Friday, April 24, 2020

Understatements and unexpected moments.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Theme: Humor in film -- what makes me laugh:

Understatements and
unexpected moments.

In order to catch up a little bit and have time to visit other blogs soon, I made the executive decision to combine two posts published a few years back... one regarding understatements and the other about unexpected moments in film.

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This is from the 2015 A to Z Challenge:

Comic relief helps relieve the tension in drama and action films. Sometimes that comic relief comes through an understatement--dialogue that doesn't match the seriousness of the situation.

When Chuck (Tom Hanks) sets sail in a make-shift raft and tells a volleyball...

Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all
the paddling. You just hang on.

... that's an understatement. (Cast Away, 2000)

In Jaws (1975), when Brody (Roy Scheider) sees the enormous shark they pursue:

You're gonna need a bigger boat.

Yeah, you can say that again.

A favorite movie understatement is from Quigley Down Under (1990). Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck) hired as a sharp shooter, is beaten to a pulp and left for dead in the Australian desert along with an outcast woman named Crazy Cora (Laura San Giacomo).

Don't worry, on a new job it's quite common for things not to go well at first.

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I posted about unexpected moments (or comedic surprises) in 2012...

I love when a film surprises me with a twist or something unexpected, especially if it's funny. For instance, in The Emperor's New Groove (2000), when Yzma drinks a vial of potion. I was expecting the typical Disney formula where the evil person grows larger and more menacing, but no, Yzma turns into a kitten.

(squeaky voice)
Looking for this?
(clutching her throat)
Is that my voice?

Is that my voice? Oh well.

As I reflect on films I've seen this year, I think my favorite comedic surprise for 2012 was in The AvengersLoki (Tom Hiddleston) thinks himself above those of earth. He is a demigod and demands "You will kneel before me." As he wreaks havoc, I wonder if it will take something nuclear to defeat him. But it only takes The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

Enough! You are, all of you are beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature, and I shall not be bullied by... 
(The Hulk grabs him like a rag doll... bam, bam, bam... swings him back and forth bashing him into the floor.)

Puny god.
(Loki weakly moans from the crater in the floor.)

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What are your favorite funny understatements or favorite unexpected moments in film?


  1. I remember all those. They are pretty funny. Tom Hanks talking to Wilson is priceless.

  2. @Frederique ... Glad you enjoyed them!

  3. @Janet ... Whew knew a volleyball could make such a fun character! I really liked that movie. I'm going to watch it again after April.

  4. For unexpected moments, I thought of Shaun of the Dead. I don't normally like zombie movies, but this one was hilarious. Shaun and his friend Ed are looking to stop two very slowly approaching zombies, and are going through Shaun's albums deciding which ones would be okay to throw at them, and which titles are not to be destroyed. All the while, the zombies are s-l-o-w-l-y approaching! Great comedy!

  5. @Sue ... Oh my goodness, that sounds like a funny scene! Even though I haven't seen the film, it makes me laugh just thinking about it.