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Monday, July 9, 2012

League Assignment: Getting a little Verklempt over here!

This week's assignment isn't one you really have to think that hard about...we all have that one (or twenty) things that come to mind when this questions is posed. The real question is who wants to admit it?  Here is the weekly Assignment for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers:

Who cried when Old Yeller got shot? What movie, TV show, book, etc. turns you into a blubbering baby every time you see it?

Really, this is a no brainer for me.  There have been varying degrees of tear-jerker or submissions to my ever growing collection of movies, film, books that have left me feeling misty but I'll just put down a few of the biggies, I'll keep it within the realms of relative nerdery too. Outside of nerd culture, hands down is the ending of Philadelphia when "Don't Turn Your Back on Me" plays...oh my God, I have to turn off the TV.   Another big teary moment is in "It's a Wonderful Life" when young George Bailey cries to Mr. Gower about the poison and his son dying...something about that scene just brings my wife and I to tears every single time.   Plus you have your standard fare of the big time nerd deaths like Yoda, Spock and Darth Vader.   There's the sad childhood movie scenes like Thomas J dying from Bee Stings in My Girl or Forrest Gump meeting little Forrest, you know the part, "But is he....is he smart or is he...?"  Your heart must be stone if that part didn't get to you!  There are the hopeful moments that well your soul too, like the amazing speeches such as Samwise's from Lord of the Rings or Charlie Chaplin's from the Great Dictator or the uprising scene from V for Vendetta as the 1812 Overture bellows for that emotional icing on the cake... Wow, and these are all just honorable mentions!

Chaplin's Speech

Sams' Speech
You did the right thing, George.

Anyway, here goes.

Edward Scissorhands.  Wow, this movie is heart wrenching.  I love this whole era of Tim Burton movies but this one is just so achingly sad even when it's trying to be darkly humorous or satirical.  You feel the loneliness and pain poor Edward is feeling in his meek facial expressions while he reacts to aggressive pleasantness or just downright hostility from everyone he meets.  Even when he has a nice moment it's almost instantly pulled away from him throughout the entire film.  The music can bring a tear to your eye just hearing it in the way only Danny Elfman can through selections of sad, angelic choruses.  But the scene that sticks the nail in my heart every time is when the Inventor dies as he's giving the hands to Edward which inadvertently get destroyed by the very scissor-hands they are meant to replace.  Man, I really don't think you can get any more tragic than that.

The tears are comin...the tears are comin.

My wife disagrees...for her, the ultimate sad moment is none other than from Dr. Who.  It again deals with the death of a character.  (there's a lot of death on this post if you haven't guessed)  This death is that of the Face of Boe.  She saw this episode long before I did and talked it up for weeks.  I still remember her tearfully explaining it to me as we walked through sweltering Philadelphia heat to pay our rent.  Eventually, she sat me down and we watched it and I must say, she was pretty right on about it being a tear-jerker.  Boe essentially saves New New York from total suffocation and annihilation by offering the last ounce of his strength and life force to open the highway overhead gates and allow the toxic fumes to vent....well, the story iteself isn't important but the loss of such a gentle, prophetic creature and to see what became of Captain Jack finally meeting his untimely end is a sad sight to behold.

Very Yoda-esque with the whole "there is another."

Moving on the Television, the single, saddest moment I ever think I witnessed on the ol' Telly was when the Muppets found out Jim Henson died... It livens up at the end but Jesus, as an 8 year old, it was heavy stuff.  Now, I just get teary at the end of the Muppet Family Christmas after they sing "It's in Every One of Us" which gets me thinking about John Denver dying and then I see Jim Henson looking out at all of his creations having a great time... I tell you, this Grinch's heart grew three sizes that day.

Insanely sad things make me cry.

Overwhelmingly heartwarming things make me cry too.

Lastly, I'll hit two video games (they contain spoilers so be wary)

The first is the sad-sad one and that is from the Shadow of the Colossus when you're right about to finish that game and your only companion dies...wow, I didn't see that coming.  It was just so harsh and really made you wonder if all you just did was worth it.  Agro, your horse is the only friend you seemingly have as you progressively get sicker and sicker and he ultimately kills himself to serve you.  Don't you just feel pleasant now?  I know it's just a game but that part really hit me hard.  I actually stopped playing the game for a while after witnessing that scene.

Granted it isn't like when Artax dies (Shezcrafti covered that little gem)

Lastly, is the happy-sad ending from another great game.  Here, we look no further than Mr. Mario himself at the end of Super Mario Galaxy 1.  If you can make it through the ending when those poor little Lunas all team up to save the day, you have no soul.  Actually, pretty much any Luna scene in this game is pretty gut-wrenching, especially in the Library.  It's just a cuteness overload that if broadcasted into combat zones, would quite possibly end all conflict on a global scale permanently.

Also, as an added bonus and speaking of Mario.  Designer, Ed Peduzzi put this compilation together and it is just the perfect combination of nostalgia, sweetness and music by Sigur Ros to get those tear ducts working overtime.  It really is quite brilliant.

Last one I swear!  If any of you never saw the movie "Smoke" by Paul Auster with Harvey Keitel...watch this last scene.  Blind, lonely, old lady on Christmas while Tom Waits wails the saddest lyrics you'll ever hear.  This one really gets to me.

If you're not sad enough, head over to:
Green Plastic Squirtgun who tells us about the Boy Who Could Fly.
Toyriffic: To see a very hearfelt entry about Fathers and Daughters or
Flashlights are Something to Eat who talks about his very personal choice.


  1. Great picks, and I love that you included some games. Though my ultimate sad Muppet moment would have to be the "Saying Goodbye" song from Muppets Take Manhattan.

  2. Wow, great list. I never would have thought to include a video game. awesome.


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