Favorite Movie scenes

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Wraith
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Postby Wraith » 16 Oct 2007, 23:37

idea that old movies did not lean on special effects is really quite a myth. Old dramas didn't rely on special effects, just like modern dramas usually don't. But old Monster Movies, Sci-Fi flicks, serials, they used lots of special effects. You just don't notice it these days because when you've seen a CGI Neo fight a thousand CGI agent Smiths, and none of them look even remotely CGI, you have trouble seeing the camply little models and latex masks as special effects, but I assure you, if watch enough old monster films, it's quite clear that the only difference between them and monster moives of today is that they lacked our technical ability.


As for favorite scenes, I dunno, the only ones coming into my head are ones for the movies I actually own. Looking over my racks, the following scenes stand out in my head:

1. The scene near the end of LOTR: The Two Towers (my favorite of the trilogy), when Sam is talking about what makes a hero; about how dark things get, and how they keep going anyway. The speech, along with the incredible score, and the scenes shown during it, make for a really, really powerful moment.

2. The scene in Dragonheart where Owen is nealing at the grave of King Arthur, and it is raining, and he recites the Knights Code (I eat up "code of nobility" stuff).

3. The scene in Star Wars: A New Hope, where Luke is standing outside his home, looking over the sand dunes at the two suns, with John William's score rising in the background. That scene, without uttering a single word, explains why that movie is really a classic story put in a new surrounding.

4.The gunfight in the lobby from the first Matrix Movie.

5. The end of The Iron Giant, when he's flying into the sky, and Hogarth's words are in his head as he's destroyed.

6. The scene in The Never Ending Story where the gamorck tells Atreyu exactly what Phantasia and The Nothing is.
7. The end of Contact, where Jodie Foster, who has spent the entire movie talking about how she’s a scientist, and that she can’t accept the crazy notion that religious people have that they can know something that can’t be proven, and that they’re willing to believe it, even when evidence makes it seem unlikely, is questioned about her experience in the pod, and she’s swearing that she KNOWS that it happened, that It WAS real, that she didn’t hallucinate, it wasn’t a dream, it did happen, and she doesn’t care what the video shows. A lot of people don’t realize that this scene was not just a “ooh, it’s a twist ending”, it was about her character learning what it is to have faith.

8. Most of “The Prince of Egypt”

9. The end of “The New Guy” where he takes the reject kid “up the hill”

10. The Lance Armstrong scene in Dodgeball. “You know, once I was thinking of quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I'm sure you have a good reason to quit.

11. The scene where the Three Musketeers charger to certain doom in The 1998 version of The Man In The Iron Mask.
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Postby Doctor Devious » 17 Oct 2007, 19:31

Man you guys are posting some great scenes, I gotta rent these movies again. I'm a fan of the first alien queen shot in aliens, the long pan, gotta love it. I also like both tyrannosaur fight scenes from the old and new king kong versions. The old one's amazing to watch, some of the shots use brilliant techniques in terms of blending stop-motion with live action, the newer one I like for the fluid animation and creature design.
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Postby CyberTractor » 17 Oct 2007, 21:10

A really good scene is from Mirrormask when the giants are being consumed by the darkness. It's kinda sad that they refuse to let go of each other.

Really cool scene from Battlestar Galactica is in the pilot when Caprica 6 and Baltar are talking about the Cylon invasion, and Caprica 6 pushes Baltar to the ground as the nuke goes off.

Donnie Darko has another scene in the movie theater when Frank shows Donnie what a wormhole looks like.

Cannibal the Musical had the snowman scene.

Hmm...

We're Back: A Dinosaur Story had that awesome scene when the bad guy was eaten by the crows or ravens (it's been awhile).

I have so many old favorite movies.
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Postby Cake » 17 Oct 2007, 22:42

I thought crows and ravens were the same thing? Like cougar and puma?
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Postby Alja-Markir » 17 Oct 2007, 22:47

Wraith wrote:You just don't notice it these days because when you've seen a CGI Neo fight a thousand CGI agent Smiths, and none of them look even remotely CGI...


I actually notice CGI all the time, because, overall, it isn't done as well as it used to be. The very scene you mention is the worst example I can think of where the CGI is just horribly jarring. I instantly felt repulsed by the actors disappearing and the CGI counterparts stepping in. It's like a robot that looks really lifelike, but just is not lifelike enough to fool you.

Another example is the scene in LoTR when Legolas takes down the olliphaunt. It was a severe jar out of the entire scene. The olliphaunt itself looked okay, just like the earlier cave troll and balrog did, but when Legolas himself changes into his CGI doppleganger it completely ruined the immersion for me.

On the other hand, there are movies that have used CGI beautifully and in very natural and unjarring ways. Princess Mononoke is perhaps the best example I can think of, with significant CGI enhancement for specialized looks and accentuations, but ones that blend almost seamlessly with the animation itself.

Of course, in non-animated films we see such endeavors as Kung Fu Hustle and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The former employs CGI actively for the supernatural effects, fighting speeds, and to highlight physical special effects. The latter has no CGI at all, but rather circumvents it through simple wire effects coupled with computer-based string-removal. When it first came out, the West was amazed at the incredible CGI they thought must have been used in it, and many people were stunned to learn it contained none at all.

Overall, I say that CGI should be used as an enhancer, but never as a crutch. Just as poorly painted backdrops ruin parts of older movies, so too does poorly utilized CGI yank the viewer out of the world of the movie and shatter the illusion.

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Postby emma » 18 Oct 2007, 05:43

theduckthief wrote:I grew up being charmed by Humphrey Bogart's lisp, Fred Astaire's dancing and Bette Davis' mad acting skills.


That right there, now that's pretentious.

You didn't grow up on his lisp. You grew up on his MOVIES.
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Postby Wraith » 18 Oct 2007, 05:46

Who was impressed by the incredible ANYTHING in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? It looked TERRIBLE. I never understood the appeal of that movie. It's just a bunch of people randomly flying around in an incredibly unnatural looking way, with no real explanation ever given as to WHY or HOW.


"THEY KNOW MARTIAL ARTS" IS NOT AN ANSWER FOR WHY SOMEONE CAN FLY! I swear it's like saying "well of course he can teleport, he ate like three cheeseburgers!"
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Postby Mouse » 18 Oct 2007, 05:52

Wraith wrote: I swear it's like saying "well of course he can teleport, he ate like three cheeseburgers!"


You mean you don't teleport after your McDonald's run?
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Postby emma » 18 Oct 2007, 06:09

SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF

WHY DOES NO ONE HAVE THIS ANY MORE
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Postby Wraith » 18 Oct 2007, 06:15

Suspension of dsibelief is fine, but even in Sci-Fi, you have to establish rules, and the most widely accepted rule is "normal humans can not do superhuman things without a reason."

Just randomly tossing in a bunch of stuff that makes no sense whatsoever, under the banner of "suspension of disbelief" is just incredibly lazy.
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Postby emma » 18 Oct 2007, 06:48

But why should there be such a thing as a 'widely accepted rule' when it comes to suspension of disbelief?

Why are we only willing to believe certain things? There are lots of things in science fiction that don't translate from one movie/book to the next.

They established a continuity within the movie. Who is to say that the characters are 'normal human beings'? Do they say that? Why can 'normal human beings' in some movies successfully beat up professional fighters or whatnot?

What I am saying is that it's not meant to be realistic. It's about a quest for a magical sword. They weren't really going for realism with that movie.
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Postby Wraith » 18 Oct 2007, 07:13

emma wrote:But why should there be such a thing as a 'widely accepted rule' when it comes to suspension of disbelief?

Why are we only willing to believe certain things? There are lots of things in science fiction that don't translate from one movie/book to the next.

They established a continuity within the movie. Who is to say that the characters are 'normal human beings'? Do they say that? Why can 'normal human beings' in some movies successfully beat up professional fighters or whatnot?

What I am saying is that it's not meant to be realistic. It's about a quest for a magical sword. They weren't really going for realism with that movie.


Because there still has to be rules. Otherwise, it's hard to know how to feel when things happen. Oh, look, that guy just got shot with a bunch of arrows. Is he dead? Or does he have super-human healing? Hey, they're trapped in that room and it's filling with water. Is this a tense moment, or can the breath underwater? Oh, man, they need to get to the villain on the other side of the globe, should they travel over land, or can they just walk through a tunnel from one side of the earth to the other in five minutes?



Do you know why Superman lost so much of his appeal pre-crissis? Because there were no rules. Anytime a problem arose, he'd just use some new Superpower to solve it. He never had it before, but hey, suspension of disbelief, right?



If someone does something in Scifi that defies some law of advance science, I can overlook it, because at least you can see the rational, you get the idea, and there's some explination. But when stuff that's just completely impossible happens, and no reason is given, that's just lazy writing.

The bottom line: it doesn't have to be perfectly scientifically accurate; but it at least needs to make sense.
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Postby Alja-Markir » 18 Oct 2007, 09:02

Wraith, you have trouble with the flying people in Crouching Tiger, but you have no response at all to the actual meat of my post? Namely how CGI can be just as jarring to some of us as senselessly flying people can be jarring to others?

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Postby emma » 18 Oct 2007, 10:36

Wraith, I really have to say, I disagree with you because there is no limit to what is allowed or not. It's not one person's place to say what is acceptable and what is not. There are no 'rules'.

I mean, sure you need to know when to be sad and when to be happy - but human emotions have absolutely nothing to do with this.

So because there were no rules, Superman was stupid? But once the rules were decided within Superman's specific canon they were accepted.

Why should the canon of Crouching Tiger have to include the history and magic of any other stories?
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Postby Wraith » 18 Oct 2007, 15:28

Alja-Markir wrote:Wraith, you have trouble with the flying people in Crouching Tiger, but you have no response at all to the actual meat of my post? Namely how CGI can be just as jarring to some of us as senselessly flying people can be jarring to others?

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I wasn't responding to your post, I was responding to emma's. I've got no clue what you're talking about with bad CGI in The Matrix. I've never heard ANYONE say that scene was even remotely jarring. In fact, I've never met anyone who could even tell that Neo was entirely CG at all unless someone (or something they read) told them.
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Postby Wraith » 18 Oct 2007, 15:46

emma wrote:Wraith, I really have to say, I disagree with you because there is no limit to what is allowed or not. It's not one person's place to say what is acceptable and what is not. There are no 'rules'.


It is the place of the viewer to decide what is acceptable. Because he's the one viewing it.

emma wrote:I mean, sure you need to know when to be sad and when to be happy - but human emotions have absolutely nothing to do with this.


But the emotional content of a scene is grounded in rules. Let's say you grow to love a character, and then, towards the end of the movie, he gets shot in a vital area, and he's bleeding, and it looks like he's going to die.

Why is this a distressing, dramatic moment? BECAUSE HE IS HURT AND WILL LIKELY DIE. The emotional content of this scene is based on the rule that "when a human is shot, and he is bleeding profusely, and there is no help around, he will soon die, and that will be the end of him.

Now, what if this rule wasn't there? What if he was shot in a vital area, and blood was pooring out him, but you had no idea if he was going to die, or for that matter, if he was even hurt? What if, for all you knew, this just happened to people all the time, and it was no big deal?

Changes things considerably, doesn't it?

WRITING THAT MAKES NO SENSE IS NOT GOOD WRITING.

emma wrote:So because there were no rules, Superman was stupid? But once the rules were decided within Superman's specific canon they were accepted.

Why should the canon of Crouching Tiger have to include the history and magic of any other stories?


It shouldn't. The problem is that Crouching Tiger didn't establish any rules. It was just "hey, here's some people. OH LOOK, THEY'RE FLYING! WEEE!"

In Superman, you knew why he could fly: he wasn't human. Even though there were some scientific inaccuracies in their explanations, at least they OFFERED an explanation. They were trying. They were thinking.

Having normal people just randomly fly and not offering any reason whatsoever as to why or how is just lazy writing.
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