Archive

Posts Tagged ‘10 Great Seconds’

10 Great Seconds – You’ve Got Me?

March 13, 2012 Comments off

I think of this line whenever I pick up Emma and tell her I’ve got her.

20 Great Seconds – Notting Hill

February 21, 2012 Comments off

I really don’t like Notting Hill, but it does have some great moments. Here’s one of my favorites, followed by the title sequence.

The setup: Hugh Grant has been on-again off-again with Julia Roberts the entire movie. Hugh Grant is playing a character much like Hugh Grant in most movies – disheveled and charming. Julia Roberts is playing Julia Roberts for all intents and purposes. Her character is a huge movie star who starts dating Hugh Grant. But her fame keeps getting in the way. The story seems to be that Hugh keeps screwing up and not doing the right thing by Julia, and in the end makes a big gesture to win her back, and that’s what this scene is about (sort of). They’re on their way to make the gesture, with Hugh’s friends in tow, but they’re going to leave behind the driver’s wife (it’s been too long since I’ve seen it – I don’t remember any of the characters’ names). They’re running late to get to Julia in time for the big to-do, but the driver refuses to not have his wheelchair-bound wife along on what he believes will be the most romantic thing he’s ever been witness to, so they stop, get her in the car, and then they can leave. I really love that moment.

It reminds me a lot of when I almost accidentally proposed to my wife, and I’ll put that story after the clip:

So my story: I had just accepted my current job teaching at UCA in Arkansas. One of the bigger decisions I’d made in a while, and my girlfriend (now wife) was still living in California and wasn’t really part of the decision. And I realized that I didn’t want to be making big life decisions without her, and that we should do something about that.

Unfortunately, I realized that at about 2am, many, many drinks in, and called her on the phone to tell her I had a big question for her… she figured it out pretty quick (I’m not that subtle…) and put the brakes on, since I was going to be in California a week later, and maybe that would be a better time to ask…?

And that’s what happened. Happily ever after. :)

So my take on Notting Hill… I got the exact opposite take on the story. Julia Roberts, to me, plays a pretty unfeeling witch of a woman who keeps putting off the very charming and more interesting Hugh Grant, and after many many many examples of why she should trust him, flies off the handle every chance she gets saying that she can’t trust him. She’s completely unlikable, and I don’t understand why Hugh Grant’s character likes her at all.

Which is probably not an uncommon reaction to the film, which lead to this opening title sequence. A lot of times opening titles are used to try and massage problems with the film that follows. A common one is if the film starts too slow, put in an exciting title sequence to jazz it up and set the tone for the film. Or the laughs don’t come until later in the film, so make the titles really funny to keep the audience engaged until the humor kicks in.

In this instance, the whole opening is a montage of how beautiful and charming Julia Roberts is, to counteract how she isn’t in the rest of the film. Check it out:

An opening sequence completely designed to win over people like me. Too bad it didn’t work.

10 Great Seconds – OVITZ!

January 27, 2012 Comments off

Despite the slightly odd impersonations of Leno and Letterman, The Late Shift is a pretty great movie about the “Late Night Wars” that took place after Carson stepped down from the Tonight Show, and Letterman and Leno fought to be his successor.  It was on HBO, with a lot of familiar faces in the cast, notably Kathy Bates as Helen Kushnick (Jay Leno’s infamous manager), and Treat Williams as superagent Michael Ovitz.

Williams oozes charm without actually oozing. This 10 seconds is just awesome, as he is through the entire film.

The setup: Leno’s been offered the show – Letterman’s stuck in a contract that makes him the 12:30 NBC show to Leno’s 11:30, so he goes looking for an agent who can help. You gotta see the whole scene- it was so hard to pick any single 10 seconds.

He looks personally angry, doesn’t he?

Supposedly John Michael Higgins (who played Letterman) got booked on Letterman after the film came out, only to get bumped from the show that night for no great reason – and was never booked again.

 

10 Great Seconds – We Won’t Tell Nobody

November 23, 2011 Comments off

Citizen Kane, Toy Story 3, Spider-Man 2 – the greatest movies of all time. As a film professor, I wish I was more into Grand Illusion or Bicycle Theif, but those are probably my three favorite movies. This clip’s from Spider-Man 2, and it never fails to get me all weepy. Spider-Man gets his mask torn off while saving a train load of people in an awesome rescue scene, then, as he almost falls from the front of the train, the people help him up, pass him over their heads, and lay him down gently.

He’s there, unmasked, as people look at him, saying “he’s just a kid” and “no older than my son,” and then Spider-Man wakes up and this moment happens.

Right after he puts the mask back on, The Green Goblin shows up, and everyone on the train gets between him and Spider-Man (“You’re gonna have to go through me” “And me” And Me” – I’m already tearing up, but that part gets me like a little girl). Watch the movie – it’s about as good as an adventure movie gets.

10 Great Seconds – Walk Hard

November 18, 2011 2 comments

10 Seconds from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Another movie that’s so much better than it has a right to be.

This is Dewey’s first time playing music in front of anyone in the music business, and two great things about this clip: first, the over-the-top reactions (LOVE the look on the engineer’s face!), and second, the music, while intentionally stupid, is actually really catchy.

10 Great Seconds – The Chair

November 16, 2011 2 comments

This is from Rocky Balboa – the last (so far…) Rocky film. This was a tough film. It was slow, not really great, but I still enjoyed it. I have a rule with movies, you can buy ten minutes of my time with a good moment, and this film is filled with good moments, about nine minutes apart. I just kept watching, even though in between the nine minutes not a lot was happening, because then another really cool thing would happen.

The scene is the strongest example of that, right at the beginning. The movie starts with Rocky at Adrian’s grave, which is not really an original idea for a scene. But then he gets up from his chair, and does this. This is why I kept watching this movie, because they kept doing stuff like this moment, that’s just clever and so… Rocky. Stuff like this is why I loved him in the first movie, and put up with all the sequels.

10 Great Seconds – Pink Sugar!

November 14, 2011 Comments off

This is from Recount – an HBO movie about the 2000 presidential election and the lawyers for Al Gore.

Laura Dern as Katherine Harris is amazing. You should look up Katherine Harris, and especially find some video. It’s incredible to watch how far Dern took the role and still isn’t as crazy as the real-life Harris.

This scene starts with her yelling “Pink Sugar!” to her assistant (meaning Sweet and Low for the uninitiated to the strangely often high strung people who call Sweet and Low “Pink Sugar”). I love that detail so very very much.

The setup: she’s being recruited to make sure she’s on the right side of the issue. She was the Secretary of State in Florida, and had great influence in the recount. And she’s a very evangelical Republican. The guys’ reactions at the end of the clip are awesomeness.

%d bloggers like this: