Last night I reached out to twitter for some Top Ten inspirations. A few great suggestions came in but at the end of the day I decided on the suggestion from @BobbyBless219 “Top Ten Speeches from a character that dies…”.
Thinking hard about how to tackle this topic I decided on one rule for how a film could qualify: the speech had to either occur during the character’s death or be in someway directly related in how he/she died (i.e. the motivation that ended up leading towards the death). Be forewarned that based on the topic alone any film mentioned in the below list can be considered a spoiler, so enjoy at your own risk. So here we go:
10. Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting in Gangs of New York
I can’t quite refuse a perfomance by Daniel Day Lewis on a list of monologues at any time I believe. He’s one of those performers that in the wrong movie will stand out too much, but in the right film will always find a way to excel and shine brightly. Here’s a role where he manages to be the shining light at the end of the (highly) mediocre film. In each scene that he gets a chance you almost forget that you’re watching a film and believe that you just are there to see these three or so minutes of Lewis being amazing.
9. Tyler Durton in Fight Club
This is a bit of cheat since technically Tyler Durton isn’t a real character but a made up part of the Narrator himself. However, I can take it as when the film is over Durton is “dead” since the narrator has ended his usefulness in how it made him grow as a person. Go ahead and fight, but this is still an amazing film with some great scenes.
8. Capt. John H. Miller in Saving Private Ryan
I’m pretty sure that this is a film that I’ve blogged about a lot, but it doesn’t mean anything less when I say that Hanks‘ performance was brilliant to say the least. Many will like to recall the dialogue exchange between Hanks and Damon, but I like to shine back to an earlier moment when Hanks is finally divulging himself to his brothers in arms.
7. Maximus in Gladiator
At times I want to look back to 2000 and claim that this really wasn’t the best movie of the year, but that’s just me being petty. Russel Crowe delivers in ways we can’t imagine and that’s all I need to say other than his own words.
6. William Wallace in Braveheart
Did you ever wonder what a speech by a general would sound like before one of those immense battles that we’ve heard about in History classes (between our midday naps that is)? Well this is it and no other way we can ignore it’s brilliance.
Another week has ended and while I’ve realised my “problem” in getting to see more movies per week I’m not quite sure if I want to correct it. Every waking moment during the working week that I don’t actually spend at work I find myself at home watching tons of episodes of Scrubs on Netflix. Now is this getting in the way of me getting to my goal of an average of a new movie per day for the year? Yes, but do I care for now? No.
Let’s take a look at this week’s tally:
FIRST TIME VIEWINGS
ABDUCTION (2011) – I watched it. It’s the average teenager action/thriller film, but I get to make fun of it because of how horrendous the script is. No, I didn’t expect better. A HARD DAY’S NIGHT (1964) – It’s a ninety-minute long Beatles music video, which isn’t that bad an idea if you ask me. MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (2011) – well acted film but I’m not sure I got it all. For me it didn’t focus enough on who Marilyn Monroe really was, or at the very least wasn’t definitive enough in it’s statement to that effect.
THE FIGHTER (2010) – “That guy did not just get off the fuckin’ couch. If he did, I’m gonna get a couch like that.” BRAVEHEART (1995) – “You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom.” BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 3D (1991) – “Ma chère mademoiselle. It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now, we invite to relax, let us pull up a chair, as the dining room proudly presents… your dinner.” SCRUBS (SEASON 3) – “Let me go ahead and tee this up for you, there, Annika”
10 First time watches (0 from 2012); 9 Rewatches; 19 Total Films
The other day I found myself revisiting Braveheart, the story of William Wallace and the role he played in Scotland’s rebellion against the English, and was struck by something that I find bothers me more and more these days. I was so excited to see some great medieval action.
Should I feel guilty for this? Or should the filmmakers feel guilty?
One of the films that I feel is the most aggregious in this is Saving Private Ryan. The film, set in WWII, is Spielberg’s (he just keeps coming up these days) war movie which focuses on a small group of individuals out to retrieve this one soldier and get him home. While the story and the characters all nail it pitch perfect, at the very same moment the film serves as a great action film but I wonder if I should be deriving the same joy watching those scenes as I do from watching Shoot ‘Em Up or 300. Aren’t I supposed to be feeling some form of real emotional connection with the film rather than just enjoying these bullets whizzing by and killing all unnamed individuals – even if their Nazis?
What really spurred on this thought was recent episodes of The Indoor Kids with numerous references to the hosts’ problems with the Call of Duty games. While I have played a lot of the COD games, and it’s been very well documented how much Saving Private Ryan’s style helped shape the look and feel of the now multi-million dollar franchise in which teenagers all across the world get to relive WWII in their living rooms where their elders, who lived (and some even served) through that war. Seeing the elation as little Jimmy gets that 50th headshot trophy on his PS3 at the end of the day seems some version of warped reality.
To bring this whole thing back to the initial question: is this wrong? I know that movies are fake and even when based on reality at the end of the day are there for entertainment’s sake, but don’t they also have a certain level of social responsibility to not completely misrepresent what an act truly meant or am I just thinking too much on this one?
So if you noticed last week I decided to start a daily competition on this blog’s official Facebook page (which you can find here: http://facebook.com/gmanreviews).The Rules: Everyday I will post a screenshot from a film, some will be easy and some will be hard. The first person to guess what movie the screenshot has come from will get a point.
The Prize: At the end of every week whoever has the most correct guesses will have the privilege of recommending a movie for me to watch and I will review it with a video review that will be posted on the weekend where I will also plug the person and their website and assorted links.
This week’s winner is Paul Harrell. Here are the images that were posted this week with the films that they came from:
Day 1 – Zodiac
Day 2 – Manhattan
Day 3 – Wild at Heart
Day 4 – Braveheart
Day 5 – The Science of Sleep
Day 6 – The Killer Inside Me
Day 7 – Rififi
Day 8 – Memento *I started on an off day
So make sure you “LIKE” gmanreviews on facebook and play along. Maybe you can make me watch some insane film to frustrate me or some classic to educate me. Whatever suits your personality.
I found myself lost with what to write about today, so I posed to question out on the official GmanReviews Facebook and Twitter pages. I got a few interesting responses (which I will probably get around to writing about in the future) which included my Top Ten Greatest Death Scenes. I immediately began scouring my memory (and Wikipedia) for ideas as to what would make the list. As I started to populate a nice little text file with all my nominations I soon realised that I had written down almost fifty titles. With fifty being a nice round figure I thought why not just leave it there? So here are my 50 Great Cinematic Death Scenes:
This list was inspired by the idea that Halloween is around the corner, but with horror films being one of my massive cinematic blind spots I hope you will all forgive me for a few obvious omissions from this list. Also, I’d like to place a massive spoiler warning here at the top. Since I’m discussing deaths of characters in movies, which can be a massive spoiler for some films (and not that big for others) I’m going to let everyone know here that you should move forward at your own risk. The list is in order of when the film was released, since I don’t want to try and rank all of these scenes just now. Anyways here we go: Continue reading