First, apologies for how belated this is. Second, I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I don’t usually enjoy listening to film and TV scores.
Its not that I don’t find them interesting, or that I groan every time I have to review a composer reel for work (though I will if I have to listen to 12 composer reels in a day) – I just don’t think to put on a score for pleasure listening. With the Golden Globe nominations announced yesterday, I just had to give it up to Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor – their music for The Social Network might be the first film score I’ve actually had on repeat outside of the office.
Now that I’ve listened to the soundtrack over and over again a few times – I still hold true to my above criticisms, but at the same time definitely appreciate how good of a job music supervisor P.J. Bloom did choosing music that supports the film. And the film is really what is whelming.
As with all highly anticipated soundtracks, I wanted to wait until I actually saw the movie before passing final judgement, and I have to say I’m surprised at the assessment I’m about to make. The biggest revelation being that while Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is definitely a very music oriented film, its prime motif is video games. The editing, the music, the production design, the costume design, style, special effects, everything – are all geared to support this. I know, I know, everyone else knew that but me. And I did know it. But now I understand just how important it is for anyone taking a listen to the soundtrack to be aware of that.
I know most of you scoffed when you heard that a movie titled “Hot Tub Time Machine” was actually coming to a theatre near you. The only reason I even saw it was because a friend somehow got nine passes to a free screening of the film a few weeks before release. I thought it was some sort of joke, but still – free is free and everyone went, rolling our eyes the whole way. Of course, none of us would have been there if it had cost money. We sat through the entire thing (all 99 minutes of it) and when the lights came up, all turned to each other hesitantly, almost embarrassed:
“Guys, did you think…was that…that was actually really funny”
I know, I know. This soundtrack was the talk of the town weeks ago. Florence! Muse! Vampire Weekend! It’s old news. We’re past it. Why review it now?
Well, it’s one thing to put together an awesome compilation, but it’s a much harder task to ensure so many stand out tracks fit in the fabric of the movie – a cheesy, tweeny blockbuster vampire movie, nonetheless. To be perfectly honest, I sometimes think that the great Alexandra Patsavas – while brilliant and talented and with a knack for finding great undiscovered tunes – sometimes takes me out of the story going “Oooh! Miike Snow!” for a 4 second use. At the very end of the first Twilight movie, when Linkin Park launched us into the end credits I think I may have groaned out loud.
That said, – Eclipse was a breath of fresh air. Patsavas nails it. The songs blend in when they’re supposed to, and enhance key moments that need some extra oomph. It’s still a cheesy, tweeny vampire movie (Taylor Lautner as Jacob says to Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen at one point: “I mean let’s face it, I am hotter than you” cue theatre bursting into applause), but this time the music is what gives it – at least some – street cred.