Top Five Movie Scores

What makes a good movie click? Good(looking) actors, good plot, appropriate story buildup, awesome movie backdrop to make a few. But what makes a good movie an apt movie are the scores and soundtracks. It’s the icing on the cake. A good score not only enhances the movie, it helps evoke and bring out the emotions the actors and producers behind the movie want to give to the movie viewers. Even a lousy movie can turn into an average one with good scores. And then, there’s the haunting scores that embeds itself into your head, playing its tune over and over again. Those are the apt scores that turn an average movie into a good movie, a good movie into a great movie, a great movie into an apt movie.

Here are my top five favorite movie scores. It’s a little difficult to decide who make the cut (there’s so many great composers out there!) but here’s to the five (in no particular order) who strike that chord in my heart.

1. Soul Outside by Antonio Pinto – The Host (2013)

The Host was just slightly above average as a movie actually, but I like that the score made the the scene whereby the ‘souls’ were extracted/imparted really enigmatic, mysterious yet wonderful to watch. The music is the saving grace for the film. This is one of my top replays at the moment. Can’t get it out of my head!

 

2. Latika’s Theme by A. R. Rahman – Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack (2009)

This beautiful score brings the eight Academy Awards, seven BAFTA awards, five Critic’s Choice Award and five Golden Globe Awards movie to a close, of how a boy who went from rag to riches and gets his girl at the end of the day despite all the odds stacked against him. I like this.

 

3. Main Theme by Michael Kamen – Band of Brothers (2001)

This was one of the few scores that was ingrained to my head back at my schooling days. Those were the days when I still dreamt of being a cop, or being a fighter pilot and defending national soil. I think this song has a part to play in this. War is never fun and games, and the reality of the people who were sacrificed for the countries interest is very real. Yet who would remember their names when the credits roll in? It takes remarkable courage to be a soldier. One of my favorite scenes from the TV series has to be during the Christmas episode when soldiers from both sides laid down their rifles and celebrate as one collective band of brothers. I love this.

 

4. Evacuating London by Harry Gregson-Williams – The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

When one thinks of Fantasy and Adventure, one would think Narnia. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is possibly one of the most magical movies ever brought to life from a book. Oh when the time Lucy stepped into Narnian snow by the lamppost for the first time, oh when the Pevensies stood to take in the beauty of Narnia, oh when Peter valiantly charged alongside the line of centaurs and Aslan’s animals towards the Witch’s overwhelming army, oh when Aslan turns the tide and saves the day, this movie brings me to tears! But even before that, there was ‘Evacuating London’. That was at the beginning of the movie when the Pevensies were threatened by the London bombings during World War One. Just from listening to this score, I know I am in for a good time, and a magical one on that note.

 

5. Cloud Atlas End Title by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil – Cloud Atlas (2012)

And there is Cloud Atlas. This is by far the BEST movie I’ve watched in my opinion. This movie is by far in a league of its own. Spanning across six different timelines, the movie itself is “an exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.” – IMDb.com One of my favorite quote from the movie Cloud Atlas: A:“There is a natural order to this world, and those who try to upend it do not fare well.. Only as you gasp your dying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean!” B:“Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?” And there’s the Cloud Atlas Sextet to match this ‘thought-exploding’ movie. Though close to a three hour movie, you will be glued to the film every minute of a second. Remember to stay for the end credits too.

 

Is there any movie score or soundtrack you believe should make the top five list?

Movie Insights – Dark Shadows

Lots of unpleasant things has rocked our once-peaceful tropic island lately; death of national servicemen, MRT repeated disruptions which-I-don’t-know-why, the impending arrival of Lady Gaga.. So on and so forth. Picking up the newspaper and glancing through the headlines can be rather depressing at times like this (not that headlines has ever been very positive in the first place), but thank God for movies.

Being a BIG movie fanatic, how can one miss the dynamic duo Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton’s latest film; Dark Shadows? Dark Shadows talks of a dark tale (puns puns) of Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), a rich and hopeless Casanova from the prestigious Collins family in 1872, who finally falls in love with his true love; Josette du Pres. Dark as the story goes, one of the ladies, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), a witch whose heart he broke cast a spell on all his lovers, making every single one of them commit suicide, killing Collin’s parents, turning Collins into a vampire and subsequently locking him up in a coffin.

196 years later, Collins awoke from his slumber from an accidental excavation only to find his beloved Collins Manor in a state of disrepair and his (highly dysfunctional) descendents struggling to make ends meet after their main business was falling apart due to the acts of the very witch who turned him into a vampire. Chaos ensures as Collins battle it out with Bouchard to restore the glory of the Collins, dark secrets of the family is swept out of the carpet, and Collins fighting to protect his new love Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote) who’s a splitting image of Josette, from suffering the same fate.

As usual, Depp puts up spectacular acting through his quirky personality; his expression from being fascinated by the big M (for McDonalds) and a weird terrain (road) is priceless, not to mention his old Georgian English which have smitten the hearts of some of my friends. Eva Green is so wicked at being wicked yet so able to bring out her deliciously sexy sex appeal at the same time (you kinda hate her but love her, now that’s what I call acting). Though a small role, one of my favorite up-and-coming actress, Chloë Grace Moretz plays it well as the rebellious descendent of the Collins, (and secretly a werewolf).

But that’s about it. The star powers in the film are  really the redeeming grace for the film which so disappointingly lack in plot and depth. Is Victoria Winters the lead character or just a side character, I don’t know. Unlike Burton’s previous films, Dark Shadows is a pretty ordinary movie which lacks that special spark, magical touch, X factor, Allspark, chemical X, whatever you wanna call it to make it a blockbuster. The movie is one that is cliché, forgettable, and is entertaining to say the most. Watch it if you’re bored or just a Johnny Depp and Chloë Grace Moretz fan like me.

Verdict: 3 out of 5 movie bites

 

The 6 Must-haves on your next visit to the Grid

Imagine you’re struck in the Grid. What are the must-haves that you must, well have in your backpack in order to survive? Here’s a guide of the 6 must-have items that you should have in your arsenal (not that lousy football club, hahaha! It’s a joke btw). The items below are ranked in the order of importance in descending order. 

Now who said that Swords are old-fashioned?

6. Light Sword or Light Katana

The Light Sword or Light Katana will come in handy to deflect light disks thrown at ya by your enemies while at the same time, serving as a weapon of choice to derezz your enemies. However, this weapon is not made for any Tom, Dick and Harry. You have to be a very skilled Program or User to equip this highly technically weapon. The light sword is also used by Clu’s Black Guards.. Just so you know. Though this is an optional weapon to hold on to, just carrying the light sword on your back adds a hefty amount of style points to the wielder. Be careful not to cut yourself.

 
 
 
 
 
  
 
5. Light Grenade

A Light Grenade as the name implies, is an explosive weapon that derezzes code and programs in a powerful energy burst. Use it as a quick getaway from a sticky situation OR, to derezz someone or some Program that has pissed you off! It will be a blast, provided you don’t get caught in the blast. Lol.

 
4. Light Jets

Keep a Light Jet baton with you because you will never know when you need one. This baton allows the User or Program to rez a light jet to either give pursuit or escape enemy attacks. In a nutshell, the light jet is an agile one-seater jet that allows its passenger to fly. The light jet can fire automatic projectiles forward and creates a light ribbon on its trail which can be used to derezz other light jets in pursuit. You can also take a short flight with this gadget out of the Grid for a joy ride, and derezz it back into its baton form if you so desire. The more advanced and permanent light jet (meaning it cannot be rezzed, only derezzed) can carry 3 passengers at one time, and it also comes with a tail gun which can be used by one passenger. Cool.

3. Light Cycle 

This is an absolutely must-have in the Grid. The light cycle is a complex machines that are incredibly fast and agile two-wheeled vehicles that also creates light ribbon on its trail, except it can only travel on the Grid. ‘Off-grid’ places is inaccessible by light cycles, but accessible to the more advanced Light Runners. Users or Programs can rez a Light Cycle by running forward, leaping into a crouch position and splitting the baton into two concurrently, forming the light cycle below the User/Program. Take it for a spin or take part in a Light Cycle race or match, take care not to be derezzed in the process! Other than that, its functions are somewhat like our modern-day motorcycles, only way cooler. 

Hero or Villain, those suits are way too cool.

2. Light Suits

Now this is something you gotta have. These uber cool skin-tight light suits are essential in keeping you alive. The light suit has a mould on the back of the suit to hold the identity disk of the User/Program which can also be easily de-moulded so that Users/Programs can easily reach for their identity disk (or light disk depending on how you’re using it). The body-hugging suits acts as an armor which can absorb impact to a certain extent – when one falls off from a derezzed vehicle, etc. The helmet automatically activates when utilizing the light disk for combat. It can also be easily activated or deactivated by the User or Program by simply thinking about the motion. Not only that, it has neon lights running down the suit. Villain or hero, the light suits just looks too cool to be true. In fact, every Program living in the Grid wears a suit something like this – you’re a weirdo if you don’t keep up to this fashion trend! Now I know what I want next Christmas!

1. Identity Disk or Light Disk

Last but not least, your Identity Disk/Light Disk! This is the most basic and also the most essential tool that every User and Program must absolutely have! The Identity Disk acts as a ‘memory disk’, storing up all the Users’/Programs’ memories (not that the User/Program won’t remember anything once without it). The memory stored in the disk can be extracted to show other Users/Programs, all the stored memories of the User/Program till date. In the games arena, Users/Programs can de-mould the Disk to form a halo of light around the disk (now known as a light disk) to fight his or her opponent. The light disk immediately derezzes Programs upon impact. It functions like a knife on the skin when striked against a User. The light disk also acts as an additional attack tool for User/Program when on a lightcycle or light jet. It also acts as the last line of defense when a User/Program falls off his lightcycle or light jet. It is highly unadvisable to take part in the Games Arena (whereby competitors battle it out one-vs-one until a winner emerges at the end) unless one is highly confident in one’s skills.

That sums up my list of all the must-haves in your inventory when in the Grid. Sorry for listing things that you already know! (if you have caught the film) I am just so obsessed with the movie!!

P.S. This blog entry took me hours and hours of editing because the format and alignment keeps screwing up! So pissed! I am considering migrating to another blogging website if this keeps up!

Movie Insights – Tron Legacy

Enter the world of the Grid, where Programs take on a humanoid form (in the likeness of the Users who programmed them) and/or battle it out on the Games Arena and on U-B-E-R COOL vehicles called the Light Cycles. Users or programs, all will receive a identity disk whereby all the user’s memory will be captured inside the disk, for the good… or the bad (It also serves as a weapon to derezz other programs). Sam Flynn was a happy son to his father and ENCOM CEO, Kevin Flynn until Flynn Sr. disappeared without a trace, leaving Flynn Jr. to feign for himself.

20 years later, the rebellious and still the major shareholder of ENCOM, the tech-savvy Sam went to investigate the mysterious page from the old Flynn arcade hideout. In the process, Sam got transported into the Grid, a digital world ventured only by few Users, if not just one. Captured and made to participate in the ‘Games’, the quick-witted Sam quickly learns the ways of the game, derezzes (causing deletion) his opponent Programs and even attempts to escape before being defeated by the master of the Games, Rinzler.

Taken to meet Clu (Codified Likeness Utility), Sam mistakes him for his dad, whose looks does not seem to have changed from 20 years ago. Sam quickly finds out that that was not the case. Clu forces Flynn Jr. to take part in the Light Cycle match. (Put on your seatbelts because this is the exciting part!) Sam narrowly escapes being killed by Clu when a mysterious program comes to his rescue. That program is later revealed to be Quorra, a very unique (and pretty) ‘program’. Travelling ‘off-grid’ via the Light Runner, Sam meets his father for the first time in 20 years. As the plot unfolds, it is revealed that Kevin Flynn was trapped in the digital world when Clu, his own creation seize control of the city and defeats Tron, Kevin’s trusted (head of security) program.

The trio make their way for the ‘Portal’ (gateway to return to the real world) and misadventures quickly follow. Will Clu be able to succeed in entering the real world and ‘perfect’ it or will the Flynns and Quorra be able to make it out? Of course I won’t spoil the movie for you. Go catch it! You won’t regret it. 🙂 Here’s a lil spoiler. Someone important dies, and a program will get to step forth into the real world.

What makes this movie cool is that the younger Kevin Flynn and Clu was made ENTIRELY in CG (Computer Graphics), the cool tightsuits, all the UBER COOL stuff (gadgets, vehicles and weapons), not to mention how the makers of film blend in awesome videography to complement and captured all the gadgets, weapons and vehicles used.

If there is one thing I don’t understand, why are all the movie rating websites flagging the movie? Oh well, it’s not the first time they hate a movie which I like. 🙂

5 OUT OF 5 MOVIE BITES FOR ME.

HELLO STRANGER!

I’m adding this movie to my Must-watch list! This Thai Rom-Com movie [Hello Stranger] is set in Korea about two complete strangers (Neungthida Sophon, Chantavit Dhanasevi) with completely different personality and interest (seems like a Korean propaganda movie to entice more people to come to Korea hahaha).

As they travel round Korea in search of fun, can the possibility of love blossom in a foreign land between these two complete strangers who don’t even know each other’s name?

The movie will debut in theatres islandwide on 2th December 2010. Though the movie is in Thai, subtitles are provided.

Check out the trailer!

Movie Review: Megamind, The Legend of the Guardians, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1

Me being a movie buff, this week has been a soul-fulfilling week for me as I caught 3 movies in a short span of 1 week! Kudos (thanks) to Kit Meng and Belinda for giving me the GV Giftcard which I have put to good use, to pay for some of the movies! Here are my reviews and personal opinions of the various movies.

Megamind

The first impression I had for this movie is, “It’s just another feel-good animation with predictable plots”, but I was wrong. Megamind (Will Ferrell) is about the main antagonist, well, Megamind who had everything NOT going for him in his early years. When he finally ‘defeats’ and ‘kills’ his arch-enemy and rival, Metro Man (Brad Pitt), he thought he would be happy since there’s no one else in Metro City who was able to stand up against him. After mourning the death of Metro Man, he devises a plan to ‘create a new superhero’ (for him to fight with) who can protect Metro City against him. However, things went awry when the superhero (Titan) becomes a villian who seeks to REALLY destroy the city. Will he stand up against this new menance as a hero? It was interesting to note that Megamind discovered that he wasn’t as evil as he thought or he wished he did be. In the process of it all, he even discovers love.

Produced by DreamWorks, the effects and all is needless to say, solid. The plot was definitely something fresh unlike the conventional superhero flick and there was quite a lot of humor injected into the movie. Good family/friends movie. Overall, 4.5/5 stars for me.

The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

Well, to sum up this movie, this [movie] is all about the good fighting the evil, the evil had victory for a while, then the savior comes along and kills the evil one, the good wins, The end. Well something like that, except the characters are owls instead of humans, lol. Based on a novel, The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (what a long name for a movie….) is quite a nice family flick. Easy to understand storylines, awesome-looking owls, definitely a kid movie. This movie made me realize that there are so many species of owls!

Though I did enjoy the movie, my movie instinct spoilt the whole movie for me as I could predict what was happening next! Overall, a decent feel-good movie. Bang for your buck? I’m not so sure about that, depends on the individual I guess.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1

The day of reckoning has finally arrived, in part. I was so excited over the movie that I actually booked tickets to see the movie on the first day of opening with friends! The movie follows up after the prequel (Half-blood Prince) – whereby Voldemort ascends to power with the death of Dumbledore, even taking over the Ministry of Magic with the Deatheaters. With every good wizards and witches in hiding over the new regime, Harry and gang are on their own, searching out all of Voldemort’s Horcruxes as well as learning more about the Deathly Hallows while evading capture by the abominable Deatheaters.

Word of caution, there is quite a lot of dialogue in the movie. If you did not read the book, then there might be some parts of the movie which you would not understand. But because I love the series, I find the movie quite ok. The dialogue was necessary for the build-up of the movie before Part 2, which gonna be super awesome! Can’t wait for Part 2! 

It seems that HP7 has gathered mixed reviews from the audience. Whether or not you’re a HP fan, you may or may not be disappointed. But if I were you, I did still catch it anyway. Just for fun, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) looks like he hasn’t slept for days, Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) looks prettier than before,  Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) ‘wears’ a bra. Lols!

Photos:
http://www.byterology.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Megamind-Poster.jpg
http://www.onlinemovieshut.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/the-legend-of-the-guardians-the-owls-of-ga-hoole-movie-poster.jpg
http://pinoyambisyoso.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/harry_potter_and_the_deathly_hallows_part_one_poster5.jpg