For this list, we are looking at my top 10 favorite shots. These shots can be an entire scene or less than 30 seconds. I’ll explain the scene and why I like it. At the end let me know what you think and whether or not you agree. We will also be starting from number 10 and working our way up from there!
*Spoilers, ye be warned…
10. Kung Fu Panda Training Scene
(Forgive the bad quality; there was no other available video with the exact scene.) This movie has it all: great action and voice acting, strong soundtrack, fun characters, humor and a great message. This scene encompasses all of that. Mainly through the action and funny quick sounds and movements. The humor is captured when Po gets the right bowl with the dumpling underneath and quickly yells “whew!”. The soundtrack starts to pick up as the scene progresses, giving a martial arts vibe as they continue to spar. Fun, entertaining scene to watch.
9. Mad Max: Fury Road Opening Car Scene
(When I talk about this scene, I am focusing on before they engage all the other cars and start fighting.) This is one of the best action movies of all time. Winner of six academy awards, this is a must see. What I loved most about this movie was their dedication to using minimal special effects. This beginning scene with all the cars and the awesome flamethrower guitarist was done without any effects! Everything you are seeing is really happening. Plus I play guitar so it gets bonus points for that.
8. Lean On Me Argument Scene
Every time this scene ends I am laughing. How many people can have an argument like that and then go get something to eat together?? I love this scene for the raw acting. They are both in each other’s faces yelling, asserting their positions over the other trying to win. They are both long time friends, yet they are at each other’s throats. A raw argument like this is fun to watch and the ending to the superintendents argument is great: “get used to it it’s the way of the world! If you are so hung up on discipline then start by accepting mine!” very intense and well acted scene!
7. Opening Thirty Seconds to Braveheart
For this I am talking about the first thirty seconds that ends when the dialogue starts. A good score goes a long way for me. This is one of the first movies that made me love and listen to soundtracks. The camera moving high in the sky over Scotland with the violins and bagpipe playing work beautifully with each other. We are getting the setting and feel for the movie without any words being said.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy Opening Scene
Speaking of setting the tone in the opening scene, this movie nailed it! Showing off great CGI and a seemingly serious tone to…dancing? When he puts on his old headphones and starts his Awesome Mix Vol. 1 that is the greatest tone shift in the movie. With him dancing, kicking monsters and flying over a pit full of whatever those worm aliens are, we now know what to expect from the movie: awesome action with quality, lighthearted humor.
5. 127 Hours Ending
While there are a lot of phenomenal scenes, I always remembered this one the most. The movie as a whole is great and highly recommend watching it. I chose this because of how overwhelming the feeling is. He is dying from blood loss and is close to passing out. The music slowly starts to play as he is making his way out of the canyons. When he finally sees people and yells for help, you realize that he is going to be okay. You look back on what he just overcame: the physical and psychological battle, and are so relieved and happy. This movie also got bonus points because it had one of my favorite actors in it, James Franco.
4. The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale Snowing Forest
*Instructions: Before watching fast forward to 1:05:04 and watch until 1:06:07. That is the only way I can find the scene.
Not a well-known movie in America. I stumbled across this movie while sick in bed watching Netflix. The movie is phenomenal. Great acting, but my two favorite aspects are the setting and cinematography. The camera work in this scene is magnificent. It is a moment of appreciable subjectivity with Man-duk contemplating the argument he had with his son. With the snow falling around him and sitting in the middle of the forest it is a unique display of the environment.
3. Up, Ellie and Carl’s Relationship
Pixar has a way of tugging at our heart strings. Showing a couples significant moments of getting married, having kids and other significant life experiences in less than five minutes is nothing short of amazing. And doing it in a way where you get so attached to the characters that by the time it ends, you really feel like you have watched and experienced an entire movie. Well done, Pixar.
2. It’s a Wonderful Life Ending
An actor is an outstanding actor when you feel like you have experienced a moment with them. They emulate an emotion so well you can feel it radiating inside you. That is what happens when you watch this scene from this classic movie. James Stewart emulates pure joy perfectly – it is almost overwhelming. From him yelling enthusiastically at the sight of his beat up car to kissing the stairwell decoration that keeps breaking, you truly see his happiness. With everyone coming and donating money at the end, the movie serves as a good reminder on good morales.
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Sam’s Speech
A perfect monologue to encompass a whole trilogy. Lord of the Rings does a phenomenal job of immersing you in a world of fantasy and adventure. A classic tale of good versus evil, the movies tell a great story of despair, triumph, loss and hope. The whole trilogy can be summed up in the ending to Sam’s speech: “There’s some good in the world, and it’s worth fighting for”. That is what all of the main characters are doing throughout the trilogy. They are against all odds. Their best weapon, ultimately, is hope. Hoping that everything they are doing will work out in the end. Hoping that they will overcome evil. Hoping that they will win. This also gets bonus points because Lord of the Rings are the greatest movies ever, hands down.
What did you think of the list? Comment and let me know!