Movie Man Jackson looks at: 2014 Music in Movies (Part 5)

reelmusic

Continuing with the series, today comes Part 5, which will, in all likelihood, conclude the series. 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, 2, 3, and 4, click herehere, here, and here.

Full soundtrack from Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Had to go with the full soundtrack as opposed to the usual singling out of tracks, for two reasons. 1) It was extremely hard to find these tracks standalone on YouTube, and 2) Like the cinematography found in the movie, the score is pretty continuous. Listen/look closely and breaks may been heard/seen in each, but it is a masterful job done by drummer Antonio Sanchez to convey a multitude of feelings all through a pair of sticks and a foot pedal. Perhaps more than any other track or soundtrack that appears in this series, this goes best with actually hearing in context. Still, if time is had, it is great listening to throw this on in some headphones and find the groove.

A Game of Croquet, from The Theory of Everything

Forces of Attraction, from The Theory of Everything

At the end of the day, The Theory of Everything is less of a life story and more of just a love story. While it is a little more miss in places than it should be for yours truly at least, some of the moments hit as intended thanks to a moving score composed by Johann Johannson (Prisoners) that covers a swath of feelings, from optimism to despair. The sound is very traditional, simplistic, and old-school, almost as if it was composed by Beethoven or Mozart himself.

Immortals, from Big Hero 6

Fall Out Boy pens this one, made exclusively for the movie. The lyrics may not say a ton, but thought from the perspective of Hiro Hamada and to an extent Baymax, they make a little sense. Above all, it, like Everything is Awesome, is just a catchy song that goes along with the scene it appears in well.

Nerd School, from Big Hero 6

Hiro Hamada, from Big Hero 6

The interesting thing about so many of the tracks that appear in the score of Big Hero 6 is also the odd thing. Within the tracks themselves, they don’t really feel all that cohesive. This approach may be a problem for another movies, but composer Henry Jackman makes it a positive here. In many of these pieces, many different “ideas” can be heard. These ideas give a brief look into the futuristic world of San Fransokyo, as well as capturing the ever-evolving, flip-on-a-dime adolescent temperament of Hiro Hamada.

Huggable Detective, from Big Hero 6

One of the Family, from Big Hero 6 

Streets of San Fransokyo, from Big Hero 6

It is nice to see that even though Big Hero 6 has those similar sounds one may expect to hear when watching a superhero action movie (yours truly hears a lot of Spider-Man and Iron Man vibes throughout the score), it really commits itself to its distinctive setting and world. Blending traditional orchestral work with techno/electronica bits creates a unique sound that pays homage to superhero movies and anime. Even the more emotional moments are accentuated with a sound not heard too often in not just animated films, but non-animated films as well.

The Imitation Game, from The Imitation Game

Alan, from The Imitation Game

Alan Turing is a gifted man. He is also a very troubled man for some reasons beyond his control. Alexandre Desplat again lends his talents to create an amazing score (Godzilla, I feel ashamed in saying I still have yet to see The Grand Budapest Hotel), this one full of equal parts elegance and darkness as well. It is also a really nice touch to see a great amount of focus on the piano, which exists in most, if not all of the pieces and adds a nice level of underlying mystery.

U Boats, from The Imitation Game

The Machine Christopher, from The Imitation Game

Even though Turing and company may not be on the frontlines of the war, their task is just as stressful. Tracks like the ones above showcase what it must have felt like to have so much riding on whether this code was cracked. They are”subtly intense” pieces, not hitting you over the head with a high volume of sound, but still being effective by getting under the skin.

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And with that folks, that concludes my series! Going forward, I am sure the structure of the series will change, from different postings to contributors to perhaps not saving it for just the end of the year. Again, there are a few things I was unable to see, and without viewing them before listening to their respective scores struck me as being a futile attempt, especially as I like to include a little bit of context (specific scene or the entirety of the film) when posting a track.

Hopefully you guys had as much enjoyment I had in hearing these scores/soundtracks. Please, continue to let me know what I have missed! It has been a hell of a 2014 (started late January) and an inaugural year of moviemanjackson.com. From reading and interacting with so many of you, I’ve learned a lot.

Here’s to 2015 and more great analysis.

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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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2 thoughts on “Movie Man Jackson looks at: 2014 Music in Movies (Part 5)

  1. DUDE. I am so with you on the Birdman soudtrack. I have nbever heard anything like it. Plus I’m a drummer so it sounded especialy cool. Especially when they synced up those rolls with the lettering on the credits. What a unique soundtrack, and furthermore what unique, incredible playing on the kit – the sound of that kit was sop old-school and so acoustic. It sounded bleeding fantastic.

    I hope you enjoy my Music in Movies feature, yes I stole the idea from you sightly 😛 but it focuses more on the music movies of 2014, rather than soundtracks from other movies. Which I still think is a dope idea, I’d love to take part man. Music is my thang!!

    Another solid entry man. I wouldn’t have noticed a lot of these sound tracks if you had not laid them out, giving a perfect rundown. Fucking good job man

    • Hey man, thanks for stopping by and letting your thoughts be known through Twitter! I will most definitely be doing this again, and I will keep an eye out for your feature. Sometimes I love the music more than the movie!

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