5 movies with great music

Once - Movie Soundtrack

Of course, “great music” is probably one of the most subjective phrases possible, especially in modern times.  Some people live and die by Country music…some just die.  The same can be said of all genres.  So, that said, these are completely from my perspective, but if you share my movie tastes, I’m going to guess that you’ll like the music in these movies as well.

And if you haven’t seen one of these movies, stop what you are doing and watch them now.

Garden State
The movie itself is very well constructed, written and directed by visual comedian Zach Braff playing a completely serious role, and playing it well.  The music, though, is the winner in this movie.  Featuring great tracks from Zero 7, Coldplay, The Shins, and others, this soundtrack stands alone as a mellow personal play list for a lazy summer day.

Check it out: Garden State – Music From The Motion Picture

Everything is Illuminated
I recently watched this movie, and almost immediately bought the soundtrack.  The authentic Russian punk music is fun, moving, and fresh.  The instrumental pieces are just as good, and all original Paul Cantelon pieces.  Great additions to any music library, especially for those that would like to break out into some of the foreign music cultures.

Check it out: Everything Is Illuminated (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Charming and fanciful, this soundtrack frames an equally charming and fanciful movie.  Yann Tiersen’s score was made before the production of Amelie, but director Jean-Pierre Jeunet liked it so much that he worked it into the movie.  Inspired by European Classical music, this soundtrack is a must have.

Check it out: Amelie: Original Soundtrack Recording

Singing in the Rain
One of the classic musicals, and one of my favorites.  Similar to Amelie, the music for this movie was created before the movie was in production, and in this case before it was even written.  Basically, the story goes that the studio gave writes Adolph Green and Betty Comden a bunch of songs one of them liked, and told them to make a movie out of it.  Well, these great songs (sung by Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor) are wonderful (and the movie, even more wonderful).

Check it out: Singin’ in the Rain (1952 Film Soundtrack)

Good movie, but even better soundtrack.  The songs all have an acoustic, Irish street musician feel that softly embraces you.  The first track, Falling Slowly, sets the mood and energy for the rest of the album, never letting you down.  A great soundtrack whether you are in love or heartbroken, and while maybe not life changing, it is something you will want to make sure you experience.

Check it out: Once

8 Movie Villains I Want to be When I Grow Up

I don’t want to be a thief, murderer, adulterer, or whatever…especially since most of these people die or just lose in the end.  But if I had to be a villain, these are 8 people I definitely would not mind being.  Do you have some of your own?  Post them at the bottom in our “Comments” section.

310 To Yuma - Ben Wade310 to Yuma – Ben Wade
We recently reviewed the 2007 version of 310 to Yuma on our Podcast, and had a very good discussion about mr. Wade.  He is clearly our villain, but the line between good and evil is very questionable throughout the movie.  That aside, Wade is confident, crafty, good with the ladies, and always in control.
Wizard of Oz - The Wicked WitchThe Wizard of Oz – The Wicked Witch Of The West
I don’t want to be a woman, or have green skin…but flying on a broomstick?  Flying monkeys?  Flying fireballs?  I could totally deal with all of that flying.  And I would do things totally differently.
DraculaAny Dracula movie – Count Dracula
Sure, he relies on human blood to sustain him…BUT, eternal youth, chick magnet, great dresser.  Great trade-offs.
Die Hard - Hans GruberDie Hard – Hans Gruber
A little too effeminate for me, but still not someone I would mess with.  And he’s rich….actually, was he?  Maybe not.  Still, loved the accent, and I wish I could have one just like it.
Fight Club - Tyler DurdenFight Club – Tyler Durden
The concept of the world held by Tyler is very enticing….albeit nuts.  To live free of materialism would be liberating…but I enjoy the luxuries of this life way too much.  And he is played by Brad Pitt.  Get rid of the anti-capitalism, and Tyler is my hero.
Alien - The AlienAlien – The Alien
Acid for blood?  Two mouths?  Incredible acrobatic abilities?  Count me in.
Nightmare on Elm Street - Freddy KruegerNightmare on Elm Street – Freddy Krueger
Though pretty much all 6 (6 movies?  Wait a minute, let me check…9.  Wow) all 9 movies are garbage, the concept is pretty freaking cool.  Take away the child murdering/molestation, burning to death locked in a house, and murdering people in their sleep…being Freddy would be wonderful.

Okay, maybe this one doesn’t work.

Star Wars - Boba FettStar Wars – Boba Fett
This guy can fly and shot laser guns.  Sold.

Five Christ-Figures in Film

Iron Giant (1999) as a Christ Figure

1. The Iron Giant from Iron Giant
WHAT WORKS: The Iron Giant comes to Earth from the heavens. He says very little. He has an extraordinary amount of power. He looks out for the little guys, and the down-and-outs. Ultimately, he sacrifices himself for humanity (in this case Maine), and comes back to life.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: He was created to destory things. He doesn’t know how to harness his power, almost killing the very one who is trying to help him. Oh yeah, and he’s a robot.

2. Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird
WHAT WORKS: He is a moral man from a small town. He cares for “the least of these.” He is wise beyond his years, and considered a great leader.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: He is not Jewish. He has children. May be more of a God figure than Christ figure

3. Superman from Superman Returns
WHY IT WORKS: His father has only one son, who sends Superman to Earth to show them the light. He floats above Earth listening to all the problems of humanity. He is human, yet he is more than human. He is wounded and tortured. He gives of himself for others.

WHY IT DOESN’T WORK: He has a son of his own. He flies. He wears glasses.

4. Brubaker from Brubaker (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080474/)
WHAT WORKS: He comes into an area full of sinners, yet he did not sin himself. He comes to help, yet is mistreated. He is a man of power, yet keeps his power to himself.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: He swears. He’s blond. No one’s ever seen this movie.

5. The Terminator in Terminator 2
WHAT WORKS: He comes to Earth in almost a magical way. He comes to Earth naked, having to learn the ways of the people. He has great power, coming to save humanity (by proxy). He gives his life to save us from the ultimate evil.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: Just about everything else.

Documentaries that aren’t boring

King of Kong - Documentary

I like documentaries. Here are some worth watching (disclaimer: they are not all my favorites, but just notable)

1. Grizzly Man2. Spellbound/Wordplay/ Word Wars3. Paper-Clips
4. King of Kong
5. Anything by Ken Burns
6. Woodstock (mature)/Deliver us from Evil (very mature)/Capturing the Friedmans (very very mature)
7. The Up Series
8. Touching the Void
9. Super-Size Me
10. Food Inc.
11. The Fog of War
12. F for Fake
13. No Direction Home
14. Jesus Camp
15. The one about the guy who was in a boat race but he faked it and went missing instead.
15. March of the Penguins
16. Born into Brothels
17. Dear Zachary
18. Audience of One

Any other suggestions?