100 Reasons Why I Love Movies: Part 2

Part 2 of a series of 10, where I try to show people why I love movies as much as I do. Featuring (in no particular order) some stellar lines, moments, subtleties that have made me one of those weirdos that goes to the movies by himself more often than not.

I only have three “rules” that I’m trying to follow with this list and they are there just to make it have more variety:
1. Try not to repeat a movie more than once.
2. Try to have two listings that aren’t individual scenes per post.
3. Try to include 1 guilty pleasure per post.

Hopefully I will inspire some deep seeded passion in you for the cinematic arts and we someday have late night discussions about Fellini or Kurosawa…or we can just talk about why Dirty Work is so funny.

Fair warning: There are spoilers in my description paragraphs and the videos themselves but I will try to keep the bold titles spoiler free so you can easily skip one where you think I might spoil something.

In case you missed it, you can find part 1 here.

Figuring Out the Screenplay – Adaptation
Charlie Kaufman is one of the best screenwriters ever and what he did with this film is simply amazing. He essentially wrote himself into a screenplay about a book about Orchids and gave himself a fictional twin brother. He also wrote the writer of the actual book into the film and gave her a completely fictionalized storyline that has nothing to do with the actual book it’s based on. It’s a mind blowing script and Nicolas Cage (THAT’S RIGHT HATERS) plays the role of Charlie and Donald Kaufman to perfection. I couldn’t find the full scene on youtube, but I found a collection of scenes from the movie and my favorite part is included (when he’s actually putting himself into the screenplay and he describes himself in these horribly self deprecating ways). Start it at about :46 to see Nicolas Cage’s best moments..or just watch the whole movie and live in awe of his acting prowess.

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Amazing Soundtracks
By this I mean both extremely well placed songs by bands and songwriters and songs/themes written originally for certain films. Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, Edgar Wright, and Martin Scorsese all standout as directors who always seem to put the perfect song in the perfect place in the majority of their films. Then there are composers like Hans Zimmer (recent Christopher Nolan films and True Romance’s amazing theme), Danny Elfman (most Tim Burton films), and John Williams (most Spielberg and Lucas films) who have written some amazing songs that have been stuck in people’s heads for decades.

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Nightcrawler White House attack – X2
This is such a great action scene and for my money one of the best portrayals of a super hero thus far.  I love how little CGI was actually used (basically just to put in the wisps of blue smoke whenever he disappeared) and I loved the intermingling of slow-mo. I don’t love the X-Men movie franchise (I like X2 and First Class a lot and think the first one is decent) as much as I love the story lines from the actual comic books, but this scene definitely did it right.

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3 Man Duel – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
You will be hard pressed to find a more satisfying ending in any movie you see. If the fact that it is a duel between three men who you’ve been following for roughly two hours isn’t enough, Sergio Leone just lets the camera pan from face to face for almost 3 minutes while the tension builds. Then, just when your brain is about to explode the action starts and ends in a short amount of time and afterward we are given one of Eastwood’s more epic lines (spoiler alert: the guy in the other two Man With No Name movies doesn’t die). This movie is amazing and everyone should see it at least once. (Side Note: there is a fun movie called The Good, the Bad and the Weird which I also love and has a pretty good 3 way duel at the end too).

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Sidney Lumet directing Al Pacino – Dog Day Afternoon and Serpico
My favorite acting performance ever is Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. Once it was over, I was both elated at having seen such a tour de force and upset that I had waited so long to see it. When I re watched the scene below (Attica! Attica! scene) on youtube I got literal goosebumps at how incredible it is. Serpico as a movie isn’t in the same league as Dog Day (it’s still very good), but Pacino is pretty damn great in it as well. They didn’t have many individual Serpico scenes on youtube, but I got a clip that has 2 people talking about their favorite scenes (one being Lumet).

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Marshall McLuhan scene – Annie Hall
This movie is awesome and has many awesome scenes, but this one speaks to me on such a personal level that I love it very dearly. Nothing drives me crazier then when someone starts talking intellectually about some general topic when I know for a fact they don’t know shit about it. Their voice changes into this weird semi-elitist tone as they grace you with their amazing knowledge about some stupid thing that no one actually cares that much about (hence why nobody has the same alleged knowledge about it). It’s even worse when you hear a guy doing it to impress a girl, when the subtext is essentially, ‘You will notice with my vast knowledge on this mundane subject that my dick is quite large.’ Anyway, once I saw this scene I knew I would be a Woody Allen fan for a long time (and I still am).

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Transformation Scene – An American Werewolf in London
This is bar none the greatest werewolf transformation scene there ever has been or ever will be (mostly because CGI will always be somewhat implemented from here on out and that will always make it look somewhat crappy). This scene is incredibly intense and yet there is an underlying humor to it (Blue Moon playing in the background and the random cut to the Micky Mouse statuette).

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William H. Macy’s Final Scene – Boogie Nights
The whole thing being a long take tracking shot makes it an amazing scene. I had this long paragraph typed out about why it’s so great, but most of it was me rehashing what is in the scene and why would I just type what you can use your eyes to see. The fact that I pointed out that you should pay attention to the long take tracking shot should be sufficient. (Side note: the little smile that Macy has right before the end is a small touch of brilliance).

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Knight Playing Chess with Death – The Seventh Seal
Maybe I should add a fourth rule where I always try to include one old foreign black and white movie that no one I know will ever come close to watching ever in their life. At least then if I happen to bring one of the films up I won’t get back dead eyed stares of friends who have no idea what I am talking about. It will be more of them having a vague recollection of hearing something about what I am talking about and maybe they’ll listen to me for about 45 more seconds on the subject. Anyway, this is a running theme throughout the film. A knight plays chess with Death and as long as they are playing Death has to leave him alone and if he wins he gets to live. It’s beautifully poetic and one of the coolest ideas ever put to celluloid. If my word isn’t proof enough for you, they spoofed this idea on Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and they wouldn’t just spoof any old thing in that masterpiece.

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Dancing Gopher – Caddyshack
Just watch and let the smile overtake your face.

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