Music

5 Awesome Soundtracks to Bad Franchises


I love soundtracks. The majority of my playlists consist of movie and game scores. I don’t know Beiber from Beyonce, but play a movie score and I could probably list the movie and track name within the first ten seconds of play. They have always been and probably always will be my favourite type of music and even if you don’t listen to them as obsessively as I do there is no denying their impact on entertainment. Whether you’re watching a movie or playing a game, music has often been there to enhance and sometimes even dictate our emotional connection.

There have been some great soundtracks to go with some great franchises: Lord of the Rings, Uncharted, Atonement, Game of Thrones, and many, MANY more. But alas, not all great scores end up with superior franchises. Far too often some pretty fantastic soundtracks will be overshadowed by the sheer awfulness or mediocrity of the movie or game it’s paired with.

Well, they deserve to be centered out. So what better way to celebrate that than with a list? Because…lists! Here are five awesome soundtracks that got stuck with some pretty crappy movies/games:

5. The DaVinci Code/Angels and Demons (Hans Zimmer)

Okay…I haven’t even seen this movie…I have only heard of the awful. So this one is sort of a cheat. But goshdarn, Hans Zimmer can do almost no wrong and when I first heard this soundtrack I had to start wondering if all those DaVinci Code haters were just being wet blankets.

Simply said, this is one of the most moving pieces of music I have listened to. And because of that, I am avoiding the movie like CheezWhiz so that my view of the music can’t be tainted. I use this a lot when I’m writing something “serious”…when I try to picture it with the movie, I see a lot of religious dudes looking seriously into the distance or committing suicide. And then Tom Hanks and Amelie look meaningfully at each other. Am I wrong? I bet I’m 50% right.

4. Twilight (Carter Burwell)

Yes. Yes, Twilight is going in a Top 5 list. Bear with me. I have only read and seen the first Twilight. That was pretty much enough for me. But oddly enough, the thing that kept me watching through the first one was the eerie, moody score that hinted at a mystery and danger far greater than what Stephanie Meyer’s flimsy characters could provide us.

Listening to the soundtrack alone makes me feel sorry for it. Without seeing sparkly vampires staring blankly at shirtless native werewolves, you can actually almost hear a good movie in the making. One that would probably still be cheesy as hell, but still, the well written kind of cheesy.

3. Beyond Two Souls (Normand Corbeil)

Poor Beyond Two Souls. I really do pick on it a lot. I can’t help it. The Ellen Page Simulator is full of clunky dialogue, weird character motivations, dated stereotypes and a structure that while ambitious ultimately failed in execution.

The same can’t be said of the music though, which in my opinion is darned near perfect. It balances the grand, sweeping epic moments with some extremely moving, intimate pieces that leave you tearing up by the end…okay, the left me tearing up…but I’m wimpy that way. The music of the game is one of the only things about the game that kept you emotionally invested (the others being some of the performances). It told you exactly what you needed to feel, even when the story could not.

2. Transformers (Steve Jablonsky)

Shut-up, I don’t care if you like the Transformers! I don’t. I never played with them as a kid. And the movie was a pretty darn big disappointment. Except for the music that is, at least when it wasn’t being drowned out by Michael Bay Explosions.

I was pretty much caught upon the discovery of everyone’s favourite non-talking car robot, Bumblebee. The score perfectly captured the feeling of awe and disbelief and hinted at a movie that could have been more than Shia LeBoef being a stammering jerk to everyone he meets.

1. The Last Airbender (James Newton Howard)

Oh boy. This movie. I recently heard Dante Basco (the guy that did the voice of Prince Zuko on the cartoon series…or Rufio, whichever you remember most) do a Q&A at a convention. Someone asked him if he had seen the movie version of The Last Airbender, and he had responded no, that the CREATORS of the cartoon had told him not to bother with it. The creators. Poor M. Night Shyamalan.

This is one of those movies that will be a cautionary tale to all who dare to attempt adaptations of any sort. The acting is terrible. The story is compressed and rushed. The dialogue is 90% exposition. The fight scenes are…NOT really even fight scenes.

I bet you didn’t even remember this movie had a great soundtrack. I almost certainly didn’t. There were two points in the movie where I felt a little, just a LITTLE close to feeling an iota of feeling towards these characters. And both of those were thanks to some very hard work put in by the soundtrack to make up for the complete lack of anything else.

So those are my five! What are some of your favourite soundtracks to bad movies?

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