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!
My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius – only Russell 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?