“Drive” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Based off of the book written by James Sallis, Drive stars Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stunt driver who works part time as a mechanic and also part time as a wheelman for crime. The movie takes a strange turn (can’t say for the best) when one heist goes awry. That said, the music is awesome and, therefore, seeing it is worth it.

So 80’s and I love it! Music can make or break a movie. Case in point, watch “What if ‘Drive’ had a shitty soundtrack?”

[audio:Under Your Spell.mp3, Nightcall.mp3, A Real Hero.mp3|titles=Under Your Spell, Nightcall, A Real Hero|artists=Desire, Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx, College (feat. Electric Youth)]
“Under Your Spell” by Desire
“Nightcall” by Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx
“A Real Hero” by College (feat. Electric Youth)

“Spitting Fire” by The Boxer Rebellion

The new Fox Searchlight film, The Art of Getting By, will be released this Friday, June 17, 2011. Unlike Rotten Tomatoes (Yikes!), I thought it was cute. Sure, it wasn’t anything that we haven’t seen before and maybe it did ring of Nick & Norah, but it made me smile and I enjoyed it.

Plus, the music was pretty great. Here’s one that made it onto the soundtrack—from The Boxer Rebellion’s 2009 release, Union.

[audio:Spitting Fire.mp3|titles=Spitting Fire|artists=The Boxer Rebellion]
“Spitting Fire” by The Boxer Rebellion

Image courtesy of We Are Movie Geeks.

“Chances Are” by Garrett Hedlund

I just downloaded the Country Strong Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. It’s too bad Garrett Hedlund does not have a bigger presence on the album as he was phenomenal in the movie! “Chances Are” is the only song he wrote. The rest of the songs featured in the movie are sung by their original artists on the soundtrack.

Country Strong is not Tim McGraw and Garrett Hedlund’s first duet as they played father and son in Friday Night Lights. From the abusive father in Friday Night Lights to the husband who pushes his wife over the edge in Country Strong, McGraw has a small history of playing the bad guy. Leighton Meester deserves her budding career as a singer. Gweneth is beautiful and she plays wounded, helpless, and hopeless well. However, the star performance goes to Garrett Hedlund.

[audio:Chances Are.mp3]
“Chances Are” by Garrett Hedlund

Country Strong (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Various Artists

“Help Yourself” by Sad Brad Smith

I finally watched the Grammy nominated movie Up In The Air. Everybody told me it wasn’t good. I knew I shouldn’t have listened to “everybody.” I was anxious to see up-and-comer/ Broadway actress/ Twilight Saga star, Anna Kendrick. She did an excellent job! As for Vira Farmiga, I’ve loved her ever since The Departed.

The plot diverges from its initial storyline into an “importance of companionship” reflection. I was glad it did because I don’t think there would have been enough to go off of if all that was there was a man who happiness, by way of his career, was taken away.

From the soundtrack available on iTunes and Amazon, please have a listen to “Help Yourself” by Sad Brad Smith.

[audio:Help Yourself.mp3]
“Help Yourself” by Sad Brad Smith

Sad Brad Smith - Up In the Air (Music from the Motion Picture) - Help Yourself

“Adam” Motion Picture Soundtrack


I saw a free screening of Adam last night at the Angelika in downtown Houston. The soundtrack features songs from Joshua Radin, Maria Taylor, The Weepies and Miranda Lee Richards. Most listened on Paste is the Radin/ Taylor duet “When You Find Me.” My favorite is The Weepies “Can’t Go Back Now” off the 2008 album Hideaway. To preview the entire album click here.

500 Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer
Image courtesy of the Minneapolis/ St. Paul International Film Festival Official Site

“You should know up front, this is not a love story.” Are you sure Mr. Webb? Isn’t it about the heartbreak of being in love and not being loved back? Isn’t it about the difficulty of being loved and not loving back? Furthermore, isn’t the overall theme based on the concepts of fate and true love? Although the movie doesn’t culminate in the way a traditional love story would, it is most definitely about love. I cannot count the amount of times I recognized a goofy grin painting my face while viewing this movie. One that lasted well past its initiating scene and, every time I realized the expression had not left, I felt a little silly. I always say I’m no hopeless romantic.

Zoey Deschanel plays a character that I would imagine her resembling in real life. Summer is honest and free-spirited. She’s someone who knows what she wants out of life and, coincidentally, what she doesn’t want. On the other hand, Tom, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, lacks confidence and is unsatisfied. He holds a job that he has settled for because he doesn’t think that he can hack it doing what he really wants to do. Furthermore, he believes that Summer is the girl of his dreams but that he could never nab a girl like her. Conversations he shares with his buddies provide evidence of the latter belief. The fact that we hear the guys talking about the girl, instead of the more common reverse, is refreshing.

Humor prevails in even the darkest of moments. For instance, while fleeing Summer’s apartment following their first confrontation, Tom quickly descends the stairwell and, rather than consuming the scene solely with frustration and agony, director Marc Webb must have thought, “ok, something else needs to happen on these stairs.” Thus, the obstacle of two girls blocking his exit. Tom must now react and he does so with an impatient display of politeness. He invites the girls to pass first with an annoyed, “after you,” and an exaggerated guiding gesture.

Another thing I love about Marc is that he’s not afraid of taking risks and being inconsistent. At times this movie does seem like your typical romantic comedy. Until the rib-tickling song and dance number illustrating Tom’s elation at possibly having a chance with Summer. Or, the split scene showing his expectations of how a night in Summer’s presence will unfold while, at the same time, revealing the reality of how the evening actually goes down. Again littered with hilarity, I’m sure you can guess which side contains a better chain of events for Tom.

“Rise” by Azure Ray

Winter Passing is an indie drama film directed by Adam Rapp. Rent star, Anthony Rapp, provides a cameo in his brother’s directorial debut. I struggled internally with the option to include or not include the former piece of information because I am aware of my small obsession with the rock opera, Rent. I don’t know how many times this blog has mentioned said production. I just know there have been several occasions. Therefore, I apologize for my lack of resistance in mentioning the association this movie has to Rent.

Winter Passing stars Zooey Deschanel, better known to me as the other half of the folk duo She and Him, in the principal role of Reese Holden. Reese has been approached by a publisher and offered money contingent on her decision to hand over her deceased mother’s love letters to her father. The daughter of two work alcoholic scholars, Reese has become an actress, reflecting her want for attention. However, she is still displeased with life. She pays a visit to her father in Michigan on the assignment to collect the letters in order to receive her payment. Predictably, the awkward and angry confrontations between her and her father transition to rekindling apologies and all is well in the end.

As a proud original Michigander I have to include the following Wikipedia trivia fact. Winter Passing is the only film to date known to speak of Traverse City, Michigan and was included in the 2006 Traverse City Film Festival for this reason.

A band called Azure Ray contributed a song to the soundtrack titled “Rise.” I made a mental note to Google the song while watching the movie. I loved its’ dreamy and reposed sound, similar to that of another band I enjoy named Beach House. This song comes from the self-titled debut from 2001. Two other albums followed but they have not released anything since 2003.

“Rise” by Azure Ray

Azure Ray - Azure Ray - Rise