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Old February 6 2012, 02:29 AM   #1
Distorted Humor
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Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

By this I mean something that as a fan made you upset, unhappy, or otherwise unhappy, but if you where to look at a plot/dramatic point, it made total sense.

My vote goes for...

Note: Spoilers for Serenity...

In the movie Serenity the killing off of Wash. It is sudden, for the fandom, its a moment of sheer terror and upset as one of the most likeable characters dies suddenly; just as you think the crew is going to be mostly ok. Suddenly the frenetic battle while Mal tries to get the message out is much more real as you really don't know if they will be ending the series and movie by having the Bid Damn heroes die as well...heroes.
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Old February 6 2012, 04:04 AM   #2
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

There's only one for me!

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Old February 6 2012, 04:26 AM   #3
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

Distorted Humor wrote: View Post
By this I mean something that as a fan made you upset, unhappy, or otherwise unhappy, but if you where to look at a plot/dramatic point, it made total sense.
Reading the first half of that sentence I start thinking of Wash, then as I finish reading your criteria the thought of Wash completely evaporates. His death had no meaning and didn't make any sense. I just rewatched Firefly and Serenity and my opinion hasn't changed from what's its been since I first saw them: Firefly is brilliant, Serenity is a weak, weak follow-up.
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Old February 6 2012, 04:31 AM   #4
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

Killing Wash that way was genius, a great moment.
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Old February 6 2012, 04:40 AM   #5
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

I'd put the death of Spock in TWoK above the death of Wash. Spock's death was perfectly integrated into the narrative and had a thematic resonance with the entire movie(plus no one can yank a tear from me better than James Horner). Yeah it was cheapened by Spock's return in the next movie, but that doesn't undermine the brilliant execution of the sequence during TWoK.

Wash's death was good because it unsettled the audience and made you think anything could happen at the end of the movie. But that is just a storyteller's trick to get us more invested in the climax. It has no real weight in the narrative besides that.
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Old February 6 2012, 04:48 AM   #6
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

The destruction of Vulcan in Trek 2009. There may be lots of things in that movie I don't like, but imploding Vulcan and leaving a gaping hole in the center of the United Federation of Planets was one gutsy move.
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Old February 6 2012, 04:59 AM   #7
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

Caliburn24 wrote: View Post
I'd put the death of Spock in TWoK above the death of Wash. Spock's death was perfectly integrated into the narrative and had a thematic resonance with the entire movie(plus no one can yank a tear from me better than James Horner). Yeah it was cheapened by Spock's return in the next movie, but that doesn't undermine the brilliant execution of the sequence during TWoK.

Wash's death was good because it unsettled the audience and made you think anything could happen at the end of the movie. But that is just a storyteller's trick to get us more invested in the climax. It has no real weight in the narrative besides that.
I think both of these deaths were brilliant in the context on their respective stories.

Wash's death was shockingly sudden and took my breath away.

Spock's farewell scene with Kirk was heartbreaking and beautifully performed.
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Old February 6 2012, 05:09 AM   #8
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

I'd put the death of Professor Xavier in X-Men: The Last Stand above the death of Wash. Prof. X's death was perfectly integrated into the narrative and had a thematic resonance with the entire movie (plus no one can yank a tear from me better than John Powell). Yeah it was cheapened by Xavier's return in the post credits sequence, but that doesn't undermine the brilliant execution of the sequence during The Last Stand.



Maybe not so much that. Though, it was one of the parts of that flawed film that I thought was done well.

Ripley dying in Alien 3 made sense...hated it at the time though. Not sure it was brilliant though, since she already had the Joan of Arc allusions going on and we know how Joan died...by fire!
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Old February 6 2012, 05:27 AM   #9
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

I'm going to suggest the 1959 film On the Beach, which qualifies as science fiction by being in the post-apocalyptic sub-genre.

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Old February 6 2012, 05:45 AM   #10
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

"I have no mouth. And I must scream."

...and Spock is an obviously apt choice.
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Old February 6 2012, 05:53 AM   #11
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

Prof. X's death in Last Stand was one of the better parts of the movie. But I think it was undermined by the fact that it was not about him or his character, it was about showing just how destructive Phoenix was. But that had already been established with the death of Cyclops earlier, so it was robbed of some of its impact. Also, considering how powerful Xavier had been described and seen in the previous movies it felt like he went out like a chump. The whole scene just did not feel organic to me, it needed to be longer with some additional exposition. But that ties back to probably my main complaint about Last Stand, it has way too many elements crammed into it, the story is never allowed to breath or be fleshed out fully.
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Old February 6 2012, 06:22 AM   #12
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

"My god Bones, what have I done?"

"What you had to do, what you always do. Turn death into a fighting chance for life".
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Old February 6 2012, 06:33 AM   #13
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

From The Abyss, this sequence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fjS0...eature=related

Followed by this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q60x_5WOqk

First off, Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastriantonio totally rock in this film overall, and in these scences in particular. I have seen this movie dozens of times over the years, and this sequnce still totally sucks me in every single time. I totally but into the situation the characters are in. Probably helps that I have a deep-seated fear of deep water/drowning myself, I suppose, but the direction and perfomances in this are about as good as I think they possibly could be.

Also, IMO, this is probably James Cameron's best work. Forget about Titanic and Avatar, this film beats them both. Fine, both of those movies were more popular and made more money, but this is a much better film than either of them.

And, besides, Ed Harris is fantastic in pretty-much everything he has ever done. If you haven't seen The Abyss, go rent it right now. Also, go find a copy of The Right Stuff - Harris' performance as John Glenn is phenomenal.
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Old February 6 2012, 06:50 AM   #14
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

Also, IMO, this is probably James Cameron's best work. Forget about Titanic and Avatar, this film beats them both. Fine, both of those movies were more popular and made more money, but this is a much better film than either of them.
Abyss was 20 times better than fucktanic and shitar. I particularly thought shitar was almost like watching Crysis mixed in with Unreal Tournament graphics wise, with Pocahontas thrown in for the storyline.
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Old February 6 2012, 07:28 AM   #15
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Re: Most Painfully brilliant moments in SF...

Mysterion wrote: View Post
From The Abyss, this sequence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fjS0...eature=related

Followed by this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q60x_5WOqk

First off, Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastriantonio totally rock in this film overall, and in these scences in particular. I have seen this movie dozens of times over the years, and this sequnce still totally sucks me in every single time. I totally but into the situation the characters are in. Probably helps that I have a deep-seated fear of deep water/drowning myself, I suppose, but the direction and perfomances in this are about as good as I think they possibly could be.

Also, IMO, this is probably James Cameron's best work. Forget about Titanic and Avatar, this film beats them both. Fine, both of those movies were more popular and made more money, but this is a much better film than either of them.

And, besides, Ed Harris is fantastic in pretty-much everything he has ever done. If you haven't seen The Abyss, go rent it right now. Also, go find a copy of The Right Stuff - Harris' performance as John Glenn is phenomenal.
Truer words were never spoken.I am as taken with the film now as I was when it came out (it being the only film that made me want to read the novelization once I saw it at the bookstore. By the way it's more of a legitimate novel than a mere adaptation of screenplay. Cameron was really gracious to let Orson Scott Card inject a bit of life into it. I highly recommend reading it.)
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