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  • Top Ten Movie Battles

    MSN has postedan article listing their choices for the top 10 favorite heroic battles from the movies. I'll inclue the link to the story, but because they have it set up so you have to click through umpteen pages just to read the whole piece, I'm gonna C & P each segment here to make it easier. Remember, kids, don't try this at home, I'm a professional.

    MSN Movies - Battles Royal

    10. 'Aliens' (1986)
    In "Aliens," the battle between earthling and alien pits human identity -- embodied in Ripley's beautiful, fragile flesh -- against the "perfection" of an anatomically efficient killing machine. Adrift in space for half a century after the loss of the Nostromo in "Alien," Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) comes home to learn she's lost her daughter, dead at 66. Back on the planet where the aliens' ship wrecked, our hero recreates family: Newt, the little girl who survived by hiding in heating ducts and, Hicks, the only Marine who lives through the aliens' new attacks. At film's end, Ripley descends into an underworld to rescue Newt, a Persephone entombed to feed the Dark Queen's children. With her ornately crowned head and flailing limbs, the alien Mother suggests Kali, the many-armed Indian goddess of death, necklaced in skulls. To save her "daughter" from this towering nightmare, Ripley becomes a knight, armoring her vulnerable body in the steel arms and legs of a massive "loader." She is victorious, but in "Alien3" (1992), Newt's dead and Ripley, her flesh monstrously violated, carries an alien child.

    9. 'Princess Mononoke' (1997)

    No one animates myth like Hiyao Miyazaki, and the exquisite "Princess Mononoke" is arguably his masterpiece. This ecological epic takes place in ancient times, when the industrialized world begins to destroy nature's paradise. Resplendent in alien beauty, the Spirit of the Forest still walks the earth, alive with animal gods and magic. But to forge guns in Iron Town, men level forests for fuel while their poisonous bullets metamorphose gods into rage-filled, worm-ridden demons. A prince, cursed by the touch of one such demon, falls in love with the human daughter of a great white wolf -- and the heroic duo tries to halt the futile war between man and beast. When they fail, the noble boar tribe hurls itself against land mines, grenades and rifle-fire, until nothing remains of divinity but dead meat. Decapitated, the Spirit of the Forest goes apocalyptic, drowning the world in oily sludge. Miyazaki's mythic animation never stoops to sugar-coated fairy tale: his heroes and gods are complex beings, and there are no solutions, only compromises. Though nature will never recover its magical power, "Princess Mononoke" ends joyously, with the re-greening of the world.

    8. 'Excalibur' (1981)

    John Boorman's profound faith in the beauty and power of myth is unrivaled, powering nearly every movie he's ever made -- but most especially, "Excalibur," his magnificent saga of King Arthur and his Round Table. For Boorman, art and myth-making are linked, so his Merlin casts and moves the story like a canny film director, until the narrative gets away from him, taking on its own life -- and death. Young Arthur, empowered by the sword Exalibur, rids his country of barbarism and makes it literally bloom in sympathy with his deep, though doomed, love for Guenevere. When Guenevere's adultery shatters Excalibur, her true consort is symbolically castrated, king and country blighted. In the end, Arthur is resurrected -- his coming heralded by Carl Orff's joyous Carmina Burana -- just long enough to stop Mordred, the incestuously conceived son who dreams of devolving the world into wasteland. Against a molten red and orange sky, the silver-armored king impales and is impaled by the beautiful boy in a gilded mask. Awesome, in every sense.

    7. 'The Matrix Revolutions' (2003)

    In "The Matrix Revolutions," breached by gigantic screws, Zion's domed city fends off thick swarms of squidlike machines. While this virtual battle rages, messianic Neo (Keanu Reeves) jacks in at Machine City, sending his avatar out to wage war with computer virus Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). The two face off in a downpour, like gunfighters in an urban canyon, while numberless replicants of Smith look on. Swelling music signals Gotterdammerung combat, unconstrained by the laws of gravity or the limits of flesh. Still, Smith takes time to taunt Neo with the pointlessness of human life. Can't have that in a proper myth, so, Christlike, Neo saves the day by getting crucified, in a nuclear light burst. "It is done," intones Machine City's Face, backed by appropriately solemn chords. The Oracle opines Neo will be back, just like Arthur, Once and Future King.

    6. 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back' (1980)

    George Lucas freely admits how much "Star Wars" owes to "The Hero's Journey," Joseph Campbell's book about heroes from every culture who embark on mythic quests to find themselves and save the world. In the second space-opera, "The Empire Strikes Back," Luke Skywalker and the gang are holed up on an icebound planet where they tangle with Imperial Walkers, beasts of burden magnified into monstrous killing machines. But authentically mythic confrontation comes at the film's end, when Darth Vader and Luke face off at last, light saber to light saber. Daddy Death cuts off the Hero's hand, teaching sonny boy a lesson in impotence -- then claims Luke as his own blood, heir to Darkside power. From Christ to Frodo, every Hero must wrestle with temptation. Trouble is, Luke's such a shallow, knee-jerk good guy, there's no real fear he might sin. He lacks the imagination for it.

    5. 'Alexander Nevsky' (1938)

    Sergei Eisenstein orchestrates his patriotic hymn, "Alexander Nevsky," as visual opera. He alternates extreme close-ups of heroic visages with frame-filling vistas of empty sky, chaotic scenes of carnage with battlefield monologues and vignettes, darkness with blinding sunlight, gorgeous music with portentous silence. Shrouded in long white robes, their faces hidden under massive iron helmets topped with stylized hands, wolves, horns, the dehumanized Teutons who invade 13th century Russia look like death personified. Driven by demonic priests, these heartless "iron" men hang Russian elders and throw babies into bonfires. Mother Russia's defenders literally rise out of earth and water, heroic farmers and fishermen who fight under Alexander Nevsky, a noble-featured man of the people. In the justly famous climactic battle, heavily armored German knights are lured out onto a frozen lake that shatters and swallows them up, leaving not a trace of their passing.

    4. 'Gettysburg' (1993)

    His shaggy blonde mustachio barely disguises his youth, so it's a bit worrisome how quietly Colonel Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels), lately a New England college professor, receives orders to "defend this place to the last" in "Gettysburg." Strung out along the summit of Little Round Top, his command marks the Union line's end -- where the Confederate Army could sweep through to victory. Without fanfare or undue symbolism, something monumental -- the fate of a nation -- comes to rest on this grave boy's shoulders. Lines of gray men climb slowly up through the trees, shooting and reloading their guns as they walk into Chamberlain's withering fire. Each time the courageous Rebels try to flank him, the colonel wheels his line further around the hill. With men running out of ammunition and falling like flies, the carnage turns dreamlike, as though Gray and Blue might battle on for eternity. Chamberlain finally prevails, but when you walk that ground today, the very air still holds the electric charge of something larger than history.

    3. 'Kingdom of Heaven' (2005)

    In Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven," Jerusalem is crowded with roistering Crusaders, many of whom believe it is their god-given and gold-hungry duty to drive Saladin and his Muslims out of the Holy Land forever. European and Middle Eastern powers, representing two of the world's great faiths, stand at an historic turning point. Naturally, the peacemakers are no match for bloodthirsty religious fanatics and soon, unnecessary battle is joined. For nearly half an hour, masses of men struggle in such close quarters they can hardly wield their weapons. Combat is orchestrated in visceral rhythms of slow and fast motion, noise and silence, dance and drudgery. The camera rises slowly, to gaze down (God's view?) at a mass of fighters, heaving like some primeval monster struggling to rise to heaven. Afterward, amid mountains of dead, Saladin is asked what Jerusalem is really worth. "Nothing," he answers. "And everything."

    2. 'Zulu' (1964)
    In Cy Endfield's "Zulu," 4,000 Zulu warriors fall upon 98 British soliders in the middle of an African nowhere. The slaughter marks a mythic collision between a culture in harmony with the earth and one that claims whatever it steps on. Holding a handful of dusty soil -- the Zulus' home ground -- a British soldier ruefully notes its inferiority to England's fertile fields. Yet the waves of magnificent Africans who assault the tiny British outpost are like human avatars of a land bent on shaking off red-coated, white-helmeted trespassers. Wearing teeth, feathers and lions' manes, the warriors pound hide-covered shields, their eerie chants passing over the besieged British soldiers like alien wind. Desperate strategy and guns repel charge after charge by the fearless spearmen, until the Africans finally withdraw from ground that has become a "butcher's yard." Chanting a salute to soldiers they count as worthy adversaries, the Zulus melt away over the horizon like the setting sun.

    1. 'Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King' (2003)

    Aragorn's army assembles on a frame-spanning field below the mountain city of Minas Tirith to fight against endless waves of demonic creatures, including gigantic elephants that swing their mighty trunks and tusks like scythes and crush warriors whole under their huge feet. The tide turns when Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) calls up an army of dead warriors, swathed in putrescent-green mist, who fight so that their weary bones can finally go to dust. In the ultimate battle, Aragorn's shining knights are literally islanded in a dark sea of misshapen Orcs and other unnatural creatures. Cross-cutting between Frodo's (Elijah Wood) spiritual struggle against his own dark side and Aragorn in bloody combat, director Peter Jackson confirms that soul and flesh are fodder for "sleepless malice." Frodo's victory over the soul-sucking ring in "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" saves Middle Earth's green world from withering into Dark Lands.
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  • #2
    Some good picks in there, I'm pleased to see 'Aliens' gets a mention despite all the choices for big epic battles. Good pick on the top 2 also.

    Although... they said it was Frodo's victory, and that's never quite clear...
    “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

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    • #3
      Here are some that came to mind easily.

      Ran: The battle scenes in this movie are expertly staged and quite unusual. If you haven't seen this yet, take a time out from more traditional fare and give it a shot.

      Braveheart: Although they are a far cry from being historically accurate, the battle scenes in this Mel Gibson classic are bloody and do a good job of giving the feel of what this type of combat must have been like.

      Last of the Mohicans: Not only is this movie a ton of fun to watch, chicks love it too, so be sure to bring your wife or girlfriend! Very gritty and emotional film that is very much worth your time.

      Master and Commander: Hollywood needs to make more movies like this! Exciting, interesting, and unusual. This film really has no weak points and would have brought in multiple Academy Awards, but it had the misfortune of being up against Return of the King.

      Saving Private Ryan: The Omaha Beach scene at the beginning of this movie may be the finest recreation of modern war ever filmed. The rest of the movie may or may not be interesting to you, but this one scene is shockingly violent and on target.

      Das Boot: Talk about a film loaded with drama and tense action scenes, it doesn't get much more tense than this. The special editions are true classics.

      There are a lot of other great scenes; these just happened to come to me while I was sitting here reading.
      Editor-in-Chief
      GameSquad.com

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      • #4
        Better ones

        My best battle flick,

        The "Seven Samuri".... The original movie the "Magnificent Seven" was based on...

        B&W Japanese flick I would sit and watch at any time....

        Another good one,
        Gettysburg... The 1990s film based on the book "Killer Angels"...

        Lastly,

        The Errol Flynn movie "The Died with their Boots on."
        Kevin Kenneally
        Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
        Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

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        • #5
          That list is average at best.

          Only a couple movies or sequences make it in my top 50 let alone top 10.

          I agree where is Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, Blackhawk Down, SPR. Those all are obvious choices.
          But what about these. The Longest Day (old school but nicely done).
          What about the scene in Heat when Pacino and the officers are trying to bound up on Deniro and Co after the bank Robbery.

          Also what about Delta Force with Chuck Norris...Kidding of course

          I could keep going and going......

          Add some more boys.


          CD

          It is great to see Aliens get some props also.
          "Maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked Pal" Hudson
          Last edited by Creeping Death; 15 Dec 05, 19:11.
          "History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." Dwight D. Eisenhower

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          • #6
            Originally posted by creeping death
            What about the scene in Heat when Pacino and the officers are trying to bound up on Deniro and Co after the bank Robbery.
            Oh yes! That's killer if you have a home theater setup.

            I would also mention The Last Samurai. Tom Cruise may be a knucklehead, but this is still a fascinating movie. Few war films care to take a deeper look at why men fight and what motivates them to sacrifice their lives. This one does. "Perfect."
            Editor-in-Chief
            GameSquad.com

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            • #7
              Good pick on Heat. There's so many possible examples, I don't even know how to pick 10, or even 50 for that matter.
              “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

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              • #8
                The Air Cav assault with napalm strikes from Apocalyse Now is a good one.
                1. Even if you could make something idiot proof they would just go out and build a better idiot.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Don Maddox
                  Oh yes! That's killer if you have a home theater setup.

                  I would also mention The Last Samurai. Tom Cruise may be a knucklehead, but this is still a fascinating movie. Few war films care to take a deeper look at why men fight and what motivates them to sacrifice their lives. This one does. "Perfect."

                  I can watch that scene in HEAT over and over. I set it uo on the 57" big screen with my surround sound and sit back and relax.

                  Another great scene that I love to crank up and scare the neighboors is when they fire up the Blackhawks in BlachhawkDown with Jimmy Hendrix Voodoo Child playing in the background...IRENE....fuc$#@% IRENE

                  CD
                  "History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mini-Me
                    The Air Cav assault with napalm strikes from Apocalyse Now is a good one.
                    Heh with "The Ride of the Valkyrie" playing over the loud speakers! The funniest part is when they steal the surfboard.
                    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."— Bertrand Russell

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Don Maddox
                      Braveheart: Although they are a far cry from being historically accurate, the battle scenes in this Mel Gibson classic are bloody and do a good job of giving the feel of what this type of combat must have been like.

                      Saving Private Ryan: The Omaha Beach scene at the beginning of this movie may be the finest recreation of modern war ever filmed. The rest of the movie may or may not be interesting to you, but this one scene is shockingly violent and on target.

                      Not just brown nosing the boss man. Gotta put these two in the top 10!
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                      • #12
                        The hospital battle in Hard Boiled.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Don Maddox
                          Oh yes! That's killer if you have a home theater setup.

                          I would also mention The Last Samurai. Tom Cruise may be a knucklehead, but this is still a fascinating movie. Few war films care to take a deeper look at why men fight and what motivates them to sacrifice their lives. This one does. "Perfect."
                          I was actually going to say that one, the final battle scene is great. The use of fire and deception in it. I swear, it was like watching Sun Tzu put to film (despite it being Japanese and not Chinese of course).
                          “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by creeping death
                            What about the scene in Heat when Pacino and the officers are trying to bound up on Deniro and Co after the bank Robbery.
                            I'm with you on this one too. That is one of the best gun fights on film ever.
                            As lord and master of your grill, you will welcome any opportunity to display your grilling prowess.
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                            • #15
                              I always liked "A Bridge Too Far" especially the river crossing sequence and the paras in Ahrnem. Probably my favorite single battle scene would be the charge of the Rohirrim in Return of the King. I would have gotten the DVD just to watch that charge.
                              Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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