Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Another Birthday Shopping Spree

Well, it was my birthday about a week ago.  And, much like I did last year, I decided to celebrate by going to iTunes and spending five whole dollars on some of the movie themes I'd always adored, but could never find the soundtrack albums for.  And, going back to my college radio days when I just couldn't wait to play a new album on my college radio show, I think music is the best when you share it.  Hence, this blog entry today.  So what did I blow my $5 on this year?

Theme from Astro Boy - Composed by John Ottman

The CGI movie version of Astro Boy from a few years ago was such a mishmash.  They strayed too far from the source material, and instead wound up just cramming in every popular idea about robots from Saturday morning cartoons over the past 30 years.  However, John Ottman's score wound up being a true highlight of the film.  As I said when I did the film on Fishing in the Discount Bin, it's a far, far better score than the movie deserved.

Welcome Back - End Titles from X-Men: Days of Future Past - Composed by John Ottman

And speaking of Mr. Ottman, he is director Bryan Singer's composer of choice.  A friend recently remarked that the X-Men films seem to be cursed with bland scores, but I don't feel that way about Ottman's music for X2.  That's the only X-Men theme that sounds like an honest to God superhero theme that you'll find yourself humming.  Needless to say, I geeked out hard when I discovered that Ottman returned to the franchise with Days of Future Past, and I was grinning like an idiot when I heard the opening bars of his X-Men theme during the opening titles.  The theme in question kicks in at about the 1 minute mark in this end credit suite. 

Overture from It Could Happen to You - Composed by Carter Burwell

When I first saw this romantic comedy way back in 1994, I remember thinking, "Wow.  The music in this film is perfect fairy tale music."  It's something I was reminded of when I caught it on TV a few months ago.  For those who don't remember this film.  Nicholas Cage is a hard-working, New York city beat cop.  Bridgette Fonda is a waitress with a heart of gold who's fallen on hard times.   When Cage has lunch in Fonda's diner one day, he discovers he doesn't have enough money for a tip, so he shows his lottery ticket to Fonda and promises to split the winnings with her, 50/50.  When he winds up winning the $4 million jackpot, he stays true to his word and splits the winnings with her...much to the chagrin of his wife, Rosie Perez.  As the money begins to turn Perez into a materialistic harpy, Cage and Fonda begin to fall in love, as they both enjoy using their winnings to spread random acts of kindness about the city.  It's just a sweet movie.  There's just two tracks of the score on the soundtrack album...I really should just buy them both.

Ringo's Theme (This Boy) from A Hard Days Night - Composed by Lennon/McCartney; Performed by the George Martin Orchestra

It doesn't matter what your opinion of the Beatles is, A Hard Day's Night is just a good movie.  And what little score it has is amazing instrumental versions of Beatles songs, courtesy the Beatles' longtime producer George Martin and his orchestra.  The most famous piece from the movie is the instrumental version of the Beatles song This Boy, which plays as Ringo temporarily ditches the band to go for a walk, think things through, and winds up having a conversation about life, the universe, and everything with a kid ditching school.

The Simpsons Theme from The Simpsons Movie - Composed by Danny Elfman; Performed by Green Day

Because.  That's why.

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