PGCMAs: Best Fight and Best Shootout (2013)

Posted: January 21, 2014 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

PGCMA 2013*The above image represents 2012’s PGCMAs Best Director and Best Picture winner; Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master.

Best Fight

This award focuses on either hand to hand combat or melee weapons. Other types of weapons are allowed as well as long as the focus is still on physical fighting.

Can’t Shop Here, The HuntAfter being accused of pedophilia, Lucas becomes ostracized from the rest of his small town. Things hit a new low when he goes out to pick up groceries and is asked by the management to leave. Lucas refuses and ends up being promptly beaten by a worker, but he refuses to back down. It’s a great physical manifestation of Lucas’ struggle. Not a conventional fight scene, but worthy none the less.

Get Off the Phone!, The Wolf of Wall StreetJordan and Donny’s heavy trip on Quaaludes is one of the most memorable comedic moments of the year. Perhaps the greatest moment comes when Donny is on the phone giving away dangerous information. Watching Jordan try to stop him in such an inebriated state is hilarious and the punch-line to the scene is brilliant.

Superman vs. Zod, Man of SteelThere are a lot of large scale action scenes in the last third of Man of Steel. Much of it is very impressive, but it’s the final confrontation between Superman and Zod is easily the best. It’s a truly epic battle and both characters have very clear motivation for what they’re doing. As for the ending, well, I know its controversial, but I think it works very well.

“The moment we’ve both dreamed about”, Batman: The Dark Knight ReturnsFans have seen Batman and The Joker do battle countless times, what makes this scene special? For starters, there’s a particularly brutal edge to the scene and it really has a sense of importance. There’s also some great dialogue through the scene and it ends on an excellent note.

“Wanna fight?”, Only God ForgivesIt was that simple line that often ended the various trailers and tv spots for Only God Forgives. In truth, the line is a bit misleading. Ryan Gosling doesn’t really fight Vithaya Pansringarm so much as Pansringarm beats the living shit out of Gosling. The scene is very well-shot, choreographed, and the music is also great. There are some pretentious elements to the scene as well, but I’m a sucker for martial arts fights like this.

And The Winner Is…

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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

DVjv46AsKGx4mn_3_lAll of these fights had a lot of elements to admired, but none carried the weight that this epic scene between Batman and The Joker has. In addition to being very well executed on a visceral level, the scene also manages to embody the history of these two characters in all of their previous incarnations while still being its own work. This isn’t just about two guys punching each other, but two larger forces who cannot co-exist coming to a head.

Best Shootout

Shootouts have been a focal point of action cinema for over a century. Though the trope has evolved and changed over the years, it still remains and these five scenes best exemplify what the shootout can be.

Highway Robbery, A Touch of SinThe film opens with a lone cyclist riding down the highway in three men jump him armed with knives. The man pulls out a pistol and shoots the first two dudes, then chases down the third before shooting him in the back. It’s a shocking and cold opening which perfectly sets the tone of the film.

Runway Shooting, Spring BreakersSpring Breakers is a bizarre and divisive film so it’s fitting it would have a bizarre and divisive ending. As the film comes to its climax, we see Alien take two of the remaining “Breakers” on an armed assault through a rival gangster’s home. It’s not particularly realistic, but it’s mesmerizing, unique, and memorable.

Snipers, Captain PhillipsLike last year’s winning scene from Zero Dark Thirty, this shootout focuses on the technical accuracy and suspense rather than a fast paced adrenaline rush with bullets flying. In many ways, that’s a lot here and Greengrass pulls it off very well here. I also love how the scene ends with the focus on the character and not the violence.

Storming the Hotel, Gangster SquadWithout a doubt my guilty pleasure of the year, Gangster Squad is a very dumb movie that I still had a lot of fun with. A big part of that fun comes from this colourful climax where the squad lead an assault on Mickey Cohen’s hotel. Lots of Tommy Guns and lots of nameless goons go down. So much fun.

Tunnel of Love, Batman: The Dark Knight ReturnsThis is a very short scene, but also a very memorable one. As The Joker flees from Batman, he runs down a “tunnel of love” at an amusement park and starts indiscriminately shooting pedestrians. It’s a chilling and brutal scene which serves as an effective catalyst for Batman’s actions in the coming fight.

And The Winner Is…

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Spring Breakersspring-breakers-poster-james-franco

I’ll probably get a lot of flack for this choice, but I stand by it. Many will criticize this scene for being silly, over the top, and ridiculous. I agree, in fact those reasons are precisely why it’s winning this award. I know this ending isn’t realistic, but I like it because there’s something hypnotic about the scene, particularly through the music and cinematography. It’s a divisive choice, but I also see it as the most memorable scene of the nominees.

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