|Movie Title/Year and Brief Description, Including Great Quotes and Scenes|
And all the Die Hard Franchise-Series sequels: Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990), Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995) (aka Die Hard 3), and Live Free or Die Hard (2007) (aka Die Hard 4), etc.
This thrilling classic action film from director John McTiernan was set on Christmas Eve in 1988, with NY cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) in Los Angeles at the high-rise Nakatomi Corporation Building (on the Avenue of the Stars in Century City) for his estranged wife Holly's (Bonnie Bedalia) office party.
There, international terrorists had taken party-goers hostage and planned to steal $640 million in negotiable bearer bonds from the corporate vaults.
In order to stem the robbery and dispatch with each of the bad guys one-by-one, a battered and vulnerable McClane stealthily hid in the elevator shaft, air ducts, uncompleted floors, and on the rooftop and eventually single-handedly battled angry henchman Karl Vreski (Alexander Godunov) with macho bravado and then overcame the film's cultured German terrorist villain Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) by dropping him from the side of the building.
- "You know my name, but who are you? Just another
American who saw too many movies as a child? Another orphan of a bankrupt
culture who thinks he's John Wayne? Rambo? Marshal Dillon?"
The scene of McClane leaping off the top of the exploding building with a firehose tied around his waist, in order to shoot and crash his way into a skyscraper window below.
The death of villain Hans Gruber, as he was dangling out a skyscraper window - and holding onto Holly's Rolex watch - until McClane intervened, unlatched the clasp, and the bad man plunged backwards.
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
And the sequels: The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991), Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)
Deadpan, bumbling LA detective Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) starred in this gag-filled comedy from the directorial team of Zuckers and Abrahams (also responsible for Airplane! (1980) and Top Secret! (1984)).
It opened with a speeding LA cop car (shot behind the revolving cherry-top) driving down nighttime streets, into a carwash, and then barreling into a house - and a shower with naked women - and then down a rollercoaster before coming to a stop in front of a donut shop.
The hilarious film's antics included an embarrassed Drebin falling upon a look-alike Queen Elizabeth character in his attempt to prevent her assassination during the 7th inning stretch of the LA Angels/Mariners playoff game, awkwardly singing the national anthem while impersonating opera singer Enrico Pallazzo (Tony Brafa), and serving as the home plate umpire. The film's jokes were non-stop and clever, such as:
- "It's the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses
girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girls dies
in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day."
Drebin's visit to hospitalized and badly wounded Det. Nordberg's (O.J. Simpson) bed and causing his bed to fold up on him, and making insensitive comments to his wife Wilma (Susan Beaublan): "I wouldn't wait until the last minute to fill out those organ donor cards."
The love-making scene between femme fatale Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley) and Drebin with full-body condoms.
The final scene at the top of the baseball stadium when Drebin slapped the back of recuperating, wheel-chaired partner Nordberg, sending him down the stadium steps and flipping him 360 degrees to the field below.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
The sequel: Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)
The "stupid humor" of this time-travel fantasy comedy (coming after the success of Back to the Future (1985)) without sex, nudity, or violence typical of most "guy" films, featured two shabby and unbrainy lead characters/dudes or ignorant but loveable slackers.
They were Alex Winter as William S. Preston Esq. and Keanu Reeves in a breakthrough role as Ted "Theodore" Logan. The two traveled through time to pass their San Dimas High School history class test, while wasting time playing in their would-be band the Wyld Stallyns. Their dialogue was mostly composed of surfer-talk, such as "dude," "bodacious," "bogus," "whoa," "no way!," and other simplistic phrases.
Their journey was provided by mysterious Rufus (comic George Carlin) who gave them a time-travel phone booth and phone book at the local Circle K ("Strange things are afoot at the Circle K") - and the gateway to meeting Napoleon, Socrates, Billy the Kid, Joan of Arc, Beethoven, Genghis Khan, Sigmund Freud, and Abraham Lincoln, and bringing them back to modern society.
Their stupidity was demonstrated when they were offered the Iron Maiden by their medieval Evil Duke captor ("Put them in the Iron Maiden") - they reacted with "Excellent!" without realizing that it was a torture execution machine and not a heavy-metal rock band ("Bogus!").
"Party on, Dude!"
- "If you guys are really us, what number are we thinking of?"
- So-crates - "The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing".
The scene of Napoleon going bowling and sliding down the alley, Joan of Arc leading an aerobics dance exhibition-class in a shopping mall, and Genghis Khan destroying an Oshman's sporting goods store with a metal baseball bat, among others.
The on-stage history presentation - with all of the historical characters- delivered by the duo to their classmates.
Based on Nicholas Pileggi's non-fiction book Wiseguys, Martin Scorsese's graphically-violent and compelling film was a definitive and stylish, gangster film, with a soundtrack that chronicled the passage of time through three decades of crime (the 50s to the 70s) in the life of a mid-level, aspiring mobster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta). Joe Pesci was featured as meanly psychotic wiseguy Tommy DeVito, and Robert De Niro as paranoid James Conway.
Raised on the streets of a Brooklyn neighborhood, he married Karen (Lorraine Bracco) and slowly advanced up and climbed the Mafioso ladder.
In the end as Hill's life unraveled, after dealing narcotics and becoming hooked, he protected himself and his wife by testifying and becoming part of the federal witness protection program - and being left in anonymous, suburbanized exile ("I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.")
In one of the concluding scenes, wiseguy Tommy, who believed he was about to be inducted into the Mafia, was suddenly shot in the back of the head.
"As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster."
"Whaddaya mean I'm funny?...Funny how? I mean, funny like a clown? I amuse you?"
The backroom card-game with the sudden, casual murder of Spider (Michael Imperioli) by Tommy DeVito during a card game. Also, the three-minute, uninterrupted tracking shot from outside the Copacabana club into the crowded restaurant.
The famous montage of dead conspirators from the Lufthansa Heist (a couple in a pink convertible, another hanging frozen solid from a meat-hook in a meat truck, etc.) all whacked by Jimmy Conway and Tommy - accompanied by the piano bridge from Derek and the Dominos' Layla.
The concluding montage sequence, increasingly sped-up, as coke-addled Henry juggled multiple commitments.
(chronological, by film title)
Intro | 1960-1965 | 1966-1969 | 1970-1973 | 1974-1976 | 1977-1979 | 1980-1981 | 1982-1983
1984-1987 | 1988-1991 | 1992-1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996-1998 | 1999-2002 | 2003-now