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Great scene, shame about the rest of the film

Great scene, shame about the rest of the film

Great scene, shame about the rest of the film

It's not always possible to be perfect all of the time. Or so we hear anyway.

So while a small handful of films follow the ShortList model of being utterly, consistently awesome, others only manage this for a small amount of time. We've assembled 10 examples of fantastic scenes in films that aren't so fantastic. Enjoy them. Just don't feel tempted to watch the whole films though, yeah?

(Images: All Star)

Snake Eyes - The tracking shot

12,5 minutes one shot from stadycam on Vimeo.

The scene: Even in Brian De Palma's lowest moments, he can be relied upon for one thing: style. In the opening scene of Snake Eyes, he delivers a typically bravura sequence which comprises of a technically astonishing tracking shot that lasts for almost 13 minutes. We get taken all the way through a boxing venue without De Palma breaking a sweat.

The film: Sadly it was all downhill from there. A rather tired conspiracy thriller coupled with a predictably OTT performance from professional over-actor Nicolas Cage left this 1998 turkey as one of Brian De Palma's most disappointing efforts.


The Lost World - the breaking glass

The scene: Strange that the greatest scene in the Jurassic Park sequel doesn't involve a great deal of dinosaurs, but more of that in a second. This Hitchcockian suspense sequence revolves around a simple conceit: Julianne Moore on a piece of slowly breaking glass perched over a cliff. It's nail-bitingly tense stuff and since it comes so early in the film, hopes were high for more of the same.

The film: Regretfully, things didn't follow suit. One of the reasons Jurassic Park was so impressive was down to the awe we all felt after seeing the dinosaurs for the first time. But second time around, the novelty was gone and a repetitive set of dinos vs humans chase scenes became increasingly tired. By the time the T-Rex landed in San Diego, we were halfway out of the door.


Prometheus - The C-Section

The scene: John Hurt's chest-burster scene in the original Alien remains one of the most shocking moments in horror and Ridley Scott bravely tried to relive some of the magic in his long-waited prequel. Surprisingly, it actually worked. After Noomi Rapace's character discovers that she's housing a monster inside of her, she uses a nifty surgery machine to perform a c-section, providing a suitably nasty and squirm-inducing sequence.

The film: Nothing else came close to capturing the same terrifying urgency of Scott's original classic. The film was weighed down by dull philosophical musings and a cast of underwritten ciphers parading as characters. We'd happily take Alien 3 over this any day.


28 Weeks Later - The opener

The scene: While the opening scene of 28 Days Later might have boasted the eerie sight of seeing a totally empty view of London, it's quite possible that the start of 28 Weeks Later might just trump. Just. A heart-pounding escape from a country hideout and a devastating decision meant that we started off with high hopes for what was to follow.

The film: Which was of course rather naive as nothing in the rest of the film even came close to matching the opener. In fact, the rest of the film was a crushing disappointment. While the original managed to combine believable characters with the requisite zombie action, we had no emotional investment in this one. Fingers crossed for Months.


The Village - The first attack

The scene: In the early scenes of M Night Shyamalan's period thriller, we'd been warned about "those we don't speak of" and after plenty of hype, we finally got a tantalising glance in this seat-edge sequence. Masterfully building suspense as the village suffers a shock break-in and then ending with a brief moment of beauty, this scene sums up everything we used to love about Shyamalan.

The film: However, the rest of the film served as a reminder of all the reasons why he can also prove an utter annoyance. The meandering, self-conscious dialogue was at its worst in this pretentious misfire and it culminated in one of the most illogical twist endings we can remember. Best to refer to this as "the film we don't speak of".


Hereafter - The tsunami

The scene: Clint Eastwood might not be the first director that springs to mind when you're thinking of breathtaking special effects but in this opening, he well and truly proves himself as extremely adept. A nail-biting recreation of the 2004 tsunami, it set the tone for an epic drama.

The film: After the fast-paced start, things slowed down so much that they almost become stationary. After a run of hits, Hereafter was Eastwood's first proper miss with its mix of sentimentality and hokum going down like a lead balloon with critics and audiences.


Ghost Ship - the dance

The scene: Kicking off this supernatural horror tale with an ingenious 50s set opener was a smart choice. Creating a mood through the time-specific font and some creepy music, the sequence soon goes into overdrive with a jaw-droppingly violent Final Destination style bloodbath. An unforgettable horror movie opening.

The film: After such an original beginning, it's really quite astonishing how fast things become hopelessly derivative. Julianna Marguiles' Ripley-lite and her crew of clichés find themselves in a brutally dull rip-off of The Shining, complete with a direct lift of the scene were Torrance ends up kissing a decaying ghost. Lazy, loud and pointless.


Any Given Sunday - the locker room speech

The scene: Get it wrong and you'll have them howling in the aisles. Get it right and they'll be cheering in their seats. Thankfully, it was more of the latter with this stirring speech from Al Pacino in Oliver Stone's 1999 sports drama. It's a clichéd set-up and even though we get some Pacino shouting, it still hits the mark. And then some.

The film: Oh yeah, that thing. Well, the rest of the film borders on parody with an overly self-serious tone and a punishingly long running time. One of Stone's lesser films.


Superman Returns - the plane rescue

The scene: The undisputed highpoint of Bryan Singer's 2006 reboot was this heart-stopping airborne action scene where Superman saves a plane from crashing by carefully landing it in the middle of a football game. It was visually incredible and, yes we're a bit biased when it comes to scenes involving planes, but it was a stellar moment in...

The film: utterly disappointing film. Ask us now to recall anything else that happened and we'll struggle. A duo of miscast leads (Routh did look the part at least) and a light-as-a-feather touch left it collapsing like a poorly made soufflé. No wonder we had another reboot so soon.


How To Lose Friends And Alienate People - Mother Teresa Trailer

The scene: Well, we do love a fake trailer. This particular one shows Megan Fox's starlet character (aka Megan Fox) playing Mother Teresa in a wildly inappropriate biopic that shows the saintly icon in a more, ahem, sexual light. It's a spot-on spoof and we'd gladly watch the full-length feature.

The film: In fact, we'd much rather have seen that than the film it comes from. Despite a ripe source (Toby Young's witty bestseller), the adaptation was limp and focused on broad, unfunny set-pieces. A shame, given the talent involved.