Happy Hump Day, ladies and gents! Kind of slow going for reviews and such lately, but I’m constantly remembering songs I can’t hear without thinking of movies, so I thought, “Why not do another Song and Screen?” I can’t believe this is the fifth one I’ve done! Of course, with something like this I could probably do another 50 of them. And you guys are still welcome to do them, too! So far Zoë and Alex have been the only takers, but if any of you lovely readers also feel inspired to type up a list for this series, send it to email@example.com any ol’ time. Anyway, on with the show!
#1: “Back in Black” (Iron Man)
Ah, Iron Man. He’s pretty much become synonymous with AC/DC, hasn’t he? Of course, since “Back in Black” is the very first song playing when we meet Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), it’s not too surprising that I–and probably a lot of you guys, too–automatically think of the genius billionaire superhero when it’s playing. Great scene, too–Tony is riding in a Humvee with a group of soldiers, “Back in Black” is blaring, and a lot of awkward glances are being exchanged. Tony cracks a joke to break the tension, and just as the soldiers are beginning to warm up to him, things get very serious. Quite possibly my favorite opening for a superhero film.
#2: “Three Little Birds” (I Am Legend)
Sometimes it’s nice to break up the tension in a creepy movie with some nice, mellow music. I Am Legend (which you can read a little about here) does that pretty perfectly. Robert (Will Smith), the sole survivor of a devastating plague, lives a pretty lonely existence. The plague wiped out nearly everyone in New York City, and the survivors were transformed into monsters. It’s depressing and scary. But Robert keeps his sanity by hanging out with his loyal doggy and by mellowing out with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” every day. Awesome song–even if Robert has a ton to worry about and everything is definitely not alright.
#3: “Puttin’ On the Ritz” (Young Frankenstein)
Do you guys love Young Frankenstein, too? Personally, I think the whole film is hilarious (and you can read a little about why in this write-up), but the scene with this song is undoubtedly one of the best moments. Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) has created his Monster (Peter Boyle), and he wants to show off how civilized the hulking creature is with a little show. What better way to show sophistication than by singing Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ On the Ritz” and tap dancing? It’s a great idea, but…well, things don’t go quite like they should. Poor, misunderstood Monster…
#4: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (Remember the Titans)
Surprised that I have a sports movie on here? Yeah. Me, too. But for whatever reason, this film’s use of Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” has always stuck out as a memorable moment. I will say that, for me, Remember the Titans is much more engaging than your average sports movie because the plot goes beyond a simple underdog story–this is also about racial integration. It’s 1971 and the T.C. Williams High School football team is adjusting its new players. Tensions are high, but there are few problems a little locker room jam session won’t fix.
#5: “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (Zoolander)
It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I have a serious soft spot for the film Zoolander (and for titular character, whom I mention here). I think there’s a lot in it to laugh about, but the most ridiculous and wonderful scene (in my opinion) is the one that utilizes Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” to perfect effect. If you haven’t seen the film and don’t want it ruined, you probably shouldn’t watch the above clip. Let’s just say it involves male models, an unusual beverage, and a gasoline fight. Yes, a gasoline fight. That’s all I’m sayin’.
Before I sign out, I just wanted to make a point to tell you about this glorious video from Luke over at Oracle of Film. You should probably go watch it and like it so you can say you knew the director before he was famous. Spoiler alert: I’m in it (kind of) and so is my favorite trophy, Miguel (kind of).