Sunday, November 15, 2009

Awesome Movie Music

I enjoy soundtrack music, and often listen to certain pieces while working on homework. I thought today would be a good day to share some of my favourites. I tend to enjoy powerful pieces that play at the climax of the film. Generally they have a slow start and build up into something very powerful.

"In the House - In a Heartbeat" by John Murphy from 28 Days Later

A great example of a powerful piece playing at the climax of a film. I'm listening to this one on repeat as I'm writing this.

"Coronation" by Ilan Eshkeri from Stardust

One of my big beefs is that this movie didn't receive the love it deserved. I blame the poor trailer for that. I bought the book on a whim, thought it was nothing more than mediocre and wasn't even going to see the movie based on the trailer and the book. Turns out the movie was much BETTER than the book (and how often do you see that?!). The excellent soundtrack definitely helps, and this is my favourite piece off of it.

"The Ice Dance" by Danny Elfman from Edward Scissorhands

Not sure if I have mentioned here, but Edward Scissorhands is my favourite movie. And this may possibly be my favourite piece of instrumental music ever. It's enormously tragic, probably because of the scenes where it is played in the film. I cry every time I watch the movie and if I'm in the right mood when I hear this music, I cry as well. Danny Elfman writes fantastic film scores.

"PM's Love Theme" by Craig Armstrong from Love Actually

In the interest of full disclosure, I have all three main "themes" from this film (PM's Love Theme, Portuguese Love Theme and Glasgow Love Theme) on my iPod and listen to them very regularly. This one is my favourite of the three, but the whole soundtrack is fantastic. It's among my favourite Christmas movies, and I can't wait to watch it again this year!

"The Kraken" by Hans Zimmer from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

All three films have great scores done by the great Hans Zimmer. This piece always stood out to me, it's a little long but it very easily changes tone and seems composed least to my very untrained ear.

Hans Zimmer also composed some fantastic music with James Newton Howard for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Here are two more pieces from those two films:

"Molassus" (the Batman theme music):

And "Vespertilio", used in the trailers for The Dark Knight:

Good music sets the tone for the film. Have you ever watched your favourite movies on mute or without the music? It feels "off" doesn't it? Soundtracks should be enjoyable within a film, and great soundtracks should be enjoyable outside a film. Notice I haven't used some of the most famous pieces of music from films--I wanted to showcase some of the less well known pieces that I enjoy.

Happy listening!


  1. Whatta list!

    I've always loved Michael Kamen's score for Brazil. And anything John Williams wrote in the 70s: Star Wars, Close Encounters, Jaws, Raiders, Superman, etc. It's enough to forgive him for both Ewok songs!

  2. I LOVE John Williams. The only reason I didn't include any Star Wars was because the music is much too popular. But he created some great stuff for those movies.

  3. Music definitely adds emotion to a movie!

  4. It really does. In many scenes, without music, they wouldn't be as moving, or they'd just seem awkward and weird.

  5. Awkward and weird? Now you're speaking my language. Ha, ha!

    Hey, Jennifer, I thought you might like the band Sigur Ros, based on this blog. If you've never heard them, they're from Iceland and their music is very sweeping and cinematic.

    And if you have heard of them, I just explained something that you already knew!

  6. I'd never actually heard of them until just now. I looked them up and they sound really interesting, I'll give them a listen when I get home. And I really do love sweeping and cinematic music. :) Thanks for the recommendation!

  7. The Sigur Ros song, Starálfur, was in the pivotal scene in the Life Aquatic, where Bill Murray finally sees the fish he's been chasing around.

    Great song, awful movie.

    That said: I'm a huge Wes Anderson fan: Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, and Royal Tenenbaums kick - and the soundtracks are also among the best "song compilations" out there.

  8. Really, that was them? That's a great song. And I thought the Life Aquatic was brilliant--as was the Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited. I really like Wes Anderson.

  9. I love Stardust! You're right... it did not get the love it deserved.

    I also love Wes Anderson... and can't wait to go see Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    If only i had more time...

  10. I'm making time for Fantastic Mr. Fox....there's no doubt about that. Can't wait for it.