As wonderful as a carefully crafted script is, some of the best movie moments are simply made up on the fly. CineFix returns with another great movie list – Top 10: Improvised Scenes in Movie History. Some directors hate improv and some barely require a formal script. I think erring on the side of having a Nolan-esque literary script in place is probably the prudent route, but as those are a handful a year, there’s something seriously admirable about an actor/director collaboration that just spontaneously generates magic on the spot. While improv is most associated with comedy, a good portion of the spots on the list go to famous dramatic scenes from Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, A Clockwork Orange, and The Breakfast Club. Improv is a staple of comedy, and a lot of your favorite comedy moments, be they from Judd Apatow, Bill Murray, or Chris Guest, also make the list. Rather than picking a scene for #1 though, CineFix made the very wise choice of simply sticking Robin Williams’s name up top. If you’re going to have a list heralding lack of structure, Robin deserves to sit atop it with his whole body of work.
If The Incredibles taught us anything, it’s that if you can get a villain monologuing, you’re likely to find out what they’re up to….and quite possibly live (or not) to regret it. WatchMojo has delivered another fantastic list focusing on the greatest monologues from movie villains in screen history. I would take issue with some of their placements, and I’d swap out a few, but these are 10 amazing scenes. It’s no mistake that of the actors featured in these roles, five were nominated for Oscars for these performances and four won. Some of these moments we’ve broken down before like Silva’s Rat Monologue in Skyfall and Colonel Jessup on the stand from A Few Good Men, but a few of these just jumped to the lead in future installments, because each one is worthy of examination. Watch, enjoy, and weigh in with what other movie monologues you think were worthy of inclusion on the list.
What Culture put together a great list that I never would have thought of on my own, but is so true: the best performances by actors who just gave up. Sometimes you can tell, clearly, that an actor is not at all pleased to be in a film and the performance comes across (Marlon Brando in Superman; Brando appears TWICE in a nine person list). Sometimes, the actor knows the movie is truly awful and decides to steal it with a legendarily good performance in a legendarily bad film (Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves). Sometimes a great performance comes across despite an actor being miserable on-set (Chevy Chase in Community or Robert Shaw in Jaws), but whatever the reason, it’s always interesting to get a behind-the-scenes peak into what made a memorable performance so memorable.
Critics be damned, there are some “classics” that I cannot stand. I not only dislike them; I think they are legitimately bad films. This is on my mind this week as I’ve just watched The Exorcist for the first time and thought it was a steaming pile of boring. But is it top 5? Nope. Here, I present to you, my top 5 critically-acclaimed duds.
1. Apocalypse Now (1979)
2. Titanic (1997)
3. Goodfellas (1990)
4. The Departed (2006)
5. Blade Runner (1982)
Those are just the top 5, but you want more? Raging Bull, Titanic, The French Connection, Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver, Spirited Away, Resevoir Dogs, The Graduate, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, A Streetcar Named Desire, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and The Exorcist as of today. All of these films are in the top 250 all-time on the International Movie Database‘s rating system and I hate ’em all. Lemme have it (don’t really, it’s actually been quite a long week so I don’t know why I’m dropping this bomb).