This week's Theatre Thursday is dedicated to those Onscreen Moments that stay with you forever.
1) What moment from what movie still makes you laugh out loud - no matter how many times you see it?
So many moments from the classic that is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. "Looks kids, a deer!" "Dad, did you bring an axe?" "Eddie, if I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I couldn't be any more surprised than I am right now."
2) What moment from what movie still makes you cry like a baby - no matter how many times you see it?
When Spock sacrifices himself in his version of the Kobyashi Maru in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. There are very few, better, well-handled on-screen character deaths than this one. Every other Star Trek death has tried to best this one, and none has really scratched the surface. Also, the scene in The Searchers where Ethan Edwards chases down Debby in the end and you fully expect him to kill her, but instead he lifts her up, hugs her and says, "Let's go home, Debby."
3) What moment from what movie made you actually turn your head from the screen - either in fear, revulsion, or contempt for the fact that you actually paid money to see the film?
As much as I enjoyed American Pie, it seems as though a lot of comedies these days are going for the over-the-top, gross-out factor. Even the last American Pie film went a bit too far with the whole scene where Stiffler eat dog doo claiming it's a truffle. Just a bit too much for my liking and there have been others--such as Van Wilder--that have done similiar stunts that really make me question why I'm watching and wasting my time.
BONUS) What is one single moment from a film that is indelibly etched in your brain? Not a scene or a sequence exactly, but three or four seconds from a movie that contain an image or phrase or concept that transcends normal movies?
A couple of moments that really stand out to me. One is from the classic movie, the Searchers with John Wayne. It's the famous scene where Ethan Edwards and Martin finally catch-up to Debby and Ethan decides to shoot her because she's been "corrupted" by the Indians. Martin steps in front of her and says, "No you don't Ethan! No you don't!" A powerful moment in cinema. Also, the scene that I talk about above where Ethan tells Debby, "Let's go home, Debby." Also, going back to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan...after the Enterprise has been beaten badly by Khan in the first battle, Kirk asks for time to pull up data on the Genesis project to give to Khan. Instead, he pulls up the codes to lower their shields. The scene takes place as Khan tells Kirk time is up and Kirk responds with by lowering Khan's shields, attacking the ship and limping away in the Enterprise. Just the music, the direction, the acting, the cutting in that scene...it makes it memorable. Finally, one of those great stand-up and cheer moments I love comes from Superman II. After giving up his powers and seeing the trio take over the world, Clark goes back to the Fortress of Solitude to beg for his powers back. Cut to Metropolis and the Daily Planet. The trio shows up with Lex and tries to take Lois to bring Superman out of hiding. The scene plays out with the John Williams score hinting that Superman is coming back, people looking up and seeing something, the breeze going and then Superman shows up outside Perry White's window and says, "General, would you care to step outside?" It's a great moment for the build-up and the sense of relief you share with everyone that Superman has finally shown up to take care of this problem.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 7/22/2004 08:51:00 AM