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What the . . . ’80s Movie Musical Montage?

September 21, 2012

*What the…Friday? is a weekly Friday feature in which I resuscitate a video relic from the swampy pits of Pop Culture Wasteland.*

Today:  What the ’80s Movie Musical Montage?

It goes without saying that I love ’80s movies.  But I’ll say it anyway.

I love the ’80s hair.  I love the ’80s clothes.  I love the ’80s plotlines.  I love the ’80s dialogue.  Actually, I hate all those things.  But I love to hate them.

Often times there’s a big challenge to be faced.  Often times that challenge seems insurmountable.  Often times I will repeat phrases in my blog posts.

What a pickle.  What a crisis.  There’s no way this will end well.  I can’t even watch.  It’s just too much.  Sweet Baby Jesus, please help them.

But then — thank goodness — that’s when the Kickin’ Ass Music starts up.

And you know right then that it’ll all be fine.

Yes, with a choice score of Kickin’ Ass Music, I can be reassured that our ’80s friends will make it through.  I know they will overcome obstacles.  I know they will make us proud.

The Breakfast Club will dance their way past the social divide.

Rocky will be “getting stronger”.

The Barnacle will sail again.

And Daniel-san will apply his 98-pounds of Karate Kid muscle to waxing some bully ass.

Because he’s the best.  Around.

The musical montage even said so.

77 Comments leave one →
  1. mark permalink
    September 21, 2012 10:52 am

    Ummm…something needs to be said about the referee’s hair! It needs its own song to overcome it’s challenges.

    Great post! Sweep the leg, Johnny!

    • September 24, 2012 8:37 pm

      I’m going to assume you’re referring to the tall woman with the feathered mullet-shag? She seems to have a role in all of this. It seems to have something to do with flags.

      Thank goodness Johnny swept the leg, or we’d never get to see Daniel-san’s final move. That one brings the house down every time.

  2. September 21, 2012 10:53 am

    Gotta love the ref’s glaring orange t-shirt.

    • September 24, 2012 8:39 pm

      Yeah, what is up with the bright orange shirts? Ah, it was the ’80s, what can they say.

  3. September 21, 2012 10:53 am

    No Angie. You’re the best. Around. Nothing’s gonna keep you down. Or is that ‘nothing’ is not going to keep you down? Whatever it is… you’re the best. Around.

    • September 24, 2012 8:40 pm

      I can’t even tell you the words to the song right now, Lenore. My therapist says no. I’m in a five-step program that will help me purge that song from my brain, where it has chronically resided for the past five days.

  4. September 21, 2012 11:09 am

    This brings me back to my preteen self when I desperately wanted to make out with Ralph Macchio. “History repeats itself. Try and you’ll succeed.” I’m going to use these lyrics now and try to make out with Ralph Macchio.

    • September 24, 2012 8:46 pm

      Yes, I too was helplessly in love with him — despite that his arms were the width of a Twizzler whip and despite that his name was Ralph and despite that he played a 16 year old when he was actually 42. It must’ve been something in his voice, that voice that reminds me so much of 1964 claymation Rudolph.

  5. September 21, 2012 11:58 am

    I’m not sure I remember the 1980s. Were they before or after the Beatles?

    • September 24, 2012 8:48 pm

      I have no idea. Wait, were the Beatles those four guys with the longish hair that played poppy rock music? Nah, that was The Monkees. My mistake.

  6. Emily Liston permalink
    September 21, 2012 12:02 pm

    I love, love, love Karate Kid! I used to have the record. Nice, huh? I have to admit, though, their jittery dancing around has got me feeling a little uneasy. Were those karate dojo guys handing out bath salts back then? Maybe they are all on a natural high. That’s probably it.

    • September 24, 2012 8:53 pm

      Ha! Those bath salts were what they called Mr. Miyagi healing power (wink, wink).

      I still love this movie too. There are so many dated elements about it that are truly laughable, but the meat of the story still feels the same. Really, any type of stories about bullies getting their asses handed to them are such lovely, timeless tales.

  7. prttynpnk permalink
    September 21, 2012 12:24 pm

    I just know that my life will really get started when the perfect music kicks in. I know im just waiting for my montage….

    • September 24, 2012 9:05 pm

      Don’t fret! You can do what I do and create a make-your-own musical montage. Start with a large project, say, home renovation. Grab a sledgehammer — the more things you tear up the better. Then throw in Bachman Turner Overdrive’s Taking Care of Business. Crank it up. From there, anything is possible. And by “anything” I mean, “good luck with that”.

  8. September 21, 2012 1:25 pm

    Fantastic! 80’s soundtracks were the best, but then again it was the best decade for pure cheese and awesomeness, this will be sung at randopm people in the street tomorrow.

    • September 24, 2012 9:08 pm

      Cheesy-awesome. That’s the ’80s in a nutshell.

      Help! I’ve been incessantly singing this song since last Friday. Please let me know if you’ve found a way to make it stop.

      • September 25, 2012 2:29 am

        There is one easy way, because it’s impossible to stop singing along to 80’s soundtracks, I learnt a lot of different songs from films and I put myself on random when I go out so as not to bore my friends with the same tunes.

  9. September 21, 2012 2:27 pm

    Is it just me or does Baby Jesus really have his hands full lately?

    • September 24, 2012 9:11 pm

      Why, of course Baby Jesus can help our ’80s friends, Jules. That’s the power of the musical montage, my friend. It is a higher power and our earthly abilities limit us from understanding it.

  10. September 21, 2012 3:11 pm

    Oh, how the Breakfast Club danced their way right into my heart and then camped out there and wouldn’t leave.

    • September 24, 2012 9:15 pm

      I think there’s still a little Breakfast Club in all of us. Or at least, there should be. Because if these five kids can work it out, why can’t we? Come on! A geek and a homecoming queen just smoked a joint together — surely our Congress can solve this economy crisis.

      • September 25, 2012 2:46 pm

        They need some good 80s dancing and then have the nerd do the actual work.

      • October 6, 2012 11:42 am

        This is perfect!

  11. September 21, 2012 5:18 pm

    You are so, so right. The 80’s montages were the best. Valley Girl, Top Gun, Vision Quest, all with male hotties before they became bigger male hotties (Modine over Cruise or Cage, for me anyway). And of course, the Breakfast Club which was possible the all time best for music. “Don’t you…forget about me…” One of the best songs EVER, if not the best for the decade.

    Gonna go stream some Karate Kid on Netflix with some popcorn and root beer for family movie night, now, thank you very much. :)

    • September 24, 2012 9:21 pm

      Ooh, those are some good examples of the ’80s musical montage. Well done, Shannon! I can’t believe you remember Vision Quest — I thought I was the only one who remembered that movie. I still can recall the movie scenes from the video to the Madonna song Crazy for You off its soundtrack.

      Have your kids seen Karate Kid before? It should be required viewing in junior high when we all face our own Cobra Kai.

      • September 25, 2012 11:50 am

        Just saw KK for the first time this weekend. The kids loved it!! They live in such a bully-free world these days (our school is really serious about it) that they had trouble imagining a group of motorcycle punks pushing a kid down a hill on a bike. Yeah, they had theirs coming, for sure!!

        John said that Miyagi reminded him a little of Yoda – quiet and reserved, but you don’t want him on your bad side.

        “Why do you want to catch a fly with chopsticks?” Miyagi: “Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything.”

        “I don’t believe it!” exclaimed Luke watching Yoda lift his aircraft with the Force. Yoda: “And THAT is why you fail.”

        Of course, the awesome 80’s music montage always points out the true badass (a/k/a/ underdog) in the movie.

      • October 6, 2012 11:41 am

        Oh, I love that you all got to watch that! Such a great show. I definitely see the Miyagi-Yoda comparison.

  12. September 21, 2012 7:43 pm

    Wax on. Wax off.

    • September 24, 2012 9:22 pm

      That one was so much more poetic than “sand the floor”.

  13. September 21, 2012 7:46 pm

    I still have my Karate Kid soundtrack record, AND the record player to play it on. Girls dig that, right?

    Um, I think I need a stick of Big Red…

    • September 24, 2012 9:24 pm

      I didn’t have that soundtrack but I surely wanted to own it. I probably would’ve bought it just for Bananarama’s Cruel Summer. You’re the Best? Not so much.

      • September 24, 2012 9:51 pm

        Angie, I hate to be the one to shatter your ’80s dreams, and I apologize for doing so, but you need to know that Bananarama’s ‘Cruel Summer’ was not included on the soundtrack for ‘The Karate Kid’.

        Wait, maybe you were thinking about buying the LP sight unseen, and I just saved you a couple bucks!

      • September 24, 2012 9:54 pm

        You’ve got to be kidding? The rights to the song must’ve been too expensive. That was such a great scene in the movie — where he’s playing soccer and gets thrown out for fighting. Of course it’s a Cruel Summer. How could it be anything else?

        I bet they even replaced it on the TV movie version. I hate when they do that.

      • September 24, 2012 10:35 pm

        I’m totally with you on that one, Angie. It’s taken me years to find favorite songs from movies that weren’t on the freaking soundtracks. I’m just glad the KK album had Baxter Robertson’s ‘Feel The Night’, that was played during the miniature golf date montage…he was one of my favorite unknown rock-pop recording artists from the early ’80s.

      • September 24, 2012 10:47 pm

        You should absolutely check out the series Freaks and Geeks if you haven’t — set in a high school in 1980 in Michigan. Brilliant writing. But the music is almost the best part. And Judd Apatow, the creator, was so committed to seeing that its stellar ’70s/’80s soundtrack would also be on the DVD set that it took nearly a decade before they got all the licensing issues taken care of and the DVD finally released.

        Now I have to go YouTube Feel the Night.

      • September 24, 2012 10:59 pm

        I loved ‘Freaks and Geeks’! I’m hoping to pick up the DVD set someday. I didn’t know that it had those music licensing problems, though. Remember the guy who played the Dad? That was Joe Flaherty, who was in my favorite TV show of all time, ‘SCTV’, which also had its share of music licensing problems when the series went to disc.

        Baxter Robertson had a pretty cool pair of albums out in 1983 and 1984, then one more in 1988; ‘Feel The Night’ was recorded for the movie, and is a little pop-ish, but I like how it plays out in that scene. A neat little scene, too.

      • September 24, 2012 11:11 pm

        SCTV was my favorite TV show in junior high. My two best friends and I would completely geek out to it. My friend and I actually decided that she would marry Eugene Levy and I would marry Martin Short and we could maintain our original plan of someday opening a store called S&L Pet Supplies. We were raging spazzes and it will come as no surprise that I had no use for Big Red gum.

        Baxter Robertson — with a name like that, how could he not have been a singer? Or a basketball player? Or a serial killer? I like his voice. Unique yet reminds me of some other singer of that time who also barely hit the charts.

      • September 24, 2012 11:26 pm

        S&L Pet Supplies! That’s so nerdishly cool! My brother and I loved SCTV, and still do…one of the few TV series that I own all the sets of. Just watched an episode this past weekend, actually. And don’t be jealous, but I once held the door open for Martin Short at a Hamburger Hamlet in LA; I was going out, he was coming in, I said, “Come in, Mr. Soren,” he grinned at me and shook his head as he passed me, and that was that.

        Baxter Robertson, that singing sports killer, also had a song in that other ’80s film classic, ‘Body Rock’, in case you want to check that one out, too.

      • September 24, 2012 10:50 pm

        Yeah, I don’t think that song ever plays on the TV version. I barely remember it being in that scene. Sad!

  14. September 21, 2012 8:42 pm

    I so love that movie. The best thing about 80s movies is watching them again with your kids. (And I totally had a crush on Ralph Macchio.)

    • September 24, 2012 9:29 pm

      I can’t wait to watch this and a few other ’80s flicks with my kids when they get older — Adventures in Babysitting is a must. And Goonies will be first on my play list.

      Ralph Macchio is on my Top Ten Imaginary Boyfriends list (at right). I think he came in just before John Cusack in chronology.

  15. September 21, 2012 8:50 pm

    Karate skills. Kick ass music. Hanging with Happy Days cast members. A supportive girlfriend with big hair. This is the stuff my dreams were made of.

    Man, that kid had it made.

    • September 24, 2012 9:39 pm

      I’m so glad you referenced Happy Days — I kept thinking that’s where I first saw him. And so I checked just now. Nope. Not on Happy Days. But Scott Baio of course was. Did I get Ralph Macchio and Scott Baio mixed up? Noooooooooo! Never! I could never do that to you, Ralph!

      • September 24, 2012 9:53 pm

        Jean-Francois, do you want to take this one, or shall I?

        Okay, I will: Pat Morita!

      • September 24, 2012 9:56 pm

        Ah-ha. Yes, I knew that. I mean, now I do. But I did. But I just forgot. Well, thanks for not humiliating me in front of my friends.

      • September 24, 2012 10:29 pm

        It was my pleasure. I mean, I’m sorry. Wait…you’re welcome?

    • September 24, 2012 9:57 pm

      Let the record show that Todd just corrected me in my mental lapse.

      • September 25, 2012 7:45 am

        So noted. I’m glad someone was there to pick up the slack while I slept.

  16. Chicken Lips permalink
    September 21, 2012 8:58 pm

    Oh sweet Baby Jesus I LOVE the musical montage! I like to think about what song would be best for a montage of my boring day to day activities. I also firmly believe that every situation would be made better if we all break out in song and dance a la “Cop Rock” (even though it was a terrible terrible show). But I digress.

    I really enjoy the 80s memories! Thanks for the laughs!

    • September 24, 2012 9:42 pm

      Holy crap — Cop Rock! You win the prize for pulling the most random thing out of thin air that I didn’t even realize I’d forgotten about until now. And now that I remember, I wish I could forget it.

      • Chicken Lips permalink
        September 25, 2012 11:02 pm

        I’ve lived with the pain of remembering Cop Rock all these years…it feels good to share it with someone.

  17. September 22, 2012 6:30 am

    I just stumbled on to your blog. Im glad I did. Thanks for this!

  18. September 22, 2012 8:46 am

    A while back we re-watched Karate Kid, and when that came on I had to pause the movie. “Oh my God… This is a REAL SONG??” I was positive that it was a parody of terrible 80’s montage music. Positive. Then I un-paused it because, come on – Karate Kid.

    • September 24, 2012 9:47 pm

      I know! It sounds fake, right? Like those really bad ballads that always accompanied the B-movies played on USA channel’s Up All Night. It almost sounds like it’s sung by a knockoff Michael McDonald they found loitering around a 7-11 alley. “He sounds like Michael McDonald but he’s covered in vomit — that’s okay, we can make this work!”

  19. September 22, 2012 12:10 pm

    When he hopped up and down, so bravely, on his scrawny, injured leg, and assumed the pose (good about to kick evil’s a**) and the theme music swelled….the movie magic doesn’t get finer than that.

    • September 24, 2012 9:49 pm

      Even knowing you, Peg, I’m going to take a gamble here and assume you’re not meaning this in a sarcastic way. Because I wholeheartedly agree with you. Music swells, hops on one leg…indeed, movie magic right there.

  20. September 22, 2012 7:29 pm

    Is there a montage in Back to the Future where Marty tries to make his dad cool? If not, that was a severe oversight. My personal favorite montage is in Footloose when Ren teaches that guy to walk and snap to “Let’s Hear it For the Boy”.

    • September 23, 2012 7:14 am

      That is another classic magical movie moment. I get all weepy thinking about Ren.

    • September 24, 2012 10:08 pm

      You’re right — Back to the Future didn’t have a musical montage! What a travesty. But you know what did have a musical montage? The Secret to My Success. Yep. Right when Michael J. Fox starts thinking back about leaving on the bus from Kansas. It was a magical musical montagical (just go with it) moment that I won’t soon forget.

      I can’t believe Chris Penn is no longer with us. That almost warrants a musical montage.

  21. September 22, 2012 11:04 pm

    I love this clip, and just not because of the obvious cinematic brilliance. A few months ago, I attended my first tae kwon do tournament, which was, frankly, super boring UNTIL…a 40-some-year-old black belt performed an open form to “Eye of the Tiger.” I’m not exagerating when I say he brought down the house! It was a beautiful (and by that I mean ridiculous) karate kid moment.

    • September 24, 2012 10:15 pm

      Eye of the Tiger might’ve been written for boxing, but I can absolutely see its place in tae kwon do. I’m glad you found this moment of musical montage joy to pull you out of the doldrums.

  22. September 23, 2012 7:14 am

    I had to show this post to Jim. Karate Kid is one of his all-time favorite movies. Every time he watches it, I cringe. The things we do for love.

    • September 24, 2012 10:02 pm

      What is wrong, DarDar? Are you ill? Because you must not have been feeling yourself when you wrote this comment. You “cringe”? From watching Karate Kid? This hurts me in ways you’ll never know.

  23. rachelocal permalink
    September 23, 2012 8:16 am

    I remember being very confused by the relationship between Danielsan and Elisabeth Shue. I mean, look at her. She’s way too much woman for him. Then she fell for Tom Cruise in Cocktail while Kokomo played in the background and all was right with the world.

    • September 24, 2012 10:00 pm

      “She’s way too much woman for him.” You are so right there, Rachel! He was much better suited for me back then. I was built just like a walking stick bug. We would’ve been very happy together.

  24. September 24, 2012 2:55 pm

    You call this a blog funk? I want one of yours. This is terrific, Angie!

    • September 24, 2012 9:51 pm

      Aw, thanks, Lisa. But I can assure you there is a funk — at the very least it’s what’s coming out of my refrigerator. Always a pleasure to see your smiling mug around here. Funk or not.

  25. September 24, 2012 4:01 pm

    It was a happy time. We still had hope everyone would be saved and guess what.. they usually came out ok in the end. I love the “80s, it fits my optimistic personality very well. Ah life was so simple once :-) Thanks for the memories.

    • September 24, 2012 9:58 pm

      Thanks, Ellyn. Yes, everything feels happier set to a musical montage. The ’80s knew that. We could all learn something.

  26. September 24, 2012 10:14 pm

    Regarding this blog episode–actually I meant to click Angie’s List to find a good foot doctor for my mother but my screen was at an odd angle and I got this instead. While I’m here, though, I might mention that I thought about Angie Link tonight while watching “Two Weeks Notice,” a light romantic comedy with a lot of very cleverly written lines. I thought to myself (I seldom think to other people), “Angie could have written this.”

    • September 24, 2012 10:27 pm

      Thanks, Mr. Davis. That’s so flattering. It warms my heart that you not only thought of my blog while watching a movie tonight but also while looking for a foot doctor. You can stop in any time — I can even make up stuff if you need to know things about feet.

  27. September 24, 2012 10:19 pm

    I hate it when one little typo destroys an otherwise perfect note–like “I seldom thing” instead of I seldom think.” I just hare it when that happens.

    • September 24, 2012 10:23 pm

      I have been known to correct readers’ comments. I charge a small rate. But for you, my former high school English teacher, of course I’ll do it for free. I might first circle it in red ink as a form of retribution.

  28. September 25, 2012 2:17 pm

    So imagine being Sly Stallone – pitching his Rocky musical montage. “I have an idea. It’s winning. It’s brilliant. What I’m going to do is punch lots of animal carcasses”. *Silence*

    • October 6, 2012 11:41 am

      Ooh, that part still makes me cringe. You can actually see blood on his white-taped hands. Icky.

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