Cinema Bros’ Best Dialogue of 2017

Dialogue is probably one of the most important parts of a film. You can have incredible cinematography, great music, wonderful acting and a great story, but if the things that your characters are saying don’t seem believable or don’t make sense, it doesn’t matter. Great films usually have memorable, believable dialogue and there were many films that fit that bill in 2017. Here is the Cinema Bros’ list of the Best Dialogue of 2017:

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – By James Gunn

By Sam

This exchange is interesting because it serves as a break in the action of the final battle of the film. As Peter Quill and Yondu are both descending from the wreckage of their ship Quill throws what he thinks is going to be a funny quip at Yondu, but since Yondu is an alien he assumes it is a compliment. It is a great moment for the pair when Quill, who has been growing closer to Yondu, his surrogate father figure, the entire film, decides to let Yondu believe that Mary Poppins is a cool dude. It is a funny but subtly tender moment.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – By Martin McDonagh

By Jacob

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is about as crass and tasteless as they come. It is, after all, a film set in the rural Midwest. Political correctness doesn’t exist here, and folks say a whole bunch of things they probably should keep to themselves. This venomous attack on an unsuspecting reporter epitomizes the film thematically, but it also encapsulates Mildred’s character. Her daughter was raped and murdered, yet the police aren’t in any hurry to figure out who is responsible. The titular billboards that announced her anger to the whole world have been vandalized. Mildred is absolutely correct: she’s just getting started and is certainly not concerned with her public image.

The Florida Project – By Sean Baker & Chris Bergoch

By Josiah

What is so wonderful about The Florida Project is how many of its little moments and little conversations are far more than meet the eye. From Willem Dafoe lighting a cigarette to Moonee playing in the bathtub to this wonderful conversation, writers Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch deserve a lot of credit for not only making the characters, story and dialogue feel incredibly real, but managing to thread a lot of really interesting subtext throughout. This conversation is a great example of that. Originally, Baker and Bergoch had written “up-rooted” instead of “tipped over”, but quickly realized that a six-year-old girl would never say it that way. So, not only do you have a line that feels exactly like a little girl would say it, but it also has huge subtext embedded in it. Moonee is much like the tree. She is a victim of her circumstance and, in a way, she has tipped over. But, despite her circumstances being quite bad, the film offers some hope. Moonee is still growing. It makes sense that she would gravitate toward the tree because it is a symbol of hope and she needs a little bit of hope.

The Big Sick – By Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

By Sam

Shortly after Kumail meets the parents of his girlfriend, who is in a coma, he starts awkward small talk with them and what could be more awkward than bringing 9/11. This is the first of many great examples of this type of humor, but this is one of the best because it also mixes in some of the racial tension that makes up a bulk of the movie’s key plot points.

Brawl in Cell Block 99 – By S. Craig Zahler

By Jacob

This fascinating take on the “law of averages” is spoken by Bradley who has just been let go from his job at the local garage. He arrives home to find his garbage can has been knocked over onto the street. Getting out of his car, he discovers that his wife has been cheating on him with another man. He dismantles her car with his bare hands (I’m really not joking), and then calmly walks into the house and sits down on the couch. With bloodied knuckles, Bradley explains that he is done with playing the odds. This monologue signals a turning point in the film, one from which Bradley can’t come back. Brawl in Cell Block 99 is a film about a man who leaves nothing to chance. Bradley is done drinking the “skim stuff” and he won’t let anyone stop him from getting what is his.

Columbus – By Kogonada

By Josiah

I couldn’t make a list of the best dialogue of 2017 without including something from Kogonada’s beautiful debut Columbus. I mean, most of the film is really just two people talking to each other trying to hash out the problems and obstacles in their lives. This particular scene is the first time real tension is brought into the relationship. Casey is a young woman who is fascinated by architecture and has put her life on pause to stay home and care for her former drug addict mother. Jin is older and is in town because his architecture professor father has slipped into a coma. This scene perfectly demonstrated how alike and how different the characters are. Both are struggling with their parent being an obstacle in their lives and this is the first scene they begin to be truly honest about their feelings about that. Much like the architecture throughout the film, the dialogue here by Kogonada is perfectly constructed.


“Game of Thrones” Season Seven Finale: A Defense of Tyrion’s Plan

By Josiah Wampfler


Season Seven of Game of Thrones came to an end this Sunday with the season finale of the penultimate season: “The Dragon and the Wolf.” It ended a season that has been divisive, worrying, but nevertheless thrilling. So much has happened this season as the show moved from plot point to plot point at a break-neck speed uncharacteristic of the show up until this point. It is this that has caused many to question the writers’ decisions and to worry about their ability to give fans a fitting and satisfying ending next season. And though I was in that camp, worried about the future of the series, this season finale restored my hope for the final season. “The Dragon and the Wolf” managed to not only be one of the best season finales of the entire series, but it actually ended up fixing some of the problems I had with the last couple episodes by burrowing down into what Game of Thrones is all about: Characters.

If you paid any attention to the online chatter surrounding the show, the biggest problem fans had with episodes five and six was Tyrion’s plan. In short, Tyrion suggested that Jon Snow and his merry band of misfits should travel north beyond The Wall to capture a wight. They would then request a meeting with Cersei to show her that the threat of the White Walkers is real and the hope was that Cersei would then agree that they needed to call a truce and join together to defeat the Army of the Dead.

The issue with the plan I will not debate and thought from the beginning was a major issue for the show was the execution of the plan. The show went for fan service and drama over believable character motivation and logic. A plot point they obviously needed to hit was the death of Viserion and his resurrection as a Wight Dragon. But they went about it in the most convoluted and silly way. The show broke credulity with the timeline (there is no way Deaenerys could recieve a raven and fly hundreds of miles north in the amount of time she did), it put characters in needless danger yet almost all got out far too easily, and they made several characters (*cough* Jon *cough*) make horribly stupid decisions just to increase the drama of the episode. It was manufactured and it was Game of Thrones at its worst, this I will not debate.

What I will debate is those contending that Tyrion’s plan was poor writing on the part of the show runners and the way it played out was unbelievable.

The criticism is that the plan is far too dumb to come from Tyrion. Over these last seven seasons, we have come to know Tyrion as a very smart man and a skilled tactician. We’ve seen him brilliantly defend King’s Landing in the Battle of the Blackwater and become Hand of the King to Daenerys due to his wits. Some are saying that it is ludicrous that Tyrion would believe that his sister would agree to a truce and help them fight the White Walkers. He knows that she is a backstabbing, duplicitous woman who will do anything to advance her and her family’s status and power at the expense of any others. He should then know that any kind of truce with her is not to be trusted and she likely wouldn’t even agree to one because she is far too stubborn.

Tyrion does know all of this. He even tells Daenerys in episode six that she is likely thinking of a trap she can lay for them. Yet, he proposes the plan anyway. Why?

The finale confirmed that our instincts about Cersei were correct. Though she initially seems to agree to a truce and pledges her forces to help fight the White Walkers, we later learn she was never planning on following through. She is planning to betray her word, just as we had thought she would do. So that means that the plan was doomed to begin with and, on face value, it seems like poor writing. Isn’t Tyrion far too smart to completely overlook this obvious possibility?

I don’t believe it is poor writing at all. I think that we as an audience have simply been reading it wrong this entire time.

Over the last two episodes, Tyrion has done a pretty good job in explaining the reasoning behind the plan. He knew that, if the war went on, Daenerys was more likely to succumb to her worst impulses and thousands of people would likely die in the process, including his brother and sister. Tyrion, at his core, really does want to make the world a better place. He truly wants peace and has always been striving toward that goal, even while waging war. And despite what his family has done to him, we see that he has a soft spot for them. Even Cersei. It is not a flaw in the show that Tyrion came up with a doomed plan. It is a flaw in Tyrion. This is one of those instances where we as an audience can only watch as a character makes a bad decision. The plan was always foolish to some degree, but it reveals a huge deal about Tyrion’s character, and that is the point.

Tyrion doesn’t fully account for the possibility that Cersei will betray him because he doesn’t truly believe she will. He refuses to believe that even she is truly evil. He refuses to believe that there is no good left in her. And he refuses to let her be killed because of her ego and stupidity. For all of his negativity throughout the show, Tyrion, at his core, is an optimist. And that can be a major flaw for him at times and it can make him vulnerable.

So, even though I was initially one of the haters saying that Tyrion’s plan was another example of the poor writing this season, I have since changed my tune. I reject the notion that the plan does not make sense with Tyrion’s character because I think, like Tyrion, we are not accounting for something. We have at times overestimated Tyrion. We have put him on a pedestal I don’t know if any character can truly live up to. He is smart, but he has flaws. His complex emotions surrounding his family are one of those flaws making him vulnerable. Rather than this being a stumbling block for the show this season, I think this has actually brought us back to what Game of Thrones does best: narrative flowing from character and revealing character in the process. If the show continues to follow that recipe into next season, we will have one hell of a final chapter.