So, over the weekend I watched this film called Enter the Void... It's by that French director Gaspar Noé, who made Irreversible (if you've seen Irreversible, I imagine you didn't forget it). Long review short, Enter the Void was a 2 hour and 40 minute insane display of amazing visuals. Inventive camerawork, unique ideas, brilliant use of color, and the mind numbing feeling that I was watching something highly perplexing. But... yeah, 2 hour and 40 minutes... Would have been great if it were a 90 minute movie. Could I ever recommend a nudity-laden, pretentious art film about drug dealers that clocks in at just short of 3 hours, with almost no steady plot, to anybody? That answer is no. But I'm personally glad I got all the way through it.
Anyway, one thing worth noting about Enter the Void is it's opening credits. They are pretty great for a mainly text-only sequence. Quentin Tarantino has even gone as far to say ""Maybe best credit scene of the decade. One of the greatest in cinema history." I don't know if I'd go that far, but I liked it. It was probably really cool on an actual theater screen.
Then I got thinking this morning what are some other cool opening credits that I really like. I tend not to think about opening credits that much to be honest with you, unless they really stick out. I mean, even terrible movies can have great opening credits.
But off the top of my head, here's some I enjoy. Feel free to share some favorites of your own, I'm sure I'm missing hundreds of great title sequences! (as I'm sure basically every James Bond movie has a good opening credit sequence)
I'll just stick with some more modern examples for now.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Watchmen (I think a lot of people argue this was the only good part of the film!)
Superbad - Awkward Michael Cera and Seth Rogan dressed in a Jonah Hill costume dancing around in retro silhouettes. Hell yeah!
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me - Goofy, fun title sequence.
Zombieland - Just plain awesome.
***Yeah, it's probably NSFW.
Two more I wanted to put on here, but couldn't find any decent videos on the web for, are Once Upon a Time in the West and The Wild Bunch. Love both of those movies, and I really liked the way they weaved the opening credits into like 10 minute sequences that got the story rolling in the process. I think they are two of the best examples of turning the opening credits into a real scene in itself.
And of course, perhaps the unquestioned greatest title sequence of all time, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Can't believe I forgot this one:
Enter the epileptic seizure, I'd call it.
Glad you threw GB&U in there, classic. Off the top of my head I really liked Spiderman 2. I know it's a popcorn movie, but I thought it did an excellent job of bringing the audience up to speed in the story while keeping it engagingly aesthetic and true to the comic book roots. I also enjoyed the highly cheesy classic "Private Eyes" (Intro also remiscent of the classic Pink Panther movie intros) with Don Knotts and Tim Conway, for setting the mood and the theme of the piece (especially since the comedic movie had a dramatic teaser before the credits).
Also, super simple, but Space Odyssy 2010, Catch Me if you Can was great. I know there are a lot more great ones out there too.
I'm a super big fan of Motion Graphic title opens. A great site that you need to check out is http://www.artofthetitle.com/
Another great title open that I did not see on the list of great title opens is the open for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. (I have not seen the movie but I do love the title open)
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Excellent *end* titles work in both The Incredibles and Wall-E.