Monthly Archives: May 2010

A-ten-hut!

As of today I am officially the drum major for the Needham High School Marching Band! In honor of this event I shall do a music related blog about movie soundtracks! Since I’m clearly a very musical person, a film’s score and soundtrack is often just as important as the quality of the movie itself. So, here we go!

An Education — As I mentioned yesterday, this soundtrack is fantastic. It’s a great culmination of ’60s Jazz and big band, with a little bit of French pop from the time, in addition to some modern tracks (for example there’s one by Modest Mouse). Overall, it’s a fantastic listen, and a great look back to that time. My favorite tracks include “On The Rebound” by Floyd Cramer, “Sous le ciel de Paris” by Juliette Greco, and “A Sunday Kind of Love” by Beth Rowley.

Brideshead Revisited — To be honest, this film was not great. It was kind of a neat little perspective into the ’20s, but overall not great. The soundtrack on the other hand is great. A symphonic soundtrack with a lot of piano melodies and sweeping violins, it’s a great classical background. Of course, if you’re not a classical person like me, this might not be your cup of tea, but it is a great one.

Ciderhouse Rules— This is a fantastic movie, a perfect adaptation of John Irving’s novel, and the soundtrack is simply beautiful. Scored by Rachel Portman the main theme, primarily expressed through piano with full orchestra is gorgeous–perfectly bittersweet, an amazing fit to the tone of the film.

Pride and Prejudice — Both the original and remake of the movie are fantastic, but the soundtrack that I hold so dear is from the most current rendition. Scored by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the themes are simply moving. I’ve listened to it dozens of times, and watched the movie repeatably and it still brings me to tears.

Up in the Air — This soundtrack has a great mix of stuff. The original music composed for the movie (done by Rolfe Kent) is a little bland, but there’s a fantastic Graham Nash song entitled “Be Yourself” that I find myself unable to stop listening to once I’ve started. In addition, there is a fantastic blues rendition of “This Land is Your Land” by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings that I recommend to everyone.

(500) Days of Summer — I was not as enamored with this film as everyone else seemed to be (I didn’t think it was bad, just not fantastic), but it did have a great soundtrack. I have a million favorites from this one, (Carla Bruni is even on it!) but my absolute must listen tos are “She’s Got You High” by Mumm-Ra (which unfortunately is not a band on iTunes…), “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates (Hall & Oates is ALWAYS a good idea, soundtrack or no–I mean, you gotta love the mullets), and any of the Regina Spektor songs on it, including all of her other stuff. Oh yeah, The Smiths are great too.

Danny Elfman — No, this is not a movie that you’ve just never heard of. Although I’m not as much of a fanatic of this composer as I used to be, I still really like his stuff. He’s done everything from Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas to all other Tim Burton films, such as Weird Science and Batman. He also did the most current Spiderman movies, which I think were done really well, so you should check them out.

Some other movies that I have to mention that have great soundtracks and/or scores are The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Ennio Morricone, Avatar by James Horner (who although always, for whatever reason, writes horrendous ballads, seems to be able to put together a great score), just kind of an overall mention of Alan Menken, who’s done like every single Disney movie, and Hans Zimmer who has done everything.

There are so many more I could mention, and I didn’t even touch musicals (since I did a different musical post I thought I’d let it be in this one), and didn’t make it to half of my favorites just the ones I’ve been most infatuated with recently.

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J’aime la musique de France!

I have no idea that translation is correct because when I first typed in “I love French music” to google, it translated it to “I love music française” which I’m pretty sure isn’t correct, and I don’t speak French.

Besides the fact that I don’t French (I take Spanish) and while I love Spanish music too, it juts simply does not have the same Bohemian, tre chic, French feel that French music does! So, I thought since I’ve kind of begun to deviate from film a lot anyway, I might as well through in a post about my love of French music.

I think my favorite artists is Carla Bruni, who I found while looking through one of those famous people playlists on iTunes, this one coming from the list of January Jones (Betty Draper on the amazing, and my all-time favorite show Mad Men). My favorite song of hers is Quelqu’un m’a dit, but I also like Raphaël, Le plus beau du quartier, as well as many others. Although I only have one of her albums, (Quelqu’un m’a dit), I hope to acquire more of her music soon!

Another artists I found through searching French pop on iTunes is Amélie-les-crayons. Her stuff is limited, but her song Ta p’tite flamme is one of my absolute favorites!

I discovered Juliette Gréco through the film An Education, and although I only have two of her songs, I am in love. Her songs are so reminiscent of ’60s Paris that I want to yell! I wish I could go back to that time–the clothing, the music, the lifestyle. All absolutely fantastique!

So this concludes my French music rant. If anyone has any recommendations I would gladly accept them, since I am craving more all the time! Also, as a general suggestion, the soundtrack to An Education is absolutely fabulous. Perhaps I shall do a blog post on movie soundtracks shortly! That should be a long post… Watch out 😛

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Follow my blog with bloglovin

Shamelessly following the examples of some other NHS bloggers, I have joined Blog Lovin’! It’s far too complicated to go searching every day for all of my favorite blogs (especially since my favorites are compiling exponentially by the day) so I’ve decided to compile them all in one place. This also gives you, my faithful reader, a chance to follow my blog more easily as well! (I know you’re all ecstatic). So please, follow my blog!

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Help!

To follow up my post about Sex and the City last night, I want to do a quick shot out to a good friend of mine, and shamelessly advertise her blog. If you click here! you can see the FABULOUS shoe blog that she’s set up (and what isn’t fabulous about shoes?).

I am a huge shoe fan, and had been thinking of doing a shoe post in the near future, but thanks to Remy, I don’t have too!

Any ideas/requests for what I should blog about?

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Just a Request

So, I’ve noticed that lately I’ve had quite a great number of viewers, and I would like to request of anyone who feels they would like to indulge me, if when you look at my blog maybe leave a comment, letting me know how you liked it, or if you didn’t like it. Again, if you would, maybe keep to my rule of thumb about blog commenting? But a little bit of polite criticism always is lovely. Thanks so much, and keep reading.

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Sex and the City 2

There is no better way to start off this post than with a picture. Tonight, a dear blog-reader of mine (:)) and myself, ventured out to see Sex and the City 2. This post is written with the biggest bias ever. Just a warning.

So, this isn’t really a review. It’s more of a … montage. To be honest, the movie was kind of boring. Nothing happened. All the characters end up where they are, and Smith Jared was in it far too little. But, oh man was it fabulous. Carrie’s shoes were magnificent, Charlotte’s idealism was extravagant (almost to the point of annoyance), Miranda’s sarcasm was as poignant as ever, and Samantha… well, Samantha’s sex was just as loud as it’s ever been.

To be honest, it’s one of those films in which quality doesn’t matter. Once you’re a Sex and the City fan, all you want is more of the girls. More of their predictable personalities, and most of all, more of their clothes.

So, I’m ditching the stars and the blah, pretentious crap I usually dish out (haha yes, I do know what I sound like when I do reviews, but I enjoy it). There’s an 80 flashback. Do I really need to say more?

(My favorite part of Samantha’s picture is the ripped guy in green shorts and dorky socks on a payphone in the background…)

So, overall consensus. Is it the next Oscar winner? No. But was it fun to see these girls again and be able to continue with their stories? Yes! No matter how old they get, or how bad the plots get (or how nonexistent they are) it will still be fun to see the four of them on screen (especially their shoes).

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Up In the Air, a blog sequel

So this is a BLOG SEQUEL! Oooooo Ahhhh… What is that, you might ask? Well, it’s a follow-up post/related post to a something said earlier. When I saw the movie Up In The Air in theaters I did a review of it on my blog, which you can see here! Now, months later, I have more to say.

I recently started to read the book Up In The Air by Walter Krin. It’s actually a pretty good read, but there are some main differences, which I want to discuss. It also got me thinking about books vs. movies in general.

So, general comments first. I think it’s really interesting that there’s no way to know how you’d react to a text/movie without having seen/read the other one first, and there’s no way not to have one of them be first. For example, I saw the movie Cider House Rules first, and then read the book by John Irving, which I absolutely loved and recommend. But if I had read the book first would I think that too much of Irving’s plot was cut out since he’s such a plot-driven author, and be angry at the movie for being so watered down? There’s simply no way to know! I think it’s also interesting that expectations are created by the one seen/read first. And with this I shall go more into detail…

In the movie Up In the Air, Ryan Bingham is a man in flight. He’s disconnected emotionally from the world, and shocked back into emotional connection when he meets a woman, Alex, who is his equal in every way. Bingham, played by George Clooney, is a suave man, always in a suit, packed perfectly, witty and on-top of it. His emotional disconnection is derived from his “suave-ness” and his personality trait that enables him to look down at everything as if flying above (….get it?) and comment, make generalizations, and yet not get too emotionally involved to have any real bias, until… well, I won’t ruin it if you haven’t seen it. In the book however, the characters are not like this. To be honest, I’ve only read half the book, but I’ve read 150 out of 300 pages, so I have a pretty good idea of their character development by now. Alex, the woman Bingham falls for in the movie, is completely different from her male counterpart. She is quirky, a bit of a hippie, flawed in many ways, not really that adept at flying, and has strange idiosyncrasies that actually don’t make her more likable, but push me away from the character. In fact, Bingham has these too (such as, he loves listening to Christian Rock. This fact actually alienates me from the character instead of identifying). Although he does make generalizations, he is much more emotionally connected to his surroundings–he gets sick, he feels for the passengers, he gets upset and uncomfortable. His ideas are completely and obviously biased. He isn’t smooth, and he wears cowboy boots, which is dumb, and makes me dislike his character to a further degree.

Anyway, you can see how I had certain expectations about the characters in my mind while reading the book. If I hadn’t liked the characters in the movie perhaps I would’ve thrown out my expectations because I wouldn’t have wanted them to be like that, or the characters in the book would have exceeded my expectations, but they are in fact now reaching them. Perhaps I would’ve like this book more had I read it first–it’s writing style is quick, and witty, very plot based, written in the same style as such books as Fight Club.

As I re-watch the movie (whose review I stand by, by the way), I realize how really dissimilar the two are. Every once in awhile there’ll be a recognizable line, but the plot is completely different, and the characters which cling so much to habit in the movie are in fact, feaux-habit clingers in the book. They appear to be habit-dwellers, creatures of habit, but in reality, find fault with their daily routines and often stay from them. You can’t establish a creature of habit by having them deviate from it immediately.  This is the major issue with the book. Not enough consistent characterization. Not enough consistency before change.

Just wanted to make some interesting observations. Still haven’t seen a movie in quite some time, though I am working up the time and energy to organize an outing to the Sex and the City Sequel. Who cares about reviews when there are manolos to be seen?!

Also fun fact, today is Carey Mulligan’s birthday. Happy Birthday 🙂

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