|Movie Title/Year and Brief Description, Including Great Quotes and Scenes|
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)) that 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 - Alex Winter as William S. Preston Esq. and Keanu Reeves in a breakthrough role as Ted "Theodore" Logan - who 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 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!"). Their dialogue was mostly composed of surfer-talk, such as "dude," "bodacious," "bogus," "whoa," "no way!," and other simplistic phrases.
"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). Raised on the streets of a Brooklyn neighborhood, he married Karen (Lorraine Bracco) and slowly advanced up and climbed the Mafioso ladder. Joe Pesci was featured as meanly psychotic wiseguy Tommy DeVito, and Robert De Niro as paranoid James Conway.
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.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Director James Foley's black comedy-drama was adapted from scripter David Mamet's real estate stage play about desperate and cutthroat salesmen, noted for many rapid-fire, cleverly convoluted, foul-mouthed lines of dialogue and verbal abuse. The main characters in this intense character study set mostly in a grungy Chicago office (Premiere Properties) were real estate agents: profanity-spewing, vulgar hotshot salesman Ricky Roma (Al Pacino) (with his raunchy dialogue about a female customer's crumbcake during a tough sale in a woman's kitchen: - "You're eating her crumb cake." - "Oh yeah, I'm eating her crumb cake." - "How was it?" - "From the store." - "F--k her."), iron-fisted, inept salesman manager/boss John Williamson (Kevin Spacey), and tired, desperate old-timer Shelley 'the Machine' Levene (Jack Lemmon).
In the famed opening scene, they were warned about increasing their monthly sales figures with a threatening ultimatum delivered by rousing, motivational, foul-mouthed, in-your-face super-salesman Blake (Alec Baldwin) - he promised that only the top two salesmen wouldn't be fired within one week.
"...we're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize's a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. You get the picture? You laughing now?"
"A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing! Always be closing! A-I-D-A. Attention, interest, decision, action. Attention: do I have your attention? Interest: are you interested? I know you are 'cause it's f--k or walk. You close or you hit the bricks! Decision: have you made your decision for Christ?! And action. A-I-D-A. Get out there!"
Hard Boiled (1992, HK)
John Woo's great tough-guy, star-making action flick (his last film made in his native China before coming to Hollywood) was an intense cop thriller about warring factions of Hong Kong mafia. The very violent film starred Chow Yun-Fat as Inspector "Tequila" Yuen (with a toothpick in his mouth) and Tony Leung as undercover detective Tony - both fighting crime in the Hong Kong police force. From start to finish, the film was filled with explosions, gunplay, and dead bodies for a high body-count, as the duo infiltrated mobster Johnny Wong's (Anthony Wong) secret hideaway inside a hospital's basement level. The film was notable for its highly-choreographed, stylish scenes of gunfire - it was the quintessential HK action film.
"There's no room for failure now. The innocent must die!"
"Give a guy a gun, he thinks he's Superman. Give him two and he thinks he's God."
The opening shootout in a Chinese tea house (with gilded bird cages) between sinister arms smugglers and cops, when Tequila slid down a banister with his two guns blazing, one in each hand.
The 30-minute action sequence shootout (appearing almost like a live-action, shoot-em-up video game) in the corridors of a burning, under-siege hospital (including a nursery with infants).
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Emerging maverick writer/director Quentin Tarantino, a self-promoting videostore clerk who demonstrated his exciting, self-taught, original filmmaking genius (with generous helpings of violence, sex, profanity (almost 300 instances of the F-word), witty dialogue and pop-cultural references), released his debut film - a dark, noirish cult hit that broke many of the rules of conventional crime films.
The film contained numerous jump-cuts, elliptical story-telling, and flashbacks, and was set almost entirely in an abandoned coffin warehouse after the failed robbery. The male-oriented, testosterone-fueled tale was about a group of cigarette-smoking, shades-wearing, code-color-named Los Angeles criminals (including director Tarantino as ill-fated Mr. Brown, and others such as Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr. Blue (Edward Bunker), Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), and Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), a concept borrowed from The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)) whose jewelry heist went awry.
During the opening credits, the jewel robbery gang (composed of five total strangers) walked toward the camera in slow-motion to the tune of "Little Green Bag." The gang of tough guys began to mistrust each other and suspected a rat when the robbery plan was foiled. In the film's violent ending, Mr. Orange - the actual cop snitch, painfully bled to death from a bullet in the stomach (he was finished off by Mr. White - off-screen - in the film's conclusion).
"Yeah, but Mr. Brown? That's a little too close to Mr. Shit."
"All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you aren't going to get."
"I don't give a good f--k what you know, or don't know, but I'm gonna torture you anyway, regardless."
"F--K YOU! F--K YOU! I'M F--KIN' DYING HERE! I'M F--KIN' DYING!"
The scene at the breakfast table - with Mr. Brown's explanation of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" song and Mr. Pink's discussion about tipping waitresses ("I Don't Tip").
The infamous, violent, shocking and menacing ear-slicing torture scene following the robbery in which suspicious, psychotic gang member Mr. Blonde/Vic Vega - while dancing to the radio music of Stuck in the Middle With You by Stealer's Wheel - excised (off-screen) the right ear of chair-bound, duct-taped cop-hostage Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz), and then threatened to douse him with gasoline.
(chronological, by film title)
Intro | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10
Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15