5. The ear-cutting scene in Reservoir Dogs (song: "Stuck in the Middle With You" - Stealers Wheel)
I think Michael Madsen (Mr. Blonde) plays an asshole better than he plays anything. I love how he dances and sings along to this song, a happy little clam, while he's torturing this poor guy whom he knows is innocent. It's definitely not a song that you would expect to hear while being tortured, and that's why it's so great - the juxtaposition of the horrible ordeal and the "Dylanesque, pop, bubble-gum favourite from April 1974" is a masterpiece.
4. The printer scene in Office Space (song: "Still" - Geto Boys)
(The original Office Space clip has been removed from YouTube due to infringement. This is from the Family Guy episode, "I Dream of Jesus")
Possibly the best thing about this scene is that each of these dudes are so... white. They're so white. And they're putting a beat down on a printer. Yes, I know that technically Samir is not white, but you know and I know and we know that that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that they're crackers. Honkies. And they're listening. To Geto Boys. But it's an excellent scene because you could imagine them in a dark alley and the printer being some douche that owed them money. There's anger in their eyes, and this is the kind of song that would be playing in that scene. It's wonderful.
3. The copious amounts of ganja scene in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (song: "Police and Thieves" - Junior Murvin)
I don't think I've ever seen anyone look as peaceful as when Jay is walking through those luscious green plants, smoking a blunt and listening to this song. I like this scene, mainly because they could have used a more mainstream reggae-stoner song, perhaps one that everyone was expecting, maybe some Bob Marley, maybe some Chaka Demus, but instead they used the one and only good song that this guy recorded, back in '76 - quite likely an artist unbeknownst to those watching this movie in 1998, then BAM! Junior Murvin releases his new single. A very sneaky exchange.
2. The final scene in Fight Club (song: "Where Is My Mind?" - Pixies)
The Narrator and Marla Singer end the movie holding hands and watching the destruction of the world around them to a song called "Where Is My Mind?" The song is a very pretty, very peaceful one, and with this scene it is almost romantic - the two share in the end of the world, how is that not romantic? I remember I read a Rolling Stone magazine once that did the Top 100 Musical Moments in Film, and this was one of them - Black Francis said that he was watching the movie and then suddenly his song came on, but he didn't recognise it because it was so unexpected at such a pivotal moment. Or something. Don't quote me on that, it was about 7 years ago that I read this.
1. The "Gutterballs" dream sequence in The Big Lebowski (song: "Just Dropped In" - Kenny Rogers)
It was very tough for me to pick between this song and the other dream sequence, with the Bob Dylan song, and the flying through space, but ultimately, this scene is much better. The song itself is about taking LSD, so how could you go wrong? I just love how so quickly, you can see the scene taking place - suddenly, you're in a dream - then again, you're running down the middle of the road and getting mugs thrown at your face. Just like an acid trip. Perfect placement, perfect song.