B-movie Laserblast, about a white trash teenager who gets a laser gun that works like the One Ring, featured the main character randomly blowing up a Star Wars billboard and laughing about it. Everybody saw Laserblast, right? Ya know, outside of Mystery Science Theater 3000...
At the time Laserblast first came out, people actually compared it to Star Wars and discussed which film was better. For a brief time it looked like a serious rival. Hard to believe....
Another equally sad example Hales from The Giant Spider Invasion, when the Sheriff remarks that the giant-est spider makes the shark from Jaws "look like a goldfish!" Crow's reply: "Yeah, the better movie."
Three guesses what was airing opposite this movie when it first aired.
And just in case the viewers still didn't get it, a newspaper headline read "Desperate Search For Missing Housewives Continues"
One of the opening scenes of Armageddon has a dog chewing on a toy Godzilla. Godzilla was another big blockbuster the same summer.
One of the tidal wave scenes from Deep Impact shows the water wiping out an offshore oil drilling rig, which was a Take That against Armageddon. Armageddon didn't consider Deep Impact enough of a threat to Take That; as mentioned above, they took their shot at Godzilla instead.
In Space Jam, Daffy Duck suggests that they call their basketball team "The Ducks". Bugs' response: "What kind of Mickey Mouse organization would call their team the Ducks?" Besides using "Mickey Mouse" as a pejorative term, this could be considered a slam against both the Disney Pictures film series The Mighty Ducks and the then Disney-owned NHL hockey team The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
The Anaheim Ducks dropped the "Mighty" when Disney sold the team. This leaves them simply "the Ducks" in a league where most teams have names like "Predators", "Thrashers", "Flames", "Hurricanes", and "Wild". Hockey teams are supposed to have names that inspire fear. Even names like "Canadiens" and "Canucks" inspire fear in those familiar with Canadian military history.
The movie also included an alien theme park called "Moron Mountain" — possibly a self-parody of the Time-Warner owned Six Flags amusement parks, Magic Mountain.
The original The Evil Dead showed a torn poster of The Hills Have Eyes in the background of one scene. Bruce Campbell reveals in the DVD commentary that Sam Raimi intended it as a sly dig at Wes Craven's film, as if to say: "If you thought that was scary..." Craven responded goodnaturedly, by having A Nightmare on Elm Street 's protagonists seen watching the trailer for Evil Dead. Raimi then answered back by showing Freddy Krueger's infamous glove hanging above a door in Evil Dead 2. The whole thing was actually started by a scene in The Hills Have Eyes with a torn poster for Jaws in the background, which Raimi took as a similar "If you thought that was scary" swipe.
Also, Freddy Krueger is named after a kid who bullied Craven at school. Craven's earlier film, The Last House on the Left, features a villainous rapist named Krug, also after that same bully. So congratulations, Mr. Frederick Krueger: if you weren't such a little asshole in grade school, we might have all been spared millions of extra nightmares!
The 1998 Godzilla movie had the mayor of New York and his assistant as very obvious parodies of Ebert and Siskel, respectively, and Ebert was shown as a glutton with no work ethics. This was in response of their negative criticism of Independence Day and Stargate, made by the same director. It backfired; Ebert and Siskel merely remarked that they'd been parodied much better in the past and would have hoped for something a lot more savage, like at least being crushed to death by Godzilla or eaten, then went on to trash the film anyway.
Ebert later set the issue to rest in print: "Now that I've appeared in a Godzilla movie, all I truly desire is for a group of Ingmar Bergman characters to sit in a circle and read my reviews to each other in hushed tones."
The trailer for the same film includes a T-Rex fossil, with a museum curator describing how the T-Rex was the greatest land predator ever to walk the Earth. The fossil promptly gets stomped on by GINO, in what may be a dig at the Jurassic Park franchise.
Ironic, then, that the sequence where the good guys are chased through Madison Square Garden by baby GINOs was one of the most blatant Jurassic Park rip-offs in cinematic history.
The name Zilla itself is a Take That- the director of Godzilla Final Wars named him such because he felt that the American film "took the god out of Godzilla". Ouch!
It doesn't help that the American Godzilla was eventually taken out by the military. If you have even a vague knowledge of Godzilla you'd know that the military is supposed to be absolutely useless in doing this. So yes, not very godly.
Also, note that 'Zilla was the only monster in the film to be rendered in CGI - and apparently deliberately crappy CGI, because man does it ever look awful. This in and of itself is yet another Take That! at GINO for being, well, really crappy CGI.
But when the animated series came out, Zilla's son Zilla Jr. had a much better reception. Zilla was even featured in the Japanese only Dreamcast game Godzilla Generations, where he is called Godzilla-USA. Zilla Jr. is also called Godzilla Jr. by Toho themselves!
In Godzilla 2000: Millennium, the aliens' flying saucer attack could be seen as a subtle Take That against Devlin and Emmerich's Independence Day. And in the final act, one of the forms adopted by the alien Kaiju Orga is an obvious Expy of GINO.
Mark Cerasini's Godzilla 2000 includes a sequence where the titular monster walks into and apparently stands down a tornado; maybe it's coincidence that director Jan de Bont released Twister the prior year, after leaving the American Godzilla project in Development Hell ...
In the B-MovieOrca The Killer Whale, which is about a killer whale that actually kills people, there's a scene where the titular orca kills and devours a great white. Gee, I wonder what that could refer to...
May also be a reference to the fact that the boat used to kill the shark was called Orca.
Jaws 2 fires right back as one of the shark's early victims is none other than... you guessed it, a killer whale.
Ironically enough, the former would be far more likely to happen in real life as Killer Whales eat pretty much anything in the sea and have been known to attack Sharks.
In Jurassic Park III, when asked about character Ian Malcolm's book, a young boy comments that he didn't like it, saying it spent way too much on Chaos Theory and used big words. This is probably a dig at the original book's author, Michael Crichton, who likes to Author Filibuster on his theories, and used Malcolm for this purpose - the novel was one long discussion on Chaos Theory.
In the film also, is a scene where the new Dinosaur, the Spinosaurus, fights and kills a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the previous 'star' of the franchise. After the Rex is dead, the Spino roars in victory.
The third Ice Age has a scene that could be interpreted as a very vague Take That at this scene. The villain of the film is a Baryonyx named Rudy, whose species is very closely related to Spinosaurus. In the climax of the film, the mother Tyrannosaurus shows up not a moment too soon, attacks Rudy and knocks him off a cliff with incredible ease and then roars in victory. This is made even sweeter by the fact that Rudy was supposed to be the ultimate Big Bad of the Dinosaur world in the film and that even the mother was seemingly afraid of him.
Speaking of Dinosaur King, the series has its Spinosaurus character get beat up and defeated in battle as a routine, whilst Jurassic Park III depicted the animal as a seemingly all-powerful and invincible superpredator.
The Lost World features a notable diss against paleontologist Robert T. Bakker. Quick history lesson: Dr. Bakker has been a longtime rival of Dr. Jack Horner, the Jurassic Park series' official paleontological consultant. Horner is well known for having a massive ego (he proudly states that he was the inspiration for Dr. Grant's character), and always seemed to be in a perpetual state of bickering with Dr. Bakker, even on the most petty of speculative topics (such as the T-Rex's eyesight, which there is no way of actually studying). And thus in The Lost World, Dr. Bakker is given his very own Captain Ersatz, a bumbling poser who gets scared out of hiding by a snake, and into the jaws of a T-Rex.
It is well known among fans, however, that Dr. Bakker actually loved the scene, and even called Horner after watching the movie and told him "See? I told you it was a predator!" (Horner is the oldest- and practically, the only- defender of the theory of T-Rex as a giant, slow-moving full-time scavenger, whereas Bakker always defended the idea of T-Rex as a fast, ferocious killer).
The Hong Kong movie High Risk had the character Frankie Lone, an overt Take That by the director at Jackie Chan's expense — portraying him as a boozing, womanizing fraud whose stunts were really done by the main character, played by Jet Li. However, Jet Li did publicly apologize for his involvement later.
It's also debatable that the character played by M. Night—a messiah figure who would sacrifice his life to write a story so revolutionary it would change the world—represents M. Night and all his works, making it a Take That to any group of critics who insult him as filmmaker.
White Goodman: "Yep, I hope you're all happy now. Good guy wins, bad guy loses. Big freakin' surprise! I love happy endings. You know, that's the problem with the American cinema. Can't handle any complexity in it, you know, 'Don't make me think, I just want to be entertained!'"
Paparazzi, from Icon Productions (Mel Gibson's company), which depicts photographers as amoral assholes who would cause a manslaughter if it meant getting pictures, and requires Cole Hauser to kill them one by one.
The notorious Andy Warhol film Taylor Mead's Ass was made in direct response to a snipe by Peter Emmanuel Goldman, a director who also served as film critic for the Village Voice, about Warhol's films being nothing but "[a camera] focusing on Taylor Mead's ass for two hours." The film that resulted was exactly that.
Idiocracy manages to do a Take That against many of the companies that appear in the movie by firmly associating them with, well, idiots: Fuddruckers evolves into "Buttfuckers", Carl's Jr. becomes Darker and Edgier ("Fuck you, I'm eating."), Starbucks serves cappuccino and prostitutes, Crocs are the shoes of choice, a Gatorade-esque drink replaces all piped water except in toilets, and CostCo. becomes a fortress city the size of Kansas with its own subway system.
Mike Judge wanted to use actual Gatorade, but was forced to come up with Brawndo because PepsiCo refused permission. Notice how Luke Wilson's character goes out of his way to compare the drink to Gatorade...
Before the debut of Revenge of the Fallen, some of the dozens of new toys released depicted a new Decepticon, Sideways, touted as the deadly adversary to Sideswipe. The toys never state what make of car he is (while nearly everyone else's does), but he bears a close resemblance to the Audi R8, made famous by Iron Man. Now look how Sideways winds up in the movie. Or the opening of the movie, at least. It's worth noting here that Audi is a German company and the Autobots always transform into American vehicles.
Not just American vehicles — General Motors vehicles, as part of a Product Placement deal for the movie. The Decepticon police car is, of course, a Mustang. (A Saleen tuned one actually. Ford realised this and didn't give them the rights to use an actual Mustang. Meanwhile Saleen thought providing the villain car was awesome)
This gets zigzagged later in Dark of the Moon - the Autobot Dino is a Ferrari, the Decepticon Soundwave is a Mercedes Benz.
In the first movie, when Sam and his Dad are car-shopping, the salesman sits behind the wheel of a yellow Volkswagen Beetle, which is promptly slammed by the Autobot Bumblebee (disguised as a yellow Camaro). Word Of God is that this was a Take That against the original Transformers Generation 1 Bumblebee character.
YMMV, but it could also be seen as a Take That as how the producers wanted to use a New Beetle as Bumblebee, but VW refused permission as they did not want their cars being associated with a toyline and series containing animated violence. Porsche similarly refused for Jazz, leading Movie Jazz to turn into a Pontiac Solstice instead (notice how Ron jokingly scoffs at the idea of buying Sam a Porsche as the scene begins). This is also why reissues of G1 Bumblebee and Jazz toys now have them turn into generic hatchbacks and sports cars.
The hilariously over-the-top biker movie Torque featured an opening scene in which two cars are engaged in a drag race using camera cuts and CGI effects in an obvious reference to The Fast and the Furious... only for the lead character, on a motorcycle, to swoop in and easily outrun both of them. A few minutes later, he beats them both up at a gas station, quipping about the obvious inferiority of guys who drive cars. Yeah....
The Russian film Night Watch became the highest-grossing film in Russia. Afterwards, several films beat that record. The sequel, Day Watch had the lead character jump through and destroy posters of the previous highest grossing Russian films. The Take That proved to be accurate — Day Watch outgrossed all of those films.
The Kentucky Fried Movie has a segment early on, parodying morning news programs, where a zookeeper brings out a gorilla named "Dino". "Dino" is said to be impotent, leading to him going on a rampage. Rick Baker, who designed the gorilla suit and played "Dino", had just come off Dino De Laurentiis's much-maligned remake of King Kong, which he has referred to as one of the worst jobs in his career.
In George Romero's Diary of the Dead, there are two occasions in which Jason chides Ridley about his Zombie Gait citing "Dead things don't run!" This seems to be a Take That To the remakes of Romero's own movies, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, where zombies are depicted as being fast and agile, unlike the slow-moving zombies of the original.
Superman Doomsday has Toyman attacking a bus full of children with a huge toy spider. When Superman takes him out a man comments "Like we really needed him to fight a giant mechanical spider!". The bystander looks and in fact was voiced by Kevin Smith, who had previously worked on a Superman script where the producer forced him to add a fight with a giant spider.
Biff Tannen, the brutish villain of the Back to the Future films, was named in "honor" of an executive Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale worked with on I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
In the comedy-western Support Your Local Sheriff, the town's brothel-owner is named "Madam Orr". There's the obvious "whore" pun, but the star of the film, James Garner, had also recently been involved in a bitter legal clash with a Warner Brothers executive named William Orr.
Sylvester Stallone did a Take That at himself in Tango And Cash. When a fellow cop compares his character to Rambo, Stallone declares "Rambo is a pussy" and shoots a tanker truck full of gasoline.
He gets another one in Twins. Arnold Schwarzenegger's character, upon leaving his isolated island home for the first time, sees a poster for Rambo, and walks away chuckling and shaking his head.
Apparently, Erno threatened to sue Fleming for unauthorised use of his name. In that event, Fleming would have changed the name to Goldprick. OUCH! This was later lampshaded by the title of the third Austin Powers movie.
Bond's quip in the hotel scene ("...that's as bad as listening to The Beatles without earmuffs!")
It was about the tens of thousands of loudly screaming girls at any Beatles concert.
This could also be seen as a swipe at the fans that kept asking for a sequel to Shaolin Soccer.
Or a neat way of pointing out his character's primary motivation in this movie - whereas in Shaolin Soccer he was, despite his flaws, a sweetly stupid hero who just wanted to promote Shaolin Kung-Fu, this time around, his character wants to be an evil Mook.
In Shrek virtually everything in the movie is a giant Take That to the Disney Corporation, right down to the main villain's facial features being a caricature of Michael Eisner's. Even the theme music that plays when they enter Lord Farquaad's castle is a parody of "It's A Small World After All".
... to which Shrek reacts with appropriate horror.
Willow featured a "take that" to Ebert and Siskel in the form of the two-headed monster that guarded an important castle. The monster was known as the "Ebersisk".
Given that Ebert and Siskel consistently gave good reviews to George Lucas (who wrote the film) this seems unlikely somehow. More likely, it's an Affectionate Parody - in a weird sort of way. Otherwise one is left wondering what Lucas would have against the pair who defended him against other critics on television.
Another necessary mention is that the character General Kael is a Take That aimed at the influential film critic Pauline Kael, who had given co-writer Lucas's earlier films negative reviews.
Kael noted it ( "a homage a la moi") in her negative review. She also made an interesting observation that after Lucas' well publicized divorce where his ex got half his fortune he now made a fantasy movie where women had all the power.
Warriors Of Virtue, a Mystical Kung-Fu adventure from the mid-90's, features a scene early on in which the movie's protagonist Ryan is told by an Asian chef about a magical world he winds up travelling to later on. The chef describes this place as "a world beyond anything you've ever seen...no guns, no lasers, no Morphing...", a rather obvious Take That! at Power Rangers.
Office Space did this with a character named Michael Bolton. When Peter asks Bolton why he doesn't change his name if he's dissatisfied with sharing a name with the singer-songwriter, Bolton says that the other guy should change his name because he makes such bad music.
It is believed by some fans that the villain of Up, Charles Muntz, is a jab at Charles Mintz, the man who took the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit away from Walt Disney, in addition to his animation team, forcing him to start over with his own company and create Mickey Mouse. However, This has actually been Jossed by Pixar staff, who claim that it was just a coincidence.
The start of the first xXx movie (the Vin Diesel spy thing, not the porn genre) features a tuxedo-wearing spy finding himself in a club, looking very out of place amongst the hip young kids, before getting himself shot several times.
The Green Berets is basically one giant "Take That" to Americans that were opposed to The Vietnam War, but it also contains one of the more stunning examples of this trope in action. When he was writing the book that the film was based on, Robin Moore accompanied a special forces unit into action in Vietnam, and wrote an often critical account of his experiences in the field. In the film however, David Janssen plays a very obvious stand-in for Moore, and his character, a journalist who is initially highly critical of the war, gradually learns to become a good, patriotic, war-supporting American over the course of the movie. Needless to say, Moore was not involved in the making of the movie, and didn't speak too highly of it afterwards.
Early on in Mystery Men, The Shoveler pulls in to his driveway and runs over a plush purple T-Rex, then rips it's head off for good measure. It's a little less out of nowhere than it sounds, because he then comes in complaining about his kids leaving their toys out, but still an obvious take that.
Boll: "Because, you know, there are all these rumours out that my movies are funded with Nazi-gold. And what should I say? It's true. But somebody has to do something with the money."
Tropic Thunder had the "never go full retard" speech, which is an obvious jab at pretty much every actor who played a mentally challenged character for Oscar Bait.
In The Nightmare Before Christmas, when the Mayor is starting to panic due to Jack not answering the door (because Jack's in the Hinderlands at the time), the Mayor yells, "I'm only an elected official here, I can't make decisions by myself!"
In James Cameron's Titanic, a character first says that old Rose is a fraud: "Just like that Russian girl, Anesthesia" (which was also released that year).
In Daredevil, the film opens with a rapist getting turned loose by the courts thanks to a mob lawyer's intervention. Daredevil hunts the rapist down, breaks his bones and lets him fall to the train tracks, and as the subway approaches, Daredevil coldly states "You see that light? It's not coming to take you to heaven." And what is the name of this rapist who has earned a Marvel superhero's damnation? Josť Quesada.
Allegedly, Raul Julia's rant against Mel Gibson in Tequila Sunrise near the end is Robert Towne's Take That against Jack Nicholson. Originally, Towne was supposed to direct Nicholson in the sequel to Chinatown, but when Nicholson took over, the friendship fell apart. When Julia thinks he's been betrayed by Gibson in the film, his character says the following:
Carlos: Friendship is all we have! WE CHOSE EACH OTHER! How could you fuck it up? How could you make us look so bad?
It's never been confirmed as such, but Chief Orman, Peter Boyle's Marlon Brando-esque character in Honeymoon In Vegas is commonly perceived as a take that to Brando himself. Writer / director Andrew Begrman would have reason for throwing such a take that in: His previous film, The Freshman, starred Brando, who later trashed the film in an interview.
When Wes Craven read Kevin Williamson's script for Scream 1996, he was worried that the line about how the first A Nightmare on Elm Street was good, "but the rest sucked" could be mistakenly seen as a Take That from him to people who made the sequels. But then he realized that "the rest" would include his own New Nightmare as well, and left it in.
The Producers portrays the cultural elite of New York as being so shallow that all it takes to make the musical of the year is to portray Hitler as an idiot — a dig which can also be seen as taking on the audience as well!
In Harry Potter, in Deathly Hallows Part 1, there is a moment where a wizard is reciting a "short" list of dead or missing witches and wizards. Among them is a witch named "Ebony Raven," who any Harry Potter fan could recognize as part of the name of Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way, a Mary Sue of epic proportions that served as the protagonist of the bad fanfiction (orsatireof bad fanfiction) My Immortal.
The Hallmark Channel made-for-TV movie The Santa Incident is just one big take that at Homeland Security.
(Mater, Finn McMissile and Holly Shiftwell are all driving into a black market inside a Paris alleyway. Mater turns toward one of the stands there)
Mater: Uh, excuse me. What'cha selling here? (The salescar running the stand for some reason has a transparent windshield and windows, as opposed to eyed windshields and opaque windows like everyone else. She turns toward Mater and opens her eyes, which are located on her headlights)
Mater: (horrified) Er, what the-? Aargh! (he speeds off to find Finn and Holly)
Headlight Vendor: Two francs one! I give you good lights!
Mater: No, thanks!
Two Indian examples of films taking pot shots at brands-
In Delhi Belly, the lead actor trio walk towards a compact car owned by one of them. One of them tells the one who owns that car that it's a really ugly vehicle, and is born when a donkey has intercourse with a rickshaw (three-wheeled minicab in India). This vehicle was a hideously modified Hyundai Santro (known as Atos abroad)- and truly looked like a product of some such incident. Hyundai did not take it lying down and got after the film's producers, in court.
In Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Life doesn't come again), one of the actors says he's invested a lot of money to buy a Ferrari. He says if the investment doesn't work out, he'll be forced to settle with a Ford Fiesta. Ford did nothing.
Aladeen: Imagine if America was a dictatorship. You could let 1 percent of the people have all the nationís wealth. You could help your rich friends get richer by cutting their taxes and bailing them out when they gamble and lose. You could ignore the needs of the poor for health care and education. Your media would appear free, but would secretly be controlled by one person and his family. You could wiretap phones. You could torture foreign prisoners. You could have rigged elections. You could lie about why you go to war. You could fill your prisons with one particular racial group, and no one would complain. You could use the media to scare the people into supporting policies that are against their interests.
The Dark Knight: Batman's saving The Joker from falling off a skyscraper so as not to violate his One Rule seems to be a deliberate Take That at the climax of Batman, in which the title character is much more bloodthirsty and intentionally kills The Joker the same way.
Friends with Benefits: The male lead, played by Justin Timberlake, has to constantly defend himself by saying "liking Harry Potter doesn't make you gay!" This may not have been intentional, but the film came out a week after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two; and subsequently lost a lot of its potential moviegoers to a Harry Potter film.
The indie movie God Bless America is one big Take That to the American culture and people. The teenage girl also makes a very harsh and mean Take That at Juno at one point.
Fright Night (2011) has Charlie, after being told Jerry is a vampire, accuses Ed of reading too much Twilight. Ed's response?
Ed: That's fiction, okay? This is real. He's a real monster and he's not brooding or love sick or noble. He's the fucking shark from Jaws. He kills, he feeds, and he doesn't stop until everybody around him is dead. And I am seriously so angry you think I read Twilight.
From the Star Warsprequeltrilogy, Nute Gunray, the villainous leader of the Trade Federation, is named after former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich as well as a reversal of Ronald Reagan, to get back at Project Star Wars. From The Phantom Menace, the Neimoidian senator is Lott Dodd, named after U.S. Senators Trent Lott and Chris Dodd.
In Argo, Tony Mendez asks John Chambers if it would be possible to teach someone to be a film director in only one day. Chambers, played by, John Goodman, replies that "You could teach a Rhesus monkey to be a director in a day." Tony Mendez, mind you, was played by Ben Affleck, the director of Argo. Of course, he was also the writer, so it was really a Take That against himself. An additional wrinkle was that he didn't even get nominated for the Oscar for Best Director, even though he won Best Director at both the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards.