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Posted: Saturday, October 2, 2010 3:04 am | Updated: 2:47 am, Sat Oct 9, 2010.

Sure, it's easy to rattle off a list of your favorite movies -- but what about your favorite individual scenes? This can be tricky, because even your favorite films don't necessarily have a specific scene that stands out above all others. And I'm not talking about scenes you "like"; I'm talking about the scenes that make you want to throw on a DVD at 3 a.m. when you're tired and drunk and slovenly but can't bear the thought of going to bed before you catch just that one scene... for the 250th time.

There's a lot to cover here with my top 20, so let's get right to it, with one rule in mind: Only one scene per movie. Otherwise my list would just be a ranking of various segments from "Jaws" and "Glengarry Glen Ross," and what's the fun in that?

Heather's picks (Coming soon)

Dan's picks (Coming soon)

Rich's picks

Edit: YouTube links now included for scenes with no strong adult content. Some others are available on YouTube, but readers of an appropriate age should search them out for themselves.


1) Steven Spielberg's action set-pieces (1975-84)

* Quint's Last Stand ("Jaws")

* The Opening of the Ark ("Raiders of the Lost Ark")

* Thuggee Ceremony ("Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom")

After the shark leaps onto the deck of the Orca, the grizzled sea captain Quint puts up an epic struggle as he slowly, inevitably, slips into the beast's jaws.

Upon opening the Ark of the Covenant, ghostly specters are unleashed and the Nazis are swept up in the fire and fury of God's wrath.

Indy and his companions discover the entrance to an ancient Thuggee temple, and witness an unholy act of human sacrifice.

I could try to choose between them, but what's the point? These sequences, all filmed in the prime of Spielberg's career, are the scenes that first made movies come alive for me. And in the 20-plus years since, I haven't seen anything else even approach the kind of electricity and genuine sense of danger Spielberg was able to generate here. Pure, unbridled movie magic.

2) Who is Keyser Soze? ("The Usual Suspects," Dir. Bryan Singer)

Don't know why I didn't see it coming, but I didn't. It remains the most effective and shocking twist ending of all time, and no matter how many times I see it, I'm still transfixed. As Det. David Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) sits in that unfamiliar police station, surrounded by all the pieces of the puzzle as they slowly start to come together in time to John Ottman's commanding score, we see some of the most dazzling editing tricks ever pulled.

3) "Sodomy" ("Meet the Feebles," Dir. Peter Jackson)

Oh, how could I not? I love to see new and creative and just flat-out bold feats of filmmaking, so of course I continue to be stunned speechless every time I watch this climactic sequence from Jackson's X-rated Muppets satire. It's an extended machine-gun rampage committed by an obese hippo set to the tune of a song called "Sodomy" performed by a gay fox, so call it base and stupid if you will -- but you can't deny that it's one hell of a memorable way to end a movie.

4) "Wilkommen" ("Cabaret," Dir. Bob Fosse)

A close choice between this and "Mein Herr," but I'll give this opening musical number (featuring Joel Grey in his Oscar-winning performance as the impish Emcee) the edge simply because it sets such a perfect tone for the rest of the film -- one of bawdy joviality and decadence and complacency, but tinged with a sense of impending doom. Plus, it's just so damn catchy.

5) Revenge of the Giant Face ("Inglourious Basterds," Dir. Quentin Tarantino)

Man, do I love me some dead Nazis. Note that this entry refers not to the entire chapter of the same title, but specifically to the sequence of shots that begins with the Bear Jew (Eli Roth) launching his attack on the screening room guards, and ends with the theater being blown to bits. What occurs in between is, technically speaking, the most impressive work of Tarantino's career -- a blistering combination of cinematic homage (DePalma, I'm sure, is beaming with pride), rapid-fire editing (RIP, Sally Menke) and impeccably staged mise-en-scene that leaves you feeling charged.

6) Prologue/"One" ("Magnolia," Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

Actually two scenes, encompassing roughly the first 15 minutes of Anderson's kaleidoscopic character study. The prologue, narrated by master illusionist Ricky Jay, uses three stories of impossible coincidence to demonstrate fate's role in the universe. This jumps immediately to the opening title and a quick-edit introduction to the film's main players set to Aimee Mann's rendition of "One (Is the Loneliest Number)." A movie geek can't help but be overwhelmed by the sheer mastery of technique that Anderson displays here.

7) Ricky Roma's Rant ("Glengarry Glen Ross," Dir. James Foley)

Most people would cite Blake's (Alec Baldwin) "brass balls" speech as the best scene, but I've always been more tickled by the pride-obliterating spanking Roma (Al Pacino) gives to Williamson (Kevin Spacey) after his childish stupidity costs Roma a real estate sale. Mesmerizing and infinitely quotable, it remains cinema's most awesome profane rant.

8) Finished ("There Will Be Blood," Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

The single most insane thing I've ever seen in a serious motion picture. The whole "I drink your milkshake!" spiel was run into the ground by people who never even saw the movie, but in context, it's absolutely inspired. (And, incidentally, is taken directly from a transcript of a 1924 congressional hearing on the Teapot Dome scandal. The more you know...) In an Oscar-winning performance as an oilman driven mad by greed and misanthropy, Daniel Day-Lewis sells the whole thing like no other actor possibly could. This last, Biblically epic scene -- in which Day Lewis' Daniel Plainview has his final, long-overdue showdown with Paul Dano's conniving preacher Eli Sunday -- is merely the finest moment in a perfect film.

9) Opening Shootout ("The Killer," Dir. John Woo)

Operatic in tone and movement, this beautiful, lyrical action sequence is hands-down the highlight of Woo's illustrious career. Before he started embarrassing himself stateside, Woo was the king of the Hong Kong action picture. Watch this scene and you'll immediately see why -- it's like Sam Peckinpah decided to do a blood-soaked homage to Douglas Sirk's "Magnificent Obsession."

10) The Killer Inside ("Sleepaway Camp," Dir. Robert Hiltzik)

It is my primary goal in life to get as many willing souls as possible to experience the cult-movie nirvana that is "Sleepaway Camp," so I'll try to keep this entry spoiler-free. It must suffice to say that Hiltzik took what could have been a dime-a-dozen "Friday the 13th" ripoff and turned it into something infinitely more creative and unsettling. This is thanks largely to the final scene, in which the summer-camp killer is revealed in a manner that is not only unnecessarily nasty and mean-spirited, but also hilariously bold. One of the all-time great shock endings, it will leave you feeling delightfully dirty. DO. NOT. MISS. IT.

11) Massacre ("The Wild Bunch," Dir. Sam Peckinpah)

"Bonnie and Clyde" was a vital precursor, but cinematic violence truly exploded onto the screen with the release of Peckinpah's post-western ballad. The climax is legendary -- often imitated but never equaled -- as the Wild Bunch embrace their fate in a gory showdown with the Mexican army. Simply beautiful.

12) "Everybody Knows" ("Exotica," Dir. Atom Egoyan)

Only Egoyan could turn a striptease sequence into an almost unbearably sad meditation on guilt and loss (he's aided by a particularly seductive and ambiguous Leonard Cohen song). It isn't until after the film is over that you fully realize what, exactly, was going on in this scene, and in retrospect the emotional weight hits you like a ton of bricks. I'm seriously tearing up as I write this.

13) Showdown at House of Blue Leaves ("Kill Bill: Volume 1," Dir. Quentin Tarantino)

Nobody does an extended action scene quite like Tarantino. This is his most famous and most elaborate, as Uma Thurman's vengeful Bride takes out not only the Crazy 88, but also Chiaki Kuriyama's mace-wielding schoolgirl body-guard Gogo Yubari, and her primary target, Lucy Liu's yakuza boss O-Ren Ishii -- all in magnificently gory detail. Plus, martial arts master Gordon Liu (no relation) makes anything awesome.

14) Swordfight on the Cliffs of Insanity ("The Princess Bride," Dir. Rob Reiner)

This initial meeting between Indigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and the Man in Black (Cary Elwes) offers some more of the best swordplay in movie history, and also some of the greatest banter. Used to have fun re-enacting it as a kid.

15) The Ink and Paint Club ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit?," Dir. Robert Zemeckis)

My brain goes into geek overload whenever I watch Eddie Valiant's (Bob Hoskins) entrance into the 'toon-centric Ink and Paint Club, the centerpiece of which is a perfectly rendered tit-for-tat between Donald and Daffy Ducks. The two become increasingly antagonistic as they duel their way through Franz Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2," and if you're listening carefully, there's no denying the scene's shockingly subversive racial overtones. Talk about bold.

16) One-Way Ride ("The Long Good Friday," Dir. John Mackenzie)

British crime boss Harold Shand (Hoskins again, in an immortal performance) finds himself being held at gunpoint in the back of a car by revenge-minded IRA assassins. Mackenzie's camera stays still, fixated on Shand's face as he slowly begins to realize that all his strength, all his power and influence and brute ferocity, are now meaningless. Here's a man who has lost everything to his own arrogance, and the range of volatile emotions that run across Hoskins' panicked --and, at last, resigned -- face is hypnotic to behold.

17) Inquirer Celebration ("Citizen Kane," Dir. Orson Welles)

"Citizen Kane" is genuinely one of the most entertaining, flat-out fun movies ever made, and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. This is basically "pick a scene," but in the end my vote goes to the celebration sequence that takes place just after Welles' media mogul Charles Foster Kane has purchased the top staff of a competing newspaper. Welles' revolutionary, virtuoso techniques are on full display here, and that song ("There is a man... A certain man...") is beyond catchy. And now I can't get it out of my head.

18) Louie's Restaurant ("The Godfather," Dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

No other scene in the history of cinema has generated tension quite like this one. As Al Pacino's young Michael Corleone comes back to the table to kill Sollozzo and McCluskey -- essentially making a decision to forfeit his life to crime -- the mix of fear and anger and doubt on his face is the stuff of truly great acting.

19) Opening Credits ("Chinatown," Dir. Roman Polanski)

It's just the title cards, played out over the first piece in Jerry Goldsmith's legendary, hauntingly romantic score. But in some magical way, this low-key prelude captures the very essence of the film. I've seen the movie perhaps 20 to 30 times, and still, no other single scene speaks to me -- in that poetic, completely indefinable way -- like this one does. Go figure, huh?

20) Ship's Mast ("Death Proof," Dir. Quentin Tarantino)

Like I said, Tarantino does an action sequence like no one's business. In this unrelenting 20-minute chase scene, stunt woman Zoe Bell (playing herself) lies strapped to the hood of a muscle car, going at incredible speeds with only a belt to keep her secure as a maniac tries to run the car off the road -- an innocent game of Ship's Mast gone horribly wrong. And then the tables are turned, as the hunter becomes the hunted in an amped-up girl-power finale. In terms of stunt logistics, this may well be the most impressive action scene ever filmed.

And there ya have it.

Care to share some of your picks? Do any of mine make you want to stab me in the eye and set me on fire? Whatever the case, don't be shy.

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  • Chris Wallace posted at 2:29 pm on Fri, Nov 5, 2010.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    Is this even active any more?
    Just saw ZOMBIELAND again last night... and I gotta say: that opening scene was pretty clever. Heck, that film had a few great scenes.

  • Chris Wallace posted at 11:15 pm on Sun, Oct 10, 2010.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    Can I add a couple more?
    1) The pitchfork scene from The Crazies
    2) The bank heist from Dark Night was particularly brilliant IMO. A close 2nd. would be "who wants to see a magic trick?" from the same film.

  • Elizabeth Wallis posted at 5:36 pm on Sat, Oct 9, 2010.

    Liz Wallis Posts: 10

    Stephen - I must confess that I haven't seen most of the movies you mentioned. I laughed when I saw that you included the "brilliant anti-comedy" Freddie Got Fingered.

    City Lights sounds intriguing, love beautiful endings.

    I am a big fan of Blade Runner. Great movie.

  • Chris Wallace posted at 12:24 am on Sat, Oct 9, 2010.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    "And man, those friggin' Wheelers still haunt my dreams. "Return to Oz" is so vastly superior to "Wizard of Oz" that it's genuinely pathetic. Can someone explain to me again why our culture has continued to latch onto "Wizard" as some sort of holy relic of Lost Hollywood? It's a sham, and it's time for us to let go."

    For one- Judy Garland.
    Second was the uses of black & white, and color. Color in this film, IMHO, was very much used as a "gimmick" much the same way that 3D is accused of being a "gimmick" today.

    It was probably groundbreaking for its time, and I really don't think it's fair to compare a film made in the earlier part of the century to a film made in the later part of the century. I couldn't compare 1933's Kong to Peter Jackson's Kong... or Star Wars: ANH to Star Wars Episode 3 (but that's a different set of problems for another discussion).

    Oddly enough tho that I can freely compare the old Clash of the Titans with the new. Weird, isn't it?

  • Chris Wallace posted at 12:14 am on Sat, Oct 9, 2010.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    Jaws, hands down, is one of the best movies ever made. Period. End of story. Jason, you invoked EVERY scene that I wanted to.

    Raiders had many excellent scenes as well- the idol in the beginning, the plane trips overlayed on a map became quite iconic, the fight scene in Cairo which concludes with Indy shooting the swordsman (impromtu), them Map Room, the fight under the plane, and the desert chase as I have mentioned previously.

    Allow me to bring up a movie from one of my more favorite directors: Robert Zemekis' BACK TO THE FUTURE.
    Marty's first steps into 1955 Hill Valley
    Biff chasing Marty on a makeshift skateboard around town
    The night of the storm, when Marty is at the stop sign and Doc Brown is trying to connect the clock tower.

    Last scene for special mention: Marty returns to 1985 and has to run back to the mall. How many people realize that the name of the mall changed from the Twin Pines Mall in the beginning of the movie to the Lone Pine Mall at the end of the film?

  • Stephen Wiebe posted at 11:20 pm on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Stephen Wiebe Posts: 17

    Oops some of those links weren't right. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTzA_xesrL8 for the Blade Runner one, and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnXNRKjDhY8 for the final showdown from Once Upon a Time in the West.

  • Stephen Wiebe posted at 11:14 pm on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Stephen Wiebe Posts: 17

    Ah you just reminded me of that scene from "The Long Good Friday", that's a good one. Here's some of mine:

    Final showdown from "Once Upon a Time in the West" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW-jSa9_k3M). The opening sequence is pretty great as well (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW-jSa9_k3M).

    Dean Stockwell lip-syncing to "In Dreams" from "Blue Velvet" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH8FEZvaiAI). This scene so perfectly fits this movie.

    Party scene with Robert Blake in "Lost Highway" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT2cJg8lut8). In running for creepiest scene ever.

    "Death is the Road to Awe" final sequence from "The Fountain" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOV9oysI4s0).

    Pastor's speech from "Synecdoche, New York" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HomxX7pmEQI).

    Tiny Dancer from "Almost Famous" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qn3tel9FWU).

    Tears in the rain scene from "Blade Runner" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qn3tel9FWU).

    Chaplin as Hitler dancing with a globe balloon in "The Great Dictator" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJOuoyoMhj8).

    Ending of "City Lights" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpeiPbjDlDs). "You can see now?" Beautiful ending.

    Dawn of Man realization in "2001" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2iiPpcwfCA).

    Booth confession scene between Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski in "Paris, Texas". I won't spoil this for you if you haven't seen it, but this is definitely top 3.

    Oh, and Backward Man from "Freddy Got Fingered" (http://vimeo.com/4102628). ;)

    You guys are reminding me I need to watch "Nashville" again. I remember almost nothing from that movie.

  • Elizabeth Wallis posted at 8:25 pm on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Liz Wallis Posts: 10

    Three more:

    Without a Trace - the ending. Puts a big smile on my face and a tear in my eye. The happiest ending I think I've ever seen.

    Imitation of Life - again the ending. I know its just a soap opera disguised as a movie but I cry every time I watch.

    To Kill a Mockingbird - several wonderful scenes including the new kid over for dinner, the scary Scout trapped in the ham costume, Atticus setting up a chair with lamp outside the jailhouse to keep Tom Robinson safe, but my favorite has to be the scene during the trial when everyone has left the courtroom except the black citizens that are viewing from the balcony and Atticus Finch. When Atticus starts to walk out, the entire balcony stands and a little boy is told a great man is passing by.

  • Jason Wallis posted at 7:37 pm on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    Chris: The opening credits of "Watchmen," set to Dylan's "The Times, They Are A-Changin'," was my No. 21. pick. I swear, I watched that thing 10 times in a row when it was first leaked online. Will Snyder blow our minds with "Superman: The Man of Steel"? I'm thinking it's likely...

    Mom: Yeah, "Nashville" is another one that's pretty much just a three-hour sequence of great scenes. (Released the same year as "Jaws," actually.) "Princess Bride," too.

  • Elizabeth Wallis posted at 5:05 pm on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Liz Wallis Posts: 10

    Am I getting a double post? YES!

  • Elizabeth Wallis posted at 4:59 pm on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Liz Wallis Posts: 10

    I know it was only to be one scene per movie, but I agree Jaws had so many wonderful scenes.

    Also agree with Watchmen opening montage. The song was perfect as well. Loved that movie and that was one of the best opening scenes to a movie ever.

    Jason you should do a special thing for Halloween. I agree more people should see Harper's Island.

    Nashville also had the great scene where Tom Frank (Keith Carradine) tried his usual misogynistic game on Linnea Reese (Lily Tomlin). After making love to a woman he would call another woman while his lover was still in his bed. In the scene where he tries to hurt Linnea this way, she pays no attention to him and he ends up the one getting hurt. Loved it.

    And yes for personal reason I too love the scene in Capricorn One where OJ realizes that he is not going to get out of the dessert alive. Just like I love to watch the Police Squad movies for the same reason, love to see him get hurt and pretend that it is real. Feels good.

    Princess Bride was another movie that has so many great scenes. I especially like when Indigo Montoya finally meets the Six-fingered man who after extending his sword in acceptance of a duel turns and runs.

  • Chris Wallace posted at 3:38 pm on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    BTW- no double posting here.

  • Chris Wallace posted at 3:37 pm on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    the rule was only 1 scene allowed. But I guess I probably fudged it too.

    How about the opening montage from Watchmen?

  • Jason Wallis posted at 4:16 am on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    Is anyone else getting periodic double-posting, or is it my computer?

  • Jason Wallis posted at 2:04 am on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    By the way, regarding your mention of Chrissy Watkins' death from "Jaws": Isn't that movie just wall-to-wall classic scenes? The opening kill, Brody's chat with Mayor Vaughn ("You yell 'Barracuda!'..."), Alex's Kitner's death, Quint's opening monologue ("This shark... Swallow you whole!"), Quint's first meeting with Hooper and them setting sail, Quint catching "something very big," Brody's first encounter with the shark ("You're gonna need a bigger boat," is one of the most oft-misquoted famous lines ever, incidentally), the scar comparison and U.S.S. Indianapolis speech, Hooper in the cage, Quint's last stand, Brody's mano-a-mano showdown with the shark... And these are only the very, very best scenes. Is there a more classically entertaining movie than "Jaws"? The answer is clearly "no."

  • Jason Wallis posted at 1:41 am on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    And man, those friggin' Wheelers still haunt my dreams. "Return to Oz" is so vastly superior to "Wizard of Oz" that it's genuinely pathetic. Can someone explain to me again why our culture has continued to latch onto "Wizard" as some sort of holy relic of Lost Hollywood? It's a sham, and it's time for us to let go.

  • Jason Wallis posted at 1:36 am on Fri, Oct 8, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    "Harper's Island" has a lot of instantly classic scenes -- Cal and Chloe, the game-changing church murder, the "Snap" death (another game-changer), basically anything that takes takes during the bar room sniper scenes, which includes a very fitting and creepy use of the song "Brandy." More people need to see this thing. Maybe with Halloween coming up, I'll do some sort of feature...

    And good call on "Out of Sight." Truly one of the most laugh-out-loud death scenes I've ever seen. Speaking of lols: From "Capricorn One," I'd go for O.J. Simpson's tortured face as he realizes he's about to die a horrible death. Gives me the warm-fuzzies every time.

    "Nashville": The final scene, with "It Don't Worry Me." Cinema's most defining slice of Americana, in all its deferential, ignorant, complacent glory. Perfect bookend to Henry Gibson's faux-patriotic rendition of "200 Years."

  • Elizabeth Wallis posted at 11:39 pm on Thu, Oct 7, 2010.

    Liz Wallis Posts: 10

    Two corrections:
    Night Owl massacre not Night Own
    Return to Oz not Return From Oz

  • Elizabeth Wallis posted at 11:29 pm on Thu, Oct 7, 2010.

    Liz Wallis Posts: 10

    Yes, I love the "silent sleeper" scene in Executive Decision. The look of sheer panic on Kurt Russell's face is perfect. I also love "Make "Em Laugh." You know me too well Jason. I also loved the "I don't want you!" scene in Harper's Island. A few others I would add to my list are:
    "Father, please" scene from Return of the Jedi. I loved how Luke brought about Anakin's salvation.
    Juno's battle in The Descent. She was a character that I loved and hated all at the same time.
    Michael Myers dressed in a sheet and glasses in Halloween. That one scene gave me nightmares for days after I saw the movie.
    The opening scene of Jaws.
    The robbery in Out of Sight with henchman (WB) Bob. So unexpected.
    Capricorn One - the two helicopters moving in (evil) perfect sync with each other as they search for the missing astronauts.
    Introduction of the wheelers from Return From Oz
    Ernie McCracken's victory in Kingpin. Unexpected and very funny.
    Striptease from Nashville. Heartbreaking how much humilation some women will go through just to have a shot at fame and fortune.

  • Jason Wallis posted at 11:36 am on Thu, Oct 7, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    Also, an alternate pick from "When Harry Met Sally": Billy Crystal's talks with Bruno Kirby (at the batting cages, the ballgame, etc.). It's a sharply written film overall, but these scenes are where the film is at its brightest and funniest. I promise, some time soon I'm getting a T-shirt that says "Don't **** with Mr. Zero."

    Also also: "Cell Block Tango" is electrifying. Edges out "We Both Reached for the Gun," which is just flat-out fun.

  • Jason Wallis posted at 11:29 am on Thu, Oct 7, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    Mom! Glad you could join us. I like your picks (and would have included the "Harper's Island" scene if Heather hadn't talked me out of it on the grounds that it's from an extended TV show -- it's still the single best, most cinematic scene ever aired on television). Forgot all about that badass sequence from "Citizen X" (another fine TV movie), and who doesn't love that crazy dance-off from "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"? Along with Donald O'Connor's "Make 'Em Laugh" from "Singin' in the Rain," it's probably my favorite old-school dance sequence. And, if I'm not mistaken, you're also quite fond of the "sleeper" scene from "Executive Decision," yes? There's just something incredibly engaging about a panic-stricken Kurt Russell. I swear, the guy's like some awesome mix of John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, and is criminally under-appreciated.

    Again, sorry for the tangents.

  • Elizabeth Wallis posted at 10:42 am on Thu, Oct 7, 2010.

    Liz Wallis Posts: 10

    Some memorable moments for me are:
    Cal and Chloe's death in Harper's Island
    But you can call me Chief from Chiefs
    (I know these two are TV shows, but Chiefs was a miniseries so I feel that counts as a movie and Harper's Island was a limited series, only 13 episodes, so I feel that it falls into the miniseries catagory as well)
    Ed Exley's discovery of the Night Own massacre in LA Confidential (very realistic)
    Sally's fake orgasm in When Harry Met Sally
    Cellblock Tango in Chicago
    The dance competition during the house-raising from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    When the plane lands and the bomber's wife is apologizing to all the passangers from Airport (broke my heart)
    When the KGB and Soviet police surround Andrei Chikatilo in Citizen X (HBO movie)

  • Jason Wallis posted at 10:39 am on Thu, Oct 7, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    Saw "Spellbinder." Interesting scene in that they followed through with it, but it might have been more effective without Rick Rossovich's horrible acting. I've always liked Tim Daly, though, so that was a plus. Might I suggest you check out "Wicker Man" (the original, not LaBute's laughable remake with Nicolas Cage)?

  • Jason Wallis posted at 1:08 am on Thu, Oct 7, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    I'll check out "Spellbinder." As for "I Spit on Your Grave"... Yeah, no. To be fair, I'd be down for watching the movie if the rape scenes were edited out, so it was just a bunch of sweet, sweet rapist castration. In any case, they're remaking it, but I doubt it will be as hard-edged as the original, much like the lifeless remake of "Last House on the Left" (not that I'm defending the original version of that, either).

    Regarding "Transformers," I'd say less Labuff (I don't care enough to spell his name correctly) and far less ghastly stupid robot banter would go a long way. I've got nothing against watching a bunch of robots destroy each each other and blow stuff up, provided it's exciting and done well. And while the action scenes in the first film are serviceable -- in the second, everything became too incoherent thanks to Bay's increasingly dull cinematic eye -- pretty much everything else just plain sucks. Optimus Prime was pretty cool, though. I'll have to check out the animated movie after all, because wasn't it Orson Welles' last movie (not as a director, of course, although that would have been hilarious)?

    Anyway, I hope something interesting opens against "Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon" or whatever it's called, because I'm not sure I can do it again It'd be one thing if these were 90-minute affairs, but these things are starting to push three hours. A guy can only take so much when the quality robot mayhem is so sparse.

    But then that's just, like, my opinion, man.

  • Chris Wallace posted at 3:39 pm on Wed, Oct 6, 2010.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    SPELLBINDER can be NETFLIX streamed.

    "When he saves young, homeless Miranda (Kelly Preston) from her abusive boyfriend, ruthless attorney Jeff Reed (Tim Daly) learns that until recently, the gorgeous girl was part of a coven of witches -- but he takes her under his wing (and into his bed) anyway. But soon, Jeff discovers that the coven has plans to make Miranda their next human sacrifice, and they don't intend to let a lawyer stand in their way."

    I must admit, tho, that horror isn't my first passion in film. I'm a geek in other avenues.

    However, I have to say that I'm not proud to have watch I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE... but there is one scene- the bathtub scene- between the woman an dthe guy that is just plain... ugh...

    The original Transformers isn't for everyone, and can easily be dismissed as kids' fare to be ignored. However, I have been... content... satisfied... with Bay's films. I usually skip ahead to the "good parts" and watch them. Ironic tho that the films aren't as much about giant robots as they are about Shia LeBeouf. The movies should be called "SHIA LEBEOUF with some Transformers thrown in.

    Lousy robot designs aside, the problem with the films weren't the fault of Bay- but the problems of the writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. They are not penning the 3rd film, and I really want to see whet Ehran Kruger does with it. If nothing elst, part 3 (with its lame *hopefully tentative* title) will be a masterpiece of action and mayhem.

  • Jason Wallis posted at 12:57 am on Wed, Oct 6, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    By the way, you just gave me an idea for a future feature: most haunting/scary movie scenes. I'll wait to post my list, obviously, but as a preview I think my top vote's gotta go to the videotape scene from "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer." By no means one of my "favorite" scenes, as after only two go-rounds I made the decision never to watch it again. But few who have seen it deny that it is hands-down the most disturbing and haunting thing they've ever seen in a movie.

    Sorry, but I love tangents.

  • Jason Wallis posted at 12:54 am on Wed, Oct 6, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    I had neither seen nor heard of "Spellbinder" prior to your post, but I'm intrigued. Hope it's available on DVD.

    And see? This is what Battle Royale is all about -- the passionate defense of opinions that other people may scoff at. I must admit that your inclusion of "Transformers" on such a list made me roll my eyes at first, but now I at least see where you're coming from. Maybe if I'm drunk enough some time I'll pull up the animated movie on YouTube, but for now I'll simply insist that Bay's vision of "Transformers" sucks.

    By the way, what did you think of the sequel, and are you excited about the third one (which probably just had about $10 million tacked onto its budget due to a likely negligence suit -- again, just by the way)?

  • Chris Wallace posted at 9:48 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    There is 1 scene that haunts me even more than Sleepaway Camp" it is from the movie SPELLBINDER. Kelly Preston's boyfriend arrives at the beach with the police to rescue her from the cult that is about to sacrifice her...

    But I'm gonna have to defend the 1986 animated Transformers. There are a few good scenes in that film, starting with the devouring of the planet Lithone and the genocide of its inhabitants, the brutal slaughter of beloved children's characters by the villain Megatron, and the Death of Optimus Prime. Not too bad for a children's cartoon meant to sell toys. This movie set a new tone for the property that can be felt almost 30 years later with the live action films, sent a good number of kids out of theaters in tears, and the complaints of parents affected the theatrical release of another kid property: GI Joe: The Movie (which was far superior to that joke made by Stephen Sommers). Plus, the ending was changed to GI Joe: TM so that they didn't suffer the same wrath of killing off a mian character that Transformers did with Prime.

    But those scenes, IMHO, were very well done and cinematic. I chose the hoverboard scene because it was a good mix of cinematic animation and the upbead music of Stan Bush. The scene worked.

  • Jason Wallis posted at 2:33 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    Just FYI, though: "Return to Sleepaway Camp" is wildly unpopular, and most fans of the original seem to hate it. But rest assured: They will suffer for their insolence when "Sleepaway Camp Reunion" is unleashed, and the world is forced to acknowledge Hiltzik as the once and future king of B-movie horror. Oh, yes.

  • Jason Wallis posted at 2:26 pm on Tue, Oct 5, 2010.

    Jason Wallis Posts: 36 Staff

    Hey, Chris. Thanks for stopping by. And sorry for the belated reply; as we've already established, I'm an idiot, so naturally I had trouble tracking down my login info :(

    Anyway, good call on the truck chase from "Raiders" -- certainly my second-favorite scene from the film. But "Transformers"? I'll chalk that up to childhood nostalgia, my friend. You make up with it with your awesomely random inclusion of the nude lesbian underwater ballet from "Piranha 3D," though, so good on you.

    Sad that nothing from the "Star Wars" movies quite made my list, although the cantina scene from "A New Hope" came close. I swear, whenever somebody tells me that they'll be careful about something, I instinctively retort back, "You'll be dead!" If they're not "Star Wars" fans, it freaks 'em out every time.

    And I LOVE that you've seen "Sleepaway Camp." I mean, the movie is hilarious on so many levels, but there's always this undercurrent of really unnerving sexually based horror (see: the deaths of Artie and Judy) that just explodes at the end and makes the whole thing extra-special awesome. That final image will stay with you for a while. Anyway, might I suggest you check out "Return to Sleepaway Camp" if you haven't already? It's Hiltzik's direct sequel to the first film (ignore the atrocious "Unhappy Campers" and "Teenage Wasteland"), and it's a very heady mix of remake, tribute and sequel that is just so "meta" it makes me giggle just thinking about it.

    And now I step off my "Sleepaway Camp" soapbox.

  • Chris Wallace posted at 11:56 pm on Sat, Oct 2, 2010.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    Oh, and BTW- I saw Sleepaway Camp when I was a young teen... and that last scene haunted me for a good long time.

  • Chris Wallace posted at 11:51 pm on Sat, Oct 2, 2010.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    I have a couple others:

    1) Growing old together from "UP"
    2) Restoration of Woody from Toy Story 2

    Now, I thought of a couple rather highly technical scenes that are easy to pass over:

    3) The young girl of Jodi Foster's character in "Contact", after her father collapses and she runs upstairs to open the medicine cabinet to get his pils. It is all one take that actually uses visual effects to achieve the overall scene. The whole scene was reflected in the mirror.

    4) The other complex yet easy to overlook scene comes from Spielberg;s "War of the Worlds", where Tom Cruise has his children in a van speeding out of the city. In a single take, the camera weaves in, out, around, above, and thru the van.

  • Chris Wallace posted at 9:07 pm on Sat, Oct 2, 2010.

    Chris Wallace Posts: 32

    I hope to come up withsome later, but I have (10) off the top of my head:

    1) The desert truck chase from Raiders
    2) Autobots Arrival from 2007's Transformers
    3) Drydock / spacedock as Scotty shows Kirk the Enterprise from Star Trek: TMP
    4) "Khaaaaaannnn!!!! From Star Trek 2: TWOK
    5) Skinny dipping / underwater ballet from Piranha 3D
    6) Hoverboard sequence with Danial and Hot Rod from 1986 Transformers animated movie
    7) Biker street fight with the clown gang from the animated film Akira
    8) The tower fall from the opening scene of Cliffhanger
    9) Star Destroyer from the beginning of Star Wars (later called "ANH"
    10) Luke's rescue from Cloud City from Empire Strikes Back


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