Entrances of All-Time
|Movie Title/Year and Film Character with Scene Description|
High Fidelity (2000)
Under the opening credits, the Thirteenth Floor Elevators' song "You're Gonna Miss Me" played loudly over a close-up of a spinning, black and shiny 45 rpm record. The camera panned from the front of a stereo receiver down the long length of a headphone cord, to the back of the head of someone, lost in listening to the lyrics, about being dumped and wallowing self-pity.
When the music faded, Chicago used record store (Championship Vinyl) owner Rob Gordon (John Cusack) spoke the film's opening words, speaking directly to the camera:
Blonde attorney Laura (Danish actress Iben Hjejle), his latest live-in girlfriend of several years, entered the room with tears in her eyes, and turned off the stereo. He had just broken up with her. He asked: "Do you have to go this second? You can stay until whenever." Although he asked her to stay for the night, she left anyway, dragging her belongings down the stairs. He slammed the apartment door behind her, then began to talk about his past breakups, again directly at the camera:
He opened up the window and yelled out at her: "If you really wanted to mess me up, you should've gotten to me earlier!" Then, he sat down in his recliner and began to describe in detail (accompanied with flashbacks) his previous top 5 heartbreaks, beginning with the earliest:
Sexy Beast (2000, UK/Sp.)
In the first few brilliant minutes of this British crime-thriller, the directorial debut film of Jonathan Glazer, retired British career criminal, ex-con and safe-cracker Gary "Gal" Dove (Ray Winstone) was living an idyllic life at a Spanish Costa del Sol villa. He was residing there with his ex-porn star wife DeeDee (Amanda Redman).
The paunchy, hapless retired thief (is he the "sexy beast"?) lazed by his swimming pool in a skimpy yellow swimsuit, working on his overbaked tan in the intense heat, when unexpectedly, a large boulder careened down the hillside behind the villa and landed in his pool - nearly killing him. It was metaphorically symbolic of what would soon happen. He received news during a restaurant dinner that his nemesis from London was about to arrive the next day. Also, his dreams were being haunted by a death-dealing, human-sized feral rabbit-demon (the "sexy beast"?).
His definite retirement was threatened when the obviously unwelcome character was then introduced. Only the back of his bald head was at first visible as he strolled down a long airport corridor. The short and stout character, walking ramrod-upright, was wearing tailored slacks and a short-sleeved shirt. He was revealed as an old criminal underworld partner named Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) who was there to enlist Gal in a London bank heist - with "no risk." Logan's menacing character was violent, intimidating, tenacious and sociopathic, and wouldn't accept no for an answer.
Moulin Rouge! (2001, US/Australia)
During the dazzlingly colorful Moulin Rouge can-can musical scene, the screen went dark, and there was silence.
After some diamond-like sparkles, red-lipped courtesan and lead chorine Satine (Nicole Kidman) descended from above perched on a glittering flying trapeze-swing, bathed in cool blue light.
After a failed hostage-rescue in this crime thriller's dramatic opening set in a bank, the film flashbacked four days earlier to Midland, Texas, where ex-con hacker Stanley Jobson (Hugh Jackman) (known as "the most dangerous hacker in America") was practicing golf (wrapped only in a towel) on his trailer park rooftop as he watched Ginger Knowles (Halle Berry) drive up in a red sports-car convertible. She was wearing a matching one-piece tight red dress while chewing on a red candystick.
The hot agent (providing the film's exploitative eye-candy) was there to employ Stanley's hacker abilities for her boss Gabriel Shear (John Travolta), a former counter-terrorist agent who had gone rogue as a spy, but Stan emphatically declined: "You're wasting your time. If I even touch a computer, I go straight back to Leavenworth. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200." She was brutally blunt: "I'm not here to suck your dick, Stan." But then he was convinced, for $100,000, to meet Gabriel at an LA night club. Almost penniless, Stan needed the money for lawyer fees to obtain custody of his daughter Holly Jobson (Camryn Grimes), who was living with her junkie mother, porn actress Melissa (Drea de Matteo) and her new lover, a porn king.
In his meeting with Gabriel, Stanley's hacking skills were challenged - to break into a government computer system in one minute, during simulated fellatio with blonde, leather-wearing prostitute Helga (Laura Lane), while a gun (with silencer) was pointed at his head. When time ran out, Gabriel joked: "I was just f--kin' with ya, Stan." However, Stanley had actually broken into the DOD system (Gabriel: "That's our guy!").
Later in the surprise ending, Ginger was revealed to be a DEA undercover agent (when Stanley came upon her in black bikini underwear, with a wire attached to her leg), although in a second twist delivered later, she and Gabriel had survived explosions, were partners-in-crime, and sailed away together on a yacht in Monte Carlo after she had transferred $9.5 billion of stolen funds from her employer's account evenly into other accounts. Her password was "Swordfish."
Gabriel was an 'imposter" who had taken over the identity of the real Israeli Mossad agent Gabriel Shear. "Imposter" Gabriel wanted the stolen billions of dollars to fund covert anti-terrorism - evidenced by the destruction of a yacht in the Mediterranean carrying elusive terrorist Allal bin-Hazzad, thought responsible for the U.S. embassy bombing in Istanbul earlier in the month. It marked the third successful killing of a terrorist in about three weeks.
And Ginger's most memorable "entrance" in the film came when she appeared topless while sunbathing, when Stanley came to her to request her car keys, so he could visit his daughter Holly. [Note: Halle Berry was paid an extra $500,000 in addition to her $2 million salary for the brief scene.]
Ginger Knowles (Halle Berry)
Partners-in-Crime Ginger and 'Gabriel'
Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson
In this 20th bond film, NSA (National Security Agency) agent Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson (Halle Berry) made a dramatic, slow-motion entrance - first seen through James Bond's (Pierce Brosnan) binoculars from a Cuban restaurant onshore. She recreated the famous Ursula Andress rising-from-the-sea scene from Dr. No (1962) in a skimpy bright orange bikini.
After she strolled into the open-air bar area, he commented: "Magnificent view" - claiming he was a bird-watcher. Introducing herself, she said her nickname was Jinx because she was born on Friday the 13th.
They flirtatiously chit-chatted a bit until Bond asked if she had time - she replied coyly: "Until dawn, what about you?...So what do predators do when the sun goes down?" Bond responded: "They feast like there's no tomorrow."
In the next scene that evening, the two vigorously made steamy love, during which she asked: "Are you always this frisky?" He replied: "I've been missing the touch of a good woman." She opened a switchblade knife: "Who says I'm good?" and then sliced a piece of fruit for them to share.
In this prequel spin-off to The Mummy films, muscle-bound barbarian-like "cutthroat" Akkadian mercenary Mathayus (Dwayne Johnson, "The Rock") was paid twenty blood rubies by wise King Pheron (Roger Rees).to kill the prophetic visionary Sorcerer of the bloodthirsty tyrant and conqueror Memnon (Steven Brand).
When assassin Mathayus dropped into the Sorcerer's tent and was poised for the kill with his bow, the Sorcerer turned, revealing herself to be a beautiful young female Sorceress (Kelly Hu) in an abbreviated costume. He was stunned that she knew both his name and his mission (why he was there): "You've been betrayed, Mathayus."
Claiming she had a vision ("To ignore this would bring great misfortune. The gods show him favor on this night"), she protested Mathayus' proposed murder, and unexpectedly pleaded that his life be spared.
Then later in the film, he encountered her again when he crashed into the bathhouse of Memnon's palace in Gomorrah, where the Sorceress was bathing naked.
She popped up out of the water and turned to him, with only her black wet hair covering her breasts.
He stared at her as she grabbed a knife to defend herself and asked:
Capt. Jack Sparrow
Pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), dressed fully in pirate's garb, was memorably and heroically introduced as he sailed into Port Royal, Jamaica while standing and balancing himself on the crow's nest of a ship in a seemingly-dramatic, heroic entrance to a swelling score.
However, he was soon using a bucket to bail out the water from his small dinghy, undercutting the heroism of the earlier shot.
As he approached the wooden dock, it was very apparent that he was in a quickly-sinking vessel - when only the very tip of the fully-submerged mast was showing above water.
In a perfectly-timed move, he gracefully stepped onto the wooden dock from the sinking boat without ever getting wet.
Terminator T-X (Terminatrix)
The future AI computer system called Skynet dispatched another Terminator to the year 2004 in modern-day Los Angeles - a Terminatrix (Model T-X) (Kristanna Loken), a female, superhuman, sophisticated model with an arm that could morph into dangerous weapons.
After crackling flashes of light and heat, she appeared crouched and naked in a Beverly Hills shop's display window (on Rodeo Drive).
She soon appropriated a rich woman's silver sports Lexus across the street ("I like this car") - and also borrowed her purple leather pantsuit-clothing.
In the southwestern desert on a moonlit night, flashes and bolts of electrical light and heat prefaced the transport arrival of another reprogrammed T-850 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), sent back to 2004 Los Angeles on a mission to protect post-apocalyptic leader John Connor (Nick Stahl).
The entrance was similar to all of the other time-travel transports in the previous films.
He arrived crouched and naked, then stood up, scanned the dark horizon, and walked to the Desert Star cocktail bar. After determining a MATCH for his body build, he demanded the clothes of a leather-clad male stripper (on-stage and mid-performance) during a cowgirls' Ladies Night "Pleasure Men Fantasy Show."
Before Sunset (2004)
While signing books and answering questions during an in-store appearance in the Parisian bookstore Shakespeare & Company, successful author Jesse Wallace (Ethan Hawke) described the premise for his next book.
He described how the events in the book would take place in only 3-4 minutes, and the past and present would co-exist at the same time:
As he thought back to his romantic encounter with French girl Celine (Julie Delpy) nine years earlier during the delivery of his answer, she magically appeared in the bookstore to his right - startling him and distracting him as he spoke the words: "That it's all happening all the time..."
After his session was over, they shyly and awkwardly greeted each other with a kiss on each cheek. Outdoors afterwards, Jesse exclaimed: "I can't believe you're here!... how are you? This is so weird!" and then he admitted as they walked to a cafe to catch up: "I thought I was gonna totally lose it in there when I first saw you!"
(chronological, by film title)
Introduction | 1920s-1935 | 1936-1939 | 1940-1945 | 1946-1949 | 1950-1955 | 1956-1959 | 1960-1965 | 1966-1969
1970-1975 | 1976-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1989 | 1990-1995 | 1996-1999 | 2000-2005 | 2006-Present