The 50 Greatest Music Movie Moments: 24 - 20

24.) The Hobbit - Misty Mountains
Lyrics by J.R.R. Tolkien
Performed by Richard Armitage and the 12 other dwarfs.

The scene: On the eve of a great adventure, a small army of dwarven adventurers take refuge in the home of a reluctant hobbit. As the night progresses, things grow quiet. A tentative Thorin (Richard Armitage) leads his companions in the Middle-Earth equivalent of a folk song.

The song: The internet needs to decide on the proper name of this song. So far, I've seen "Misty Mountains," "Over the Misty Mountains," "Far Over the Misty Mountains," and "Over the Misty Mountains Cold." Would it kill somebody to check the official film soundtrack? In seriousness, the song is a haunting dirge that instantly invokes imagery of great adventure and peril. Its simplicity is a great counterpoint to Howard Shore's epic, sweeping score, and the layered harmonies send chills right to your spine.

23.) Rushmore - Making Time
Performed by The Creation

The scene: Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is Rushmore Academy's most decorated and most active student. How active is he? Allow this montage of his extracurricular activities plainly demonstrate.

The song: Every montage needs a perfect song. Not only does it need to match the visuals in terms of theme, style, and emotion, it has to match the pacing. This particular montage is more like a series of photographs brought to life, and each punctuated measure of "Making Time" highlights each individual scene in their various glories.

22.) Kick-Ass - Bad Reputation
Performed by Joan Jett

The scene: In the climactic showdown between Hit Girl (Chloe Grace-Moretz) and the big bad's army of hired goons, our resourceful heroine finds herself in a bad place. Outgunned, outnumbered, and cornered, Hit Girl has only one advantage: outclassing every single thug as she runs through a gauntlet of rapid-fire fury.

The song: "Bad Reputation" is the go-to song for any movie scene featuring a female character kicking ass and taking names. However, I have never seen it put to better use than here. The stylization, the editing, and the cinematography are all top tier. I used to associate "Bad Reputation" as the theme to Freaks and Geeks, but now it is, and always will be, Hit Girl's leitmotif.

21.) Dazed & Confused - No More Mister Nice Guy
Performed by Alice Cooper

The scene: It's a right of passage for the Lee High School student body: the Seniors hunt down and paddle the Freshman. It's barbaric, insane, and a little sadistic, but everyone suffers the same. Although, some enjoy and some fear the tradition more than others; such is the case of the cruel Roy O'Bannion (Ben Affleck) and the perturbed Mitch Kramer (Wiley Wiggins).

The song: Dazed & Confused was a massive sleeper hit, widely passed over during its initial release, but now considered to be one of the best films of the 1990s. The soundtrack is near perfection, collecting some of the finest hard rock hits of the 1970s, any one of the musical moments could be argued as the best. For me, the finest is the Alice Cooper classic, which marks the turning point of Mitch's character arc. No longer a meek middle schooler afraid of the looming world, he is now a full-fledged high school student, and he wants to live.

20.) Pretty in Pink - Try a Little Tenderness
Performed by Otis Redding

The scene: In what has to be his 953rd attempt to transcend out of the friend-zone, Ducky (Jon Cryer) meets Andie (Molly Ringwald) at her place of work where he dances and lip-syncs to a motown classic. The best part? It is completely unprovoked by anything.

The song: The joke works on two levels. First, Duckie is among the whitest of white boys. So much so, Anthony Michael Hall's character from Sixteen Candles would call this guy a geek. As such, having him mimic the deep soul stylings of Otis Redding is pretty goofy. Second, Duckie is completely incapable of foregoing his intentions of wooing Andie, even if his attempts cross the boundary away from flirtatious, away from well-meaning, away from sincere, landing plumb in the area of batshit crazy.

If anybody feels sorry for Duckie never getting the girl, get over yourselves. He deserves the friend-zone. Besides, how is it not obvious that he is completely gay?

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