I loved all of these:
Under the Skin, with its strings and alien percussion.
The Spook Who Sat by the Door, with Herbie Hancock doing his thing
Paul Mercer’s updated score for the silent The Hands of Orlac
Maurice Jarre’s scores for both Thunderdome and Judex
Antonio Sanchez’s jazz drumming for Birdman
Michael Giancchino with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Atticus Ross and his sound collage stuff for Love and Mercy
Morricone, for The Hateful Eight
I loved that Morricone, and it’s fresh on my mind since I saw the movie yesterday. I’ve got to give this to Mica Levi for that creepy Under the Skin score though. I can still hear that in my head months and months after seeing the movie, and those sounds are accompanied by visuals that I don’t mind remembering. Of course, I did watch portions of this movie multiple times.
I’m sure there were other bad ones, but I can’t imagine anything beating the Casio madness of Black Devil Doll from Hell, music so bad that it becomes magical.
I just want to mention Under the Skin again and especially that song playing while Johannson lures victims into oil. It gives my brain an excuse.
“Most Likable Song Ever” in Frank. Also--Maggie’s versions of “I Want to Marry a Lighthouse Keeper” or “On Top of Old Smokey” in the same movie. Or how about the first song the band in Frank records after months of preparation. It’s fucking euphoric! Or “Lone Standing Tuft” from Frank. Obviously, there were a lot of songs to like in Frank.
“I Was Born in West Virginia” from The Double
Two from Aki Kaurismaki movies--Kari Vaananen’s “new composition” in La Vie de Boheme or “I Will Break You” from the wonderful Leningrad Cowboys in the “Rocky VI” short.
Gershwin with Boar-Man humming or the Brando/Dwarf piano duet in The Island of Dr. Moreau. Just exquisite moments in a mostly-awful movie.
“Dreams” in The Sound of My Voice
Senor Bob’s stumbling “Silent Night” from The Hateful Eight, also fresh on my mind
The winner: “Shimmy Slide” from Road to Revenge. If you’ve heard this bit of musical magic, you’ll know why.
Best Sound Effect
All the slurping and panting in The Telephone Book
The Collector’s collected ambience from the weird Upstream Color
The ting sounds of “small asteroids” hitting the space ship followed by butt suctioning in The X from Outer Space
All kinds of music from the sound-heavy Berberian Sound Studio, a movie that’s all about sound effects
Call me a sentimental geek, but I’ve got to go with the roar of the Millennium Falcon and X-Wings, Chewbacca’s throaty growl, and light saber whizzing from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“Cackling” in various movies but especially with the witch’s constant cackling offenses in Mystics in Bali and one of the fake old people in Trash Humpers.
I’m not sure if Blood Diner or Love and Mercy can be considered musicals. I guess they’re not. Frank’s very nearly a musical. However, the only legitimate candidates for this would be Ken Russell’s outlandish Lisztomania, Sinatra and Kelly in On the Town, and the hip-hop turntabulism in the animated Wave Twisters.
The winner is obvious though. Let’s hear it for the Bollywood classic Gunda!
Best Theme Song
You go listen to the Western-esque opener for The Black Klansman and the theme song from Petey Wheatstraw and pick a winner. Can’t do it? Me neither!
Sadly, I can't find either one of these on Youtube for you.
Best Dance Scene
I want to include Jennifer Jason Leigh’s dance scene in The Hateful Eight. A character calls it a dance anyway.
There’s a completely random scene in Sweet Sweetback’s Badass Song where a shoeshine guy performs a lap dance on the top of a customer’s foot. And that, friends, is badassssss.
Bill Murray dances to “Somebody to Love” in St. Vincent although that song’s been done before.
I loved the transvestite with a black balloon in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.
I also loved the extraneous scene in Astro-Zombie where a topless woman dances in a club for around 35 minutes.
There are two winners. First, you’ve just not lived until you’ve seen Nukie busting a move in the middle of Africa in Nukie. And then there’s the “Red Shoes” performance in The Red Shoes, a sequence that has less to do with the dancing and more to do with the exquisite color and stage design.
Best Tidbit from a Song Lyric
That’s got to be Ann Miller’s reference to “prehistoric dick” in On the Town.
Best Musical Moment
Sure I dug the dulcimer guy in Gangs of New York, uproarious hammer play once a fight begins. And I loved watching the Pet Sounds studio shenanigans in Love and Mercy.
Only one film had a flamethrower guitar player though, and that movie was Mad Max: Fury Road. FLAMETHROWER GUITAR PLAYER!
Best Scene Featuring a Metronome
Unless I’m forgetting any, I believe there were only two. And although it was definitely a lot of fun watching Brian Wilson holding a metronome while being yelled at by his father, the glittery metronome used in a sex gag at the beginning of Lisztomania takes this prize.
The Attaboy Luther
I need to pay more attention. All I have written down in my notes is “Are you kidding me?” when everything goes silent in a bar after an alien freak-out thing in Earth to Echo and “Kick it again, Reese. You’re gonna have to do better than that” and “I don’t think it likes you, Reese” in Timerider. And I don’t even remember either of those. I'm glad I take notes on this crap throughout the year. They really come in handy.
This blog is a complete embarrassment.
Samuel L. Jackson delivers a nice one in The Hateful Eight, but Joaquin Phoenix wins with his scream when he looks at a picture in Inherent Vice.
Best Exchange of Words in a Movie
Ornithologist, philatelist, and philanthropist. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about. I couldn’t think of what to call this, but I really liked this scene from Foxcatcher.
The Wizard of Speed and Time: “This is the kind of movie you would make if you had nothing better to do.”
Naked Fear: “Somebody is hunting strippers and nobody seems to care.”
Satan’s Sadists: “A rebellion of human garbage”
The winner: Halloween Puppy’s “Unleash the impawsible!” Whoever came up with that should be severely punished.
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, The Book of Life, Gunda, Pleasantville, Inside Out, Dance of Reality, and Beyond the Black Rainbow all use color in beautiful or surprising or interesting ways. I’m giving the award to Cinderella though because it won’t win anything else.
Most Confusing Names
Wait, you’re going to have a character named Lando and another named Rando in The Killing of Satan? Why would you do that?
Randolpj L. Helton
Time Winters, but only because he was in a time-travel movie
Band Name Ideas I Got from Movies This Year
Philip Glass’s Wet Dream
Balaban! (with the exclamation point)
Sting’s 72-Hour Future Underpants
Doll Heads in the Desert (Josh’s idea)
Carrie Fisher’s Bazooka
Movie That I Somehow Forgot That I Had Even Watched
Run Run Bunny!
Best New Word
Dick-a-lick, as in “I know that it’s sick to say dick-a-lick.”
Biggest Surprise of the Year
How much I liked Dawn of the Planet of the Apes after hating the first one
Best Facial Hair
Kurt Russell’s mustache in The Hateful Eight is something to behold, and the only good thing about Gettysburg is the great facial hair. But the winner? Gunda’s villain! His mustache is the Scarlett Johansson’s body of the Best Facial Hair award.
Movie I Didn’t Really Watch
San Andreas, one which had me reaching for the fast-forward button after I realized it wasn't going to give me a Rock-hard boner
Movies I Wasn’t Mature Enough to Watch
Animal Passions, for obvious reasons.
The God of Cookery with its mention of Spitting Beef Balls and a character named Wet Dream
JTRH;NBIR (Just the right height; no bucket is required.)
Movies That Made Me Laugh Inappropriately
Theory of Everything
The Last Mimzy
C Me Dance
Movies That Made Me Cry or Nearly Cry
Short Term 12, a scene where kids are making cards for Jayden’s birthday
About Time, a few times
Inside Out, the loss of an imaginary friend and also the moment I knew what this movie was about for adults
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the obvious scene