19. The Outside Tour of The Enterprise (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 1979)
Say what you will about the first Star Trek film. It is indeed slow and plodding, and while the director’s cut is better, it’s very much still a flawed masterpiece of a movie, and certainly the most “hard sci-fi” of all the Trek films. It’s thoughtful and intelligent in a way that most sci-fi in general certainly isn’t these days. In fact, in lots of ways it’s the film Prometheus tried to be, but failed.
There are a lot of great moments in this movie, but for me the most stand-out one, and the one that’s really nothing but blatant, albeit exceptional, fan-service is the scene where Kirk is arriving at the Enterprise. For several minutes we get wonderful music and the most impressive view fans ever had of the great ship herself. Come to that, it’s probably the best, most detailed view of any spaceship in any sci-fi movie, and this scene alone is worth the price of admission.
18. The Flying-Bikes Scene (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, 1982)
There are so many great moments in this classic film that it’s hard to choose just one. But if you have to pick one, you have to pick the one that became so iconic it now serves as the logo for Amblin Entertainment.
Elliot and his friends are on the run from the government, carrying ET in a bike basket, trying to get him back to his home. They come across a roadblock, ET raises a finger, and the bikes fly off into cinematic history. It’s beautifully shot, beautifully staged and a scene of pure magic.
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