This is a “kicking-back” week for me. I’m not on vacation, but I’m not really working either. It’s a kind of stress detox after the Christmas season. It’ll be time to watch a few movies and I thought some of you might enjoy a little movie moment discussion.
When I finally got home from church yesterday, my home-from-Cedarville daughter was watching the last 20 minutes or so of “A Few Good Men.” I made this statement, and surprisingly, she didn’t really disagree. “That may be the best 20 minutes of cinema ever!”
“I want the truth.”
“You can’t handle the truth.”
And this one:
Col. Jessep: Have you ever spent time in an infantry unit, son?
Kaffee: No sir.
Col. Jessep: Ever served in a forward area?
Kaffee: No sir.
Col. Jessep: Ever put your life in another man’s hands, ask him to put his life in yours?
Kaffee: No sir.
Col. Jessep: We follow orders, son. We follow orders or people die. It’s that simple. Are we clear?
Kaffee: Yes sir.
Col. Jessep: Are we clear?
The highlight is Col. Jessep’s monologue:
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a (sorry, this is SBC Voices!) what you think you are entitled to.
Even though he’s a horrible jerk, I think he makes a reasonable point in that speech. It is easy for civilians to ignorantly question what those who defend our freedoms do. Of course, it is also easy for power to go to a man’s head as it clearly did in Colonel Jessup’s case.
So, I posted this on my Facebook wall and got some interesting responses from others. That led me to thinking about great movie moments – those brilliant moments that you want to watch over and over again.
So, as a discussion starter, I’m going to list a few of my favorite movie moments. I reserve the right to think of more later, edit my post and pretend I thought of that from the start! Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order.
1) A Few Good Men – the final courtroom scene. Already discussed that one. There’s a little too much Jack Nicholson dialogue to link to a scene!
2) The “O Captain, my Captain” scene from “Dead Poets Society” in which the boys defy the headmaster, stand on their desks and thank Robin William’s character as he leaves.
3) “Mr. Holland’s Opus” final scene in the school auditorium. He thought his life was wasted, misspent. Then the people whom he influenced, encouraged and motivated came back to pay him honor. I think that secretly every one of us in ministry wishes for a Mr. Holland’s Opus moment.
4) Three scenes from “Fiddler on the Roof.” (Do I lose my man-card for including a musical?) Both are moments of despair. First, when Tevye is sending his daughter off to Siberia at the lonely, cold train depot. Second, when he says to his last daughter, “On the other hand…no, there is no other hand.” He has softened his convictions but cannot completely give them up. Finally, of course, the leaving of Anatevka will tear your heart out and stomp on it.
5) “It’s a Wonderful Life” – last 15 minutes. Hokey. Melodramatic. Sentimental. Guilty. But its brilliant and wonderful as well.
6) The end of the fight scene in Rocky. Rocky loses the fight but wins at what really matters. Though I liked Rocky 2 and 3, they really should have stopped with the bloodied Rocky embracing Adrian in the ring. Honorable mention here goes to the training montage with Rocky drinking eggs and running up the steps.
“Ain’t gonna be no rematch.”
“Don’t want one.”
7) Slumdog Millionaire – hard to choose one moment in this consistently brilliant film. The kid climbing out of the honey pot covered in grossness to go see the movie star. The rescue of Latika. But the final question set against the sacrifice of the brother is a highlight.
8) Again, “O, Brother, Where Art Thou” has too many moments of glory. But the scene where the “Soggy Bottom Boys” sing “Man of Constant Sorrow” is as good as it gets.
9) Who’d have thought that the greatest love scene in movie history would be a 4 1/2 minute animated montage in a Disney film? But if you aren’t moved by the “Married Life” scene in “Up”, you probably have a heart of stone. This old fogey needed a tissue or two.
10) The Academy Awards committed a great injustice when they failed to reward the brilliance of Jack Black in Nacho Libre. The greatest moment in movie history.
“Chancho, when you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It’s for fun.”
Now, it’s your turn. Remember, if you mention one I wish I’d had on the list, I may claim it, change the post and pretend it was mine from the start. Hey, I’m the editor!!!