Classic Scenes: ‘Beat Street’ Get The Party Started
*Big Exhale* I’m hesitant to write about things that are really and truly so personal to me and who I am, but in a brief manner, this is one such occasion that I will take the liberty to do so. Beat Street is one of my favorite movies of all-time. Maybe I will write about it in greater depth at another point, but for now, I want to give you what is probably my favorite scene from the 1984, breaking, New York and coming of age film. Yeah, I know it’s long winded, and yes, I’ve written about related topics before with the 10 Movies The Hood Loves The Most list, but I’m thrilled to be able to share this scene with you.
It’s New York in the early 80′s. Tough, poor neighborhood. Hip-hop music and culture – not really what it is known as nowadays, which is a form of evolution and bastardization of the art – was just being birthed. In this scene, Kenny aka Double K (Guy Davis) and his friends are gathering for a party in an abandoned building. That’s how it had to be done. Any opportunity to take the chance to have fun and express the art form. The crew hooks up the power from a telephone pole and wah-lah…the opportunity to party.
Ramo, Double K and Chollie on the way to a party in 'Beat Street.'
Double K gets the crowd going with some rhyming and cutting (DJ skills). People start to get into the vibe. Then, in walks Lee (Robert Taylor) – Kenny’s little brother who happens to be breaking the house rules by leaving home and going to the party – and he sets the party off with his own brand of dance. It’s hard not to be enthralled, even Kenny gives in to his dancing, and the scene is essentially a wrap.
What makes it so fun and effective for me is it’s simplicity. The set up, with the need for power. The display of art in its virginal form, a desire for expression. And even the in movie story about Lee coming around against his brother and mother’s wishes, only to see the love come through. This earns it a classic scene, and special place in my heart. Enjoy.
Danny McBride Stars in The Foot Fist Way “Hand Job” Scene
The Foot Fist Way is often referred to as the film that made Danny McBride’s acting career. This is an accurate statement. McBride, along with his college classmate Jody Hill (who directed the indy comedy) and their friend Ben Best (who plays a role in the film and has since become a producer on subsequent films they have teamed on) got together for a film they didn’t expect anyone would see. That was until Will Ferrell and Adam McKay saw it and trumpeted it’s virtues throghout Hollywood. This led to the beginning of several careers, most notably and visibly McBride’s, who stars in the HBO series “Eastbound and Down.” A star of sorts was thus born.
McBride starred in the 2006 comedy about a Tae Kwon Do instructor who’s a little full of himself. This scene captures that statement truthfully and quintessentially. In this classic scene, McBride’s Fred Simmons is sitting in his Ferrari with one of his weak students. He is waxing philosophically (for him) about why his life is in full on struggle mode, with his wife temporarily leaving him over her performance of a lewd act. Simmons explains the act and subsequently a few other things in this brief, but hilarious clip. Enjoy!
Here is a classic scene from an underseen film from 2008, RockNRolla. (I predict a future Films-U-Missed column on this at some point, but time will tell.) Guy Ritchie’s gangster film follows along in the tradition of his other hits, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. This scene is simply humorous and it shows off Guy Ritchie’s wicked sense of dark comedy, IMO. Here, Mark Strong of Sherlock Holmes fame instructs his misfit, wanna-be thugs on how to get someone’s attention (to have the suspect give information, for example). What ensues is hilarious, it’s one of the first examples of humor in a film rich with moments of nuance in the performances, even though there isn’t tons of humor in the script itself. What makes a real rock ‘n’ roller? The ability to slap correctly for one. Hope you enjoy it, like I do.
Zombies, or “sickos,” have taken over town a Texas town and this is the first time we get to see them up close, from the eyes of Doc Block (Josh Brolin) and his wife, Dakota (Marley Shelton), at the local medical clinic. Dakota has been carrying out an affair with Tammy (Fergie), which Doc Block is suspicious of, when the “sickos” come rolling in.
The great Nicky Katt makes an appearance in this scene and it’s a shame he’s not in more of it. Due to the nature of zombies, there’s some graphic stuff in this scene, which is pretty disgusting, but truly adds to the enjoyment level. Also, be sure to check out the “Kobainer” at the end of the clip. Enjoy!
It’s day number two of Robert Rodriguez Week here at The Film Nest and today we bring you our first classic scene from the director’s ouevre.
By 1996, Rodriguez had already worked alongside fellow film-fanatic-turned-filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino, as they each wrote and directed a segment form the quadruple-tiered Four Rooms. Tarantino wrote the script for From Dusk Till Dawn (with Robert Kurtzman getting story credit) and was set to direct his first feature since Pulp Fiction, but instead chose to focus on his screenplay and his role as Seth Gecko, thus passing the directorial opportunity to his friend, Robert Rodriguez.
This is the first film Rodriguez directed not based on his own script, and this opening scene has Tarantino’s hand prints all over it. There isn’t much set-up to be given since it’s the opening scene of the film and although a tad long, every second is exceptional. It’s been too long since I’ve seen this film and revisiting this scene tells me I need to see see it again. Rodriguez was given a great screenplay to work from and his effort truly shows. Enjoy!
If you’ve read the title of this post, which I am sure you have, then right off the bat I should get out of the way that this scene is NSFW. Quentin Tarantino reached the big time with this film, he has a world famous history, writing this script while working at a video store, only to become the fan favorite director that he is today. His Inglourious Basterds drops on us next weekend, amid high anticipation but mixed buzz at this point, so I figured I would give you this epic scene from his first film. Reservoir Dogs tells the story of a heist gone wrong where the results are disastrous. Brilliant, but disastrous. This was the anti-Hollywood film where nobody lives.
It is incredibly challenging trying to find an embeddable version of most any of the scenes in this movie. Though it might seem a bit obvious, this is unquestionably one of the most classic scenes from Tarantino’s first work. This is a movie that includes the “tipping” scene, the “Are you gonna bark all day?” scene, and the “weed story” scene among many more. You might as well call it what it is, a classic film that should enjoy repeated viewings in nearly any red-blooded males library (not to discount the women who love QT too!). Below, Michael Madsen (Mr. Blonde) “interrogates”, nay basically f*cks around with, a cop because he doesn’t like cops and because he likes to torture people. I am laughing just typing that line. Genius. Mr. Blonde dances to the oldies while doing the unthinkable to the young cop, all while another undercover cop (the cool Tim Roth) is bleeding profusely nearby. I hope you enjoy the scene again and again, the way I do. (Sick bastard, I know.)
One of the biggest box office successes from just a few years ago that seems to have vanished from the map for whatever reason was the 2005 Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise collabo, War of the Worlds. It’s not out on Blu-ray, nor is it seemingly even being worked on. I thought the movie was pretty damn cool, even if there were a few things in it that kind of nag at me. That being said, it contained what was easily my favorite scene from any film that year, the tripod attack. The sound of the phasers. The Saving Private Ryan-like visuals set in an urban environment. It was all so beautiful to me and still is.
The story revolves around Ray Ferrier (Cruise), who is in charge of looking after his two children while their mother goes on a trip with her new husband. That’s when the war of the worlds between humans and an alien race gets it on.
This scene takes place fairly early in the film. A large mass of ominous clouds have just shot razor-like lightning beams toward the earth. The lightning worked as an electromagnetic pulse, knocking out all battery-operated objects. I’m never a stickler for such things, but the video camera somehow being operable in this scene really troubles me. However, it’s full of great action, aurally and visually. The clip could probably have been cut two minutes earlier, but oh well. All the better. Enjoy.
It took me a long time before I allowed myself to watch Amadeus. In fact, I’m not even sure why I finally did. I have an aversion to costume dramas. It’s not like I’d seen all the many before, so I might not have any real reason to dislike them, but just the sight of renaissance clothing makes me turn away. At least that’s the way I used to think. So, maybe it was the fact that the film won Best Picture in 1984 that turned me around, but after seeing the film it stands toe-to-toe with my other favorite costume drama, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. However, things might have been different if it weren’t for this amazing scene.
Amadeus tells the story of the relationship between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) and Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham). The film is told from Salieri’s perspective, a fellow composer so dedicated to the craft, he can’t help but ask God why he’s not the best. Mozart is young, rude and a party-hard fool. What makes matters worse for Salieri is the fact that Mozart doesn’t even need to try. He’s just a genius and that’s the way it is. Like Will Hunting and math. Because of this Salieri views Mozart as his livelong enemy and rival.
This scene is toward the end of the film, but I don’t think you can deduce too much spoiler material from within. Mozart is sick and bedridden. He’s been commissioned to write a requiem mass for a large sum of money and Salieri (up to no good) offers to assist Mozart in transcribing the music Mozart dictates. This scene is beautiful for the music contained within, but also for its depiction of how the mind of a genius works, with little to no effort. Director Milos Forman developed the idea of playing parts of the dictated music on the soundtrack as it was being transcribed and the effect is glorious.
In honor of the feature-length film for Sacha Baron Cohen’s third comic creation from “Da Ali G Show,” Bruno, coming this Friday (watch for our review, then), we had to bring you this classic scene from his 2006 epic, Borat.
Borat is the only film I can honestly say I laughed throughout from beginning to end. It truly never let up. Seeing it with a packed audience at midnight, the theater was so loud I have to imagine everybody cried tears at one point. The movie was hyped up for months and I couldn’t escape all the talk. The highlight everybody mentioned was the naked wrestling scene. I was prepared for it. I knew it was coming, but it still couldn’t stop the laugh riot the scene induced.
Not much set-up is needed for this. Borat is in love with Pamela Anderson and he gets out of the tub to see his producer, Azamat, to borrow a “Seinfeld” quote, treating his body like an amusement park, to the image of good ol’ Pam.
Unfortunately, this clip ends sooner than it should, but you do get the entire wrestling aspect. Enjoy.
As “Michael Mann Week” comes to an end here at The Film Nest, we want to bring you one last look at what might now be considered his last “great” movie. Earlier, we brought you the classic shootout in downtown L.A. from 1995′s Heat. It’s probably the most famous scene from Mann’s ouevre. Today, I wanted to go a little less mainstream for you. It’s a short scene from one of Mann’s most underrated films, 2004′s Collateral. At the moment, it’s one of the least loved films in our sidebar poll, so I figured I’d spread a little love on it.
Tom Cruise plays Vincent, a contract killer assigned to dispose of five people in the Los Angeles area who played witness to a crime committed by his employer. He hops into a cab driven by Max (Jamie Foxx), just on the job “temporarily.” Vincent asks Max to be his personal chauffeur for the night, and when the prospect of doubling Max’s pay is offered, Max reluctantly accepts. Little does he know, he has been hired to drive Vincent around to the homes of each of the witnesses while Vincent does his business and kills them. Immediately reluctant to have any role in this, Max tries to back out, much to Vincent’s dismay.
In this short, but sweet scene, Vincent has been dropped out off at the house of victim number two and ties Max’s hands to the steering wheel so he won’t drive away. Max honks the horn loudly, trying to garner a passerby’s attention to help him. He doesn’t get the help he desires. Enjoy.
Since that scene was so short and this is the last Mann-related post of the week, I’m leaving you with a little bonus. This is the club scene from the film where Vincent performs his special brand of magic, played out in front of Paul Oakenfold’s “Ready, Set, Go.”
I could’ve also chosen Javier Bardem’s small, but pivotal scene. “Pedro del Negro!” However at this point, you should just see the movie. It’s great.