Putting Baby in a Corner

Note #1:

For the past two weeks over on INTERNATIONAL DAY, I have been listing what I am thankful for, and inviting you to do the same. I am up to 21 rounds so far. Feel free to check it out, and please: let us know what you are thankful for. (Post will stay up until Sunday evening.)

Over on my Journal (Institutionalized) I gave an account of my family’s Thanksgiving, as well as other matters involving Beowulf, Fantasy Football playoffs, and Monica Bellucci. Check out the journal for details.

Note #2:

The day after Thanksgiving, I saw BEOWULF. I still have not had time to review it properly for you, but in case you’re heading out to the movie theatre this weekend let me say that: 1) I recommend it highly; 2) at all costs watch the film in 3-D (every multiplex should have that available); 3) at all costs keep kids away, as this film should be R; 4) If you were bothered by the violence in 300, you might want to stay away. BEOWULF is less violent, but with the 3-D it might disturb some people.

I rewatched INSIDE MAN and PAN’S LABYRINTH over the last few days. Both films hold up well. Check out my reviews for more details (PAN is a two-parter). They would make great rentals. I also watched TALK TO ME, which I haven’t reviewed, but if strong language doesn’t bother you is a great choice. I plan to tackle FIDDLER ON THE ROOF this weekend for an upcoming Movie Musical Ranking list.

Note #3:

Speaking of rankings, I realized that I have really dropped the ball on producing quality rankings. I used to churn them out like a Mormon wife on the Accelerated program, but lately…..

But I mean to change that, and you can help. This month I plan on producing many fine rankings, and I WANT YOUR INPUT! I’m not only looking at holiday themes, but any good solid idea. If you would like to do a guest ranking that would be sweet, but just send me ideas on the topics I’m already sure I’m doing. I’m looking for:

Best Actors under 40
Best Actresses under 40
Best Movies of the 2000s
Best Movie Musicals
TV Crossover episode you’d most like to see

If you have input on these or other ideas, send an email to hyperioninstitute@gmail.com Be sure to indicate whether you want “credit” for your idea, how to spell your name, and racy photos of yourself if appropriate. (I.E., if you’re hot.)


Can I get some Back-Up here?

Last night—for reasons I’m still not sure off—Kaida asked me what was the best dance sequence in a movie. We quickly qualified that to be non-musical, because it’s hard to compare a movie that happens to have a dance sequence with one where that’s all they do.

As befitting a great question like that, I was taking my time, going over the various candidates in my head, when Kaida suddenly blurts out, “Hands down, it’s the final scene in DIRTY DANCING.”

I digested that for a moment, before coming back with, “I don’t think that can be the best dance scene of all time, WHEN IT’S NOT EVEN THE BEST DANCE SCENE IN THE MOVIE!”

I want to make this clear; I am not denigrating the final scene. It is iconic, memorable, has good music, that great line (“Nobody puts Baby in a Corner!”), and gives us a happy ending, making all the chicks happy. No one is more thrilled than I that they managed to give us a good ending.

That said, there is a superior scene: where Baby is invited by Johnny’s cousin to the staff quarters, and sees all the kids doing the dirty dancing. (If the movie had any guts, they’d have been black kids, but oh well: another universe, perhaps.)

Three reasons this scene is superior:

1) It’s unexpected. We don’t know it’s coming, and we make a journey of discovery along with Baby, sort of feeling what she feels.

2) The dancing is better, featuring more people and more real. In the final scene, we have just Baby and Johnny doing a dance we’ve already seen them practice in a montage, and then everyone at the end, which is sweet but somewhat hokey. In the first scene, young good-looking teenagers (well, twenty-somethings playing teenagers, but you get the idea), are crawling all over each other. This brings us to the third and most important point.

3) Whereas the final scene is about as a sexy as a Lawrence Welk marathon, the first scene is hot Hot HOT! Think about it. In the final scene, we have to endure that ridiculous South Pacific homage, or whatever that is (only slightly sexified by the hula dancing of Baby’s sister). Then Baby and Johnny get to dance, which is great, except it is 12000 times hotter in the earlier montage, when Baby is not wearing very many clothes. That montage was smoking. Finally, you have all the old people involved, which just kills any lingering sexy.

On the other hand, that scene where Baby discovers the people dancing? NOTHING BUT SEXY.

Why do I make a big deal about this? Simple. Women may go on and on about how romantic dancing is, and I’m sure they are right, but dancing itself is a mating ritual. Advanced foreplay, without ever having to touch naughty bits or see them either. In other words, dancing does not exist without the sexual element, and as the final Dirty Dancing scene contains very little sexiness, I do not see how it can be the best dancing scene in the movie, let alone of all time.

Apparently, others disagree.

I called Bear up to ask him, and he asked his woman Boo Boo. She immediately took Kaida’s side, and is no longer talking to me.

Therefore, I ask you, the gentle reader. I have my top ten list all done, but before I post it, you have a chance to weigh in here. Is the final scene from DIRTY DANCING a better dance sequence than earlier in the film? And does either scene deserve to make it into a Top 10 list of Dance scenes from all time?

Let your voice ring out.

Hyperion
November 30, 2007

Note #4:

There WILL be posts both Saturday and Sunday, and Monkey Barn will be cranked up all weekend long. Make sure you check it out.

1 comment:

Bear said...

Partly just to play Devil's advocate here:

1) I'm not an expert on dancing, and I'm willing to be neither are you, Hype. While I would agree that there is a large portion of sexiness in dancing, I wouldn't necessarily think that's ALL there is to it. I think dancers see it more as a form of expression, where the sexiness is just one of those forms.

2) The last scene is more DANGEROUS than the earlier scene. I think we can agree that danger heightens the senses and makes you more alert, which amplifies the sexiness. As a result, I would say the sexiness in the last scene is less explicit but much more refined and complex.