Posted by: Greg | March 6, 2011

A Cringe and a Flinch

So, there you are all comfortable, reclined even, on your super comfy sofa. Netflix is up and running for some gorgeous Watch Instantly movies. You have a (fill in the genre, not horror) coasting along. Then all of a sudden WHAMMO, a scene comes up and you flinch or cringe.

What the hell? Your movie going experience was perfect until then.

I’m not talking the abrupt cut shot or the camera pan to reveal the henchman standing there. I’m talking about a scene which could, in bizzaro world, belong in the film but in reality does nothing to move the film or the characters along. Like the obligatory nude scenes in horror films or sex scenes in action films, these scenes really don’t belong. I’m excluding the obvious cringe scenes of any Eli Roth film, Quentin Tarantino film, horror film, or Jackass movie. These are scenes where they just don’t belong.

Here are my 5 most cringe / flinch worthy scenes in films:

1.) Nurse Betty

I don’t think many people saw this film to provide any sort of remarks on it, but I will give some credit to the funny moments of the film. Give me a moment to find them in my memory banks. In the meantime, the scene in question is early on in the film where Freeman and Rock are questioning Eckhart in his home. Rock gets a little too excited during the questioning and starts to scalp Mr. Eckhart. I say starts because there is some thrashing and Eckhart breaks loose running about with half his scalp peeled back.

There was no reason for the scalping. There could have been a few gunshots of torture. Maybe a few punches. But a scalping? It did not help the movie along or the characters involved.

2.) The Departed

Yes, this movie again. I liked it but in the same breath I didn’t like it. I covered it earlier, in a previous post, my main reason for disliking it.

*Spoiler Alert* The shot to end DiCaprio’s day. I flinched just like Vern from Stand by Me. Out of nowhere. POP. Simply put this form of death does not belong to DiCaprio. Kill him in a gunfight, but not in a flash of a door opening.

If I have to say more I will get mad.

3.) Van Wilder

Alright, before I go any further about this film, I know it is a raunchy comedy. I know it is a National Lampoon film. But the pastries delivery and consumption did it

Oh screw it! The whole scene from doctoring the pastries to consumption. I might have laughed during the doctoring of the pastries. But I cringed and staved off dry heaves during the consumption. Alright, I laughed during the whole thing. But I still cringed. Knowing how crafty Van Wilder was…a simple concoction in the pastries would have sufficed. Anyone who can watch this entire scene without a slight hint of dry heaves has an iron constitution!

4.) Ricochet

Thank you John Lithgow! I will now consult with him on all of my future knee surgeries. A quick summation of the incident. Shot in the knee by the amazing Denzel. (Do you really need a last name if I say Denzel?) Recovering in the prison hospital with leg elevated. The obligatory old man with a trolley of books rolls up. A bunch of blah and blah. The guy goes away and Lithgow rethinks things when he spots Denzel on the TV. He calls old man back and asks for the two heaviest books. He tapes the books to his ankles and move his leg over the edge of the bed. He releases his leg. The sound effect alone makes one cringe.

Needless to say his orthopedic surgeon passed out watching this scene. In all fairness so did I.

5.) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I highly recommend this movie, great story with great acting. But all I will say is…revenge rape scene. My anus and fists clench tight thinking about it. I would say it doesn’t belong. We know Lisbeth Salander is a bad ass from her encounter with a few douchebags on the subway. The implied rape scene and the subsequent revenge rape scene is disturbing on all counts. I don’t find the scene worthy of moving Lisbeth’s character or the movie along to show her badassness or resourcefulness.

Some contenders in the group:
– Robocop – The ED209 screwup in the beginning. Overkill to the max. The nice close-up shot of the next fifty rounds to the body
– Wild Things – New forms of dentistry by Neve Campbell and a bottle of something stiff!

Let me know if there were some scenes that made you flinch or cringe that did not belong in the movie!

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