Friday, January 11, 2013

Best movie soundtracks of 2012

For a final look back at the year 2012, I wanted to list my 11 favorite movie soundtracks and scores from 2012! Why 11? BECAUSE WHO ASKED YOU THAT'S WHY GEEZ STEVE GET OFF MY PORCH. Anyways, On to the 11 soundtracks you should totally buy and listen to until your ears bleed or something!
Can you tell I had no idea what to sketch for this? No? Good.

11) Amazing Spider-Man
LOOK I LOVE THIS MOVIE OK. And the score by James Horner is just lovely. Maybe it's not as good as Danny Elfman's score for the original Spider-Man, but dammit if it's not dramatic and memorable.  It's just got this heroic yet crawling feel, just like good 'ol Spidey.

10) Looper
If you're not careful, this one'll sneak up on you and you'll miss it. It's very subtle, but very good. You'd know it's good because the composer, Nathan Johnson composed the music for his cousin Rian Johnson's other two films, Brick and Brothers Bloom. It's a sweeping haunting score and if you liked the melancholy feel of the movie, you'll love the soundtrack just as much.

9) Battleship
Yes, we all know the movie was not very good. But you know what was good? The amazing score by Steve Jablonsky!  It gave a real threatening undertone to the movie, was pretty exciting and I loved the main theme. Don't let the movie's visual elements fool you into thinking it's some mediocre score.

8) The Secret World of Arrietty
Well isn't this a nice change of pace from all that moody brooding scoring? It's light and fun and gives a sense of a sweeping adventure story, contrary to its story of small adventurers. If you're a big fan of Ghibli films or really into anime soundtracks, you should already have this in your collection.  For everyone else, consider giving this a try.  It's the perfect soundtrack to relax to on a rainy day!

7) Cloud Atlas 
WELP. Back to sad and haunting. Of course this isn't just sad and haunting, as Cloud Atlas is a movie about stitching multiple characters and multiple storylines through time and space. The score will range from light and depressing to high-speed and exciting. The movie is constantly changing between eras and stories, and it's this score that helps to stitch them together into one continuous entity, as if saying we are all notes in the same ongoing ever-evolving melody.

6) Casa De Mi Padre
Are you surprised that this is so low on the list? I'm surprised this is so good! Seriously the Casa De Mi Padre soundtrack goes to Metalocalpyse levels of parodying itself so hard it turns to awesome. Some of the tracks are intentionally funny, but most of it is unintentionally incredible, like the catchy and unforgettable "Yo No Se!" You may not know what they're saying, but you will know you love every minute of it.

5) Dredd
Man, who thought this movie would be so good? Especially after the woefully mediocre Total Recall reboot. But man, it is quite good, and so is the industrial and electronic score. It's rough and fast and dirty and all kinds of crazy techno beats that will make you want to get up and move. And then probably break someone's collar bone and toss them off the roof in slow-mo, but don't do that. Just keep listening to the soundtrack and jog or something.

4) Paranorman
This score is so beautiful and really tear-jerking in places.  If you read my list of favorite movies of 2012, you'll know that SPOILER ALERT Paranorman took the top spot, and this soundtrack had no small part in that. It sweeps and soars and all leads to a masterful confrontation in the third act that is truly agonizing to the soul. The only reason this isn't lower is that instead of releasing the exact score from the movie, they have an editied version, which literally makes the final and best track sound like they're playing with garbage. Release THAT song and we'll talk about top spot.

3) Haywire
I'm sure everyone's forgotten about this crazy little movie, but I haven't. You know why? Because I've been listening to the fantastic score for practically the entire year!  Seriously, it's one of the playlists I will not take off my iPod.  It's bouncy, fun, tense, hip and sounds exactly like a superspy soundtrack should.  This soundtrack is James Bond's funner little cousin who hangs out with hip cool beatnik cats. It harkens back to the lighter, groovier spy soundtracks of the 60's and 70s.  This will become an instant classic in your collection.

2) John Carter
Look, I actually liked this movie. Yeah, maybe it wasn't perfect, and it didn't need the stuff at the beginning and end bookending it, and it should have been called "A Princess of Mars", but it was still a pretty solid movie. This soundtrack was a huge part of that! And it should be, seeing as it's done by Michael Giacchino, who did such great scores for movies as The Incredibles and Speed Racer(honest, the man can do no wrong).  Seeing as this is an action film, the score can be exciting and tense, but its real strength is its haunting somber theme. That battle in the middle juxtaposed with the loss of Carter's family is one of the most tear-jerking moments of 2012, and that score is the reason. Also, how can you not love a score that has tracks with silly names including, "A Thern for the Worse", "Zodanga Happened", and "Carter They Come, Carter They Fall"?

1) Django Unchained
I mean, c'mon, it's Quentin Tarantino. You just can't win against this one, guys. It's like using a bunch of squirt guns vs. a high powered rifle. The Django soundtrack is an eclectic array of classic and new mash-ups, and even includes the music from the trailer, which always gets points in my book.  There's hip-hop, trip-hop, country, rap, classic jazzy tunes, and it all fits.  Though it shares Tarantino's incessant need to include dialogue bits from the movie to break up the music, it's still a solid soundtrack from Django's theme all the way to it's bloody conclusion in Unchained.

And there you have it, my favorite scores and soundtracks of 2012! Not what you expected? What do you think I missed?  What were your favorite soundtracks of 2012?

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