Thursday, July 05, 2007

"WOW" movies part I

I’ve watched a lot of movies in my life. I’m not a student of film or a connoisseur of the cinema but I know what I like. There are good films, great films, and films that contain what I call a “wow” moment. A wow moment is when you see something in a film that mesmerizes you, affects you, changes your perspective, or opens you up to a new world of thought. It could also just be something that is so cool it just makes you stop and go "wow".

In no particular order here are a few of my favorite “wow” film moments.

Saving Private Ryan-1998
Two wow moments.
First was the beach landing. Man, what can you say? The terror, chaos, guys dying left and right. You could hear a pin drop in the theater after that scene.
Second, when Cpl Upham is frozen in terror and wont go to PVT Mellish’s aid. I called that little cowardly SOB every name in the book. But somewhere inside me I wondered if I would do the same thing. You want to say “Hell no”. But unless you’ve been in combat you’ll really never know.

Another battle. This one was the final battle where the platoon were all in prepared positions waiting for the enemy. When they came, they came from all over, swarming over positions. It was a total adrenaline rush.

Enter the Dragon-1973
Who the hell moves like that? Bruce Lee was amazing! None of my friends or I had ever seen anything like that. He made all the other action stars of the day look slow and plodding. The guy was like water. Can you just imagine if he would have been given the part in the TV Series Kung Fu (which he developed, by the way)? After Enter the Dragon, the action hero bar was set much higher. I wasn’t awed by a martial arts performance in a movie until I saw Steven Seagal snap peoples arms off in “Above the Law” 15 years later.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail-1975
It was British humor- I was 11 years old, and I got it. I credit my intense Three Stooges training regimen (every day after school from 3-3:30pm on channel 40).

The Usual Suspects-1995
It stumped me. Kaiser Soeze you bastard! I’ll get you, if it’s the last thing I ever do!!

The Sixth Sense-1999
This one stumped me too. And if you say it didn’t stump you, you’re a lying sack of shit. This movie stumped everybody.

From Dusk till Dawn-1996
When Salma Hayek took the stage with that big snake, I was floored. That girl was lust personified-that is, until she turned into a snake demon and ripped your throat out.

Planet of the Apes-1968
The Statue of Liberty.

When Sgt. Major Tambul and Waco are sitting in the well having a talk about women, this was one of the first times that I remember seeing a movie of that period where a person of color was treated as something more than just a caricature.

The Magnificent Seven-1960
Of course there is always the snooty guy who’s going to pop up and say “Actually, I prefer Kurosawa’s original “The Seven Samurai.”
Yeah? Well bite me, I not talking about plodding, B&W samurai movies with crappy soundtracks.
I’m talking about a fast paced, action packed, full color, western starring a collection of badass dudes the likes of which has never been seen on the screen together before or since. And don’t even get me started on the kick ass musical score.

Ok, by show of hands-How many people know who played the seven Samurai in the “Seven Samurai”? …….ok, now how many people know who was in “The Magnificent Seven”? That’s correct- Yul Brynner, Steve Mc Queen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn,
Napoleon Solo, and those other two guys. Thank you.

Tomorrow, Part II of my "WOW" movies series.