The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Helicopter Movies (#atozchallenge)

Cover of "Blue Thunder (Special Edition)&...
Cover of Blue Thunder (Special Edition)

 The films that I'll be listing in my April postings will not necessarily be films that I'd call my favorite films, but they will be favorites in the genres I'll be naming.   The A to Z genres are very specific micro genres as opposed to the broader genres like action, romance, or comedy.

          For 'F' I used flying films as my topic.  That list only listed films that featured airplanes.  What I missed were films that include flying in balloons, jet-pack suits, spacecraft, and helicopters.   The latter is my topic for 'H'.
           
          Many post World War Two films feature helicopter scenes.  This is a great motif for action drama allowing for air chases, rescues, and other dramatic aerial scenes.  There is a certain fascination with a helicopter's abilities to take off vertically, hover in the air, and maneuver through urban settings.  Those spinning rotors are pretty mesmerizing as well.

          The following films either feature notable helicopter scenes or helicopters as a major part of the plot:


Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) --The helicopter chasing the vehicle is pretty cool though a fairly short sequence.  An outstanding film in a very good series.

Black Hawk Down (2001)-- Just about any modern war movie will feature helicopters since they have become such an integral part of warfare.   A film named after a helicopter and about a helicopter crew is a no-brainer for this list.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)  -- Okay, so officially the aircraft in the film is a gyroplane, but it looks and functions like a small helicopter.  Close enough for this list.  This is among my favorite films

Blue Thunder (1983) --  This is probably the ultimate helicopter film.   Roy Scheider stars as a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter pilot who steals a new model copter--the Blue Thunder--that he discovers will be illegally used for crowd control.  There are some great stunts using real copters and models.  Fantastic flying action over Los Angeles.

Apocalypse Now (1979) -- The most iconic helicopter movie scene of all time has to be the helicopter raid scene in this film where Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" is blared from loudspeakers on the aircraft as they attack the Vietnamese village.  One of my top five favorite films.

          Can you add any great helicopter films to this list?   Are there any helicopter films from the 50's or 60's that you can think of?    What is the best helicopter movie stunt that you've seen?

In Blogging News:

Be sure to check out the Monday April 8th post at The Writing Nut.  Nutschell did a great job of recapping the blogging workshop that I conducted in Los Angeles recently.

Hope you will also visit the new bloggers who were at the workshop and decided to join in the A to Z Challenge at the last minute.  Stop in, leave a comment, and follow their blogs.  They'd love to have your support.

Bloggers from CBW-LA participating in the A to Z Challenge:

Michael at Nouveau Scarecrow
Christina at Raising Twins
Lucy at Kids Math Teacher
Alana at Writercize

Also with blogs but not doing A to Z:

Samantha at Samantha Combs Writes
Jennifer at J.L. Carson, Storyteller


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50 comments:

  1. Helicopter movies - tough category. Best movie I can offer is M.A.S.H.
    Great piece over at Nutschell's yesterday!

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  2. Apart from watching films on TV, the last time I went to the cinema......wait for it .....was back in 1968, I happen to see a film called Candy which was a weird film with flashing lights, unaware I was epiletic it upset me.So I now wait for a film on the Tv.

    Yvonne.

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  3. The only thing that comes to mind right now, is the Helicopter scene in the Matrix when Neo rescues Morpheus. Will go check out Nutschell's post!

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  4. In the third and fourth movies of Resident Evil they had some really cool flying coptors and planes.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  5. LOVE Black Hawk Down!
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests
    #warriorminion

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  6. Didn't realize I was a helicopter fan, but I guess I am since I've seen all those movies. Best helicopter seen: the tunnel chase from Mission Impossible
    Jenn @Scribbles From Jenn

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  7. Live Free or Die Hard had a great helicopter scene.

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  8. Helicopters, Holy carp, that's really stretching for a sub-genre, BUT I'm surprised how many movies do feature helicopters.

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  9. I thought the tv show with the black chopper....can't think of the name of it right now, Jan Michael Vincent played the part...always loved that show.

    I well remember Blue Thunder.

    Have been enjoying Lucy's blogs, and will check out Chontali today

    A-Z

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  10. Gosh did some crushing on Jan Michael Vincent on that AirWolf Show!

    Great picks Lee.

    I'm thinking Blue Thunder is my favorite, can't beat the oldie of the group.

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  11. I can't help but mention the Transformer movies where one of the Deceptacons was disguised as a helicopter.

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  12. Black Hawk Down and Terminator 2 are the only ones I've seen in this list. Of course, M.A.S.H. is my all time favorite series.

    I read Nutschell's post. It was great. What a wonderful workshop. Wish I could have been there, but I'm a northern CA person, not LA based.

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  13. If it's just flying movies, what about Always with Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter?
    Karen

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  14. Thanks for the comments so far and some good additions to my list. When you start thinking about it there are a lot of good helicopter scenes in movies in the past 60 years.

    Lee

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  15. My favorite helicoptor SCENE is from Avatar where the chick (whose name I can't remember because she'll always be Ana Lucia from Lost to me) swoops in with her copter, war paint on her face, and saves the day, and gives her life. Haven't seen most of the ones you picked, except Terminator 2 which as you say is an amazing movie.

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

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  16. Loved Apocalypse Now and Blackhawk Down.

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  17. I love all of those. But the earliest one that made an impression was the TV movie from '73, Bird of Prey starring David Janssen.

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  18. Rats! Leopard13 beat me to it. Birds of Prey was the first film (a TV movie) that I saw helicopters employed in stunts and the stunt flying was exceptional. I don't believe any film since has made more effective use of these aircraft. My son, who studied aerospace engineering, won't fly in one. He believes that they are, in fact, thousands of parts flying in close formation, waiting to crash. And, if they crash in the water, instantly flip upside down.

    I would love to sit him down to watch this film with me.

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  19. Sure glad I saw Black-hawk Down--after all I have a helicopter crash in my book and it gave me ideas.

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  20. It's not a movie, but my favorite was Airwolf.

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  21. Forgot all about that part in Terminator 2. Great pick.

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  22. Haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty yet. Missed the Janssen show--always liked him in The Fugitive. I remember Airwolf, but I can't remember if I ever saw any episodes.

    Lee

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  23. Lee,

    Interesting concept.

    Mission Impossible had a decent helicopter crash.

    Thanks for listing all the CBW-LA blogs. Very neighborly of you. We all appreciate it.

    My friend was a Navy test pilot- he says all helicopters a dangerous and continually warns me not to ride them. (I know he would be very unhappy if I didn't share his thoughts on the matter.)

    Kate
    http://katloveswriting.blogspot.com

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  24. As has been mentioned a couple of times, Mission Impossible had a crazy (and totally impossible) helicopter scene. I liked the Avatar helicopters as well with enclosed propellers.

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  25. I have not seen a single one of these films. I am starting to feel like I am missing out on a bunch of great movies reading your blog during the challenge. I keep adding to my Netflix queue!

    Lyre at Lyre's Musings #atozchallenge

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  26. All the helicopter films you mentioned were great! I can't think of any helicopter films as impressive as these.

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  27. Hi Lee,

    To further mention this, "Airwolf The Movie" 1984.

    Slightly off track, do you remember the TV show named "Whirlybirds"?

    Gary

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  28. Hope I'm not steering anyone wrong with my film picks. Be aware that sometimes I have some strange tastes in movies. The ones today are all probably pretty safe bets though.

    So happy to promote the CBW-LA writers and welcome them to blogging and the A to Z Challenge!

    Lee

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  29. Gary -- Yes! I'd forgotten all about Whirlybirds. I used to watch that show all the time and loved it!

    Lee

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  30. Not really into action films, but the some of the scenes from Blue Thunder have stayed with me since I saw it. It was seriously high tech for its time, having been made in 1983. The other helicopter movie that comes to mind is the one that took the life of Vic Morrow in a helicopter incident whilst filming. Twilight Zone: The Movie. Big news back in the day even all the way over here.

    And kudos to the CBA - LA bloggers. I discovered one all on my own - Noveau Scarecrow. Do yourselves a favour and drop in for a visit.

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  31. The Spy Game had some good chopper scenes as did Avatar.

    JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

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  32. The only movie that immediately comes to mind is THE GUARDIAN. It was out in 2006. These guys worked for the Coast Guard and had to jump from the helicopter into the ocean to save people at sea.

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  33. hehe I love those types of movies, too.




    Sonia Lal

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  34. Awesome choice; I never would have thought of that as a topic!

    From A to Z, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

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  35. I've seen quite a few of these movies and, of course, since I'm trying to think of any movies I know with helicopters in them, I can't remember a single one.

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  36. Judy -- Michael at "Nouveau Scarecrow" is off to a phenomenal start. I've been visiting everyday and he's really attracting a following with his well written posts.

    Thanks for all the visits everybody!

    lee

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  37. My favorite Helicopter Scene is from Jurassic Park when they land on the island in front of a huge and beautiful waterfall.

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  38. One of the Hulk movies had helicopters when they were chasing him. I think it was the old, purple pants version, though I can't get more specific than that. Love helicopters in movies though.

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  39. Black Hawk Down is such an amazing film, I didn't really realise that there were so many films with helicopters as the central promise but now I think about it there's lots, there's something about helicopters that are just cool!

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  40. I really liked Black Hawk Down for its intensity of a true story. And Mad Max II with that goofy dude flying that whirlygig was pretty cool. I like all those movies.

    Blue Thunder I only saw once but it was pretty badass. And of course Apocalypse Now was flat out awesome and a great movie too!!

    Chuck at Apocalypse Now

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  41. IIRC, The Guardian was a very good film. I would add it to your list! Loved black hawk down.

    SiouxsiesMusings

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  42. Helicopters are so cinematic and maneuverable.
    Chuck-- You like Apocalypse Now? No! I would have never guessed.

    Lee

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  43. Surprised that I've seen so many of these movies! Courage Under Fire had a great scene and I loved the twist toward the end...

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  44. Loved Blue Thunder when it first came out. Thought that helicopter was the coolest thing ever. Of course, I was only 10.

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  45. Lisa -- These are all pretty mainstream films.

    Jeff-- I was much older than 10 when I saw Blue Thunder a couple months ago and I still thought it was pretty cool. It was also interesting to watch the "Making Of" film on the DVD to see which scenes used real helicopters and which were models. They all looked pretty real to me.

    Lee

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  46. How about The Matrix when Trinity and Neo rescue Morpheus?

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  47. Ya'll have forgotten Goldeneye. It features a helicopter Macguffin. And I'm sure there are other James Bond movies that have helicopters in them, though not as prominent as Goldeneye.

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