by Jason Koenigsberg
As Jurassic World is dominating the box office, it has been dividing audiences. A lot of people agree with my review that the first hour and a half were varying degrees of moderately good, to mediocre but that the last thirty minutes were explosively entertaining action.
Then I realized the previous two Jurassic Park sequels were kind of similar. Most people do not have fond memories of The Lost World (1997) but I know a lot of people really enjoyed the T-Rex rampaging San Diego. Likewise, you do not often hear praise for Jurassic Park III (2001) however I recall the scene with the pterodactyls being a diamond in the rough moment of an otherwise worthless film.
This got me thinking, what are some other bad movies with genuinely great scenes. There is no denying that the end of Jurassic World is invigoratingly exciting, so much so that most people have been willing to forgive the movie for all its flaws during the first three acts because they walked out so thrilled by the climactic action at the end. It inspired me to rack my brain and come up with the five best scenes from otherwise terrible movies. Here is what I came up with:
5. Hollywood Ending (2002) directed by Woody Allen
Woody Allen has made some truly great films. He has also made some very forgettable ones. Hollywood Ending in my opinion is the worst film of his career thus far. That being said, it does contain one moment where you see just the slightest hint of his comedic genius. The plot is ludicrous with Allen playing a movie director who suffers from hysterical blindness due to stress over his latest film. He must conceal that he is blind from everyone otherwise he will be fired from the picture and it will damage his career. The sole moment that made me laugh in the theater and subsequent times I have seen this film involves Woody Allen trying to conceal his blindness from one of the producers played by Treat Williams. It’s a silly moment but its timing is impeccable and makes me laugh every time. I guess the lesson is, when in doubt, fall into Treat Williams.
4. Great Expectations (1998) directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Long before Alfonso Cuaron was directing Harry Potter movies or winning Academy Awards for Gravity (2013) he was a director for hire stuck in one of the dumbest literary film adaptations. His version of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations was ill conceived and mired in tired 90’s clichés with generation X-er’s. However, it did star Robert DeNiro. I highly doubt anyone will point to his small part in this movie as one of the roles he will be remembered by, but if you need further proof that he is one of the greatest actors of his generation look no further than his characters introduction in the first few minutes of this movie. He immediately commands the screen as he pops out of the water and scares a young boy by threatening him unless he helps DeNiro’s character. I could not find the scene online, but the trailer does briefly show the scene I am describing. It was the highlight of an otherwise dismal movie.
3. Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) directed by Wes Craven
Much like Woody Allen, Eddie Murphy is a comedic genius that has made his fair share of stinkers, none are worse than his 1995 misfire Vampire in Brooklyn, an absolutely wretched film. Yet despite all its terrible moments there is one scene that makes me laugh. Eddie Murphy disguised in latex (of course) is supposed to be a preacher that not so thinly resembles Reverend Al Sharpton. His sermon as a vampire proclaiming how evil is necessary actually turns out to be a very funny scene, a shame that the rest of the movie could not equal the laughs in the five-minute clip below.
2. Deep Blue Sea (1999) directed by Renny Harlin
Deep Blue Sea is not remembered for being a good movie yet everyone who has watched it will agree that it does contain one of the most suprising death scenes in any movie. The scene where Samuel L. Jackson is about to give a pep talk to a group of people about how they need to stick together to survive this onslaught of genetically engineered super-intelligent sharks works because of its shock factor. It is punch to the gut and director Renny Harlin timed it perfectly. It’s just too bad that none of the other so called “thrills” in Deep Blue Sea were as flawlessly executed.
1. Tin Cup (1996) directed by Ron Shelton
This is without a doubt the greatest scene from an otherwise terrible movie. Tin Cup features great actors all at the top of their game with a script as dumb and predictable as it could possibly be. Kevin Costner is great as Roy ‘Tin Cup’ McAvoy, a sad-sack down on his luck former pro golfer who falls for his enemies girlfriend, impeccably played by Rene Russo, and Don Johnson does a great job as Costner’s bad guy rival, arrogant and conceited, he loves antagonizing our main character. Plus it has Cheech Marin who is always a welcome sight to any picture. Just from describing the premise above, what you think happens is exactly what happens, except it’s as not funny, not memorable and as overlong as it is predictable. But there is one scene, so powerful and so emotional that it really makes me wish the rest of the movie could come close to the greatness of the one scene where Costner’s Roy McAvoy stubbornly refuses to take a short cut because he knows in his heart he can make the shot, even if it means losing the tournament. A strong scene that really resonates about a man willing to accept failure in order to prove that he could do what he set out to accomplish. The scene below only shows the last few minutes but the whole scene with Costner missing over and over again with the fans and sportscasters reactions really adds to the final impact once he makes it.