet.com/comic/109.htm

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