Wednesday, 18 May 2005

Magical Movie Music Mania

Since I watched Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith last week, I've been in the mood for listening to soundtracks.

I've been humming the Star Wars theme, the Binary Sunsets theme, and Darth Vader's Theme ever since I got out of that movie, and after watching it again tonight, I think I'll be humming and whistling them even more.

Of course, my hearing problem the past week made listening to orchestral pieces a somewhat bland experience, but at least I could still recognise the various theme songs through all that earwax.

In many cases, IMHO, the music maketh the movie. The music in a movie either makes the scene even more memorable, or it can make the movie seem monotonous. Mystic River was one movie where the music irritated the hell out of me because it kept using this ONE theme throughout the whole movie. Sure, Eastwood wrote it himself, but he didn't need to use it ALL the time right?

Even trailers have to use the right music or it just seems boring. Too many trailers don't stand out because they use some overused piece of music that everyone hears in elevators. In fact, as visually stunning as it was, the trailer for Sin City would not have been as arresting as it was if it wasn't for the track with a cool guitar riff that was used in it. The track is called Cells, BTW, and is a song by a band called The Servants.

John Williams has long been considered the maestro of soundtrack music, but I think Howard Shore's work on LOTR surpassed Williams in many ways. Hans Zimmer on the other hand, makes music that is great for action movies, but tends to sound the same all the time.

My brother and I have amassed a sizable mp3 collection of soundtracks from movies we like, and various theme music from movies and TV shows as well. Heck, I even have songs from Monty Python, and the entire soundtrack for South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, but that's another story.

Sure, soundtrack music is mostly instrumental, and some bits can be rather unmemorable, but the best part about listening to the tracks is when you imagine scenes from the movie to go along with the music you're listening to.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite movie themes that I'm currently listening to:
  • The Rohan theme (from LOTR): Every time that strain of music comes on, I get goosebumps. I recall the scenes from the movie. And I want to watch them again.
  • Forth Eorlingas (from LOTR: TTT): From the final scene of TTT, where Theoden rides out with Aragorn one last time, and Gandalf appears with Eomer. Inspiring stuff, this.
  • The Last March of the Ents (from LOTR:TTT): My favorite scene in TTT, and the best bit of music there.
  • Minas Tirith (from LOTR:ROTK): You know, that piece of music when we see the White City for the first time and Gandalf is riding up the city on Shadowfax. Probably the best use of the Gondor theme in the entire movie.
  • Star Wars Main Theme: Who can forget the first time you were in a cinema and the words 'A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away' comes out followed by a blast of this most inspiring piece of movie music since... ever?
  • Binary Sunsets (Star Wars). A very melancholic piece of music for a very poignant scene.
  • Jack Sparrow's entrance music (from Pirates of the Carribean): A great soaring piece for a great entrance!
  • John Dunbar's theme (from Dances with Wolves): No matter what you think of the movie, the theme song for the movie is one beautiful, flowing piece of music
  • Indiana Jone's Main Theme: Come on, EVERYONE loves this song!
  • Buckbeak's Flight (From Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban): I thought John William's music for the HP movies was not very good, except this bit, which really brought out the magic of the scence very well.
  • Theme from Jurassic Park: One of my favorite John Williams themes. Very cool...
  • The music from the Sin City trailer: Just found it the other day, and I can't stop listening to it over and over again.

Anyone else have any memorable movie music to share?

No comments: