Tag Archives: IMDB 250

Top 5: Scenes from Forrest Gump (IMDB Top 250 #13)

Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks, Robert Zemeckis

Every other month, we take a look at a movie on the Internet Movie Database’s List of the TOP 250 FILMS OF ALL-TIME.  These are movies that transcend a simple “My Favorite Scene” column.  These are movies that are hard to just pry five gems from, but we do and examine the film overall.  We’re on our thirteenth installment in this series.  Click on the links for The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Dark Knight, Pulp Fiction , Schindler’s List, 12 Angry Men, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, The Return of the King, Fight Club,  and The Empire Strikes Back to check out previous installments.

At  #13, we come to 1995’s Best Picture: Forrest Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis.  These columns usually come out faster, and for that I’m sorry, but I’ve hit a road block with this one that I haven’t encountered since we did Pulp Fiction: I really don’t like Forrest Gump.  CALM DOWN!  I respect the film for the performances and for breakthroughs in the craft of film making, but in no way do I think the film is one of the greatest motion pictures of all-time.  “Gumpmania” swept the country in 1994, denying what should have been the most critically recognized film of the year, The Shawshank Redemption, the acclaim it has since received in the two decades since both were released.  Likewise, Tom Hanks has given at least three to five performances that were stronger Oscar candidates than Forrest Gump.  It is, however, undeniably a hugely popular film, and like Pulp Fiction, it does have scenes (most involving my favorite character) that are worthy of recognition and examination. Continue reading Top 5: Scenes from Forrest Gump (IMDB Top 250 #13)

Top 5: Scenes from The Empire Strikes Back (IMDB Top 250 #12)

Star Wars, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Every month we take a look at a movie on the Internet Movie Database’s List of the TOP 250 FILMS OF ALL-TIME.  These are movies that transcend a simple “My Favorite Scene” column.  These are movies that are hard to just pry five gems from, but we do and examine the film overall.  We’re on our twelfth installment in this series.  Click on the links for The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Dark Knight, Pulp Fiction , Schindler’s List, 12 Angry Men, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, The Return of the King, Fight Club, and The Fellowship of the Ring to check out previous installments.

Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Frank Oz, Mark Hamill, The Empire Strikes Back, Star WarsAt  #12, we come to the first of the (soon-to-be) eight films in the Star Wars franchise on the IMDB Top 250: the undisputed fan and critical favorite – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.  Appropriate timing, since we are now less than a month away from the return of Darth Vader in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and The Empire Strikes Back is undoubtedly the ultimate Vader film. Continue reading Top 5: Scenes from The Empire Strikes Back (IMDB Top 250 #12)

Top 5: Scenes from Schindler’s List

Schindler's List

Every month or so, we continue down the of the Top 250 films on IMDB, and examine the top 5 scenes within one of the greatest films of all-time.  To review, so far we’ve looked at:

1. Shawshank Redemption
2. The Godfather
3. The Godfather Part 2
4. The Dark Knight
5. Pulp Fiction

Liam Neeson, Schindler's List, Oskar Schindler
Which brings us to #6: Schindler’s List.  In 1993, Steven Spielberg had one of the greatest years of any director in the history of film.  That summer he released one of the greatest summer blockbusters ever in Jurassic Park and that winter he swept the Oscars and turned in probably his best film with the Holocaust drama Schindler’s List.

Some movies get labeled as “Important” without deserving it, but if any film must be seen simply because it IS important, it’s Schindler’s List.  To some degree, you have to do Spielberg a disservice and put aside the quality of the film itself, which is impeccable.  The subject matter, the Holocaust, is a horror which no imagination can ever equal.  That Spielberg manages to capture a fraction of the reality behind it, justifies the film’s place in history.  No one is ever in the mood to watch Schindler’s List; you don’t pop it in at the end of a long day.  Most people, will only see the film once, and it is a defining enough experience that once is all people need to remember.

Ralph Fiennes, Schindler's List
Humanity has an almost uncanny ability to forget.  Movies exist fundamentally as escapism; as a tool to forget.  TS Eliot said that humankind can only bear so much reality, and that’s true.  Most of us spend our days in a calculated effort to forget the most important things in our personal and collective history.  It is that built-in lethargy that we have to fight,  because events like The Holocaust can and will happen again if we allow ourselves to forget what we’re capable of doing to each other.  Schindler’s List is probably the greatest tool we have to ensure the transference of cultural memory of The Holocaust from the generations touched by World War II to the present and future.  It is heartbreaking, brutal and beautiful.  These are the five scenes that have stayed with me.

1. The Girl in the Red Coat


Simply the most effective use of color in any film ever made, and in a film of heartbreaking moments; the one that’s seared into my mind forever.

2. I Could Have Done More


When I make fun of Liam Neeson or rag on him for his career post-Taken, I’m comparing what he IS doing to what he CAN do, which perhaps best captured here.

3. The List is an Absolute Good


Ben Kingsley makes any film in which he partakes better.  He has an Oscar for being a leading man, but to me he is the one of the five best supporting actors in the history of cinema.

4. The Balcony Shootings


Ralph Fiennes is as revolting a presence as Schindler is ultimately a redeeming one.  The casual evil is the most vile.

5. The End


Spielberg has a problem ending films these days, but he didn’t always.  It’s hard to imagine any other ending for this film of black and white fiction than to transfer to full-color reality; the surviving (as of 1993) Schindler Jews.

Top 5: Scenes from Pulp Fiction

Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Pulp Fiction

 

We started this last year and then got a bit off-track, but I’d like to pick up our monthly examination of the Top 250 films on IMDB.  To review, so far we’ve looked at:
1. Shawshank Redemption
2. The Godfather
3. The Godfather Part 2
4. The Dark Knight

Which brings us to #5: Pulp Fiction.  Now, the first four films in the IMDB 250, I revere.  I, quite frankly, don’t think Pulp Fiction is even the fifth best film from 1994, let alone of all-time.  I think it’s incredibly overrated.  To me, it’s a good film that showed the promise Tarantino would fulfill later with Inglorious Bastards, but not the apex of his career.  I think the film has a great beginning and a great end, but the 90 minutes inbetween are largely forgettable (or memorable only for being REALLY disturbing).  I think the writing is lazy.  Scripts that drop the F-bomb every other word bore me.  I don’t hate the film.  Whenever we’re with Jules and Vincent, I fricking love it, but again that’s pretty much the first half-hour and last half-hour.  I know this is a Holy Grail movie to some people, so I’m going to stop my criticism and single out my favorite scenes .  It goes without saying (yet I’m still going to warn) that there is an extreme violence and potty mouth warning on this column.

1. Ezekiel 25:17

Easily the movie’s best scene is Samuel L. Jackson’s hamburger tasting/Bible quoting show of force.  This six minutes is worth watching the whole movie.  Whatever issues I have with the film as a whole, I could watch this piece a million times and never get bored.

2. Poor Marvin

How big are the squibs Tarantino uses?  I have to think they’re like nine times the size of a normal squib.  The shoot-out in Django Unchained is like people are sacks of raspberry jam bulging at the seams.  This is a shocker the first time you see it and darkly hilarious in subsequent watchings.  Poor Marvin, really.

3.  Divine Intervention

Jump to the end of the film when Jules and Vincent get stuck in volleyball clothes following Marvin’s…explosion.  Jules ponders the meaning behind their survival and concludes it was a case of Divine Intervention.

4. The Gold Watch

This is how good Christopher Walken is.  He has, literally, one scene in the entire film and it’s a monologue about how he’s kept a watch up his butt for years and it is MESMERIZING.  Definitely a case of tell being better than show.  If only that could’ve held true in the pawn shop basement….yeesh.

5.  Royale With Cheese

Probably the two most iconic scenes from the film are this one and the dance contest, likely because they’re the easiest scenes in the film to edit for broadcast television.  Your introduction to Jules and Vincent, the scene is memorable for a reason even if it’s been repeated and mocked to death.