The first essential movie of 2017? Oh yes.
The first essential movie of 2017? Oh yes.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Jack Rabbit Slims
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…
Viewed – 29 May 2009 Blu-ray
This was one of my favourite films of the nineties, a decade that birthed some truly stunning movies like Terminator 2, Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction. Films I’d place in an all time top ten if I could be bothered doing one. Danny Boyle’s clever and assured adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s controversial novel hit the screen like a bomb exploding and rejuvenated the UK film industry that previously seemed trapped in stuffy costume dramas and rom-coms starring Hugh Grant. This brought a gritty but ultimately energising style to cinema audiences not seen before in a UK film, and launched the careers of some of the UKs best talents … most notably Ewan McGregor.
On repeated viewing, it’s surreal imagery and clever camera work seems a little subdued, so spoilt are we these days with film makers of considerable talent making almost anything imaginable, possible on screen. Back in the mid nineties though, this was fresh and ice-cool, with a rock / pop soundtrack to match. Danny Boyle’s skill of matching iconic imagery with iconic music still works as well today as it ever did and the moments I remember loving so much and making the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, still have a very similar effect. The darker moments were never fun viewing I’ll admit, but they seem to hamper the film’s energy despite their necessity to avoid the glamorisation of drug addiction, and leave a bad taste in my mouth (the baby sequence in particular) but thats picking fault in what is essentially one of the bravest and most unique film’s ever made.
This Blu-ray release from Film Four boasts a very clear and immediately improved picture over that of TV, VHS and possibly DVD (I have never owned this on DVD) and is accompanied by DTS and Dolby soundtracks both in 5.1 that is a little disappointing when many high definition releases are showcasing DTS Master Audio and Dolby True HD. Thankfully such a pitfall is made up for in the wealth of extra features, including a cast and crew commentary, plenty of behind the scenes and look-back featurettes, and lots of involvement from all involved. The menus are particularly pleasing and are influenced cleverly by the memorable ‘choose life’ monologue that so characterised the film.
Verdict: 4 /5
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