No movie is truly complete without a good score. Often the soundtrack stays with me long after most of the film has faded. These songs are my personal favorites, in no particular order and from a smattering of genres. Without them, the scenes they backed would not have had the same impact for me. I find myself humming them at random moments and in most cases was compelled to purchase either the soundtrack or a compilation by their respective composer or artist to obtain them.
Dmitri Shostakovich – Jazz Suite Waltz Number 2
First noticed this one during Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999). It seems a steady popular choice for beautiful but non-distracting background music. I noticed it not long ago in a Nero Wolfe episode as well. I found it so beautiful, it immediately replaced The Canon In D as my favorite instrumental piece. It gets regular play at home and is one of my ringtones.
Nino Rota – A Time For Us
Heard in Romeo & Juliet (Franco Zefferelli, 1968). Beautiful. Heartbreaking. The innocence, playfulness, and tragedy of the entire film compressed into a little over 3 minutes. I have never heard an arrangement I didn’t love, but Nino Rota’s is by far the best. Another in my regular rotation on my playlist at home.
Roger Williams – Theme From Somewhere In Time (from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini, Variation 18)
Forever bound with Somewhere In Time (Jeannot Szwarc, 1980). So completely captures the mood of the film that I never hear it without scenes flashing through my head.
Strange Fruit (Jimmy Nail) – What Might Been
As a child of the 80′s, I loved the entire score of Still Crazy (Brian Gibson, 1998), but this song really caught me. One of my favorite artists is Jimmy Nail, but I heard him first here. Now, of course, I have several of his cds. Lots of airplay here, both in the house and in the truck.
Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear The Reaper
I cannot think of any piece of music, anywhere, ever, that could have better captured the tone of this film. As with most of the pieces I list in this post, this song is forever linked in my mind with this movie.
Hans Zimmer – The Battle
Never, ever underestimate the sweeping power of music. If I had never seen or heard of Gladiator (Ridley Scott, 2000), I would still clearly see an epic battle in my mind while listening to this piece. Hans Zimmer has the ability to carry you away with his compositions, and I always enjoy listening to his scores. This is definitely my favorite, though.
John Williams (City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra) – Theme From Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Action, adventure, and the feel of an adrenaline rush in musical form. Perfectly captures the film, and the protagonist. The only thing missing is the sound of a bullwhip.
Roy Orbison – In Dreams
Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986) was the first David Lynch film I ever saw. It will always be my favorite. Everything about the scene with Stockwell’s performance of this creeps the s*#t out of me. I feel like I should check the closets and under the beds before I go to sleep after I watch it. Now that is an excellent use of a song.
An experience everyone should have, preferably in a full participation setting, at least once in their life. I have spent my last 25 consecutive New Year’s Eves with these kooks. You will laugh, you will cry, you will dance the Time Warp. You will mix with the unconventional conventionists. You will see the floor show. You will have Meatloaf for dinner. Don’t forget your rubber gloves (pink for preference), newspapers, water gun, rice, noisemaker, and depending on your level of participation, a small list of other things. For the truly adventurous, don’t just dream it….BE IT. The web is full of costumes, grab one and hop up on the stage or in front of the screen. Trust me, you WILL NOT stand out unless you just stand there.
So you’re flipping channels, late at night. News…flip, flip…late show…flip, flip…cartoons…flip, flip…low budget horror flick. Just as your finger is inching towards the channel button, you see — wait for it — David Copperfield. WTF? Okay, just for curiosities sake, now you gotta watch. You’re hooked. Sit back and enjoy the indiscriminate slaughter of a motley collection of fairly unlikeable college kids by the requisite lunatic in ever changing masks & costumes. I must admit, it was novel to see Groucho Marx off a monk. It didn’t hurt that a scream-queen era Jamie Lee Curtis was the designated survivor. And then there was David Copperfield. Seriously, WTF? As a bonus, bear in mind that at least one dude looks like a lady. Much like Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.
It is a sure sign that the movie you are watching is of a certain quality when the first thing you see is a pair of robbers stuffing recently fired machine guns down the front of their pants. Another indicator is when one of the 2 major leads gets offed 20 minutes into the movie, but obviously plans to remain in on the the action till the credits roll. Given that quick gear shift and mental readjustment, this is actually a pretty enjoyable piece of fluffy silliness.
We certainly have some solid actors slogging through this dime store quality dialogue as if it were Shakespeare, right alongside a few actors (ahem!) more noted for their one dimensional efforts. That actually adds to the charm, really.
During the dressing down by the Police Captain, I really expected him to shout that Detectives Roger Mortis (!) & Doug Bigelow were on “Double secret probation”. Alas, they missed out on that opportunity. They did make up for it, in spades, with the scene in the Chinese grocery. Ducks, & cows, & dead men, oh MY! After the shower scene denouement with Lindsay Frost, it was almost a surprise not to see Bobby Bowfinger listed as Director when the credits rolled.
Dubious one-liners, moderate acting, one or two decent cameos, and fairly silly special effects add up to slightly less than an hour and a half of mild amusement alternating with outright laughter and the occasional nose snort.
Not a bad film to revisit every few years and kill some time with.
Not only is Elvis alive out there, so is JFK. Granted, Elvis can’t shake it like he used to, and JFK is currently a very nice old gentleman whose brain was removed & replaced with sand, but hey, you can’t have everything. If you haven’t watched these two team up to protect their east Texas nursing home from an evil mummy………well, you ain’t living. Bonus points given for the presence of Bruce Campbell. Hell, just his chin gets a half point.
Herbert West uses something that looks very much like anti-freeze to bring various deceased people & animals back from the abyss. Oddly enough, none of them seem either appreciative or particularly happy to be back. A very nice peek into the probable result if Sheldon Cooper ever goes over the brink………
Ahh, yes. The movie that gave us evil jawa slaves from a high gravity planet, created by & overseen by a Tall Man in a mortuary. This one taught us how to break out of locked rooms in a few easy steps using tape, push pins, shotgun shells, & hammers. It also gave us good reasons to really, really fear silver christmas tree balls. To this day, you ain’t gonna find any silver balls on my tree.