Top 6 Film Scenes With Great Music

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Who hasn’t heard a great song or watched a brilliant scene and not felt something? I never understood people who said they “didn’t like music”. What? Who the hell doesn’t like music?  It’s one of our species’ oldest traditions. You feel that shit in your bones when it’s right. How does someone not like comedy movies? You hate laughter and happiness? You sick bastard.

At their essence these mediums exist to give their audience a reaction. It can be joy or sadness, discomfort or delight, fear or relief. When the reaction is strong enough scenes and songs can become unforgettable. This is part one of two. In part two I’ll talk about my top TV music moments. The following are some of my favorite film music moments in no particular order. Share your favorite scene in the comments if it’s not on the list!

Spoilers Below

Titanic

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The stage is set. Over a thousand people are about to die and it’s your job to keep them calm. The end draws near. You are about to try your chances at escaping but realize there is nowhere to escape to. If Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are screwed then you know you’re done too. The Titanic, the once unsinkable ship, is fucked. So what do you do? Play one last song as the ship sinks into the Atlantic. This scene is made all the more powerful by the fact that it really happened.

Wayne’s World

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Honestly, if you can watch the opening scene from Wayne’s World without nodding your head or feeling just a little bit better than you did before watching it you’re fucking dead inside. In less than 4 minutes they are able to establish an engaging world while giving you insight into the main characters goals and personalities. All while making you want nothing more than to be in the car rocking out with them.

The Last Samurai

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A fun evening out at Kabuki quickly takes a more violent turn. The drums keep us on edge as they ramp up and slow down along with the action. The Last Samurai isn’t everyone’s favorite but I honestly enjoyed this movie when I saw it in theaters. When Tom Cruise first came out in his samurai armor my cousin laughed out loud. Fair enough.

Interstellar

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I love this soundtrack. Hans Zimmer is god damned masterful. Receiving his messages after years on an alien planet Matthew McConaughey is overcome with emotion. The movie itself is plenty entertaining but the soundtrack is what hooks you in. It takes you on ride of ups and downs but each and every step of the way it wants you in it. Interstellar keeps you feeling. Even if that means being without music for a short time if it better serves the tone. Just do yourself a favor and listen to the songs for the movie on their own.

Children of Men

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Do yourself another favor and add Children of Men to your watch list if you haven’t seen it yet. Watch it again if you have. It’s a gorgeous film with cinematography that flows naturally effortlessly. 18 years ago the last baby was born. Infertility and instability have rocked the world. Also Charlie Hunnam has dreads. This is one my all time favorite scenes. Period.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

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I wanted to end on a more fun and less super dramatic moment for now. I’m a big fan of the Scott Pilgrim comics. I actually started reading them after watching the trailer for the movie and thinking it looked amazing. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is just a really fun movie. It’s visually stimulating, it’s funny, the music is great, and all those things truly work in unison. This scene sees Scott Pilgrim & Co. in a literal battle of the bands.

That’s all for now. More to come in like 8 months probably.

Skeleton Twins Review

The_Skeleton_Twins_posterSkeleton Twins: For when you want to feel emotionally confused. It stars Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as Maggie and Milo Dean, a pair of dysfunctional twins coping with childhood scars that continue to haunt them. Hader is a struggling actor living in L.A. and Wiig is a dental hygienist still living in their hometown in New York.

As children Maggie and Milo were seemingly inseparable but somewhere along the way they grew distant. Skeleton Twins is a heartfelt, at times frustrating, story of their reunion after a 10 year gap. Both of their characters can be wonderfully endearing. Bill Hader in particular really excels in his role as a gay man going through a recent breakup. His characters droll sense of humor seems to confuse or turn off those around him but it’s clear he has a big heart. It’s the “I got funny to cope with shit” story that I think many people are familiar with.

THE SKELETON TWINS, from left: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, 2014. ©Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection
THE SKELETON TWINS, from left: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, 2014. ©Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

I feel conflicted about Wiig’s character. Though, that may just demonstrate how well she played her. Maggie is struggling to cope with the “perfect” life she has but never really planned on having. She’s married to, in her own words, a great guy played by Luke Wilson. Everything seems to be going well for them but she is clearly missing some kind of fulfillment.

The film explores childhood trauma as well as coming from a dysfunctional family. It opens with Wiig speculating to the audience that all their problems may have started with their father. The opening scene shows him as a faceless man behind a Dia de los Muertos skeleton mask. He is revisited throughout the film but always with an air of mystery about what happened. Their mother is briefly explored and played by Joanna Gleason.

Besides for a few lucky people, most families are familiar with loss, pain, or just bad shit happening to them. Then sometimes you encounter people who just never get a break. The families that have bad thing after bad thing follow them around forever. Skeleton Twins is the story of one of those families. At times it can be hard to root for the main characters. Yet, somehow I found myself still pulling for them by the end of the movie.

Skeleton Twins revisits some fears many of us shared while growing up. The fear of “peaking” in high film_skeletontwins-magschool and never reaching the potential you envisioned for yourself. The fear of being alone. The fear of pushing everyone away. The fear of being in your 30s(+/- accordingly) and still being lost and confused about your place in the world. The biggest strength to the film is that the characters are human. There is no pure “good” character to pull for. Everyone is damaged. Everyone has baggage. Everyone has a story. There’s bits and pieces of us all represented in this film.

Beyond looking how families can hurt each other it also looks at how they can help with healing. It shows the love and compassion that can be offered by those that spent their entire lives with you. If you’re looking for continuous SNL styled laughs, this isn’t the film for you. If you’re looking for a dark comical exploration of how f’d up people can be, then look no further. 3.75 out of 5.

Godzilla Review (Originally written May 2014)

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I’ll admit, I jumped on the Godzilla bandwagon.  I jumped on it real fast.  From the moment I heard that monstrous roar I was drooling.

It’s now 2:45 in the morning and I’ve just arrived home from seeing the movie.  What. A. Movie.

Alas, I don’t mean that in a good way.  Considering it’s a two hour long movie called “Godzilla” I went in assume Godzilla would be the main character.  Nope. Instead, the movie follows the family hijinks of Heisenberg and Kickass. Err… I mean Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his son Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).  Kickass goes on adventures of having the shit kicked out of him but never seeming like he’s in actual danger.

There were multiple scenes in the movie where I’d start to get pumped up.  “This is it.” I found myself thinking.  The impending monster apocalypse has arrived and is about to start in all its glory.  HERE IT COMES! OH MAN! Cut to new scene.  Huh?  Wait.  Godzilla.  Come back to me you majestic gorilla-whale.   Nope, that’s all the Godzilla for now.  Let’s go back to those silly little humans and their silly little plans that make little to no sense. Dammit.

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Fuck.

I kept finding myself thinking about another giant monster film that came out somewhat recently.  Yup, you guess it, Pacific Rim.  Now Pacific Rim may not be the greatest movie ever but it gave you what you came for.  Giant monster vs giant robot fights. I want to see my baby Gojira murder the hell out of some MUTOs.

When the movie started to approach its climax, and the monster bash was clearly about to begin in earnest, I started paying attention to how long Godzilla was on screen.  Approximately 10-15 minutes.  Perhaps 20-30 minutes in the entire movie.  These aren’t 20 action packed minutes either.  Roughly half the time Godzilla is on screen we’re either following his movements as he’s submerged underwater or seeing a super close up.

Perhaps you can tell I’m a bit upset.  I REALLY wanted this movie to be great.  To show that Americans could do Godzilla right.  Maybe this film is proof that we cannot do any such thing.  We can make a crappy romance story/family drama that occasionally features a giant monster destroying shit.  That’s about it.

While this film isn’t as bad as the 1998 predecessor, it certainly drops the ball.  Most of my gripes (pretty much all of my gripes) come from the lack of Godzilla in a movie called Godzilla.  If this film was called “Immortal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Lieutenant That Seems Really Well Versed In a Variety of Situations” it’d be a different  story.

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“You mean that’s all we see of Godzilla?”

Bryan Cranston, in his role of a distraught and grieving husband, is engaging and moving. Sadly, most of the other performances fall short. The only other human character I found myself enjoying was Dr. Ichiro Serizawa played by Ken Wantanabe AKA the actual Last Samurai. It seems like this genius scientist becomes increasingly dimwitted as the movie progresses. The writing for the female characters (Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, and Juliette Binoche) is practically nonexistent and mostly boils down to looks of shock. Godzilla has its flaws but the writing stands out as the biggest culprit.

I guess it all comes down to “Should I see this movie?”  It’s a tough call actually.  First you must ask yourself another question “Do I want to see this movie solely for Godzilla fucking shit up?”  If you answered yes to this question, you probably shouldn’t see this movie.  You will more than likely be disappointed.  The last 15-20 minutes are where the bulk of the action is found.  The other 100 minutes feel more like filler and a desperate attempt to make us care about people you don’t actually care about.  I give Godzilla 3 out of 5.  While not a bad movie in its own right, its biggest downfall is taking a beloved icon like Godzilla and essentially putting him in the background of his own movie.