Category Archives: My Favorite Scene

My Favorite Scene: Super Troopers (2001) “The Cat Game”

Super Troopers has become a cult classic comedy since its release in 2001.  Fans of the film so wanted a sequel (opening this Friday) that when the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, whose cast members star in the film, asked for help in raising $2 million dollars in a crowdfunding campaign to secure locations, they had it in 26 hours.  The film is wildly uneven, and a fair review of it is that it’s a comedy that has some fantastic scenes, but feels a bit overlong and patched together…..that being said you really end up kind of loving it.

The film is about a group of bored, misfit Vermont State Troopers who spend most of their time chugging maple syrup and finding new ways to amuse themselves by torturing the people they pull over.  The film has one of the best openings of any comedy, but my favorite set piece, because it’s so easy to do to people in real life, is The Cat Game.  The goal of The Cat Game is to see how many times the trooper can work the word “meow” into a routine traffic stop, and it’s awesome.  I would be lying if I said I had not done this to people in a customer service capacity on the phone on tremendously long Tuesday afternoons.  So if you’re THAT bored today….

Super Troopers

My Favorite Scene: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) “Father & Son”

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark is undoubtedly the best Indiana Jones film, but if I’m going to pop one in to just have a great time, I’ll go with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (where the series should have ended).  Where Temple of Doom was a diversion from Indy as a relic-seeking archaeologist, The Last Crusade brought back everything that made Raiders great.  In a fantastic opening sequence, a young River Phoenix plays Indy (spawning a short-lived TV series) in an early adventure that explains virtually every tic and hiccup about the character we’ve come to love over the two previous films..  It’s one of the best openings of any Spielberg movie, and a brilliant idea to reintroduce audiences to Jones after the five-year gap between Temple and Crusade.   Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) “Father & Son”

My Favorite Scene: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) “Bridge Battle”

Before Crystal Skull, if there was a weak link in the Indy series, it was 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (now it looks like a masterpiece).  Set before Raiders, because Lucas convinced Spielberg that Jones should be like Bond with a different girl in every film.  The original second movie was going to revolve around Karen Allen’s father, Indiana’s mentor, but Lucas wanted to do something darker.  George was going through a divorce and one of the darkest periods of his life, so instead of meeting Marian’s family, we got a Kali death cult in India that kidnapped children and performed human sacrifices.  Dark times for George.

Dark enough that the violence in Temple of Doom upset so many parents that the MPAA created the PG-13 rating directly as a result of this film (which is pretty tame compared to most PG-13 films now, but good luck getting the MPAA to do anything about revising the ratings system).  I can’t stand Kate Capshaw’s incessant screaming, and the opening club/musical number kind of makes me wince, but you can’t deny the awesomeness of Short Round and a number of the action pieces, especially the iconic mine car sequence, but the best piece in the film is Indy’s stand on the bridge.  It’s one of the best moments in the series, hands down.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Poster

My Favorite Scene: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) “An Idol Births an Icon”

Raiders of the Lost Ark is, to my mind, the greatest action-adventure movie in film history.  It has so many iconic moments and set pieces, but none more so that its opening,  The journey through the temple to find the idol was pure excitement, but it also established Indiana Jones’s character by 10 minutes into the film.  It’s one of Spielberg’s greatest sequences, and the greatest movie icon to come out of any of his films.  Given where the franchise is headed in the future, I thought we’d revisit what had been before any more news about Indy 5 and beyond came out.

Spielberg gave an interview this week saying that the franchise will continue after 2020’s Indiana Jones 5, but that it would be Harrison Ford’s farewell.  I’m not sure if they plan to reboot or recast, but Spielberg seemed very intent on gender-bending it saying, “Of course we’d have to change the character’s name to Indiana Joan.”  It’s really hard from a print interview to tell if he was kidding, because not only does that make no sense, but there already is a female Indiana Jones and her name is Lara Croft.  He acts like this is a huge franchise, when it should have been left at three films made in 8 years in the 1980s.  It does not HAVE to go on, and-if it does-he should not be doing it any more.  People seem more focused on Harrison Ford’s age than Spielberg’s inability to deliver a film like Raiders any more, but I don’t want him anywhere near this creation.  I’d like to think Disney is smarter than that.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the one-off in the marketplace also; a take on the classic “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight” trope.  It actually was scripted as an epic fight, whip vs. gun, that was going to include a huge amount of stunt work from Ford, but on the day of filming, he was siiiiiiiiiick.  He had a fever and food poisoning and could barely stand, so he suggested…..”Why don’t I just shoot him?”  Worked out much better, and Ford went back to his hotel.

 

My Favorite Scene: The Office Season One (2005 – NBC) “The Alliance”

The Office was a phenomenon, first in the UK, and then again in the US, because it tapped into the modern workplace’s almost Orwellian kindergarten atmosphere and just blew it up into an absurdity to which everyone could relate.  The first season of the show was a six-episode experiment, and it wasn’t really until season two that it firmly found its legs and took off as one of the decade’s best sitcoms.  One of the elements that was established right from the pilot, and remained my favorite part of The Office, was Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) torturing Dwight (Rainn Wilson).

Encasing Dwight’s office supplies in Jell-O in the pilot was good, but the brilliance of the prank war Jim and Pam would wage on Dwight’s paranoia first took off in the series fourth episode: “The Alliance”.  When rumors of downsizing hit the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Dwight approaches Jim to form “an alliance”.  Jim has no idea what this means, but immediately seizes on it as possibly the greatest gift anyone could have ever given him.  It’s not as good as when Jim arranges for Dwight to receive daily cryptic faxes from his future self, but without the alliance, there could be no “Future Dwight”.Rainn Wilson and John Krasinski in The Office Season 1