3 of the Best vs 3 of the Worst is exactly what it sounds like – 3 of the best examples of either an actor, film series, genre, etc. versus 3 of the worst. It’s also an opportunity for you to have your say on my choices and whether you would have placed something ahead of my best or my worst. This month we look at the often misused dream sequence.
The dream sequence can be a help or a hindrance to a movie. It can capture a mood, trick the audience of predict events. It can shock, startle or amuse. At it’s best it can be a flight of fancy that adds to the storytelling. At it’s worst it can add to what is usually a pretty sub-par movie already.
3 of the Worst
This is a choice that needs explaining. This sequence is incredible. For the time it uses great effects, previews what could happen if the heroes don’t succeed and stays with you long after the movie has ended. Unfortunately, that last comment is also the reason why it made the worse list as it is purely terrifying and managed to give me nightmares for weeks afterwards. (I was far too young to watch the movie though…)
I am in the minority that doesn’t love the Coen Brothers and certainly doesn’t rate The Big Lebowski. I won’t repeat my criticisms here but what doesn’t help in a movie that I already don’t have investment in, is when there is a pointless dream sequence that doesn’t seem to add anything to the overall movie or story.
Dumbo is one of Disney’s worst and subsequently overrated movies. It is boring, slow-moving and halfway through has a dream sequence that takes forever to reach it’s dull conclusion. As a kid I was utterly confused and worst, bored.
3 of the Best
3. American Beauty
This dream sequence is iconic, manages to give the movie it’s title and is the perfect example of how to use dream sequences. It doesn’t intrude on the movie, it is clearly a dream so there is no “trickery” and it helps us understand the situation our character is in. Add to this the lack of proper pay-off later and it helps craft the story completely too.
2. Dumb and Dumber
This is an example of how funny a dream sequence can be if there are no limits. Lloyd’s imagining of him “getting the girl” is full of funny moments, including martial arts, lighted farts and one of the weirdest “sex-scenes” in dream sequence history.
There are a lot of memorable, disturbing and iconic scenes in Trainspotting but most will remember the “cold turkey” that Ewan McGregor’s Renton is experiencing and the dream sequence that comes with it. Horrifying and weird, the stand-out moment will always be the baby crawling ominously towards the screaming McGregor.
Overall, there have been tons of dream sequences in movie and this mentioned just a few. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.