Music can be incredibly essential to the experience of watching a great movie. We took a look at some of the greatest music moments in film a few months ago and it revealed to us just how important a great soundtrack can be. With the announcement that the new Tom Cruise movie, a sci-fi flick called Oblivion will be scored by Anthony Gonzalez of M83, it became clear that established and revered musicians are taking their talents to the big screen. For film goers, having members of their favorite bands provides additional star power to a movie, while also adding another dimension to them to enjoy. Artists who get involved in big budget movies have almost nothing to lose by doing so. For the fans, if the soundtrack is great, it doesn't matter if the movie sucks. It seems that Hans Zimmer, Randy Newman, Danny Elfman have some competition in a new generation of artists looking to add to their body of work. Let's take a look at some of the best film scores over the past few years, composed by some of our favorite artists.
The Movie:Tron Legacy (2010) The Artist: Daft Punk
The Verdict: It was a match made in heaven. Was there ever a more perfect fit for this movie than Daft Punk? Everything from the coldly futuristic aesthetic to the human vs. machine concept appeared to be tailored for their techie beats. Even though the movie didn't live up to the hype, the soundtrack was a very welcome addition to their discography, especially considering they hadn't released an album since 2005. It was new music from Daft Punk, and that's enough for me.
The Movie:The Master (2012) The Artist: Jonny Greenwood
The Verdict: Ugh, does my opinion on Paul Thomas Anderson or his movies even matter at this point? The director is considered 'so good' that there simply isn't any argument I could possibly leverage against him. The Master was a critic's pet and for obvious reasons. It was said to be 'deep' and 'profound'. It contained all the requirements: morally ambiguous characters, complex cinematography and of course, a score from Jonny Greenwood. Don't get me wrong. There are way worse movies than The Master and Radiohead is one of my favorite bands. To his credit, Jonny's score was the only thing in the movie that got my pulse going.
The Movie:The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) The Artist: Trent Reznor
The Verdict: Trent Reznor is rapidly establishing a career in this field. To this day he has composed two scores for films of varying degrees of acclaim. He is so successful in this pursuit primarily because his vision seems to be so well synced with the visuals. His precision is incredibly haunting. He negotiates space so effectively that the movie has room to breathe. Ultimately this one was the better of the two efforts (the other being The Social Network).
The Movie:Another Happy Day (2011) The Artist: Olafur Arnalds
The Verdict: The little movie that could got a huge boost when Olafur Arnalds contributed a score to the project. The hardcore drummer turned neoclassical composer delivered and proved that he was a multi-dimensional artist. The film made its way around the film festival circuit, receiving accolades and acclaim along the way. The score had a large part in that.
The Movie:Oblivion (2013) The Artist: Anthony Gonzalez of M83
The Verdict: Anyone who has heard M83's stellar double album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming knows that the band is capable of producing both atmospheric and epic sounds over the course of a single song (see the intro featuring Zola Jesus). So it's only fitting that the primary songwriter of the group, Anthony Gonzalez was enlisted to create the score for sci-fi epic Oblivion. Since the score was spread online today, it was immediately clear that Mr. Gonzalez has both the space and ability to provide a different kind of sonic pallet to this movie. It contains some of M83's signature sounds as well as some new ones, all spread out over sweeping instrumentals. Finally, we have a reason to head down to the theater to see this thing despite its star, Tom Cruise.