Saturday, March 20, 2010

Epic Movie Scores

Wait, whaaaaaat? This blog is usually about scrapping, right? And when it's not about scrapping it's usually about Star Wars or photography. But sometimes it's just about my ramblings, and this is definitely one of those posts!

You see, I've been stuck on this song lately- Requiem For A Tower.


I get that way a lot- I get stuck on one song and play it over and over for days, it's just that mostly it happens with Lifehouse. And Requiem isn't even a song from a movie- it's from a movie trailer! You see, there's this movie called Requiem for a Dream (which I've never seen) that has a very haunting score by Clint Mansell- definitely not "epic," but very pretty. A production house took part of that score, amped it up, added lots of bass and chorals and percussion, and Requiem for a Tower was born. The thing is, it was produced just for the trailer of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and wasn't released to the public until some time last summer. Before that I had to satisfy myself with hearing bits and pieces of it at hockey games (no seriously, Darren and I would quit talking and just listen when they started playing it!).

My love of epic (sweeping, patriotic, music that MOVES) movie scores dates back to when I was 16 (maybe before, but this is the first I clearly remember) and bought the score to Independence Day (you remember that movie, right?). I listened to this thing over and over and over again, especially the End Titles. And I may or may not have been able to recite all of the president's speech... ::blush::

This brings me to the main rule of epic scores- they generally come from epic movies. When I was a teenager that also meant that at some point Todd Eldredge would probably use the music in one of his figure skating programs (I nearly fell off the couch when he started skating to ID4).


Since then there have been a lot of good scores. The movie King Arthur definitely has an epic score- especially the track Budget Meeting.


I simply cannot list my favorite epic movie scores without mentioning Transformers. I really, really expected to hate this movie, but Darren convinced me to watch it by emailing me snippets from the score while I was working a 6 month TDY in Colorado Springs. I heard the music and I was totally hooked. I now refer to it as my "audio crack" and put it on my iPod at work when I need to write code with some serious speed. Oh, and the movie is pretty good, too. :)


The score to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is also quite good, though not as cohesive as the first score. I think that's because they recycled a lot of the themes from the first movie into the second, so Revenge of the Fallen's score bounces from battle scene to battle scene (kind of like the movie itself, actually) without the little bits in between to tie it all together. Still, it's a great listen. Steve Jablonsky is an awesome talent.


And of course I need to mention the The Lord of the Rings. Especially The Two Towers, which gave me my current Requiem addiction. I have all of these scores and like them, but I don't listen to them as often as the others. To me they "almost" reach epic proportions, but they have a lot of soft spots that make them a little sleepy in places. Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely beautiful music, it just doesn't quite live up to being epic in my opinion. :)


I can't mention epic scores without mentioning Star Wars. As much as it pains me to show a picture of Jar-Jar on this blog, the score to Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace is probably my favorite of the six movies. These scores fall just short of epic for many of the same reasons as The Lord of the Rings scores do, but they're still a good listen.


Bloody Pirates!!! The score to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl ranks right up there for me with Independence Day and Transformers. My favorite track is the end credit roll- He's A Pirate. I wouldn't even bother with the scores from the other two movies, though- I've listened to the second one, and it's a total snooze-fest.


And, finally, click here to see how a good score can make anything epic. Go ahead...and I dare you to watch for a minute and not start giggling hysterically like I did. :)

1 comment:

mamasan said...

Gosh, you surely can write. So interesting to read here. You should write for a magazine.

I love the cover art on The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers, and Requiem.

Why you no like Jar-Jar by the way? lol