Top 20 movie scenes I could watch over and over again – Part 2

Now that you’ve seen the first 10. Here’s the second part of my favorite scenes:

11. Casino Royale
Bond meets Vesper for the first time on a train. Their flirtatious banter is one of the best written dialogue I’ve ever come across. I like Eva Green’s Vesper in that she’s no bimbo, a far cry from Denise Richards’ Dr. Christmas Jones surely!

12. Batman Begins
I love the witty dialogue between Lucius and Bruce Wayne in both Nolan’s Batmans. But this one could easily be my favorite. Bruce asks what that ‘thing’ is that caught his eye, to which Lucius replies, ‘Tumbler? Oh, you wouldn’t be interested in that.’ An intense test-drive ensues, which ends with the billionaire looking all euphoric and out of breath, quipping ‘does this come in black?’ Major awesomeness!

13. The Dark Knight – The truck flip scene
First of all, I LOVE the batpod and the whole cape flying thing when Batman is riding it. Sure the scene defies scientific conceivability but it’s a grand film spectacle nonetheless. The Joker tantalizing Batman ‘Hit me!’ as he fires shots and the caped one barely missing him by a hair is downright intense, it the good vs. evil battle at its finest.

14. Dear Frankie – Frankie meets ‘daddy’
This is why I still have high hopes for Gerry Butler despite his dubious role choices of late. Known only as the Stranger, his mere 20+ minutes presence in this film is the heart of this little gem. I couldn’t find just that particular scene on you tube, so ffwd to 7:35 to see the scene I’m referring to (or better yet, watch the cafe scene also when Frankie’s mom Lizzie first met the Stranger). I love the expression on the Stranger’s and Lizzie’s face when the little boy ran to embrace him. Have your Kleenex handy.

edit: Sorry, the vid’s been removed from YouTube, but you can watch the trailer. I guess you’d have to watch the movie to find out what I mean ;)

15. The New World
Christian Bale has a great smile, but most would never know it as he rarely let it out. Well, this is Bale as his most romantic, all mushy and tender as John Rolfe who falls hard for brokenhearted Pocahontas. Man, I wish he’d do more roles like this. We’ve seen way too much of him being batty and bad @$$, but clearly his softer side is so darn watchable!

16. North & South (BBC Miniseries) – The train station scene
You have to see the entire 6-hour miniseries in order to appreciate this scene fully. But the kiss is a picture perfect climax of the volatile journey these two have been on. Ok, I’m not ashamed to admit Richard Armitage’s stubbly and strong jaw line is as mesmerizing as the kiss itself!

17. American President – Speech
Politics aside, Andrew Shepherd is one charismatic president whose public speaking prowess gives Tony Blair a run for his money. Michael Douglas fits this role like a glove, I kept wondering if the actor ever had aspirations to be a politician!

18. Moulin Rouge – Come What May
Ewan McGregor at his all-time gorgeousness and oh what a voice! He and Nicole Kidman can have a second career as a singer if they ever wish to. The bohemian love story is lush and beautifully shot. Too bad they cut the best part of the whole scene in this clip, when the Duke says, ‘I don’t like the ending.’ Richard Roxburgh plays the creepy but hilarious Duke to perfection!


19. Sense & Sensibility
Don’t you just love Alan Rickman? Sure he’s not young and dashing like Greg Wise as Willoughby but I kept rooting for him the entire film! When Col. Brandon beholds Marianne for the first time, his expression of awe and admiration for her gets me every time! Not a lot of actors are able portray being hopelessly in love in such a captivating way.

20. Equillibrium
This flick has flaws surely, but the story’s got so much potential to make it a classic. Bale (yes him again!) plays a super soldier trained to be devoid of emotion in a severe one-world government. This scene shows Bale struggling not to fall for a woman prosecuted for a ‘sense’ offense. Emily Watson is superb as Mary, as her unabashed resolve clearly makes John question what it really means to be human.

Ok, your turn, readers. Share your own list of scenes you’re crazy about, I know you have them!

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Top 20 movie scenes I could watch over and over again – Part 1

I love lists, they’re just so much fun to read and make up! Ok now, I was going to whittle this down to ten but I find myself agonizing which one to cut. So you know what, since it’s my own friggin’ blog, I get to make my own rules! Below are the first ten scenes which are worth repeated viewings even if the film itself isn’t.  Outrageous or poignant, bad @$$ or saccharine sweet, deep or frivolous — one thing for sure: they all deserve an encore.

1. Toy Story 2 – The toys crossing the street
The toys, led by the ever so self-assured Buzz, cross the street blindly under the cones which inevitably cause hilarious mayhem in the process.


2. Ben Hur – ‘Jesus’ scene

The enslaved Prince Judah almost dies of thirst and Jesus gives him water. My favorite part is when the Roman soldier scolds him for doing that and is about to whip him, when Jesus stands up and simply looks at the man. The soldier’s thunderstruck expression is so poignantly moving, it’s as if he knew what that man in ragged clothing could see through his entire being, and that makes him uneasy. Then when Judah’s thirst was satisfied, he too looks up at Him and is rendered speechless. The end of the scene shows Judah looking so revitalized and full of hope that he barely noticed being whipped. He can’t take his eyes off his Savior as he’s led away, still in chains but somehow free. Powerful stuff.


3. Ben Hur –  ‘Chariots Race’ scene

The spectacular scene of the chariots scene between Judah and his nemesis Mesala. The fact that this was done prior to CGI technology makes it all the more mind-boggling. It’s best that you watch the entire movie to understand the significance of this scene, and why the ‘fall’ at the end is so gut-wrenching to watch. Even with the repeated watching, this scene never fails to take my breath away.


4. Phantom of the Opera – Phantom leads Christine to his lair

This is Butler in his prime and he’s got such a magnetic presence even with only one side of his face to work with that I wish he was taking me to his lair!  Joel Schumacher may not be a great film director but he knows a thing or two about art direction. The whole setting is just so beautiful and seductive, especially with Andrew Llyod Webber’s haunting theme song. The Phantom is supposed to be ugly but after seeing Butler as the masked musical genius, I can’t imagine anybody else in this role. He even ruined the stage experience for me, I saw it for the second time last May and I much prefer the film version!


5.
Gladiator

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius – only Crowe can say it without inducing giggles from the audience. I love watching how Commodus’ skin crawl as he stares at the supposedly-dead general. When Maximus proclaimed, ‘I will get my vengeance, in this life or the next’ he practically peed in his pants.


6. The Transporter – Opening sequence of Frank’s bank job

The transporter definitely lives up to its name with the most adrenaline-charged yet preposterous car chase in movie history.


7. Return to Me – Bob returns to O’Reilly

Bob returns to the Irish-Italian restaurant to retrieve his phone and finally gets a chance to be alone with Grace. David Duchovny & Minnie Driver’s chemistry is palpable which makes their encounter feels so effortlessly natural. Unfortunately I can’t find that exact scene, but you can see it in the clip below starting at minute 8:00. This is what I wish more rom-coms can be, sweet without being corny and shamelessly banal.


8. Bruce Almighty – Evan Baxter’s newscast scene
Steve Carell totally stole the scene as Evan Baxter with his hysterical blabbering. As Jim Carrey’s mischievous ‘God’ ups the ante on his trickery, Evan’s uncontrollable blabbering gets all the more hilarious. It never fails to make my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. Too bad the entire movie sequel with Carell isn’t half as funny.


9. The Gods Must Be Crazy – The Land Rover Scene

If you haven’t seen this original and thought-provoking comedy, go put it on your Netflix queue, pronto! It’s genuinely funny without the shock factor you see in every comedy flix these days (yep, I’m looking right at you Sacha!) Pretty much this entire movie is jam-packed with side-splitting zaniness, but this is by far my favorite:


10. Superman I – Supes rescues his beloved Lois in a chopper crash

Every time the classic theme plays on as Lois quipped one of the memorable lines in the movie, ‘You’ve got me, who’s got you?’ I can’t help feeling nostalgic and giddy as the first time I saw this when I was a kid. This is why the Christopher Reeves will always be Superman in my heart, inimitable and unrivaled to this day.



Look for my second part sometime tomorrow. In the meantime, can you think of your own favorite scenes?

Speaking of sequels … Batman 3 starts shooting in 2010?

Gary Oldman let it slip at the SDCC (San Diego Comic-Con) that The Dark Knight sequel is definitely in the works! He told a fan who asked him about what’s happening with Batman 3,

“I think the next Batman is next year. We start shooting next year. You didn’t hear that from me.”

tdklogoIt’s unclear whether Christoper Nolan will be back at the helm though. So far he has not signed on the dotted line yet and from the start, he wasn’t too keen in making a Batman trilogy. Reportedly he’s still so shook up by the death of Heath Ledger who was originally going to be back as the Joker (read the detail report on Batman On Film). Nolan is currently working on Inception for Warner Bros, which is billed as a contemporary sci-fi action thriller starring Leo DiCaprio, backed by a strong ensemble cast that includes indie darlings Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page, as well as Cillian Murphy and Michael Caine who were both in Nolan’s Batman films. Since WB is the same studio that released The Dark Knight, there’s a possibility of some kind of agreement to bring Nolan back. However, in case that doesn’t happen, reportedly Zack Snyder is a strong contender. Wow, if he got this gig, Snyder is one busy guy working on both 300 and Batman 3 at the same time! It remains to be seen how he can pull this off though. Watchmen wasn’t as good as I thought it’d be—definitely didn’t live up to the hype—and 300 was not even remotely in the same league as The Dark Knight.

Meh, without Nolan’s extraordinary vision, I’m not as interested in this project. Not even sure if Bale is either, given his strong rapport with the British director. I guess I’m more intrigued by Inception, especially with Nolan also writing the script.

Guy Ritchie and his British Bromances

Sherlock Holmes posters

Sherlock Holmes posters

If you haven’t seen the 40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad, or Pinneaple Express, then the term ‘Bromance’ probably just flew past you. Short for ‘Brother’ and ‘Romance,’ it essentially means close friendship between straight men or heterosexual ‘man-crush.’

Well, before Judd Apatow made it popular with the flix I mentioned above, frequently with his ‘dream team’ of Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, James Franco, et al., Guy Ritchie gave us Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. Jason Statham was pretty much Apatow’s Rogen, his go-to dude whose film career he helped launch (Statham was a former Olympic diver). Ritchie then followed it with Snatch, the critical dud Revolver, and the recently released Rocknrolla (with Gerard Butler replacing Statham as the lead), which all center on the tight-knit friendship between a bunch of British guys.

I kind of think of Bromance flicks the guys’ version of chick flicks, and it’s definitely gaining momentum to rival that genre. With Sherlock Holmes, Ritchie tells the story the ultimate male BFFs of the 19th Century, that is Holmes and Watson. The plot according to IMDB, is a battle of wits & brawn between the titular detective with his partner with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England. Robert Downey (Holmes) and Jude Law (Watson) got along really well on the set, so well in fact that Downey joked at Comic Con of his ‘man-crush’ with Law. Reportedly Downey was sent to convince Law to do the part but before he even got to it, they both immediately clicked and started talking about what to do with their roles. That’s cool. I think when two actors who enjoy collaborating with each other, that ‘chemistry’ shows. Like when Russell Crowe and Christian Bale worked together on 3:10 to Yuma, the interviews revealed their ‘male bonding’ and it’s transported on-screen, too.

In any case, I don’t think this genre isn’t going away any time soon. And with Ritchie back doing what he does best (and no more Madonna thank goodness!), this Bromance crime drama might be one to look forward to come Christmas.

300 & Gladiator sequel talks? Oh, please don’t!

Maximus & Leonidas might be back!

Maximus & Leonidas – seconds from being resurrected!

All the rumors swirling about a sequel/prequel of 300 just got a new boost now that director Zack Snyder told IGN at the Comic Con this weekend that he’s basically just waiting for Frank Miller’s draft of the comic. Snyder said that there’s a lot of Spartan history to draw inspiration from. He also hinted that even though his character King Leonidas died at the end of the movie, he doesn’t rule out Gerard Butler coming back in some form. Ha, if that’s true, Gerry better starts training pronto to get his 8-pack back. He’s been kind of plump lately, even on CNN’s review of The Ugly Truth, he’s called a ‘potato-faced Russell Crowe with a lot less charm.’ Ouch!

Speaking of Crowe, have you heard of the rejected Gladiator 2 script that was uncovered this past May? Apparently Crowe himself enlisted a fellow Aussie goth rocker (and sometimes screenplay writer) Nick Cave to write it. The supernatural-themed script has to be one of the most bizarre and preposterous scripts ever written. For those of you who haven’t seen Gladiator (would you just put it on your Netflix already?), Crowe’s character Maximus died at the end, but Cave’s script resurrected him by having the Roman gods reincarnate him and send him back to Rome. But it doesn’t stop there, according to the detailed review of it by Gone Elsewhere blog, the century-spanning script has Maximus stood up for early Christian rebels, as well as taking him to WW II and modern day Pentagon! [shakes head] No wonder the studios dismissed the script, deeming it too over the top despite thumbs up from Crowe and the original director Ridley Scott. The script itself seems like a hoot and craftily-written, but I can’t imagine it working as a sequel to such a classic film. I couldn’t even finish reading it, I mean I LOVE Gladiator and Maximus is one of my favorite cinematic characters, but what Cave wrote is just too out there and weird for my taste. Check it out for yourself (download the PDF) and let me know what you think.

I personally think they should leave masterpieces alone, why mess with perfection, you know? In the history of sequels/prequels, only a tiny handful of them actually works (The Lord of the Rings, Toy Story) but most sequels are craps driven merely by profits. Alas, they probably will do a sequel to both of them in the future, those suits in Hollywood just can’t resist it with the popularity of swords & sandals flicks popping up again (see my previous post). In fact, I just saw a promo shot of Jake Gyllenhaal as the Prince of Persia on the latest EW magazine at Barnes & Noble today. Jake’s looking very Ryan Reynolds-like with his new buff physique, but sorry I just don’t see him as a bad @$$ hero the way Crowe in Gladiator or Butler did in 300. It’s more than just the body IMO, it’s the panache/charisma of the actor that makes the character believable.

Anyhoo, enough with the sequel talks. I think Hollywood ought to invest in a fresh new crop of writers instead of doing the same thing over and over again.

I wish I were at Comic-Con right now!

Avatar teaser image

Avatar teaser image

I’ve always wanted to check out the annual San Diego Comic-Con convention! With the increasingly popular comic-based flicks the past few years, it’s no longer just for comic geeks. A plethora of movie enthusiasts mob this convention, eager to see previews of highly-anticipated flicks and perhaps even get a chance to meet their fave actors. This year’s highlight seems to be James Cameron’s AVATAR (well, to non-Twilight fans at least). At the Avatar panel yesterday, Cameron himself and some of the cast members (including Sigourney Weaver & Zoe Saldana) were there to unveil a 25-minute footage of this groundbreaking flick. Boy, would I love to have been there to see that!

Sam Worthington, who plays the lead, appeared via a video message from the set of Clash of the Titans, so I got to hear his thick Aussie accent for the first time. The 32-year-old actor, who beat out hundreds of established and unknown actors for the role, is what Cameron called an ‘old-school tough guy.’ “We were making a $200 million-plus movie and it’s all about the journey of one guy, Jake, and he’s in every scene in the film, from beginning to end. It all hangs on that one piece of casting,” Cameron said at the Australian In Film event last May where he presented the Breakthrough award to Worthington. Perhaps Avatar will do wonders for his career the way Titanic did for Leo DiCaprio?

Here’s what I learn so far about the plot:

Jake, a paraplegic soldier, participated in an experiment involving an alien planet called Pandora, to assume an “avatar” – a half human, half alien host body. Now that he’s able to walk again, he’s then unwillingly sent to establish a human settlement on Pandora, where he finds himself battling humankind alongside the planet’s indigenous Na’vi race.

This ambitious, big-budgeted, digital 3-D sci-fi epic has been a four-year labor of love for Cameron. He’s collaborating with Lord of the Ring‘s director Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital visual effects company as a consultant for the super complex CGI process.

Ok now, there’s always a risk all those special-effects mumbo jumbo and visual marvel would trample over character development, but according to a few of those who were lucky enough to be at the conference, that doesn’t seem to be the case here. According to Screenrant, that careful balance between strong CGI and character-driven storyline is what separates Cameron’s works from other sci-fi flicks out there. “Jim is always about story first,” Worthington said about Cameron whilst promoting Terminator Salvation. “He’s a very actor-friendly director. You can put all the bells and whistles you like, but if it’s not about revealing something about the human spirit, people are going to tune out.” That’s very promising indeed.

Cameron declared August 21st as “Avatar Day” as the filmmaker will be previewing 15 minutes of FREE footage on every imax theater worldwide! Leave it to him to spearhead this kind of genius marketing idea, I’ll definitely be setting my calendar to see that! You can catch a glimpse of what I presume is the ‘hybrid’ creature on the Avatar official site. Awesome!

The film opens wide December 18, 2009.

Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: The Book of Eli

Denzel on The Book of Eli

Click image to view TRAILER

Upon my weekly perusing of Apple trailers page, its poster graphic caught my eye. Well, partly because it was featured pretty large on the top of the page, and the names Denzel Washington & Gary Oldman are enough to make me click on it.

Well, if trailers usually reveal the best parts of a movie then let’s just say I won’t bother seeing this one.

For one, I’m kind of tired of apocalyptic themes, it seems like Hollywood is obsessed with it, yet rarely comes up with a real good one that isn’t a blatant excuse to amuse themselves with special effects. This one looks peculiarly similar to Will Smith’s I am Legend, and of course, Denzel is the lone hero in a post-acolyptic world. The key to humanity is held in that supposedly sacred Book of Eli that he’s somehow sworn to protect. Not sure exactly what or how the book is supposed to save humankind here but we’re supposed to just go along with it and sympathize with Denzel’s character for having such a burden on his own rugged shoulder.

This is pretty much a Denzel vehicle, which I have no problem with if it weren’t oh so dull. Gary Oldman on the other hand, appears in a ‘blink and you miss it’ moment halfway through the trailer, which is odd considering his name is on the poster! From the few seconds I had to deduce, looks like he’s playing the baddie again, which we all know he’s great at. Mila Kunis is indeed a very peculiar choice here, and not in a good way frankly. I guess she’s come a long way from That 70s Show, but still…

Anyhoo, the whole thing just feels rather banal and somber. Denzel’s voice narrates the typical cliched premise about how everyone on that earth would kill to get the book and how one man would do anything to protect it [yawn]. Even the fighting scenes are pretty blase, the arrow going across in a slo-mo a la 300 (and countless others since), meh, I’ve seen those a million times before. Oh well Denzel, I’d rather save my ten bucks for your next project, Inside Man 2.

Top Ten Movie Couples Wish List – Continued

As promised in my previous post of Top Ten Movie Couples, here’s the rationale behind my wish list of actor/actress pairings I’d love to see on-screen:

1. Gerard Butler & Eva Green
I love Eva in Casino Royale, she’s got the perfect combination of intellect + sex appeal. Pair her with the sexy, Scottish bad boy and watch the screen combust!

2. Russell Crowe & Amy Adams
Crowe is a sensitive hero despite his tempestuous aura, whilst Adams is the reigning sweet princess after her terrific turn in Enchanted. They’d be great in something like The Painted Veil, about an ordinary couple going through extraordinary circumstances.

3. Rufus Sewell & Aishwarya Rai
After being in a series of duds lately (including the now cancelled CBS show Eleventh Hour), Sewell ought to get a new agent already! He’s a great character actor who somehow often got cast as the baddie in a given love story (The Holiday, The Illusionist). I’d love to see him do a cultural romantic drama with famed Bollywood’s actress miss Rai (former Miss World 1994) where he’d end up getting the girl.

4. Christian Bale & Emily Blunt
If you’ve been reading my blog you know I love Bale in various romantic scenes he’s been in. Too bad he seems to gravitate towards tortured souls, desolate characters these days. I know he doesn’t like rom-coms, which is fine by me, but it’d be great to see more of him playing a normal guy dealing with relationship issues (kind of like what he did in Laurel Canyon), where he doesn’t starve himself or chop anybody off with an ax. Fellow Brit Emily Blunt stole scenes in The Devil Wears Prada and Jane Austen Book Club. She’s a beautiful & talented actress with great comic skills.  She’d be a suitable match for the ever so serious Bale.

5. Henry Cavill & Sophia Myles
My favorite underrated actor and actress, they both have earned their dues to finally hit the big time. Henry is tall, dark & handsome whilst Sophia is the petite, blond starlet (kind of the British Scarlett Johansson). He’s currently in SHOWTIME’s The Tudors and she was last seen in CBS’ Moonlight (which I think wasn’t a good enough show for her talent). I’d love to see these two in something like The Notebook or Before Sunrise.

6. Johnny Depp & Kate Beckinsale
Johnny is believable in almost anything he does, and I like Kate in Serendipity. She should do more drama/smart rom-com like that, so I’m glad she’s abandoned the Underworld franchise. Hmmm, I could see them do a remake of Wuthering Heights.

7. Timothy Dalton & Emma Thomson
My favorite Bond & Charlotte Bronte’s Rochester + classiest Jane Austen character (Sense & Sensibility‘s Elinor) – oh wouldn’t that be awesome! I can’t fathom why an impossibly good looking, classically-trained seasoned actor like Timothy isn’t busy fending off offers. He’s still dashing even in his early 60s! As for Emma, after seeing Last Chance Harvey, I adore her even more. It’d be great to see these two thespians work together in something like that.

8. Eric Bana & Halle Berry
Everyone may be swooning over Hugh Jackman more these days, but Eric is the ‘boy from Oz’ I find captivating. A former stand-up comic, the down-to-earth charmer makes any flix watchable, especially with his adorable accent. I just think Halle would be an interesting match for Eric in a smart thriller with a tangled love story thrown in.

9. Edward Norton & Maggie Gyllenhaal
These two are massively talented actor with an Indie/artsy flair. I’m surprised they haven’t worked together by now. Both are unconventionally good looking for those who favor brains over beauty. I’d say Edward is the anti-Matthew McConaughey and Maggie the anti-Megan Fox, and that’s a very good thing.

10. Daniel Henney & Rachel McAdams
I first knew about this incredibly hunky Korean/English actor from my sister in-law, and then saw him on-screen for the first time in Wolverine. In this increasingly global everything, isn’t it about time we have a real Asian heartthrob that isn’t known only for his martial art! Not sure yet about his acting skills, as he’s mostly done Korean movies, but US audiences will get a chance to see him in the new CBS series coming this fall, Three Rivers. I just pick Rachel because I thought she was great in The Notebook and Red Eye, I doubt I’d be paying much attention to anybody else once Mr. Henney is on screen though, ehm.

My Top Ten Favorite Movie Couples & Wish List

romanticgondola

I just saw He’s Just Not That Into You this past weekend, which so unlike me at all because I’m not into chick flicks generally, especially those with Jennifer Aniston in it. But it was the only title Redbox had at the moment that my girlfriend and I wouldn’t mind watching. It turned out to be better than I expected (but then again my expectation was preeetty low on such flix I couldn’t possibly be disappointed).

I’m just not into it enough to do a review on it (pardon the pun), but with all the interesting pairings on that flix, it made me think of my favorite on-screen romantic pairings and other actor/actress matchup I’d love to see. Premiere magazine had a list of their own, mostly from romantic movies/chick flicks, but my fave list isn’t limited to those. Some action or thriller flix might have a love story within it with believable chemistry, even if the couple in question doesn’t always end up together.

My Top Ten Fave On-Screen Couples (in no particular order):

1. Julia Roberts & Hugh Grant in Notting Hill
I’m no Hugh Grant fan, but he’s quite watchable in this one. Looks like he and Roberts had great fun making this together and it showed.

2. Gerard Butler &  Emily Mortimer in Dear Frankie
They’re not on-screen all that much, but when they do, every little glance conveys their palpable attraction. One of the reasons I like Gerry is the way he looks at a woman—makes you wish you were the one standing opposite him. The rousingly s-l-o-w but worth the wait doorway-kiss still tugs my heartstrings like no other.

3. Russell Crowe & Kim Basinger in L.A. Confidential
Crowe reveals his intense romantic side and Basinger is at her best here.

4. Christian Bale & Emily Watson in Equillibrium
This wasn’t exactly the best work of one of Britain’s finest thespians, but their short scenes together made my heart go pit-a-pat. There’s a scene when Bale’s character couldn’t save the woman he loved and realized he’d never see her again, the camera zoomed in on Bale’s tear-filled eyes as he watched her disappear from his sight. It made me cry every single time.

5. Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge
Fantastic art direction aside, this film works because we’re emotionally invested in these two torn lovers. Both actors had a beautiful voice and their musical duets are fabulous to watch over and over again.

6. Harrison Ford & Julia Ormond in Sabrina
Not exactly an ‘ideal’ couple at first glance I know, but I like Julia Ormond a lot and somehow she makes it work. I like the slow-burn romance in this one and how two unlikely people find love when they least expect it.

7. Gregory Peck & Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday
Audrey Hepburn is watchable in just about anything. Add dashing and noble gentlemen in the form of Gregory Peck plus undeniable chemistry, and you’ll get yourself a sublime duo.

8. David Duchovny & Minnie Driver in Return to Me
I love Duchovny’s dry humor and unconventional hunky-ness, and Minnie Driver is a talented but underrated actress. Kudos to Bonnie Hunt for such a well-written script and for pairing them together in one of my favorite rom-com of all time!

9. Heath Ledger & Julia Stiles in Ten Things I Hate About You
Even when he’s just starting out, we all know how talented Ledger was. I love how he could be romantic & vulnerable without losing his edge. Stiles proved to be a fitting match for him. I’d love to see more of her in films (perhaps as Burns‘ love interest with Gerry Butler?)

10. Michael Douglas & Annette Bening in The American President
Practically everyone’s fave movie prez, Andrew Shepherd is the epitome of a ‘perfect guy.’ Powerful, debonair, eloquent, with a touch of vulnerability. Douglas and Bening have such a heartfelt chemistry together that makes their ‘improbable’ fairy tale romance utterly believable.

Top Ten romantic pairings I’d love to see on-screen:
1. Gerard Butler & Eva Green
2. Russell Crowe & Amy Adams
3. Rufus Sewell & Aishwarya Rai
4. Christian Bale & Emily Blunt
5. Henry Cavill & Sophia Myles
6. Johnny Depp & Kate Beckinsale
7. Timothy Dalton & Emma Thomson
8. Eric Bana & Halle Berry
9. Edward Norton & Maggie Gyllenhaal
10. Daniel Henney & Rachel McAdams

You can read the rationale for each of my pick in a separate post. So what say you? I’m sure you have your own list in mind, so let’s hear it.

Johnny Depp on the set of The Rum Diary

Photos courtesy of David Ische/Caitlin Weber

Photos courtesy of David Ische/Caitlin Weber

Special thanks for Caitlin & David for letting me post their pictures. They were lucky enough to get a glimpse of Aaron Eckhart and Johnny Depp shooting a scene at El Yunque National Rainforest near San Juan, Puerto Rico this past March. After playing opposite Christian Bale, a.k.a Batman in Public Enemies, Depp is co-starring with another Gotham resident ‘Harvey Dent.’ (Sorry I couldn’t resist!)

Based on a novel by Hunter S. Thompson with the same name, Depp plays an American journalist named Paul Kemp, which is loosely based on the author’s own life journey. Kemp moves from New York to the Caribbean with the hope of finding adventure, but instead finds himself tangled in love, jealousy, and violence, amongst his alcoholic American peers who staff the run-down newspaper. Lots of alcohol (rum) involved I’m assuming, hence the title.

Set in the 1950s, this is the second Thompson’s book-to-film adaptation for Depp. The first one was Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas in 1998, where he also played a journalist desperately seeking for the ‘American dream’ with the help of drugs and alcohol hidden in their convertible. Looks like this is a fitting vehicle for Depp who’s known to gravitate towards ‘lost soul’ kind of characters. Eckhart, hot off the massively popular Batman sequel, is a also a great actor with skills and charisma. This is a much more promising cast than the previously rumored Benicio del Toro + Josh Hartnett duo. Nothing against del Toro, but Hartnett just isn’t in Depp’s league.

In any case, Depp is definitely one of the busiest actors working today. He just wrapped Alice in Wonderland as The Mad Hatter (which would mark the seventh time he works with director Tim Burton), and is slated to do The Man Who Killed Don Quixote next. Awesome!