Tick, Tick, Bust – Impostor’s Three Songs Can’t Save it From Itself

•June 29, 2011 • 1 Comment

Gary Sinise, Madeleine Stowe, Tony Shalhoub and Vincent D’Onofrio starring in a movie based on a Philip K. Dick story. Impostor should be a good movie; instead, it’s a sham of a movie and a shell of what the original story was.

Musically, Impostor started out right. I wasn’t expecting to hear John Lee Hooker in a movie set in 2079, but was pleasantly surprised by it. Boom, boom, boom, boom. Pretty funny given that the movie is about a guy who is supposedly carrying enough Centauri C4 to blow up half of a city. Unfortunately, the cleverness of the movie ended there – it went from bomb to bust.

After a few piss poor special effects, Impostor shifts to a few scenes that are supposed to make you care about the future Earth by displaying emotional scenes that we can relate to today – young love and motherhood. Just your average shuttle ride featuring teens making out next to a mother breastfeeding her child. A little bit forced on the sentimentality. Or maybe that’s just the piano score that seems a bit forced.

I usually love movies, oarticularly sci-fi films about identity, but this one was a dud. Whichever cast of characters rated this four out of five stars on Netflix needs a bit more supernova in their lives. If you were tempted to watch this, watch Moon instead. A much better choice on the sci-fi list.

I won’t make bad space jokes anymore. I’ll just leave you with the music. There were three songs in the movie Impostor. I suppose that’s more than most future apocalyptic alien invasion movies. They were better than the movie itself as well as Isham’s score.

  • Olham in the showerBoy from Ipanema by Crystal Waters
  • Second song in the shower, asks for something differentBoom Boom by John Lee Hooker
  • Doctor Pearl washing his hands before Olham body scan – Tribal Flight 1 by Richard Downing

Don’t Adjust That Dial, You’ve Found the 6 Songs from The Adjustment Bureau Soundtrack

•June 27, 2011 • 1 Comment

There are six songs in The Adjustment Bureau, including two from Richard Ashcroft, former frontman of The Verve. Lucky Man is still one of my favorite songs, so needless to say, I was excited to hear Ashcroft in the movie. The Ashcroft songs are bookends for The Adjustment Bureau. The first, “Future’s Bright,” opens the movie as David Norris is running for the senate. The latter, “Are You Ready?,” appears during the end credits.

I had the same verve of a reaction when I realized that The Adjustment Bureau was based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. There are a great many of his stories that have been turned into movies – Blade Runner and Total Recall are at the top of the list for me. I’d put Adjustment Bureau near there as well – certainly higher than Next and Paycheck – maybe somewhere near Minority Report. The movie kind of reminded me of The Candidate, if it were told by JJ Abrams within a dream in which Frank Capra was telling a tall tale.

Besides the two songs from Ashcroft, the rest of the soundtrack for The Adjustment Bureau is a ragtag bunch, including a remix of Fever and a tune from They Might Be Giants, each good in their own right, but making for an interesting mix here. I could not for the life of me figure out where the They Might Be Giants song was in the movie, nor where the Gleedsville song was either. Sorry for the holes in the scene list. Perhaps my viewing experience was adjusted for the chairman’s shits and giggles. Google gave me no more relief.

The score for the movie is appropriately pensive, with a little bit of clarinet, followed by a slow guitar and strings. It paints a lush landscape – one where your brain may wander unto itself, asking questions about free will and those purposeful accidents that have made you who you are today. My favorite line from the movie came early, after Norris accidentally sees an adjustment happening. He is sitting in the bar trying to remember Elise’s number. Harry tells him: “your entire world just turned upside down and you’re thinking about a woman”. This could describe any number of scenes from a Matt Damon movie. It could also capture what makes us fundamentally human, and subject to the tantrums of fate. Love.

What would you do? Risk your life and hers? Choose a destiny of promise or make a promise that destiny says you can’t keep? Would you counter that clock and turn the door opposite?

While you decide, take a look at the complete list of all six songs from The Adjustment Bureau Soundtrack. I was able to figure out which scenes for of the six songs were in. If you can figure out where the They Might Be Giants song is in the movie, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Original music for The Adjustment Bureau – Thomas Newman

And a little more from the score to The Adjustment Bureau:

The Bad Teacher Soundtrack Features Some Good Songs – 23 of Them

•June 24, 2011 • 1 Comment

They didn’t release a Bad Teacher soundtrack album, but you can find all 23 songs from Bad Teacher, plus the downloads for them, here. The soundtrack is pretty much what you’d think, including a good collection of metal and hair band songs, from Judas Priest, Ronnie James Dio, Whitesnake and Joan Jett.

But there’s also an odd streak in there too, kind of like the movie itself. The soundtrack is rounded out with music from Coolio, Rooney, JT and Hall & Oates.

And what movie is complete without a little Schlittenfahrt, which as far as I can tell is an actual German Christmas song. Please, correct me if I’m wrong. The album cover looks pretty legit. A little Google Translator and, what do you know, it means sleigh ride. Well, that’s fun. The movie itself was fun at times, but dragged a bit too. I found it funny, then not funny, funny, then not funny. Not bad for a popcorn movie but I don’t think it will be jumping to the top of my queue anytime soon.

  • OpeningTeacher Teacher – Rockpile
  • Elizabeth driving like crazy out of the school parking lotYou’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ – Judas Priest
  • Speech at end of school year – Into My Mind – Charlie Wadhams
  • Showing the movie in class – Stand And Deliver (Main Title) – Craig Safan
  • Doctor’s office – Cafe Jazz – Tim Ziesmer
  • Seventh grade car washStill Of The Night – Whitesnake
  • Collecting money for operation Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio
  • Elizabeth smoking pot in her carRainbow In The Dark – Dio
  • Winter Dance867-5309 Jenny – Tommy Tutone
  • Russell arguing with kid about LebronI Can’t Get Enough – Rooney
  • (Unknown scene) – Chicago Beatdown – Tim Ziesmer
  • Elizabeth and Russell talking in the gymEverything You Need – Kate Booye and Jon-Michael Estep
  • Parent of student drives up in car, invites her to dinnerSchlittenfahrt – Die Flippers
  • Shows Scream the movie in the classroom – Mr Himbry Gets It from Scream – Marco Beltrami
  • School teacher band playing at the bar – Lullaby – Period 5
  • Justin Timberlake singing at the bar – Simpatico – Justin Timberlake, Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky
  • Restaurant with the test administrator – Swing Easy – Tim Ziesmer
  • Taking shots at the restaurant with the test administratorNothing From Nothing – Billy Preston
  • Internet radio in the test administrator’s office54-46 That’s My Number – Toots & the Maytals
  • Test administrator is about to pass outSara Smile – Daryl Hall and John Oates
  • (unknown scene) – Smoothie – Tim Ziesmer
  • Roommate smashes scooter into test administrator’s carThe Ripper – Judas Priest
  • End creditsReal Wild Child – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
  • Original music for Bad Teacher – Michael Andrews

There are also some great songs in the trailers/commercials for Bad Teacher, including:

  • Beggin – Madcon (this song was popularized in the Step Up 3D soundtrack)
  • Stroke Me – Mickey Avalon (this song samples the 80s song Strokin by Billy Squire. Mickey Avalon had his big movie break when his song “What Do You Say?” was featured in the pool scene of the first Hangover.)

Here’s White Snake in all their hair band glory:

Watch out for Joan Jett, she’s a Real Wild Child:

I don’t quite get the subtitles in this concert footage, but it’s Hall & Oates, so you can’t go wrong:

And last but not least, it’s Rooney singing I Can’t Get Enough:

Bit By Bit: Five Songs from the Fletch Soundtrack

•June 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Bit by Bit, the Theme from Fletch, pretty much sums up the music in the movie. It’s a heavy dose of keyboard synthesizer mixed with electronic drum beats in an upbeat only-the-way-the-80s-could-be kind of way, just like the movie itself. Fletch came out 25 years ago, but it is still one of my favorite movies, back from when Chevy Chase was one of the funniest people in film. Fletch is often on USA on the random odd weekend. Tonight, I was flipping through the guide and founf it was on CMT. Even with commerticals, I could not turn away.

These days, Chevy Chase is back to funny as the almost begrungingly likeable curmudgeon Pierce Hawthorn in Community. But if you want Chevy Chase at his finest, you need to go back to Spies Like Us, Vacation or Three Amigos. And Fletch, definitely Fletch.

While there are only four songs credited in the movie, I would add a fifth for good measure. When Fletch is running away from the cops and ends up in the American Legion meeting, he sings the National Anthem to get the attendees on their feet so that he can get away.

The funniest song (well, at least because of the context) is when Fletch sings Moon River when he goes to Stanwyck’s doctor for an exam. He sings a line from the song before asking: “You using the whole fist, doc?”

Here’s the complete list of songs from Fletch along with downloads for them. You can put them on the Underhill’s bill.

If you can’t get enough Fletch, you can snag the original Fletch CD soundtrack, including the score by Harold Faltermeyer. This is 80s synthesizer score at it’s best.

The 7 Songs from the Green Lantern Soundtrack Shine Brighter Than the Film

•June 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The soundtrack album for Green Lantern only has the score from the movie, but you can find all seven songs from Green Lantern here, along with notes on the scenes they were in. Most of the songs from the movie are from the 1950s and 60s, an homage to the reboot of the series with Hal Jordan in 1960.

You never know what you are going to get in the soundtrack to a comic book movie. Some go comic to the core and stick with a score that channels the sense of the graphic comic turned tune, while others shove as many hit songs as possible into the soundtrack, even if only a few actually appear in the movie itself. These soundtracks become promotional vehicles for the summer blockbuster as much as the Happy Meals, candy bars and action figures that bear its visage.

Green Lantern cuts somewhere in the middle. There’s only one song on the soundtrack to Green Lantern that I would actually expect to appear in this movie: that’s the first song, Baby You Don’t Wanna Know by Sum 41. The soundtrack quickly remembers its comic book roots and brings the sounds of Sam Cooke, The Fleetwoods and 60s songs Lawdy Miss Clawdy and Barefootin performed by New Orleans band Joints Jumpin’.

Although the reviews for the movie have been mixed, I think most people who take a listen to the songs in the movie will find that they like them. Here’s the complete list of all seven songs from Green Lantern, with links to the downloads for them and notes on the scenes they were in.

Original music for the Green Lantern – James Newton Howard

The Fleetwoods 1959 classic Come Softly To Me:

Groove Armada’s bluesy plea Hands of Time:

Here’s Elvis doing Lawdy Miss Clawdy, the song performed by Joint’s Jumpin at the party in the movie:

Take a Chance on the Taking Chances Soundtrack, But Skip the Movie

•June 19, 2011 • 1 Comment

Taking Chances is not a very good movie. In fact, it should not even make it on the back up extended list of your Instant Queue. I usually like movies – most any movie. I also think Justin Long can be pretty damn funny, even if he has made some pretty bad films. Accepted is one of those movies that I will watch every time USA decides it is back to school enough to run on a loop for a week or two. Unfortunately Taking Chances would be on the bottom of the Long list of mediocre films.

In fact, just about the only redeeming thing about Taking Chances is the soundtrack. There are 13 songs in the movie, 11 of which are from the band Wyoming featuring singer Jacob Bercovici. I am very thankful to the producers of Taking Chances for introducing me to the music of Wyoming. The most recent Wyoming album, In the Wings, is about to go into heavy rotation.

The music from Taking Chances reminds me of the soundtracks to Good Will Hunting and Up in the Air – both great mixes of tunes. Wyoming sounds like a cross between Elliott Smith, Dan Auerbach and Sad Brad Smith. Good vocals, scratchy acoustic guitars and a hook that sticks in your craw.

I was able to track down two Wyoming albums on Amazon, a Facebook page as well as a references to the albums on a good ole MySpace page, but not much else about Jacob or his band. (Any fans of Wyoming out there? If so, please share.) I downloaded the 16 songs from Wyoming that I could find, off the 2011 album In the Wings, which is closest to the sound of the songs from the movie, as well as the earlier album In Prison, which is still good, but not a different sound. If you are going to go with one of them, pick up In the Wings first.

I had a really hard time trying to find downloads for the songs from the movie, so I’m not going to be able to provide the customary links to the songs in the movie, or to identify the specific scenes they were in. If you are able to track down any of these songs, please let me know. I’ll be happy to share.

Here’s the complete list of 13 songs from Taking Chances in the order they appeared in the movie:

  • What Will You Do – Wyoming featuring Jacob Bercovici
  • Golden Bones – Wyoming featuring Jacob Bercovici
  • Over the Sun – Wyoming featuring Jacob Bercovici
  • Is it Yours, Is it Mine – Wyoming featuring Jacob Bercovici
  • Bumblee Lights – Wyoming featuring Jacob Bercovici
  • Pol Pot’s Theme – John Gold, Sam Music and David Ralicke
  • Barstow Shuffle – Wyoming featuring Jacob Bercovici
  • Coral Reefs – Wyoming featuring Jacob Bercovici
  • Selma – Wyoming featuring Jacob Bercovici
  • London – Noonday Underground
  • Prospector’s Lament – Wyoming featuring Jacob Bercovici
  • Sunburned – Wyoming featuring Jacob Bercovici
  • American Dream Sweet Dreams – Wyoming featuring Jacob Bercovici
  • Original music for Taking Chances – Scott Glasgow

Here’s the only video that I could find for the songs from Taking Chances. It’s London by Noonday Underground:

All 5 Songs from the Cars 2 Soundtrack

•June 18, 2011 • 1 Comment

The soundtrack to Cars 2 is a little bit like a mid-range compact car. It’s pretty light on features – there are only five songs in the movie – but those features that have been included complement each other well. There are two simple themes of the movie Cars 2 soundtrack: cars and international adventures.

The best song on the Cars 2 album is Weezer’s cover version of the Cars classic You Might Think. Not that the original needed a fresh coat, but Weezer’s does a reasonable job of keeping it true to the original while still making it their own. The same cannot be said for the movie. It was so slow that I saw a couple kids who fell asleep midway through it. You might be better off watching the first one twice rather than the second one once. It’s not horrible, but it’s not nearly as good as the first one either.

There’s also a couple country tunes from Brad Paisley, including a duet with Robbie Williams, who boasts a Blondie styled Route 66 talking rap in the middle of the song. Collision of Worlds is a nod to the international focus of Cars 2, as is Benabar’s “Mon Couer Fait Froom”, which translates as My Heart Goes Vroom. Fitting.

The first Cars movie was a lot of fun; the second one promises to be a good time as well. Lightning McQueen and Mater are back along with Finn McMissile and a cast of international cars. The spy caper motif is fun, giving the franchise plenty of opportunity to extend the Mater as the likable rube story from the first installment.

All of the songs in Cars 2 are available on the Cars 2 soundtrack album. You can download them all individually from Amazon, except for Polyrythm by Perfume, which can only be snagged along with the rest of the album. Two of the five songs are in the end credits of Cars 2, while the rest are used to set the scene in Tokyo and Paris. There are a couple classical songs that are uncredited in the movie, such as the song for the Queen when Mater is knighted.

Here are the five songs that are credited in Cars 2 in the order they appeared in the movie and with notes on the scenes they were in:

Original music for Cars 2 by Michael Giacchino

Here’s the Japanese electropop trio Perfume, singing their song Polyrythm. Judging by the size of the crowd in this live concert video, they are slightly popular in Tokyo than Radiator Springs:

Micheael Giacchino introduces the Cars 2 score at a preview event at Epcot: