"WOW!" Moments in the Movies

Paul_Scott

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not sure that it actually merited best picture, but i do love the "what is your name Gladiator?" scene from , of course, Gladaiator.

also, for pure geek enjoyment, when Rogue gets her 'skunk stripe' was a nice moment.

i also wish i hadn't missed the 'birthday party videotape' scene from Signs.
i only saw it at home, but it still packed a massive punch.
 

OcieB

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that from Full Metal Jacket the superior of the two. Another great scene from FMJ is the first shot of the film with alll the boys getting haircuts. Yet another great shot is the first shot fo them in Vietnam "me soo hoorny, me love you long time"
 

Gary->dee

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Will echo the opening Nightcrawler scene in X2. Loved the chorus music they played too!
Ditto. It was jaw dropping-I-think-I-just-crapped-my-pants-holy-shit! material all the way. I also realized how much better the music was during this pivotal scene. I keep replaying in my head when everything slowed down Matrix-style and the camera pulled back to show Nightcrawler dealing with each person. Usually slo-mo effects are cliche but it was used to incredible effect in this instance.

I also want to add the quick moment in Empire Strikes Back when Luke bashed Vader's lightsaber out of the way when he was on the ground. He got up and engaged Vader in an intense volley that resulted in Luke hitting Vader's shoulder and Luke losing his hand. That moment was drool-inducing, beautifully shot. Oh and also Vader subsequently revealing that he's Luke's father.


EDIT: Wait now that I'm discussing Star Wars- Darth Maul's attack on Qui-Gon while on Tatooine probably is the biggest Wow moment I think I've ever experienced with a SW movie. And that's saying a lot. As a matter of fact, that one moment makes Phantom Menace a great film. I'm so terribly glad I have the DVD and I can play chapter 25 over and over again until my eyes bleed. As a matter of fact...
 
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i could name a ton, but my alltime favorite movie moment has to be my first R-rated movie experience (i was only 13 at the time so it was a big deal to me). i was in the front row and was young and didn't care about straining my neck to see what was about to unfold in front of my eyes. the theater lights dimmed, the Orion Pictures logo came and went and then Brad Fiedel's pulsing pounding score came on and the title letters began to scroll across from both sides of the screen and finally come together to reveal The Terminator. my jaw remained open until the final credits. instant Cameron fan.
 

Raymond_H

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"Whoa" - Neo


That to me is what comes to mind when I think of "wow" moments. I sit there in the theater or in the home and those scenes make me say "Whoa" or the really good ones with " Holy Shit "

Some of these scenes include,

Lawrence of Arabia

Two moments here : The Mirage and the cut from blowing of the match. When I first viewed this movie I had no idea of the scope of the movie and those two scenes were just incredible to someone who had not the slightest idea of them coming.

Star Wars Saga

I think I can devote the whole post to just these movies. Some that come to mind :
(I) "No, I am your father"
(II) "No, there is another"
(III) "It is obvious that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the Force, but by our skills with a lightsaber."
(IV) Trench Run

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

The final encounter between Michelle Yeoh -vs- Zhang Zi Yi.

Saving Private Ryan

Opening Beach Invasion


Ray
 

Matt Pelham

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Lots of Matrix mentions (rightfully so) but no mentions of the lobby shootout scene or the slow motion "liquid fire" effect after the elevator dropped. During both of those scenes I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Definitely a "wow" moment.
 

Jeff Pounds

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Another great one that always gives me goosebumps is when Captain Ramsey is addressing the crew of the USS Alabama in the pouring rain at the beginning of Crimson Tide.

RAMSEY: "This boat represents a fine state and fine people, doesn't it!"

COB: "Very fine, sir!"

RAMSEY: "And what state is that, Mr. COB?"

COB: "Alabama, sir!"

RAMSEY: "And what do we say!"

COB: "GO BAMA!"

ALABAMA CREW: "ROLL TIDE!"

[KICK IN HANS ZIMMER SCORE]

 

Ashley Seymour

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Goldfinger Bond's Austin Martin

Bullitt The car chase

Ben Hur The Chariot Race - I saw it for the first time while in the service.

Jaws The girl swiming - The guy in the dingy - the head floating in the sunken boat - watching Robert Shaw give his co-stars acting lessons

Star Wars The opening scene with the rebel ship under attack by the Empire Curiser that grows to fill the screen

Raiders of the Lost Ark Indie outrunning the bolder, arrows, natives, etc.

The Terminator Front to back, top to bottom.

Alien The Chest Buster

Aliens A really exciting movie makes my feet sweat. My socks needed changing when this was over.

Back to the Future How effortless Michael J. Fox gains your belief.

Under Siege I remember something about a cake.

Jurassic Park The T-Rex

Die Hard My favorite guilty pleasure - wow that I can watch it a couple of times a year.

The Graduate Mrs. Robinson "Benjamin, do you want me to seduce you?" Actually the whole seduction scene.
 

Richard Kim

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Attack of the Clones The Yoda vs Dooku battle. The buildup from the "wizards battle" to when Yoda finally ignites his lightsaber gives me chills every time, and watching it theatrically for the first time with an enthuisatic crowd was an electric experience that will never be duplicated.

Spirited Away This may be atypical, but the sequence in which Sen and her friends ride the train is a sublime experience. Even though it's quiet, and nothing really important happens, the imagry and mood takes my breath away every time. You would never find a scene like this in an American animated film.
 

ScottR

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Gone With The Wind-"I'll Never Go Hungry Again" pullback shot, wounded confederate soldiers pullback shot

The Wizard of Oz- The first view of the Emerald City from the Poppy field

Frankenstein-"It's Alive!"

Jurassic Park-first view of the Dinosaurs

The Sound of Music-opening scene

Dances with Wolves-scenic views as Dunbar travels to the prairie with John Barry's score building.

The Ten Commandments-the water turning to blood

Planet of the Apes-the first view of the apes on horses

The Lion King-opening song
 

Ches Campbell

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Most of my wow moments have been mentioned. I'll just give you some original ones.

Shawshank Redemption - When the Warden throws the rock through the poster and discovers the tunnel that Andy used to escape


The Usual Suspects - When we find out who the real Keyser Soze is when Verbal's gimpy walk slowly turns into a smooth stride of a proud man.


Lord of the Rings: FOTR - Pretty much the whole movie, but for instance, The boat ride down the river when the two giant statues are shown, then when they pass by them and you see the giant foot. So realistic and so scenic and cool.
-The bass when the Ring Wraith is peering over the tree root sniffing the air looking for Frodo. Insane bass here.
-Almost any scene with the Ring Wraiths.
-The First scene showing Rivendale. Beautiful scenery
-When aragorn steps around the boulders, sees all the Orgs (is that how you spell it) and jsut immediately goes to fighting without hesitating a bit. He is just so cool. And the way the music played and it was kinda in slow-mo, just awesome scene.
-The stairs falling. That whole scene.

The Two Towers - Whole movie. Specifically when Legolas surfs down the stairs on the shield. Just a little far fetched. mostly a wow becasue I think they could have made it look better or left it out, but it was cool i guess.
-The tree people. The part when they went to battle and release the flood gates. I was like "YESSS!"
-The gates of Mordor. The whole scene there.

The Matrix - After watching it the first time trying to figure it al out, then watching it the second time and understading all of it. Very cool feeling. Especially the part in the Desert of the real. Many more...

The Matrix: Reloaded - whole movie. Basically the fact that I have to watch it again to grasp it all.

Attack of the Clones - the Scenery

Minority Report - finding out the real "bad guy" and how it al happened


Boondock Saints - more of an "EEEWWWW Moment", seeing Willem Dafoe in drag and the fact that the one bad guy was actually attracted to him.

Frequency - When Dennis Quaid kills the bad guy at the end. I knida felt it coming, but it was still awesome when it happened


Last one for now, there's too many...

The Million Dolar Hotel - Wow this move sucked. U2 is my favorite badn, so I had high hopes for Bono's first movie. I mean, it had mel Gibson and Milla Jovovich in it, couldn't be too bad, right? WRONG. Terrible movie. Bono, stick with music please.

Later
 

Bill Huelbig

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One of my favorite times when an entire theater audience had a "WOW" moment at the same time was in 1965, when we saw the eye-popping ultimate fate of Mr. GOLDFINGER. Imagine how I felt when the movie was first shown on TV, many years before cable or home video, and that particular couple of shots had been edited out of the film! And they stayed that way for many showings after that. It's a good thing cable and home video eventually came along.

--Bill
 

Dennis Pagoulatos

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Richard: Glad to see someone else mention that sequence from "Spirited Away"; probably one of the most beautiful sequences ever put on film, period.

-Dennis
 

Aaron Reynolds

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During the song Singin' In The Rain in Singin' In The Rain, the camera rapidly pushing towards Gene Kelly's upturned face as he sings "there's a smiiiiiiiiile on my face".

I get goosebumps every time.

In the same film, I get a gigantic grin on my face as Cosmo and RF smile and start pulling on the rope to raise the curtain.
 

Jason_Els

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Soooo many good ones here. I have to agree with so many. The ones that I remember, which have stayed with me, made my jaw drop, or moved me beyond words:

Gone With the Wind - The search for Dr. Meade. Just the urgency of the refugees and Scarlett in that mass of wounded troops.

The Passion of Joan of Arc - The torture chamber scene and the refutation of the recantation. Kael was right, finest performance ever filmed.

La Belle et la Bete - Josette Day's marvelously choreographed slow-mo entrance to the Beast's chateau. First time I've ever thought that every single movement of an actor was perfect. At once transporting and ethereal. From then on it's Cocteau's world.

Dracula - Lugosi rising from his coffin. The man was Dracula. Terrifies me still.

Titanic - Seeing the rusting bow of Titanic morph into a living ship. What an outstanding memorial to all the souls lost on that voyage; like reaching out from eternity to remind us of what a proud and beautiful ship she was.

Jurassic Park - ".... My dear Dr. Sattler, welcome to Jurassic Park." As close to recreating dinosaurs as anyone alive today will ever come. I couldn't believe it.

Star Wars - When I first saw it the whole thing had me walking on air after I left the theater but what really hit me was the theatrical re-release. From the moment I saw, "Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...." I was in tears! I didn't believe it was having that effect on me. I mean I'm not one to dress-up or be a Star Wars geek in general but it was at that moment I realized just how much this one film has meant in my life. It has been a true life-event film. Something which I will carry with me most fondly forever.

Rear Window - Grace Kelly's entrance in that black and white number. Has an actress ever looked so radiant on film?

Queen Christina - Garbo's face in that long shot at the end standing on the prow of her ship. Wistful, determined, hesitant, expectant, sad.... all at once.

Queen Christina - Garbo going about the bedroom committing its contents to her memory. The whole scene is charged with such subtle eroticism you want to smoke a cigarette and ask, "Was it good for you too?"

Le Voyage dans La Lune - A revelation to me when I first saw it. What people in the theater must have thought when they first saw it. Spielberg owes EVERYTHING to Melies.

The Seventh Seal - Last scene as death comes to claim the travelers. Frighteningly close to our concept of what death is like. Riveting.

Lawrence of Arabia - The Ziegfeld, in 70mm, seeing Mr. Harris' restored version. The match, the dunes, that music.... oh man.

Saving Private Ryan - The brutality of Omaha. Humans are at once the most noble and most vicious of all life on this planet. Awe, respect, hatred, and profound sadness.

The Year of Living Dangerously - Billy showing Guy the shadow puppets. All the mystery of the Orient in one package. A brilliant scene with a haunting score.

LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring - At first I didn't know what to think. Impressive battle but it wasn't in the book. Galadriel speaking Treebeard's lines... what was that all about? Starting a movie with a flashback? Uh oh. When does the rotoscoping start? PJ ever see Cave Dwellers? But then.... the opening scene of Gandalf entering the Shire. I was in tears. Absolutely in tears. Peter had gotten it right. All that money, all that wondering, all the rumors. Peter got it RIGHT. He saw what we saw. This is going to be amazing.

LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring - I've said it before but, Gandalf raising his staff to illuminate Dwarrowdelf. That score! Holy shit that score. All the fading glory, all the passing majesty of Middle Earth just exploded in that one moment. How great the sons of Durin, how much has been lost. If you don't know the story, from this point on it's all a tragedy.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - "He chose... poorly." Typical English understatement..


All Quiet on the Western Front - The tracking camera shot from the perspective of the machine gun. Chilling in its mechanical quality, horrifying in its realization.

and finally, last but not least, the greatest line in movie history...

Goldfinger - "My name is Pussy Galore."
 

TommyT

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>Heat - The big heist & ensuing gunbattle. Val Kilmer spots the detectives across the street & whips his M16 up to his shoulder & starts blasting! Still makes me jump!
>Superman II - Zod gets hurled into the Coke sign.
>Pulp Fiction - Marvin gets shot. My buddy & I couldn't stop laughing! Not because poor Marv is killed, but the situation; to Jules & Vincent it's just a problem that needs solving but they're still getting panicky.
>Total Recall - Quaid's mask develops a glitch.
>Lethal Weapon 2 - Riggs literally brings the house down.
>Crouching Tiger - The bamboo sequence.
>GoodFellas - The murders of Stacks & Tommy are unexpected jolts.
>English Patient - When Kip has to defuse the bomb near the end. I remember turning to my girlfriend (at the time) & whispering "I thought for sure that f**ker was gonna go off!"
>Titan AE - Earth's destruction & the ice field were some of the best uses of surround sound I've heard.
>LOTR/FOTR - The 1st appearance of the Balrog. Exceeded my expectations!

...and my number 1 selection...

Schindler's List - When the train with the Schindler women goes thru the archway & a single word appears: Auschwitz
 

StephenC

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I'll give it a try!

The Ring(2002):Anna Morgan makes a wish at the wishing well.

Do the Right Thing:Rosie Perez's dance during the opening credits(Fight the Power)

The Human Tornado: Dolemite takes a nude dive down a hill!

Superman II:"Come to me son of Jor-El!Knell before Zod!"
 

Patrick McCart

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Here's a few more:

Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror:
The scene where Hutter walks up to the door and the scene dissolves to Orlock standing up. Hutter cowers over and runs to his bed as Orlock approaches. Hutter shields himself from the vampire by covering himself with the sheets.


The Circus:
The tightrope scene. First, the line breaks. Then, the monkeys come. Then the Tramp slides down on the bicycle into a store. This is literally one of the funniest scenes ever captured on camera.

Lawrence of Arabia:
The recovery of Gasim. Who would have thought that placing a camera a mile away from the actors would be effective?

Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
The entire Toontown scene.

Singin' In The Rain:
The whole Gotta Dance sequence.

8 1/2 (Otto E Mezzo):
The ending scene starting with the crowd decending the staircase. What a way to end a movie!

Napoleon vu par Abel Gance:
The whole movie. There isn't one scene that isn't exciting to watch. The snowball fight, pillow fight, montage at the end...

Help!:
Again, the whole movie. The Alps and Bahamas sequences are beautiful in editing and cinematography.
 

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