Inside Out (composed by Michael Giacchino)
Bundle of Joy
Joy Turns to Sadness
We Can Still Stop Her
Michael Giacchino may have scored the third highest-grossing movie of the year in Jurassic World, but the score he will get the praise for (and perhaps another gold man) is that of Inside Out. Like most scores, Inside Out features a dominant motif, but what’s so amazing about this one is that there are multiple ones that run each gamut of emotion at the right time in the movie. Want bubbly joy? Got it. Brooding fear? That exists. Moving sadness? Right in the feels. Inside Out is a superb movie, and with it being so emotional, it’s no surprise that the score is as such.
Self/less (composed by Antônio Pinto and Dudu Aram)
There’s not much right with Self/less, sadly. The potential it has for its thought-provoking premise is wasted, and rather quickly. by the first 30 minutes. But, in between the nearly two-hour runtime, there is a fairly unique, “India-sounding” score composed by Pinto and Aram, one that seems to hint at what Self/less could have been with at its peak with more fully developed ideas. The track above is the perfect track for an end of a movie where you’re reflecting on what you’ve just watched and asking questions (not about the movie, but about life), being fairly moved by what was just watched. This is a beautiful track.
Ant-Man (composed by Christophe Beck)
Scott Surfs on Ants
I’ll Call Him Antony
Ant-Man is, shockingly, a Marvel movie, which can make it harder to differentiate among the better, and bigger, installments. But, it does sit nicely with the rest because it is more “radically” different, bringing thrills and action, and even different genres like comedy and crime, into its installment. Take The Theme from Ant-Man for example,
This sounds like something you would hear to epitomize a Marvel hero, all bold and full of strength, but it, like the other tracks posted, have much more than that. I believe Christophe Beck says it best in describing what he wanted to do with Ant-Man‘s score, Pink-Panther-esque in spots with some Bourne thrown in there along with the usual Marvel OST work:
“What makes this score stand out among other Marvel movies, though, is a sneaky sense of fun since it is, after all, not only a superhero movie, but also a heist comedy.”
Southpaw (composed by James Horner, soundtrack by various artists)
Phenomenal (performed by Eminem)
Rap and boxing careers are mirror images in some ways, with many of the more popular individuals in the respective areas rising from rags to riches. There’s a hunger, a rawness, an intensity that fuels the best fighters and rappers, and Eminem is one of the best rappers there is and ever will be. Southpaw was originally made to feature Eminem in the title role, with the movie being an unofficial follow up to 8 Mile, and a reflection of his life. Though he doesn’t make an appearance, his presence is felt in the movie through the soundtrack with songs like Kings Never Die and Phenomenal. The latter represents the mindfrane of Billy Hope in comeback training, desperate, but razor-focused in determination to re-scale the mountain.
A Fatal Tragedy
Hope vs Escobar
Southpaw is one of the last movies that the late James Horner lent his composing talents. A man usually known for big orchestral pieces, with Southpaw, he elects for a little more simplicity, often times only using a piano with some electronic sounds. The effect is subtle, almost the opposite of what is come to be expected from a boxing movie. I almost wish that volume in the theater weren’t turned up so high. Could have just been my screen, but the music seemed to be turned up to 11 when more subtley would have worked equally well. I actually think this is a score that sounds better on its own. Rest in piece, James Horner.
The Gift (composed by Saunder Jurrians and Danny Bensi)
What Did You Do
I am not a Shakespeare guy, but after watching The Gift a few times, does it not feel like a Shakespearian tragedy (or triumph, depending on how you look at it)? Maybe it is the music, really melodic, kind of romantic and beautiful, but all injected with a strong layer of unease and tragedy. Many times, most of the tracks just linger and linger, starting off like an initial thought—a rumor if you will—that festers into something stronger, and in this case, more darker. What Did You Do and Passing Out, in particular, are these types of pieces. If the dark recesses of one’s mind had theme music, I think many of The Gift‘s score pieces could work!
Straight Outta Compton (composed by Joseph Trapanese, soundtrack by multiple artists)
For the time being, this space will be empty where tracks from Straight Outta Compton‘s underrated score would be. For some reason, the score (and the soundtrack, honestly) will not be released until January! This part will be revised in the future.
We Want Eazy
F*** Tha Police
Still, the music that most, if not all, are going to associate Straight Outta Compton with are the actual songs written and performed by the members of the group, and luckily, those have been around for a while. Like Get On Up a year prior, it is one thing to hear these songs, but they really do come to life on the silver screen, creating one of the more electric (for my theater, at least, but seemed to happen at other theaters as well), viewing experiences in quite some time.
The track sounds as volatile as the actual situation.
Photo credits go to imdb.com, gettyimages.com, screendaily.com, southpawer.com, and youtube.com.