July 5, 2016
It’s no secret that sound is probably one of the most powerful elements when it comes to movies. Just try watching a horror film – or any film, for that matter – with the sound off. Even silent films were frequently accompanied with live music during screenings. In recent years, iconic soundtracks and orchestrations have also helped cement the flick’s status in film history. Everyone knows the horn blast of Inception, the tinkling electronica theme of Paprika, or even the five-note sequence of Close Encounters of The Third Kind. Heck, there’s a reason everyone knows about composer Hans Zimmer. With these facts in mind, we’ve compiled six official soundtracks that are underrated at best. You might not agree that they could be better than their respective films, but trust us, they take you on an adventure all on their own.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World (2010)
This is one of those moments when we’re sure the film is definitely on-par with the book, considering it’s had to condense six volumes of graphic novels into one movie. Look no further than the title sequence to see that the film is totally kick-ass, and it’s soundtrack is equally flawless. With most of Sex Bob-Omb’s (yes, that’s really their name) music written by Beck himself, featuring other tracks by Canadian band royalty Metric and Broken Social Scene, it’s hard not to have this soundtrack on loop for days.
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
While it’s been panned by critics for being more of a gore/slasher flick than inciting genuine scares – were you really expecting anything less from an American “horror” flick? – the soundtrack for Jennifer’s Body is a pretty interesting mix of bands. From All Time Low, to Cute Is What We Aim For, to, of course, Panic! At The Disco, we wouldn’t be surprised if the soundtrack helped generate most of the hype around the film (minimal shade here). There’s also special tracks like Teenagers by Paramore’s Hayley Williams, and even an electronic twist with Little Boots’ New In Town.
Treasure Planet (2002)
Pulling a major throwback here, why don’t we talk more about Disney’s animated film, Treasure Planet? The film was nominated for an Academy Award alongside Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, for crying out loud! Jim’s theme, performed by Goo Goo Doll’s frontman John Rzeznik, is undeniably one of the most perfect character themes of all time. We dare you not to cry during the flashback scene when this song comes on. We dare you. But aside from I’m Still Here, the orchestration alone is undeniably beautiful; as expected of Disney, of course. You can practically feel the surge of a sense of adventure from 12 Years Later and beyond.
Okay, okay, you’re probably wondering what this is doing here. But make no mistake about Cart; while it may feature a K-Pop idol, it’s much more than that. The film promises stellar acting and a moving story based off of real-life events. For those of you who loathe the stereotype of the Asian damsel-in-distress, don’t miss this film. Featuring an almost entirely-female cast under the direction of Boo Ji-Young (hooray for female directors!), the story perfectly balances out the tensions of work, family, and justice that the characters face. And while this title track is definitely not one to miss out on, the orchestration of the film is surprisingly delightful, too.
Undeniably one of the most underrated coming-of-age/battle of the bands-type flicks of all time, we can’t think of a better way to bring this film back, especially with all the David Bowie references (R.I.P.). But this film definitely does his legacy justice, presenting a story about growing up that perfectly captures the bittersweet moments of teenhood. It’s no surprise, then, that the accompanying soundtrack sounds as good as an actual album release; even Vanessa Hudgens manages to shed her squeaky-clean High School Musical persona for a more multi-dimensional character. The soundtrack also features bands like The Velvet Underground and Honor Society – the latter’s track, Where Are You Now is a perfect flashback song, if anything.
Pacific Rim (2013)
It’s hard not to love anything by director Guillermo Del Toro, especially Pacific Rim. But while we all wait (impatiently) for the sequel, the film’s score is undeniably badass, with a fusion of rock and orchestration. Composer Ramin Djawadi has undeniably created one of the most epic themes of all time; even though there’s no available video for this track, you can almost see the Jaeger pilots suiting up and powering up the giant machine in front of your eyes. While it’s difficult to pin-point the precise moment you should listen to this soundtrack – let’s face it, it’s probably a little too epic for a bus or train ride – it’s definitely perfect for helping yourself getting amped up. So hey, maybe this is the wake-up alarm you’ve been waiting for.