Favorite Movie Moments of 2021

I’m nearing the finish line of my 2021 wrap-up. First, my favorite movie moments.

I swoon endlessly about entire movies, but sometimes a moment can sing all on its own. It can be a single scene, a line, a shot, etc. These were the standouts, the ones I felt compelled to single out because they entertained me, shook me (some literally), or got the waterworks going above all the rest. I tried to stick to a top ten here, but I couldn’t relegate a few as “honorable mentions” because they simply stayed in my mind and on this list.

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‘Dune: Part One’ Review – An Epic Sci-Fi Feast for the Eyes

As soon as that deep bellow erupted in the din of the theater, I was wholly (holy?) immersed in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. When that tribal beat shook the shit outta my seat – rocking the theater and the surrounding area it felt like – my body was READY. Dune is far from the first blockbuster of the year yet it feels monumentally bigger than Godzilla fighting Kong, than Dwayne Johnson’s everything—larger than anything put out by Marvel or DC in 2021 put together. It’s amazing what filmmakers can achieve with a single frame when you’re patient enough to fill the panorama of the big screen. Many movies strive for a proper use of the word, “epic.” Dune is the only one so far this year where the word hardly does it any justice.

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CHVRCHES ‘Screen Violence’ Review – Horror Never Sounded So Euphoric

The first time I heard of CHVRCHES was in 2016 through video games of all things: “Warning Call,” the soaring theme for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. I was one of, like, 10 people who wanted a sequel to Mirror’s Edge so this kind of stuck. Then, while cruising past some fools in Forza Horizon 3, on came “Clearest Blue” and that Depeche Mode-style beat drop poured in like confetti. And I haven’t even gotten to their fiery collaboration with Paramore’s Hayley Williams.

As a band, I never knew what to make of Chvrches. I only liked 3 songs off of Love Is Dead but was otherwise infatuated with their elegant covers. Once I heard the tie-in song to Death Stranding, I started listening INTENTLY. (Any group that can make Hideo Kojima cry has my undivided attention.)

The moves they made in the leadup to their newest album definitely piqued my interest. The Cure’s Robert Smith lends some guest vocals on the LP, plus a dual collaboration with horror maestro-turned-composer John Carpenter. Now THOSE are some power moves for a Scottish pop-trio you thought you had figured out by now. With Screen Violence, Chvrches defies barriers and expectations, traversing a sci-fi horror synth-scape with the sunny optimism of a John Hughes movie. It’s no wonder they turn to film over video games for inspiration. Their sound has blossomed into something unbearably cinematic.

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