Tag Archives: Mandy Moore

Soundtrack Review: Midway (2019)

The soundtrack to Roland Emmerich’s epic film Midway is now available digitally and will be available on CD November 22nd. The highly anticipated action drama, starring Woody Harrelson, Luke Evans, Nick Jonas, and Mandy Moore, premiered in US theaters via Lionsgate, alongside the soundtrack release. The film centers on the Battle of Midway, a clash between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy, which marked a pivotal turning point in the Pacific Theater during WWII. The film, based on the real-life events of this heroic feat, tells the story of the leaders and soldiers who used their instincts, fortitude and bravery to overcome the odds.

The soundtrack for Midway was composed by Thomas Wander and Harald Kloser. Regarding the soundtrack, they had this to say:

“We agreed that the music for Midway should not be a traditional wall-to-wall orchestral score, with sweeping action cues where every change in mood and sentiment will be followed musically. We also set ourselves the goal that the orchestral pieces should be limited to the emotional moments of the film. Early on we asked our long-time collaborator Tommy Schobel to create some sort of musically driven sound design, using synth-based versions of sounds old war planes would make, but in a way so they make sense within the bigger picture of the score. When you hear these cues in the film, married with all the sound effects, it all becomes — quoting our re-recording mixer Greg P. Russel — ‘A Thing.’”

The soundtrack also features two contributions by singer Annie Trousseau. Here’s what she had to say about working on the soundtrack for Midway:

“I was asked by Harald and Roland if I had any big band songs recorded and would I be interested in performing a song in Midway. This was all happening last minute because they had just added a scene with a singer. Of course, I said yes immediately! Harald had pretty early on decided that “Jersey Bounce” would be the instrumental. “All or Nothing at All” was my top pick for the vocal track because it was the most fitting lyrically and emotionally for the film, and I just fell in love with the melody and Frank Sinatra’s 1939 version with the Harry James orchestra. What an honor to be the one singer asked to do this. We purposely did only two or three live takes of each song so we could keep the live feel. I’m very happy with the outcome. In preparation, I studied the enunciation of the era and did my best to give it that extra 1940s vintage sensibility. I was in heaven in a musical world and setting that allowed me to shine in a genre that I adore and respect so much. It’s been the best experience to work beside such amazing talents. Almost everyone in the film is also a musician! Such a dream come true for me.”

While it’s true, after listening to the score, that this is definitely not a wall-to-wall orchestral score such as what you might normally find for an epic film of this magnitude, I think movie audiences will appreciate the music just as much. It oozes with tension in various places, which makes sense given how pivotal the Battle of Midway proved to be. Everything hinged on this one fight going exactly right, and it feels like that is reflected somewhat in the musical score.

TRACK LISTING
1. Nobody Wants A War
2. Midway Main Theme
3. See You In China
4. Morgue
5. Getting Some Fun Out Of Life – Performed By Annie Trousseau
6. Pearl Harbour
7. This Is It
8. Bombing Six
9. What’s Their Target
10. Attack On Midway
11. Good Luck Sir
12. Jersey Bounce – Performed by Annie Trousseau (Instrumental)
13. They’ll Follow You Anywhere
14. Still Night Submarine
15. Above The Clouds
16. Dogfight
17. The Last Dive
18. This Is For Pearl
19. Victory Lap
20. Best Returns
21. Abandon Ship
22. Midway End Titles
23. All Or Nothing At All – Performed by Annie Trousseau

Let me know what you think of Midway (and its soundtrack) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

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Tangled “Mother Knows Best” (2010)

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Tangled “Mother Knows Best” (2010)

The more I look at Tangled (2010), the more I’m reminded of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). Think about it, both feature protagonists who are locked away from the world “for their own safety.” Both Rapunzel and Quasimodo are told categorically that the outside world is cruel and dangerous and that if they were to ever venture out, they (i.e. Frollo and Mother Gothel) would not be able to protect them. And speaking of Mother Gothel, wow, she is surely the female version of Frollo, if ever such a thing existed.

If there’s one thing I can appreciate in any Disney film, it’s a good villain, and Mother Gothel is close to the top of my list of villains I love to hate. She is a master of blending sweet talk with put downs and threats. All of this is highlighted in “Mother Knows Best.”

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Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) doesn’t know it, but she’s actually the long-lost Princess of the Kingdom of Corona (whose palace is located on the edge of sight from the tower in which she and her “mother” live.) Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) kidnapped Rapunzel when she was a toddler because the magic flower she was using to continually restore her youth was taken to help save the life of Rapunzel’s mother, and when the princess was born the magic power was transferred to Rapunzel’s hair (this is why it can never be cut, if it were, the magic power would fade away instantly). For the most part, Rapunzel has been content to live in the tower, free to paint all over the walls, master cooking, and basically do whatever Mother Gothel tells her, but now that she’s into her late teens, she (naturally) wants to explore outside the tower.

She especially wants to go see the “magic lights” that appear once a year in the distant city (not knowing that the lights are a memorial to their missing princess). On her birthday, Rapunzel summons up the courage to ask Mother Gothel if she can leave the tower, just for a little bit, and Mother Gothel isn’t happy at all (she knows Rapunzel would likely be recognized on the spot if she went into the city, that’s why she’s been in the tower all this time), and decides Rapunzel needs some reminding about how the world “really” works.

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Mother Gothel lists a variety of bad things that can happen in the outside world:

“Ruffians, thugs, poison ivy, quicksand, cannibals and snakes,

The plague!! (also) Large bugs and men with pointy teeth”

And when that doesn’t quite do the trick, Gothel goes to the old Disney standby of putting down the hero/heroine and making them feel weak and insecure:

“On your own you won’t survive…gullible, naive, positively grubby, ditzy and a bit…vague

Plus…gettin’ kinda chubby (author’s note: low blow Gothel!!)

And in case there was any doubt that Gothel was a real monster of a villain, she ends the song with a simple (if chilling) request: “Don’t ever ask to leave this tower, again…Don’t forget it, you’ll regret it, Mother Knows Best!”

Of course, when the villain makes a threat like that, you just know that SOMETHING is going to happen to cause Rapunzel to leave the tower now, that something being a someone named Flynn Rider (but that’s a story for another time).

“Mother Knows Best” was written by the incomparable Alan Menken (I think I will be beside myself when he eventually passes away), with the lyrics created by Glenn Slater. The song is deliberately done in the style of musical theater (at the request of the director) and is considered by many to be the best song in the film. It definitely stands on the same level as older songs performed by Disney villains (I’m thinking of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” in particular). I have to say, Donna Murphy turns in a brilliant performance as Mother Gothel, in fact I’m almost upset that the character *spoiler alert* doesn’t survive the end of the film because I’d have loved to see her performance as Gothel continue.

What do you think of Tangled? Does Mother Gothel rank among the best Disney villains or what? Hope you enjoy listening to “Mother Knows Best.” Have a good Tuesday!

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*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

For more Tangled, see also:

Tangled “When Will My Life Begin?” (2010)

Tangled “Mother Knows Best (reprise)” (2010)

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For more great Disney songs, check out the main page here: Disney A-Z