Archive for October, 2010

Movie Review: RED

PG-13, Summit Entertainment, 111 Minutes

Cast: Bruce Willis, Hellen Mirren, John Malkovich, Brian Cox, Morgan Freeman, Richard Dreyfuss, Karl Urban, Mary Louis Parker.

RED (Retired and Extremely Dangerous) is a silly, sometimes funny, action packed piece of popcorn entertainment. That’s not necessarily a bad thing either especially when you have such a game cast of veteran actors in it like this one.

Bruce Willis is Frank Moses, a former CIA operative who has been retired for many years. Frank goes about living his dull and hum drum life while flirting it up with a phone operator (Mary Louis Parker) who is our hero’s initially unwilling love interest.

Excitement comes back to his life when a task force is sent to his house to kill him. Frank takes them out in good old “John Mclane” style, picks up his love interest who he believes is also now in danger and then goes on a cross country trip to round up the rest of the geriatric gun toting gang that he used to work with.

The “old gang” includes his wizened old buddy played by Morgan Freeman, the lovably psychotic and paranoid John Malkovich (having way too much fun here), and the grand dame herself, Hellen Mirren.

Brian Cox also joins our group and has fun here as a cold war relic who has now warmed to his old enemies and has some kind of past relationship with Helen Mirren.

A CIA Agent (well played by Karl Urban) is hot on their tracks while Frank and his team look for answers as to why a hit has been ordered on them.  The plot beyond this point does not hold much substance and the movie is really just an excuse to see all these veteran actors having fun shooting really large guns and blowing lots of things up–all of which they do very well.

The music score for the movie really bothered me as it sounded corny and outdated, especially when there are actually some really thrilling action sequences in this movie–which would have been elevated by a kick ass music score.

Overall, RED isn’t a movie that will be remembered much but still delivers the goods because of so many great actors cast in it that just have fun with their roles. It’s worth the trip to the cinema for that alone, so you can join in on the fun too. 3/5 stars.


PG-13, Columbia Pictures, 121 minutes

Directed By David Fincher, Music by Trent Reznor, Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Max Minghella, Rooney Mara, Armie Hammer, Brenda Song.

Well if you want explosions, sex and violence then this is obviously not the movie for you.

The Social Network is a slow film that is built upon a very contemporary subject (Facebook now has over 500 million users), an excellent ensemble cast, good direction from David Fincher and a great music score from NIN’s very own Trent Reznor.

The film chronicles Mark Zuckerberg’s (played efficiently by Jesse Eisenberg) founding of Facebook in 2003 and the trials and tribulations along the way.

The film opens with Mark breaking up with his girlfriend Erika (Rooney Mara), while he is still a student at Harvard University. In retaliation Mark blogs nasty things about her and then gets the idea to create a website to rate the attractiveness of female undergraduates. He hacks into Harvard’s database and with the help of his best friend Eduardo Saverin, (Andrew Garfield in a stand out performance here) uses an algorithm to create a page called FaceMash where male students choose which of the girls is more attractive. The site becomes an instant success with over 22,000 hits but also results in part of Harvard’s Database crashing.

Mark’s popularity increases as a result of this and brings him to the attention of  Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (a brilliant Armie Hammer in dual roles), who are identical twins that want Mark to help them program a new website that they have been planning.

Mark comes up with his own idea which is “The Facebook” and together with Eduardo he founds this. The Winklevoss twins accuse him of stealing their idea and come after him, eventually taking him to court.

In the meantime, The Facebook is expanding more and more, and Mark and Eduardo are introduced to the co-founder of Napster, Sean Parker ;(a solid Justin Timberlake), who although a bit of a party animal impresses Mark as he has the same vision of Facebook as he does. Eduardo however, does not share the same ideas so their relationship becomes strained.

The movie essentially revolves around the legal cases that Mark Zuckerberg had to go through while at the same time showing us the origin of Facebook in flashbacks. What makes the film entertaining is biting dialogue and exceptional performances. Jesse Eisenberg is good here, but the real stand outs are Andrew Garfield who brings a real depth of emotion to his character and Armie Hammer who is flat out hilarious as the Winklevoss twins.

While this film is a drama–and a slow one at that–the acting keeps you going and because the dialogue is so good you are caught up in the moment. There is actually a lot of humor in the film as well.

The Social Network is not really a movie I would see in the cinema as I go out to be “WOWED”, but it is a very fine piece of film making all round and a movie that certainly should be seen.  4/5 Stars.

96. Quadraphenia: The final cliff top scene when he drives the moped off the cliff to the welling background music of The Who’s “I’ve Had Enough/Love Reign Over me”.

97. Into The Wild: One of my all time favorite films. The apple scene was so quirky and original for me but the whole movie is a masterpiece in my eyes.

98. Major league: The “Wild Thing” scene with Charlie Sheen.

99. The Faculty: The scene where the kids walk through the school to the cover of “Another Brick in the Wall” and notice that everyone else has turned into aliens.

(no clip available) 😦

100. Desperado: The intro scene with Steve Buscemi telling the story while it flashes to Antonio Banderas in action.

101. Reservoir Dogs: The famous walk as the movie begins (I can’t believe I left this one out earlier).

102. Bonnie & Clyde: The brutal ending where Bonnie & Clyde are mowed down by the cops, which was the first time violence had ever been depicted like that on the big screen and became an iconic image of violence in films ever since.

103. The Full Monty: The first strip tease with Robert Carlyle was comic genius.

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104. Good Morning Vietnam: The bittersweet ending where we see the horror of war while “What a Wonderful World” plays in the background.

105. Pretty in Pink: The Duckie dance scene.

106. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: The famous freeze frame ending where they charge out guns a blazing to the entire Bolivian Army.

107. Good Will Hunting: The bar scene with Ben Affleck and that preppy snob who gets gutted by Matt Damon’s brilliant monologue.

108. Groundhog Day: That hilarious scene when Bill Murray has been through everything so many times so he knows everything about everyone in the cafe.

109. The Blues Brothers: The scene when they perform “Everybody needs somebody to love”.

The “It’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses” speech from Dan Akroyd.

110. Zombieland: This is actually a great movie and had a particularly thrilling scene at the end when they take out hundreds of zombies to save the girls.

111. Donnie Darko: The whole movie is a total trip but the school scene while Tears for Fears “Head Over Heels” plays was by far the coolest and the cinematography is incredible.

112. Pans Labyrinth: Another film that is completely amazing, but the final sequence was very gripping and moving at the same time.

113. Where The Wild Things Are: The scene where Max is elected king and bellows “Let the wild Rumpus begin!”.

114. Back To The Future: The whole movie is dope (even 25 years later), but the ending was classic. “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need road!”

115. Stranger Than Fiction: That scene where Will Ferrel sings “Whole Wild World” surprisingly well and woos the girl was sweet!

116. Ghostbusters: The first call they get. “Receptionist: Ghostbusters, hello?…Yes, we’re serious”! The the gang suits up.

117. Rain Man: The whole casino scene and the iconic image of Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman going down the escalator all pimped out. Classic.

118. Heathers: The scene where Christian Slater blows up outside the school at the end.

119. The Hurt Locker: That whole sniper sequence was one of the most gripping and realistic scenes I have watched.

120. Millions: The final scene was really tender and moving and the song is incredible. A great little film from master movie director Danny Boyle.

😦 no clip available.



The more you think about it there really are so many classic scenes from movies! I kept jotting them down on sticky tabs and so here is Part 2 of my list…I know I’m still missing many others!

46. Big Fish: That final sequence where the son tells his father the tall tale about his escape from hospital before he dies and then the funeral was extremely moving.

47. Raiders of the Lost Ark: Indie defeats the deadly swordsman the good ole’ fashioned way! (Fun Fact: This scene was original written to be a long sword fight, but Harrison Ford just shot the guy as a joke and Steven Spielberg loved it so much, he kept it in the movies!)

48. Bad Boys: That super cool slow motion sequence at the end when they get the bad guy.

(no clip available) 😦

49. Grosse Point Blank:  I absolutely loved the baby scene. It depicted a life changing moment for John Cusack’s character that was so beautifully done.

50. Misery: That brutal scene where Kathy Bates hobbles James Caan’s legs. Chilling.

51. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: That intense scene where Vinnie Jones goes mental on the guy and smashes his head with the car door while the classical music swells in the background.

52. Bourne Ultimatum: That fantastic chase sequence on the roof building and Matt Damon tumbling through the window to save Julia Stiles just in time.

53. Say Anything: John Cusack standing outside Iona Sykes house with the duke box blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In your Eyes”.

54. Buffalo 66: Vincent Gallo and Christini Ricci taking pictures in the photo booth–he somehow made this into such a fascinating sequence.

(no clip available) 😦

55. Forrest Gump: Tom Hanks heartbreaking speech at his wife’s grave.

(no clip available) 😦

56. Oldboy: That incredible corridor fight sequence. So brutally realistic.

57. Braveheart: The final scene where Mel Gibson is executed and screams freedom as his last words. Very powerful.

58. Gladiator: The final scene as Russell Crowe gives out his orders before dying and then joins his wife and son in the afterlife. Very powerful.

59. The Abyss: The scene when Mary Elisabeth Monstrano has drowned and Ed Harris will not give up in resuscitating her.

60. Jay and Silent Bob Strikes back: Seriously though, that final sequence as Jay and Bob fly all over the country beating up the people that dissed them to the tune of Stroke 9’s “Kick Some Ass” is pure comic  genius!

61. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective: The whole scene in the Mental Institution where Jim Carrey does the slow motion football impression and rewind.

62. Philadelphia: The final scene with after Tom Hanks dies and all his family and friends are at the wake and then we close in on his old home video footage. Very moving.

63. Boy ZN Hood: The scene where Ricky gets killed was so tragic and brilliantly shot.

(no clip available) 😦

64. The Rock: The awesome shoot out scene in the showers where the Marines kill all the Navy Seals.

65. Untouchables: A very underrated classic, this movie has 2 scenes that stand out for me:

The shoot out sequence with Kevin Costner and Andy Garcia as the pram falls down the stairs in slow motion was awesome.

The scene where Sean Connery is killed was especially  gut wrenching as we see Robert De Niro’s Al Pacino with tears of joy as he gets the noise and listens to the soprano.

66. Saving Private Ryan: The incredible sequence depicting the storming of  Omaha Beach during World War II is probably the most graphic and realistic war scene ever shot in film.

67. Dumb and Dumber: That ridiculous ending with the hot girls in the bus! Jim Carrey: “You’ll have to excuse my friend, he’s a little slow…the town is back that way!” Hilarious!

68. Princess Bride: “My name is Anigo Montoya, you killed my father…prepare to die!”

69. ET: The bike across the moon scene.

70. There’s Something About Mary: The hair scene became an iconic image of comedy.

But I actually found the doped up/dead dog sequence with Matt Dillon the most hilarious.

71. Spider Man 2: The car flying into the cafe just as Tobey Maguire and Kristin Dunst are about to smooch.

(no clip available) 😦

72. The Dark Knight: I found almost every scene with Heath Ledger as the Joker mesmerizing.


73. Taxi Driver: The famous mirror scene: “You talking to me?”

And also the final bloody shoot out sequence where he “saves” the young prostitute (Jodie Foster) was electrifying.

74. The Deer Hunter: The rush and roulette sequence was so intense.

75. Clerks 2: The dance sequence to The Jackson Five’s “ABC” was awesome.

76. Face/Off: The final mexican stand off and shoot out at the Church was classic.

77. Cruel Intentions: The romantic love scene between Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe  to the Counting Crows song “Color Blind” .

79. Romeo & Juliet: There are several classic scenes from this brilliant adaption with Clare Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio:

The first encounter between Romeo and Juliet through the large exotic fish tank.

The wedding sequence was really cute.

80. Shakespeare in Love: The fight scene in the theatre.

81. Trainspotting: A brilliant film about drug addiction, this too has several classic scenes:

The opening chase  sequence to the “Choose life” monologue.

The drug overdose sequence to Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”.

the final sequence with the voiceover speech from Ewan Magregor again: “Choose Life..”

82. Office Space: The hilarious scene where the Printer gets a pummeling. Classic!

83. Twilight: The baseball sequence was awesome.

84. Lethal Weapon: Mel Gibson going nuts on the suicide case and jumping off the roof with him.

(no clip available) 😦

85. Where The Wild Things Are: The sequence where Max is elected kind and declares: “Let The Wild Rumpus begin!”

86. Silence of The Lambs: Hannibal’s brutal but brilliantly executed escape from high security prison.

87. The Outsider’s: Dally (Matt Dillon) being shot by the cops at the end. A gripping scene.

90. The Karate Kid: The final fight, crane kick and Daniel Son winning the tournament!

91. Seven Year Itch: Marylin Monroe = steam vent in the street. Need I say more?

92. The Mask: I wasn’t a big fun of this movie actually apart from the introduction of Cameron Diaz to the world. That entrance scene in the bank was an instant classic.

93. Grease: The final dance sequence “You’re the one that I want” and then John Travolta and Olivia Newton John flying off into the sky in his car.

94. Strange Days: The final scene as the year 2000 arrives and Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett hook up finally.

95. Thelma & Louise: That emotional ending as they drive off into the Grand Canyon.

Okay, join in on the fun folks! This is just a listing (with clips! *) of memorable movie moments from some of my favorite films. This took me ages to compile so I sure hope you enjoy. Some are brutal, some are emotional and powerful, some are just plain funny and heartwarming.  I consider each of these CLASSIC scenes from cinematic history.

I am sure there are MANY more–What are yours?

* Alas, many of the clips below have been disconnected so you can’t see them all on my blog–HOWEVER you can go to youtube to watch them which I URGE you to do–and then return back to my site! 🙂

1. True Romance: The conversation between Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken about sicilians. Probably my favorite scene in movie history.

2. Heat: The confrontation in the cafe between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Two powerhouse actors together for the first time in film history.

3. Jerry Maguire: The “show me the money” scene.

The “you had me at hello” scene:

4. Top Gun: The scene when Goose dies. 😦 It gets me every time. No, seriously–it does.

5. Terminator 2: Judgement Day: The end scene when Arnold  lowers himself into the molten lava to destroy himself. Okay, I admit it–even this scene makes me choke up every time I see that damn thumbs up.

6. The Matrix: The martial arts training fight scene between Neo and Morpheus.

The final fight scene between Neo and Agent smith, when it is confirmed that he is the One:

The last voiceover scene and then Neo flying into the sky. Badass!

7. Tropic Thunder: The whole opening sequence parodying Platoon which is not only funny but a seriously intense battle sequence.

Tom Cruise as Les Grossman = a new iconic figure was born.

8. Platoon: The scene when William Dafoe gets gunned down as the chopper takes off above.

9. The Truman Show: The scene when Jim Carrey stops the traffic in the road, first realizing his reality is all a show.

10. Good Will Hunting: Ben Affleck arriving at Matt Damon’s house only to find he is gone and his note saying he has “gone to find out about a girl” to Robin Williams.

The break up scene with Matt Damon and Minnie Driver is so raw and riveting too.

11. Love Actually: The scene with the young love sick boy as he chases after his girlfriend through the airport before she leaves.

No clip available 😦

12. Crocodile Dundee: The final scene in the subway with the girl relaying messages through others and Paul Hogan climbing over everyone to get to her.

Also the “that’s not a knife, this is a knife” scene.

13. Pulp Fiction: The dance between Uma Thurman and John Travolta.

The shot to the heart needle scene after Mia Wallace overdoses.

14. Reservoir Dogs: The stand off toward the end and resultant bloody shoot out.

15. Dead Poet’s Society:  The emotional send off of Robin Williams as Ethan Hawke and the others stand on the tables chanting “oh captain, my captain”.

16. Magnolia: The powerhouse performance from Tom Cruise specifically when he breaks down at his fathers death bed.

Also the montage of all the main characters singing together to Aimee Manns Wise up was truly mesmerizing.

17. The Fellowship of the Ring: The scene when gandalf falls. So emotional and the soundtrack is amazing.

The fight sequence between Aragorn and the orc at the end and the death of boromir.

18. The Two Towers: The battle of Helms deep.

19. The Return of the King: Each of the the multiple endings, but specifically when Gandalf and Frodo leave. Had me weeping like a little baby. I won’t deny it and neither should you!

20. the Empire Strikes Back: Princess Leia to Hans Solo: I love you, Hans Solo to Princess Leia: I know. Epic!

Also Darth Vader to Luke Skywalker: Luke, I am your father! Luke Skywalker to Darth Vader: Noooo!!

21. Return of the Jedi: Darth Vader redeeming himself and saving Luke’s life by throwing the emperor overboard and then finally taking his helmet off.

22. Point Break: The chase sequence and Keanu firing his gun into the air when he realizes the robber is Patrick Swayze. Awesome.

Also the epic end sequence at the beach during the 50 year wave: Cops to Keanu Reeves: We’ll get him when he comes back in! Keanu Reeves to cops: He won’t be coming back.

23. The Usual Suspects: That damn ending! Keyzer Soze: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didn’t exist and like that, he’s gone.” Then just a blank screen. Chilling!  I still remember my exact words after the first time I saw that: WTF?!?

24. Fight Club: Edward Norton pummeling Jared Leto: “I felt like destroying something beautiful”

and the final scene as the buildings come tumbling down while Pixies “Where is my Mind” plays.

25. Observe and Report: The fight sequence between the mall cops and Police Force

and the chase sequence between Seth Rogen and the Streaker while Pixies “Where is my mind” also plays!

no clip i’m afraid 😦

Beating up the skateboarders scene was epic too.

26. The Last of The Mohicans: That whole final sequence that is shot in one go when the sister’s lover is burned at the stake, she jumps off the mountain, the bad guy kills the good son and then the father kills the bad guy. Utterly gripping and one of the most incredible sequences ever shot like that.

27. 12 Monkeys: Bruce Willis being shot as he runs through the airport and sees himself as a child. Mind bender.

no clip available 😦

28. Kick Ass: The whole fight where Hit Girl saves Kick Ass but Big Daddy gets killed  was incredible.

The final shoot out scene when Kick-Ass and Hit Girl take down the mob boss.

29. The Breakfast Club: The scene when they are stoned and dancing.

30. Leon: Gary Oldman’s “I like these calm moments before the storm” scene. One of the best psychotic villains in cinema history.

31. Se7en: That brutal ending as Morgan freeman discovers the content of the box and Brad Pitt performs the final deadly sin.

32. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: The dance sequence at the parade to “Twist & Shout”.

33. 10 Things I Hate About you: Heath Ledgers ballad of “Can’t take my eyes off of you” to Julia Stiles at the football stadium.

34. 500 Days of Summer: Joseph Gordan Levitts serenade of love to “You make my dreams come true”.  Awesome fun!

35. Good Fella’s:  Joe Pesci going nuts and killing Billy Bats in the bar with Robert De Niro joining in. Gruesome!

Also the montage of  all the guys connected to the robbery getting whacked to the tune of Eric Clapton’s “Layla” was freaky good.

36. Road to Perdition: Tom Hanks emerging from the mist to that haunting piano tune and killing Paul Newman, who was his father figure.

37. Watchmen: The whole opening sequence done to Bob Dylan’s “The times they are a changing” as it shows the Watchmen’s rise and fall as superheroes over the years. One of the best intro’s ever.

38. Garden State: Zach Braff, Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard screaming down the massive pit while Simon Garfunkel plays in the background. Then the lucky bastard (Zach Braff) plants one on her…

39. The Graduate: The final sequence when Dustin Hoffman saves his love from getting married and they leave on the bus. This whole movie mesmerized me as a child–I watched it about 25 times.

40. Shawshank Redemption: That awesome escape sequence with Tim Robbins swapping out the shoes and the tunnel behind the poster.

and the scene when he plays the classical musical behind a locked door as the cops break into it. Very moving.

41. Mystic River: The dramatic scene when Sean Penn is screaming “is that my daughter in there?’  while being held back by multiple cops as Kevin Bacon just stares at him blankly. Gut wrenching.

42. Blade Runner: That incredible ending when the Rutger Haur saves Harrison Ford and then gives the “I’ve seen things” speech before he dies and releases the white dove into the sky.

43. 28 Days later: That chilling end sequence as Cillian Murphy goes nuts and kills the soldiers and saves the girls.

No clip available 😦

44. Let The Right One In: That brutal but incredible scene shown from underwater as the vampire girl rips the bullies apart and saves the boy.

45. My Best Friends Wedding: That hilarious sing along around the table lead by Rupert Everett to “Say a Little Prayer for you”.

Review: Fringe

TV-14, Fox, Season 1 and 2 available on DVD, Season 3 premiered September 23 2010.

Created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Starring: Anna Torv, John Noble, Joshua Jackson, Lance Reddick.

FRINGE is a mind numbing, time bending and thrilling new television show from J.J. Abrams the creator of Lost and Alias. His involvement alone, made me want to check this show out.  However, I only got round to it recently and as soon as I did I was hooked in. I’ve caught up on Season 1 and 2 (all 45 episodes), to make it just in time for the Season 3 premiere on September 23 2010. There were Losties so now I guess there are Fringies!

The show follows the exploits of special agent Olivia Dunham (newcomer Anna Torv who is a real find here), Mad Scientist Walter Bishop, (John Noble who brings a fantastic blend of tongue in cheek humor to the show) and his son, Jack of all trades, Peter Bishop, (played solidly by Joshua Jackson).

This team is part of an FBI “Fringe” Division based in Boston Massachusetts under the supervision of Homeland Security. The team uses unorthodox “Fringe” science and FBI investigative techniques to investigate a series of unexplained, often ghastly occurrences that are happening all over the world.

This show is like a hybrid of The X Files and The Twilight Zone–which I say as a compliment since both shows are classics of the 80s and 90s respectively.

While Fringe has a very definite overall plot which unravels slowly as each episode plays out, what is convenient about this show, is that you do not necessarily have to follow every single episode in sequence in order to know what is going on and enjoy it. Each episode starts with a specific mystery and ends with them solving it. My recommendation of course would be to stick with it through to the end as there are plenty of twists and turns here thus far to keep you on the edge of your seat.

I have to mention, that what kept me watching this show the most is the beautiful Australian actress Anna Torv, who plays the lead role. This is her first major feature and not only does she illuminate the screen–she owns it. I’ll be keeping my eye on her for the duration of Fringe and beyond.

In the meantime, I’m just happy to get my weekly dosage of Fringe. A show that although is not a fully satisfying replacement for Lost just yet–is still thoroughly original and entertaining nevertheless. 4/5 stars.