I was reminded over the weekend that too much heat in the Big Apple can cause some people -- myself included -- to be very snappy. Even more than is usual for New York City. Fortunately, I didn't get so hot and bothered that I spouted any racial slurs or anything as equally hateful as the stuff rattled off in the infamous fourth-wall-breaking epithet montage from Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. But I can say that the weather made me less tolerant of strangers and more argumentative with friends than I prefer to be.

In highlighting this as a loved sequence, I definitely do not mean to condone or encourage any of the name calling and stereotyping found in any of the individual soliloquies -- in fact, fittingly I both love and hate the sequence. I mainly feature it as a memorably tense moment in a film that is necessary summer viewing (though perhaps not if your AC is broken). No movie better captures how miserable a hot and humid day in NYC can be, from the red hues and bleached out whites of the cinematography to the glistening, sweaty faces of the characters to the familiar cool-off activities like playing in hydrant water (with passersby getting soaked when not taking proper cover).