Hello all and welcome to 2016. I certainly hope though that you still care about 2015 because boy do I have an article for you.
While everyone is ranking and sharing their favorite films of the year, I thought I’d take a look at some of moments from those films that stood out. The scenes that people are left thinking about and may just be the reason that people would want to see the film a second time.
Of course with hundreds of films and hundreds of scenes that make up those films, there are several that didn’t make the cut. So I’d like to give a quick shout out to the flea circus monologue from Bone Tomahawk, the Jason Statham facts from Spy, the final gift from The Gift, and a slew of phenomenal action scenes like the bear attack from The Revenant (I didn’t like the rest of the movie but come on, I’m not a monster), the opera house from Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the church fight from Kingsman, the escape from The Martian, the final dino fight from Jurassic World, and every scene I don’t mention from Mad Max: Fury Road.
So let’s get to it.
Oh, and some spoilers.
10. Michael and Lisa get intimate – Anomalisa
An anatomically correct sex scene in a stop-motion film should be one of the weirdest things you see in a movie all year. But that’s the thing, it wasn’t weird. It could have easily been as laughable as the sex scene in Team America whether intentional or not, but the filmmakers and animators managed to play it straight, making it as realistic and tender as possible. Of course, had it been live action it definitely wouldn’t have made the list, but I guess that’s the point, isn’t it?
9. Dancing – Magic Mike XXL/ Ex Machina
8. The walk – The Walk
When you build an entire movie around one extreme event… it better pay off. And boy does it. Joseph Gordon- Levitt’s focused performance and insightful voiceover help that fact, but this was really a technical feat. Zemeckis’ direction with the cinematography and visual effects make a completely believable, visceral experience. The scene made you believe you were hanging between the Twin Towers and, even if just for a moment, gasp.
7. Paul Walker tribute – Furious 7
One thing that these films have over other more impressive or “better” action films is that they wear their big teddy bear hearts on their big hulking sleeves. These blunt, non-stop, over the top action romps at their center are about mumble-growling the word “family.” So when this action blockbuster managed to pull off a delicate, appropriate, and downright heartbreaking sendoff to its fallen brother, it brought even the most hardened men to tears.
What? I’m not crying, you’re crying. Leave me alone. Let’s move on.
6. Donny’s first fight – Creed
I almost went with the scene where Donny watches his dad’s old fight and mimics Rocky’s moves or the final fight where Donny accepts his legacy and gets up, but I went with Donny’s first professional fight for a number of reasons. The first obvious reason is the fact that it was all done in one unbroken shot which manages to put the film in his perspective for you, making only the fight matter. When you move with him in to the ring, the crowd, the trainers, everything else falls away and all that’s left is the opponent. Plus it was really cool.
5. Escape – Room
I went into this movie knowing next to nothing. I didn’t see any trailers, I didn’t know the runtime, and I didn’t know who else was in it. I had assumed that the whole movie was set in the room, so when it came time to escape, I thought we had reached the end of the road and anything could happen. Needless to say, my heart was in my throat the whole time. The tension, the wonder, the moving performance by both Tremblay and Larson, it took me on a roller coaster of emotions fit for a whole movie. And it was only one scene.
4. Max trusts Furiosa – Mad Max: Fury Road
It’s the very simple scene where a villain is approaching, Max fires two shots, misses, hands the rifle to Furiosa, she uses his shoulder to steady, and takes out the villain in one shot. There’s two ways people have looked at this scene. One is in the more metaphorical sense – that the female lead in this feminist masterpiece proves that she is necessary and doesn’t need a man to do her work. And while that’s a very powerful, noble point of view, I see it in a simpler, more immediate way that’s huge for the story and these characters. He knows she’s a better shot. She knows she’s a better shot. He knows that she knows. She knows that he knows she knows he knows. So what does he do? He decides to trust her.
3. Final scene – Carol
Near the end of the film, it seems that the love affair between Carol and Therese has come to an end. They’ve both gone off to meet with friends only to realize how meaningless it all feels. Therese finally realizes the mistake and leaves her party to find Carol. She goes to the restaurant and searches, finally finding Carol among the crowd, mirroring their first encounter when Carol found Therese among a crowd. It’s a terrific scene free of dialogue filled only with the actresses’ expressions and Carter Burwell’s beautiful score that shows that even after everything they’ve been through, they can still see each other like it’s the first time. It wasn’t until this final moment that I realized how much I wanted them to be together.
2. Rey grabs the lightsaber – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Rey is totally Luke’s daughter. Come on, it’s so obvious.
After the marketing led us to believe that Finn would be our lightsaber wielding hero, it came as quite a shock when he had his ass handed to him by Kylo Ren. But in a moment reminiscent of an early scene in Empire Strikes Back, Rey Force grabs Luke’s lightsaber from the snow and fends off Kylo Ren herself. Guys, it’s huge. Not only does it confirm that Rey is Force sensitive, but that Luke’s lightsaber has truly been calling to her all this time opening up a wave of possibilities for the future. I’m actually getting a little overwhelmed just thinking about it.
Plus, in a more immediate sense, it gave us a female Jedi in a lead role. Finally.
1. Rachel’s movie – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Okay, so there’s this kid Greg and his friend Earl and they make terrible movies together. And there’s a girl named Rachel who’s dying of cancer and she likes watching their terrible movies. After being pressured into making a film for her and months and months of putting it off and trying to figure out what to make, he finally does so and ends up showing it to her during what ends up being her final conscious moments in the hospital. Also, it’s prom night so there’s that extra cruelty.
The film itself is just a series of images with a lot of paper/ stop-motion going on that doesn’t seem to mean much of anything but that’s not the point. The scene focuses a lot on Greg and Rachel watching the film as she becomes overwhelmed by what he created for her. Even as the nurses rush in to her aid, her eyes remain fixed on the movie. It’s a heartbreaking and yet also heartwarming moment that shows how important what he did for her was, good or bad. It can be looked at as a larger statement on the profound effect that film as an art form has on people, but even in the more literal, immediate meaning of the scene, it’s still almost impossible to watch without getting at least a little emotional.
So that’s it. What did you think? Did we put together a decent list? Are there any of your favorites that got left out? Do you think this list had a severe lack of Jupiter Ascending? Of course it did. Anyway, let us know!
And as usual, be sure to check back for more – right here on Geeknation.
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