The Flix List: Five Favorite Movie Opening/End Credits in 2011

Happy weekend, folks, hope it’s going well so far. Well last night I went to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol at the IMAX. The ticket was a whopping $16 bucks but fortunately it was well worth it! As I’ve mentioned here, one of the reasons we went was to see The Dark Knight Rises prologue and that one did not disappoint either. The worst part is the 7-month wait! Darn you Nolan!

Anyway,  I was impressed about Ghost Protocol was the cool opening sequence. It’s not available yet on YouTube but once it is, I’ll post it here. It made me think of other ones I like from this year. So here are some I thought was well-done:

X-Men: First Class

An awesome 60s style look that’s fun, dynamic and a bit James Bond-esque like the film itself. The Youtube description from the designer reveals his/her inspiration from classic titles from that era… and that “… the sequence was designed to give a very brief primer on the time period, the setting, as well as show the relationships of the characters in this film…”

Tree of Life

This is so typical Malick… beautiful, evocative, dramatic imagery combined with soulful music by Alexandre Desplat. It definitely gives us a glimpse as to what to expect from the film itself.

Captain America

I LOVE this end credit sequence that ends the patriotic theme of the movie perfectly. The use of iconic 1940s-style war propaganda art is expertly integrated with the dynamic retro-sounding score. There’s an interview with the creative director of this project over at Art of the Title website.

The Adventures of Tintin

I LOVE, LOVE this wonderful animation sequence that pay homage to Tintin’s many adventures from the comics. I love how each character is introduced and transitions to one another. The music is fun and captures the whimsy and energetic nature of Hergé famous creation. I’m just giddy watching it as it brings back so many memories of reading the comics since I was a wee girl, and I think it helps get me in the right mood to see the action that follows on screen.

RIO

The wonderful, vibrant colors of this movie is just awesome to watch. The opening sequence introduces the bird protagonist of the movie in a clever and exciting way, showcasing the gorgeous Brazilian jungle and its marvelous array of those winged creatures.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

THOR

I love this one mainly for Patrick Doyle’s score, but the cosmic imagery of Asgard universe isn’t bad to look at either. Reminds me a bit of the birth of the universe sequence in Tree of Life.

Midnight in Paris

Ok now this one isn’t technically an opening credits, but I think it’s worth mentioning as it opens the film with no dialog. It could practically double as a Paris tourism video, as it makes you want to book a flight to the city of lights pronto! The equally gorgeous music was done by Sidney Bechet called Si tu vois ma mère (If you see my mother), an American jazz saxophonist. Too bad this video gets cut off a bit in the end.


Drive

Now I cheated a bit with this one as I haven’t seen the film, but I actually saw this sequence a while ago and thought that it was well done. It’s got the cool, noir vibe, though from the reviews I’ve read in this movie, there’s not a whole lot of driving in this one? In any case, I also like the use of hot pink, script font in their marketing campaign, it’s an effective contrast to the suspenseful mood of this crime thriller.


Also check out my previous Top Ten opening title sequences



Do you like any of these? What other movie opening/end sequences impressed you this year?

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36 thoughts on “The Flix List: Five Favorite Movie Opening/End Credits in 2011

  1. Cool list and yes I love the opening title sequence of MI-4, definitely felt like the old spy flick from the 60s.

    There were only about two chase sequences in the movie Drive and there were pretty cool.

    • BTW, I just thought of a great opening sequence, Fincher’s Panic Room:

      The designer(s) did a great job of integrating the text into NYC’s buildings.

    • Yeah, the matches theme for the MI4 opening scene is just perfect, kinda similar to the 3rd one but still cool!

      Haven’t seen Panic Room but yeah, that’s a good one!

  2. Ruth,

    Check out this fantastic site: http://www.artofthetitle.com/about/

    Especially check out the work of Saul Bass. He’s done everything from Psycho to Goodfellas.

    Here some of my favs:

    Monty Python and The Holy Grail: http://www.artofthetitle.com/2009/09/14/monty-python-and-the-holy-grail/

    Se7en: http://www.artofthetitle.com/2008/03/26/se7en/

    Ginger Snaps: http://www.artofthetitle.com/2008/03/27/ginger-snaps/

    Zombieland: http://www.artofthetitle.com/2010/04/05/zombieland/

    Delicatessen: http://www.artofthetitle.com/2011/10/06/delicatessen/

    The Player & Touch Of Evil: http://www.artofthetitle.com/2009/11/02/single-take-titles-part-1-the-classics/

    Enter The Void: Seizure alert… enjoy! lol.

  3. I love your list! Glad to see Captain America on here. It really is one of my faves! Love the music!

    this is an interesting question as I find myself not sure which ones would go on my list. I must give this more thought! :)

    have a blessed weekend, my friend! Glad you enjoyed MI-4!

    • I can’t possibly leave Cap. America out of it, it’s just so cool!

      Well thank God for Youtube, most of what I was looking for was there :D

  4. This is a great list. I too love the opening of Drive and Midnight in Paris. ‘Manhattan’ also have an opening movie with a several views of New York, so probably it’s Woody Allen’s trademark?

  5. I have yet to see Mission Impossible, but loved Midnight in Paris, completely agree on that one. Still need to see Tree of Life haha.

    Great post!

  6. When I went to see ‘Young Adult,’ one of the things I was anticipating was the opening credits, because Jason Reitman’s films always have lively credit sequences. This one was a bit of a letdown – you see Charlize Theron driving, listening to a cassette tape, and it’s interspersed with super-close-ups of the inner workings of the tape deck in her car. The tape is important to Theron’s character, not so much to the story in general, so this was kinda disappointing in comparison it to Reitman’s other films.

    • Yeah, the opening credits was so-so for Young Adult, but the cassette reference is pretty important to her character, esp the all female band scene. She nails the facial expression.

    • That is too bad, Rich! Reitman is indeed known for great credit sequences. I was at a graphic design exhibition and they showed Juno and Up in the Air which were excellent. How do you like the movie? Well I should just go over to your blog and read your review :)

  7. Great list, Ruth! I like it. Both Drive and Midnight in Paris are nice picks for the list – I enjoyed the beginning sequences very much. Thanks for sharing!

    p.s. Good to hear your take on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – it looked like a fun movie from the trailer. Though, I’m sure seeing The Dark Knight Rises prologue was an even better treat!! :)

    • Thanks gurl, I actually haven’t seen Drive but when I saw the intro on Youtube I knew I had to include it.

      I’ll have more about TDKR prologue tomorrow, man I wish I could see that movie this weekend!!

  8. The only one coming to mind for me that is not on your list is Watchmen.

    Btw i managed to watch the leaked Dark Knight Rises trailer, and i have to say my doubts about Hathaway as Catwoman are pretty much gone now. I am a bit worried about the inclusion of so many characters, but i am trying to keep my faith in Nolan to not mess this one up.

    • This is from this year, Julian, I included Watchmen on my previous top 10 list :)

      I don’t really have a strong reaction one way or the other about Hathaway as Catwoman. I hope her character is pretty minor, Castor. I’d rather see more of the other characters in this movie.

  9. Hi, Ruth and company:

    Some nice surprises!

    Great list and clips!

    Was anyone else flashing back to the opening credits of the old CBS Sci-Fi series, Lost In Space while watching the opening credits for X Men: First Class ? Their animation styles seem eerily similar. Though X Men has better, early 1960s themed music.

    Still think the opening credits to Watchmen are hard to beat. Set to Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changing . Honorable Mention to the split screen opening credits of the classic, Bullitt .

    Psssst!… Poster artists. The wing tips of B-17s are rounded. Nice work on the Sherman tanks, though.

    • Forgot about The Watchmen credits. Dylan’s music really put it over the top. Iron Man’s end credits using Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’ were pretty good too.

    • I’ve never seen Lost in Space, Jack, but if it’s done in the 60s I could see they’d have some similarities.

      Ahah, you’re talking about the Cap. America one on your last paragraph right? I knew you’d notice something like that, Jack :D

  10. Great post Ruth. Absolutely loved the Drive opening as well as the one for Midnight in Paris.

    However, that Tree of Life one isn’t actually from The Tree of Life, it was just made by some fan.

    • Wow, I really thought that intro was in the movie! Well, that was a great fan-made one then, it could actually be use in the actual film as it captures Malick’s style perfectly.

  11. A good opening or end credit sequence can be pivotal to how much I like a movie. As long as the sequence isn’t too over the top, I’m interested. I like ones that remain impressive without using big flashy fonts or special effects. One of my favorite directors, Michael Haneke, uses absolutely no music or effects in his credits. There is nothing but a black screen, complete silence, and the words in a very tiny font. It sounds boring but it’s actually kind of creepy and scary the way he does it. A clever man.

    • Tyler,

      Of course he’s just as good when he does use music. The junxtaposition of music and images couldn’t be more apt to anybody who’s dared to see the rest of this film. I don’t think you’ll ever hear John Zorn’s Naked City in a movie again:

    • That’s right Tyler, I think if someone knows how to do it properly, a minimalist design can work wonders and perhaps even conveys more than the overblown one. Do you have a link to one of Haneke’s work?

  12. It’s good to hear that Mission Impossible is worth seeing. I might have to see it at the IMAX, which is something I have never done before.

    I am happy that you included Drive on your list — that was certainly a great opening, and the first scene is even better. I know you are apprehensive about it, but I hope you watch the entire movie at some point. :)

    • It is indeed Eric, I have my review up already and I mentioned that the Burj Khalifa scene alone is worth seeing in IMAX!

      I still might rent Drive, I just don’t know I could handle the violence on the big screen.

  13. Some awesome opening sequences there Ruth. My personal favorite of all time would the the Superman Movie titles.

    Captain America and Thor were pretty darn sweet titles too. Great choices!

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