Monday, February 7, 2011

Music Makes the Movie - Discover a New Sound (Part 2)

Hello Again. This post is an attenuation of the first post made on February 1st dubbed "Part 1". I will be continuing my list of new music artists I've discovered during some great movie scenes over the past couple of years. If you haven't had the opportunity to read "Part 1", you may want to start there by following the link below.

Music Makes the Movie - Discover a New Sound (Part 1)

Bride Wars - 1hr 13min

As far as the movie itself goes, I could take it or leave it. It is a true-blue "chick flick" lacking any sort of intrigue for the guys. The premise of the movie is all about two engaged best friends preparing for their weddings. During the whole preparation phase, the planning starts to get competitive and then destructive as the two "brides to be" start sabotaging each other weddings. The main fight stems from the location of their weddings as they both choose to get married at the same place on the same day. The shining moment in this movie for me though is right before the girls walk down the aisle and Priscilla Ahn's "Dream" starts playing. I had never heard of this artist before but she has a fantastic voice. "Dream" sounds like a lullaby with simple mid-range vocals accompanied with a soft picking acoustic guitar. It's a very pleasing sound and I really enjoyed the lyrics of this song as well.

Chaos Theory - 37min

The movie Chaos Theory was not considered a box office hit. I had never even heard of it myself until it came out on DVD. But you can just throw out those first two statements because it is a very creative movie with a unique storyline. I have watched the movie 5 or 6 times in the past year and I recommend it to all my friends who enjoy a good movie. It tells a story about a man that lives a very calculated life. A man that lays out his daily tasks on note cards and allots the appropriate amount of time for each task to stay organized. The main character (Ryan Reynolds) had succeeded in living his life as precisely as possible until a string of events occurred that were largely out of his control. During this string of misfortunes, he finds out that his life and his family were nothing like it seemed and nothing like he had planned. The main character then resolves to living life on a whim by  making uncharacteristic and spontaneous choices while in the moment. After struggling to figure out the purpose of it all, the main character figures out what life's truly about and what makes a life worth living.

There are a lot of highs and lows in this movie, and those peaks and valleys are accented so wonderfully with the music of Alex Dezen and The Damnwells. This movie really re-introduced me to their music. From opening scenes, to the rolling credits, their music flows with the storyline so well. If you really want to see the impact that music brings to the silver screen, this movie is the best example I can give you (instrumental scores aside). The song that sticks out the most for me comes around the 37 minute mark where the main characters life as he knows it comes crashing down in a moment of disbelief and sorrow. The transition from excitement to sadness is met perfectly with the song "Graceless" by The Damnwells as Ryan Reynolds sits in disbelief in the doctors office.

"I give my heart and soul to the ageless, I give my blood and bones to the faceless, burning bright and cold with the nameless, I give my life and love to your graceless...."

Wedding Crashers - 1hr 22min

From a little known movie, to a smash hit comedy, my next song comes from the hilarious "Wedding Crashers". This movie is so well known that I will refrain from getting into the details. The reason why I am including this song in my list is because at some point my rock history education has failed me. Somebody somewhere along the line forgot to fill me in on Mungo Jerry. I had never heard of this guy! Now admittedly, I still know nothing about him, but I do know he has a greatest hits album so he had to have some kind of influence on the 70's. Even though I'm ill informed on this guy, I still like the addition of his song "In The Summertime" to this movie. Staying true to its title, it does have a very summertime feel to it. And that bike riding scene made me feel like I wanted to get my old rusty bike out and ride it down to the beach.

Rule #76. No Excuses! Play like a champion!

Once - 15min

This is another small-time low budget film, but its reputation and performance speaks for itself. The Chicago Tribune writes "Once may be the best music film of our generation." It has also won several awards at movie festivals, including Sundance. This movie really stands out because I can't really compare it to any other movie I've seen. First of all, you never even learn the main characters names in this movie, which is unfathomable. I didn't even realize this fact the first time I watched it. Secondly, the main characters (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova) are actual real life music artists and not actors. And the best part of it all, they actually write and record music for albums that you can purchase (not just the soundtrack for the movie itself). Forget the characters names and the fact that their not real life actors because this movie is truly about the music. The male character is a vacuum repair man and sings the streets with his acoustic guitar in his free time. The girl is a classically trained pianist and sells roses on the street during the day. The two meet up and share their passion for music with each other and the end result is really inspiring. Glen's character shares his heart-broken songs that he has written with Marketa and the duo eventually work together to create their own music. She eventually inspires and encourages him toward recording his songs. By the end, we never find out what happens to the recorded tracks and the two characters budding relationship. The ending is definitely a hopeful one though as you see the main character transition from a lovesick romantic lacking confidence, to someone who regains his creative inspiration and passion for life. This movie just leaves you thinking about how many talented music artists there are out there, and most of them won't play for more than just a handful of people.

The song that sets this movie apart is called "Falling Slowly". It is introduced near the beginning of the movie right after the two main characters first meet. She takes him to the music shop where the store owner lets her play his piano for an hour each day. The two sit down and play one of Hansard's songs. He introduces her to the verses and the chorus and she pokes away at the piano as shes learning the song from watching him play an acoustic guitar. Eventually the result is something amazing. I have sat down numerous times just to watch that part at the beginning of the movie and ended up watching the whole movie in its entirety. The song itself went on to win an Academy Award for "Best Original Song".

"Take this sinking boat and point it home..."



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