Thursday, September 25, 2014

Growing Up Nerdy

by Adam Thas and Mike Pomaro
The Nerdy Boys are back and they're being awfully choosy.

Dear Growing Up Nerdy,

My friend and I argue on occasion because I’ll want to put in a movie to watch just one scene. My friend wants to watch the entire movie, but I don’t see the point in eating a shit sundae to get to the cherry when I can just grab a cherry. Anyway, I was wondering if you have any movies that you didn’t like, but love one or two scenes?

-Bryan in Tampa

Mike: I was going to steer clear of horror movies for at least one more week, but Scary Movie Month seems to come earlier and earlier every year, so in the immortal words of the Anchorage, Alaska reporter that quit on air last week: fuck it.

For a bad movie with a scene I like, I think first of the Saw movies. For a full breakdown of my love (?) of the Saw franchise, please listen back to the very first horror franchise Patrick and I ever f’d for Scary Movie Month. But for the purposes of this answer, let me briefly give a recap.

I saw (ha!) the first Saw when it was released in theaters and I was really excited to finally check it out. I had read great things about it, and when a horror film starts getting a lot of positive buzz, my ears perk up. I sat in the theater opening weekend with my nerd life partner, Adam, and grew to be pretty disappointed by the time Saw had finished. It was poorly written, the acting was even worse, and it had a twist that I found ridiculous. What a bummer.

The next year I decided to give Saw II a shot, however I thought that was even worse than the first film. I was done with this franchise. Fast-forward four years, after the release of Saw VI, to when Patrick told me to give the movies another shot. He couldn’t argue that they were good movies, but he said they’re nothing if not interesting. I rented Saw III one night and for the first 90 to 95 minutes of its 108 minute running time, it was more of what Saw II had to offer. This wasn’t going to work. Then the last 10 minutes or so things got so bat shit crazy that I had to see Saw IV. Without going into great detail (I honestly think people should check it out), I will say (SPOILERS!!) that Jigsaw dies. They killed off their main bad guy with four movies to go. Ok, Saw, with that one scene, you have my attention.
After going back to the first Saw movie, watching the five sequels and recording a podcast on my newfound love of the Saw franchise, I was ready as ever for Saw VII, the final chapter in this ambitious story. Patrick and I went to Saw VII together, and ten minutes into it Patrick turned to me and whispered, “We’ve made a mistake.” Saw VII sucks balls.

It was such a bummer, especially coming off of Saw VI, which I think is the best entry in the Saw series. There was one scene, however, that I liked. It involves a Jigsaw flashback (or, more accurately, a John Kramer flashback), where we see him confront an author at a book signing falsely passing himself off as a survivor of Jigsaw’s games. While the scene itself isn’t a great moment in cinematic history -- or even a great moment in the Saw franchise -- it did provide us with a Tobin Bell performance, which is one of the things I love most about the previous films. Those few minutes that Bell was onscreen felt like a chance to breath, a reprieve from the dreck we had been sitting through and are about to sit through again. I haven’t seen Saw VII since opening night and the ONLY thing I remember about that fucking film is Tobin Bell showing up to loosen, all too briefly, this trap from which the audience cannot seem to escape.
Adam: I know that it goes against everything that my friend Mike and Patrick stand for, but I’m totally that guy who will put on a movie just to watch one scene. I’ve done this plenty of times with bad movies — and Target hasn’t helped the situation. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer for $5? There is at least one scene in that movie that is worth $5 to me as long as I can skip through Reed Richards dancing and Galactus Cloud.

I actually came up with a HUGE list for this so I decided the best way to talk about it is just to list them. Before I do that, let’s be clear on something: you may not think the movie that I’m talking about is bad. Maybe you like Fantastic Four -- I don’t understand how you could -- but maybe we can agree to disagree on it. These are movies I particularly didn’t care for except for one scene that I thought was totally bad-ass!

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer: "Sky Chase Scene" - Right in the middle of Sue and Reed’s wedding, a very fast Silver Surfer drops by. Reed turns to Johnny Storm, who proceeds to jump of the building and screams “Flame On!” The next five minutes are a great chase scene between the Human Torch and Norrin Radd.
I Am Legend: "Will goes after his dog" - Towards the beginning of the movie, Neville’s dog Sam runs into a dark building filled with crazed mutants. The reason I love it is that it’s the first time you see the mutants before you realize they’re shitty CGI. The best part is how scared Will Smith is in that scene. I just remember my heart pounding watching it in the theater.

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: "McCoy’s Past" - Most of these I thought of are super fun; this one is actually very depressing. While having his mind probed, McCoy is confronted by what happened with his father years ago. Star Trek V is not a good movie, but if you are a Trek fan, you don’t get much of a window into any of the characters past, let alone Bones.

Sword & the Stone: "Merlin vs. Mim" - I love animated movies… I don’t like the Sword and the Stone. As far as Disney standards go, I think it’s one of the poorest animated movies they’ve ever done. With that said, I love the Merlin vs. Mim duel. Both of them continue to battle each other by turning themselves into different animals. So great and so much fun.

The Boondock Saints: "Retelling the Crime Scene" - In a movie that seems to rip off everything that makes it a movie, the part where Defoe remakes the crime scene while we see the shootout happening at the same time is a great, original scene.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: "Suit Chase in Paris" - Oh, how garbage is this movie...let me count the ways. G.I. Joe is as bad as movies come, with the exception of the supersuit chase scene. In order to combat Cobra, the Joes are given very expensive suits that allow them to move at a super fast speed. That part was so much fun to watch in an otherwise shit movie.

Ghostbusters II: "Digging a hole" - In an attempt to figure out what is going on under 1st Avenue, the Ghostbusters dig a hole in the middle of the street. The actual hole and slime is terrible but what I adore about that scene is Bill Murray whose job is just to come up with excuses on why they are digging the hole.

The Village: "Invasion" - In the middle of the movie, before we know what is going on, the “creatures” invade the village. All the residents run into their houses as the beasts run through the town terrorizing everyone as they cower and hide. Then the big “reveal” happens and all that greatness is spoiled.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones: "Yoda goes off" - This is the definition of “skip to the scene” in my book. Episode II is terrible, especially with all the awful Padme/Anikin crap that makes my head hurt. That final scene, where you see Yoda’s shadow appear to save the day and eventually see Yoda be a “Jedi Master” is epic. I can watch that scene over and over.

Terry Crews: Just about every movie he’s ever done - While he’s done some really great TV shows, Terry Crews has done some absolutely, top shelf, shitty movies. Even though he is surrounded by trash, he manages to usually be the only shining light in the darkness. Watch The Expendables or White Chicks if, on second thought, don’t watch White Chicks.


  1. Oh mike when will you get over your Saw shame? I enjoy the saws for what they are and I'm kind of a defender of the series except for seven of course so don't feel guilty sir! As for the question posed in this article, I respect the movie Magnolia for what it tries to do but for some reason it's always left me cold. It's by no means a bad movie but one that's never came together for me but there's one scene that I absolutely love and it's the sequence where all of the main characters break into song and start singing that wonderful Aimee Mann song. Its so raw and emotional and it makes me feel the emotions that I feel like the rest of the movie tries very hard to make me feel. It's a beautiful part of the movie and I watch it alot. Maybe one day ill fully be able to appreciate the whole thing but that one scene totally gets to me. Great article guys.

    1. I don't feel Saw shame anymore! Sorry I keep giving that impression. Saw VII made me feel deflated, but I still had a blast discovering where that crazy story went.

    2. Sweet! Can't wait to hear your scary movie month podcasts mike they're always some of my favorites.

  2. Great call on McCoy's scene in Star Trek V. It might be DeForest Kelley's best scene in all of Trek, and it's sadly stuck in the middle of a lousy film.

    Having just re-watched it again recently, I'm going to nominate the pre-credits sequence from Mission Impossible:III. Overall, the movie's ok but with some serious flaws (the climax between Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tom Cruise comes to mind), but if that first 3 minutes doesn't grab you, nothing will.

  3. I'm sorry to admit that as a horror fan I have no affection for the Saw movies. I think I've just watched 1,2 and 3 only, before I just got bored. Im not even sure when I lost interest.
    I do find it interesting you had pretty much the same reaction as me Mike. I know I should give them another try and I probably will one day. When I do I will come back here and update.

    Also Yoda going off is amazing. I agree. The first time I saw that my mind was actually blown. Its the only redeeming feature of Episode 2. I really hate that movie. I can rewatch 1 and 3 but part 2 just makes me take a big long sigh.....urrrrggghh

    1. I know what you mean, believe me. I've tried so hard to get through that movie. There are little scenes like Yoda with the kids, or when the Jedi show up in the stadium. But wow, I can't even watch 90% of that movie.

    2. If the fans did a Fan edit of the best bits it would probably be 30 mins long. Maybe not even that long. I like the Star Wars films and I like big spectacle movies. But Episode 2 I keep retrying and it fails everytime. I watched all 3 again recently on a big screen,on bluray, turned up loud. Its gotta be watchable when seen like that. Right? and I thought beforehand it cant be as bad as I remember. But it was a real struggle to get through. All the time just thinking. I gotta get through this so I can watch part 3 which I enjoy. But I could not ignore PBS and I could not allow myself to just jump from part 1 to 3. Damn.....

    3. I actually have come to enjoy Episode 1. It's not great, but the opening scene, and that end battle with Maul is really great. If you haven't gotten a chance to listen to Patrick and Mike's Podcast on it, they did a good job breaking it down.

    4. Cheers Adam I am making my way through every podcast. I've only been here a few months unfortunately. I wish I was here from day one but I'm a late arriver to the party. Ive done that podcast though "Are you an Angel? "
      Bloody hillareous. I now can't watch the film without that voice on my head. Thanks Patrick!

    5. I'm completely with you on Episode II. I would watch I and III all day before putting II on again. Also, I just realized that I'm the guy that has to write "I" as opposed to "1". I'm the douchiest.

      Thanks for checking out the Episode I (1) podcast! I try my best to get Patrick to do his Anakin impression on EVERY podcast.

    6. I just got the bluray box set of Star Wars and watched episodes 4,5,6 and 1 but I'm dreading watching 2 because I've only seen it once and I was not a fan but you just have to watch them all. I've been distracting myself with the clone wars animated series til I work up the courage.

    7. The animated Clone Wars is the SHIT! That light saber battle in the rain is fucking awesome!!!

    8. I started with the first season and I'm really really loving it so far. It's great stuff.

    9. I just re listened to the double trouble podcast on Episode 1 again. It is certainly a classic. The working backwards theory is really clever. Also I bought a plane ticket to Florida and wasn't surprised when I landed in Florida!
      I enjoyed Mike just prodding Patrick with a stick. Great work guys

    10. The part I remember most from the Star Wars Episode I podcast is actually "Now this is podracing". Episode I and II are rough slogs to get through for very small amounts of coolness. Episode III is the only movie in the prequels that seems to have any weight to it at all. Adam Thas is right the animated show Star Wars Clone Wars is the shit

  4. Nice basketball.

    And once again, I'll be that guy and advance my "there is no twist in The Village" theory. It's so obvious from the beginning that they're in an artificial community and that the whole thing with the invaders is a put on that it removes it as a twist and just makes it a natural plot development. Any other reading of it would make it look like M. Night doesn't know what he's doing.


    OK, so maybe it's not deliberate, but I do think that the supposed twist in The Village is not meant to be a twist but is instead a reveal that is pretty logical, but then I've probably read too much science fiction in this vein (just off the top of my head, Harlan Ellison's Starlost and Margaret Haddix's Running Out of Time have such communities in them).

    1. I agree, I don't think the village has a "twist" but a "reveal".