October 18, 2014

5 Scenes I Hate in Movies and Shows I Love

It's no secret that I love film and television, and my love for the medium and the content that it produces runs deep. So please keep that in mind as I point out some flaws that have always bugged me ever since I saw them. Also, while these faults are present, they by no means diminish the greatness or the experience of any of these shows and movies in any fundamental way; they're all still amazing, I still love them all, but there are just these little things that get me every time. So here are my top five scenes I hate in movies and shows I love.

5. The Thor vs. Iron Man and Captain America fight in The Avengers
Let me explain first what I'm talking about and second why I think this should have been done differently. I'm talking about the point in the film when Thor makes his first appearance, where he kidnaps Loki and Tony Stark and Steve Rogers go after him. After a little conversation between Thor and Loki, Iron Man comes swooping in... and instead of recapturing Loki and getting out of there, he attacks Thor. Why? Attacking Thor isn't going to get him Loki back any quicker than just snatching him away. And the fight itself doesn't really make any sense either. But the thing that really makes this bad is toward the tale end of the scene when Captain America comes in and breaks up the fight. And then Thor does something that almost completely betrays his character: he attacks Captain America with his hammer. Now, keep in mind that at this point, Thor doesn't know who Cap is, he doesn't know what his shield can and can't do, and he's fully aware of the power of his hammer. So instead of talking to Cap like a normal person, he just out of nowhere decides to kill him or at the very least incapacitate him! And see, that may sound awesome, but in the end it just makes Thor into kind of a reprehensible dude and once again doesn't even further any cause beyond... stopping someone who just wanted to talk to you. And Thor's the one who gets to gloat how he's more civilized than humanity. Uh huh.

4. "Mama Look Sharp" in 1776
Alright, so admittedly this one is more out of personal taste than anything actually inherently wrong with the musical, but every time I get to this point in the film I always nod off. Couple things do this for me. First, the film's been on for a long time at this point, so having a slow song come in now just makes the whole runtime seem protracted to me. Also, I don't think the song itself is very good. We essentially have Courier, McNair, and Leather Apron, none of whom were star characters, singing a depressing balled. I mean, it's appropriate for them, I suppose, but why would you stick it in now when the film is on the cusp of entering its final act? And these characters were all secondary characters at best, and they fit that role perfectly; we didn't really need a song dedicated to them. All this does for me is drag the film out for another five minutes and makes the ending seem longer because I have to wake myself up after this number's done.

3. Raf's "Gym Class" story in Transformers Prime's "Orion Pax, Part 2"
Oh my God, this scene just brings so much halt to the awesome. I talked about this in my review of the episode, but even so, I'm still bugged by this little scene. Ratchet is testing the upgraded GroundBridge and Raf just comes up to him after the Bridge broke and he's like "hey Ratchet, I've got a story to cheer you up!" And it's this terrible story about how Raf had to climb to the top of a rope in gym class and he finally was able to do it with Bumblebee's encouragement. It's your typical "never give up" story and the only good thing about this scene is that Ratchet reacts just like the audience typically does to much of the human antics on most Transformers shows and he yells at Raf: "What does any of this have to do with gym class?" Still, this scene is just stuck in here amidst all this great character work and action and momentum and suspense... and then there's this thing that has almost nothing to do with the rest of the arc. Hell, it doesn't have anything to do with the arc period because Ratchet doesn't even use the upgrades, calling it "pure folly". So... why did we have to sit through this scene if they didn't even do anything with the plot here, much less the characters?

2. "Chocolate cake" in Spiderman 2
This one isn't really something I hate so much as something that just kinda baffles me. It's one of those scenes that just feels so thrown in there for no reason, and I'm still scratching my head as to why this wasn't cut out of the movie. The scene I'm talking about is when Peter's in his one-room apartment and the girl comes over and she's like "do you want some chocolate cake and a glass of milk?" and he's like sure, so they cut to him eating the cake and then it's over. And I'm like, alright... why? What did this add to the movie? Hell, they didn't even show us the conversation that these two characters supposedly had while they were eating, they just showed us Peter finishing the cake and then moved on. I just... what the hell man!

1. The Scooby Gang revolts against Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "Empty Places"
Okay, I'm going to be honest, I'm already biased towards this scene because it comes at one of the series' weakest points and it's in Season Seven, which is for me the series' weakest season behind Season One. The scene I'm talking about is the (I think) universally disliked "Buffy is kicked out of the gang" scene in Season Seven. It's one of the few times in the show where I have to label almost every writer involved here an idiot, because I honestly don't even know what they were thinking taking this rout to get to where they needed to be. I get why they needed to do this, but what the fuck made them decide to go about it like this? Basically the scene involves Buffy getting the whole group together and explaining a plan she has, but the group isn't having it. And by "the group", I do mean everyone. Now, I will give them this, the scene at least tries in the beginning to make this debate substantive. Giles and Faith point out to Buffy that her plan hinges on conjecture, and to lead an assault based on just that isn't really a good idea. So I can totally see where they're coming from; Giles in particular is pretty in character here to question Buffy's leadership (sort of... but that's a whole other rant). But then one by one, the group starts to question Buffy's decision more harshly, and for the Potential Slayers, yeah, I can see that. They're new, they don't know this person, and the last mission they went on got several of them killed. So that's fine. But then Willow and Xander speak up and they don't even defend Buffy's position. Like, not even once! I mean, these people have been together for seven fucking years and you're telling me that not even Willow will stand up for Buffy?! Come on! And the thing of it is is that no one really takes the time to analyze this fully; every stance and decision here is made on the spot and finalized without even a legitimate discussion. And it just gets worse! When the Potentials suggest that Faith be leader (a point that, thankfully, Faith objects to, which is one of the few logical character actions in this scene), Willow and Xander go along with that without any objection whatsoever! Hey morons! Fucking morons! Faith tried to kill you in Season Three!!! What the hell are you even doing? And it's not like they've personally seen Faith's character growth; that happened on Angel. Did... did the writers just forget what was going on with these characters? I'm honestly stunned. It's one of the only times in the show where characterization was handled so badly as to utterly betray the characters themselves. What a shame.

So, there you have it! Five scenes I hate in movies and shows that I love! Again, these scenes by no means diminish the awesomeness of these movies and shows, but they're constantly in the back of my brain whenever I got and rewatch the movie or episode in which they appear. It's like bracing for a shot, you know it's coming and it won't hurt too badly, but getting it isn't fun... or maybe that's just how I am with shots, I don't know. Anyway, what do you guys think? Do you agree, disagree? Do you have scenes of your own that you just can't stand in things you love? Let me know in the comments below!

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