Saturday, May 3, 2008

Top 5 Movie Rumbles

The first things I want to do is thank Matt, Whitney, Taylor, and Rob for leaving comments last week on my Warriors post. I also want to announce that the poll question resulted in a three-way tie. The coolest gang names are: The Warriors, The Rouges, and The Baseball Furies. Thanks to all those who voted. Make sure you check out this week's question: If you had to fight one actor from The Outsiders which one do you think you could beat up?

This week, Whitney and I decided that we would come up with some cool Top 10 lists for you guys. If you don't know by now, Whitney writes for Dear Jesus. I don't want to ruin any surprises but her Top 5 is awesome! Go check it out and leave her thousands of comments.

As for my list, the idea came to me while I was putting the finishing touches on my Warriors post. Thanks again to Whit, Matt, and Taylor for the comments on that one. The Warriors has tons of great fights, most of them involving groups fighting each other. Their fights against The Baseball Furies and even the Punks were great but they lacked a certain something. Planning. Whitney and I were talking about the differences between a spontaneous fight and a scheduled rumble. That's what I'm talking about this week:

The Top 5 Movie Rumbles

While a fight scenes are almost always cool (there are, of course, certain exceptions), there's just something so rad about a rumble. You might be asking yourself, "What constitutes a rumble? How is a rumble different than a group fight?" Good questions. For clarity reasons alone, I decided to write up a short list of rules:

a. Planning - This is probably the most important guideline when trying to determine if what you're experiencing is a genuine, for-real rumble. There should be a set time and location.
The park at midnight always seems to be a popular choice. Both sides meet up and no one starts fighting until one of the leaders says so. This is the coolest part of the brawl, the face-off. Each team sizes each other up. The fighters try to decide who they're going to hit first. This is the calm before the storm.

b. Participants - A rumble is a group effort. A team sport. Unless stated beforehand, bring as many guys as you know. Important note: bad fighters, weaklings, and wanna-be's make excellent decoys once the fists start flying.

c. Weapons - This is really up to the parties involved. Generally, there's a no-gun code amongst the participants but there's always a chance someone will bring a gun to a knife fight. Let's get serious now. Using a gun in a rumble might seem like a good idea, actually, it sounds like a really good idea...well, either way, it is not honorable. Honor is the most important aspect in every rumble, that's why so much planning goes into each one (see Rule A). But don't get too discouraged, just because guns aren't allowed doesn't mean you can't bring your bicycle chains, switchblades, steel-toed boots, sawed-off table legs with nails sticking out, or maybe your old VHS copy of Dante's Peak -- whatever you think'll hurt the most.

d. What Doesn't Count - For this list, there are certain scenes that didn't make the cut for various reasons. They may seem like they'd count but they're not bonafide rumbles. Some of these include:

1 vs. 100 Fight Scenes: One guy, usually a martial arts master fights a hundred cronies who, for some reason, can't figure out any attack strategy than attacking one-by-one until they all fall down. Movies that feature the 1 vs. 100 fight scene: The Matrix Revolutions, The Protector and Chan-wook Park's Old Boy.

The Epic Battle: I decided to keep huge army battles off the list. Sure, there's planning, teams, and violence, but they're no gritty street fight and that's what we're talking about today. Movies that feature the Epic Battle: Braveheart, Troy, and Lord of the Rings.

Okay, I think that covers it. Thanks for listening. On to the list!

Unfortunately, West Side Story did not make the top five.*

5. Big Trouble in Little China

The fun part about this rumble is the identification between the viewer and the film's main characters. In short, they don't know what's going on and neither do we. Jack Burton is stuck in his truck with his good friend Wang Chi when, out of nowhere, a gang of Chinese combatants makes their way down the alley. Burton freaks out and we feel for him. A rumble is going to take place with us in the middle.

The Big Trouble rumble (that's fun to say) meets all of the requirements. The participants: two large group of fighters both ready to put a serious beatdown to whoever enters their punch-kick-stab range. Planning: First off, the rumble starts at 1:23 into the clip. The gunfight at the beginning of the clip doesn't count. The rumble starts when both sides silently stare at one another. One guy yells and it's ON! Both sides rush the opposing line and it's "broken-bone-bloody-face time." The weapons: boards, swords, and karate kicks. Nice.

Wang Chi calls the rumble a "Chinese stand-off." This shouldn't be confused with a Mexican stand-off (See: Reservoir Dogs). Sadly, the rumble ends early when three bullet-proof lightning warriors show up and end the party early. While the fight lasted, it was filmed nicely. A good rumble scene depicts an absolute chaos. Flurries of bodies, weapons, and violence are intercut with clear shots of solitary acts of bodily harm: the snapping leg, the knife entering stomach, and even possibly, the coveted decapitation.

4. Anchorman

"I killed a man with a trident." That's all I'm going to say about this one.

3. Gangs of New York

It shouldn't be any surprise that Martin Scorsese's rumble would be the most gruesome. Daniel "Mr. Best Actor" Day-Lewis plays Bill the Butcher one of the most jaw-droppingly sadistic baddies in history. Of the entire list, this is the rumble with the most at stake. This one's for all the marbles. People die in this rumble...and not from a trident. They die from knives, hammers, clubs, and more.

Watch closely for one of the coolest headbutt shots in film history. There's even a Tyson-esque ear-bitting! A cool part about this one is that amidst the chaos a more focused conflict is coming to completion. Daniel Day-Lewis, the leader of the bad guys, squares off against Liam Neeson, the leader of the good guys. Even after multiple stabbings, you're not sure this one's over. It's this murder that sets the rest of the narrative in motion. Neeson's son witnesses the murder and vow to avenge his father's death.

2. The Outsiders

The original rumble. The one that started it all...well, at least for me. Ponyboy Curtis and the rest of the greasers against the rich-and-preppy Socs. I don't know where to start with The Outsiders rumble. It's got everything.

First off, the cast is incredible. You've got Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell, and more. The setting is just as good. It's in the middle of the night, in an empty park, in the rain! What else can you ask for?

There's no weapons except fists and boots (and one parked car). Maybe someone could answer this for me? Who set that fire and why? It's only shown in that one shot and has no real reason to be there except to look cool. Hmmm...

Interesting fact: the first punch that C. Thomas Howell receives actually connected. He got swung on and bloodied in the first shot. Also, Tom Cruise took out one of his tooth caps to make it look like he really got beat up. Not quite method acting, but still cool.

The Outsiders is rad for its entirety. The rumble isn't the only awesome scene, by far. The Markett's "Out of Limits" plays as Ralph Macchio gets attacked by some Soc guys, which in turn sets up the rumble. Diane Lane plays the romantic lead, Cherry Valance. Referencing Robert Frost, Macchio's last lines "Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold." will live on in our hearts forever. This movie has everything you need.

1. Unknown Japanese Schoolgirl Rumble

To be honest, in my search for the top movie rumbles I came across this clip from some unknown Japanese movie. I had to share it with you. Not a lot of intro here, just let me tell you that it's crazy.

There they are, the TOP 5 MOVIE RUMBLES of ALL-TIME! If you agree, disagree, love me, hate me, or fall somewhere in the middle, let me know in the comments.

In keeping with tradition, here's some MP3's from the movies featured on the list.

Ron Burgundy & Friends - Afternoon Delight (MP3)
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This song is crazy funny. If you haven't seen Anchorman yet, I don't even want to know why. This is really Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, David Koechner, and Paul Rudd covering "Afternoon Delight." This MP3 is ripped from the music video so it's got some ad-libbing in there that's really great.

The Marketts - Out of Limits (MP3)
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This is one of my favorite songs of all time. When I was a kid, I bought an incredible CD called
It had "Little Old Lady from Pasadena," "Last Kiss," "Leader of the Pack," and "She's Not There," along with this song, "Out of Limits" by The Marketts. Surf rock at its best. Believe me, you're going to want to hear this song, it's fantastic. It's featured during a Ralph Macchio fight scene (not a rumble) in The Outsiders.

John Carpenter and Alan Howarth - The Alley (MP3)
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Here's the score during the rumble scene from Big Trouble in Little China.

Howard Shore - Brooklyn Heights 1 (MP3)
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This isn't the score from the rumble, but it really sets the mood for the film. Gangs of New York features such an excellent score.

(Dream Rumble for Nerds)

That's all for me this week. Enjoy, leave some comments, vote in the poll question, and check out some of the cool sites on my Blogroll.

*West Side Story also did not make it into the top 10, 20, or 30 movie brawls.


whitney said...

It seems like one the requirements should be opposing outfits: Public News's Turtle Necks vs. Spanish News's Big, Open Collars vs. Ron Burgandy's Classic Suits.

I love when Vince Vaughn says "female."

I'm going to write a best Dances Offs blog and show you that West Side Story is the best movie ever.**

**I don't actually believe this.

Matt said...

For me, outsiders' wins. Japanese one's in close second, but everyone know different schools have different uniforms specifically for rumble purposes. And if you can count Anchorman's rumble even though it doesn't follow rule a, you can count SLC Punk. New York's is border-line skirmish. Plus, the outsiders fight to rock music.

Whenever I'm at a rumble, we can never figure out when the leader's speech is over. This has resulted in minor embarrassment for the gang due to premature cheers.

RC said...

oh, it is pretty sad that the west side story one didn't make the cut.

similarly bad, but far less popular is the fight scene in the movie meteorman where townsend and the blond headed golden lord have the power to instantly soak up skills from the books that spill out of the library car.

one minute they're fighting like kung fu master the next moment they're fighting Vogue Fashion Model style.

brian said...

i think west side story may be the best movie ever. at least it may have, in my opinion, the best gang fight ever. man, i'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

We must not let the five-minute fisticuffs of 'They Live' go without mention!

Anonymous said...

(I know it's technically not a 'rumble,' but they threw more fists that an army of VanDammes.)

Jonny said...

That Japanese schoolgirl rumble was epic!

My favorite part was when they panned to the traffic on the freeway. Can you imagine driving along and seeing that outside your window?

Taylor said...

Again, another great analysis. I did love clip three the best, except for that Liam Neeson dies before the movie even begins! Hmmm, Liam Neeson, Sean Bean,.... whose will be next of my favorite British actors to almost always be knocked off in films? Oh well, some I'm sure enjoy it.

Anywho, I agree with Matt on The Outsiders being number one based on your rules. But I did get a godd chuckle out of watching those Japanese girls go toe to toe. Speaking of knife fights, who would ever want to be in one? You can't really block the blade (like with a sword or a bat) with another weapon. All you can do is dodge it. Once you get stuck, well, enjoy your belly wound and a horribly painful death.

Just a side note, one of my favorite brawls (doesn't match your rules) is found on Youtube under Flash Gordon Football Fight. I thought you might get a good laugh out of this---I always do.

Mercy said...

Parabens pelo post!

Realmente "The Warriors" é um dos melhores filmes de gangs, insuperavel e unanime!!!

come on

Mercy The Warriors