Indiana Jones riding out of the Egyptian dig site on horseback, chasing after the truck containing the Ark. Gives me goosebumps every time.
Gives me the chills everytime…even just now, reading about it!
To get off the B5 kick (awesome as the series is), here’s The Rock being a sheer mountain of awesome in Walking Tall. The best moment in the scene is at 1:00 in.
Criminal Minds is good at this. I love this exchange by Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), interrogating a serial killer’s sidekick:
HOTCHNER: And this morning I decided to save your life. You’re gonna tell me where my killer is. You’re gonna give me an address, and you’re gonna tell me how to get inside without raising an alarm. You’re gonna draw me a map if I need one.
(Steven starts to shake his head.)
HOTCHNER: And you’re gonna do this because he’s never been nice to you. He constantly insults you and belittles you. He makes you feel ugly and stupid and worthless. Nothing you ever do is right. Never good enough. You hate him, Steven. And you’re also going to tell me because you know you screwed up last night. He told you that your paramount concern was not to attract the attention of the authorities, and you know the punishment will be severe. Nobody knows better than you what he can do to people. I’ve spent a long time studying monsters like your friend, and I can promise you … he’s gonna do things to you that even you can’t imagine.
Now that West Wing has been off the air a while, I often think back about the millions of moments that show had that made me cry. Not just because of what they were doing on screen, but what they made me do.
That show, more than any other I have ever seen, made me realize how dismal the world could be, but how much I really, really wished it could be better. Not just for me, a suburban white american working mom, but for everyone. I often wonder how much of that feeling I got has translated into support for Obama.
It is easy to take someone to a world dramatically different from our own, but harder to take someone to a world alarmingly like our own, just better because people give a shit.
No, I don’t.
Boy, a lot of these are actually cheesy rather than awesome. (Rating on my own private scale.) Occasionally, very seldom, something cheesy, delivered with absolute earnestness, can cross over into awesome.
Homer was good at that. Like when Odysseus, after finally making it home to Ithaca, finds his house full of suitors for his wife, eating his meat, drinking his wine, acting like pigs – and he cleans house.
In Band of Brothers, Speirs saving his men (who are pinned down and being led by a numbskull) by running through enemy fire and artillery bursts. Watch it in context here (he shows up around 4:20, CMoA begins around 6:30).
Some friends and I used to watch the BBC show Robot Wars, when it was being broadcast in the US. We started watching in season 2, when the robots were generally not hugely well built. And one of the absolute constant facts was that when a robot was turned upside down, that was it. Game over. Done. Dead.
Thus, when this happened, it was the most stunning thing I can ever remember seeing happen on TV.
The first of many crowning moments from The Wire: D’Angelo’s speech about the guy who invented Chicken McNuggets.
That’s pretty much the series in a nutshell. Except for all the awesome Omar moments.
D’Angelo had a lot of good moments. McNuggets, the chess game, deconstructing Gatsby, and “Where’s Wallace!”
But I think the only scene that had me yelling “Yeah!” at the TV was in the final episode, Cheese and Slim Charles.
Spoiler! Not safe for work! Not safe for home either, if you have little kids! But very, very satisfying.
In Watchmen, Ozymandias’ response the The Nite Owl when he tells him they wont allow him to go through with his master plan.
One touch I recently noticed:
The judge slammed the door when the jury came to his verdict. Even he, in that era, showed contempt for the jury’s decision.
There’s a good few such moments in 12 Angry Men, but I like the part where the juror’s argued that the accused shouting he’d kill his father is obvious proof; the hero disagrees and starts provoking him and needling him until the juror’s threatening to kill the guy, at which point he calmly says “You don’t really mean you’ll kill me, do you?” Just the way he puts it and you see the guy deflating is excellent.
Damn, but there’s some good stuff in this list. Keep it coming, people!
At about 5:20.
I watched it and got chills.
Can I nominate anything and everything Al Swearengen said on Deadwood? That man oozed brutal awesomeness. The scenes with him & Hearst from Season 3 define “chewing the scenery”
Since that was a cop out (admittedly), this exchange always gets me:
Hearst: … I’m a great believer in those.
Al: Oh, stability, Sir, and commerce? I can fucking imagine. Think of all they’ve helped you accomplish.
Hearst: Shall I perceive you then as dangerous to my interests?
Al: As capable of inconvenience and of some damage and debt to those that would act against my interests, I cannot fucking argue with dangerous. Different from powerful though, which speaks to potency longer term. I’d not have myself called powerful in your company.
Al delivers that PERFECTLY. But he did that for 36 episodes, so, there you go.
Almost any moment in Pulp Fiction where Jules has a gun, but the best one is probably when he goes after the suitcase:
Shoots guy on the couch “I’m sorry. Did I break your concentration?”
The President’s speech to a right wing radio show host on The West Wing is pure awesome every time I watch it.
The last scene in Unforgiven. “I don’t deserve this.” “Deserve got nothing to do with it.”
Something we all want to say to Andy Dick.
Sure, not great literature, but as fun as the Harry Potter novels are to read, I was very pumped at the end of book 7, and it culminated for me with Molly Weasley’s line to Bellatrix Lestrange in the Battle of Hogwarts.
(For those 5 people who want to read Deathly Hallows and haven’t):
“Not my daughter, you bitch!”