Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Jodo Kast Aug 17, 2008

I just got back from Mirrors and I can say with certainty that it is the best movie I've seen this year. Better than Iron Man, which was previously my favorite of '08.

The reason why I liked Mirrors so much is because when I walked out of the theater, I was happy. It is rare for me to not be a little bit annoyed and it is common for me to be very annoyed. But I felt good and that's why I see movies, for that rare good feeling.

The reason why I saw Mirrors is because it is a remake of a Korean movie, Into The Mirror, which I enjoyed considerably. I also liked High Tension, a previous work of the director.

An example of a movie that made me very annoyed was Hellboy II. One of my friends said that Hollywood is not getting better at making movies; they are getting better at making trailers. My new strategy for deciding what to watch is that if the trailer looks cool, then Avoid That Movie. This is why I absolutely refuse to see the new Mummy movie, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

Angela Sep 6, 2008

So, with The Half-Blood Prince, Lovely Bones, and Star Trek now officially postponed till 2009, it looks like the only movies left for me to see this year are Quantum of Solace and Benjamin Button.

I may go ahead and see Caruso/Spielberg's Eagle Eye at the end of September.  LeBeouf is kind of wearing me out at this point, but I'm in the mood for a good action/conspiracy thriller.

Angela Sep 27, 2008 (edited Sep 27, 2008)

So I saw Eagle Eye today, and though it's getting massacred by the critics, I thought it was decent.  The action sequences are plentiful and exciting - so much so that it sort of kills the conspiratorial intrigue after a while, and degrades into popcorn fodder. (High-adrenaline popcorn, but popcorn nonetheless.) The purported big reveals and twists (which are shown way too soon at the halfway mark) weren't as revealing or twisty as I wanted them to be, and the plot devices are steeped in Spielberg generics.  Not only that, but those devices feel terribly outdated by today's standards - which, I suppose is no wonder, since the film's story was apparently originally conceived back in 1996.  And then there's the ending, which ALMOST leaves a resonating mark, only to be mucked up by the last one or two tacked on minutes of "happy" Spielberg resolutions.

Brian Tyler's music score?  It's typical Tyler here: bombastic and horrendously overwrought.  Hardly subtle for a conspiracy thriller, yet somehow, this one might end up being an enjoyable listen outside of the movie.  I'll pick up the soundtrack next week.

Angela Sep 28, 2008

There's now two movies coming out on Christmas day that I want to see.  The first is Benjamin Button, of which a wonderful new trailer was just released.  Check it out here:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount … minbutton/ 

And the other is Disney's Bedtime Stories.  I'm hardly a fan of Sandler's, but the premise looks like it could be a lot of fun.  Or maybe I'm just sold by the fact that they've using Back To The Future 3's western theme as the temp track. :) 

http://www.apple.com/trailers/disney/bedtimestories/

longhairmike Sep 29, 2008

Jodo Kast wrote:

The reason why I saw Mirrors is because it is a remake of a Korean movie, Into The Mirror, which I enjoyed considerably.

i saw Into the Mirror a few years ago,, Usually a good asian movie is why i AVOID the american remake.

Angela Dec 28, 2008

Took a pass on Bedtime Stories, but I did catch Sandler's "You Don't Mess With The Zohan" on DVD this weekend.  Not sure if it was something I would've wanted to see in theaters, but it's got its fair share of entertainment value.  There's a Happy Gilmore/Kung Fu Hustle vibe, what with the slapstick, over-the-top cartoon reality direction.  The military commando-turned-hairdresser idea is outlandish enough, and while the secondary plot regarding the conflicting struggle for peace between Israelis and Palestinians could've been fodder for disastrous implications, when it's placed within the intimate, more personal context of New York City, hilarious storytelling ensues.

Gonna have to catch Benjamin Button next weekend.  And then, a round-up write-up of my favorite flicks of 2008.

Wanderer Dec 29, 2008

Saw Benjamin Button. I left the theater feeling unfulfilled. Technically, the movie is superb, with good performances, excellent makeup/CGI effects and a soaring score by Alexandre Desplat. Problem is, for those 166 minutes, I never felt connected to the characters. There was this emotional distance that permeated the entire film. It was trying to be very profound and in a lot of ways, it was... but at the cost of its heart.

Next up for me is Revolutionary Road. I'm in the mood for a downer. wink

Carl Dec 29, 2008

Angela wrote:

while the secondary plot regarding the conflicting struggle for peace between Israelis and Palestinians could've been fodder for disastrous implications, when it's placed within the intimate, more personal context of New York City, hilarious storytelling ensues.

I don't think I've ever heard NYC being described as intimate or personal before, heh.

Angela Dec 29, 2008

Carl wrote:

I don't think I've ever heard NYC being described as intimate or personal before, heh.

Yep.  You'd have to see it to understand. :)

Angela Mar 29, 2009 (edited Mar 29, 2009)

Played a bit of catch-up with some of the films I missed in '08.  Here's what I saw this weekend.

Bolt - A roadtrip/Homeward Bound-style movie with lots of heart, this one has the makings of Pixar's best, without actually being headed up by Pixar.  All the same, it's got John Lasseter's magic touch all over it, and it'll undoubtedly manage to squeeze itself into a timeless status rather a pop cultural one.  Cyrus and Travolta turn in decent performances, but it's Susie Essman's Mittens who's the real star here; the uneasy bond of friendship that grows between she and Bolt is great to watch.  And Mark Walton's Rhino the Hamster, a character whom I was almost sure would put a crimp on the entire movie after seeing the trailers, is anything but - he's goddamned hilarious, and an awesome supporting character.  John Powell turns in a serviceable score, with a likeable main theme that's frequented throughout.  I wished I saw this one in the theaters, because if I did, it would've easily earned my animation of the year, preceding even Kung Fu Panda and Wall•E.

Hancock - Hancock definitely makes for a refreshing take on the superhero genre.  For most of the first half, the movie played up the trailer's original premise exactly the way I wanted it to be.  Yes, Smith's titular character is an "asshole", but he's the kind of asshole that you'd love to despise.  He's a vigilante, and the comedy spins best when he's at his most cynical and vulgar; the character study is on the forefront here, with the superhero elements taking a backseat.  The story twist is interminably predicable, since it's hinted at pretty much throughout the entire film (though to what end remains under wraps until it happens), and the middle to the beginning of the final act does stumble a bit in its concept and execution.  I give an "A" to the first half of the movie, maybe a "C+" to the last half -- kind of like how I would rate I Am Legend.  And I also liked Powell's score here; he goes for a heavy blues-jazz sensibility this time, with an overall playful, sometimes soothing feel for the rest.  Definitely more subdued in tone than the typical superhero score, which again adds to the overall refreshing nature of the film.

Wanted - As DVD Verdict's review stated, "Wanted is the proud bastard child of The Matrix, Fight Club, and La Femme Nikita."  This is a massive orgy-fest of hyperkinetic action, ultra-violence, mind-bending physics, guns, babes, and hot cars.   Director Timur Bekmambetov's visual eye is dazzlingly eye-catching, making for one hell of a stylistic looking flick.  The whole thing feels blatantly "Matrix" in its delivery, yet infinitely more fun and decadent than that entire trilogy put together.  Unlike Hancock, this one feels better paced, what with a longer running time that allows the story twist to effectively segue into a more satisfying resolution.  Elfman's score goes for an appropriate gritty-grungy metal-rock flavor, but there's also a heavy orchestral/choir element in several places, which serves the theme of The Fraternity well.  (And yeah, the inclusion of NIN's Everyday Is Exactly The Same was quite cool, actually.)

It was a fun weekend.  It's not often coming across a trio of flicks that are all immensely entertaining in their own way.

Shoe Mar 29, 2009 (edited Mar 29, 2009)

Angela wrote:

..(And yeah, the inclusion of nin's Everyday Is Exactly The Same was quite cool, actually.)

I really liked that line near the end from Morgan Freeman, something like 'Well then SOMEBODY shoot this muthafcuka right now!!'

And of course they had to cut to a different camera angle when he cursed because distingushed actors don't want their 'good guy in real life' image tarnished.

haha

Angela Mar 30, 2009 (edited Mar 30, 2009)

Shoe wrote:

And of course they had to cut to a different camera angle when he cursed because distingushed actors don't want their 'good guy in real life' image tarnished.

Hm, I'm pretty sure the two times he dropped the f-bomb (yes, there were two separate occasions), the camera stayed right on him.

Not that he's above expletives, anyway - he just hasn't been using them in a lot of his films as of late.  Remember "Lean On Me"?

Wanderer Mar 30, 2009 (edited Mar 30, 2009)

I enjoyed "Wanted", if only for the amusing bloodbath and excellent Elfman score (one of my favorite of 2008). The movie is completely relentless, what with hundreds of people falling to their doom in service of an action scene. wink

Plus, I'm convinced Morgan Freeman can make anything worth watching.

Shoe Mar 30, 2009 (edited Mar 30, 2009)

Angela wrote:

Hm, I'm pretty sure the two times he dropped the f-bomb (yes, there were two separate occasions), the camera stayed right on him.

Gosh, it's been almost a year ago so i can't recall the others. But for some reason i do very clearly remember them switching camera angles away from him when he cursed in that poignant line, and that was the best reason I could fathom why they did it..

Angela Mar 31, 2009

Shoe wrote:

But for some reason i do very clearly remember them switching camera angles away from him when he cursed in that poignant line, and that was the best reason I could fathom why they did it..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knrdWMIIQ-0

:)

To those who haven't seen Wanted yet, there's a spoiler implication in there.

Angela Apr 3, 2009 (edited Apr 7, 2009)

Angela wrote:

Hancock - .... And I also liked Powell's score here; he goes for a heavy blues-jazz sensibility this time, with an overall playful, sometimes soothing feel for the rest.  Definitely more subdued in tone than the typical superhero score, which again adds to the overall refreshing nature of the film.

Which isn't to say it doesn't have its share of soaring, epic themes too, as I've more closely discovered after picking up the soundtrack.  The impossibly uplifting "The Moon and the Superhero" is the best of said bunch, perfectly bookending the movie's main theme into the end credits.

Big <3s to Powell right now.

Jodo Kast Jan 15, 2016

I'm resurrecting the 2008 movie thread to mention something about Mirrors. I recently read a short story, published in 1951, about a crazy woman living in mirrors. She could transport from mirror to mirror. The story is called "The Hungry House" and was written by Robert Bloch.

In the story, a couple moves into a house that they found for a great deal. They both start to notice a reflection that should not be there. Angered, they decide to confront the real estate agent, since they suspect he knows something about it. They throw a party and the agent and his wife are among the guests. All the guests have to leave early, due to the thing in the mirror, and the agent sees the affect it has on people. He breaks down and tells about the previous owners of the house.

The part of the story I really liked was when the new owner wondered why there wasn't a single mirror in the house during the first walkthrough. He later searched the property and he found a small shed with a cache of mirrors.

I had always thought that the "creature in the mirror" concept was original to the movies. I'm slowly starting to lose any patience/tolerance I have for the big screen, due to my constant discoveries of written fiction with remarkably similar story lines.

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