Scenes that make the movie

I’ve been thinking about this idea for a post.  Ten memorable scenes from some of my favourite movies of all time, or simply great moments that make a particular movie going experience stick in my head.  This may become a continuing series as I recall other great moments…but for now, here are ten stand out moments from great movies:  Minor spoilers.


Teddy bears & hallucinations.

Akira Gif

As a telepathic Kaneda post-brush with an infected child of the Akira experiment, recovers in hospital, he begins to experience terrifying hallucinations where teddy bears and toys comes to life as his powers start to manifest in horrifying ways.  One of the defining moments of this complex and ground-breaking Anime.

An America Werewolf In London

Stick to the road

AAWIL Moores

Two back packers after stumbling into local watering hole The Slaughtered Lamb are ushered back out into the night, with simply the warning of ‘stay on the road, keep clear of the moores’ – which they subsequently ignore and are soon stalked by a blood thirsty werewolf in John Landis’ still superb 1984 horror classic.

Blue Velvet

In Dreams

Blue Dean

Amateur detective Kyle MacLachlan gets a little too close to nut-job mobster Dennis Hopper who takes him for a visit to his cross-dressing neighbourhood friend Dean Stockwell, who lip-syncs to Roy Orbinson’s timeless classic in possibly one of David Lynch’s most freaky and brilliant scenes.

Boogie Nights

Disco montage

Boogie Nights

As former nobody Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) rises to infamy in the seventies porn movie industry, we are treated to this fabulous disco montage, cut seamlessly with various shots of Dirk ‘in action’ or receiving awards and culminating in a wonderfully choreographed dance number with fellow stars Reed Rothchild (John C Reilly) and Roller-girl (Heather Graham).

Eyes Wide Shut

The secret sex party

eyes wide shut

Only in a Stanley Kubrick movie can a high society sex orgy come across as creepy and surreal.  The master film maker in probably his most misunderstood work, presents the viewer with a secret society that Tom Cruise manages to sneak inside of and witness the debauchery of most-likely high profile dignitaries with various high class call girls.  All to a haunting, incredibly eerie score.


Paranoia, drugs and guns

goodfellas paranoid

In the final act of the movie an increasingly paranoid Ray Liotta, struggles to juggle family responsibilities with fencing guns for Robert DeNiro and avoiding what he thinks is an FBI helicopter during the day from hell.  Expertly edited for maximum tension and intensity by the grand master Martin Scorsese.

Monsters Inc.

A chase through the doors


After discovering the main villain’s evil scheme, Billy Crystal’s motor-mouthed Mike and John Goodman’s lovable Sully are chased by Steve Buscemi’s dastardly Randall into the inner workings of the Monsters Inc. facility and through a plethora of doors into the human world.  Exciting, inventive and visually stunning.

Pulp Fiction

Jack Rabbit Slims

pulp gif

In a mob movie with pop-culture quoting wise guys and a soundtrack to die for, who’d have thought one of the best scenes would be a night out between John Travolta’s mob hitman and gangsters-mol Uma Thurman?  Culminating in the world famous Twist Contest.  Sharp dialogue, a highly memorable setting, and an after-math that segway’s into probably the other best scene in this movie.

Saving Private Ryan

Omaha Beach Landing

After visiting the final resting place of hundreds of soldiers, an elderly veteran recalls his experience with tears in his eyes – switch to the shocking beach onslaught in Omaha in 1944 as thousands of troops fight against impossible odds.  A stunning opening to one of the greatest WWII movies ever made, with star (Tom Hanks) and director (Steven Spielberg) on blistering form.


Clubbing to Blondie.


Taking a break from ripping people off and doing drugs, Ewan McGregor’s Renton finds himself on a night out with friends, hitting the clubs and listening to Heaven 17 and Blondie (or Sleeper doing a marvellous version of Atomic), where he meets Diane (Kelly MacDonald) and leads to a montage of sex, alcohol and pulse-pounding music in Danny Boyle’s break-out gem.

Do you agree with my list?  Have favourite scenes of your own?  Leave your comments below or link to your own lists…


The Kubrick Project: Part Four

So now we come to what is probably the director’s most misunderstood work…

Eyes Wide Shut  (1999)

As a swan song for an acclaimed director, especially one of such grandeur as Kubrick, his final film was always going to be a bitter pill to swallow.  His final film?  Stanley Kubrick is dead?  This can’t be!  So Eyes Wide Shut in my opinion became a victim of its own hype as much as its legacy to the great director’s body of work.

Pairing (at the time) heavy weight real-life husband and wife Nicole Kidman & Tom Cruise as a high society couple on the brink of collapse, where Kidman’s bitter and unhappy stay-at-home wife spills out all her past longing and regrets during one drug-influenced argument, forces respected doctor Cruise to attempt to find himself in that same feeling of desire and temptation like his wife had confessed, therefore getting psychological revenge without actually being unfaithful.

This complex exploration of relationships, the values of marriage, monogamy and desire was wrongly hyped as some sort of dirty movie during its publicity, with a focus on the glossy Hollywood couple shedding all their inhibitions and going native for their adoring fans.  Of course as this is a Kubrick film, that is only a tiny part of the story, and really the nudity, eroticism and sexually-charged atmosphere are played down, with more of a focus on jealousy, mysterious secret societies (the hierogamy / Freemason inspired mansion orgy), and the dangers of straying from the path.

Stylistically and in the choice of music, this still feels very much like a Stanley Kubrick film, despite the 12 year gap between this and Full Metal Jacket.  I find it fascinating, dream-like and a bit surreal (some of the quieter moments feel like a David Lynch movie), and throughout its beautiful to look at with some of Kubrick’s best cinematography stealing the show.  I also understand why its come in for the amount of negativity that it has – it was marketed all wrong, its not really a film that falls into any particular genre – its not sexy, or thrilling, but more thought provoking and gently eerie – and really apart from Kidman’s cruel vocal confession, the acting is subdued and nobody really comes away particularly impressive – but then again, this was more about the mood and the look and the things we don’t see – the mystery of  it all, and in that respect it triumphs.  Give it a chance and it’s intricacies will be revealed.


The special edition houses a for the first time ever fully anamorphic, wide screen and digitally remastered version of the film (completely uncensored here in the UK) in 1.78:1 ratio.  The picture seems a bit soft and lacking in detail, but the grand cinematography still impresses.

We also get a second disk with several exhaustive documentaries not just on the movie (which sadly is only briefly explored) but also on the life and work of the director himself, with interviews from fellow directors as well as Cruise, Kidman and Sydney Pollock.  Overall a good package.

Click to enlarge images (contains nudity):