Movie Man Jackson looks at: 2014 Music in Movies (Part 3)

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Continuing with the series, today comes Part 3. Again, this is not a comprehensive list, just of things I have seen. Let me know what I have missed or need to hear below! For parts 1 and 2, click here and here.

Axe Gang, from Snowpiercer

We Go Forward, from Snowpiercer

In the comments of yours truly’s look at Snowpiercer, good ol’ Dan the Man and Mikey B  described Snowpiercer as “A very strange movie, but one that doesn’t hold back digging deeper and deeper into its own strangeness” and “surreal.” Both couldn’t be more correct. Like the movie itself, the soundtrack is so layered, with tons of classical, electro, orchestral, and Japanese-influenced sounds amid many more. Nothing more can really be said expect it is just so darn unique.

Hooked on a Feeling, from Guardians of the Galaxy

Sometimes being unique can be as simple as going back to the past. The soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy does just that, and perhaps no song is more connected to the film than Blue Swede’s classic, surely even bigger now thanks to the success of the film. This along with the other licensed music gives this installment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe a wholly different tone, one of quirkiness, unconventionality, and retro-ness, despite being set in a sort of near-future realm.

The Final Battle Begins, from Guardians of the Galaxy

Black Tears, from Guardians of the Galaxy

Though the eclectic old-school licensed music is what most may remember about GotG , the actual score composed by Tyler Bates is nothing to scoff at. The Final Battle Begins is a solid musical introduction, and for all intents and purposes, a perfect theme for the journey of “a bunch of aholes.” It is a winning theme, one that tweaked and augmented to fit certain scenes across various other tracks in the score such as Black Tears and The Kyln Escape. The movie needs pieces like this that are expansive and space-y, since this does take place in, you know, a galaxy. When I think of what a space-opera would sound like, these comes to mind. It may be easy to say this now, but listen closely and you can hear heroism, fear, darkness, exploration, and other staples that scream “large galaxy and grand exploration.”

Sacrifice, from Guardians of the Galaxy

If this series hasn’t made you figure it out yet, I am a sucker for the beauty of orchestral strings, and that likely won’t change as this progresses. For all of its humor and nonconformist approach, Guardians of the Galaxy is still traditional in places and still able to deliver in spaces what some other movies struggle with: the sadder side of the emotional spectrum. There’s something about the sweeping violins, subtle but steady snare, faint brass, and muted vocals that give a really somber but reassuring tone that this setback for our heroes will not be the end.

Biggie Bounce, from Let’s Be Cops

Let’s Be Cops may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for yours truly, I found it to be filled with laughs. It is an irreverent time, frightening in a sense, and undoubtedly ridiculous. The soundtrack seems to know this, because it too is filled with songs rife with stupidity, like Biggie Bounce. Really, how does a booty-twerking song fit into LBC? Stumps me too, but in the happenings of the film, know that it is more than ideal.

Alone, from The Equalizer

Composed by Harry Gregson-Williams (Prometheus, Man on Fire, Kingdom of Heaven), the score of The Equalizer is one that is really subdued and mysterious, almost minimalist, with Alone starting immediately seconds into the movie. It reflects the character and mindset of Robert McCall, the enigmatic protagonist of self-control who no one truly knows.

 The Equalizer, from The Equalizer

This piece, though appearing in small pieces of other tracks throughout, is unleashed in all of its glory near the end. While carrying a little of the same mysteriousness as Alone from the start of the film, this title track suits Robert McCall at the end of the flick perfectly. perfectly. And that riff! It’s controlled, methodical, hits hard, and is just overall badass in its sound. Great theme moving forward.

Vengeance, from The Equalizer

Yeah, I know this isn’t an original piece. In fact, Zack Hemsey’s Vengeance has been used in Game of Thrones, 24: Live Another Day, and The Judge. Still, it is a track that gives a solid look (once again) at the culmination as to what McCall is feeling at that particular moment. For what it is worth, hearing Vengeance in The Equalizer was the first time yours truly has ever heard of it, but it came at a great time. It helps punctuate an incredible climax, giving some real intensity to one of the better set pieces of the year.

Until Part 4…

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Photo credit goes to wbjc.com

All music credits go to the men and women who composed them, and YouTube for acquiring the license to make them available.

Follow the Movie Man @MovieManJackson

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4 thoughts on “Movie Man Jackson looks at: 2014 Music in Movies (Part 3)

  1. loving this section man. Its bringing my attention to soundtracks I didn’t notice when watching the movie.

    You should feature The Grand budapest Hotel man if you do another part. That soundtrack was particularly memorable, I actually went and bought it. By Alexandre Desplat, who has done a ton of great OSTs.

    I’m guessing you haven’t been able to see Whiplash. That’s a bummer man, I know jazz ain’t for everyone, but the songs from that movie were fuckin fantastic and really catchy too, in a jazz sorta way.

    Under The Skin had some incredible music too, dunno if you caught that movie but damn it had a Kubrickian-like OST, very unconventional.

    Some great observations again man. This is a cool little series here.

    • Hey Jordan, thanks for the comments and suggestions! Missing those movies is why I still feel somewhat bad about doing this. I love Jazz, played the trumpet for 13 years and still do occasionally!

      I believe I’ll be able to catch Whiplash (I think it’ll come to my theater soon), but I unfortunately missed The Grand Budapest Hotel and Under the Skin :(, they might come back to my theater. Desplat is awesome, he scored the new Godzilla which I thought sounded just like it should of.

      Don’t worry, there will be a part 4 and probably a part 5!

  2. Pingback: Movie Man Jackson looks at: 2014 Music in Movies (Part 4) | MovieManJackson

  3. Pingback: Movie Man Jackson looks at: 2014 Music in Movies (Part 5) | MovieManJackson

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