Author Archives: Film Music Central

About Film Music Central

I'm a 27 year old graduate student and I've had a lifelong obsession with film music, cartoon music, just about any kind of music!

Still feeling sick, be back soon

Hey guys, I’m fighting off a cold right now, and with some big paper edits I have to finish before Friday, you probably won’t hear from me much this week, and if I get any worse don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me at all.

I promise I’ll be back soon, I just can’t blog when I feel like this.

Be back soon!

Becky

Danny Elfman talks Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

alicettlg_payoff_1-sht_v13_sm

Danny Elfman talks Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Oh dear…I actually had some hope for this sequel at first. When Alice Through the Looking Glass was announced, I felt excited because I’d enjoyed Alice in Wonderland and I was initially up for a return to this crazy world. And then the previews started and things got…weird (and I don’t mean weird in a good way).

The more I watched and learned, the more this felt like a re-hash of the first film (with Sasha Baron Cohen thrown into the mix). I’m not ALWAYS opposed to sequels, but if the best they can do is remix the original plot…then forget it!!

That being said, Danny Elfman DID return to score the film, so that is one positive in a film that largely disappointed. I hope you enjoy this brief interview with the composer.

If you’d like to learn more about the film scores of Danny Elfman, see here

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook (please!!) 🙂

A 2nd Mystery Blogger Award!!

mba

Many thanks to Rhyme and Reason for nominating me for another Mystery Blogger Award! This award was created by Okoto Enigma. The rules, as always, are simple:

  1. Put the award image on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate at least 10 people
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

So, three things about myself…..

  1. I was a fanfiction author for about six years
  2. My favorite color is purple.
  3. My favorite sport is American football, I’m a longtime fan of the Cincinnati Bengals (though my optimism is fading after how terrible this season was for them).

Here are the questions I was asked:

  1. What film(s) do you love that others seem to ignore or not even know about?

I love film adaptations of Shakespeare, and 9 times out of 10, no one I know seems to know anything about these films. It’s like I’m the only one who knows they exist. Which is a shame because I LOVE the adaptation of Richard III starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role.

  1. If you had to eat one food (or kind of food) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

RICE!!! I love rice, rice is awesome 🙂

  1. If technology allowed us to live in an ideal virtual Matrix-world, would you choose that over reality?

That depends, what does reality look like?

  1. What one film do you think is vastly overrated?

La La Land (I’ll keep saying that until I’m blue in the face)

  1. For a fun question, you have three paradox-free wishes that won’t come back to bite you (says a genie). What would they be?

Wish 1: I wish for my college debt to vanish

Wish 2: I wish that Pegasi were real

Wish 3: I wish that Middle Earth is a real place that can be visited

My nominees are:

  1. Jack and the Geekstalk
  2. Listening to Film
  3. CarensClassicCinema
  4. VIA VHS
  5. The Movie and the Muse
  6. Striking Film Reviews
  7. The Cinema Report
  8. Trash Film Guru
  9. Braxton on Film
  10. Ford on Film

And my questions for them are:

  1. What is the worst film you ever saw??
  2.  Do you prefer Marvel or DC?
  3. What is your favorite film soundtrack of all time?
  4. Favorite color?
  5. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Thanks again for the nomination!! -Becky

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook if you haven’t already 🙂

Danny Elfman talks Alice in Wonderland (2010)

alice_in_wonderland_poster_2_1_original1

Danny Elfman talks Alice in Wonderland (2010)

If I’m perfectly honest, Alice in Wonderland (2010) should be included in my “Didn’t Think I’d Like it (But I did!)” series because, well, I really didn’t think I would like it when the previews arrived. But during my spring break that year I went to see the film because a friend of mine wanted to see it and I actually enjoyed it.

This film is actually something of a sequel to the first Alice in Wonderland (1951) because Alice is now grown up and has all but forgotten her childhood adventure in Wonderland (renamed here as “Underland”). Finding herself on the cusp of being forcefully pushed into a marriage she doesn’t want, Alice unexpectedly returns to Wonderland/Underland, where, as it turns out, she must slay the Jabberwocky, defeat the Red Queen and return the White Queen to power. Mayhem and insanity ensues.

One of the highlights of this film is the musical score by Danny Elfman. The composer is well known for his collaborations with Tim Burton, and this effort is one of their more memorable efforts in recent years.

In the brief interview I found, Elfman briefly talks about his work on the film’s score (I always love watching interviews like this one, I just wish they could be longer!). I hope you enjoy this interview clip.

If you’d like to learn more about the film scores of Danny Elfman, see here

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Bear McCreary talks Constantine (2014)

It’s no secret that I have a small obsession with the short-lived Constantine series that aired on NBC. (I’ve already lamented the fact that it was cancelled way too soon thanks to those morons at NBC, but I digress…) One factor that I loved was the music, something that I’ve rediscovered in the past few days. After having the main theme of the show caught in my head for 48 straight hours, I decided it was time to write about it. And that’s when I discovered something interesting. The music for Constantine was written by composer Bear McCreary who is responsible for some of the best television music written in recent years.

He is responsible for, among other things: Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009), Black Sails (2014-present), Constantine (2014-2015), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Forest (2016), 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), Agents of SHIELD (2013-present) and, oh yes, a little series called The Walking Dead (2010-present).

Bear McCreary talks Constantine

During the short time that Constantine was on the air, McCreary posted a video talking about how he came to compose the music for the series, what sounds he mixed together, and how he determined what the world of John Constantine sounded like. The result is a fascinating blend of the orchestral and the synthetic. There’s a harpsichord (playing the opening motif) and enough heavy beats to satisfy any fan of 80’s hard rock. As the composer puts it, this mix shouldn’t exist, but then again, Constantine is the type of man who shouldn’t exist in our world either.

Constantine- Main Theme

I love this music so much, it’s a crazy blend of traditional and rock and it totally works for this series. Hope you enjoy it! -Becky

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Justice League Dark (2017), WOW!!!

mv5body4ywq1otutmjbjyi00ytniltg2odytzdywowzjogiwmme3l2ltywdll2ltywdlxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjuwnzk3ndc-_v1_uy268_cr150182268_al_

Wow!! Wow, wow and WOW!!! More please!!!

Those were the first thoughts I had as the end credits of Justice League Dark began to roll. For weeks I’d been looking forward to picking this up the day it came to DVD/BluRay, largely because this film features Matt Ryan reprising his role as John Constantine (granted it’s animation and not live-action, but I’ll take what I can get).

I actually haven’t seen that many of the DC animated films, the last one I recall seeing is Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, so it’s hard for me to say where this one ranks in terms of animation quality and etc. But I can say that what I saw, I liked. Some of my favorite parts involved the casting of magic spells, which did look a little reminiscent of the spell-casting in Doctor Strange, but that’s another story. Let’s get down to details!!

The titular Justice League Dark (for this film) consists of:

John Constantine: The extremely reluctant leader, a smartass magician and conjurer, owner of the House of Mystery, lives dangerously by conning demons out of their riches, and has a penchant for getting punched in the face by people he’s pissed off. To be brief, he doesn’t play well with others (watching him interact with Batman is a riot!!)

Zatanna Zatara: A popular stage magician who also possesses very real and powerful magic. She’s the only person Constantine is actually willing to work with (as it is implied they not only worked together previously, but that they also had a relationship of some kind). She’s resisted using her powers to fight evil (as Constantine does), citing that she prefers using her abilities to bring joy to others.

Jason Blood/Etrigan: Jason is a 500 year old immortal and formerly a knight of Camelot. He’s an unwilling immortal because, after being mortally wounded by an insane wizard named “Destiny” (no, really!!), Merlin bound the dying knight to the demon Etrigan to save his life. To summon Etrigan, Jason must recite a rhyme, and his body is replaced with Etrigan’s. Etrigan is a Hell demon who only speaks in rhyme (and even though he’s a demon, he seems less evil than most). Jason has spent centuries trying to find a way to separate Etrigan from himself.

Deadman: This is one I’d never heard of before now. Formerly a trapeze artist named Boston Brand, Deadman was assassinated during a performance, but his spirit was given power by a Hindu god named Rama Kushna, giving him the ability to possess the living in order to bring his killer to justice. Deadman is a wisecracking smartass, but he started to grow on me as the story went on.

And there’s also…

Swamp Thing (!!!!!!!!): Unbelievably (to me) this is the first time Swamp Thing has ever appeared in a DC Animated film (which is crazy because he’s an awesome character!!!) He doesn’t appear for that long in the story, but when he does appear, he practically steals the show. Swamp Thing is the protector of “the Green” (basically all plant life), and was formerly a human named Alec Holland. Alec was murdered, and his body used as the basis to create Swamp Thing. He really doesn’t like Constantine.

There’s also Batman, yes, I said Batman. I reluctantly understand why they put the Dark Knight in this story, but I hate that they had to do it. Basically, Warner Bros. wanted to ensure that as many people saw this film as possible, and they knew that if Batman was advertised as being in the story, more people would check it out on impulse. But truly, Batman doesn’t do THAT much, he’s more of an observer than anything else (especially when magical things are going on).

The story of Justice League Dark is actually really dark!! The opening sequence became more disturbing as it went on. Here’s the gist: some unknown force is causing ordinary citizens to believe they’re surrounded by demons and monsters that they have to attack/kill to get away from. This results in unspeakable tragedies: a woman mowing down dozens of bystanders with her car; a man who nearly kills his wife and children because he believes “monsters” killed them (in a gruesome twist, it’s revealed he’s already killed several neighbors and their families); and, most heartbreaking of all, a woman throws her newborn from the roof of a cathedral because she believes she’s given birth to the devil. Batman is able to save the baby, but the mother jumps to her death.

MASSIVE STORY SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT!!!

The dark Justice League are led to believe that this is the work of wizard Felix Faust (someone the regular Justice League has encountered in the past). Richie, an old friend of Constantine’s, who is also dying from a magical cancer, also points the finger at Faust, claiming the wizard attacked him. Richie also states that a magical ring seen in the memories of one of the victims belongs to Faust as well. The team goes to confront Faust in his magical observatory, leading to a magical battle for the ages. There is an especially epic sequence when Zatanna goes into total badass mode, unleashing her full magic on the wizard, nearly killing him until Constantine stops her. Then comes a wrinkle: Batman confirms that Faust is NOT the culprit in this attack. But Richie, a dying man, wouldn’t lie to Constantine…or WOULD he?

In a plot twist I did NOT see coming, it’s revealed that Richie is actually possessed by a fragment of the wizard Destiny’s soul (portions of which were bound in a huge gem that partially shattered when Merlin defeated him 500 years ago). Destiny has conned Richie into thinking that if he acquires the rest of the gem (currently sitting in the House of Mystery after Constantine acquired it in a card game from some demons), he (Richie) will become immortal and very powerful. The attack was staged, with blame falsely assigned to Faust so that the team would leave him alone in the House. But Richie has been tricked: the only thing reassembling the gem will do is give Destiny the means of re-entering the physical world, using Richie’s body as a base for his own.

Now the world is in real danger: Destiny is so powerful that he could conquer the world in a matter of days. The trouble is, the wizard is protected by a super-powerful magical shield, and he also wields the power to drive any potential attackers mad, making them think they’re surrounded by monsters. In fact, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern all become infected by this madness, and the team is barely able to hold them off for a time. Also, Destiny is able to 1) forcibly separate Jason Blood from Etrigan and 2) seemingly disintegrate Swamp Thing by pulling Alec Holland’s aged remains from his plant body (whether this is permanent or not is not explained). It comes down to Constantine and Deadman to provide an opening to defeat the wizard. Constantine allows Deadman to possess him and tricks Destiny into taking him inside the magical shield. Once inside, Deadman launches into the wizard, distracting him long enough to bring the magical shield down, giving Jason Blood the chance to stab the wizard in the back, mortally wounding him. The wizard is destroyed, but Richie remains…for a moment. Throughout the film, Constantine has noted Death Shrouds hanging around Richie’s house (spirits that take souls to Hell). They’ve been waiting for Richie to die, and after everything he’s been through, Richie’s soul is ripe for the taking. He begs Constantine to do something, but after being betrayed, Constantine can’t take the risk that Destiny isn’t manipulating Richie still. The result? Richie’s soul is literally dragged screaming into Hell.

The Earth is saved, but not everyone on the team survives (I won’t say who, but it made me sad when a certain character died). Zatanna has been invited to join the Justice League, and apparently so has Constantine (he laughs at the idea).

I really enjoyed this movie a lot. Seeing Constantine was just amazing (I could literally watch him all day long and not get bored), and as I said before, watching him interact with Batman was downright hilarious! I also (no surprise) loved the music; the main theme was fantastic. I sincerely hope there are Justice League Dark sequels down the road. I will also take a stand alone Constantine film, a stand alone Swamp Thing film, even a stand alone Zatanna film (but I really just want more Constantine).

I highly recommend this film, even if you’ve never read anything about Justice League Dark or Constantine before, this is a great jumping in point, because we get backstory on practically everyone. The film is available on DVD/BluRay as of yesterday (February 7th).

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Ask me Anything: Answers!!

To celebrate gaining my 300th follower, for today and tomorrow I’m holding an “ask me anything” here on the blog (you can leave questions in the comments here )

Here is where the answers are posted:

Martin Through the Silver Screen asked: Favorite composer of all time?

Answer: As much as I love the music of James Horner, my favorite composer of all time must be John Williams. His themes are iconic, his work on Star Wars will endure until the end of time, and he is probably one of the greatest film composers who ever lived (and he’s not done yet!!) I can literally listen to his music all day long 🙂

Renate from Popcorn & Film asked: Favorite Disney movie?

Answer: Oh wow, how can I ever pick just one since I love them all, lol!! But seriously, I think my favorite Disney film will always be Beauty and the Beast (1991), I love that a Disney Princess can also be a huge bookworm (like me) and the animation remains exquisite over 25 years later.

And also: Which movie do you think you will like the most from 2017?

Answer: I’ll split this in two: for the first half of 2017, I believe the film I’ll like the most will be Beauty and the Beast (2017), because it looks AMAZING!!! For the second half of 2017, I have no doubt that the film I’ll like the most will be Star Wars: The Last Jedi because FINALLY we will get to see Luke say something!!! Not to mention find out what’s up with Kylo Ren, maybe learn who Snoke really is, see more awesome lightsaber action, etc.

geelw asked: Best soundtrack you’ve heard from a film you least cared for?

Answer: That is TOUGH to answer because typically (for me) the soundtrack and the film go hand in hand. If I had to pick…I think maybe the soundtrack for Dinosaur (2000) is a good example. James Newton Howard put some gorgeous music together, but the overall story of the film just didn’t do too much for me (and I was crazy about dinosaurs at the time).