Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

My Top Howevermany Fave Soundtracks

The Top Ten Favourite Soundtracks Ever (in my most humble opinion and containing only films I have come into contact with so far) featuring the Seven Greatest Random Uses of Music Ever.

Just to qualify exactly what I'm doing. It's pretty much just that - great soundtracks, with occasional "special mention" for moments made great by their music. So with no further ado...

17 Wayne's World (special mention)
"Gentlemen, I think we'll go with a bit of Bohemian Rhapsody" Cue a hundred parodies on family holidays. It's now the default way to announce switching on the car radio.

16 Once Upon A Time In The West (special mention)
It's all good, of course, but one track sticks in my mind - the harmonica theme. It is actually one of the saddest pieces of music I've ever heard, just after the Requiem from Evita. Powerful and yearning, it totally yanks you into the protagonist's state of mind whenever it comes in.

15 Knights Tale (special mention)
The original music in this film is really pretty, especially Jocelyn's theme, but that's not why it's here. The notable bits: We Will Rock You in the tournement ground sung by Mexican-waving peasants and the segue to Golden Years during a medieval banquet.

14 the Rocky Horror Picture Show
I did kinda promise myself I wouldn't use musicals-turned-into-films (to keep Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar off the list), but this hardly counts, as the movie has about equal status with the show. These tunes are just infectious - my sister and I are medium-large RHPS nuts, and we frequently scream along in a semblance of several parts.

Best moment: Well my favourite tune is Superheroes, but Dammit Janet also deserves a mention. Not to forget the Time Warp...

13 Zulu (special mention)
Again, the whole soundtrack is good, though not great. The standout moment is when our brave Brit heroes burst into a rousing rendition of Men of Harlem.

12 Memento
Memento’s built around two really really simple but effective themes. There’s the wobbly, edgy one in the black and white bits and there’s the upsetting one for colour sequence. Movie music enhances the mood, bad movie music tells you how to feel. M. Night never even thinks about the music until he’s sure the scene can work on its own, which I commend. The joy of Memento is that while the music matches the scenario, it’s really understated and gives the rest of the film space to breathe – it’s never used to prop up the emotions. At the same time, when you do notice it, it’s achingly beautiful and entirely suitable. And makes me cry.

11. O Brother Where Art Thou

It's probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I love this album and listen to it endlessly. Man of Constant Sorrow is a fab tune, and the moment when they start singing at the concert and the crowd goes wild makes my spine tingle every time. In Classical civilisations, we're studying the Odyssey and I mentioned this film several times as being great. Anyway, my teacher (who seems to be the sort who hibernates in chalk-dust until they wake him up and wheel him out once a week. In a nice way xD) took my recommendation and, along with this, got a copy for us to watch. Oh dear...I feel like I've kinda misrepresented it...

10 LOTR: TT (extended version)

The LOTR music is all excellent, but I settled on Two Towers as the best. Just because I always pick on it as the best of the three in all ways. Even though I definitely prefer FOTR. I'm just a hypocrite. The Rohan theme tune is just great, as is the Gondor music.

Best Moment: the stuff at the end of Helm's Deep. Makes my eyes brim every time.

9 Shaun Of The Dead (special mention)
You know the bit I mean, right? Trapped in the Winchester pub, our heroes think their situation can't get any worse - until the jukebox starts playing Don't Stop Me Now of its own accord. Best zombie-killing tune ever!

8 Reservoir Dogs (inevitable and special mention)

There are some songs which make you go "ah, I'm home..." when you hear them, they're comfortingly familiar. Little Greem Bag is the only song ever to make me do that the first time I heard it. And is just so infectiously cheery, that it casts a lighter edge on the rest of the film. Especially when they start pulling the sound of Messrs White and Orange in the car up underneath. That may be one of the best bits of editing in cinema ever...

Interesting fact - the original pick for this sequence was Money by Pink Floyd. Hmmm, I can see where that idea came from with a same sort of beginning, but personally it would just not have worked. Money is nowhere near as fun.

7 Signs
Three notes repeated in endless combinations. Sounds irritating, but really it's great. It can be creepy, curious and most importantly it can do sadness...

Best Moment: at the very end when those three notes run through the entire gamut of emotion, and actually scrapes through every variation on the theme within about two minutes. I think it's probably the wuvviness of the music that unfailingly causes me to blubber at the end.

6 Lost Boys

This film is conclusive proof that a fantastic soundtrack spruces up a slightly iffy film. You can't watch this one quietly. The shot starts swooping over the sea, and the music kicks in...I don't have many soundtracks on cd. If you know the music too well, you notice it in the film which always annoys me. Not only do I own this, I listen to it far more than anything else in the house. Cry Little Sister is the obvious standout track, with both a yell-alongworthy tune, and indecipherable lyrics so you can't actually do so. It's so frustrating...

5 5th Element (special mention)

Yes, I can sing along. And do. In the shower and whenever everyone's out. It doesn't sound great - ok, so sing might have been an exaggeration. I squeak and scream to get the notes. But can you blame me?! It's just amazingly cool. Interesting fact you may not have wanted to know: this is the only reason I wanted to watch 5th Element, because it's just so fantastic.

4 The Village

So perhaps the film isn't quite the genius work we expect from M. Night, but the music more than makes up for it. James Newton Howard is probably my favourite composer. It's just unbelievavly beautiful music, and yes this one makes me cry as well.

And lucky for you guys - I found the entire album here.

Best moment: Ivy waiting at the door for Lucius. The music is wonderful, just soaringly wuvvy.

3 Moulin Rouge

This soundtrack is much more than a spruced up version of a ton of classics. The arrangement of the tunes is entirely different, which may not mean much to the musically-unenlightened, but basically means they haven't just snagged it off the cd: they've entirely rewritten the accompaniment and everything. And created some of the most beautiful tunes ever committed to celluloid. The best example can only be the Tango de Roxanne. It starts with a famous-so-famous-you'll-recognise-it tango, then fits Roxanne over the top and when you think it can't get any better, in comes Ewan McGregor with this wonderful, soaring original counter-tune over the top. 200% genius and totally great.

Best Moment: oh, too many to count. Heroes in the Elephant Medley. The first time Come What May comes in. And that counter-melody over the Tango de Roxanne. Snuffle...

2 Donnie Darko
A mix of both original tracks and stuff by bands one of my friends likes. Lets start with the former. Beautiful. Achingly, hauntingly beautiful - Gretchen’s theme brings actual tears to my eyes every time I hear it. Frank’s pounding tune is spooky beyond belief, and the rest of the tunes rest somewhere between mysterious and quirky. The choice of song not only matches the mood, the lyrics match the plot. Love will tear us apart, Mad World – and speaking of Mad World, well, you can’t possibly claim to like it until you’ve seen it here. Enjoy it the way it was meant to be. But the director’s cut version of the music is NOWHERE NEAR as good as the usual one. Savvy?

Best moment: Gretchen runs out of the classroom, followed by Donnie; cue tears...

Whole thing here.

1 Spy Game
It can be roughly subdivided into three main themes. There’s the ethnic singing, haunting and vewy pwetty. There’s the sentimental strings which are achingly gorgeous. And there’s the inevitable rocky bits which work terrifically at the very end. The thing is, the music really shapes the mood of the piece. It’d be easy for this to be a thriller, or an action flick but the sentimental nature of the music lends it an unusually nostalgic air, rendering it a far more quiet, thoughtful film. I realise that’s entirely the opposite to what I just said about Memento, but what the hell – I’m right. This music is beautiful beyond belief - my favourite theme is the one which accompanies Robert Redford's bits, the celloy stuff. Unfortunately, my usual music website doesn't have any of it on hard luck...

Best moment: at the veeery end of the movie, the words "In memory of Elizabeth Jean Scott" come up. That moment...*blubbers*

Things learnt from this excercise - An alarming number of my favourites make me cry, I like my music subtle and beautiful over orchestral and intrusive (John Williams conspiciously absent) and Queen improves any soundtrack. Schindler's List would have been far better with more Queen, as would Vertigo. Probably.

Things I somehow missed and couldn't be bothered to add: I love the Highlander music, School of Rock's tunes are cool, Constantine's main theme is atmospheric, Son of a Preacher Man makes me smile when I hear it, Mustang Sally in The Commitments and Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head is the most annoying song ever, until you hear it in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, at which point I realised precicely how wuvvy it is...


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