Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Token Themes

Welcome a weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. I’m a hugely enthusiastic fan of film scores, and music is far too often an element of cinema that goes unrecognized. Therefore I present a platform for a look – or rather, a listen – to some fantastic film scores. I’ll be selecting a composer and one or more of their film scores for your listening pleasure, embedded from YouTube.

This week’s featured composer is Thomas Newman. The Los Angeles native is a ten-time Oscar nominee, but hasn’t yet won. I recognize him most as a frequent collaborator with Sam Mendes and Alan Ball. Most recently, he composed the pensive and contemplative anthem for “The Debt” and the multi-faceted, tone-setting soundtrack suite for “The Help.” His moody score for “The Adjustment Bureau” helped give it its signature feel, and the melancholy homecoming theme of “Brothers” was one of its strongest assets. The sad end title of “Revolutionary Road” is particularly somber, while the distinctive music for “Wall-E” is much bouncier. The mysterious, jazzy score for “Towelhead” is quite memorable, and the music “The Good German” is an obvious homage to film noir of old. “Little Children” has stylized, peculiar end titles, while “Jarhead” is aided by mood-establishing desert-crawling music. “Cinderella Man” possesses epic, inspirational main titles, while the theme for “Finding Nemo” is quiet and pleasant. “Road to Perdition” has a moving score that captures the film’s repentance themes, while “Erin Brockovich” has a bold, energetic score, much like its title character. My favorite is “American Beauty,” with its absolutely beautiful and haunting plastic bag theme, though it’s hard to argue that the triumphant “The Shawshank Redemption” score isn’t excellent as well.

The Debt (2011)

The Help (2011)

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Brothers (2009)

Revolutionary Road (2008)

Wall-E (2008)

Towelhead (2008)

The Good German (2008)

Little Children (2006)

Jarhead (2005)

Cinderella Man (2005)

Finding Nemo (2003)

Road to Perdition (2002)

Erin Brockovich (2000)

American Beauty (1999)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

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