PG Cooper: Scene Based Awards Part Two (2011)

Posted: December 30, 2011 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Best Chase

On foot, in cars, in planes! Basically any scene that involves characters trying to get away from something else is fair game. Looking for excitement, emotion, and innovation.

Bagghar, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn- There was quite a few exciting action scenes in Tintin, but none come close to the impressive chase through the streets of Bagghar. What follows is an incredible one-shot chase which follows multiple characters all chasing the same mcguffin. What Spielberg does here is really impressive and is probably the best action scene he’s put on screen since Minority Report. Most importantly, Spielberg takes advantage of the animation and delivers something you’d never be able to see in live-action.

Canyon Chase, Rango- There’s so much awesome things going on in this scene it’s hard to begin. For one, it starts with a great nod to Apocalypse Now before it really gets into it. The scene itself is one of the most fun action scenes of the year. You’ve got great animation, exciting music, guns, explosions, fights, and even some good humour thrown in. Awesome.

Hunting, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo- As Mikael Blomkvist walks along the island near the end of the film, he finds himself being shot out. He doesn’t know who or why, he just wants to get away. Blomkvist gets hit as he’s running and actually gets pretty bloodied up. I also really like the way the sound is edited in the scene. Overall, it’s an incredibly tense scene from an incredibly tense film.

Meet The Driver, Drive- With a title like Drive, you’re gonna go in expecting some good car chases. Of these chases, the best was the first one. Not only is it a great introduction to the lead character, but also a great way to set the tone for the film. I also like how the chase has slower moments as well and doesn’t really entirely on speed.

Time With Other Chimps, Rise of the Planet of the Apes- After Caesar is first moved to a shelter, he’s put in a sort of playroom with the other apes. The apes all start charging him and fighting over him as Caesar desperately tries to stay away. The scene is great for a few reasons. First is the cinematography in the scene is really good. Next, the CGI and Caesar and the other apes is fantastic. Finally, and most importantly, is the emotional connection. Caesar comes off like a frightened child in this scene and it’s hard not to feel for him.

And The Winner Is…





There are three main reasons Drive chase scene is taking this award. First, it’s the most well-shot, well-edited, and most exciting chase of the nominees. Second, it’s the most innovative, with the chase itself being more slow paced with bursts of speed instead of high octane insanity. The thought processes of the chase is more important than just going fast. Third, it’s a brilliant introduction to the Driver and as revealing as any conversation could be.

Best Set-Piece

This is my first new award this year. Basically what I’m liking it is scenes that don’t fall into your typical action scenes (not fights, shootouts, or chases). It might me because the scene is a mixture of styles, or because it’s something completely unique. At any rate, it doesn’t fit into the typical action classifications.

Golden Gate Bridge, Rise of the Planet of the Apes- The newest Planet of the Apes definitely put emphasis on character and story and saved most of the action until the end. But when the action finally hit, oh man was it awesome. There’s a real visual delight in watching beautifully rendered CG apes wreck shit up in a major city. While we don’t get to see the apes do a lot of killing, we do see them cause a lot of destruction and mayhem. What pushes all this to as high a level as it is is the fact that the film wanted til near the end and let everything build up to it.

Harry vs. Voldemort, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two- There was a lot of great set pieces Deathly Hallows, but it was the final duel between Harry and Voldemort that really wowed. I like how they kept varying this fight up and it constantly remained interesting. Visually speaking, the scene is a marvel. This was a scene that had been anticipated by film goers for ten years, and Potter fans for even longer, and it didn’t disappoint.

On The Beach, Drive- Like all the action scenes in Drive, this one allows the tension to build and build, and close with a quick reveal of violence. In this case, a badass stunt. The Driver takes his car and rams another vehicle, sending it crashing to a beach. Of all the nominees, this is easily the shortest, and the probably the most simple, but that isn’t a bad thing. In fact it’s quite refreshing to see old fashioned stunts like this.

Train Crash, Super 8- The initial teaser for this film was based solely on this train crash. It’s easy to see why, this scene is great. There’s an aura of mystery and excitement before the actual event, followed by the crash itself which is loud and intense. I don’t have much more to say about this one except it was awesome and the effects to make it happen were great.

The Woods, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows- As far as straight up spectacle goes, nothing in A Game of Shadows came close to topping this scene. As our heroes run through the woods, they find themselves being shot at by a bunch of baddies. What really makes this scene great is the beautiful scenery. The cinematography and colouring is awesome, and the way the bullets break through the trees is just amazing to watch. The slow motion is also used in this scene to great effect.

And The Winner is…


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two

All these scenes were well-done action scenes, but none came close to having the emotional impact this one did. While the spectacle of watching these two wizards fight is very impressive, it’s ultimately the drama of the fight that makes it so interesting. Harry and Voldemort have had a long and complicated history, so when they finally face off there’s a lot more going on than just two guys casting spells at each other. Overall, it’s a great scene that satisfies the eyes and the mind.

  1. “it’s a brilliant introduction to the Driver and as revealing as any conversation could be.”

    Yeah. No doubt! Thats an all time classic sequence. great write-ups here about it.

    Harry Potter should practically be considered a single set piece from start to finish LOL. But it was awesome though.

  2. I’m definitely in agreement with that opening car chase in drive. Simply brilliant in how it lets you into the mind of Driver, you can see him thinking it through instead of just a race of which car goes fastest. If I’m ever running from the cops, I want him to drive me for sure!

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