It’s the end of 2005 and everyone who knows about movies is doing his or her best to rustle through their ticket stubs and pick out their top 10 of 2005. It’s a great idea, but what about all those other movies?
The movies that you saw and had some really incredible moments but not enough to be considered on the list? You know the moments I’m talking about: the geek moments, the moments where you became truly lost in the universe of the movie, the moments that sometimes made an otherwise lackluster movie not a total waste. This list is dedicated to those moments (minor spoilers ahead).
10. “Why Do We Fall Down, Mr. Wayne?”: Batman and Batman Returns were both pretty good but it was definitely up to Batman Begins to redeem the series from the horrors of Batman and Robin and Batman Forever. Begins did its job very well. While it did many things right, one of the best things it did was give Batman a worthy catch phrase, his version of “With great power comes great responsibility.” That little addition, which the other films lacked, somehow made everything in the movie seem a bit more powerful and restored the Bat to his rightful place in moviedom.
9. Roll the Credits: Those who stuck around to the very end of The Great Raid were treated to probably the best end-credit sequence ever created. Through historical stock footage, the audience witnessed a dynamic epilogue that followed the soldiers through the end of the war in the Pacific and all the way back home to San Francisco into the arms of their loved ones. It was a touching and memorable tribute to the men and women depicted in the film.
8. Through the Wardrobe: It can’t be an easy thing to visualize how one can walk through a wardrobe and enter into another world but the crew of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe did a spectacular job of making it believable. It’s such a neat transition to see the fur coats give way to fir trees, and it went a long way towards setting the stage for the rest of the film.
7. “Don’t Even Think About It!” “I Never Do!”: While the Fantastic 4 didn’t prove equal to any of the more recent comic adaptation films, there’s something about the aforementioned line coupled with a fiery guy jumping off a building to distract a heat-seeking missile that is just awesome.
6. Quit Stalling: I’m a sucker for anything Jet Li does but I was rather excited for Unleashed since it shares the same director as The Professional, and included Morgan Freeman in the cast always lends some credibility. It ended up being a good film but not a great film. What was great, however, is Li’s amazing ability to fight bad guys in the confines of a very, very small bathroom. When you’ve seen one Jet Li film you sometimes have seen them all, but it’s the little variations like this that keep you coming back.
5. Don’t Worry, Jesus Walks: The trailer for Jarhead is one of the few that I have seen and immediately thought, “I have to see that!” It’s such an impressive blend of visuals edited perfectly with great music. There were more than a few times that seeing the trailer was the highlight of my movie-going experience that day. While the film may not have lived up to the trailer, the trailer gave me shivers every time.
4. In the Beginning: While reaction was mixed at best to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, no one could resist the humor and charm of watching how a team of specialized terraformers put the final touches on the earth they just made. From filling the oceans to rolling on the paint of the painted rocks, the scene was amazingly creative and subtly humorous. The one part of the movie that is mandatory viewing.
3. Not 1 T-Rex, 3 T-Rexes!: I was pretty excited by the depiction of a giant monkey fighting a giant lizard in the trailer for King Kong. But then you get to the movie and he actually fights three giant lizards. Wow. Many have said that the movie seemed to drag on towards the beginning and the end, but all agree that the middle third on the island is spectacular with this scene being the high-water mark.
2. River – 73, Reavers – 0: Serenity is by far the sleeper hit of the year and well worth a rental (or purchase!) for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, if not for this fantastic final fight scene. River’s axe-wielding pose might even qualify as the coolest single frame of the year. While Serenity makes my top 10 best movies for the year, this screams to be included on this list as well.
1. The End of a A Saga: The last few minutes of Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith are more coda than finale but still manage to hit all the right notes. The transfer of the twins, the sunset, the music, all a great mix of bitter and sweet. The mistakes were obvious throughout Episodes 1 and 2 but it’s still gratifying to know that George Lucas could close out his tale with a bang.