Music and film can be the most wonderful of pairs. Sometimes it may not make sense chronologically, but damn if there aren’t some films where the mismatched eras combine into something awesome. Here are some of my favorites.
5. Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
C’mon, how could you not love Burt Bacharach’s deliciously 1960s musical accompaniment to one of the coolest westerns ever made? Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head may be what comes to mind for most, but it’s the South American getaway music that gets my cool sensors tingling.
4. The Sting
Yea yea, another George Roy Hill film. This time around he uses Scott Joplin’s turn of the century ragtime music to evoke the 1930s gangster era, and it does so gloriously.
3. Moulin Rouge!
It feels a little weird to include a musical on a list like this, because it’s just the nature of the genre to have anachronistic music. But screw it, I love Moulin Rouge. The whole film is just spectacular, but the first time we’re introduced to the Moulin Rouge still stands as one of the most engrossing film moments I’ve ever experienced.
2. Baby It’s You
The third film from indy marvel John Sayles may be a tad uneven and melodramatic, but damn if it doesn’t have one hell of a character introduction. The Sheik’s entrance to the beat of Bruce Springsteen’s It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City just oozes cool and speaks to the timeless voice of the boss himself. We couldn’t find a video clip online, so here’s a rockin’ live version from 1975.
1. Inglorious Basterds
I’m not sure there’s anyone else out there with the ability to combine such randomly awesome music with brilliant images the way Tarantino does. The first time I saw this scene I almost couldn’t believe my eyes and ears..David Bowie..Nazis..pure genius.
Recently the always awesome Quentin Tarantino posted a video where he talks about his top 20 favorite films that have come out since he’s been making films. I agree with most of his choices, but I really just enjoy listening to him talk about film — the dude is passionate and knows his stuff. Anywho, I decided to put my own list together and since it was hard enough to come up with the list I’m not going to even bother trying to order them, so here it goes in alphabetical order.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
This is the first film on my list that has its fair share of haters out there. Many say that it would have been much better if Kubrick had been able to make it himself, but I have to respectfully disagree. Kubrick just doesn’t have the warmth or the right touch to really capture the emotion in the film. Spielberg, however, is about perfect for the job. I have no issues with the ending, I think it not only fits the film but it’s downright heartwrenching. I remember when my film professor screened this at the end of our semester studying Kubrick, there wasn’t a dry eye in the classroom. It’s a brilliant science fiction film that melds the styles of two very talented and distinct filmmakers. It’s somber, surreal, emotional, and philosophical — making it one of the few genre films that really resonates with the viewer.
Before Sunset (2004)
To say I was completely blown away by this unexpected and unnecessary sequel to the poetic and moving 1995 film would be a gross understatement. Linklater doesn’t just top himself, he directs his best film to date…showing that he has grown as a filmmaker just as his characters have, and that’s one of the greatest things about this sequel — all of the pieces are in the right place at the right time and the result is magic. The film is beautifully shot and beautifully acted and it has probably one of the 10 greatest endings of all time.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
This may not be the best Coen Brothers film (that would be Fargo), but it certainly is the funniest. Jeff Bridges IS “The Dude” and The Dude is one of the funniest and most quotable characters EVAR. Of course it helps that the supporting cast is pitch perfect from John Goodman’s Jewish Vietnam vet to Sam Elliott’s mysterious Stranger. This is definitely something to experience in the theater if you ever get the chance, it takes it to a whole new level of awesomeness.
I meant to post this a really long time ago, heh..
5. The Firm
I’m a sucker for lawyer films and I loved the book…and it’s Sydney Pollack. So, I like The Firm just a little bit. Plus Holly Hunter AND Gene Hackman! Oh, and lots of Tom Cruise running…”you can’t catch me gay thoughts!”
4. Jeremiah Johnson
Western + Robert Redford + Sydney Pollack = teh awesome.
3. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
One of the most exhausting cinematic experiences you will ever have.
8. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)
Peter Weller plays Dr. Buckaroo Banzai a rock star, neurosurgeon, physicist, samurai hero who teams up with his band mates to save the world from the Red Lectroids from Planet 10. John Lithgow is Italian physicist Dr. Emilio Lizardo who has been imprisoned in a mental institution for the last 50 years. He was one of the original creators of the overthruster, which makes it possible for Buckaroo Banzai to travel through solid matter into the 8th dimension, inadvertantly bringing an alien lifeform back with him. It seems a bit scatterbrained at times, but it’s actually a lot of fun. With loads of overacting, 80’s rock music, and ridiculous shootouts it’s hard to go wrong.
7. Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)
A race of aliens that look like messed up clowns land their circus spaceship in the small town of Crescent Cove. They make their way through town shooting the residents with a gun that makes cotton candy cocoons around the people so that the clowns can later drink their liquid remains. Young couple Mike and Debbie band together with Officer Hanson to fight off the freaky funnymen, whose only weakness seems to be their big read noses. Creative effects, a decent amount of gore, and some great humor make this one a riot.
6. Flash Gordon (1980)
Bad actors reading bad dialogue on bad sets in bad costumes but to a kick ass soundtrack. Of course the bad acting excludes the great Max von Sydow who is oddly perfect as the villain Emperor Ming. Flash Gordon is the star quarterback for the NY Jets and Earth’s only hope when it comes under attack from the evil Ming. Along with journalist Dale and scientist Dr. Zarkov they travel to the planet mongo to face off with Ming. It’s silly and it knows it so it works.
5. Critters (1986)
An alien species known as the Crites crash their ship outside of a rural Kansas town. These critters are mean little bastards with an insatiable appetite. They’re followed by two bounty hunters who molded their appearance to look like two rock stars. These guys along with teenager Brad try to destroy the angry furballs before they eat everything in their path. Clever humor, funny gore, and solid production values make this one of my favorite horror movies from the 80’s.