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Top 10 Great Movie Speeches

All of my regular readers know that I am a huge movie buff and one part of the moviews that I love are epic movie speeches.  From Braveheart to Rocky Balboa here are my top 10 movie speeches.  Many of these speeches I know by heart.

If I miss something off of the list, let me know below and we can compare notes.

10           Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King – Vitto Mortensen as the reluctant king, Aragorn marshalling the troops at the gates of Mordor.

9             Tombstone – Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp throwing down the challenge to the Cowboys.

8             Armageddon – Charlton Heston’s introduction explaining what happened to the dinosaurs in this Bruce Willis starring action role.

8a          Armageddon – The President tells the world that troubles a coming

7             Rocky Balboa – Sylvester Stallone to his son about winning and taking responsibility.

6             Braveheart – Mel Gibson marshalling the troops in Medieval Scotland as the Scottish hero, William Wallace.

5             Independence Day – Bull Pullman as the President, firing up his amateur airforce pilots taking on alien invaders led by Will Smith.

4             Scent of a WomanAl Pacino’s passionate speech to the school board so Chris O’Donnell can return to school.

3             The Dark Knight – Gary Oldman telling his son why they need to chase Batman.

2             Any Given Sunday – Al Pacino prepping his football team in the classic Peace By Inches speech.

1             A Few Good MenJack Nicholson going head to head with Tom Cruise in the best court room speech ever.

1a           A Few Good Men – Jack McClane doing his version a few years ago.  I apologise in advance.  Excuse the moustache – it was Movember.

So what do you think?  Agree with my list?  What would you add to it?  What would you take out?

The Expendables

Based on the following trailer, I am not sure whether this is going to be a good movie or not, but when you have a movie with Stallone, Schwarzenegger and the best of them all, Willis, along side other names such as Stratham, Li, Austin etc then you might just be onto a good thing.

While Bruce Willis and The Governator only have cameo’s in this movie and Sly Stallone is starring, that is enough for me to part with my 16 bucks and 2 hours to finally see the former owners of Planet Hollywood finally together on the big screen.

What did you think of the preview? Who is your favourite action star?

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As most of my readers know, I am a huge movie fan.  Actions, comedies, disaster movies, thrillers.  I love going to the cinema and forgetting about the real world for a while.

Armageddon is one of my favourite movies.  When it was released in 1999 I went with one of my mates who is as huge a Bruce Willis fan as I am.  When we were leaving the cinema I asked him what he thought.  He said it was too far fetched!

No shit!  That’s why it is called movies.

I don’t always want to see movies about real life.  It’s great to escape reality for a couple of hours and be entertained.  Armageddon was, and still is, entertaining.

Here are some movies coming soon to a cinema or drive-in near you, that I am very keen to see.

NB: release dates are for Australian Cinemas

Copout – Now Showing

Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan. Seann William Scott

She’s Out of my League – April 1

Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve

See my movie review here

Kick Ass – April 8

Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong

See my movie review here

Hot Tub Time Machine – April 22

John Cusack

Iron Man 2 – April 29

Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke

Robin Hood – May 13

Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett

The Drive-In Theatre – A step back in time

Last night I went to the Yatala Twin Drive-in theatre with my wife.

The Yatala Twin Drive-In

We have been to the drive-in only a couple of times during the 13 years we have been married but usually we have had a baby or a toddler with us as that was the easiest way to go and see a movie if you didn’t have a babysitter readily available.  The experience was usually stressful because Lisa had to breastfeed or the toddler has gotten bored quickly while watching Finding Nemo on the laptop in the back seat.  And because it was generally stressful you never really got to sit back and enjoy the experience.

Last night was different.  We had no kids this time.  I asked my wife if this was the first time we had been to the drive-in without the kids and she confirmed my suspicion.

We had a great night and it was a step back in time to my youth when there were a few more drive-ins around.  Nothing had changed.  The memories started flooding back as soon as we turned into the lot.  Lining up behind the other cars with headlights off, inching forward as a keen eye was cast over each car by the attendants hopeful of catching some kids hiding in the back seat with a blanket over them so they didn’t have to pay.  We payed 15 bucks each for the double feature of The Green Zone and Shutter Island.  Bargain!

We drove up and down each line of speakers looking for the optimum spot to park.  We found it and wedged ourselves between a couple of panel vans which I suspected would be steaming up before too long.   After manoeuvring the car into place, I tuned the radio to 99.9FM which is field 1 frequency.  We could have used the speaker box but that would have been too retro when you can have stereo sound instead of a crackly mono speaker.

Perfect.  We’ve arrived and parked about 15 minutes before show time.  Time to go and get something to eat from the snack bar.  Walking along the bitumen you can hear the crunching of loose gravel under your feet.  The snack bar is packed with movie goers keen to stock up on popcorn and chips and ice cream.  Nothing healthy of course so we choose the lesser of all evils!  The ambience is great.  There is rock and roll music being played.  A statue of Elvis and one of James Dean adorn the waiting area.  If you want to sit down and eat you can at the 50’s style booths.  If you intend on eating in the car and getting take away there are two seats you can sit on, fashioned to look like you are sitting in the trunk of a Cadillac.

There are kids everywhere.  Some wearing pyjamas because their parents know they will be well asleep by the time they get home.  Some littlies with big, wide eyes excited by their night ahead are running around in anticipation.  Other kids are setting up in the back of station wagons and SUV’s ready for the movies to start.  There is excitement in the air.

Back in the car now, eating my hotdog, Lisa eating her chicken burger, then the first and only preview comes on and then the first movie starts.  Straight into it without the usual 20 mins of ads and previews which we are all accustomed to seeing at the multiplexes.  Occasionally during the movie, some jerk puts his headlights on which diminishes the screen a touch and you laugh and remember how you use to do that when you were 12 too and you were allowed to sit behind the steering wheel!!

Movie’s over!  During the credits, it’s back to the snack bar for an ice-cream and perhaps a toilet break.  The line up for the chicks is long and I’m thankful I’m a bloke! So with Choc Top in hand it is back to the car! Once there, I consider going down to the swing set and playground just off to the left of the big screen but with a light sprinkle of rain I feel hitting my arms and head it is best to jump back into the dry, comfy surroundings of my car. The kids down there are having a ball anyway.  The Choc Top is delicious and it is gone before the next movie starts.  Lisa decides to wait to eat hers and puts it in the esky which is currently holding my Pepsi- Max soft drinks.

Another preview and then we are on a boat with Leonardo Di Caprio and Mark Ruffalo in 1950’s America.  An apt time period considering the venue we are at.

The rain is intermittent throughout and every now and then I use the windscreen wipers to remove the excess water.  Surprisingly, the outside rain is adding to the moment especially when it is raining in some scenes in the movie too.  Now this is real 3D cinema!  You can feel a few splatters of rain on your arms from the small opening of the cars windows to let the air circulate and so you don’t steam up.

We drove 78km each way to go to the Drive-In, but what we got was much more than 2 movies.  We stepped back in time for a few hours and remembered what it was like when we were kids going to the movies with our mates.  My first ever Drive-In movie that I can remember seeing was Star Wars in 1977.  I was 5 and loved it.  The next movie I remember seeing at the Drive-In was E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.  I remember this because I was 10 and my mum sent me to this movie with my sister, Joanne and her then boyfriend.  I had to sit in the front seat of his panel van in between them.  I’m sure they were both very annoyed but my mum’s plan worked!

If you haven’t been to the Drive-In for awhile, I urge you to check it out and support a dying business.  Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!  Let’s help them stay in business.  You don’t have to see every movie at the Drive-In but if you see one movie a year then you are doing your part to save them.

By the way, the panel vans didn’t steam up.  Both movies were too good!

Do you remember going to the Drive-In when you were kids?  Do you remember your first Drive-In movie?  Have you been to your local Drive-In lately?  What did you see?  Was it how you remembered it being?

Illegal Downloading

From the top, I am not a fan of downloading illegally.  When people download movies, songs, TV Shows, etc – here on referred to as Entertainment – it is stealing.  If people steal the entertainment, then that is money which is NOT going to the studio’s to produce the shows that you are enjoying enough to illegally download.

It is a catch 22.  You enjoy the shows enough to watch but won’t pay to see them. Hypocritical much?  In the case of television programs, yes it is free, but you are not watching that TV Station’s commercials which fund the cost of the TV Station purchasing that program from the producers.  Therefore, if you are not watching, then ratings fall, if ratings fall then advertisers pay a lower amount to advertise in that timeslot.  The TV station cannot afford to buy the top quality shows and therefore we are left with rubbish shows which are cheaper to produce and therefore cheaper to buy.

How is this good for anybody?  The studio’s receive less money, therefore the actors receive less, the directors, the producers, the sound and lighting guys, the camera operators, the caterers etc.  The list goes on.  They all receive less money.  Suddenly the top actors are not doing this movie because they aren’t being offered the financial incentives they are accustomed to.  So instead of Brad Pitt you get Steve Guttenberg.  Instead of Steven Spielberg you get a 1st year uni graduate.  Are you getting the picture?

Eventually it is going to get to the point where the money is simply not there to make programs such as Dexter, CSI and Law and Order or to produce music from artists such as U2, Bon Jovi, and Taylor Swift.  Then what?  Back to playing Monopoly and Scrabble at the kitchen table and singing Kumbaya around the campfire.

Does that mean that you should never be allowed to download TV programs from the internet?  No, it doesn’t.  There are circumstances when you can. For instance, if a TV program has already been broadcast and for whatever reason you missed it.  But that doesn’t mean you can download the full season.  Eventually you will be able to buy a whole season if it interests you that much.  For eg,  The Survivor Gabon finale was over 3 hours and my HDD was set to record for only 1 hour.  I had watched all other episodes on free to air but missed the finale.  So a mate told me how to download it via torrents.  I did and that is all I downloaded.

A lot of TV channels will allow you to watch a program after the original show has already been broadcast directly from their website and you can also buy episodes of some shows from places like Itunes for less than $3.  That is very reasonable and you have it for life to rewatch at your leisure.  To download new episodes of particular TV shows immediately after they have been broadcasted in America just because you can’t wait for it to be broadcast in Australia is simply not acceptable.  Wait and enjoy it like the rest of us do.

Music and movies should NEVER be illegally downloaded.  Just about every song is available to purchase from iTunes for a couple of bucks.  Cheap as.  Movies can be downloaded from iTunes as well in case you don’t want to go to the video store.

In summary, illegal downloading is stealing.  There is no other way to describe it.  I am a lover of good TV and great movies and cool songs and I am happy to pay for the privilege of enjoying them.

So what about you?  Do you agree with me in full or just parts of my argument?  Have you downloaded illegally?  If so why?  Do you agree with anything I have said?  What is an appropriate punishment for serial offenders?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Disaster Movies – It’s not the end of the world

Last week I went to see the new Roland Emmerich film, 2012….twice!  I love disaster movies.  I think the first disaster movie I ever saw was The Towering Inferno or it may have been Airport 1975.  I’m not sure but both have left a mark on me that I get a thrill out of seeing people die in a grand way.  Planes crashing, meteors smashing into earth, killer earthquakes, global warming tsunami’s.  The bigger, the better.  So it is only apt that with the release of 2012 that I give to you my top 10 list of disaster movies:

10. War of the Worlds (2005) Many of you will be thinking that any post ‘couch jumping’ film starring Tom Cruise is a disaster but under the steady direction of the master, Steven Spielberg, the retelling of 1953 H.G. Well’s dramatic alien invasion is very well done.  Tom’s character, Ray along with his reluctant kids must find a way to survive the war started by the tripod aliens.  The only downside of the film was the performance by Tim Robbins, a basement dwelling wacko!  The special effects were great with the destruction of building and bridges and people all masterfully done.  Score 6/10

9. Airport 1975 (1975)Starring Charlton Heston this film is about a commercial airliner that collides with a small plane which leaves a gaping hole in the cockpit and both pilots dead.  The control tower has to try and get a pilot on board while the head stewardess flies the plane.  Simple in plot and effects it is a gripping story of survival.  Score 6.5/10




8. The Towering Inferno (1974) – A couple of great scenes figure here for me.  One is Robert Wagner (his stunt double anyway) in his hotel room which is in the midst of the inferno. He has covered himself in a wet blanket and is trying to make the front door to raise the alarm and to rescue his mistress.  Within seconds of leaving the bathroom he is caught up in the blaze and eventually dies.  What makes this scene fantastic is that the camera is located on the outside of the room showing the full length of the room and it doesn’t change shot during his impossible dash to safety and is shown in slow motion.  Amazing scene.  Score 7/10.

7. Deep Impact (1998) – When this and Armageddon came out in the same year it really was a box office battle akin to two meteors crashing into each other.  Mimi Leder’s film lacked star power (compared with Armageddon) with a still young Elijah Wood starring as the high school student who discovered the deadly rock hurtling towards earth and an impressive Morgan Freeman as the US President (a full decade earlier than Barrack Obama).  It had some great scenes of destruction including a giant tsunami which took out the east coast of America (and Tea Leoni).  The ending was good with Robert Duvall and team sacrificing themselves in a kamakazi move flying their shuttle into the approaching meteor and triggering the nuclear explosion needed.  Score 7/10

6. The Poseidon Adventure (1972) – In an era of disaster movies in the early 70’s this story of a ship that is capsized by a freak wave was ground breaking in its special effects.  With a young Gene Hackman leading a small group of survivors that includes Ernest Borgnine from the now bottom of the ship to the top for a chance at rescue is gripping in suspense.  The 2006 remake “Poseidon” starring Kurt Russell had a better capsizing sequence but lacked the emotional connection as in the original.  Score – 7.5/10

5. The Day After Tomorrow (2004) – Directed by Roland Emmerich and the first real film to deal with climate change saw Dennis Quaid trying to reach his stranded son (Jake Gyllenhaal) in a flooded then snowed in New York City (the epicentre of all world disasters).  Dramatic twisters tear apart Los Angeles earlier in the film and when a TV reporter gets blown away by a billboard then you know that no life is sacred.   Score 7.5/10

4.   Titanic (1997) – James Cameron’s epic love story with the sinking of the ‘unsinkable’ ship, Titanic serving as the back drop.  The first half of this film does not qualify as a disaster film due to the ensuing courtship of Jack and Rose but the second half delivers ‘disaster’ in bucket loads.  James Cameron’s Titanic set was unbelievably accurate down to the crockery and detail of the grand stairways banisters and the crews uniforms.  When the doomed ship strikes the iceberg that we all know will sink her, it is not a question of if the ship will sink, but how it sinks.  Starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet as doomed lovers Jack and Rose the ship slowly sinks beneath the icy waters of the north Atlantic in spectacular special effects.  At over 3 hours long this movie is an epic and one of the great disaster movies of all time.  Score 8/10

3. 2012 (2009) – Another Roland Emmerich film based on the ancients Mayan’s belief that the world will end when the Mayan calendar ends its current cycle on December 21, 2012.  With Danny Glover (another black president) telling the world leaders that the world is going to end it doesn’t take long for the action to really start.  Starring John Cusack and Amanda Peet as divorced parents of 2 kids, they are soon racing to escape catastrophic L.A. earthquakes.  It was also great to see New York spared from any onscreen disaster (even though we know it cops it). A great cameo by Woody Harrelson as the front row end of the world radio announcer this film has the best destruction sequences I have ever seen.  At over 2.5 hours long buckle in for a thrill ride I don’t think we will see again for a long time.  Score 8.5/10

2. Independence Day (1996) – Perhaps the reinvention of the epic disaster movie was delivered through this Roland Emmerich vehicle when aliens conduct a coordinated attack on Earth’s major cities.  An all star cast led superbly by Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum.  New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are all pulverised with the destruction of the White House, particularly blown up in amazing special effects.  One of my favourite parts of the movie is the speech delivered by the American President played by Bill Pullman drawing on the inspiration of the American holiday, Independence Day.  Here’s the closing parts to this speech.  “…once again, you will be fighting for your freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression or persecution, but from annihilation.  We are fighting for our right to live…to exist, and should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday but as the day when the world declared in one voice, we will not go quietly into the night, we will not vanish without a fight.  We’re gonna live on, we’re gonna survive.  Today we celebrate our Independence Day.” Ok, I just typed this speech out from memory, I love it that much.  Score 9/10

1. Armageddon (1998) – The big brother to Deep Impact sees a meteor the size of Texas heading towards Earth and it is up to one man and his team of red neck deep core drillers to save the world. Enter Bruce Willis and an all star cast including Owen Wilson, Ben Affleck and Michael Clark Duncan along with Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Peter Stormare and Steve Buscemi.  Together they fly two shuttles to the meteor and they have to drill 800ft to drop in a nuclear bomb to blow it up from the inside out.  New York is destroyed early in the film by meteor showers the size of refrigerators and Volkswagens’ and it isn’t long before parts of Paris and Shanghai are also destroyed.  Director, Michael Bay uses his signature slow panning shots in a lot of his movies and Armageddon is no different.  With a great script and a colossal team of actors, this film was the big hit of 1998.   Score 9.5/10

So that is my top 10.  Some honourable mentions that didn’t make the list include The Perfect Storm, Dante’s Peak, Volcano, Daylight, I am Legend and Knowing.  None of these movies are Gone with the Wind or Citizen Cane and you know what?  I don’t want them to be.  Yes they are all very far fatched and that is what I like about them.  It is an escape from reality.  If I want to see reality then I will just stay at home.  So please keep the epic disaster movie coming.

Do you agree with my list?  What would add to the list?  Would you change any of my scores?  What will the next disaster movie be about?  Let me know below.