PGCMAs: Best Fight and Best Shootout (2015)

Posted: January 31, 2016 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in Uncategorized

Written by Daniel “PG Cooper” Simpson

PGCMA 2015

*The above image represents 2014’s PGCMA Best Director and Best Picture winner; Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.

Best Fight

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

Car Fight, Wild Tales: My favourite story in Wild Tales involved two people who come into conflict while driving on an open desert road. Their conflict starts as petty, before culminating in this hilarious fight which gradually becomes more violent as it goes.

Final Confrontation, The Revenant: The Revenant is one main’s quest for vengeance and it culminates in a satisfyingly savage manner. After an incredibly long journey, Glass finally finds Fitzgerald and what follows is an incredibly brutal and sloppy fight complete with grappling, stabbing, chopping, biting, and choking.

Oner, Creed: Creed focused more on story and characters than the spectacle of the action, but when the boxing gloves did come on, they often resulted in some memorable scenes. This scene is certainly the most technically impressive; a two-round fight shot entirely in one take, following Adonis from his corner and to the ring, and back again.

Opera Fight, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation: Amidst a very stylish set-piece set at an opera performance, super spy Ethan Hunt engages in a tense struggle in the scaffolding set to some beautiful music. It’s a well-shot scene in its own right, but the setting puts it over the top.

Train, Spectre: The James Bond series has a history of great scenes on trains, and Spectre returns to this tradition when mute henchman Mr. Hinx assaults Bond through a train. The engage in a close quarters battle through the train, smashing through walls and into each other. The lack of music further emphasizes the intensity of their fight.

And the winner is…

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Creed

creed-poster

After seven movies, you’d think we’d be sick of boxing matches in Rocky movies, but Ryan Coogler manages to make them fresh all over again. This one-take match is probably the most unique bought in the series and the fact that such a complex scene was done in one seamless take is technically amazing. More importantly, the format serves the character as it emphasizes just how isolated and alone a fighter is once they enter the ring and the bell rings.

Best Shootout

People with guns shooting at each other. That is the jist of this award and these five scenes best exemplify what these scenes can be.

Arrow Assault, The Revenant: The harsh nature of The Revenant is established very well in this early scene when a bunch of fur traders are attacked by natives and desperately try to shoot their way out. The traders fire off their rifles clumsily and inefficiently while many are mowed down under a sea of arrows.

The First Order Strikes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Right out of the gate, The Force Awakens establishes the First Order as evil and cruel in this scene where Stormtroopers mow down a small village on Jakku. It isn’t an excessively gory scene or anything, but it’s more violent than Star Wars usually gets and it sets the plot in motion nicely.

The Four Passengers, The Hateful Eight: Tarantino clearly went to the Sergio Leone school of staging shootouts, wherein the focus is on long build-ups and quick bursts of violence. This flashback sequence is emblematic of just that as we see a group of people unaware that a looming shoot-out is in their immediate future.

M.O.O.S.E Unleashed, Chappie: Chappie is kind of a mess, but the film does at least end on a pretty fun shootout where a giant mech, some gangsters, and Chappie himself engage in a stylish and violent shootout. The action elements may not totally mesh with everything else the film offers, but it is a fun climax in a vacuum.

Tunnels, Sicario: Beneath its veneer of a serious examination of the drug trade, Sicario is basically an action movie. I’m not crazy about this approach, but it does lead to some interesting scenes, including this scene where Macer and a S.W.A.T team move through some underground tunnels while engaging in some assault rifle firefights. There’s a sense of claustrophobia to the scene which also employs great sound design and cinematography.

And the winner is…

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.

The Hateful Eight

panel-de-the-hateful-eight-de-la-sdcci-2015

The best scene of the nominees is clearly the arrow assault from The Revenant, but given that the focus was one bows and arrows and not guns and bullets, it felt wrong to give the scene an award as a shootout. Anyway, in most years, I’ve leaned towards more large scale and frenetic firefights, but with The Hateful Eight I was drawn to suspense. We know these people are doomed and the shootout that emerges is stylish and well executed.

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