Taking a holiday interlude from all things baseball for a minute, I was noodling around with the idea of top Five lists and came up with a bunch to share with you, just cause, well, I like to stimulate conversation, what can I say?
Five Great Stones Songs to Crank:
1. “Monkey Man” Scorsese was so cool to use it in “Good Fellas”
2. “Midnight Rambler”
3. “Stray Cat Blues”
4. “Doo, doo (Heatbreaker)” Organ riff is stupendous.
5. “Rocks Off” “The sunshine bores the daylights outta me…” Great moment.
“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?” is pretty damn slammin’ too. I especially like the first three minutes.
Five Fun End Title Movie Sequences:
1. “Diner” Could listen to those dicks yenta-it-up all day…
2. “Liar, Liar” Carey is hilarious but Swoozie Kurtz gets the biggest laugh. To his credit, Carey is a good sport about it too.
3. “Cannonball Run” Classic, Burt and Dom schtick.
4. “Grumpy Old Men” Burgess Meredith steals the show with his “blue” material.
5. “Married to the Mob” At the very tail of the credits is a small scene, an epilogue of sorts, between Mathew Modine and Michelle Pfieffer. They dance together along the steps of a courthouse or a museum to a latin tune. She slowly moves backwards and he inches closer. Just as he gets to her, she backs into the handrailing, and quickly tumbles backwards. He lurches forward to grab her and just as he grabs her, she’s far back enough to smack her head and…freeze. They freeze the frame. And you’re just like, damn, no way that fall wasn’t going to hurt. But Pfieffer totally gave herself to the scene. Got to give her credit. Onions!
Five Great New York Movies (’70s, ’80s Edition)
1. “Dog Day Afternoon” Is Brooklyn in the house?
2. “Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3” Every pastrami-on-rye-character actor in New York is in this movie. With Mathau in the lead, how can you go wrong?
3. “Tootsie” Not really thought of a New Yorkk movie but was in every way. Murray is a monster in the supporting role. It’s my favorite Dustin Hoffman performance.
4. “Annie Hall” Classic Woody, filmed all over the city.
5. “Moscow on the Hudson” One of Robin Williams’ best, from uptown to the lower east side, this is an over-looked New York flick.
Five Great Baseball References in non-Baseball Movies
1. “The Odd Couple” Oscar misses a triple play because Felix gets him on the phone asking some old wifey questions.
2. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” Nicholson narrating Koufax pitching against the Yanks in the 1963 World Serious.
3. “Woman of the Year” Tracy takes Hepburn to a baseball game. Her interactiion with the fan sitting behind her is the highlight of the sequence.
4. “The Cameraman” Buster Keaton’s first movie for MGM. Keaton plays a cameraman who goes to Yankee Stadium one afternoon only to find that the team is out of town. So Keaton plays and imaginary game of baseball–pitcher to the hitter–and ends up swinging and circling the bases. It must have been filmed in 1927, and the footage looks great.
5. “In the Bedroom” I haven’t seen the whole movie, but I did see a sequence toward the end of the film where the father of the dead boy captures the boy’s killer, and is driving him in a car to a place where he plans to kill him. And as they drive there is a Red Sox game playign on the radio. They let the radio call go on and it adds a good deal of subtle–even comic–distraction to tension at hand.
“Ferris Bueller” The classic chant. I was never really down with that chant, but it caught most everybody’s imagination for a minute there.
“Mystic River” Opening scene, dudes talking about Tiant and the Sox.
“The Bad Lieutenant” New York city sports radio talk show legend Chris Mad Dog Russo is the voice over during the opening credits and sports gambling–during a fictitious Mets season—plays a part throughout the movie. The Russo rant at the begining is a classic.
Five Great Jeff Bridges Movies
1. “The Last American Hero” The Junior Johnson story.
2. “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” Clint Eastwood buddy picture.
3. “Tucker” Failed Coppola epic.
4. “Cutter’s Way” Cult California art house movie, early 80s.
5. “American Heart” Gritty, disturbing drama with Edward Furlong.
Five Best Movies I Last Saw in the Theater
1. “The Squid and the Whale”
3. “Good night, and Good Luck.”
4. “A History of Violence”
5. “Batman Begins”
I don’t know that any of them were great necessarily, but it just so happens that the last five movies that I’ve seen in the theater have all been worth the price of admission to me. They all had something going for them, enough for me to say they were worth the dough. And what more can you say?