Some movies have them. So movies don’t. But we all know one thing; we would not be able to elapse time and have our characters grow over the course of the film without them. If you are wondering, I’m talking about the good, old fashioned movie montage. The necessary ingredient added to the film to let you know, “Hey, I’m putting so much work into this ______, that I need to show you my growth with a song over my learning process. Here is my Top 5 fave montages.
5)Revenge of the Nerds- It wouldn’t be a list without an old school cleanup scene where the Nerd’s frat house goes from a condemned dump, to a beautifully shining home. These were big in the 1980’s, and this one starts from the inside out, with insanely amazing 80’s music to keep their morale going!
4)Team America- A movie of near X rated marionettes having sex and killing others straight from the warped minds of the creator’s of South Park. Their montage is so brilliant for the fact that it’s a montage about how movies have to have a montage. In fact one of the lines in the song that is being played states, “Even Rocky had a montage!” Absolutely magnificent.
3)Rocky Balboa-Yes, all the Rockys I believe had montages. And Rocky four is normally the go to favorite for montages, but after a hiatus that brought Rocky back from retirement it was goose bump inducing. He’s old, he’s tired, he has arthritisand he doesn’t want to be a joke. After his trainer instructs him on how raw his training will be, we are given the chills as the trumpets blast and “Gotta Fly Now” begins as Rocky starts his overwhelmingly brutal trial against his own body. It brings you back to the day when Rocky was the champ, and when times were different but at the same time, it shows you how some things never change.
2)Goodfellas- Playing the beautiful ending piano work from Layla as the camera draws on long and winding shots of murdered mobsters, shows us how keen Scorsese’s eye is for beautiful and innovative direction. It shows the brutal style and vicious mob mentality that saturated society, but the montage turning up all the locations of the snuffed fellas has a dash of humor and a romantic quality to it. Not just because of the song dominating the montage but also the artful mastery it lends to the scene.
1)Wet Hot American Summer- The camp councelers go to town and in a brilliant turn begin by having an ice cream, smoking some cigarettes, buying beer, smoking some weed, mugging an old woman, buying a huge bag of coke, and shooting heroin in a run down house. The genius lies in the escalation of the montage’s seriousness from minor to felon in a few seconds. Totally brilliant and absurdly hilarious.