Friday Playlist – Awesome Movie Montages

Rocky Movie Montage

The other day Lisa and I were sitting in front of the fire enjoying the Christmas tree and mindlessly flipping channels and came across The Karate Kid – and right at the point where Daniel has worked all day on Miyagi’s property and then goes into how all of that work applies to Karate.

It was an amazing scene, and just one of the iconic moments in the movie. Another great scene is the final tournament – the beginning and end are live, but after Daniel wins his first match and Elisabeth Shue says ‘You’re the best’, we see the tournament progress from all of the important angles. We learn everything we need to know about the players and coaches, and it leads perfectly into the final battle.

It is a classic 80’s montage scene. Which then had me thinking of other scenes … so instead of my normal Friday Playlist, here are some cool movie montages (yes, heavily weighted towards 80s movies sue me, I’m old)!

Revenge of the Nerds – already violating my theme, this is the final music number. There IS a montage, but for some reason it isn’t readily available, and I thought this was just perfect.

Ferris Bueller – Museum Scene – I’m not a huge fan of the Twist and Shout scene, it is far from my favorite part of the movie (there are SO many great moments) … but the poignant music as the kids nearing adulthood view their home city with fresh eyes.

Footloose – Let’s Hear it for the boy – silly plot, and really not much of a movie, yet we all love it to the point that they tried to do a cash-in remake. No Bacon, no Singer, no dice.

The Godfather – again, not so much of a montage, but such a pivotal scene, and perhaps my favorite moment of the movie. Danny had read teh book and got the trilogy on DVD from Chris for his birthday and we watched it together.

Ghostbusters – This is just a fun section of the movie, capturing the transition from oddity to pop culture phenomenon.

Run Fat Boy Run – Simon Pegg. Brilliant.

Forrest Gump – Running – not really a training sequence, just a rather bizarre sub-plot of the (good but over-rated) movie.

Chariots of Fire – Training scene with Vangelis Music – I appreciate this movie much more now that I did at its release, but always loved the Vangelis music (same with his Blade Runner themes)

Kill Bill Vol 2 – classic Quentin Tarantino cheese!

Up – Carl & Ellie – I’m not crying, just dust in my eyes … aw hell, who am I kidding!

Real Genius – Falling – total 80s movie, this is one of my all-time favorite films … and while my favorite song from the soundtrack is ‘Number One’, I love this scene and the music.

Real Genius – Popcorn Finale – pay no attention to whether or not anything they are doing makes any technical sense … just assume it is all nonsense and you are better off. Enjoy the cool scenes and 80s music!

Team America – not great but better than I expected, this had an amusing parody of montages.

Better Off Dead – Skiing – another of my all-time faves, there are so many classic scenes, and plenty of cool music, but this is the only montage.

Scarface – push it to the limit – like everything else in the movie, this reeks of excess, but it carries the theme of Tony Montana’s rise from punk to overlord.

Karate Kid – You’re the best – Finally, we see Ralph Macchio getting ready for the big battle for his honor by working his way through the totally unrealistic tournament.

Rocky IV – This is SO 1984, dripping machismo and pro-USA / anti-Soviet imagery and symbolism, down to the point of having Drago depend on machines and steroids (real subtle!) while Rocky focuses on guts and hard work. For such a terrible, formulaic movie, I absolutely love it still!

Rocky Gonna Fly Now – this one is actually good enough that it can survive all of the abuse of both imitation and parody. The iconic theme song by Bill Conti sends chills whenever I hear it, and the video is incredibly effective at showing how Rocky has transformed himself from a slugger to a boxer.

And one other thing I thought about watching the Rocky montage again was that in the era before ‘tech fabrics’, that is pretty much what you might expect to see a runner out wearing on a chilly day. Fast forward a few years and you would have this:


5 thoughts on “Friday Playlist – Awesome Movie Montages

  1. We JUST watched Better Off Dead the other night while I was in heavy recovery mode…so awesome. It’s one of those movies that shows its age but it’s so awesome I just don’t care. Language Lessons for the win!

    • Great movie choice in my unbiased opinion! 🙂 My kids actually enjoy the movie – because in spite of being very much ‘of its time’, it is (like Airplane! and Police Squad) very funny regardless. I mean, who even KNOWS who Howard Cosell was anymore, he was only on football until 1985 … But between Language Lessons, Two Dollars, Badger, the trash truck scene .. on and on. 🙂

  2. I try not to get too drawn in to the whole cult of celebrity thing, but I have to admit I was pretty darned impressed when my brother told me he was hosting a charity event with Uma at his apartment not so long after Kill Bill came out.

    • My whole thing isn’t so much the person but the work, but like you say when you meet someone whose work inspires you there is a definite isn’t THIS cool moment! I found that true meeting laser pioneers as well as chatting with Vonnegut after seeing him give a talk, and riding the elevator with John Scofield in Cambridge!

  3. I’ve had my share of close encounters w/ celebrities, Nobel winners and whatnot. We hang out in the Hamptons every 4th of July week which greatly ups the odds. (Gotta remember not to gawk when almost biking into Martha Stewart. Also, next time there’s a chance to block paparazzi from intruding on Alec Baldwin’s lunch, I’ll try to catch on quicker. Spielberg once called my nephew a cute baby, too, not that I was there for that one.) Perhaps most memorable was getting to participate in a small group discussion w/ Freeman Dyson, back in grad school days.

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