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 πŸ˜‰

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!

Bale – always the second banana?

I read this article on Yahoo yesterday on why Johnny Depp is the only one on the poster of Public Enemies, but not Bale. The funny thing is, I’ve been wondering about that ever since I saw the first trailer. Sure, Depp is undoubtedly a very bankable star, but Bale just came out of the monstrous hit that was The Dark Knight, so at the very least, shouldn’t the two of them be on the poster??

Speaking of the Batman sequel, it reminds me how everyone was talking about Heath Ledger (even before his death) and raved about his performance as the Joker. It became even more so after Ledger’s death, to the point where I thought the movie might as well be called the Joker. I’m not saying it’s not without merit, Ledger did turn in an incredible performance which deserved all the kudos, but so did Bale. I think his portrayal as the vulnerable, tormented hero was equally powerful, and the success of the film rode a lot on his skillful performance as well.

But the fact of the matter is, the powers that be obviously thinks Bale’s image doesn’t sell. It’s something I can’t put my finger on because I think he deserves to be as bankable as those of his caliber. Y’see, I like Bale not only for his excellent acting but because he generally stays out of the limelight and is a devoted father and family man. He’s also a dedicated actor who doesn’t mind suffering for his art. Not a lot of actors is willing to drop 1/3 of his body weight for a role in a tiny-budget flix, which is exactly what he did for The Machinist (look at his sickeningly skinny frame here). He’s known to play dark, tortured souls and shuns rom-coms or chick flix (more power to him!). Alas, Bale isn’t exactly a ‘likable’ guy, he comes across pretty aloof or even intimidating in interviews, perhaps even too serious for his own good. Then there’s his foul rant at the DP on the Terminator Salvation set which got leaked to the public. He’s since apologized for his inexcusable behavior, but does he come out unscathed? My gut tells me his reputation might not be as resilient as say, Robert Downey Jr.’s (who’s got into more trouble than one could count, yet could still open a flix on account on his name alone).

On most indie/smaller flix however, Bale frequently got top billing: American Psycho, Equillibrium, The Machinist, Rescue Dawn, Harsh Times. And in various supporting roles, he’s often what you’d call a ‘scene stealer,’ even with limited screen time. I.e. in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, I sympathized with his Mandras character much more than Nic Cage’s and wished he’d been the lead.

Bale as John Rolfe
Bale as John Rolfe

Same with The New World (the story about Pocahontas), I bought the DVD solely for Bale’s 20-minute performance as John Rolfe, which was more heartfelt and moving than Colin Farrell tried to be in the whole 2-hours-plus.

In any case, here’s a list of major studio flix where he’s relegated to ‘second banana’ status:

The Prestige: Second to Hugh Jackman
3:10 to Yuma: Second to Russell Crowe
Dark Knight: Second to Heath Ledger
Public Enemies: Second to Johnny Depp

Edit: Since this post was published, Bale has signed on to do The Fighter as boxing trainer Dick Ecklund, where he might again play second fiddle to Mark Wahlberg as “Irish” Mickey Ward.

Who knows if this remains a continuing trend, but as long as he only cares about turning a good performance regardless of who’s getting top billing, I’ll continue to watch him.

So, do you agree of my assessment of Mr. Bale? Please chime in below.