Posts tagged "Movies"

The Worst Movies Starring Our Favorite Pop Stars

Last night, the 84th Academy Awards honored the best in film, but it’s often the worst movies that we find the most entertaining. And our favorite type of terrible movie? Pretty much any flick a pop star graces with their presence. Sure, there are exceptions — like Justin Timberlake shining in 2010′s The Social Network, or Cher winning an Oscar for her work in 1987′s Moonstruck — but even if we love the performer, we don’t always love the films they star in. We’ve picked the Top 13 bad movies featuring fourteen pop stars who really should have been picker when choosing projects. (And to prove just how awful these movies are, we’ve arranged them by their Rotten Tomatoes score.) More »

Dark Of The Matinee: Let’s Predict The Oscar Nominees For Best Original Song

Nominations for the Academy Awards are announced tomorrow, and we can’t help but wonder what five tracks will be in the running for Best Original Song. It’s been an oddly good year for music in movies—relatively speaking, anyway—and while there’s no reason to have faith that the Academy will make anything other than a tacky choice for the winner, there might be some surprises in the nominations. The Golden Globes nominated songs from Wall-E, Gran Torino, Cadillac Records, Bolt, and The Wrestler, ultimately going with Bruce Springsteen’s song from the latter for the win. But maybe something else will sneak in? Something from High School Musical 3, perhaps? A list of the most intriguing contenders is after the jump.

“Barking at the Moon” from Bolt (Jenny Lewis)
“I Thought I Lost You” from Bolt (Miley Cyrus and John Travolta)
“Once in a Lifetime” from Cadillac Records (Beyoncé)
“The Call” from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Regina Spektor)
“Dracula’s Lament” from Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Jason Segel)
“Gran Torino” from Gran Torino (Clint Eastwood)
“Rock Me Sexy Jesus” from Hamlet 2 (The Ralph Sall Experience) [This would be my pick, BTW. -MB]
“Now or Never” from High School Musical 3: Senior Year
“The Traveling Song” from Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (
“The Story” from My Blueberry Nights (Norah Jones)
“In Rodanthe” from Nights in Rodanthe (Emmylou Harris)
“Another Way to Die” from Quantum of Solace (Jack White and Alicia Keys)
“Up to Our Nex” from Rachel Getting Married (Robyn Hitchock)
“O Saya” from Slumdog Millionaire (M.I.A. and A.R. Rahman)
“Little Person” from Synecdoche, New York (Jon Brion)
“Right to Dream” from Tennessee (Mariah Carey and Willie Nelson)
“Down to Earth” from WALL-E (Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman)
“The Wrestler” from The Wrestler (Bruce Springsteen)
“Sweet Ballad” from Yes Man (Munchausen By Proxy: Zooey Deschanel and Von Iva)

Academy Unveils List Of 49 Songs [The Playlist]

Ed Harris Will Never Leave My Heart

Entertainment Weekly‘s blog has an interview with Ed Harris and a stream of his song “You’ll Never Leave My Heart,” which will run over the closing credits of the Harris-directed, Viggo Mortensen-starring oater Appaloosa. I like Westerns, and I like Ed Harris. And as a future bald man (it’s going quick, people!), I’m hoping that my baldness trends more towards that sported by the virile Ed Harris than the type atop the head of the homunculus Wallace Shawn.

“Heart,” which Harris co-wrote with Jeff Beal, is Harris’ first foray into incorporating singing into his acting, and his first-timer status shows a bit; I didn’t notice any major pitch problems, but his voice isn’t exactly brimming with character. He could have turned up the Gruff-o-meter about 20% and really taken it to the next level. The song itself kind of reminds me of the annoying Firefly theme song, which is not a good thing. I’ll give the man a pass, though, because it is his first time out… and doing so will probably give me good bald-guy karma.

Ed Harris, “You’ll Never Leave My Heart” [Stream]
Ed Harris sings (and talks about singing) over the ‘Appaloosa’ closing credits! [EW]

“Variety” Goes Behind The Music (In The Movie Trailer)

sigurros2.jpgVariety launched a package called Music for Screens yesterday, and it’s full of pieces that are apparently designed to appeal to people who like music, but prefer it in 45-second clips–you know, when it airs during movie trailers or crucial scenes on Gossip Girl. I was particularly interested in the trade pub’s look at people who compose music for movie trailers.

In today’s movie business, the movie trailer carries almost as much importance and buzz as the movie it precedes, and like any good film, its musical score — often different from the eventual score — has to be just as dynamic and uplifting.

This is where Yoav Goren and the company he co-founded with Jeffrey Fayman, Immediate Music, come into play, composing and compiling a soundtrack that will accentuate a film’s appeal without ever appearing in the actual movie. The oufit, which has recently moved to a 3,000-square-foot facility in Santa Monica that includes two additional state-of-the-art production studios, often works on a scale that befits full-blown scoring.

“When we are putting these trailers together, we are (often) using big orchestral, choir music into our pieces that end up costing a lot of time and money,” says Goren, who with Fayman earned an Emmy last year for their music for the 20th Olympic Winter Games.

Goren describes his projects as “two-minute advertisement vehicles” and explains that original trailer music is important because most movie scores don’t fit that advertising mold.

As a known trailer enthusiast, I couldn’t agree more about the importance of the soundtrack, but I don’t quite buy that trailers need their own composers. Everyone knows that all you have to do to make a trailer effective is throw a little money at Sigur Rós, and you’ll automatically have the most epic piece of advertising that money can buy. Just look how well it worked for Disneynature’s Earth trailer:

Some enterprising individual should try out Sigur Rós on movies like Daddy Day Camp and Delta Farce, just to see if it could lend them some gravitas.

Movie trailer music a key promo tool [Variety]

Re-Entering “The Forbidden Zone”

Recently, a friend invited me over to watch a movie I’d heard a little about but had never seen: The Forbidden Zone (1980), a movie starring Hervé Villechaize and made by the Elfman family. Richard directed and wrote, Marie-Pascale plays Susan B. “Frenchy” Hercules (that’s what IMDB says), and Danny portrays Satan and provides music with his group, then known as the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. As an early Danny Elfman soundtrack, the movie would be fascinating enough, but The Forbidden Zone is an eerie attempt to recreate an especially outré Max Fleischer cartoon, albeit one featuring an actress whose entire performance is done wearing only big white grandma underwear. It is one of the most consistently omg-wtf-lol things you will ever see in your life. After the jump, some YouTubed evidence (which, as the above description should let on, is not necessarily safe for work):

For example, try “The Alphabet Song”:

Educational! Of course, no one in this movie really learned how to act, though that hardly gets in the way most of the time. How could it, when you have things like this batshit version of “Minnie the Moocher”:

Sadly, the film’s most magical moment–a stirring tribute in song to the La Brea Tar Pits–is not currently on YouTube. As my friend said after returning from the john and her guests insisted upon rewinding the sequence so she could see it, “I went to the bathroom during THIS??!?”

“Transformers” Singer Has Still Got The Touch

Remember Stan Bush, the man responsible for The Transformers: The Movie‘s ra-ra anthem “The Touch”? An update just landed in our inbox:

Stan Bush Album, In This Life, Available Tuesday, July 3

Stan to perform at Transformers convention BotCon 2007

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 28, 2007)–The new Stan Bush album, In This Life, is scheduled for release on Tuesday, July 3. Praised as a world-class rock singer, Stan Bush is best known for his song “The Touch” featured in the “Transformers” movie. Stan includes “The Touch” as a bonus track on his U.S. release, as well as “Til All Are One”, the theme song for the Transformers convention (BotCon) being held June 28 – July 1. Stan will be a featured performer at the convention.

Stan’s new album In This Life is his 10th studio release and includes songs that have kept to the heart of his style, but at the same time express a contemporary vibe. Produced by Holger Fath, the album is one of his best ever with a few ballads, powerful anthems, and some mid-paced melodic rockers throughout.

Ballads, anthems and mid-paced melodic rockers? Our interest levels are sensing some contemporary vibes!

Stuck On Repeat: A Different Kind Of White Zombie Song

28.jpgOver the weekend, one of your Idolators finally saw 28 Weeks Later–a.k.a. Begbie Goes Bananas–which was much better than we could have possibly ever imagined, and which featured a appropriately brooding post-rock score from John Murphy. Alas, a proper soundtrack has yet to be released, so we had to reach back to the 2003 original for this main title theme, which might be the best zombie-movie song since the mall Muzak in the original Dawn Of The Dead:

John Murphy – In The House/In A Heartbeat [MP3, link expired]

Speaking Of “Transformers”: Have You Got “The Touch”?

tformers.jpgWhen was the moment you realized that you were a true nerd? We don’t mean “nerd” in that semi-endearing Ben Gibbard kind of way–we mean in that lame, “I have very strong opinions about V: The Final Battle, and by the way, Dagobah is a system” sort of way. Could it possibly have been that moment in Boogie Nights when Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly are recording a terrible, terrible ’80s-rock anthem in the studio, and you stood up and went, “What the? That’s Stan Bush’s ‘The Touch,’ which originally appeared in 1986′s The Transformers: The Movie!“? Because that might have happened with one of your Idolators. Maybe. Probably. And speaking of Mr. Bush, he’s clearly busy writing his own Wiki entry, which explains this sad little closing sentence:

Presently Stan Bush is submitting a song to the producers of the live action Transformers movie in hopes that it will be included in the movie soundtrack.

C’mon, Michael Bay! You got the power!

Stan Bush – The Touch [MP3, link expired; via á la discotheque]

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives: Dipping Into “The Fountain”

fountaincover.jpgOver the weekend, one of your Idolators happened to catch The Fountain, Darren Aronofsky’s 2006 film about…well, we’re not exactly sure. Time-travel? Man’s futile quest to achieve immortality? The future of bathrobes? One thing we know for certain is that the soundtrack–composed by former Pop Will Eat Itself member Clint Mansell, and featuring Mogwai and the Kronos Quartet–is the sort of orchestral space-rock for which many an apple bong was carved:

Clint Mansell feat. Kronos Quartet and Mogwai – Tree Of Life [MP3, link expired]
Clint Mansell feat. Kronos Quartet and Mogwai – Stay With Me [MP3, link expired]

The Fred Durst Movie Might Not Be As Awful As We Feared/Hoped

 Can you believe it’s been almost ten years since we all started making fun of Fred Durst? He was the gimp that kept on giving: There was the late-’80s demo tape, the sex tape, and, most offensive of all, the video for “Behind Blue Eyes.” So when we heard he was making a movie, we immediately laughed it off, thinking that it would be yet another entry in Durst’s embarrassing CV. But now, less than a week after The Education Of Charlie Banks premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, we have to ask: Could this movie actually not be terrible, after all?

Our first clue that something was amiss was when Banks won an award at Tribeca; it was for best “Made In NY” feature, but still. Then, we started hearing some “You know what? It ain’t so bad” chatter from trusted friends. And then there was yesterday’s Variety review:

A bright but awkward college student learns to confront his fears and do the right thing in “The Education of Charlie Banks,” a solid American indie that falls just short of earning top marks. New York-set, seriocomic coming-of-ager marks the feature-film helming bow of Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, whose notoriety, plus strong performances by rising names Jesse Eisenberg (“The Squid and the Whale”) and Eva Amurri (“Saved!”), should make this a popular fest item before graduating to niche theatrical and/or ancillary…

Rocker Durst, whose previous helming experience was in musicvids, proves surprisingly adept at character-driven storytelling

Granted, “surprisingly adept” may sound like faint praise, but Variety reviews are less about artistry and more about potential box-office success, so this write-up actually bodes well for Durst (who, judging by this picture, is starting to look more and more like a beefier Michael Stipe). We don’t want to comment on movies we haven’t seen yet (we only do that for music), so if you happened to catch a screening, drop us a line and let us know.

Reviews – The Education Of Charlie Durst []