' Cinema Romantico: Twenty Of My Favorite Movie 'Special Effects'

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Twenty Of My Favorite Movie 'Special Effects'

I was listening to a recent episode of the Grantland Podcast "Do You Like Prince Movies?" (best podcast name ever) hosted by the Pulitzer Prize winning film critic Wesley Morris and acclaimed journalist Alex Pappademas, and one detail struck my notably peculiar fancy. Although before I go further, I'd like to stress just how much I enjoy this podcast. I mean, I've long liked Morris as a writer, but I could listen to these two banter all day. On one episode they mentioned someone had emailed them with a request that they stay more on point, but I love when they get off point. In fact, this recent episode I'm addressing was among my least favorite because they brought in a guest - no disrespect to him - and that cut into Morris/Pappademas talk time. Anyway...

At this particular podcast's onset they discussed the recent Lifetime biopic of Donatella Versace and Pappademas said this: "I recently saw 'Gravity', which expands what we can do with movies, but my favorite special effect in any movie I've seen in the last 72 hours is Gianni Versacci."

That line, as it must, got me to thinking. It got me to thinking about my favorite special effects in film. Not my favorite special effects-special effects, mind you, because that's not Cinema Romantico's sweet spot. Not, I'm talking about special effects in the same vain as Pappademas, wherein Enrico Colatoni being made up as Gianni Versacci is more impressive than Alfonso Cuaron's 20 minute space-set tracking shot. Thus, I felt a list was in order.

My favorite special effects in movies. Which is to say, they are merely special effects as I define special effects, a definition which is entirely ineffable because I don't even understand it myself. Which is to say, this list is radically subjective and likely insane-looking to a casual observer. For instance, if you were to say "But that's NOT a 'special effect'", that is in all likelihood precisely what makes it a special effect (note lack of parentheses). (What?) If you've spent time here at Cinema Romantico, it will make more sense. If you're just dropping by, it won't, and I apologize, and I might recommended heading for the hills right now.

20 Favorite 'Special Effects'

1. Symmetrical Book Stacking. "Ghostbusters."

2. Tess Ocean as Julia Roberts. "Ocean's Twelve."

3. Al Pacino saying: "Wet out there tonight." "Glengarry Glen Ross."

4. Johnny Depp Walking. "Pirates of the Carribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl."


5. Jennifer Beals' Voice. "Devil In A Blue Dress."

6. Claire Forlani's Eyes. "Meet Joe Black."

7. Rosemarie DeWitt's Scoff Face. In Anything.

8. Angelina Jolie. Back Tattoo. "Wanted."

9. Donny. Slice. "The Big Lebowski."


10. Daniel Day Lewis. Skipping Rope. "The Boxer."

11. Edward R. Rooney. Flip-Up Sunglasses. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

12. Bill Murray. Neck Brace. "Wild Things."

13. Val Kilmer. Pen Twirling. "Top Gun."

[Photo Not Included For Everyone's Sake]

14. Kate Winslet. Vomit. "Carnage."

15. The Mia Wallace Wig. "Pulp Fiction."

16. The Fuck You You Fucking Fuck Tee Shirt. "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo."

17. Anne Baxter in "The Ten Commandments."

18 This Amy Ryan facial expression in "Before The Devil Knows You're Dead."

19. This Christine Baranski facial expression in "Bowfinger."

20. This shot in "Miami Vice."

5 comments:

Andrew K. said...

This is why I love you and this site.

#19 - yes, #18 - yes, #10 - YES, #8 and #2 - OH MY GOD YES.

#17, though, GOLDEN.

Nick Prigge said...

Aw, thanks man. This seemed like something that might be in your wheelhouse.

Anne Baxter in "Ten Commandments" was one of the first that sprang to mind. I mean, if you've seen the film, it requires no explanation. If you haven't, no explanation would suffice. But she's a special effect.

Lexi said...

Love this! Love #1 & #11!

Alex Withrow said...

I love this list. Seriously, I feel like I could've drafted this myself. That's how much I agree with it all.

Number 2: Yes. Yes. Yes. I simply love that they did that.

Wet. Out. There. To. Night. I say that shit all the time. No one ever has any idea what I’m talking about.

DDL is such a beast. Look at him work that rope.

Bill Murray: “See ya at the club.”

18. YES!

Nick Prigge said...

Thanks, man! This is DEFINITELY one of those 'you get it or you don't situations'. Glad you do, though I had a feeling you would.