20. Magneto Gets His Revenge
Movie: X-Men: First Class
Moment: After decades of searching for Shaw Magneto finally enacts his revenge using nothing more than the coin Shaw demanded him to move when he was a child. All Charles Xavier can do is standby and witness firsthand Eric become Magneto.
Why It Stands Out: Villains tend to go out with all guns a blazing. Big moments filled with explosions upon explosions. Here Magneto demonstrates his power using a simple coin. Not only showing his power but also a nice nod to earlier in the film. It also gets to the heart of what drives Xavier and Magneto apart. In addition it is shot and edited wonderfully by cutting back and forth between Shaw and Xavier and slowly following the path of the bullet with Henry Jackman’s pounding score echoing in the background.
19. Xaviers Face to Face
Movie: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Moment: Wolverine realizes that he is not the man to inspire young Charles Xavier to become the man the world needs him to be, but he does know who can do just that. Xavier looks deep into Wolverine’s mind eventually coming face to face with his future self. There he receives a reminder of who he is and who the world needs him to be.
Why It Stands Out: If you read this post its probably no question that I am a fan of the X-Men movie franchise. One of the biggest reasons is I feel the X-Men movies are the best at making time for character moments, and having strong actors to make those moments count. Here we have two acting heavy weights showing what makes them special. James McAvoy is putting his heart and soul into it, while Patrick Stewart is his ever stoic self.
18. Winter Solider Street Fight
Movie: Captain America: The Winter Solider
Moment: Capt and Winter Solider finally go Mano-a-Mano on Washington D.C.’s city streets. Neither is seemingly able to get ahead of the other. During the fight Winter Soldier’s mask is removed, and Capt is left stunned by his identity.
Why It Stands Out: My biggest hope when it came to The Winter Solider was that it would finally depict just how great of a fighter Captain America really is. We got that with this scene. The back and forth was fantastic, and I did not want this fight to end. Also have to appreciate how it ends, and how it rips some famous lines right from the comic book.
17. Assault on School
Movie: X2: X-Men United
Moment: Stryker’s forces attack Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters. With most of the X-Men elsewhere Wolverine and a few older students are left to defend their home.
Why It Stands Out: If you look at the amount of action you get from X-Men to X-Men 2 you might get a case of whiplash. This if the first real time when get to see Wolverine go full berserker rage and use his claws to slice through guys like a hot knife through butter. We also get quick glimpses of some big name mutants like Shadowcat and Colossus.
16. Doctor Octopus Awakes
Movie: Spider-Man 2
Moment: After Doctor Dr. Otto Octavius’s experiment ends in disaster he is believed to be dead. That assumption is right, but what they don’t realize is in his death Doctor Octopus is born. His mechanical arms take over killing all the doctors with ease.
Why It Stands Out: This is Sam Raimi in his element. Showing his knack for infusing horror, comedy, and camp into the same scene. His kinetic camera is unmistakable, giving the entire scene a horror like feel. Right away it shows what type of a force Doc Ock can be, and why he should be feared.
15. “Must Be Truly Desperate”
Movie: Thor: The Dark World
Moment: Having no other choice Thor must seek help for his mischievous brother Loki. At first it appears Loki is unfazed by the news of his mother’s demise, only to reveal that is all an illusion. Loki, for perhaps the first time, is broken.
Why It Stands Out: This scene works for one reason and one reason only, and that is Tom Hiddleston. His acting is superb. Showing how much agony Loki is in, while not losing his ominous charm. Somehow he is able to take a character that was nearly responsible for destroying all of New York City and make you sympathize with his plight.
14. Boat Rescue
Movie: Captain America: Winter Solider
Moment: In the opening of the film Captain America, Black Widow, and other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents secretly board a S.H.I.E.L.D. boat that has been captured by hijackers. During the sequence it appears the motives behind the incursion may not be exactly what Steve Rogers was told.
Why It Stands Out: There is so much to like with this scene, starting with Captain America literally jumping headfirst into action. Then displaying Capt’s stealth skills and how effective he can be with his shield. Black Widow also gets some standout moments. The standout fight is seeing Batroc the Leaper facing off against Capt. A great back and forth fight sequence that was wonderfully shot.
13. Nazi Hunting
Movie: X-Men: First Class
Moment: Erick Lensherr travels to Argentina searching for Sebastian Shaw. He doesn’t find Shaw, but he does find other former Nazis. He takes the opportunity to enact some revenge displaying his unmatched power.
Why It Stands Out: I was excited by the prospects of Michael Fassbender playing the role of Magneto, and it took little time for Fassbender to prove my anticipation was just. He owns every ounce of this scene. Marvel films do not of an abundance of great themes, but Magento’s theme in First Class was one that stuck with me since I first heard it. Its escalated beats hammers home the tension of each instant.
12. The Death of Gwen Stacy
Movie: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Moment: After saving the city from Electro Spider-Man is quickly faced with another challenge. Green Goblin shows up to also wreak havoc. During their skirmish Gwen Stacy is drop from the top of the clock tower. Spider-Man tires to save her, but is only a few seconds too late.
Why It Stands Out: I was not the biggest fan of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for a number of reasons. What I did like where the actors and this moment explains why. Gwen and Peter have a trillion times more chemistry than Peter Parker and Mary Jane ever did. Seeing this relationship end actually meant something. If you were not moved by Andrew Garfield being overcome with grief then you are dead inside. The scene that follows, where Peter Parker stands at Gwen’s grave as the seasons change, is also effective. It may be stereotypical, but going cliché in this instance was the right call.
11. J. Jonah Jameson
Movie: Spider-Man 2
Moment: J. Jonah Jameson in all his glory. Peter Parker attempts to sell him on photos that are not Spider-Man, but Johan isn’t buying. Eventually Parker gives in and sells some more Spider-Man photos to Jameson, but not before they have to haggle on price.
Why It Stands Out: In all honesty I am kind of cheating on this one, and combining all the different J. Jonah Jameson moments. They are all so memorable it is impossible to pick just one. The kinetic engery is palpable, the comedic timing is undeniable, and J.K. Simmons ties it all together. Here’s hoping he gets a chance to reprise his role in the Amazing Spider-Man franchise.