Lists used to be a regular thing here at PINNLAND EMPIRE, but for whatever reason I gave them a rest in favor of writing longer articles that most of you probably don't even finish reading once you start. It recently hit me that although its way too early to start deciding what the defining movies of the decade are, there's already quite a few isolated moments from the last 4+ years that are either so visually striking, prolific, heartbreaking, frightening, hilarious or a combination of everything that they deserve to be mentioned.
So, as part of a new ongoing series, we're going to list my personal favorite movie moments of the decade so far.
I put an emphasis on the word; "personal" because its just that. My own personal opinion. This list in no way speaks for anyone else. And please keep in mind that this is ongoing (as you're checking this eighth installment I'll already be putting the final touches on part ten). So if you don't see something listed that you feel should be, give it some time. It may show up eventually. There's no order or hierarchy in what gets listed either.
FYI...two of the seven films represented in this installment are currently streaming on Netflix instant and three are easy to come by on DVD & Blu-Ray just about anywhere (I'm not sure about the availability of the other two)
FINAL MOMENTS OF I SAW THE DEVIL
Had this ended any differently I think it would have put a negative stench on the whole film. As the story progresses you start to forget that the protagonist (pictured above) is fueled by sadness more than anything else. Early on when he gets the news that his wife was murdered he falls in to a momentary depression, but it quickly goes away and he’s consumed by anger & rage and goes in to super revenge mode for the next two hours. Anger & rage are typical motivators in any revenge film. But the sadness that’s beneath all that isn’t always explored because the leading actors (usually men) associated with good revenge films are stoic/tough guys like Lee Marvin (Point Blank), Charles Bronson (Death Wish), Bruce Lee (Enter The Dragon), Fred Williamson (Hell Up In Harlem), etc. Lee Byung-hun (the lead actor in I Saw The Devil) is no exception to this rule (he’s obviously not on the same iconic status as folks like Bronson & Marvin, but the character he plays in I Saw The Devil would kick any of their asses). Through the majority of the film he’s pretty much a cold-blooded emotionless ass-beating machine. But in the final moments of the film we finally see his vulnerable side. After all the torturing, fighting & killing, he comes to realization that none of it made him feel any better, it won’t bring his wife back and he’s left with nothing.
EVERY WILL FORTE SCENE FROM TIM & ERIC'S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE
In my opinion, Will Forte is currently the funniest human being on the planet. And I say this as someone who really didn’t watch him on SNL or enjoy McCgruber. For me, Forte’s show-stealing scenes in Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie can be enjoyed by anyone with a sense of humor, whether you like Tim & Eric’s style of comedy or not…
REALITY CHECK (BULLY)
Bully was tough to watch at times because I just wanted someone to step in and stop some of the actual bullying that went on in this documentary. But this is one scene where I'm glad no one stepped in to do anything because it exposed the cluelessness of some of the adults/authority figures in this movie. Following a school fight (which was really just one student finally standing up to another student who'd been picking on him for quite some time and nothing was done about it) a teacher pulls the bullied student aside (in the striped shirt pictured above) and gives him a rather naive/pointless advice and he pretty much gives her a reality check on what it's really like to be bullied and feel desperate.
CHANNELING AKIRA (CHRONICLE)
This movie really had no business being this good. I rented it on a whim because a few people whose opinions I trust gave it glowing reviews. The P.O.V./handheld genre has been played out for years. Seriously – have you ever browsed the horror films that are streaming on Netflix? It feels like half the movies are cheap imitations of either The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity (which aren’t very good movies to begin with). But Chronicle (which actually isn’t even a horror movie) put a slight twist on the genre. Instead of one perspective, we get many different perspectives through the course of the film (camera phones, security cameras, news cameras, etc), especially in the epic climatic battle in the end, which owes quite a bit to Akria…
BILL WATSON (ROOM 237)
I still enjoy Room 237 just as much as when I saw it the first time. Except now, two years later, I enjoy it for very different reasons. I’m embarrassed to say that the first time I watched this documentary I got caught up in the hype surrounding some of the conspiracy theories surrounding The Shining. Nowadays I watch Room 237 as pure entertaining. However the one theory that still kinda holds up and creeps me out a little is the one surrounding the Bill Watson character and how he represents the spirit of the dead Native Americans buried underneath the overlook hotel. Just look at him (pictured above). There’s a haunting cryptic quality to his face that I never picked up on until I saw Room 237.
GEORGES' NIGHTMARE (AMOUR)
There’s a million ways to over-analyze this scene. It’s a dream sequence from an art house movie about a man coming to grips with his dying wife. What couldn’t be said about it? I just honestly love the imagery of the hand covering George’s mouth…
CELINE & JESSE ARGUE (BEFORE MIDNIGHT)
Here’s a scene (about 15-20 minutes long I believe) that doesn’t necessarily make you question marriage, but it definitely gives you anxiety about it. On one hand you just want this argument to end, but on the other hand you appreciate it because it feels like a real argument you’ve had, or may potentially have at some point with your significant other.