Sunday, April 15, 2012

Settling the Score, Part 2

No sense wasting time on preamble here, is there? For those of you waiting on the edge of your proverbial seats for the conclusion to last week's countdown, the wait is over! And for those of you have no idea what I'm talking about...well, if you're the kind of person who reads an article labelled 'Part 2' without having read Part 1 first, then please seek professional help.


Composed by: Michael Giacchino

Words cannot express the mad man-love I feel for Michael Giacchino. Aside from composing the sweeping score for LOST (which to date is probably THE best score I've ever heard for anything, ever, and the only reason it's not on this countdown is because I'm only dealing with films here), Giacchino's won an Academy Award for his work on Pixar's Up, and it's a well-deserved award at that. In just over 4 minutes, Giacchino takes us through the life of two sweet people who are wonderfully, happily in love with each other. He takes us through the sunny times, through the cloudy times, and through every cloudy-with-a-chance-of-sunshine-time in between. This is what romance should sound like, lads & lasses.


Composed by: Steve Jablonsky

I think what makes this little tune so great is that no one was expecting it. It just doesn't feel like the kind of music one would associate with a movie whose primary means of self-promotion was a still frame of a sweaty, half-naked Megan Fox leaning over the engine of a dusty Camaro. I mean, sure, the film did blast its share of Linkin Parks and Wu-Tang Clans, but for the most part it had a pretty solid score based on a musical formula that would've fit anything Peter Jackson or Ridley Scott worked on. So points go to the big fucking robots for sounding so big fucking pretty! And Megan, for God's sake, please start returning my phone calls.


Composed by: Harold Faltermeyer

If movie scores from the 80s could be summed up in one all-encompassing song, I think this would be it. Every one of the Beverly Hills Cop films plays this mercilessly, which means you WILL be humming it to yourself for hours afterwards. There is no escaping the endless humming. I'm pretty sure this eventually turned into a European dance hit, then an Internet meme, and from there it just got out of control. But this is where it all began: back in the days when Eddie Murphy being cast in a movie was a good thing. Remember that?


Performed by: Ray Parker Jr.

When the song from an incredibly popular movie becomes just as popular as the movie itself, you know you've done something right. Go ahead: walk into any crowded store in any mall, stand in the middle of all the commotion, and bellow "Who you gonna call?"in as loud a voice as possible. At least one person in that store is going to respond by enthusiastically yelling this movie's title. All of the other people will probably call mall security. But at least you've proved a point.


Performed by: Hans Zimmer

I think the best way to explain the reason this song works so well is that it literally sounds like adventure. If we were to some day make contact with an extraterrestrial race whose ears functioned in such a way that they could only be spoken to via musical notes, and these extraterrestrials were to say to us, "I've been told that you humans have a fondness for this thing called 'adventure'. What is adventure, exactly?", all we would have to do is play this song for them, at which point the aliens would respond with, "Oh, I understand! Adventure is a bunch of men in puffy sleeves sword-fighting one another atop random moving objects in extreme conditions with fun undertones to juxtapose all of the violent, terrifying things that are going on!" We would then tell the aliens that they're probably reading a bit too much into this, but, yes, that's exactly right.


Composed by: Hans Zimmer

Zimmer, you handsome, talented subject of all my envious fantasies, you've certainly been hogging a lot of space on this countdown! Careful, if Danny Elfman gets wind of this, he might throw a tuba through your front window in a fit of jealous rage! The Da Vinci Code is a movie about a man named Robert Langdon making discoveries, both literally and spiritually within himself. And since both kinds of discoveries can be beautiful, haunting, and mysterious, Zimmer gives us this goosebump-inducing piece of music to illustrate that. I wouldn't be opposed to this kind of thing playing at my funeral...right after "The Thong Song", of course.


Composed by: John Williams

Sure, Batman is nice and broody and everything, but if you're not into the emo superheroes who spend all of their free time contemplating new and exciting ways to slit their own wrists, then Superman and all of his amazing friends are right up your alley. This is one of the most victorious, heroic songs ever composed. There are eerie magical powers in these notes: they have the ability to make grown men and women toss aside their inhibitions, rip open their shirts, and extend their arms out in front of them with fists clenched, pretending to dodge asteroids or shoot heat beams from their eyes. I've been told that some types of crystal meth have been known to produce a similar result. The only difference is that the Superman theme doesn't need to be cooked or sold on a street corner by a toothless hooker named Agatha.

*DRUM ROLL* And my #1 Favouritest Movie Theme Ev-ar is....


Composed by: Ennio Morricone

It has now been over 120 years since the Golden Days of what we affectionately refer to as "The Wild West", so nobody alive today -with the possible exception of Mickey Rooney -has any idea what the Wild West was actually like. But if one wanted to experience it, one need only listen to this immortal tune. Click on the link above and listen for yourself: everything, literally everything you typically think of when you think of the Wild West can be heard in this two-and-a-half minute theme. If the Wild West makes you think of harmonicas, acoustic guitars, whistling cowboys, clinking spurs, galloping horses, Indian war drums, steam trains chugging along steel tracks, coyotes howling in the prairie, rattlesnakes shaking their tails in the high grass, the trumpeting of a cavalry charge, revolvers being fired, or stagecoach whips being will hear ALL of that in this one simple but effective song. The West could not have been captured more perfectly than it is right here. To hell with virtual reality simulators: this puts you right in the middle of a dusty frontier, where you can almost see all of the aforementioned things passing by before disappearing into the sun-baked haze for parts unknown. This isn't a song about the Wild West; this is the Wild West. And therefore, for sheer authenticity alone, it's #1 in my books.

But enough about me, true believers. What do you think? What pieces of music make you quiver with delight? Please share. Preferably in graphic detail. Preferably over a drink or two at 10 o'clock tonight. We can meet in the Moonlight Lounge. I'll be the one wearing a cowboy hat. ;)