“You were right not to take it Bob. I would have killed you”
My favourite scene from my favourite western of all time. Gritty, dark and very realistic, Eastwood directs what I think is his best film from a genre that has defined his life. Unforgiven explores how the old west dealt with the specter of death and looks at how interwoven violence is in their lives.
I have chosen this scene as it epitomizes the above and I especially love the way Little Bill describes how courage and a steady hand is much more valuable than a ‘quick hand’ or a ‘fast draw’. This is in itself interesting as we were all brought up with the glorified notion that western heroes and legends were by default the ‘fastest hand in the west”. Beauchamp represents the way the lack of literature has allowed misinformation to evolve from the west, with English Bob’s lies about his past making it clear that everything written down cannot be trusted.
The whole scene is class from start to finish and showcases Hackman as one of the best ever actors, with his presence and ability to turn his character into a real western figure. One of the most intimidating characters ever penned in the western genre and a movie that I will simply never stop watching.
“Even then, don’t knock, not on this door”
As it has been a while since my last post, here is another movie clip for you guys! As Good as it Gets is really underrated not just as a film that shows Greg Kinnear and especially Cuba Gooding at their very best, but also as a stage for perhaps Nicholson’s most suitable role. He plays the part of racist, homophobic and obsessive compulsive all rolled into one, able to cope with it all to create one of the most memorable characters ever.
The scene I have chosen sums up the film so well, as Simon confronts Melvin about the disappearance of Verdell, Simon’s adorable but annoying little dog. Cuba Gooding stands aside to let his partner gather his own strength, whilst Simon is near on tears with the tension alone. Seeing this, Melvin goes from looking slightly taken back by Simon’s accusational tone of Verdell’s whereabouts, to taking back the upper hand and making the simplest of requests, littered with homophobic and inappropriate remarks. You can tell he is a writer.
An excellent film, that is always worth watching again, if only for Nicholson’s delivery of all the insults under the sun.
“I am altering the deal, pray I don’t alter it any further”
One of my favourite scenes ever in science-fiction. The moment when Han is taken and frozen in carbonite is full of tension, emotion and epic music and camera-work. Of course, the prequels have taught us that only when characters are built up and the viewer has a vested interest in them, can this sort of scene evoke such a dramatic response. Kershner creates an absorbing moment that is less about spaceships and blaster guns, and more about real characters. The web of decepit, betrayal, love, friendship and even family are all tied into just a few minutes of amazing dialogue.
There are even a couple of moments that have taken me, sadly, 50 times of watching to notice, whether through my lack of observation of the actual depth of the film’s scene: I love the way the camera looks up at Vader after Leia looks up at him, a brilliant father daughter moment that we do not yet know about and the way Vader actually saves Chewie from being shot by the bounty hunter (a glimpse of his good side perhaps?).
Just brilliant, and I only hope that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is able to replicate not just the real locations and practical effects, but develop some new and memorable characters as well.
“Oh my god…it even has a watermark”
Bale is often undersold for his performance in Mark Harrod’s American Psycho. Dark and violent, some of the content and scenes make a bitter pill to swallow that had not been seen since Natural Born Killers.
But there is also a undercurrent of humour that the viewer can tap into. Batman’s, sorry Bateman’s personality displays such extremes of emotion at such unorthodox moments that you cannot help but laugh. The business card scene is one of my favourites and I love the inner dialogue from Bale as he dissects the pretence of business card etiquette.
This film is fairly underrated and under-watched due to its content. But at the right moments, I actually find it one of the funniest films, and also one of Bale’s best performances.
I hope you enjoyed my Movie Clip, please check out some more in the links!
“You notice that the walls of the theatre are painted in black”
I have always been a huge fan of David Koepp’s underrated Stir of Echoes. A great blend of horror and mystery, it stars a brilliant Kevin Bacon as wired, edgy Tom Witzky. After being hypnotised at a party, Tom starts to have visions, which lead to a murder mystery being unravelled as he starts to uncover more and more about the girl in his visions.
The movie has a real creepy atmosphere, and although slightly predictable, it is nevertheless unnerving during some of the scenes as Bacon becomes more and more unravelled. I have picked the hypnosis scene, not just because of its importance in the movie, but also its originality in visually describing something we normally only hear. You really feel yourself placed into the imagination of Bacon’s character, when I first saw this I found this scene really captivating. A great scene in a great movie that has Bacon in his most animated role since Tremors.
“What you call discovery, I call the rape of the natural world”
Known as the “lunch debate scene”, I have picked this moment in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 hit Jurassic Park, as it shows just how intelligent the film, and of course its literary source Michael Crichton’s book, actually is. I cannot help but feel that its place in science-fiction, as a genuine window into a world not quite yet discovered, is overshadowed by its contemporary mark on cinema at the time, with its ground breaking effects and suspenseful drama.
Although it is the late great Richard Attenborough leading the discussion, it is the brilliantly cast Jeff Goldblum who heads up the round of questioning on the moral and perhaps dangerous implications of resurrecting such powerful and barely understood animals. In a modern world where private and corporate enterprise wields the real monetary power in the world, it is slightly scary to think this sort of thing could actually be possible. With genetic capability being developed year on year, the movie also makes me wonder whether our tendency to loosen the moral boundaries for the animal kingdom, could see us saving, or perhaps even resurrecting animal species sometime in the near future.
Fortunately though, there is enough dodgy science and poetic license in the film to make me believe that T-Rex will not be gracing the streets of an urban metropolis any time soon. But the film’s stark realism and fantastic acting that is encapsulated in this scene, does have the knack of creating an uncanny feeling of genuine possibility.
Hope you enjoyed my Movie Clip of the Week. Please comment with any ideas!
“Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?”
Since I reviewed Winter Soldier earlier in the year, I have seen it a few more times and I really feel it gets better with every watch. I guess repeat viewings can filter issues you may have with the plot or narrative and give you the patience to simply look forward to the cool action scenes you love.
I try not to do brand new movies with my clips, but thought I would throw this elevator scene in because a) I think it’s great, b) it showcases exactly why Cap kicks ass in this film and c) it will hopefully give readers the incentive to give Winter Soldier a go if they haven’t already. It is such a simple idea for a scene and works so well in a comic book adaptation with its blend of humour and action, especially when that final group of clearly undercover bad-asses rocks in on the twentieth floor.
Quick, aggressive and clean, the action is top notch throughout the movie and finally gives Captain America some staying power as a comic-book movie icon. If Cap is handing out ass-kickins like this in next year’s Avengers 2 it will be awesome, and fans will finally get the hero they wanted to stand beside the likes of Hulk and Thor, instead of the underpowered “leader of men” that felt a slight let down in Avengers Assemble. With Abrams also taking the seat at the Star Wars helm, 2015 looks really good for movies.
“You understand that the nerves were completely severed, Mr. Napier”
With Heath Ledger’s fabulous portrayal of Batman’s infamous villain still so fresh in everyone’s mind, it is easy to forget just how good Jack Nicholson was at playing the Joker. The genuine balance of levity and pure malice that would flicker over his face really made the film what is was, and it was such a perfect fit alongside Keaton’s stoic Batman, whom I still feel is leagues better than Bale’s husky version.
I have chosen the transformation scene, when the joker first realises how scarred and disfigured he is. Burton absolutely nails the direction, hiding the truth from the viewer’s eyes, instead letting Nicholson’s hysterical reaction and the doctor’s fear tell the story. Watch out for the subtle changes in music that cram so much into such a short scene, which is such a pivotal but inevitable moment in the film.
Hope you enjoyed my clip of the week, feel free to browse some more!
“You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist?”
With the tragic news of Robin Williams’ death, the internet has been inundated with pictures and videos of some amazing and forgotten memories of the great actor’s best moments. The first that sprang to my mind was his role in Good Will Hunting as mentor to a very young Matt Damon.
I have chosen the bench scene, as it encapsulates a part of the Robin Williams’ acting persona that lies beneath all the brilliant jokes and smiles. We saw it in Dead Poet’s Society too, where he transcends mere understanding and shares your feelings, helps you to help yourself. He played the role to perfection, and Damon says nothing in the entire scene, as we the audience are pulled in by the late actor’s kind eyes and patient delivery.
A fantastic actor whom is already sorely missed. I hope that this clip acts as more than my tribute, and encourages a few people to go back through their movie collection and remind themselves why he was so loved and adored in the film and public eye.
“You see, my mule don’t like people laughin’. Gets the crazy idea you’re laughin’ at him.”
The perennial spaghetti western, Fistful of Dollars is one of the greatest films of all time, and even though Charles Bronson was originally asked to be the ‘man with no name’, it was a young unknown actor by the name of Clint Eastwood, who mosied into town and set the stage alight with his trademark grimace and narrow stare.
I have chosen the “mule” scene, as it epitomises everything that is great about Sergio Leone’s western trilogy, and in terms of dialogue, is absolute gold. The now clichéd western moment, when seemingly outnumbered, the main character delivers the line that means “I’m taking you all on”. Not only this, but in the context of the film, the man with no name intentionally makes his mark on the town by proving his worth, making him a hired hand within moments. Ending the scene with his correction regarding funeral arrangements, Eastwood does it like no other, and delivers his lines impeccably for us western fans.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s clip, look out for the next one!