10 Perfect Cinematic Moments – Part II

AFistfulOfMomentsI LOVE Andrew of A Fistful of Films’s blogathon idea so much that I invited my pal Kevin G. aka Jack Deth to join in on the fun!

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Greetings all and sundry!

Having been given an oblique invitation to participate in such an intriguing concept days ago from our hostess, Ruth. I would be remiss if I did not open long ago forgotten vault doors and peer within. Searching for that moment that make a film’s tale complete. Its raison d’etre. Establishing or unearthing a character. Or the adventure’s well hidden “McGuffin” before shocked and suddenly interested eyes.

To that end. Please allow me a few moments to rummage around. Make a few discoveries and bring those to well deserved attention an light with…

A Fistful Of Moments Blogathon!

Having chosen the nice round number or ten. My choices will be in increasing range, strength power, or “Throw Weight”, From least to most powerful or memorable.

#10 – Opening Sequence. Strangers On A Train (1951)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Classic Hitchcock being Htchcock. Playfully setting up the audience with the juxtapositions of randomness, perhaps fate. And opposites attracting. As depicted so well with Robert Walker and his Bruno Anthony’s rather snazzy, foppish, two toned Fleur di Lis wingtip shoes. With what could also be built up heels. Opposite Farley Granger and his, we imagine; tennis playing Guy Haines’ less well cared for and comfortable brown Broughams.

Creating a mysterious opening gambit in what will prove to be less than “a beautiful friendship,”!

#9 – Kilvinsky’s Law. The New Centurions (1972)

Director: Richard Fleischer

This scene sets up “Grand Old Man”, George C. Scott’s twenty year Uniform Patrolman Kilvinsky to a T. And offers sound advice with his wise words regarding Police intervention and “interfacing” with the public. Words leaned through hard knocks and the disadvantage shared by those whose trade is inserting themselves where they are often needed, but rarely wanted.

Especially when offered against Stacy Keach’s fresh from the Academy, rookie Roy Fehler. Who may not be ready for the reality of the street.

#8 – “Fire One!” The Bedford Incident (1965)

Director: James B. Harris

This is why bright and shiny new, scared to death of Captain graduates of the Naval Academy (James MacArthur. ‘Hawaii Five-O’) should never be allowed on a ship’s bridge. Let alone shiny, large numbered buttons!

Sub hunting is a specialized art and filled with volumes of unwritten rules both sides obey. Which is why each ASW ship has a Russian speaker to signal intentions. Verbally coax the enemy sub to the surface. And keep “Incidents” like this from ever happening.

Though, those rules are thrown away by Captain Finlander (Richard Widmark) in quest of recognition and perhaps, promotion in bringing another sub to the surface within Territorial Waters. Creating a cautionary tale from one of Stanley Kubrick’s more notable alums.

#7 -“Sherry Baby!” The Killing (1956)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

This is the scene where languorous, conniving Femme Fatale Sherry Peatty starts to see and gently apply pressure to the hairline cracks in her husband, George and his four “friends” plan to make a lot of money. Quickly! While allowing “The Grand Master of Sapdom” (Elisha Cook Jr.) to quietly, uncertainly flounder about and do what he does best!

A great piece of subtle cinema in a tale that is all too familiar with violence and irony.

#6 -“Little Birds”: Black Hawk Down (2001)

Director: Ridley Scott

This is what happens when Army Rangers have to clean up a previous controversial U.N. rocket attack and mess. And those Rangers are denied the use of AC-130 “Specter” gunships, Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles already in country and ready to respond. By then Under Secretary of State, Morton Halperin. For fear of “upsetting the locals”.

A powerful scene that brutally depicts the awesome marriage of firepower with modern technology!

#5 – “This Chess Thing”: Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993)

Director: Steven Zallian

This scene pulls the film’s tale together relatively early on. For Joe Mantegna’s sports writer, Fred Waitzken was originally skeptical of his young son, Josh’s talents. Though, with watching Josh play against all comers and making strong “Father & Son” time with out off state tournaments. Mr. Mantegan’s Fred is righteously entitle to “Go Full Mamet” on the unsuspecting teacher, Laura Linney!

#4 – Tango: Scent Of A Woman (1992)

Director: Martin Brest

This scene proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Al Pacino’s Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade is the smoothest, coolest man in any room! While also showing Charlie (Chris O’Donnell) the patient ease in gaining trust and winning people over by opening up senses to surroundings and beyond. Not an easy task for the uninitiated.

It’s interesting watching Donna’s (Gabrielle Anwar) apprehensions at first on the dance floor smooth out as the Tango ends.And her facial responses to Michael (David Lansbury) proving himself to be a rude and utter jerk. And that Donna may not be the best chooser of men, after all.

#3 – “Duty”: Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Director: Steven Spielberg

A neat little scene that delivers glances at the cast’s characters. With the discussion being held in almost a classroom manner. Are there better, more action and suspense filled scenes? Certainly. But, this one works for me in character introduction. Defining the mission and setting up the next series of scenes!

#2 My Post. My Call. A Tie With Orson Welles!

#2B -Opening Sequence. Touch of Evil (1958)

Director: Orson Welles

Still one of the best tracking shots in cinema! Made even better by the removal of title, credit and cast throughout.Also one of the most efficient uses of “Making the fist scene the most interesting” and in this case, telling. Serious Skullduggery is afoot with the placement of the bomb in couple’s convertible. With the next obvious questions being, “Who placed it?” and “Why?”

An exceptional three and three quarters minutes of film. That should have gone another half minute longer to introduce Orson Welles’ corpulent, crooked Police Captain Hank Quinlan.

#2A -Harry Lime’s Entrance. The Third Man (1949)

Director: Carol Reed

Quite possibly, the best, most clever and efficient entrance in film. With only a pair of shoes peeking beneath deep alcove shadows and betrayed by Harry’s Calico cat. And even more with the echo of retreating, running footsteps. But, it is those few seconds when we see Harry’s face and smile where a very large piece of the puzzle of Harry Lime is revealed in a stream of light!

#1 Minnesota Fats. The Hustler (1961)

10 Perfect Cinematic Moments – Part II http://wp.me/pxXPC-9C7  Thanks to my loyal contributor Kevin aka Jack Deth! @fististhoughts

There’s a reason why I chose this film long ago as my first guest post and critique for Ruth and this site. And this clip, though brief lays out Paul Newman and his “Fast Eddie” Felson’s immediate future in no uncertain terms. There’s no disagreement that Jackie Gleason, rarely known for drama delivers with amazing calm and confidence as “Minnesota Fats” as he sees shots invisible to others as he waltzes around the pool table!

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Check out Ted & my Top 20 Perfect Cinematic Moments


Agree? Disagree? Have A Personal Choice? The Floor Is Open For Discussion! 

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? 

Presenting the Small Roles… Big Performances Blogathon!

Welcome to FlixChatter’s
SMALL ROLES…. BIG PERFORMANCES blog-a-thon!

The idea of this blog-a-thon is to…

Shine a spotlight on the ‘unsung heroes’ if you will, the overlooked performers who add so much richness & entertainment value to the film no matter how brief their appearance is, but yet they don’t get the credit they so deserve.

You can read the full blogathon guidelines here.

I apologize if I’m not being clear about the date of when the post is supposed to go live. It’s no biggie though, I’m just thrilled of the turnout of this blogathon and seeing people turn the spotlight on a lot of talented-yet-underrated actors.

FlixChatter’s contributor Becky (aka PrairieGirl)’s and frequent commenter Dave W (aka Daveackackattack) are also participating. Check out their posts below, as well as one from yours truly:

James Purefoy in A Knight’s Tale + James Marsden in Enchanted & Superman Returns Stephen Graham in This Is England + Stacy Edwards in The Company of Men
Don Cheadle in Devil in a Blue Dress

Here are the full participants in ALPHABETICAL ORDER:

Thanks so much everyone for taking part! 

P.S. I’ll still be taking submissions all week long so if you want to take part, just drop the link in the comments below and I’ll add it to the list!


Please help spread the word around via Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. and if you have Twitter, please use hashtag #smallrolesbigperformances to help promote the event!

‘Small Roles… Big Performances’ Blog-a-thon!

Hello, hello!!

Summer is winding down as August comes to a close… but hey, there are still plenty of Autumn movies to look forward to! In fact, more smaller-budgeted but with more character-driven fares featuring ‘bigger’ performances are often released in the Fall/Winter months, though of course there’s always exceptions to such a rule.

Well, like I mentioned in my Movie Questionnaire post yesterday, I’ve been pondering about doing a blog-a-thon for a while. I have only done ONE blog-a-thon in my 3 years of blogging, that was the Gregory Peck birthday bash last April. Well this one it’s going to be entirely different. It’s sort of inspired by my almost 2-year-old post of seven talented actors who deserve more leading roles and also by Encore Entertainment‘s 90s Essential Performances Showdowns, but this time I’d like to shine the spotlight on performances by under-appreciated actors.

I think the title SMALL ROLES…. BIG PERFORMANCES is pretty self-explanatory but here’s what I have in mind:

  • Highlight a performance from an actor [classics or contemporary] in a supporting role or cameo, it can be as short as five-minutes, as long as that particular scene is memorable and/or makes an impression on you.
  • I’d ask that you choose a performance that was NOT nominated for major awards and as much as possible choose an actor that isn’t generally well-known, the more obscure the better!
  • You could choose to do a write-up of ONE or several (up to three to keep things from being too long) performances. It’s up to you how long you’d like it to be, I don’t want to restrict you if you are passionate about a particular scene, but I think 150 – 400 words is ideal. Write why you love that particular scene and how it’s touched you, be as specific as you’d like to be and you could even elaborate on the actor or share some trivia about the movie in relation to that performance.
  • I recommend using clips/photos/quotes as you see fit. I LOVE what Sati does with her weekly scene spotlight, but feel free to add your own spin to it 😀
  • Let me know in the comments or email me [address below] if you’d like to participate, and I will add your post link to the main blog-a-thon post here. If you don’t have a blog but would like to participate, you can email your write-up and I’ll create a post here along with submissions from FlixChatter’s contributors.
  • Deadline: I’m hoping to have the blog-a-thon post be up on Monday, October 1st so please email me your link to rtmaramis@yahoo[dot]com by Friday, September 28.

The idea of this blog-a-thon is to shine a spotlight on the ‘unsung heroes’ if you will, the overlooked performers who add so much richness/entertainment value to the film no matter how brief their appearance is, but yet they don’t get the credit they so deserve.

P.S. I haven’t had a chance to create banners for this blog-a-thon yet, I will let you know when those become available.


I hope you all would take part in this. Please help spread the word, the more the merrier!

Scene Spotlight: ‘The Grand Entrance’ – The Count of Monte Cristo

Hello, welcome to the first edition of Scene Spotlight. I was looking at this old post I did back when this blog first started, where I list 20 movie scenes I could watch over and over again, and I thought why not make it a regular post? I’m thinking a couple of times a month.

To start things off, I just picked a random movie that somehow had three actors I love who are grossly underused in Hollywood: Jim Caviezel, Guy Pierce and a very young Henry Cavill (who already looks poised to be Superman one day). Interesting that Caviezel was once considered for the Superman role in Superman Returns before Brandon Routh was cast.

The Count of Monte Cristo is a remake of the Alexander Dumas’ tale by the same name. Edmond Dantes (Caviezel), a sailor who is falsely accused of treason by his best friend Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce), who wants Dantes’ girlfriend Mercedes for himself. Dantes is imprisoned on the island prison of Chateau d’If for 13 years, where he plots revenge against those who betrayed him. With the help of another prisoner, a priest (Richard Harris), he escapes the island and proceeds to transform himself into the wealthy Count of Monte Cristo as part of his plan to exact revenge.

One of my favorite scene is Dantes’ dramatic entrance as the new ‘Count’ flying down from a hot air balloon amidst a spectacular fireworks display on his estate. The tall, dark and handsome Caviezel looks striking and regal in his opulent robe as he strides down the path to greet his guest. It’s kind of sentimental, even corny, but it just works! I couldn’t find the exact scene on youtube, but it starts at around 06:55 on the clip below. 

Caviezel_CountMonteCristoThe grossly-underrated Caviezel makes for a convincing and sympathetic flawed hero, whilst Pierce plays the devious villain with aplomb. Their relationship from friend to foe is fascinating to watch. At times Pierce is a bit over the top but still fun to watch. It’s also got a great supporting cast: Richard Harris as the priest who lets Dantes in on the treasure, and Luis Guzmán as the count’s right hand man provides comic relief.

I wonder if Mel Gibson saw this movie before he cast Caviezel as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. In the beginning of the clip above, he definitely has the right look to play the Savior! Though Cristo isn’t a “Christian” movie, yet it has the underlying theme is that ‘vengeance is Lord’s’: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” – Romans 12:19.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely a poignant and entertaining period swashbuckling flick that warrant repeated viewings!


What do you think of this movie and/or this particular scene?

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 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.

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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?