I tell myself I’ll go to bed right after, but that doesn’t always happen. And sometimes, that one part is near the end, so I’m going to be up late either way.
Anyway, as I was watching the original Karate Kid for the millionth time last night, it occurred to me that I could fluff this idea into a post. Sure it’s just a list of movies I like, but what the hey… I’m on vacation. You can’t expect me to do any heavy thinking, can you?
I’m sure you’ll note that these movies aren’t the “freshest” ones around. But if you think about the premise, they have to be old enough to have made the rounds on TV a number of times. That rules out anything recent. Plus, I’m not exactly the “freshest” either.
So, here’s what keeps me up at night…
Animal House: I tell myself I’ll just wait for the scene where Otis Day and the Knights perform “Shout” at the toga party; the perfect blending of music and anarchy. And if I’ve already missed it, I’ll hang until the guys show up at the Dexter Lake Club, just to see that big dude ask, “You mind if we dance wif yo’ dates?”
Aliens: “Get away from her, you BITCH!” Sigourney Weaver has never been so awesome.
Blazing Saddles: The Waco Kid shoots the guns out of the hands of 6 bad guys, in the blink of an eye. OR, the “The Sheriff is Near” bit. OR, Lili von Schtupp seducing the sheriff. OR who am I kidding? It’s a lock I’m staying up to watch the whole thing. Unless, of course, it’s on the Family Channel, or some other network that cuts out offensive stuff, or in other words, all the funny parts.
American Werewolf in London: No contest… the “werewolf transformation” scene. It’s a groundbreaking piece of practical effects work.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: When they let all the historical figures run loose in the mall. Love how Beethoven jams on the music shop’s organs, while Socrates and Billy the Kid try to mack on the little chicklets. (While Freud is holding a corn dog.)
Die Hard: I’m in till the end on this one, because I have to wait for the scene where Bruce Willis takes down Hans freakin’ Gruber with a gun taped to his back.
Dave: Kevin Kline, impersonating the President, gathers the cabinet together to find money for a pet project but cutting a bunch of stupid expenditures from the federal budget, using nothing but a pencil and 3rd-grade math.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Spicoli’s line about “this Jefferson dude” needing to “find some cool rules, pronto.” And you thought I was going to say the Phoebe Cates diving board scene…
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: The parade “Twist and Shout” scene.
First Blood: When Rambo, using his guerilla warfare and camouflage training, successfully hunts the sheriff’s posse who is supposedly trying to hunt him.
A Fish Called Wanda: John Cleese’s strip tease while he speaks in Russian and Jamie Lee Curtis humps a rope railing upstairs. I’ll stay up to watch Jamie Lee hump anything, including Activia yogurt.
48 Hours: The scene when Eddie Murphy tears up the redneck bar, impersonating an officer.
Eddie: Where’d you get this money?
Redneck: Tax return.
Eddie: Nah, you’re too stupid to have a job.
The Godfather: Brando’s speech where he warns the heads of the Five Families that if his son Michael should “hang himself in his jail cell, or get shot by a cop, or get hit by a bolt of lightning,” he will blame the people in this room. I think it was one of the most elegant cinematic threats ever.
Independence Day: The President’s speech, before hopping into a fighter jet to take on the big ugly aliens.
Jaws: Quint’s USS Indianapolis speech, which is as chilling as anything we actually see the shark do.
Jurassic Park: When the T-Rex breaks out of its paddock and attacks the jeeps. I always imagine myself under the same circumstances and I don’t see how I get through it with my pants unsoiled.
The Karate Kid: The scene where Daniel-san (and we) realize that wax on/wax off, paint the fence, sand the floor and side to side, were more than just grunt work chores.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian: The Stoning Scene, which unfortunately comes so early in the movie, so I usually miss it. So then I hang on for the scene where Michael Palin’s speech impedimented Pilate dares his guards to laugh when he mentions his friend’s name, “Biggus Dickus.”
Naked Gun Pt 2: The love scene montage, where they use clips with increasing explicit symbolism, from a flower opening, to a foot-long hot dog, to a monument being erected, to a train rushing out of a tunnel, an oil derrick pounding and finally striking a gusher. I am always on the floor by the time it’s over. Every time.
Naked Gun Pt 3: The sperm bank donation scene, where after each of the 3 donations, Inspector Drebin appears more and more disheveled, following increasing levels of commotion behind the closed door.
I’m not including the original Naked Gun here because I will always watch that one all the way through.
Pirates of the Caribbean 3: The scene when Keith Richards appears as Capt. Jack Sparrow’s father. It’s just too perfect… Jack Sparrow source material in more ways than one.
Rocky: I will always wait for the original fight between Rocky and Apollo Creed. It was the perfect marriage between action and music. My buddies and I used to act parts of it out, with the Rocky soundtrack on the turntable.
Spiderman 2: When Mary Jane finally learns that Peter Parker is Spiderman. If they had put that scene in the first movie, Spiderman 1 would have been perfect.
The Terminator: Reece’s speech to Sarah Connor, about how that terminator is out there and will never, ever stop until she is dead. It was a chilling reality check for the young, fragile waitress, who later turns into quite the badass.
Terminator 2: Sarah Connor breaking out of the asylum, only to run into the very terminator that was responsible for the horror she’s lived over the last decade, not knowing that this Terminator was now working with her son. It’s a nightmare within a nightmare and it gives me chills every time. The scene also shows the asylum staff that Sarah wasn’t crazy after all.
The Thing (John Carpenter version): The crab-head bit, the freakiest, most over-the-top-weird bit of SFX that once seen, can never be un-seen.
The Usual Suspects: I’m always up late for this one because I have to see that ending scene were we all find out who Keyser Sose is. It plays out brilliantly.
Forrest Gump: I put this one out of order and last because it is responsible for more late nights for me than any other. Every scene I decide to wait for inevitably leads to another one I need to see. Next thing you know, it’s 1:00 AM and I’m a weepy mess. Thanks a lot, Hanks.
So what about you? What movie scenes keep you up past your bedtime?