Friday, May 23, 2003  


I was looking at my DVD collection tonight and I was thinking how some scenes in movies I really like, but no one else seems to think that way. Well, some of them have universal appeal, but other scenes for the most part, go unmentioned.

So, here I present, the most underrated scenes in my DVD collection...

T2 : Judgement Day

I love the scene where the Terminator, John, and Sarah have retreated to the camp near the Mexican border. The Terminator and John are engaged in a lesson of high-fives, while Sarah watches. We hear her thinking in a voice-over that goes something like this...

Watching John with the machine, it was suddenly so clear, the Terminator would never stop, it would never leave him and it would never hurt him, never shout at him or get drunk and hit him or say it was too busy to spend time with him… it would always be there and it would die to protect him… of all the would be fathers than came and went over the years, this thing, this machine was the only one that measured up… in an insane world, it was the sanest choice…

While this movie will be forever be remembered for its special effects and action sequences, I'm really glad that James Cameron inserted that little piece of dialogue. It gave the film a heart. It wasn't sappy or melodramatic, but it was just enough to make you realize the whole movie wasn't about a liquid metal machine.


This film was probably one of the best movies of 90s. I was totally unprepared for it when I saw it. The ending absolutely surprised me and kept me thinking about it for several hours afterwards.

One of the best scenes isn't really underrated, but I still love it. Near the end, John Doe, Detective Mills and Somerset are in the field. Somerset has just run over to tell Mills to drop his gun. Mills is pleading for someone to tell him what's in the box.

No, what's in the booooox?!?!?! What's in the fucking box!?!?!?!

Between this movie and Fight Club, those would be Brad Pitt's best movies to date.

The Hunt for Red October

This film ranks as one of my all-time favourites. It was the first submarine movie I had ever enjoyed and the first Tom Clancy-based project to be made. In my opinion, Alec Baldwin was the best actor to portray Jack Ryan. As popular and rich Harrison Ford is, he never did convince me he was everyone's favourite history professor and sometime CIA analyst. Don't even get me started on Ben Affleck.

Anyways, one of the best scenes from this movie comes when the Red October has just set out to sea. Captain Ramius (Sean Connery) has given the orders to his crew and everyone starts to sing the Soviet national anthem. The singing is disjointed and off-key, sounding just like how normal sailors would sing. Soon, the sonarman detects an American Los Angeles class submarine behind them. Ramius decides to let the men continue to sing. At that exact moment, the soundtrack changes from untrained voices to an obvious mens' choir, which procedes to beautifully sing the next few verses of the anthem. A powerful moment.

Up until that point, I had never seen a movie where Soviet military personnel were being depicted as proud and decent warriors. From then on, I cared about the characters on that submarine.


This film is one of the funniest in the history of cinema. Still standing up to the test of time, nearly all the jokes are as funny today as they were over 20 years ago when Airplane premiered. The jokes come quickly in this movie, if you didn't laugh at one, the next one would be seconds away.

There are many quality moments to chose from but the one that stand out in my mind is when Captain Rex Kramer (wonderfully played by the late Robert Stack) is trying to talk to Ted Striker (Robert Hays). Before doing so, Kramer tells the tower crew he wants to build up Kramer's confidence and given him hope that he can land that plane, this will be the only way in his mind to save all the people. Finally, he gets on the horn and asks Striker if he's ever flown a multi-engine plane before. Striker says never and Kramer immediately says (and with the transmit button still depressed)...

Shit... it's a goddamn waste of time, there's no way he's going to land that plane. Route him into Lake Michigan, at least it will avoid killing innocent people...

It's not as funny when you read it because the way Stack says shit is just priceless. You have to listen to it for yourself. If you listen to the directors' commentary, they say that a few of the more mainstream actors didn't get the movie and gags at first. They were asking them why they were saying this or why this was happening. According to the directors though, Stack got it from day one. A fine performance from a career filled with fine performances.

The Naked Gun

This movie is cut from the same cloth as Airplane which isn't surprising since much of the same people were responsible for both movies. This film single-handedly revived Leslie Neilsen's career and gave him a chance to be seen by a whole new generation of people.

There were many scenes to choose from, but the one I chose is from the beginning of the movie. Frank (Nielsen) and Ed (the wonderful George Kennedy) are in the hospital visiting their injured colleague Nordburg (O.J. Simpson... yikes...). While there, they attempt to comfort Nordburg's wife Wilma. Frank comes up with this gem of a line...

Wilma, I promise you whatever scum did this, not one man on this force will rest one minute until he's behind bars... now let's grab a bite to eat...

That's just too funny. There is a scene that's a close runner-up but it involves the directors' commentary so it doesn't really count. At the beginning of the movie, O.J.'s character is sneaking around at night in a black knit cap, black sweater, black pants, and black shoes. If you know anything of his murder trial, this was perhaps art imitating life. Anyways, during this scene with O.J. skulking around, one of the directors says, "Wait, are we watching the movie still or is this from real life?"

The rest of the panel bursts out into hearty laughter. It wasn't a very PC comment, but funny as hell.

Die Hard

This was the movie that truly sent Bruce Willis from just a TV star to a movie star. I could have picked from a litter of great action scenes, but I chose one that had no action.

In this scene, McClane has procured a walkie-talkie and is trying to explain to cops what kind of terrorists are in the building...

These guys are mostly European judging by their clothing labels and... cigarettes...

The pause before cigarettes is long and he does it because he thinks he hears something. What's great is that we never hear what he thinks he hears nor does the shot break away to what possibly might have caused the sound. They just continue to hold on Willis for several long seconds with no dialogue. In a normal paint-by-numbers type action flick, if our hero hears something, usually that something is really part of the story. The director then feels the need to show the audience what caused the sound or how that sound just might be something innocent or a bad guy waiting.

I just found it neat that there was nothing there at all and that the director thought it ok to stop the film for several seconds for essentially nothing.

The Goonies

This movie holds a special place in my heart. When I saw this movie for the first time, I was so envious of those kids because they were going on the adventure I so badly wanted to go on. They got to run around without their parents, outwit bad guys, explore underground caverns, and find pirate treasure. The kids were so funny too. I loved Chunk.

After several years of serious petitioning by grown-up kids like myself, Warner Bros. released the movie on DVD. It's an excellent disc with this cool feature when you can see the kids all grown-up watching the movie with you and making comments.

Anyways, one great scene occurs when the Goonies have busted into this restaurant which was really the hideout for the bad guys. Mikey fakes wanting to go to the bathroom and Chunk proceeds to advise him with...

Mikey this ain't the kind of place you want to go to the bathroom in... because they might have daddy longlegs in them...

I always thought this was funny because I personally hate going to the bathroom in digusting bathroom. Well, who does really? However, I really hate it when they're insects around. When I heard Chunk say that line, I was like, "Wow! You mean I'm not the only one who doesn't like peeing when there's this huge daddy longlegs in the corner near the toilet!"

Austin Powers : International Man of Mystery

The movie that started the whole Austin Powers craze is chock full of funny gags, and in my opinion is the best of all three films.

One of my favourite jokes actually spans several scenes. Near the end, Austin and Vanessa split up to thwart Dr. Evil. Austin has this oversized golf cart and he needs to drive it back down a corridor. It's facing the wrong way and instead of reversing it all the way down, he chooses to turn it around. The problem is that the corridor is really narrow, so he has to go forward, turn the wheel, reverse it, turn the wheel... and so on. This in itself is pretty funny but about two scenes later, we come back to Austin, and he's impossibly managed to get the cart wedged in perpendicular to the length of the corridor. Hi-larious!

Fight Club

Two of David Fincher's movies make this list. Fight Club is also a great movie. Nearly everyone knows about the line about the rules of fight club... blah, blah, blah... but one of my favourite scenes occurs when Jack first "meets" Tyler on the airplane. They talk but then Tyler has to leave to go to the bathroom. As he gets up, he says...

Now a question of etiquette... as I pass, do I give you the ass or the crotch?

I thought this was a clever line. I had never heard of it before. I'm not sure if novelist Chuck Palahniuk came up with it or if it's just something people say. What I do know is that my sister also loved the line and has used it on several flights herself.


posted by Erwin | 3:47 AM

Wednesday, May 21, 2003  


So yes, there was room in the car for me and I was able to see Reloaded again. This time I went with a completely different set of people. It wasn't crowded at all and this time, I actually got to sit with my friends rather than alone.

I sat between Adrian and Pat. Those dudes are laugh-a-second types. I called them A-Dog and P-Dog. A-Dog was gettin' it done. I'm not even sure what that means.

Anyways, Reloaded in my mind gets better upon a second viewing. I'm not sure if it's that the flaws are less noticeable or if the good parts are just that more appealing. Perhaps both. The fight scenes still kick-ass on a second look. In a way, since I was able to anticipate when they were coming, those scenes were better.

After it was over, everyone was in agreement that it was a good movie. One particular young lady especially liked how we got to see Keanu's butt. We even stayed until the end of the credits to see the short trailer for Revolutions.

Adrian went around the theatre after to collect Reloaded popcorn buckets. He gave one to me. I feel lucky.

Well, it's time for me to re-hydrate myself and go to bed!


posted by Erwin | 2:38 AM

Tuesday, May 20, 2003  


I'm not sure if it's just the weather or that I'm coming off the weekend, but I'm kinda feeling blue right now. It also maybe because I still don't have a job and I'm getting down to the last bits of my savings.

Well, despite being poor, I bought a $13 Logitech optical mouse today. It was a great deal and I'm tired of having the ball stick in my old mouse. My new optical mouse works fantastic. The resolution is much better than my old one. It's smooth as silk. I tried playing some games with it and it feels just like my old mouse, if not better.

In weird news, I lost my favourite coat. It's a three-quarter length black coat from Banana Republic. I loved that thing. How do you just lose a coat? On Friday, I was getting dressed to go out when I thought, "Hey, where's that coat?" A search ensued where I looked everywhere in my room. I came up with nothing.

I can't even remember the last time I wore it or where I was with it. It simply disappeared. Nic asked if I might have gotten really drunk and just left it somewhere. I don't think I've been that drunk in a long time and leaving articles of clothing behind isn't my thing.

I've been to the lost and found of two pubs on campus, plus the SUB and it wasn't there. It really peeves me that I've misplaced my coat because I got it on sale and it was a total bargain. Oh coat, where could you be?

Well, hopefully tonight will lead to more happy times. I'm watching 24, and if there's room in a car, I might see Reloaded again tonight.


posted by Erwin | 8:04 PM


I did nothing but eat really unhealthy foods during the long weekend.

It started on Thursday night, when Dana was kind enough to take myself, Rhonda, and Jacqueline out to Dairy Queen. I had a strawberry sundae. It was delicious. Rhonda couldn't finish her cool treat, so I graciously finished hers off. We went to one of those DQs that also served hot food. I was telling everyone I was intrigued by their hot eats. Dana thought I was crazy for wanting to try one of their burgers. They look good though. Someday...

On Friday night, Bruno suggested we all go out to this Quebecois cafe off of Broadway. It was a quaint little joint. It was tiny, perhaps at 30 people max at standing capacity. Anyways, it was authentic Quebecois culture. Beer from Quebec, some of them 10.5% alcohol at 750mL per bottle. Potent stuff. The food is even typical from la belle province. There were over 6 different types of poutine. I chose l'italienne, which was basically spaghetti meat sauce mixed in with about half a pound of french fries. If you can imagine fries, tomato meat sauce, and cheese curds on a huge plate, that was my dinner on Friday. I managed to barely finish it. The thing left me winded. There were other types of poutine I'd like to try next, perhaps shared with another person.

On Saturday, I went home to my parents' place, but before that I went out to dim sum with my father and my sister. Dim sum tends to be a little on the decadent side, so it certainly wasn't a "heart-smart" meal. When I got back to my parents place, I took my sister to the mall to get some stuff. When we were finished, I decided to get some KFC for home. Back at the homestead, I had my first three pieces of fried chicken in about 4 months. It was sweet eatin'. Thankfully, I had sushi for dinner which was probably the healthiest thing I had for four days.

On Sunday, I kinda skipped lunch save for a small plate of nachos. I didn't have any sour cream or anything, but it was generously sprinkled with cheddar cheese. For dinner, my family took my mother out for dinner. It was an awesome Chinese dinner, very appetizing. The meal was quite healthy in comparison to my other culinary choices of the days past, so that was good.

On Monday (today) I went out to White Rock with Nic and Rhonda. I've never driven to White Rock from UBC. It was a shorter drive than I had imagined. We walked along the beach, the shops, and the restaurants. Nic and I were determined to have some fish and chips. We settled on this family-run restaurant just off the beach. I had halibut and chips, whereas Nic had cod and chips. Our waitress explained that cod is the traditional choice for fish and chips, and it's heavier and greasier than halibut. We all exchanged samples of the fish and agreed it was as the waitress had described.

I hadn't been to White Rock in years and I have to say it's a pleasant little place to visit. The air was fresh and the weather was somewhat co-operative near the end. It was a nice little road trip to cap off the end to the weekend.

While it was certainly a pleasant weekend, I must admit I ate good but unhealthy food for most of it. I wonder how many pounds I put on just in three days? Oh well, softball is starting soon anyways!


posted by Erwin | 1:38 AM
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