*Iâll accept more judges*
7. *Mystery Player*
10. Tom (Mets)
Round 1: Disaster Films
Top Scorer: Turner (The Impossible)
Eliminated: Murr (Another Earth)
First Eliminated: Murr
If you want to play and you haven't signed up, just send in a scene within the deadline.
Should just call this Movie Idol XI: The Apocalypse lol given the situation.
Deep Impact | Dir. Mimi Leder
Justin: One of the more common disaster movies. Very powerful scene and a decent way to start the round.
Martin: A two minute clip of people running around screaming normally wouldn't do well with me, but I liked the understatedness of this. It may be a little too understated, but it's better than grasping at melodrama and failing miserably.
SweetSunflower: Iâm so surprised by this; Iâve never seen Deep Impact because Iâd always heard that âitâs the same as Armageddonâ which Iâve seen and do not think highly of. This scene is fantastic. This might be my favorite use of big budget visual effects Iâve seen from this time period, but it also has more going for it than that. There are clearly juxtaposing storylines unfolding, so while you start this scene watching an ending, the sadness of which gives you a sense of inescapable doom, you end the scene with a surprising sense of hope for some. Excellent use of sound and stellar sound editing complete the package. I do think sending this was risky, exactly because of the negative associations with the movieâs title. Fairly or not, itâs been lumped in with movies like Armageddon into the cheesy, big budget, money-maker category.
Hereafter | Dir. Clint Eastwood
Justin: I could only imagine what goes through someone's head moments before they see something so insane. I really like the camera work and the non stop suspense. Solid pick.
Martin: Similar to the last scene, except this focuses on one person instead of thousands. Unfortunately, there is nothing here to latch onto. Who is this woman and why should I care? It may work in context, but taken alone, this scene means nothing.
SweetSunflower: Wow. Iâm blown away. This is so incredibly compelling. Amazing visual effects, heart-wrenching storytelling, powerful symbolism, even more powerful action taking place, exceptional sound editing and use of sound versus silence, this is a rare combination of the literal and the symbolic being used hand-in-hand to clobber the audience with a poignant depiction of events. To me, this is a risky pick, because Hereafter perhaps stands as Clint Eastwoodâs least critically successful directorial endeavor, apart from Space Cowboys. Not to mention, when you think of Clint Eastwood films, you donât exactly think of epic disaster movies, you think of brooding character pieces like Mystic River, Unforgiven, and Gran Torino. Kudos to the person who thought of Hereafter and this scene.
Mad Max: Fury Road | Dir. George Miller
Justin: Loved the movie but I feel this is one of the safer choices you could pick. The only thing wrong with this is that you'll lose points on risk.
Martin: Greatest sound mixing ever? I'm thinking greatest sound mixing ever, guys. Every roar of the engine and every gunshot is immediate and deafening, and that music is mixed in just right so that it keeps the momentum going without overpowering what's happening on screen. More than that, this clip does a great job of establishing who these characters are from brief glimpses: Angharad being given the gun and looking frightened of even having it in her lap, Toast taking it without even looking at her, and Angharad's look of... words fail me. Revulsion, almost. 1:35. That exchange alone, lasting 6 seconds, tells me more about the characters than either of these earlier clips. It's amazingly economical filmmaking. I'll stop fanboying now.
SweetSunflower: Yum, eye candy with a twist. Itâs interesting, because while Miller directed Mad Max, The Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome so long ago, visually, this scene follows the lead of his own original work far less than it is a new incarnation of Sucker Punch meets Strictly Ballroom meets Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Perhaps Miller subscribes to Picassoâs aphorism: âWhen there's anything to steal, I steal.â So while a bit uninspired, it works as an enjoyable scene that fits this theme. I canât say this is a risky pick. Itâs such a hugely popular movie, the It movie of 2015, and people are still talking about it. The choice of this particular scene within the film, though, is a not the obvious choice, so that helps a little here.
The Terminator | Dir. James Cameron
Justin: *beep* eh! Doesn't get much more classic. I feel like Arnold gets hates on a lot while I love him hahah. I would have chosen a scene from T2 but this is still a good one.
Martin: This was atmospheric and pretty neat. Nothing especially noteworthy about it, outside of the excellent music. The sudden gunfight at the end wasn't really shocking, it just seemed a little random, the guy opening fire like that.
SweetSunflower: Iâm sorry to say, I really dislike this scene. It has always been my least favorite in The Terminator. Part of it is the visuals, which are some of the least compelling in the film. From the first time I saw this, I thought, If you donât have the budget to do something well, donât do it. It was just awkward, it took me out of the film. The other part of what puts me off it is the overt and overly concrete exposition from Reese. Though it doesnât last too long at the beginning of the scene, itâs long enough to instigate that effect of being pulled out of the moment, an effect which is then sustained by the shoddy visuals of the future times depiction. Itâs strange because The Terminator and T2 rely heavily on overt exposition from various characters to further the storytelling, but somehow it works better the rest of the time. I do love the movie, so to say this is my least favorite scene in it is not the condemnation it could be. This is quite a risky pick, namely because of the famously low-budget depiction of the future.
The Road | Dir. John Hillcoat
Justin: I forgot how good this movie was! Its been awhile since If seen It. Reminds me of a video game or something. So fvcking creepy great pick.
Martin: 7 1/2 minutes? This better be good, man. I recall not especially liking this film when I watched it... Okay, that was good. I like seeing little moments of character development, like the father putting the gun to his son's head. It is very overlong and felt like even more of a video game than that Terminator clip, but it got the job done.
SweetSunflower: Iâm so sorry, this is one of the least enjoyable scenes for me in this round. Itâs visually bleak and flat, it has elements which are disturbing without being compelling. I recognize that this film is appreciated by many, so there might be some judges who love this, but I am not that judge. I think this is a very risky pick for every reason I dislike it and for the length of the clip which is going to help the first score when itâs something Iâm enjoying and hurt it when itâs something Iâm not.
Mystery Playerâs Submission:
Melancholia | Dir. Lars von Trier
Justin: Powerful scene. Cant help but he sad for them. Never seen the movie before though.
Martin: People crying while the world ends, eh? One way to do it, I guess, but it's still rather dull.
SweetSunflower: Great use of silence and stylistically anachronistic music, excellent contrasting performances from Dunst and Gainsbourg, great use of handheld camera, great use of time to build anticipation, beautiful use of natural light and scenery, poignant use of brief visual and sound effects, all of which lend to this scene being a surprise hit for me. Iâm not particularly a fan of von Trierâs body of work, but I find the effectiveness of this scene undeniable. I think it was risky to put a scene of such seeming simplicity up against what doubtlessly would be a pool of scenes full of action.
The Day After Tomorrow | Dir. Roland Emmerich
Justin: My favorite disaster movie right here! I remember watching it in school and was blown away by it. Risk score Is going to suck because this is such a safe choice.
Martin: Oh. My. Goodness. I don't think I could take a whole movie of this, but as a single clip, it's pretty lulz-worthy. It's clear that everyone knew how crappy this was and weren't even trying, and that just makes it better. Good pick.
SweetSunflower: Iâm really sorry to say, this is not for me. Visually, there are better tornado scenes out there, better destruction of L.A. scenes, as well. Neither the music nor the performances help. I do think sending this was risky in the context of these Idol games, for the same reasons Deep Impact is a risky choice for me.
The Impossible | Dir. J.A. Bayona
Justin: Hmmm another movie I have never seen. This was very similar to one of the first scenes sent. Not bad.
Martin: Ah, now here is some good writing and choreography. Crafting the scene around two people with a goal, we're given a reason to care about what happens a little bit. It isn't all just spectacle. And the spectacle isn't bad: this is definitely the best tsunami portrayal of the round. It isn't some spectacular work of art or anything, but this will get you a higher score than most in this round. From me at least.
SweetSunflower: Such a knockout! Stellar performances from Watts and Holland, and from start to finish it feels like this is really happening because a lot of it is. The filmmakers wanted to make a film about a tsunami, so they put their actors in water and made it look like they were half-drowning. Rather than relying heavily on effects, this scene is end-to-end human drama, excruciating, compelling, fantastic human drama. The mother sacrifices her hold on a tree to get to her son who then gives up a hold on something stationary to get to her, and oh lord, thereâs a second wave. You care. You want to know what happens next. Excellent use of sound editing and camera work to make the straits seem all the more dire. I believe this is the longest clip sent in this round which makes it very risky because if I have to sit through more of something I donât like, that is going to come out of the first score. Here, however, the risk paid off.
United 93 | Dir. Paul Greengrass
Justin: Bold pick. Not sure If I've ever seen this before. But very intense scene.
Martin: Way to go. This works on a level that none of the others so far (aside from *maybe* The Impossible) have: it really, truly feels like real people in circumstances out of their hands. It's makeshift and sloppy, but watching those people batter down the door is a more powerful moment than any amount of running away.
SweetSunflower: Iâm very sorry, I disdain this shaky cam mess from Paul Greengrass. This is eight minutes of my least favorite type of filmmaking. This noncommittal visual and aural soup, custom-made for the attention deficient, is storytelling at its worst. On top of the non-dialogue (literally on top of it), thereâs equally indiscernible music which further muddies up the garbled âtalkâ amidst the beeping and amorphous cries/moaning/groaning. This is a very risky pick because itâs a notably lengthy clip for this game. In this case, the risk backfired with regards to the first score, because there was more of an extremely unenjoyable thing to sit through.
Danteâs Peak | Dir. Roger Donaldson
Justin: This was okay. Movie didn't do much for me at all though to be completely honest with ya.
Martin: The musicians try to give this a bit of energy, but it's pretty much the same shot of CGI ashcloud rushing at the screen every time the camera cuts away from the truck. Pretty meh, by my book.
SweetSunflower: This is a mixed bag of a scene whose end result is surprisingly strong. When the scene opens, itâs bad. The music is overwhelming and heavy-handed, commanding us to understand that weâre watching something suspenseful. The visual effects range wildly from pretty bad to surprisingly effective. If you can parse out the overpowering music, which is difficult to do, the sound editing is quite good. By the end of the scene, the level of adrenaline, the intended effect is very much achieved, but itâs a really bumpy ride getting there. I think it was risky to send something that was so up and down.
Another Earth | Dir. Mike Cahill
Justin: This was extremely boring. Way to go!
Martin: I really want to watch this movie, so I'm hoping that you don't spoil anything. Well. Um. I really want to like this, since "talking" is something that NONE of the other clips have tried to do, and I had a plan to write a post about how talking will probably get higher scores from me than action scenes, but... this is just a weird story. About a guy who goes insane. I can only assume. It's more weird than anything. I don't get it, really. I hope you stay around anyway.
SweetSunflower: Iâm so sorry, I really dislike this. As a monologue, this had potential to be very good. She is telling a story, a parable, the delivery of which could have made a profound and chilling impact, but instead, I could barely get through it. The mugging, the endless mugging for the camera is unbearably awful. Weâre not allowed to lose ourselves in the moment, weâre not even allowed to begin to enter the moment in order to be pulled out of it. You donât have to be stone-faced to be an excellent monologist, nor do you have to be the most experienced performer around; Claire Danes has been one of the most compelling since she was 15 and is never at a loss for facial expressions. But here, the material doesnât live through the delivery, nor is it enhanced by it, itâs suffocated by it and all the inexplicable face-making. Sending this monologue was very risky. A good monologue will get a high first score from me.
The Poseidon Adventure | Dir. Ronald Neame
Justin: I respect the balls to send this in. The scene was alright nothing special.
Martin: Proof that older generations had cheesy disaster movies too! I'm not really digging this one. Mindless screaming only goes so far with me.
SweetSunflower: âm sorry, there were cool things to look at here, but I really just wanted it to end. The way Iâve been judging scenes is, if Iâm caught up in it, if Iâm left wondering what happens next, if I want to see more, the first score is high. That was not the case here. I think sending this was very risky because itâs so dated.
Knowing | Dir. Alex Proyas
Justin: Honestly, this movie is a guilty pleasure of mine, please don't judge me! Not sure how the other judges will score it but I love itttt.
Martin: This was as silly as that TDAT clip, but without the spectacularly bad acting to give it charm. The plane leaving a trail of fire just 25 feet behind the guy is bad enough, but the whole rest of it is just SO random, with him running to all of these people and setting out to rescue them out of nowhere.
SweetSunflower: This is very different. I like it. Itâs extremely honest. For whatever effects that were used, thereâs a visual and aural realism that canât be denied and, as important, thereâs a sense of realism to the human behavior. In many of these scenes, most of the performers aside from the lead(s) blend together in a blur of screaming and flailing, reaching out, or battling, but here each bit part/background actor is behaving like an actual, distinct human being, who makes their own distinct choices. Along with the exceptionally depicted visuals and audio, this renders the scene chilling, eerie and compelling. Nice denouement with the music that was so aptly used here only at the end. I think this is a risky pick. Itâs different, an oddball choice. Kudos for picking it.
World War Z | Dir. Marc Forster
Justin: Such a dirty movie. I watched it for the first time not to long ago. This is one of those scenes that leaves you wanting to watch more of the movie lol.
Martin: Speaking of random. Wow. Why is that the first radio station you ever turn to is always expositing plot critical information? Why doesn't anyone ever listen to this plot critical information? Why is it that all action movies today have to use constant closeups and shaky cam with rapid editing? Why is that this disaster seems to have happened without any warning at all in the middle of a major urban hub of the United States?
SweetSunflower: Wow! Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Fantastic storytelling! We know enough to understand whatâs happening without a snoozefest scene full of exposition. This is how you tell a story on film. Do I want to see the rest of the film? Not so much; super-fast-moving zombies are not my thing. But this scene? Perfect. This is what you do with money: from the quality of the performances to the perfectly framed shots âinside the carâ that feel like theyâre unfolding naturally, in real time, the filmmakers used their, no doubt, ginormous production budget to give us something that looked and felt like real human drama which built and built into full-blown action. I thought I would hate this, and that impression came from World War Zâs reputation at large. Like I said, super-fast-moving zombies are not my thing, plus, I donât particularly care for Brad Pittâs work. I think a lot of people fall along those lines, so there was risk in going with this title.
Tidal Wave | Dir. JK Youn
Justin: Its not much different than the other ones we have seen so far! Other than it looks like its Koreans first?
Martin: Don't expect extra risk points for being in a foreign language, Mas. As for the clip itself, it's the same as every other disaster clip this round. The people trapped in the office building were kinda funny, but all the rest of it was deja vu.
SweetSunflower: Very different, very effective, I like it. There is a level of camp that infuses the action, and it works: the selective use of slow motion on crowd shots, the angle of the tight shot of the man on the boat calling âMaydayâ while the woman in the background flings herself onto the seating behind him, the expressions on the faces of many individual performers in lieu of a faceless crowd, the screaming. Itâs so different from the action scenes submitted from American productions, most of which likely had budgets that dwarf Tidal Waveâs. In terms of the filmâs budget translating into what we were looking at, the filmmakers made very smart choices. Break a plate glass window here, put a crap ton of people there, stop a second here and there and show a terrified face, a little girl falling in the stampede, a woman in an elevator, another in a bathroom stall, a lot of that could be me moments. Good stuff, effective. I think itâs quite a risky pick because camp can backfire with some audiences.
The Top Three:
FIRST PLACE: Turner - The Impossible: 36/45
2nd Place: Harley - The Road: 34/45
3rd Place: TIE: Pete - Hereafter
& Dana - Mad Max: Fury Road: 33.5/45
The Middle Ground:
5th Place: TIE: Mystery Player - Melancholia
& RTF - United 93: 31.5/45
7th Place: TIE: Emer - Deep Impact
& Mykee - Knowing: 31/45
9th Place: Tom (Mets) - The Terminator: 30.5/45
10th Place: TIE: Henry - World War Z
& Mas - Tidal Wave: 29.5/45
11th Place: Misty - The Day After Tomorrow: 29/45
The Bottom Three:
13th Place: David - The Poseidon Adventure: 28/45
14th Place: Jesse - Danteâs Peak: 26.5/45
Last Place: Murr - Another Earth: 26/45
This means that Murr has been eliminated. So sorry to see you leave, thank you so much for signing up. In the next round if someone doesn't submit, you will return to the game. So make sure you pay attention if I PM you.
Next round will be up in a little bit.