Bill Simmons: I always thought Starman should have been a TV show. Here's the pitch: An alien comes to earth, assumes the form of a widow's husband, then uses his unlimited supply of miracle balls to save humans and animals while also learning lessons about life and making alien babies with the widow. This couldn't have been on Fox's fall schedule? By the way, this is a top-four Jeff Bridges movie.
Lisanti: It was a TV show!
Simmons: Yeah, but still!
Chris Ryan: BILLY!
Meatballs Part II, "Meathead"
Mark Lisanti: Meatballs is a classic comedy. Meatballs Part II, which substituted Bill Murray with an alien that added as much as 15 dollars' worth of effects to the production budget, is a classic of a different kind. No, you are not actually high right now. Well, maybe you are. This clip probably isn't the best test of whether or not you are high.
Get a Life
Molly Lambert: I always thought E.T. was creepy (slash looks like a mashed-up bag of ballsacks). If I saw E.T. lurking in the bushes, chances are my first reaction would be to run as far away as possible. So I enjoyed Spewey, the disgusting jerk of a parody alien from Chris Elliot's cult sitcom Get a Life, and Chris's naively benevolent attempts to help his off-putting new friend. Special Person Entering the World Egg Yolks.
Aliens, Ripley vs. The Alien Queen
Dan Silver: The best line, from the best scene, from the best action film of all time. I've yet to sit through a screening of this film (in a theater) where the audience doesn't go batshit after Ripley's classic quote. And for all of Cameron's melodramatic and self-fulfilling choices as a director, the decision to drop the score from this classic battle is inspired. The sound design here is incredible and the silence sucks the audience into the action.
Tess Lynch: Here's a question: In a battle between the "Mexican hairless dog"/sewer rat from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and the vaudeville alien from Spaceballs, which would make you lose your appetite for doughnuts the fastest?
Tara Ariano: Futurama has featured a host of flamboyantly interesting aliens: multi-limbed Neptunians, murderous Omicronians, Nibblonians who appear to be cuddly pets but who spend every moment overplanning to avert the apocalypse. But my absolute favorite is the President of the Neutral Planet. (Planetary motto: "Live Free or Don't.") In "Brannigan, Begin Again," cocky yet incompetent military officer Zapp Brannigan gets stripped of his rank for accidentally blowing up a new headquarters for the Democratic Order of Planets — the future's UN — and misguidedly decides to earn it back by attacking the Neutral Planet. The Neutral president gets a lot of awesomely neutral lines in the episode — "All I know is my gut says maybe," for instance — but his response to learning that Zapp has put the Planet Express ship on a collision course for his planet elicits his best reaction of all.
Mark Titus: Power Rangers fans might disagree, but the biggest moment of the series for me was when Tommy saved Kimberly from the clutches of Lord Zedd by destroying Zedd’s Z-Staff with Saba.
It always upset me that Kimberly, who was the single most desirable woman from my childhood, had a thing for Tommy, of all people. I mean, sure, Tommy was brainwashed into being a villain by Rita Repulsa, but even before Rita got her hands on him a clear rivalry between him and Jason existed. I was always a huge Jason fan, so I pretty much hated everything about Tommy. This is why, even after Jason kicked his ass, freed him from Rita’s spell by destroying the Sword of Darkness, and then eventually became the White Ranger, I still didn’t trust him. His past as the evil Green Ranger was too strong for me to ignore, and I was certain even toward the end of Season 3 that he was still in cahoots with Rita somehow, which is why it infuriated me that Jason was so nice to him and Zordon ended up naming him leader of the Power Rangers. This is also why I cried the most heartbreaking tears imaginable when he and Kimberly first kissed.
But all my doubts were erased when Tommy put his life on the line and took on Zedd by himself just so he could save Kimberly. For me, this scene marked the completion of Tommy’s transformation from evil to good, and I found solace in knowing that if I couldn’t be with Kimberly, at least Tommy was man enough to satisfy her needs. And while I still think that Jason was the clear-cut leader of the group (Jason was more or less Charlie Conway to Tommy’s Adam Banks), Tommy wasn’t exactly unworthy of his leadership role considering his willingness to sacrifice his life and the fact that he was the most technically gifted fighter in Power Rangers history.
But I’m sure you already knew all of this.