Thursday, January 13, 2005

The top 10 film special effects sequences

According to SciFiDaily:

SFX Magazine recently released the results of a poll it conducted seeking science-fiction/fantasy fans’ Top 10 Film Special Effects. Given my penchant for Top 10 lists, I just couldn’t pass this one up. So here’s their list: 10) Train fight from Spider-Man 2; 9) The “chest burster” from Alien; 8) Matrix bullets; 7) Gollum from The Lord of the Rings; 6) Krell machinery in Forbidden Planet; 5) The T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day; 4) The skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts; 3) The spider head from 1982’s The Thing; 2) The climax of 1933’s King Kong; and 1) The opening Star Destroyer shot from Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope.

That list is hard to argue. I'd have to dump the Forbidden Planet one (since I've never seen it), and add the entire sequence from Matrix Reloaded starting with Neo's battle with multiple Smiths and cut right after the two semi trucks collide. Incidentally, that extended sequence I contend is the over-the-top king of all action sequences ever filmed.


Gunslinger said...

Obviously they havent seen Torque. Which is the worst movie ever made.

ted said...

I would probably yank the Spiderman train fight. I just don't think it was as groundbreaking as the others. I'd be tempted to switch it with the opening battle sequence during the voice over on Fellowship of the Ring. If you had asked me twenty years ago to list the top ten special effects sequences of all time I would have answered, "Star Wars and Sinbad." I may be in the minority by saying that the special effects for Vermathrax in Dragonslayer were noteworthy for how good they looked for a movie from the early eighties. I also think that Vermathrax is the best looking dragon in any movie, including Dragonheart and (here's the one that separates the men from the boys) Q. It seems awfully strange that the first movie to really use CGI in a scene was left off the list, in Young Sherlock Holmes where Holmes was fighting the knight that leapt from the stained glass window. Another landmark scene in the use of CGI would be the first Jurassic Park film in two parts: 1.) where you first see the brachiasaurs (isn't that what they were?) eating from Alan Gran't point of view; and 2.) the scene where the Tyrannosaurus Rex was chasing the Jeep. And while we're on Speilberg, how about just about anything he did in Jaws to make me believe that freaking shark was so real that I still get freaked out in a pool? Dang, I could go on all night.

How about the worst special effects sequences? Jar Jar Binks comes to mind. Or the Mustang jump in the shameful remake of Gone in 60 Seconds? There is a terrible film called Torque that ends with a chase between a chopper running nitrous (only PAB's call it NOS) and a jet powered crotch rocket all done in some of the worst CGI ever. Greedo shoots first. Godzilla outrunning Tomahawk helicopters though New York. The entire time spent on the big spiky asteroid in Armageddon. Everything that happened in Plan 9 From Outer Space. How about a big Bad Special Effects Showdown of the Dumb Robots - the King Kong robot used for close-ups in the 1976 remake and the stupid Luck Dragon robot used for close-ups in Neverending Story. Once again, I could go on and on.