Monday, June 2, 2014

Favorite Movie Scenes Blogathon


So, John over at Hitchcock's World is hosting his first blogathon entitled 'Favorite Movie Scenes' and I was enticed into giving it a look and spending pretty much my entire morning trying to figure out what I was going to do.  I'm going to be honest; I debated on making this a list of my favorite scenes from Jean-Luc Godard movies just to get at John since he apparently hates his work and I have been very vocal about Godard being cinema's grand savior and my personal favorite director.

But I decided against that.

Instead, I kind of got a little lazy with this (well, not really, but a little) and decided to stick with 2013 films.  I have been indulging a lot recently in an attempt to wrap up my own personal awards (the Fistis) and so they are all very fresh on my mind.  2013 is one of the best years for film I've been able to personally witness as a film lover.  Sure, there have been better years for collective greatness, but a lot of them came before I was an active movie watcher.  2013 is one of the first (maybe the first) year that I was able to witness it blossom while the rest of the world was as well.  From the very beginning, it was something special, and it just never gave up.

But more about all of that later in the month when I (hopefully) get the Fistis together.

For now, I'm going to give a rundown of my Top Ten favorite film scenes from 2013!

Now, I want to be clear that this is NOT a list of my Top Ten films of the year, but just a list of my favorite scenes.  I like most of these films, love a few of them and hate one of them.

I do want to mourn the loss of a few scenes that were left right outside of the Top Ten.  First, Frozen does not make the final ten, even though I love the film and really wanted to include it.  While the world unanimously adored the whole 'let's build an ice castle while singing Broadway show-tunes' scene, I personally fell in love with the whole 'Do You Wanna Build a Snowman' segment and wanted to include it so badly.  Next, Gravity also doesn't make the list, but this is more because the whole film feels like one long scene and picking out ONE part just is impossible.

Finally, obviously the very best scene in all of 2013 cinema was the 13 minutes sex scene in Blue is the Warmest Color (I'm not joking) but I figured I would chose some more tasteful (ok, so not all of these are tasteful) scenes to discuss.

Like, how to you elaborate on that scene anyways?

So, here we go:




Here I go talking about 'tasteful' and then I pull this on you for the very first scene, but seriously...let me just explain WHY this is such a great moment.  First, this movie is atrocious.  Honestly, it is the worst movie of 2013, but in all that trashy awfulness there was this one shining moment of trashy greatness that basically said "we don't care how straight-laced and faux serious we are trying to be with this shitty movie, we are going to have Cameron Diaz violate a car" and she did and we saw and it was amazing.  Hilarious and stupid and just WTF, but amazing none-the-less.  Bardem's face, the fact that she does a split, the fact that she CUMS!  I mean, you can't make this stuff up...

Oh wait, Cormac McCarthy just did!


I liked this movie.  I didn't love it, but I liked it.  The Great Gatsby is one of those films that is so lavish and so abrasive and so loud that you have to respect it, even if it doesn't all work.  The reason I love this particular scene so much is because it kind of showed how incapable Baz Luhrmann is of real restraint.  Even in the confines of a poor mistresses humble abode and her trashy, poor friends, he still had to make champagne rain from the ceilings and basically give us an indoor rave/wife swapping party (sans the wives) and it all glistened in 3D.  It was, and still is, the best thing about that movie.


Stoker deserved a larger audience.  While it wasn't perfect, the intensity that builds is remarkable, and no scene really proved that more than the one where meek little Mia takes a pencil to the boy who is taunting her.  The whole scene is just marvelously constructed, and it lingers, because it breaks the film in two and shifts everything, giving birth to something darker, stronger, new!


I thought that I was going to hate World War Z.  I honestly thought it was going to be some cheap zombie movie with no real scares and a slew of knock off jump scenes.  I was wrong.  This movie scared the shit out of me so many times.  I literally came close (very close) to pissing myself, and it started almost immediately.  When Pitt and his family are attempting to vacate that warehouse, it just all feels so real, so intense, so claustrophobic.  My wife left the room.  She didn't want to come back.  I stopped breathing for a few minutes.  I mean, THIS is how you make a zombie movie!


I've said this a few times, but I'll say it again, this scene in Captain Phillips is the single best scene of acting in all of 2013.  Like, there is nothing above this in terms of pure acting moments.  And this is coming from a person who finds Hanks ridiculously overrated, loathes his Oscar wins and really just...well...doesn't like him.  The complete emotional collapse, the folding of character the Hanks does here is just remarkable.  It starts the minute the guns are fired and he just loses his shit, but the best moment for him is the way he reacts when he's asked if the blood is his.  He's confused, he's desperate, he's panicked, he's anxious and he sells every single second.  I was shaking...literally SHAKING!



There are so many scenes in Her that made me smile, but none more so than the moment where Theodore gives himself completely over to Samantha for some blind fun at the fair.  As a scene itself, it is beautifully composed and shot (so vivid, so fluid, so enchanting) but even more than that, it works as such a great character piece because it shows how free Theodore is while in the figurative arms of his love.  Forget the bullshit, this is a pure example of pure abandon at its finest.


I've never done drugs.  I've never even smoked weed.  Nothing.  I don't really desire to, at least not strong enough to actually do it, but I have to admit that there was this moment while watching Leonardo DiCaprio lose complete control of his physicality and practically worm his way across a parking lot that I thought to myself...this looks like fun.  Mostly, I just want an excuse to molest my friends and wrestle a bit, and I guess I can do that sober or drunk (because I like to be drunk) but I don't think it's the same.  I also didn't laugh this hard while watching a borderline serious movie all year.


There are so many moments in Spring Breakers that feel like inspired snapshots deserving of a list.  I could have made a Top Ten on this film alone, but there is that one scene where James Franco sings a Britney Spears song that kind of trumps them all.  I love how Harmony Korine basically exploited the whole of pop culture and the effect it has on today's youths by using Spears's music, and it really does make sense in a way that feels so inspired and remarkably astute.  Spring break forever!


Yes, I bawled like a fucking baby when Emma Thompson started tapping her feet together and then accepted that invitation to dance.  Such a beautifully moving and composed scene that felt so full of life and so revealing with regards to Travers and her development on screen.  Thompson plays it so well too, completely inside this woman and bringing every ounce of her life to the fore.  A beautiful ode to Mary Poppins while maintaining its own identity and appeal.


There was no competition here.  For me, there was absolutely NO scene in all of 2013 that brought me as much joy as the moment in This is the End when The Backstreet Boys reunited in heaven for the performance of a lifetime!  Seriously, the movie was hilarious and then it just went to this place that no other comedy I've seen in recent years has been able to touch.  How can something so seemingly ridiculous be so incredibly hilarious and joyous and life giving?  I can't explain.  Maybe it was the 13 year-old girl boy in me that squealed when that chorus kicked in, but regardless, this is the definition of cinematic awesomeness.

19 comments:

  1. Hey, there's a reason I put a disclaimer in my blog description warning Jean-Luc Godard fans that I have content they may deem offensive.

    Seriously, though, this is a pretty interesting selection of scenes. I can't say I agree with #1 largely just because I personally did not find This is the End all that funny (if anything I spent most of the movie trying to figure out what exactly was supposed to be funny moreso than actually laughing at anything). If you ask me The World's End was a far better apocalypse comedy. Then again it's a bit weird how similar they were. I even did a whole article on it: http://hitchcocksworld.blogspot.ca/2014/03/its-end-of-world-as-we-know-it-and-i.html

    I really need to see some of these movies. I meant to see Captain Phillips when it came out but I never got a chance to. I did recently see World War Z, which I had mixed feelings about; in most respects it was a good film but I felt like at times it went a little bit too quickly and at times it became really hard to tell what was going on.

    Thank you for participating in my blogathon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't love This is The End (although there were scenes where I was in stitches) but that scene was just amazing!

      I had fun with this. Thanks for hosting it!

      Delete
  2. That ending in This is the End was great although I consider myself more of a 'Nsync fan. They had the funk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, I remember the 'Team Nsync' + 'Team Backstreat' battles between friends.

      Delete
  3. Brilliant list! Your #1 pick is genius! Such a great scene. That might be my #3 behind the Wolf of Wall Street scene and the Spring Breakers one.

    Oh, if you're about ready to wrap up 2013, I'll throw out a plea for you to watch The Selfish Giant and Mother of George before you finalize the Fistis. They're short, wonderful little indies (that, among more prominent awards, both receive multiple CinSpec noms). ;) I'd love to hear your thoughts on Trance, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Selfish Giant is on the list!

      I had Trance on my must see list at the beginning of the year, but I kept forgetting about it. Mother of George is actually at my local library, so I may check that one out as well.

      Delete
  4. Great list! I love that you used the Quaaludes scene. God, I need to put that DVD in and watch it again. That scene is genius. I hated the Counselor too, but that scene was my favorite. I loved how Jaiver Bardem compared it to one of those sucker fishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I seriously could not stop laughing during that scene. It was ridiculous and over the top and pure perfection!

      I guess that comment pertains to both scenes :-P

      Delete
  5. LEMMONS!

    THIS IS THE END!!!!!!

    Awesome awesome aaaaawesome list, Fisti!

    + "Finally, obviously the very best scene in all of 2013 cinema was the 13 minutes sex scene in Blue is the Warmest Color (I'm not joking)" -- yes mhmh I agree. (Not joking either.) I like how you went with the whole being more tasteful thing and then it was Diaz in The Counselor, which is something I'm honestly afraid to see...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY! I'm glad you loved it. LOL, The Counselor is atrocious, but that scene is everything...like EVERYTHING!

      Delete
  6. Extremely cool list. The quaaludes scene is masterful. So were a number of scenes in World War Z, Spring Break, and Captain Phillips. I agree with everything you said about Stoker. My one bone to pick is with your #1. I am apparently the exact opposite of you in terms of how we view things on this one. I loved the movie, but hated that scene. I just rolled my eyes really hard when they appear. Probably doesn't help that I hated Backstreet when they were actually popular.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I kind of fell in love with the randomness of the whole scene too. I mean, you would NEVER expect that Backstreet Boys are going to show up in a Rogen film and then...they do, and it was glorious.

      Delete
  7. Spring Break Foreveeeer! Love that movie. So. Much. I'm surprised I have seen all of these movies except World War Z and The Counselor and so I think I'm on the same train as you - this is the first great cinematic year I actively witnessed. Great list, really. Love the Backstreet Boys scene, the Lemmons (you should at least try out weed some time, it's fun), Great Gatsby. Such a good year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was an exceptional year all the way around!

      Delete
  8. Great list! #1 was definitely one of the greatest scenes in This is the End. #4 was also a great scene - very hilarious. 2013 had a lot of great scenes, must have been difficult to pick just 10!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was ridiculously hard. I had at one point a list of 17 and I debated making a list of 20 to round it out, but 10 just feels like the right kind of number for something like this.

      Delete
  9. #6, #4, #3, #1..... SO AGREEING TO THESE!
    Excellent choices there Fisti! Though there were so many WTF moments that i enjoyed from This Is The End alone XD
    Great list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, I know what you mean! I told myself ONE SCENE PER MOVIE otherwise there would have been a lot of Franco/Rogen/Hill going on here.

      Delete