Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Death List Part 2

Continuation of the Death List series:
  1. Part 1 - Self Sacrifice

He had it coming! They all have it coming! ~ Strawberry Alice (Unforgiven)
unforgiven1Image by le0pard13 via Flickr
Cinema is simply a wonderful art. It not only fills your eyes with moving, startling images, but it can seize your mind and emotions with the story that only it can tell so uniquely. Be it while you sit in a darkened movie theater, or comfortably at home in front of whatever screen you have, film just captivates. And sure, it's easy as sin to root for the hero. Especially, when the tale involves the audience, and gets them to relate with the hero through her hardships and travails, affectingly.

The cause for this can be innocent but heartbreaking happenstance, bad luck (or weather), and/or the result of a flaw in his personality that brings it down upon him. All true. However, is that the only way? Not on your life! Don't forget the villain (Hollywood sure hasn't). When nature wreaks havoc on our man/woman of the hour (or two), it's good. But, it's not great (IMO). For that, we need someone, another human being, to mete out that pain. That old testament kind of tribulation and suffering has to come by way of another character (preferably, from someone who's pores seemingly reek of evil and wrongdoing). They have to lay it right on to our hero... and then some.

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  1. Good list! I would also rank Alan Rickman's death in DIE HARD pretty fantastic and well deserved after all the grief he put Bruce Willis through. Plus, Willis dispatches him with that classic catch phrase as well.

    Also, the way the alien goes out in PREDATOR is a good one. Clearly beaten by Ah-nuld, the Predator self-destructs himself leaving Schwarzenegger barely any time to narrowly escape a mushroom cloud explosion seen from miles away.

    Despite being completely unrealistic (uh, Ripley would have her leg pulled off), dispatching the Queen alien through an airlock in ALIENS was a pretty satisfying conclusion for that film.

  2. All of those you've mentioned, J.D., are very satisfying comeuppances. And, I just finished (as part of my Xmas viewing) Die Hard, too. Thanks for your comment, my friend.

  3. What did you think of Seraphim Falls? I know most of it was about revenge, but ended up not.

  4. I'm a big fan of the western,Seraphim Falls. The parallels with The Outlaw Josey Wales story-line are there, along with a hint of the afterlife, à la High Plains Drifter. The limits of revenge are woven together nicely by the time you reach purgatory with the finale. And now that you've reminded me, I'm need to see this again ;-). Thanks, Naomi, for your comment.

  5. Great list! Again, you managed to pick a lot of my favourite "You take that!" scenes.

    In Sin City I would also add Kevin's demise (the guy who eats whores) in Bruce Willis's hands... and a dog's snout. Though, wouldn't that payback be a bit more cosmic if the dog was female?

    You know Kill Bill is all about revenge, but The Bride blinding Elle Driver was the best payback of the whole two films.

    A silly one, but Scar's in The Lion King is another death called-for.

    Also, the last scene of Scorsese's The Departed, the colonel's death in El laberinto del fauno (and his Glasgow half smile), among many others in the James Bond series are some I can come up right now.

  6. Ah... The Bride blinding Elle in Kill Bill. That was a special one. All of yours are great. As well, I don't think I would have enjoyed The Departed as much, if it didn't have that final scene. And Scar and Colonel had it comin'! Thanks for adding to the thread, Poncho.

  7. BATTLE ROYALE has so many spectacular, deserving deaths that it is really hard to pick just one. And such variety too!

  8. J.D., last year I finally saw BATTLE ROYAL (after hearing about it for so many years). You're so right. It's pretty hard to pick one among those varied and deserved acts. Good one. Thanks, J.D.

  9. O.k., I can add a few of my favs to this list.

    Disney's 1993 THE THREE MUSKETEERS has three great ones:

    Richelieu getting socked by the queen is great, Lady DeWinter taking a header off the cliff is good, too...but the best is Rochefort getting it from D'Artagnon, "Then again, I may have been mistaken."

    And of course in LETHAL WEAPON when Riggs pulls the stilted house down; that's pretty great! Of course all the LW's have a good villian demise...ah, before Mel Gibson went a little looney.

    Two that leave me with mixed emotions because the horrible villian(s) bite the dust, but so does the beloved protagonist:


    SILENCE OF THE LAMBS has that mixed emotion thing too since Hannibal is left out to roam, but he isn't really the villian in that one, so...

    There's my stuff Michael - THANKS! I just love talking movies over here.

  10. All this talk about payback, and neither Payback nor its predecessor, Point Blank, make the list?

    Gotta agree on Alan Rickman's death in Die Hard. When a villain is so perfectly villainous as Rickman was, it's even more satisfying when he gets his.

    And although the punishment was not bloody or murderous, I did admire old Longshanks' comeuppance in Braveheart when, lying helpless after his stroke, the princess whispers that she's carrying Wallace's child. That was a well-deserved emotional stake through the heart.

  11. Jen: those are some great ones, too! I must admit though, I never did see the '93 Three Musketeers - the '73 version with Oliver Reed, Michael York, Raquel Welch, etc., oh yes. I'll have to check it out. And all of the LW baddies get to check out of this world very well. Good call on Road to Perdition and Gran Torino, also. You're really good at this, Jen :-).

    Corey: yep, you're right. How could I miss PAYBACK and POINT BLANK?! Equally, that's a really splendid call on Longshanks' getting his in BRAVEHEART. Perhaps, all of this has been in the back of mind. I've seen BRAVEHEART and DIE HARD within the last three weeks.

    Great additions by the both of you. Thanks, guys.

  12. "One penetration deserves another." Hilarious!

    Rickman was so bad in Die Hard, his death wasn't violent ENOUGH!

    Since you said the ending of The Departed was what made you enjoy the movie more, I'd be interested to hear what you think of the original Hong Kong version, Infernal Affairs. It has a different ending.

  13. PCN: I actually prefer the original, faster-paced HK story. I did think Scorsese's version was dynamite for the first 60-80 minutes, then it dragged in parts. Also, I had issues with how long it took the studio and director before they acknowledged that THE DEPARTED was actually a remake of Infernal Affairs. Thanks for adding to this, Elyse.