Monday, May 18, 2009

The 5 Greatest Movie Soundtracks

Tell me. How does one considers a movie to be great?

Does it need to have great actors? Does it need to have a superb script? Does it require great visual effects and cinematography? Or perhaps does it need to have a great Original Soundtrack?

Imagine your favorite movie without music. Despite how effective the actors were, it would still be dull, boring and lacks something, and that something is very crucial on building emotions throughout the movie. Through music, it enhances the emotions from the actors. Also, the OST determines the right mood of a certain scene.

Of all movies that I’ve watched since the early 90s, I have found five movies that have the best Original Soundtrack, in my own opinion.

Number Five.
On the number five spot, we have the OST of the 2004 blockbuster disaster movie, The Day After Tomorrow. It was beautifully arranged by an Austrian-born film composer and writer, Harald Kloser. He also has worked with several movies like The Thirteenth Floor (1999), 10,000 BC (2008) and the upcoming cataclysmic movie, 2012 (2009). The tension between man and Mother Nature can be easily felt through his startling yet amazing musical scores. Of all the musical scores in the soundtrack album, The Day After Tomorrow, Tidal Wave and Superfreeze were my personal picks. So, when a deadly F5 tornado is on your way, try listening to this soundtrack before the tornado picks you up, errrr, not.

Number Four.
Korea’s all time favorite movie, 소개합니다 or Windstruck (2004) takes the #4 spot. The story was heavy and drew tears easily from the viewers. The intensity heightens during the dramatic scenes. This album does not contain only the creations of one artist, but it is a collection of songs coming from different songwriters. Youme’s version of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door was a sweet and delicate one. Stay (Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs) was really cool, as well as its unique Pizzicato version. My top picks for this album aside from the two are Reunion Theme by Kwak Jae-Young and X-Japan’s phenomenal song, Tears.

Number Three.
Who would have thought that the two of the most controversial novels of this decade will make its way to the big screen? Apparently, the exciting adventures of Robert Langdon shouldn’t be confined in the book. Thanks to the ingenuity of this German composer, Hans Zimmer, he made The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels and Demons (2009) a fantastic flick. Apparently, he even continued the legacy of Chevaliers de Sangreal to Angels and Demons. Nonetheless, he made the adventures of Robert Langdon on the big screen a thrilling one. Hans Zimmer is also known for his works on The Lion King (1994), Crimson Tide (1995) and Gladiator (2000).

Number Two.
Yet, another novel made its way to the big screen. Neil Gaiman’s Stardust became a blockbuster hit during its world premiere around October 2007. The unbelievable love story of Tristan and Yvainne was fictitious yet compelling, thanks to its original soundtrack made by the English composer, Ilan Eshkeri. Eshkeri have collaborated with Hans Zimmer and the late Michael Klamen in his early projects. He also co-wrote the hit single Rule the World with Take That. Bounded with digital strings, synthesizers and wind instruments, Stardust’s OST is really worth listening. Try Coronation, Septimus and the flamboyant Pirate Fight. You’ll definitely enjoy this OST album.

Number One.
Now you may wonder who took the number one spot for this countdown. Well, the original soundtrack of Titanic (1997), composed and arranged by James Horner deserves to be the top of this list, the cream of the crop. According to MTV, it became a worldwide success after releasing more than 11 million copies in the United States alone. Also, the remarkable song, My Heart Will Go On sang by the Canadian singer, Celine Dion had spent 16 weeks at #1 in the US Billboard Charts. Truly, when you listen to this album, you’ll feel that you’re in the “unsinkable” ship. You feel that you are flying. Most of all, during the second half of the album, you feel like you’re dying in the freezing cold of the Atlantic Ocean. This OST is truly amazing.

(Runner-ups: 50 First Dates, The Lion King, Braveheart and The Lord of the Rings)

Truly, an effective movie doesn’t solely rely on to the script, the acting, its visual effects or its cinematography, but rather music an important key to determine whether the movie is great or not. Without music, the movie industry would be in peril. They coalesce to each other in order to answer the demanding needs of man in the field of entertainment.

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