10 favourite movie moments

Usually when I think of a movie, there’s always a scene that comes to mind and brings back how I felt; even if I don’t remember the rest of the movie, that scene is enough to bring it all rushing back. A joke, an action scene, a kiss… there are so many great moments, but here’s a quick list of my favourites. I wonder how many would be on yours? ๐Ÿ˜‰

10) Steve McQueen’s vault for the Swiss border
The Great Escape
One of the best WWII dramas, the whole motorcycle chase, the final jump and Elmer Bernstein’s score always stand out for me. It’s probably Steve McQueen’s greatest performance and the image of McQueen on the motorcycle is indelible.

9) The chariot race
Ben-Hur
When you think of epics you can’t go past Ben-Hur. I always found it a little too long, but the chariot race is one of the most spectacular and thrilling sequences ever filmed. And Miklos Rozsa’s score is stunning.

8) The construction site
Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting
is one of my favourite movies; it’s such a realistic portrayal of friendship between two young men, and this scene (where Chuckie says he hopes one day he’ll knock on Will’s door and he won’t be there) sums up the whole film for me.

7) The farewell scene
Casablanca
One of the great love stories mainly because of the chemistry between Bogart and Bergman, this is the scene most people remember best. The foggy atmosphere, the plane in the background, “We’ll always have Paris”… even if you think the film’s slightly overrated, this scene is a classic.

6) Indy shoots the swordsman
Raiders of the Lost Ark
I still think Raiders is the best adventure film that’s been made, mainly because of the balance of action, character and humour. This scene has all three and it’s one of the funniest scenes I’ve seen – all the more so because it wasn’t scripted.

5) Somewhere Over The Rainbow
The Wizard of Oz
Still one of the best children’s films of all time, I love the song and Judy Garland’s voice. It’s just a quintessential scene, and all the more amazing that it is when you think the song was almost cut because it slowed the pace of the film.

4) The Bridge of Khazad-dรปm
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
In my view LOTR is the greatest trilogy ever filmed and Gandalf’s fall into the abyss looks like it’s come straight out of the books. It’s a beautiful scene, particularly in the moments after when we see the loss on the faces of the other characters.

3) Darth Vader reveals he is Luke’s father
The Empire Strikes Back
The best of the Star Wars films, the first time you hear Vader’s revelation it just overpowers the rest of the film. Of course it’s actually quite obvious, but I was stunned at the time and watched Return of the Jedi the next day to see if it was true; I can’t imagine having to wait three years to find out.

2) The shower scene
Psycho
If the shower scene in Psycho isn’t the most iconic scene in cinema history, I’m not sure what is. Bates’ murder of Marion Crane is masterfully done by Hitchcock; with little gore, it’s the build-up that’s so scary, set to Bernard Herrmann’s violin-screeches.

1) The Normandy landings
Saving Private Ryan
The D-Day scene in Saving Private Ryan is wrenching and incredibly difficult to watch; it’s brutal and hellish, but it’s one of the most emotional, affecting scenes I’ve ever seen and it’s the scene that, more than any other, brings back the whole film for me. To say it’s my favourite scene is probably wrong (it would be the shower scene in Psycho), but it’s the scene that stays with me more than any other, so it has to be #1.

Have you heard the Wilhelm Scream?

I found this video through Net@Nite, one of my favourite podcasts, though I had heard about the scream before. If you don’t know what the Wilhelm Scream is, it’s a distinctive scream that’s been used in Hollywood movies for over 50 years. For studios it’s easier (and cheaper) to recycle the stock scream than to pay voice extras to record new sound effects; it’s become something of an in-joke among sound designers and lots of movie fans try to keep track of where it’s been used. The current count is at over 130 films!

The list in the video only goes up to about 1999 and I know a few more since then; the Wilhelm Scream features in both LOTR: The Two Towers and The Return of the King, as well as King Kong, Sin City, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Hellboy. It’s been used prodigiously by Ben Burtt and Skywalker Sound as well, so it’s also in the other Star Wars prequels. Whether it will be in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or not will be interesting – Burtt has said he’s not going to use it as much now it’s so recognised, but it’s in the other Indy movies so he might go out with one last bang… or scream.

It’s just a fun piece of trivia, but I like it because it shows not so much a lack of originality as a respect for Hollywood’s past; it’s keeping some of the history alive 50 years later and in this digital age, that’s a nice touch. So have a listen the next time you play a DVD; chances are you might be listening to a little piece of movie history. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Podcast of the Week: At The Movies

Podcast of the Week (25/9/07)
At The Movies
Rating:

At The Movies with Sandra Bahbah features the latest movie reviews and the top 5 in box office each week. Distributed through freedigitalcontent.com, it takes a fun and distinctly Australian look at what’s on in cinemas right now.

One of the best features of At The Movies is its length; with each episode being around 4 minutes and featuring one review, it’s perfect to listen to when you’re on your way to work or have a few spare minutes. Sandra Bahbah’s reviews don’t suffer for the length, though; they’re detailed and informative, without spoiling the best parts of the movie. Bahbah also has a good voice for podcasting; it’s pleasant and her tone doesn’t jar, unlike others.

One thing I’d love to see are more reviews of smaller films, but with one review a week it’s understandable that bigger releases are featured first. At The Movies is a fun and informative podcast; definitely recommended for Australian movie lovers and anyone looking for a different perspective on the latest films. You can subscribe through iTunes or listen to the stream at freedigitalcontent.com.

Indy 4 title revealed

Just been looking over at IndianaJones.com and was admiring their new look (and John Williams’ theme) when I saw that the title of the new Indy movie has been revealed. Shia LaBeouf announced it during the MTV Video Music Awards last night, which the official site has now confirmed.

The title is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Sounds like a mouthful but I actually quite like it. It’s got a bit of the feel of Raiders of the Lost Ark (my favourite Indy movie) and with Karen Allen back, maybe that’s the feel they’re going for. I did like the rumoured working title, though, Indiana Jones and the City of Gods. Either would have worked for me.

Anyway, with the title out the way, hopefully there won’t be too much more revealed before the teaser trailer. I can avoid spoiler sites easily enough, but it’s harder to avoid IndianaJones.com for 8 months! Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will be released worldwide on May 22, 2008. Start the countdown. ๐Ÿ™‚

5 famous misquotes from the movies

5) “Oooh, you dirty rat!” โ€” James Cagney
Actual quote: “Mmm, that dirty, double-crossin’ rat.” (Blonde Crazy)

4) “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.” โ€” Gloria Swanson
Actual quote: “All right, Mr. De Mille, I’m ready for my close-up.” (Sunset Boulevard)

3) “Luke, I am your father.” โ€” James Earl Jones
Actual quote: “No, I am your father.” (The Empire Strikes Back)

2) “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto.” โ€” Judy Garland
Actual quote: “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” (The Wizard of Oz)

1) “Do you feel lucky, punk?” โ€” Clint Eastwood
Actual quote: “…you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?” (Dirty Harry)

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Springfield anymore…

chris_simp3.jpg Not sure about you, but I feel like I’ve been dodging spoilers all month. First there was Harry Potter, then The Simpsons MovieHP was easier as most people read it at once, so you just had to avoid anything online. The Simpsons has been harder. I meant to see it opening day but got sidetracked – and then of course everyone I know wanted to talk about it. Seriously, it was starting to feel like something from “The Charge of the Light Brigade”. Spoilers to right of me, spoilers to left of me, spoilers in front of me, volley’d and thunder’d…

Anyway, I finally managed to see it over the weekend. Really enjoyed it. I was a little dubious going in; I’ve been a fan of the series since it started (I’m getting old, lol) but I haven’t been watching it as much over the last few years. The stories have been more about putting The Simpsons into strange situations than having any real plot. The movie though is much more like what I remember; quirky, but more about the relationships between Homer and Marge, Homer as a father to Bart. It was nice seeing the writers get the formula right after such a long wait.

The thing which surprised me was the number of families seeing the movie. The cinema was about 3/4 full and a lot of them were fathers and sons seeing it together. I’d not really thought about it before but The Simpsons has been around long enough to transcend 3 generations; if you were 14 when it started, it’s possible that your parents liked it and now you could have a child yourself who’s grown up with the show. And everyone seemed to get something different from it; the kids found the gags funny, while the parents sympathized with Homer trying to do the right thing (and failing).

My favourite parts were Bart’s nude debut (I almost choked at Flanders’ “Thank you, Lord, for this bountiful… penis!”) and Cargill’s manipulation of President Schwarzenegger, but I really enjoyed the scenes with Bart and Homer as well. The writers walk a fine line with Homer; make him too stupid and he just seems retarded, but by exploring Homer through Bart, we see him differently – we see he’s not perfect, but he’s trying, and that’s really the heart of the story. I also thought Hans Zimmer did a good job with the music. He captured the spirit of the show very well, something I thought only Danny Elfman could do.

My only real criticism is the length; 87 minutes is okay, but they cut out material with characters like Sideshow Bob which could have made it longer. Perhaps the scenes just didn’t work, we won’t know until the DVD’s out. Other than that I thought it was great fun, one of the few films this year which hasn’t disappointed. If there’s anyone else who hasn’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth it. Just make sure you bring donuts. And yes, that’s a Simpsonized picture of me; click it if you want to do one of your own. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Springfield anymore…

chris_simp3.jpg Not sure about you, but I feel like I’ve been dodging spoilers all month. First there was Harry Potter, then The Simpsons MovieHP was easier as most people read it at once, so you just had to avoid anything online. The Simpsons has been harder. I meant to see it opening day but got sidetracked – and then of course everyone I know wanted to talk about it. Seriously, it was starting to feel like something from “The Charge of the Light Brigade”. Spoilers to right of me, spoilers to left of me, spoilers in front of me, volley’d and thunder’d…

Anyway, I finally managed to see it over the weekend. Really enjoyed it. I was a little dubious going in; I’ve been a fan of the series since it started (I’m getting old, lol) but I haven’t been watching it as much over the last few years. The stories have been more about putting The Simpsons into strange situations than having any real plot. The movie though is much more like what I remember; quirky, but more about the relationships between Homer and Marge, Homer as a father to Bart. It was nice seeing the writers get the formula right after such a long wait.

The thing which surprised me was the number of families seeing the movie. The cinema was about 3/4 full and a lot of them were fathers and sons seeing it together. I’d not really thought about it before but The Simpsons has been around long enough to transcend 3 generations; if you were 14 when it started, it’s possible that your parents liked it and now you could have a child yourself who’s grown up with the show. And everyone seemed to get something different from it; the kids found the gags funny, while the parents sympathized with Homer trying to do the right thing (and failing).

My favourite parts were Bart’s nude debut (I almost choked at Flanders’ “Thank you, Lord, for this bountiful… penis!”) and Cargill’s manipulation of President Schwarzenegger, but I really enjoyed the scenes with Bart and Homer as well. The writers walk a fine line with Homer; make him too stupid and he just seems retarded, but by exploring Homer through Bart, we see him differently – we see he’s not perfect, but he’s trying, and that’s really the heart of the story. I also thought Hans Zimmer did a good job with the music. He captured the spirit of the show very well, something I thought only Danny Elfman could do.

My only real criticism is the length; 87 minutes is okay, but they cut out material with characters like Sideshow Bob which could have made it longer. Perhaps the scenes just didn’t work, we won’t know until the DVD’s out. Other than that I thought it was great fun, one of the few films this year which hasn’t disappointed. If there’s anyone else who hasn’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth it. Just make sure you bring donuts. And yes, that’s a Simpsonized picture of me; click it if you want to do one of your own. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Do you feel sorry for Lindsay Lohan?

I feel like I’m going crazy. Every day it seems like there’s another story about Lindsay Lohan or some young celebrity spinning out of control. It’s everywhere. Rehab, jail, speeding, drugs… it’s like some high school soap opera. Except it’s not a soap opera, it’s real life, and to be honest I’m not sure what I should feel about it. In most circumstances I’d probably feel sorry for someone like Lindsay Lohan, but it’s hard to when she’s brought this on herself and has shown little remorse.

This article about the situation is quite interesting. It suggests that the attitudes young girls have toward celebrities like Lohan, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie isn’t being changed by the media reaction or by their bad behaviour; they see people facing repercussions for their actions, but it doesn’t change how they look up to them. I must admit, I didn’t expect that. But I suppose it isn’t so surprising when you see that Madame Tussauds has the wax figure of Lohan (now in jail coveralls) on prominent display – there’s obviously still a lot interest.

Does anyone else find this troubling? Because I’m starting to wonder what someone would have to do to shake that admiration. I’m not a judgemental person or someone who likes to say who children should look up to, but we have to be honest – these “It Girls” have done nothing to deserve such loyalty in their fans, and their behaviour is out of control. They party like it’s 1999 7 nights a week, get paid for doing little work, and they have turned rehabilitation into a trivial matter. What would they have to do, kill someone?

If anything they seem to be becoming this kind of reverse role model; because they’re in trouble, people relate to them even more. And some say they’re being made examples of. With Hilton I’d have to agree – she was given at least twice as long as an average sentence, and the whole thing was just farcical. But Lohan is a different case. If the allegations are true, she was involved in a car chase, intoxicated, and possibly endangered lives. She deserves the benefit of the doubt, but they are much more serious allegations and cannot be ignored.

Still, having said all that, I do feel a bit sorry for Lindsay Lohan… I can’t imagine seeing your life spin out of control before the eyes of the world, and of all the “It Girls” she’s probably the most talented, the one who does work; her film credits are respectable, unlike Hilton or Richie whose fame tends to be more media-driven. Her family life has also been difficult. One thing I haven’t heard much is, what about the person who sold her the cocaine? If that allegation is true, Lohan was only out of rehab for a week before somebody, despicably, provided her with drugs. Now there’s a real danger to the public.

Perhaps in the end the truth is simply that part of being in the public eye is having the power to ruin your own life. And if that is the case, then no matter what people feel, whether they feel sorry for you or not, no-one can help you but you.