PG Cooper: Scene Based Awards Part One (2011)

Posted: December 29, 2011 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

These awards are dedicated to the scenes that really stood out. Most of these awards cater to action films, but they aren’t limited to just action.

Best Fight

There’s no thrill quite like watching people beat the shit out of each other. This award honours the best of it. Emphasis here is on fist fights or melee weapons. Guns can be involved as long as they aren’t the focus of the fight. Fights are judged based on emotion, choreography, and originality.

Finals, WarriorWarrior was full of intense martial arts fights, but it was the final bout that really impressed. As the film comes to a close, brothers Brendan and Tommy are pitted against each other. It’s a well shot fight, but what makes it special is the emotion since as an audience we like both characters. It’s an emotionally stirring moment accompanied with a very fitting song by The National.

Kato vs. the Hornet, The Green Hornet- The Green Hornet was a very hit or miss film. This scene was the clear highlight of the film. After a disagreement, Kato and the Hornet engage in a sort of slapstick brawl. The choreography here is pretty good, but it’s the humour that makes the scene stand out. This is the only scene where all the film’s jokes truly work.

Loki vs. Thor, Thor- A lot of people seemed to be underwhelmed by the climatic fight between Thor and Loki. Personally, it was my favourite action scene of the film. The effects in the scene are pretty awesome, the stakes are very high, and the emotion between Loki and Thor was at it’s fever pitch. Great climax to an fun film.

Mental Match-Up, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows- One of my favourite things about the new Sherlock Holmes was the way Guy Ritchie used the slow motion to show how Holmes’ thought process worked. For the first time, Homes has a fight against someone just as smart as he is. We see both plan out their own method of attack and see different versions of how the fight might play out, before we see the true reveal. It’s a pretty unique fight and really builds the suspense.

Violence in an Elevator, Drive- I don’t know if this counts as true “fight” since it’s more of a one sided ass-kicking, but not nominating it would have felt so wrong. As the driver takes an elevator ride with his friend Irene, he realizes a hitman is in the elevator with them. What follows is one of the most brutal assaults put to film this year. The driver decimates this guy in a way that must be seen. Despite it’s raw intensity, the scene also stands out because it reveals more about the character and shows a side that was only hinted at before.

And The Winner Is…





While all these fights were great, none struck the emotional chord quite like Warrior‘s. This scene is especially important because it made me realize how good the film was. I had enjoyed the film the whole way through, but it was during this scene that I realized how attached I was to these characters. And the song, “About Today” by the National, was such a perfect choice and went with the scene beautifully. It’s rare that a single scene will elevate a movie’s quality so much, but this scene does exactly that.

Best Shootout

The shootout has become something of a dying art in cinema. As more action films feature spandex clad super heroes, it’s becoming less and less common to see the bullets start flying. This award is for the films that still have the balls to break out the gunpowder.

Final Shootout, Red State- Towards the end of Red State, the film becomes one massive shootout with ATF agents trying to bring down the deranged members of the Five Points Church. There’s a gritty ugliness to the way everything is filmed here, a sense of danger since a lot of people get picked off during the shootout. The film also maintains it’s creepy vibe despite making a turn into an action scene. Who would have thought Kevin Smith had it in him.

The Motel, Drive- This scene is the very different of short and sweet. After an intense interrogation scene, the Driver and a female associate are attacked by hitmen wielding shotguns. The scene starts in a suspenseful way that will almost surely elicit a gasp. The violence is quick, but extremely brutal and when people get shot, you really feel it. It’s also extremely tense and really gets you on the edge of your seat.

Rattlesnake Jake vs. Aerial Assault, Rango- Part of the reason this scene is getting nominated is because of how cool the weapon Rattlesnake Jake uses is. It’s a mini-gun attached to his tail. How freaken awesome is that?!? This is a really brief scene that pretty much boils down to Jake shooting at a bunch of bats, but the “camera” work is awesome, the animation great, and the whole scene is just badass.

Slow-mo Shootout, A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas- This scene isn’t here for it’s blistering intensity or suspenseful editing. This scene is here because it made me laugh really hard. As our title characters are shot at by henchmen, the film slows down and we see tons of cocaine fly into the air. There’s also a hilarious cut to one of the characters being covered in coke. Oh, and the 3D in the scene was awesome.

Train, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows- This scene may not have the tension or badassery as it’s fellow nominees, but it’s still a very fun shootout. For one, there’s a lot of shooting in it with both Holmes and Watson using pistols to blast through some baddies, and a pretty awesome scene where a mini-gun mows through most of the train. It’s not the most logical of shootouts, but it’s still a very enjoyable one.

And The Winner Is….





This scene does pretty much everything I want in an action scene. It’s perfectly paced, it advances the story, you really feel the action, every action has consequence, and there’s a present danger for your protagonist. The fact that it uses slow-motion to build tension instead of just making the action look cool is an added bonus.

  1. That “Warrior” fight scene was great. All the fight scenes were. The end even more so because of the emotion that movie manages to build.

    What a fantastic movie…. nice choice. I almost would have filled that category with scenes JUST from that movie. LOL. When Tommy kicks the shit out of “Mad Dog” in thje gym in the beginning? Thats awesome, even though its quick. :D

    On the shootout scene… I guess it must have been a weak year for shootouts, huh? No criticsm here, just trying to think of others, and I’m failing.

    Drive was a great choice. You can pretty much consider that my answer for every award you give it going forward. LOL :D

    • pgcooper1939 says:

      It was a pretty weak year for shootouts. Like I said, dying art.

      Warrior was full of great fight scenes, but I try to limit these to one nominee a film in any given category.

  2. I’ve only seen about half of these, but definitely agree with the Warrior fight scene, precisely because you are rooting for both characters at this point.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s