October 20, 2014

5 Scenes I Love in Movies and Shows I Hate

So, with every positive there is a negative, and what better way to contrast my last post than with this little thing? This one will likely be a more positive post, though I did enjoy writing the last one, so strap in, because I'm gonna take us through five scenes I love in movies and shows that I hate.

5. "Punch, hold, slide, repeat" in Transformers: Age of Extinction
To say that I hated this thing... that would be an understatement so ludicrous it would be like saying that this movie is long; y'know, that's true, but that doesn't really capture the feelings behind that fact. Anyway, the only scene that came close to interesting to me in this atrocity was the scene where the humans are caught by Bumblebee who is then picked up by Crosshairs who has commandeered a Decepticon ship. This leads us into the only "good" (though I use that term loosely) fight scene. Crosshairs' and Bumblebee's designs are really cool in my opinion, and this scene gives both a chance to shine. The former especially is just insane with his shotguns and parachutes and goggles and whatnot. Bumblebee's pretty good with his new stinger weapon bullet things, and I love the brightness of day and the way the robots pop here too. It's very visual and the way the music ramps up and keeps a well-paced beat behind what's going on really puts you into the action. Like applying Neosporin for a chainsaw to the belly, this scene only helps the movie so much, but it's the only part of the film that I remember vividly from my one time seeing this.

4. The ending of Titanic
So yeah, I hated this movie because of how insulting it is to the real-life events of which this is supposedly based on, the terrible characters, dialogue, contrivances, etc. that all make this thing so bogged down that you wonder why this film hasn't sunk like its namesake, but one of the parts I didn't hate about this was the ending. Like, the ending ending. Rose dies, and I just love how beautiful this longtake is with Rose finally finding Jack and smiling, a culmination that really offsets the tragedy of the disaster in a great way (unlike the rest of the movie where it makes you want to smack the writers upside the head). It's just a lovely ending and the heart and passion put behind this scene is something that the rest of the film could have used much more of.

3. "Sometimes when you cage the beast, the beast gets angry" in X-Men III: The Last Stand
This film definitely had problems, and what I'm about to bring up really just makes me want to weep because this element of the film that I loved I wish could have been spread out throughout the rest of the film instead of confined to this one scene. Logan and Charles bring Jean back to the mansion and it's revealed that Charles set up a bunch of mental cages within Jean's brain to contain a force so powerful that even Charles himself couldn't even think about controlling this, and it calls itself the Phoenix. I love this because it puts Charles in such a fascinating light; his actions here are more along the lines of what someone like Erik might have done, but it's Charles who has made it so that Jean didn't even get a say in whether or not she could even control this. And Logan's position is one that looks at this differently, that maybe Jean did deserve to choose for herself, that Charles didn't even give Jean the opportunity to control what was in her. The moral questions and ethical debates that this situation raises are fascinating and multi-faceted, and had these been sprinkled throughout the rest of the movie, it would have been all the better for it, because this had the potential to carry a really substantive debate about whether or not mutants have the power to censor other mutants' powers for the greater good or if they should let each person choose for themselves how to wield their power and give them a shot at figuring this out. Such a shame that this didn't happen beyond one quick scene.

2. "You come from a family of thieves and butchers" in Iron Man 2
Man oh man, did they screw this one up! I mean the movie, not this scene. This scene was awesome, and it was the only one in the film that could have led to something meaningful and challenging for Tony. He visits Ivan in his cell, and here Tony sees just what his legacy and his lineage has brought about for a person whose family was murdered by Tony's parents, or at the very least, their technology. It's kind of the follow up to Iron Man in the sense that in the first film, Tony was seeing how his weapons were being used and he sought to change that. Here, he's essentially being told that his family's company has killed thousands already, that he can't change that, and that for all his attempts to right his family's wrongs, that history cannot be changed. and that Tony himself has a lot to answer for. He's come face to face with someone who was a victim of his family's past actions- I mean, for God's sake! This is huge! And where does this wonderful scene go? Absolutely nowhere. I mean, of course not, because we still need room to shove in as much Avengers plugs into this thing as we can, we still need room for the unbalanced proportions of action and humor that never worked in this movie. This could have been the heart and soul of the film, and coupled with another potential theme of Tony dying, this could have been Tony's moment to think back on his life and question his decisions. Alas it was not to be here, but thankfully, we essentially get that in the next movie, so that's awesome!

1. "If Spock were here and I were there, what would he do?" "He'd let you die" in Star Trek: Into Darkness
God, this film really pissed me off! That said, it got off to such a strong start and I'm so sad that none of that greatness saw fruition in the later parts of the film. But the opening of this thing was really great. It set up a lot of themes of friendship, loyalty, principles and so forth that really made this feel so much like a Star Trek film to me that I was kinda taken aback. Spock's stranded in a volcano and we get his famous "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" line but this time it's actually in context and works as opposed to other stuff he does in this film that are also iconic but don't make sense and don't work. Kirk's violation of the Prime Directive to save Spock on this primitive world was really cool to see, and the scene itself is riveting with the Enterprise rising from the ocean and being incredibly badass! I love how this sets up Spock and Kirk as representing two extremes of a point of view: that of following your heart despite what orders you have, and that of following orders despite what your heart is telling you to do. Both philosophies are debated and well thought out in the beginning of this film with a great discussion between Spock, Kirk, and Captain Pike, and Kirk's character grows from just being reckless to becoming more of what we recognize as Kirk from the original series, of feeling responsible and justified in his actions because they've served him so well since he took command of the Enterprise. And I have to say that as far as openings go, this one was damn good... which is why it sucks all the more that the rest of the film just falls flat on its face.

And there you go! Top five moments I loved in movies that I hated. I realize now I didn't put any TV shows on here! Oops! I'm sure I could've found something in Star Trek Voyager, but I didn't, so this is what you get. So again, what do you think? Are there films and TV that you just can't stand but you also love that one scene? Let me know in the comments below!

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