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.

Akira

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.

Goodfellas

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

monsters-inc

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.

Trainspotting

Clubbing to Blondie.

transpotting

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…

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Saving Private Ryan


Viewed – 28 April 2010  Blu-ray

I wouldn’t say I am a fan of war movies or movies that try to depict battles in history, but a chosen few can appeal, if they have that something special.  Braveheart is one, Full Metal Jacket another, and this, one of the most acclaimed World War II movies of all time, is another.  Why?  Probably because, unlike the recent Hurt Locker, its realistic depiction doesn’t alienate the viewer with an overly documentary approach.  This is still a movie, and as such certainly one of the most engrossing and rewarding war movies ever made.

Directed by the (almost always) excellent Steven Spielberg, this stars (at the time) heavy weight acting talent Tom Hanks as Captain Miller whose mission after surviving the Omaha Beach Landings (surely one of the greatest cinematic openings in movie history), is to track down a missing-in-action Private Ryan whose three brothers are all reported as killed, and the U.S. Army want to send him home to save his mother any further grief.  This mission divides the team of soldiers assigned to accompany Miller into enemy occupied France, as some think its suicide to risk their lives for one man.  Yet as the men bond during their various encounters with the German army, they come to realise the true meaning of war and the mission as a whole.

Stunningly shot with a ridiculous attention to detail, some superb battle sequences, and most importantly a cast of recognisable faces (Tom Sizemore, Giovanni Ribisi, Matt Damon etc) all delivering excellent performances, and this one ticks just about everything in the book.  The emotion and the unflinching horrors of war may be a little too much for some viewers, as this, like Spielberg’s earlier Schindler’s List tackles the subject with maturity, meaning that yes, sometimes its disturbing, heart-breaking and bloody – but above all else – it is brilliant viewing.

The Blu-ray is something to behold.  The detail on display is astonishing, making it definitely up there with the best I’ve seen so far, and the sound, in DTS HD Master Audio is thundering and crisp, and will breathe new life into any surround system.  Extras-wise we have a wealth of featurettes, including footage of the war itself, behind the scenes stuff and interviews, all on a separate disk.  Which makes this one package well worth your money.

Verdict:  5 /5