Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesday - Best Opening Scene

With Boxer still missing but quite possibly almost ready to retake the hostess reigns, Milk River Madman is graciously continuing to host the Movie Clip Wednesday Meme where everyone picks a clip from their favorite movies based on a weekly theme. This week's theme is BEST OPENING SCENE and the Madman has given me ample time to consider the theme. It's a good thing too because I needed the time.

For starters, I will concede that the 2 best opening scenes in movie history are from Raiders of the Lost Ark and Saving Private Ryan. Interesting, action-packed and (in the Case of SPR) unforgettably horrific images burned into the brain. These 2 are far and away the best and on a level that no other movies to date can hold a candle to. So, I will take a pass on these 2 movies and come up with 3 other possible choices for best opening scene.

Spoiler Alert (of sorts)
The first is a lesser known Clint Eastwood movie, 1968's Hang 'em High. This is great opening because Clint "gets hanged" before the opening credits. I believe the Police Squad movies of the 1980s copied this and used it as a running gag on the 6 episodes that they made. Unfortunately, the scene is 10 minutes long, so I won't torture you with it.

My second choice was 1996's From Dusk Till Dawn. It's offbeat, violent and funny as most Tarrantino flicks are. What other movie kills a cop, sets a redneck on fire and blows up a gas station in the opening scene? But again, the scene is very long, so nixed it too.

So my third choice is 1994's Natural Born Killers. I have to admit that I didn't like this movie the first time I saw it. It had directing that I had never seen before (Oliver Stone - go figure) and I wasn't prepared for it. Then I let it sink in and watched it a few months later and I got the movie. It's a great commentary on everything that's wrong with the tabloid media. Juliette Lewis is a hot sociopath in this scene. And I forgot that James Gammon, who recently passed away and played Redneck's Buddy in the Diner, was in this movie (think Lou Brown from Major League - "Forget about the curve ball Ricky, give him the heater."). Enjoy the carnage.

Mickey: I realized my true calling in life.
Wayne Gale: What's that?
Mickey: Shit, man, I'm a natural born kill.

Other great movie openings are going on over at the Madman 's.


王辛江淑萍康 said...
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Milk River Madman said...

Is it Wednesday already? I must be on a Mayan calendar cause its Tuesday AM here in Big Sky Country. Great choices all. Forgot about Raiders (what was I thinking as it's awesome). I walked out of NBK as I thought it was horrible but this is a good clip. I'll be up later today.

Buzz Kill said...

It was my turn to F-up the Auto Scheduler. It works but it helps to put in the correct date.

Natural Born Killers isn't everyone's cup of tea. The flash imagery gets dizzying and annoying at points. But the quirky storyline and raw brutality is something to behold. Anyway, I loved that it's an opening that you don't see coming.

Pam said...

Hmmm, another movie I haven't seen. Probably should watch it sometimes because of the cult status. The girl character is supposed to be based off an Okie girl, related to a well known political family who went off the rails. Maybe this movie is more violent than I want to spend a few hours with.

Milk River Madman said...

BK no worries. Next time I'm in Jersey we'll hook up for a beer or two. I have free rein where I work. Don't blog a lot from there but to say I've never done it would be a lie. Tried to find the "give hime the heater" scene for you but couldn't do it. Damn the 21st century. Damn it to hell. Just kiddin.

moi said...

I nearly blog jinxed you! In my opinion, NBK is hands down one of the greatest movies ever made (especially in its use of music to accompany the action). The opening sequence sets the tone for the entire movie, the way it builds from melancholy menace (Leonard Cohen), culminates in all-out onslaught (L-7), then backs off for a breather before starting all over again.

The violence is beyond rough (and it gets worse, especially at the end), but Oliver Stone, who is by no means always this good, for once hits his social commentary squarely on the head.

Elsewhere in the world, this kind of violence is usually only perpetuated by ethnic groups and governments. Think Soviet Russia, Dafur, Palestine, Israel, Bosnia, etc.

But with the exception of urban gangs, America isn't by and large a country in which violence springs from the discontent of petty tribal units. This is a country of the lone gunman and rampaging serial killer, broken individuals with faulty wiring whose natures seem fully sprung with no rhyme or reason straight from the head of Athena, bred on our lonesome highways and marauding through the landscape in a way that is horrific and yet somehow twistedly heroic. That's what Stone managed, in spite of all his faults, to achieve with NBK and as terrible as it is, it's also great.

Karl said...

Good morning Buzz Kill,

But but, why'd they have to kill the scorpion? I've seen this scene before, I believe Moi used it. I'm glad I didn't pay for it in the theater I would've never been able to sit through all the jumping around.

Happy clip day to you.

Jenny said...

Mr. Boxer also suggested the opening to Raiders of the Lost Ark, which can still thrill me after all these years and sequels.

I've never seen Natural Born Killers and I know I need to. First, because I adore Moi and second because it really does seem like a great movie. Of course, I'll need a few valium to get through it, but oh well.

Happy MCW.

LaDivaCucina said...

LOVE IT. Yes, Juliette Lewis is a hot sociopath in this and I love how she kicks the guys ass, kind of a fantasy of every hot chick who's ever been bothered and harassed by a jerk. hehe! I haven't seen this movie in a long time, it was pretty graphic but certainly not boring!

Aunty Belle said...

mercy...ain't knowin' quite what ter say on this one--smushed scorpion indeed. I think we nixed this one in our house one night when it came to the TV...anyhoo, I prefer mah violence elegant, better clothes ya know?

Buzz Kill said...

This movie is about extreme violence. I don't think you'd like it.

I love Major League (one of those guilty pleasures). I didn't look for that scene but am surprised you couldn't find it. It's only the best line in the movie.

I knew you liked this movie. Stone's politics aside, I think he captured the whole media frenzy, shock TV, Geraldo thing pretty well. The whole scene with Mallory's family (and Rodney Dangerfield) and the inappropriate laugh track is an extreme representation of the Springer/Povich shows.

I think they killed a whole bunch of animals in this flick. And this movie is an epileptic's nightmare. If flashing lights and speeding cameras bother you, you'd do best not to watch.

I'm surprised no one did Raiders or Saving Private Ryan. Great openings both. And NBK is definitely worth watching once, even at the risk of drug addiction.

Lewis played a great part for being so young (she was 20) and actually, pretty gutsy. Are you flirting with me? Bwahahaha

It's pretty violent and not for everybody. If you have doubts about liking it, you probably won't.

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moi said...

P.S. http://marriage.about.com/od/20thanniversary/p/20anniv.htm