Music in Movies: It's gotta be classical December 12, 2005
Well, maybe it defines what kind of movies I like. I like the ones that have a serious mood. Drama, I guess. One of my favorite movies right now is "The Natural", and the music is incredible. The "signature" score is mainly a horn section or two, with what seems to be flutes or something in the background. If it's a good tune, it grabs at your heart, like when Roy Hobbs makes his "Wonder Boy" baseball bat out of the trunk of the tree that got destroyed by a fate filled strike of lightning. The same tree, coincidentally, under which he lost his father.
A decent classical score can bring me back to watching movies that I would normally not watch again. Case in point: Jurassic Park. It's the damn kids. I hate movies with dumb kids in them. Actually, it's not only the kids. I also hate the Paleobotanist. I don't know her name, nor would I care enough to even come up with a detailed description of her other than her occupation in the movie. I also hate the guy, the main guy, the archaeologist. Forgive my spellings on these tough words. Ian Malcolm can stay. So can the programmer... "Newman", and the dinosaurs are pretty cool (the main attraction) I pretty much hate everyone else in that movie. So, with all these strikes against it, what in the world would possess me to buy it? Am I f@#%@#$!@ing nuts?! I remember when that movie came out. I was in high school, I think a sophomore. I remember my Track 1 (the course track for smart kids ;-) ) history teacher hadn't seen the movie, but bought the soundtrack. He made a quick comment on it before we resumed writing down word for word what he said. In fact, that course was the ultimate note taking course that I probably wrote down his comments before noticing that they weren't about medieval or renaissance era France. Pretty much all I remember about that course was his short blurb on how much he thought of the music in that movie.
The problem with non-classical music is that it doesn't transcend culture or time, obviously :) But, if you make a movie about partying back in the late 70s (like Dazed and Confused), you're obviously going to put in some great late 70s music. But, a movie that was recorded in what then was considered "present day", like "The Karate Kid" (which also has some decent instrumental/classical music [the Japanese style tune]), then you get songs on your soundtrack that aren't cool anymore. However, I can still watch that movie, the music tends to fit pretty well ("You're the Best" during the Karate tournament), and Mr. Miyagi is quite the character... he's hilarious.
My mind has drawn a blank. If I think of more movies (there are definitely quite a few more) with decent classical scores then I will post more about them. If you know any, feel free to add comments (as opposed to the normal rate of $5 per comment).
Update: More movies with great classical music. The most obvious to me and probably anyone is the Imperial March. Star Wars. Orchestral is what I probably mean, moreso than classical. Classical is a period of time. Anywho. I watched Bagger Vance again today, and that's got a good score.
I hesitate to say the Indiana Jones trilogy only because, on many an occassion, I have fallen asleep watching them, only to wake up to the theme song playing on infinite repeat at the DVD menu screen. I'd hear it 20 times in my sleep, then wake up and I'm like "WHAT THE F@#%!@!@ TURN IT OFF!!"