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 Hangover

Viewed – 12 March 2010  Blu-ray

Heard some good things about this one, and the trailer was great… a group of friends wake up after a bachelor party in Las Vegas only to discover they can’t remember anything from the previous night, and to top it all, they have lost the groom.  So begins a frantic quest to retrace their steps and figure out just what happened before it’s too late.  With the clock ticking, a wedding to turn up to in one piece, the three friends discover alarming event after alarming event and this viewer was smiling and laughing all the way through.

Bradley Cooper leads the band of merry idiots, one a straight-laced dentist, the other a nerdy guy with a beard, and himself a school teacher, and despite some outrageous situations, I found myself totally believing in these likable characters.  The comedy is not laid on too thick (and thankfully doesn’t rely on tiolet humour), and it isn’t laugh out loud funny, but it remains very entertaining, vibrant stuff, even if at some points I was left wondering exactly how they got into particular situations in the first place which isn’t fully explained.  Heather Graham is woefully under-used as a stripper who gets caught up in proceedings, and support characters are reduced to stereotypes such as the asian gangsters –  yet we also have some spot on movie referrences and a concept that does at least keep you guessing.  As ever with movies set in sin city, this is a treat for the eyes, especially on Blu-ray where the HD visuals really jump out of the screen, and the soundtrack is fun if not particularly memorable.  I must also say a cameo from Mike Tyson is priceless.

So if you’re after a fun, undemanding but likable comedy – this will do the job perfectly.

Verdict:  4 /5

Boogie Nights

Viewed – 27 February 2010 Blu-ray

This came out when the industry was still buzzing about Quentin Tarantino as the new hotshot wonder kid of Hollywood, and I admit to originally sitting down to this expecting another Pulp Fiction. Although the two movies have similarities, this is the more complex and rewarding of the two, even if on a personal taste level I still consider Pulp my all time favourite.

Mark Wahlberg, at the time still best known for his brief rap career and Calvin Cline ads, plays a kid frustrated with his own life, working in the kitchen of a local club, where he gets discovered by porn mogul Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), having heard rumours of Mark’s oversized ‘appendage’. Before long he is whisked away from a dull life living with his parents, shouted at by his mother and admiring Bruce Lee to become Dirk Diggler, the new big name of the adult film industry. There he meets a colourful band of characters, all with their own problems, from Amber Waves’ failed mother turned porn actress to school girl Rollergirl (Heather Graham), who hides her adult film career behind a mask of school exams and cute innocence.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s second movie (loosely inspired by the life of porn actor John Holmes) is a revelation and a stunning showcase for his talent that would go on to win him much acclaim with Magnolia and There Will Be Blood. Here though we see someone delivering a boyhood fantasy of a movie, yet leaving behind much of the movie-geek self indulgence that has blighted Tarantino’s career after Pulp. With an obvious affection for his characters, we are treated to a movie that is about a lot more than the porn industry of the seventies / eighties as we explore these very complex people, with special mention for Julianne Moore as Amber Waves who’s tragic, uneasy performance balancing her life in a seedy world with that of the desire to be a mother to her estranged son, is heart breaking – considering that normally this actress bores me. There’s also an incredible comeback from Burt Reynolds as Jack Horner, the mentor / father figure to Wahlberg’s Dirk Diggler, which garnered him plenty of recognition, even if it will probably be his swansong. Wahlberg I must say is also brilliant, playing naive and inexperienced whilst also being someone you can’t help but like. He’s also uncomfortably funny, a tone this movie excels at throughout as you watch, cringing as each character goes through humiliation after humiliation, whilst at the same time blissfully ignorant. Add to this probably the most memorable soundtrack I have ever heard in a movie, and well, what more can I say?

I can count on the fingers of one hand movies that work on pretty much every level, and this is one of them. 

The Blu-ray from Newline is very pleasing, the picture looks like it was shot only recently not 13 years ago, and to complement an impressive visual performance, the DTS HD Master Audio fills the room, the iconic music grabbing you immediately. Extras-wise we have a very listenable commentary by the director, and another from most of the cast and the director again. Other than that we have a bunch of deleted scenes, a trailer and a couple of music videos. Not too shabby.

Verdict: 5 /5