Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Great (film) Debates vol. 2

Let's continue our Great (Film) Debates series. . . sponsored by CommentaramaFilms and the good people at Dead Weasel Gulch Eatery. Today's issue:

What is the saddest moment in film?

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

Saddest Moment - A no brainer. Having to shoot Old Yeller after he was bitten while defending the family from a rabid wolf. It is the icon for sad film scenes.

Panelist: T-Rav

For me, the saddest moment in film is--to channel my selection from last week--the conclusion of The Godfather, Part III. Not nearly as good as the first two, but there is a very tragic element to it. At the end, Michael Corleone's daughter Mary is killed by an assassin who was aiming at him. Michael is crushed; we see flashbacks to happy scenes in his life and then forward to him dying a few years later, alone, a broken old man. When you consider that he wasn't a totally evil man, not by a long shot, and that he genuinely cared about his family, this is a haunting and bleakly fitting end to such a violent saga.

Panelist: AndrewPrice

The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few. . . or the one. When I saw Spock die in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, people were openly weeping in the theaters. It's still the hardest scene on film to watch without tearing up (even knowing he comes back). Losing Spock was like losing a best friend. And it was made all the worse by how they did it, with Spock cut off behind the glass and nobody able to do anything. Absolutely tragic.

Panelist: ScottDS

For me, it's no contest: the opening of Pixar's Up. To paraphrase one of the YouTube comments, this might be one of the most perfectly executed sequences in a film... and no other film has ever driven me to tears in its first act, let alone its first ten minutes!

Comments? Thoughts? What would you choose and why?


Tennessee Jed said...

T-Rav: There is a touch of sadness there. The theme you mention; e.g. Michael not a totally evil man is the same theme developed in the film I recently reviewed, "In Bruges." Still, he made his choices, and it is hard for me to be totally crestfallen as a result.

Andrew- as I mentioned to you the other day, the Spock death scene was one I strongly considered. But, Yeller was seen when I was a kid so I totally cried my eyes out. With Spock's death, there was a jaded part of me that said "too much money involved here, they will find a way to bring him back. Still, incredibly touching.

Scott - I haven't seen "Up" and can't comment. If you say it is sad, then trust me, I believe you.

Anonymous said...

Great choices, everybody!

Jed - I haven't seen Old Yeller but I'm certainly familiar with it. (Isn't it funny how some movies/TV shows/songs/etc. seem to be part of our cultural DNA that, even if you haven't seen X or Y, you still seem to know about it?)

And when you see Up, bring tissues!

Andrew - Spock's death affected me but I never cried over it. Perhaps it's simply because I saw the first six films out of order so I knew he was coming back. The one Trek story that made me misty-eyed was a DS9 episode titled "The Visitor" which was ranked by TV Guide as the best Trek episode ever made.

Seinfeld made great use of Spock's death. After Susan dies, Jerry tells her parents that, "She isn't dead, as long as we remember her" which inspires them to start the Susan Ross Foundation with George as its chairman (much to his chagrin). In the same episode, Jerry mentions it again and he and George share a brief moment where it looks like they might cry. "That was a helluva thing when Spock died." :-)

T-Rav - I kinda like Godfather III but, yeah, it's not nearly as good as its predecessors. I think the most powerful part of that scene is that they mute most of Michael's screaming, leaving only the music (Cavalleria rusticana). Very powerful and an ingenius decision on the part of the filmmakers.

LawHawkRFD said...

When Shane rode off toward boot hill after being (mortally?) wounded defending the family he had been protecting.

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - "Shane, Shane, don't go Shane." Wasn't he the father of Charlie's Angel Cheryl Ladd, btw?

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Check out the link in Scott's choice. It's about 7-10 minutes long and it's truly tragic.

In a way it was too bad they lessened the Spock moment when they brought him back, but I still remember what it felt like at the time -- back before I was as cynical as I am today. It was just a shock and people couldn't stop talking about it for weeks.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, In a way, you're a victim of the times. First, hadn't seen the original series at that point. When I was growing up, it was on every afternoon for two decades.

You came home from school and there were Spock, Bone and Jim doing their thing on television. They were like friends.

Secondly, at that point, Hollywood wasn't openly cynical yet and you never expected any main character to die. So this was totally unexpected.

Third, back then, without the internet and the emphasis on entertainment news, no one knew it was coming. You just went to the theater expecting to see a good film -- and you got a great film -- and then suddenly, Spock was dead. It was a SHOCK!

It was the same thing with Vader being Luke's father -- you just had no way to know until you got into the theater.

Today, you see it on Yahoo, you hear about it on boards long before it happens, they release production details, even the entertainment news people give it away. Not then... this was a secret.

And I can tell you, people were blown away by this.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, That one was ruined for me because I'd heard people analyzing it to death before I saw. Some people said he was dead, others said he wasn't. So by the time I saw it, it was more a matter of looking for clues than enjoying the film.

AndrewPrice said...

All in all, good choices everyone!

Jed, I never saw Old Yeller, but I read the book in school and it was very said.

T-Rav, Mobsters are people too. :-(

Scott, Excellent choice. I actually never thought of it, but once you mentioned it, I said, "yep, that's near the top."

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

One great thing Nicholas Meyer (Ben Shapiro's new buddy!) did was have Spock "die" at the beginning during the Kobayashi Maru scenario. I imagine some folks who had heard rumors of Spock's death thought, "Well, that wasn't so bad. And he's still alive after all!" And at the end of the movie... BAM!!

I settled on Up pretty quickly. I thought of all the movies that made me cry but they weren't necessarily sad scenes. For example, when a (temporarily) cured Robert DeNiro is reunited with his mother in Awakenings, I just lose it. But it's not a "sad" scene, per se. More bittersweet than anything else.

I was also misty during Benjamin Button but not at the end. I got that way in the middle when Ben and Daisy are the same age and they build a life together. Not a sad scene, either.

Hmmm... looking at these movies now as I write this, both involve a sense of inevitability. DeNiro's condition won't last and Brad Pitt will only grow younger. Interesting commonalities I never noticed before! (Again, these are just two examples.) And in all of these cases, the music plays an important role, too. This is why I haven't purchased the scores for Up or Benjamin Button.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I think the key to a good death scene is some sense of future pain. For example, the difference between Kirk dying and Spock (all the other stupidities aside) is that there is no one who will miss Kirk when he goes. But all of Spock's friends are there and we feel sad for them moreso that Spock. Spock's death was tragic, but it was the reactions of the friends that killed us.

In Up, it was the same thing. It wasn't just her death, but the fact that he would go on to live a lonely life.

In the examples you pose, the "inevitability" you mention is the effect on the people whose lives will continue. Yes, it's inevitable what is about to happen, but it's only tragic because it will ruin the happiness of the other characters.

I'm thinking that makes for an interesting point as a screen writer.... if you want a powerful death scene, it can't just be a hero sacrificing themselves, it needs to focus on the people around them. Hmmm.

(On the music, I agree, but I honestly don't even remember the music in some of these scenes and I suspect that total silence would have worked too. Just don't do anything over the top to draw away attention from the characters.)

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Shapiro and Meyers? I missed that. What's up? You mean Meyers wanted to do an anti-Reagan message or some garbage like that?

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

That was just a little joke ("Humor, it is a difficult concept.") since Meyer (no "S") was profiled in Shapiro's book. And no, he didn't want to include any messages like that. In fact, whenever he talks about Trek, he sounds much more conservative than he actually is - a case of the writer's politics NOT influencing his take on the material.

I think the "inevitability" thing is also a case of waiting for the other shoe to drop. (You know the relationship in Benjamin Button can't last, etc.) We recently talked about a movie where I cited this but I can't remember what it was.

Ed said...

Great choices! Jed, I saw "Old Yeller" as a child and it was really sad. So was the "Fox and the Hound" along kind of similar lines.

Scott, I enjoyed the whole movie, but the opening blew me away. I wasn't expecting that in a modern cartoon.

Let me add: "Bambi" and "Dumbo" to the animated list.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I blame Meyer for the misspelling. There are too many damn Meyer, Meyers, Mieyer, Mieyers and other crazy spellings. They need to pick one... then I'll care about spelling it right! ;-)

Yes, humor is a difficult concept! LOL!

I really don't see any political messages in STII. So who knows what Shapiro/MeyeR were talking about there?

Waiting for the other shoe to drop is part of it, but that's only temporary. What I think makes the good death scenes (or just sad scenes) so memorable is that you know the pain will continue long after the other shoe does drop, i.e. after the death/separation finally happens. It's the idea of long term suffering that gets us.

Tennessee Jed said...

an interesting thing about many of the choices except "Up" (and maybe even that one.) those who died, human, canine, vulcan, what have you, all died protecting their family and friends. There may be something to sacrifice that draws us instead of, say, the death of Ali McGraw in Love Story, or the tragic death of Gary Cooper in "The Lou Gherig story." Many of you may be too young. I considered that one, but because it was taken from a true story, I chose not to. Still, "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man in the world" is one of the iconically sad lines ever, particularly with all the echo on the p.a. system.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I thought Dumbo was sadder than Bambi actually. Poor, poor Dumbo.

I find it particularly interesting when cartoons are able to connect with us and bring out strong emotions because think of all the hurdles they need to overcome, with the biggest being that they obviously aren't real beings... they are drawn. The human mind is a fascinating thing.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I have not seen the Lou Gherig story, but you make a good point. There is more than just death involved in creating sadness, or we would feel sad every time some bad guy get's popped.

I think dying too young is sad. Dying with dignity raises the sadness factor. Leaving others behind raises the sadness factor -- especially when they are kids or parents or lovers (I would say "young lover" except that Up shows that this is not necessarily true). I also think sacrificing yourself for friends is a sadness factor. Although, again, I think it's a lot sadder when the friends are there to witness the death. For example, if Spock had died alone and nobody saw it, but everybody knew, it wouldn't have been as strong a scene as having Kirk standing there.

I think part of what Scott is getting at with "inevitable" is also "helpless." It's more tragic when it seems like you have the time to save the person, but you can't for whatever reason, i.e. the death is inevitable no matter what you do.

Thus, take Old Yeller. If there was a cure for rabbies and they just didn't get it in time, that would be sad, but it wouldn't be nearly as sad as the realization that there was nothing they could do.

Anonymous said...

There are no political messages in Trek II. They weren't talking about anything. Meyer was interviewed about The Day After. Again, it was just a bad non-sensical joke on my part. ("It is not logical.") :-)

(I think this might've also been my jab at people who take a filmmaker's politics and apply it to everything s/he has done, even retroactively, and even to apolitical films. But that's another story altogether.)

The long-term suffering idea never really occurred to me till just now. Interesting. With me, I think I'm more affected by the idea of... never having enough time, which is something all of us feel sometimes.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The Day After was indeed anti-Reagan crap. That's no surprise. That's one of those nasty, political diatribe films. Not to mention, it sucks -- it had an afternoon special quality to it. The UK version (Threads) was much, much better.

On "never having enough time," I'm not saying we aren't sad for the person who dies and what they don't get to experience anymore. That's definitely a part of it in most cases. But I think the real emotional pay off in a film, i.e. the most powerful death scenes, focus on the people around them who go on without them now.

Think about Up. We aren't sad because Elle won't get to keep on living. She's lived a long and contented life. We are sad because her husband will now be left to live out his years alone.

Ed said...

Andrew, That's a good point and it explains something that always bothered me. I was under the impression the death of Darth Vader was supposed to be a sad scene, but it left me flat. This could explain the reasons. Not only do we not care about Vader because we don't really care about what he might miss out on, but he's no leaving anyone behind who will suffer from his absence.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Hmmm. That's an interesting thought. I never saw it as a particularly sad moment either. Lucas clearly wants it to be sad, but it's not. So maybe this is the problem?

T-Rav said...

Great choices everyone! I really want to see Up, which I haven't gotten around to yet.

Jed, I wouldn't say I was totally crestfallen by Michael's fall, but the state of affairs at his death is what seems to me the most tragic. He did what he did largely for his family's sake, and then his sins came back to strike not him but his child. There's a very sad irony there, if you ask me.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Up is well worth seeing. The first 10 minutes are great. It's got some good characters and some great moments.

(P.S. You never did share you own view of Pixar cartoons? (see Roger Rabbit comments))

Anonymous said...

I can never show Up to my parents, or at least my mother anyway. And it's because of that first ten minutes. Her parents are elderly and she'll lose it, especially since her mother (my grandmother) has been slowly declining in health for some time.

Nope, can't do it.

Re: death and the people left behind, I find myself having trouble articulating it. I suppose there's a certain amount of personal baggage that we bring to these things as well. I tear up at Up and Benjamin Button because they're portraying the very thing I want: a happy, normal life with a woman to come home to. And to see that happy, normal life end (either naturally or due to a unique medical condition, as in the above examples) is what gets to me. And I suppose that goes back to my need to see people happy in life... the ones that deserve it anyway. :-)

On the other hand, I'll cry at something like Schindler's List but only at the end as Liam Neeson breaks down. It's not a death scene, but a scene of regret, and a cathartic one at that.

Again, I'm having trouble explaining it. Damn you and your insightful questions! :-D

AndrewPrice said...

"the ones that deserve it"! LOL! May the rest suffer in the belly of Solack. . . God of Pain! ;-)

I get your point about Up and BB, and that is part of it -- we find it sad when good people lose the things we think will make them happy because we like them, we empathize with them, and we don't like the idea of losing these things ourselves.

But I think that alone does not make a very strong emotional scene. I think it takes more to make these scenes what they are, and that is the sense of loss for the people around them.

Also, we should note that not all sad scenes involve death. You're point about Neeson for example. Regret can be powerful motivator of sadness.

In fact, I think it's one of the things Hollywood does too rarely. Usually when someone comes to regret their decision, they are usually standing around looking stupid as the hero gives them the finger and then goes out to fight the bad guy -- and the emotion of the moment is blow. But the idea that you caused something horrible or even just wasted your life can be very powerful.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Here's one that Jed and I spoke about which didn't make the list, but we both considered: Field of Dreams.

The moment when Costner gets to meet his dad is easily one of the saddest moments on film.

Anonymous said...

I've actually never seen Field of Dreams but it sounds like a tearjerker. I seem to be a sucker for father/son stories which is why DS9's "The Visitor" gets to me. I won't offer a plot synopsis here (it's a bit convoluted) but it's an outstanding piece of work.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, It's really sad. It's easily Costner's best film too. I highly recommend it.

Tennessee Jed said...

Ed - I can never think of Dumbo without seeing Robert Stack crying while watching it in the film "1941." You should try and watch Lou Gherig Story sometime, Andrew. On the other hand, I'll bet the actual newsreel is probably available on u-tube.

T-Rav - the irony is the thing with Michael Corleone. Just as in my review of "Fracture" there has to be a certain hubris involved with a character like Michael. And the worst thing actually did happen to Michael. Having your daughter die in your arms is a thousand times worse than death itself.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - I have a different take on that scene. It does make you tear up a little, and I know the character had to come to grips, etc. . . . but if you believe in dreams, it was a happy reunion. Just my take.

T-Rav said...

Scott, now that I've seen most of Part III, I don't think it's as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It's certainly not as good as the first two, but there are a lot of great moments, and that ending scene with the musical score is heartbreaking.

That earlier subplot of Andy Garcia romancing his cousin, though? No thanks.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree, it was a happy scene, but a "sad happy" scene -- as compared to a sad/depressing scene. It was both happy, but also really sad at the same time.

Anonymous said...

T-Rav -

Yeah, that particular subplot is kinda... out there.

What's interesting is Coppola's idea for a possible fourth film (which was never made). From Wikipedia:

Coppola revealed in the DVD commentary his idea of what a potential Part 4 to the series would have held, claiming in a similar parallel story to Part II that the earlier story would see a young Sonny Corleone as the main character, helping his father Vito to gain the family its political powers and control, marking the family's established stance on the world; and the latter story some 40-50 years later based in the 1980's, seeing his son Vincent Mancini, now Godfather of the Corleone family dynasty, haunted by the death of Mary Corleone, failing to hold the power together, and subsequently destroying and losing the Corleone Dynasty it's political powers, involvement and status among the mafia families, seeing one final scene with Vincent and Michael in Sicily shortly before Michael's death in 1990.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott and T-Rav, That sounds better than this from Wikipoopia:

Set in 2008, the Corleone family has gone on welfare and spends their days watching Oprah.

Sounds like a real tear jerker! ;-)

T-Rav said...

Field of Dreams would have been a good one too, if I'd thought of it. Although I don't think of that scene as sad--at least, not entirely; I kinda look at it as a man finally making peace with his father and getting to make a memory with him one last time. I guess I interpreted "sad" in a bleaker sort of way.

thundercatkp said...


1. MIST: near the end when David shoots his son to save him from the monsters. Right after the mist clears, several trucks, filled with soldiers and survivors come by. If he only had waited a few more minutes.


3. TITANIC- it's noteworthy

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, A like excuse! Just kidding. Part of the fun of doing these is seeing how people interpret them and what they come up with.

AndrewPrice said...

thundercatkp, That was highly ironic at the end of MIST. I didn't care for the movie at all though.

I haven't seen Red Fern.

thundercatkp said...


Yeah...I expected Mist to be a lot better than it was. I get it and Cloverfield mixed up sometimes...not sure why...other than I didn't really like either one. No zombies to keep me on my toes I guess.

I had to read Where the Red Fern Grows in elementary school. Then we watched the movie...I haven't seen it since but it was sad at the time.

AndrewPrice said...

thundercat, I would have liked Cloverfield a lot if they had lost the shaky-cam. But the way they filmed it made it impossible to watch.

Mist just struck me as very indulgent and not at all original -- kind of what I've come to expect from King.

thundercatkp said...

I expected better from King...but then again he's no Hitchcock. I thought Mist had just got cheesy real fast.

Cloverfield...I didn't like the shakiness and there were times the screen was so dark I couldn't tell what was happening...I wasn't sure if it was the theater or the film. I haven't watched it again.

CrispyRice said...

I will give props to Scott for Up - that had me sobbing right off the bat.

But my top would have to be the end-ish of Somewhere in Time when Superman (excuse me - Christopher Reeves) has finally succeeded and then gets sucked back to modernity, and there is nothing he can about it. All that effort, all the love, shattered, through no one's fault at all. Gut wrenching.

AndrewPrice said...

thundercat, I've really come to dislike King over the past decade or so. At one time, he was great, but lately it seems that everything he does is just a knock off of other things people have done. Plus, I thought his treatment of how the people would have reacted was downright offensive. People don't turn on each other in these moments, they come together -- that's what human history has shown over and over.

I agree about Cloverfield I kept waiting for the shakiness to stop, but it never did. And there were a lot of scenes where you couldn't see anything.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Superman LOL! I guess he did get type-casted, didn't he?

I haven't seen that one in a long time, but it was definitely a good movie.

thundercatkp said...

The Mist did make me think....Where would be the best place to be trapped if the Zombie Apocalypse did occur...I mean when it does occur.

I came up with SAM's Club Warehouse...sturdy building, small entryway (in all I have been to), lots of supplies...perfect...not to mention other shoppers to distract a zombie if it did get in.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere in Time... yeah, that was a great one. Tear-jerking, too. John Barry's score certainly contributed to that feeling as well. (The main reason I haven't purchased it.) And Jane Seymour was quite ravishing. Live and Let Die, anyone?

I liked Cloverfield but, yeah, the shaky-cam was a turn-off though, given that it's essentially a home movie, I can accept it. As for darkness, my first suspicion is always cheap theater owners who don't run their projector lamps at full capacity.

T-Rav said...

I like Cloverfield, despite the shaky cam. That bit's kind of annoying, but easily explained away given the premise, and the dialogue and plot elements just feel real. It is pretty freaking depressing at the end, though.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I agree that it was justified, but that doesn't help me. I literally stopped looking at the screen after a while, so they lost me. They should have transitioned away from it slowly after the first few minutes of the monster.

Scott, For me, the shaky cam is almost at the point of being a deal breaker. And when it gets used throughout the film, then it is. I think they will regret using this gimmick in a few years.

AndrewPrice said...

thundercat, That's probably the best place to hide. Lots of food and stuff. Nice big parking lots that the zombies would need to cross. All you need to do is stop by a gun store on the way and grab some ammo and few extra guns.

thundercatkp said...

Your right!!!

Wonder if there is a Sam's Club with a Bass Pro Shop adjoined...that would be awesome ;)

Is it twisted that makes me excited?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Good post guys!

I definitely cried when Old Yeller had to be put down. Very sad.

Spoiler Alert!!!

I also cried when Frosty "died" or melted. Fortunately, Santa was there to bring him back to life.
Hey, I was a kid okay?

And yeah, Spock dying, I had no clue. Very poignant and touching ending.

Also agree that Michael's daughter dying for his sins was tragic, and the first ten minutes of Up was so bittersweet.

Armaggedon was sad when Bruce Willis died. It probably hit me hard because of the scene with his daughter.

I was dying at the time and it reminded me of my daughters and trying to get them prepared for it...and wanting desperately to take their pain away and the pain that would come when I died (which, obviously didn't happen).

James Caan in Brian's Song was another tearjerker based on a true story.

T-Rav said...

Better be careful, Ben--Andrew will go to town on you for saying something positive about Armageddon :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Thundercat, Yeah -- a Sam's Club next door to a Bass Pro Shop! That's your best bet! :-)

Worst choice.... a mall. Seriously, what are you going to find at The Gap that can help you?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I do believe my reputation as an Armageddon hater is slightly exaggerated. . . by not by much. Indeed, I have yet to try to kill anyone involved in the production of the film. :-)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Spoiler Alert!!!

On a lighter note, Data dying in Independence Day (he had the emotion and crazy scientist chip) was sad on some level, but it was fun to see Adam Baldwin blowing the alien away.

The former Chief Inspector dying in Revenge Of The Pink Panther.
Okay, yeah he became a bad guy but can you blame him?

Look at it from his point of view. All the times Inspector Clouseau messed up and yet, somehow accidently solving the case in the end and getting rewarded as if he were competent?
Not to mewntion all the damage he caused.

It would drive any boss insane!

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I don't think hardly anyone knew. It was a different era. Unless someone saw the film and came home to tell you what happened, no one was going to tell you. There just wasn't an internet or an entertainment press to spoil it.

Frosty dies? O-M-G! No!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

I actually haven't seen Brian's Song. I take it you would recommend it?

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Dreyfus was in the right! LOL!

On Data dying, I need to disagree. Any of the Next Gen characters dying is a good moment for me! (Don't tell Scott that though!) :-)

Tennessee Jed said...

Field of Dreams :-) :-(

Make sure Brian's Song is the one with James Caan as Brian Piccolo

Tennessee Jed said...

another great sad ending, even though it is taken from a play is Cyrano De Bergerac. You might even say it is a classic. (O.K. there is no might about it.)

"My white Plume"

keep blogging everyone while I am away.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I'll make sure it's James Caan!

Take care! We'll be here. :-)

thundercatkp said...

Without a doubt a mall would be big no way to secure that large an Hollywood has done it's best to inform all....Don't go to the mall

Andrew...what was so bad about Armageddon? It's been a long time since I seen it but I don't remember hating it...I'm going to see if its streaming on Netflix.

AndrewPrice said...

A mall would be bad for so many reasons -- too much glass, too many doors to watch. Too much clutter making it hard to see them as they come sneaking up on you. And there's no food, no weapons, etc. Clearly, Sam's Club has given the apocalypse some thought! :-)

Armageddon, ugh. The thing that really truly kills me is the whole ADD/short attention span aspect. The camera is never still. They make a cut every couple seconds. It's like a music video on speed. It just drives me crazy.

T-Rav said...

"Wonder if there is a Sam's Club with a Bass Pro Shop adjoined...that would be awesome ;)"

thundercat, you've never been to Missouri, have you? If such a thing exists, I bet we have it.

T-Rav said...

Wait, I'm confused. Data is the android thingy, right? Because I've seen Independence Day several times, and I've never seen any Star Trek people in it, much less an android.

thundercatkp said...


I watched about 4 minutes on YouTube. Hmmmm...I'm neutral on that one, for now.

Didn't find it on Netflix but did find The Edge which I like.


Nope never been to Missouri but after intensive Google search I found one in Denham Springs Louisiana...."Newest addition to Denham Springs is the news Sam's Club by the Bass Pro Shops at the Denham Springs exit south."

...Google earth did not confirm location ;)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Missouri has all that stuff... right on the highway! I've driven through your state many times. I like the fact most people drive about 90 on the highway. :-)

When I was younger, by the way, everyone who drove through Missouri knew about the Walnut Bowls store and the Elvis Museum!

AndrewPrice said...

On Independence Day, Data is the scientist working at Area 51. He's not "Data" per se... he's Brent Spiner playing a scientist, but he's basically Data. I think he might even have a beard, but I don't remember for sure.

AndrewPrice said...

thundercat, It has some good stuff in it, but it just drives me nuts trying to watch it. It's like an editor-induced shaky cam.

I've heard one of the Bass Pro Shops even has a lake inside the building. Capitalism is awesome! :-)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew: yes! I highly recommend Brian's Song (the 1971 version with James Caan, Billy Dee Williams and Dick Butkus)!

Armaggedon: The shaky cam was atrocious when they were on the asteroid (although I have seen worse) but everything up to that point was good, if memory serves.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Brent Spiner plays Dr. Okun in Independence Day and I think the filmmakers modeled his look (long hair, scruffy face) on a technician they'd worked with in the past. I actually missed much of his death scene in the theater since I had to use the bathroom. (Why do I remember that?!)

I didn't like the way Data's death was handled in Star Trek: Nemesis only because they had introduced another android (B4) so we literally went from one android to another in about three minutes. There were also some scenes that would've made the death more meaningful that were cut from the film, like this one. (The FX were done by a fan.)

The post-Nemesis novels have done away with B4, shipping him off to be studied elsewhere.

Re: Bass Pro Shops, I think Modern Marvels did an episode on one that had a huge fish tank in it. I don't know if they all do or if this one was simply the biggest.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Billy Dee Williams is a name I haven't heard in a long time! He was great as Lando Calrissian, but I haven't benn thrilled by anything else I've seen him in.

In Living Color did a great commercial involving him playing off his role as Colt 45 sponsor. He was doing Bolt 45 ads.... "If you want class, get Champagne. But if you want to score, get the powerful taste of Bolt 45." LOL! LINK

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Here's a photo of Data...I mean, Dr. Brackish Okun (who came up with that name and why?) from Independence Day.

Dr. Brakish Okun

Anonymous said...

Ben -

Okun comes from Jeff Okun, the FX supervisor on Stargate which was done by the same filmmakers two years earlier.

As for Brackish, I have no idea. I believe it means "distasteful." :-)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Unfortunately I have dial-up, but I do remember that skit now that you mention it, LOL!

Williams was good in Brian's song, IMO.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Apparently, they do all kinds of impressive things in their stores. I actually haven't been inside one, but I've heard rumors... strange rumors... volcano lair type rumors...

I can't tell you why you remember the trip to the bathroom. Presumably something memorable happened. Did the man ask you to put the lotion in the basket?!

I think Data's death was entirely mishandled, but it really did fit the series. They wiped out any sort of sadness or emotion by handing you a replacement right away. It turn what could have been a tragedy into a gimmick.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Scott!

That makes sense, LOL!

Spiner did have some funny lines in ID.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I forgot about the dial-up. Sorry. But it was a good skit. They used to do a good job making fun of Louie Farakhan (sp?) back then too.

Scott and Ben, It's probably an inside joke of some sort.

Anonymous said...

They wiped out any sort of sadness or emotion by handing you a replacement right away.

Not to mention the fact that Brent Spiner had said he didn't want to play Data anymore. But playing a near-identical android would've been okay had they produced another TNG film?

No one asked me for anything in the bathroom! Incidentally, that movie theater was a General Cinema theater which closed down a decade ago. I think the company went bankrupt. I think a ceiling tile fell on some poor woman around the same time. Other than that, it was a good theater. It's a gym now.

Re: Okun, it's just an inside joke. For 1998's Godzilla, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin gave their lead character the last name "Tatopolous" after the creature FX supervisor on Independence Day which they also did.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I thought of another one.

Backdraft, when Kurt Russell died.

My wife was so sad she won't watch it again. She likes Kurt Russell, in case that wasn't clear. :^)

Oh, and when Cabby (Earnest Borgnine) died in Escape From New York.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Glad to hear it! Bad bathroom experiences can be traumatic according to Freud!

We used to have a couple great theaters in town, but they slowly died off over time - which is a real crime. One of them was round so you had this amazing view of the screen no matter where you sat. But the town population shifted north and people started going to newer theaters up north.

So he didn't want to play Data, but he was willing to play Data's clone. That makes sense. Well, frankly, the whole film feels like an afterthought anyways, like they had just enough film left to squeeze out one more movie before they turned out the lights and returned the costumes.

It's too bad most them seem to have ended up in Sci-Fi channel schlock.

As I understand it, there are always inside jokes in movies.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Backdraft is another movie I haven't thought about in years! That was one of De Niro's better roles!

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, there are always inside jokes in movies.

I think we just found our next debate question: favorite inside joke in a movie. :-)

Not to go off on a tangent, but I love the "I loved you in Wall Street!" gag in the second Hot Shots! film which also managed to parody Apocalypse Now and Platoon in one 30-second scene.

And there's this exchange from 3rd Rock from the Sun with guest star William Shatner:

Shatner: "I would've been here sooner but there was something on the wing of the plane."
John Lithgow: "The same thing happened to me!!"

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I love that too in Hot Shots. That was an all around hilarious film!

And oldie that I like was Hitchcock appearing in a before and after diet photo in a newspaper in the film Lifeboat.

thundercatkp said...

...So Andrew have you had a few bad bathroom experiences :/...hehehe...traumatized a bit?

....I forgot what I was going to say :)

AndrewPrice said...

Nope. I'm just quoting Freud.

thundercatkp said...

oh..okay, I was just wondering ;)

thundercatkp said...

Oh yeah, Joel wants me to let everyone know that An Inconvenient Truth is by far the saddest movie ever...."it's sad because it's real." (a single tear slowly trickled down Joel's cheek.) He supports Al Gore as he tries to educate the public about the severity of the climate crisis. Joel's exact words are, " Kudos to Al Gore!! GO GREEN!!!" as he makes a fist and gleefully thrust it toward the sky.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, I always figured Joel for an Algore fan! LOL!

T-Rav said...

Ohhh, that explains it...I kind of suspected you guys were referring to the actor but I just rolled with it. As I'm not that familiar with his work, it's weird to picture those two characters as the same person.

Andrew, that would be us--90 mph drivers and 4.7 meth labs per acre. Although I don't personally fit those characteristics; I rarely drive above 65 on the interstate. My first car would shake like it was going to blow up if it went faster than that.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, He doesn't have much work to speak of. Beyond Data, he really hasn't done much.

I'm definitely not complaining about the speeding. I love speeding. It's my civic duty to keep the cops employed. In fact, most Coloradans drive fast -- except for the Focus on the Family crowd in their damn minivans. @#$%^&holes. You should spend time in Virginia though if you like slow. Retards. In fact, Virginians are by far the worst drivers on the planet. I could spend hours detailing their stupidity. I honestly don't know how I lived there so long without killing half of them with a baseball bat. The whole state should be banned from getting behind the wheel of a car. . . and I'm not kidding.

On the meth issue, I'd heard it was bad in MO but I don't know why. You're probably supplying the need of hillbillies and Klansmen throughout West Virginia.... they aren't smart enough to make it themselves.

The thing I think of most when it comes to Missouri is actually billboards. It's stunning how many billboards one state can hold!

rlaWTX said...

I gotta start going online on the weekends!!! But I'mm gonna toss my cents in anyway...

Up's beginning,
Where the Red Fern Grows,
right after the funeral in Steel Magnolias,
the part in Armageddon where Bruce Willis dies (lost my dad in '03) & the part when they get back and the kid comes running holding the shuttle toy,
The Shootist when Jimmy Stewart has to tell John Wayne (Booker) that he's dying - because of the real-life stuff,
not a teary moment but sad with what might have been/what could be: in Tombstone where Doc is actually dying and he tells Wyatt to go and live
I am sure there are others.

BTW, I really like Armageddon. Just sayin'.

Never saw Old Yeller or Shane. WTRFG was enough in the dying animals dept for me. Love Fox & the Hound though. I think I saw Khan on TV later and already knew and didn't care, but I recently caught the beginning of the next movie where they replay it?: wow! pretty intense. I haven't ever seen any of the Godfathers. Don't like mobsters. OH! there was a TV movie with Joe Penny (back right after Riptide when as a pre-teen I LIKED him) and Melissa Gilbert? where he's in the mob and she marries him and at the end he kills her - I was inconsolable because the actor I liked was such a good "bad guy".

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, It get kind of silly around here on weekends. But if you get the chance, we're planning to do film debates each Sunday morning.

You don't like mobster? Don't let Hollywood hear you... they believe everyone loves mobsters!

T-Rav said...

Andrew, we do love our billboards. I've occasionally thought that our state can be summarized by those stretches on the interstate where you see a billboard advertising the nearest adult video store, 200 yards after another one telling people "Jesus Saves."

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, LOL! Sounds like a good motto for the state!

What's funny is that if you do a lot of cross country driving, which I have, you start to realize that the only two things you see over and over on the highway system are "Antique" stores and porn stores. That seems to be all America cares about.

rlaWTX said...

and Cracker Barrels!

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, there are a LOT of those too! It used to be Stuckey's back in the day, but I haven't seen any of those in two decades. Now it's all Cracker Barrel, McDonalds and often a Dennys.

TJ said...

rlaWTX - The name of that movie is Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife. I saw that one on the recommendation of the lady who ran the video store I used to rent from. I HATED THE ENDING OF THIS MOVIE! I'm more of a happy ending kind of person.

Which brings me to the saddest moments: I have to agree about the opening of Up. That one gets me every time.

Where the Red Fern Grows is also a hard one for me to watch - which is why I don't watch it very often.

One that I didn't see mentioned was The Yearling. There were a couple of really sad moments in that one.

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, Up seems to be a really popular choice. That opening is definitely a masterpiece!

thundercatkp said...


The Yearling is a cute movie it made, hmmm...makes me want a fawn as a pet.


Speaking of Denny's...when driving back from California we stopped at a Denny's near the Grand Canyon that had a bar in it. Well I thought it was awesome. (Now that's some family fun!!) I haven't seen another one like it yet. But then again I don't get out of TN much ;)

AndrewPrice said...

thundercat, I'm a huge fan of Denny's. Yum! But I've never seen a Denny's with a bar in it! Interesting idea.

rlaWTX said...

guess what's on FX tonight!

AndrewPrice said...

According to my TV, some movie called Armageddon. Never heard of it! ;-)

thundercatkp said...

Diary of a Mad Black Woman I think it's sad. Makes me cry every time I watch it.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I thought of another flick recently that's so sad I only watched it twice:

The Passion Of The Christ

This is, thus far, the most realistic movie about the suffering Christ endured, and it's sadder knowing that this film still doesn't go all the way in depicting what Christ went through (and that's just physically and mentally speaking).

However, to be fair, it was hard enough to watch, so if it were completely accurate (according to the Bible) it would be much harder to watch.

Despite Gibsons many problems (and bein' a jerk) there ain't too many films he acted in or directed I don't like.
I also don't think alcoholism is his main problem but rather a major symptom of much deeper problems and character defects.

It's sad in real life how he has ruined his career and has regressed to become a person very few people like anymore (and with good reason).
If I could I would get Jet Li to really kick his ass and beat some sense into him, but that probably woouldn't work.
Real shame because I think if he got his act together he would have a lot of good films to contribute.

Perhaps he should see Passion Of The Christ again to put things into perspective.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I agree about Gibson. I like his films despite the fact he seems like a real jerk. It's too bad he's been ruining his reputation because he had a lot of potential to good in Hollywood and he's been squandering that by besmirching his own name.

FLoyd R. Turbo said...

I know I'm way late but I'm a sucker for movie lists... I persued the comments quickly so I'll avoid the others....

Saddest... The Sand Pebble when Steve McQueen kills his friend (played by Mako) who is being tortured onshore by Chinese rioters.

TV show: When Henry Blake left MASH. All he had to do was leave... no those genius bastard writers killed him off and Radar's pitch perfect delivery. Hell I'm getting a speck of dust in my eye just typing it.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Late is fine! That's why I have the moderation on the older articles, so that I know when people comments. And I do know that people read the old articles all the time.

You are 100% right about MASH. Wow, what a sad moment. I think everyone in our house was crying when that happened. It was sad enough that he was leaving and then BAM, he's dead. It was just an amazingly emotional moment.

Outlaw13 said...

My Dog Skip is another sad dog movie.

When the Soldier bleeds out in Blackhawk Down that is just heart wrenching.

When John Wayne retires at the end of She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, the speech he gives really gets me, but then I'm a Soldier.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, I agree about Blackhawk Down. That whole movie just outrages me (both at the politicians who didn't protect those guys and at the Somalis) and it makes me very sad at what happened to these guys.

The saddest John Wayne moment for me is still Iwo Jima.

Outlaw13 said...

The Cowboys death scene to me is sadder than Sands, followed by the whole Cancer thing in the Shootist

AndrewPrice said...

I was stunned he was killed in The Cowboys. I had no idea it was coming and it seemed like the Duke had everything under control... and then bam, he's dead. That was stunning.

Yeah, the cancer thing was very sad.

He's had some great moments on film!

Anonymous said...

Spock's death makes me cry and I saw TWoK for the first time only a few years ago, so I knew full well that he wasn't gone for good. I can't even figure out why, since Shatner is being very Shatner-y (the way he puts his hand up to the glass, anyone???????). But I have never watched the movie without at least tearing up at that scene. I'd say Into Darkness's remake of that moment was objectively better, but I didn't cry . . .

I agree with ScottDS -- UP has the ten most brilliant and heartbreaking moments of film I've ever come across.

Anonymous said...

(But I have to add -- when Dr. Sawyer comes to talk to Leonard in the violent patients ward in Awakenings is another scene that gets me every time.)

Petals said...

VERY late to this party, but I read each comment, smiling & tearing-up
I'm from Missouri - the billboard, BassPro Shop & meth capital, LOL. Hey - don't forget the "Graveyard of the UnBorn off 55-South (the buckle of the Bible Belt)

Anyway - saddest movie moments

Terms of Endearment - notably the scene where she says "bye" to her kids

Six Weeks - a nearly-unseen 1982 film with Mary Tyler Moore & Dudley Moore. This is probably the only serious role he ever did, and it is touching.


And of course - ANY movie that has the animal's name in the title is a sure tear-jerker. Whether CGI or cartoon or film, the title character - if an animal - will go through Hell and/or DIE. So, no way. I do NOT watch any movie with an animals name in the title. That extends to Water for Elephants, Dances With Wolves, Secretariat, etc. Nope, no way. Never seen any of 'em ;)

I love this blog...

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