Since tonight’s presidential debate will undoubtedly end in frustration, with both camps calling the race for their own team, let’s instead reflect on the everyday arguments we have about the movies we love. While they too will never have definitive conclusions or clear victors, at the very least they can remain fun throughout.
So in honor of the debates (which you should, in all seriousness, watch), these are five of the most argued film debates of all time.
Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
This is less of a debate and more of a decades-long insistence that George Lucas sucks. The creator of the holy trilogy and that other unholy trilogy maintains that the confusion of the cantina only makes it appear that Han Solo shoots the bounty hunter Greedo in cold blood. Han, a professional criminal, would never simply kill the man sent to bring him to Jabba, according to Lucas, so the director cleared all of that up in the special edition, making it clear that Greedo shot first. This has never pleased fans, and the war rages on.
What was in the briefcase in “Pulp Fiction”?
Sometimes a metaphor or the essence of a MacGuffin is not enough for movie fans. So is the case with Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.” When Jules and Vincent reclaim the stolen briefcase from Brett, they check the contents out first. A golden glow shines on Vincent, who assure Jules they got what they came for. But we never see what is giving off the light. Is it diamonds? Elvis’ golden suit? Marsellus Wallace’s soul? Each answer has its supporters, but none of them will ever be singled out as the “right” answer. That’s kind of the point.
Who was the best Bond?
Connery made the role, but Craig is the best actor to play 007. Dalton is underrated! Lazenby is even underrated-er!!! These are the kind of statements that dominate most conversations about the Bond series as a whole. After six different actors have played the same character, arguments about who pulled off a vodka martini better are bound to come up. Some insist that the Bond you know first is the Bond you’ll always prefer, but Connery and Craig tend to win the most votes.
Stallone or Schwarzenegger?
How do you like your muscle: home-grown or with a little Austrian flair? Rambo or the Terminator? The gods of 80’s action have split the difference with fans since they both rose to testosterone-fueled superstardom. Stallone favored post-Vietnam earnestness, while Schwarzenegger worked the camp instead. Both styles found their fans, and they dug in. Back then, the passionate camps on either side of the debate could never have imagined that as old men, Schwarzenegger and Stallone would not only appear in the same movie, but do so three times.
“Alien” versus “Aliens”?
One series, two entries that couldn’t be more different stylistically. Ridley Scott began the series with a space-bound horror movie, a lot quieter than the genre we know today. Then James Cameron came along and turned Ripley into an action hero. This is another one that will never have a right answer, but one that will continue to start arguments at the dinner table. That is, until someone falls over sick and an alien pops out of his chest.
What are your favorite movie debates? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!