20 Perfect Cinematic Moments – A Fistful of Moments BLOGATHON

AFistfulOfMomentsI LOVE this idea of blogging about our favorite scenes, so I’m glad Andrew from A Fistful of Films Blog turned this into a blogathon! Here’s what he has in mind as to the kinds of scenes he’s referring to:

We all have them in the back of our minds; those moments that make us think “man, this is what the movies are all about”. We relive those moments in our mind’s eye, remembering them and dissecting them and adoring them. They come in all shapes and sizes, from all types of films, and yet they all share one very important aspect; they define why we love the movies. It could be the way that the moment is cut; the way it’s edited together. It could be the way the moment uses it’s actors to evoke a powerful emotion from us. It could be the way that music floods the scene and draws us even closer to the moment in question. It could be a grand climax, a breathtaking introduction or a simple interchange. It could be any and all things, because for every film lover, the list is different.

Before I get to my – and Ted’s – list, I thought I’d mention about this two-part post I did back in 2009 (click on each image below to see the full list w/ youtube clips). Essentially those 20 scenes are perfect cinematic moments to me, that’s why I LOVE watching them over and over.

Top 20 movie scenes I could watch over and over again – Part 1 Top 20 movie scenes I could watch over and over again – Part 2

It’s interesting how some scenes still resonate with us so much and that you’ll treasure them forever. But for this blogathon, I will not pick scenes I have included in those two lists, but I might still pick a scene from the same film.


Glad to have Ted joining in on the fun, so let’s start with his list!

TED’s PICKS

1. Bond standing on top of MI6 building in SKYFALL

SkyfallRooftop

Skyfall is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite Bond films and this scene near the end is just breathtaking. After failing to save M’s life, Bond looking over the city of London and realizes that he’s meant to be a secret agent to not only saves his city from the bad buys but also accepting the fact this is he’s meant to be for the rest of his career. Casino Royale was about rebooting the franchise and Skyfall was about rebooting James Bond himself. It’s not just a great Bond film but also a great action/adventure film of all time.

2. Opening sequence of Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’

Instead of a photo, this sequence can only be appreciated when you see the actual scene.  When I first saw this film I was very young and this opening scene gave the creeps. The music starts, we see the credits and Malcolm McDowell’s Alex is staring straight at the camera and Kubrick then slowly zooms the camera out showing Alex and his gang. You know you’re going to see one messed up film with that opening. Alex is one of the most villainous characters in film history, reportedly Heath Ledger model his Joker after Alex.

3. The wedding dance sequence in ‘The Godfather’

WeddingDanceTheGodfather

I don’t know why I love this sequence at the beginning of the film so much but I can’t get enough of it. I love how Coppola shot this scene; especially Brando was dancing with his daughter. The Godfather is one of my all time favorite films and I love so many scenes in it but this one’s probably my absolute favorite.

4. The Joker shows his face in the opening scene of ‘The Dark Knight’

TDK_JokerBankRobberyScene

The opening bank robbery scene of The Dark Knight was one of best opening sequences of all time in my opinion. The Joker unveil himself after killing all of his henchmen and stole $64 mil of the mob’s money to start his chaotic plans of destroying Gotham and toying with Batman. Nolan shot this entire sequence with IMAX cameras, the first in film history and when I saw the Joker’s scarred face on the giant screen, it’s kind of frightening.

5. Clint Eastwood’s William Munny shoots a bunch of people in a bar in ‘Unforgiven’

Eastwood’s Unforgiven is one of the best westerns and one of my all time top 10 favorite films. I love this climatic shootout scene, especially the scene where he raised the shotgun and shot the unarmed bar owner. There are so many beautifully shot scenes in this film but I love this one.


RUTH’s PICKS

1. Her – Theodore and Samantha singing together

I saw this film in a practically empty cinema, which is nice so I don’t have to worry about balling my eyes out watching this film. Her was one of the most emotional film-watching experience and this is such a sweet moment in the unlikely bond that form between human + machine.

2. Moulin Rouge! – Tango scene

Sooo many wonderful scenes to choose from this superb musical, but if I had to pick just one, it had to be this one. The dark, sultry atmosphere of the tango scene, meshed together with the scene of Satine being kept captive by the Duke is simply intoxicating. Ewan McGregor’s Christian never looked so appealing and his voice laden with anger and desperation.

3. The Dark Knight – Interrogation scene

Christopher Nolan’s Batman films formed one of cinema’s BEST trilogy ever and though I have a special fondness for Batman Begins, which is a superb origin story, The Dark Knight is arguably the best of the three. THIS scene in particular, was mind-blowing when I first saw it… and still riveting with each rewatch. I’ve featured it in this post a while back, and not surprisingly, it’s also Nolan’s favorite scene from the film.

4. Bourne Supremacy – car chase with Krill

There have been tons and tons of car chase scenes in movies and though a lot of them have been entertaining, none is as memorable and riveting as this one. Matt Damon’s Bourne met his match in the equally relentless Krill (Karl Urban, lethal but oh-so-gorgeous!). Paul Greengrass infused the action with such kinetic energy, everything from the camera angle, the music, and the brief eye contact between the two actors made for one electrifying scene. My muscles literally felt a bit sore after watching this from all that tension!

5. Sense & Sensibility – Marianne thanking Col Brandon after she’s ‘out of danger’

SenseSensibilityThanksBrandon1SenseSensibilityThanksBrandon2SenseSensibilityThanksBrandon3SenseSensibilityThanksBrandon4I have included the scene when Brandon first beheld Marianne in  this list, so I thought I’d include my second favorite. Brandon’s love for Marianne is so vast and pure, altruistic in its nature that he’d have been content that she was out of danger and she’s reunited with his mother. So this acknowledgment from her must’ve meant the world to him. Even Eleanor recognized the significance of this moment and I love how the camera somehow captured that moment as Brandon quietly left the room. All the emotion is palpably written on his face… such a subtle facial gesture but it hit me like a ton of bricks that I never ever NOT cry watching this scene. Is it any wonder I LOVE Alan Rickman?

6.  Spider-Man 2 – train sequence

Truly one of the best and most memorable moments out of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. The pure adrenaline rush of the train-stopping action is followed by an emotional rush of seeing the people help their savior who’s identity’s been revealed. One Subway rider remarked, “He’s just a kid…” as they all gathered around his unconscious body. Hard not to get choked up watching this scene…

7. The Passion of the Christ – resurrection

I’m not including this scene just because it’s Easter Sunday this weekend. I saw this film on the big screen and it was perhaps one of the most emotionally-rattling experience that my body was physically shaken by the end of it. As a Christ-follower, the story deeply resonated with me. There are numerous depictions of Christ’s suffering but it’s the resurrection scene that’s rarely depicted more memorably. John Debney’s score is such a crucial element in this particular scene, as far as cinematic moment goes, few is as perfect to me as this one.

8. Jurassic Park – Welcome to Jurassic Park!

I was watching the Jurassic World trailer on IMAX just before Furious 7 the other night and while I really want to see the new movie, it made me think of how the first Jurassic Park movie affected me. THIS scene is what started it all… how awestruck the two Dino-obsessed scientists Alan and Ellie were the moment they saw Brachiosaurus for the first time. For a few moments, we don’t see just what made them so thunderstruck, but we know from their expression that it was something special. Of course we’re oooh-aahing like they did when we finally saw them with our own eyes… and John Hammond’s welcoming words ‘Welcome… to Jurassic Park!’ still gives me goose bumps!

9. Pride & Prejudice – Darcy helped Elizabeth to her carriage

The best period dramas are full of subtle gestures that made a huge impact. Darcy and Lizzie tried their best to convince themselves they’re so wrong for each other, but failing miserably. I believe it’s THIS fleeting moment that each of them knew they realize that, try as they might, they simply couldn’t deny the attraction. Joe Wright captured this unexpectedly romantic moment so beautifully… especially the close up of Darcy’s hand as he walked away from the carriage. The expression of both actors are simply perfect… this is the moment that made me adore this Austen adaptation the more time I watch it.

10. Pacific Rim – Introducing Gypsy Danger

I have no qualms admitting I LOVE this movie! My hubby and I have seen it half a dozen times since and we actually saw it twice on the big screen, one of them at IMAX. We bought the 3D Blu-ray, too, but haven’t got around to watching it. I remember how thrilling it was seeing the two pilots operating a Jaeger called Gypsy Danger and to see it in action during a stormy night. Ramin Djawadi’s awesome music gets the heart pumping as we see the giant robotic weapon goes out to sea.

11. Mansfield Park – I’ve missed you… 

MansfieldParkHoldingHandsI couldn’t find the exact scene, but it’s part of this fan video between 1:33 – 1:44. Fanny’s loved Edmund all her life and by this moment he’s engaged to someone else. Yet there’s this tender moment between them in the carriage as he takes her back to Mansfield Park. Edmund: “I’ve missed you…” Fanny: “And I you.” Fanny placed her hand next to his and he promptly took it and held it firmly. Fanny’s expression in this moment always gets me every time. Who hasn’t love someone and desperately wants that person to love you back?

12.  Gravity – final scene

It’s been over two years since I saw Gravity but I still remember how THIS finale hit me with such an emotional rush when I saw it on the big screen. After having spent 90-min in space, cooped up in the dark, cold and desperate realm with Sandra Bullock’s character… seeing earth was such a welcome sight. The immersive experience made me feel as if I was right there with Dr. Ryan Stone… breathing oxygen, feeling the sun and wind against the skin, the kind of stuff that we take for granted every day suddenly seem like such an amazing privilege. Steven Price’s score adds so much to the whole cinematic experience, making this astounding finale all the more powerful.

13. How To Train Your Dragon – unlikely friendship blossoming

Animated films have the emotional power as any live action film and so I was contemplating of doing a list of just from the animation genre. I always said I prefer Pixar to any other animation studio, that is until Dreamworks came up with THIS movie. I fell in love with the lead characters Hiccup and Night Fury dragon Toothless, and the moment they became unlikely friends is such a memorably heartfelt one. I always tear up right at the scene when Toothless puts his head on Hiccup’s hand.

14. Belle – meeting John in the garden

Belle_GardenEncounter

I knew I wanted to see Belle when I first saw the still photo above. There’s something that stops me in my tracks about the way they looked at each other, and I didn’t even know who they were yet. So when the scene finally appeared on screen, I was left breathless. The lighting in the garden, the classical music playing in the background, and the way the camera captures each detail of this encounter … it’s got everything I want in a romantic scene. I love the passionate chemistry between Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Sam Reid. The sexual tension is so thick you could cut with a knife, but it’s also deeply soulful.

15. The Machine – dance scene

If only I had seen this small-budget indie sci-fi on the big screen. It’s one of the most visually-arresting films I’ve ever seen and this dance scene is one of the highlights. The lighting and special effects worked wonderfully to create this magical scene and the atmospheric soundtrack complements is perfectly. The scene above cuts off the part when The Machine walks over to Vincent, her creator who’s been watching her dancing, and embraces him. Superb performance by Toby Stephens and Caity Lotz here, it’s become one of my all time fave scenes of man & machine. The film is not flawless but this scene truly is.

TheMachineDanceScene


Well, those are our picks of 20 perfect cinematic moments. Thoughts on any of these scenes? 

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58 thoughts on “20 Perfect Cinematic Moments – A Fistful of Moments BLOGATHON

  1. I love so many of these! I love that Ted mentioned A Clockwork Orange. That opening is just…SO MUCH! Ruth, your love of period dramas shows it’s face, and who can fault it. I love the scenes you mention…Belle, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice! Such great moments from great films. I also love that you mention Her!

    But my favorite moments you mention are Jurassic Park (such an iconic moment that swells in the heart of the audience) and Moulin Rouge! Filled with so many great moments, that Tango scene intertwined with Satine’s attack and McGregor’s tremendous voice just pounds down on me every time I watch it. Brilliant choice!

    Thank you both so much for playing along!

    1. Thanks Drew! That was a fantabulous idea for a blogathon, we HAD to take part!

      He..he.. I love how different Ted and my lists are, and yes I’m an unabashed period drama fan 😛 There are just sooo many emotionally-gratifying moments in them that I’ll treasure forever.

      That Jurassic Park is just soooo awesome isn’t it? I always remember that one when I think of an iconic scene. El Tango de Roxane is perhaps THE best dance scene ever filmed, it’s so sensuous, cool, edgy, emotional, all rolled into one.

  2. Some truly perfect cinematic moments from you both. Wow. So many of them (of those films I’ve watched) instantly recognizable. Great job, and great idea for a blogathon.

  3. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ted and Ruth:

    Great choices for contemporary moment. Very well defined and defended!

    My bailiwick and comfort zone would include the entrances of Orson Welles as Harry Lime in ‘The Third Man’. Detective Lt. Hank Quinlan in ‘Touch of Evil’. And the early on squad discussion of their mission in ‘Saving Private Ryan’.

    1. Hi Kevin! Hey if you still want to take part and send me your Top 10, I’d be happy to post ’em. I knew you’d have some great classic picks.

    1. They are indeed! We share our love for Col. Brandon… but I didn’t know you love that Pride & Prejudice too! In fact I love that Joe Wright version over the original w/ Firth now.

  4. Brittani

    Great picks! Especially all the Dark Knight and How To Train Your Dragon love.

    That final scene in Gravity was breathtaking.

    1. Thanks Brittani! It was tough to pick which scene to include from Gravity, but ultimately that final scene is the one that stuck w/ me most.

  5. Irene McKenna

    Lovely post, Ruth! Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon!! ❤ That is, hands-down, my favorite on the list. And all the other Jane Austen goodness, plus the wedding in The Godfather. Great stuff.

    1. Thanks Irene! What girl doesn’t love Col Brandon?? He’s just the perfect period drama hero. Glad we share our love for Jane Austen! 😀

  6. You know I’m not a fan of period dramas so I haven’t any of the ones you mentioned but love the car chase in Bourne Supremacy, the scene between Batman and Joker was awesome and I still remember like it was yesterday when I first saw those dinosaurs on the big screen back in the summer of 1993!

    1. Hi Ted, I try to mix things up so there’s something for everyone here 🙂 Hey I was gonna lend you my Bluray of The Machine, curious to hear what you think of it since you love sci-fi. Yeah, that JP moment is still so fresh in my mind too, I’d still go see it if they re-release that first film again.

      1. Also, I’m bummed too that I missed out on seeing JURASSIC PARK re-released on IMAX a couple of years ago. Maybe for its 30th anniversary they’ll release it again on the big screen, can’t believe it’s been over 20 years since it came out in theater!

  7. Great post on movie scenes, now you made me want to watch movies today! I have only seen Clockwork Orange once as a kid and I can hardly remember it other than that it really freaked me out! Had to pop in and say hi, it’s Sheila who you met yesterday in Minneapolis. Great website!

    1. Hi Sheila!! It’s lovely meeting you yesterday, overall it was a fun interview. Do you like period dramas? If so you MUST see all of the movies I mentioned here, I’d even be happy to lend you some dvds 😀 I’ll send you an email, we should meet up over coffee or something.

      1. Hi Ruth! That would be really fun to meet up and chat! I do like period dramas and I am very behind on my movie watching! Lets stay in touch! I would love to hear more about your blogging and how you got started.

  8. Wow, that’s a lot of scenes to consider. Several that I really like. I love that the interrogation scene from The Dark Knight was mentioned. Almost every scene Ledger did in that film could have been considered.

    One that came to mind for me was from Gladiator – Maximus revealing his identity in the Coliseum. Amazing!

    1. Hi Keith! Yeah it’s tough selecting which scenes in TDK, and I’ve included a bunch of other scenes that The Joker’s in, he’s simply superb!

      Hey, that scene you spoke of is on the Top 20 list I posted above, that’s why I didn’t include that again. I LOVE that scene, such a classic.

  9. Hi Ruth! Great lists! I love that you both included a moment from The Dark Knight, and it’s awesome to see those moments from Gravity and The Bourne Supremacy on your list, Ruth.

    1. Thanks Josh! We might actually do a top 10 of just scenes from Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Glad you love those lists from Gravity & Bourne 2.

    1. He..he.. but that scene deserved to be on here, and both he & Caity Lotz are excellent. Worth a look if you haven’t seen The Machine yet Mark.

  10. Woah! What a post. First, Yes to Ted’s #2 and #4. Gosh, ledger was amazing. It’s a wonderful opening to a film. Ruth, I can agree whole-heartedly with your #5 and #8. Glad you mentioned #15. I remember you suggested The Machine and I watched it–she was so beautiful here in this dance. Nice one! Happy Easter

    1. Hi Cindy! I’m thrilled that you like The Machine too, that dance scene is so beautifully-crafted. We both love Col. Brandon, and really, what women doesn’t love such a man!

  11. Paul S

    The Godfather wedding sequence is marvellous, as we meet almost everyone who we’ll encounter later in symmetry at Don Vito’s funeral.

    1. Hello Courtney! The first list is of my friend Ted’s but yeah we both love TDK. Jurassic Park really sets the bar for sci-fi action adventure genre.

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  14. Dan

    Great stuff Ted and Ruth, I think that scene from Batman with Heath Ledger in the interrogation room is one of the greatest things Nolan has ever done (and Ledger for that matter).

  15. I love this idea, upon reading this post and the last one, I have some in mind. Of course there has to some Jane Austen moments, if not this post would not be right. I have to say I love that Mansfield Park movie!

    1. Hey Mel, why don’t you do a post on this on your blog? I’d love to see your picks! Yes, it wouldn’t MY list without Jane Austen. Glad to hear you love Mansfield Park, too!

      If I were to do this list now, of course there’ll be one w/ Stanley in it 😉

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