Year-End Movie Survey, Question 5

What were the two or three best uses of music in the movies in 2005?

New York Doll, not surprisingly, has two or three, especially the Shangri-Las' "Out in the Street" to signify that Arthur don't hang around with the gang no more, he now prefers the company of elderly Mormon women. I don't recall specific songs from Inside Deep Throat, just that I thought the soundtrack was effective. There's folky stuff by Bert Jansch in The Squid and the Whale that's nice--I had to check the credits to see who it was.

He don't hang around with the gang no more... he don't do the wild things that he did no more

2005 was not the best year for music cues. Even Cameron Crowe couldn't deliver his usual brand of mid-tempo bliss. The only memorable use of music from Crowe's Elizabethtown was the use of Elton John's "My Father's Gun" from the forgotten John album Tumbleweed Connection. The song brought the movie to life and hinted at theme of father-son relations that the rest of the movie strained to evoke. (Note to Mr. Crowe: You've used up your Elton John allowance for at least the next two movies.) John Singleton's hip-hop street Western, Four Brothers, was given a heart and soul by scoring the movie to Motown singles. The opening credit sequence set the tone beautifully as Mark Wahlberg's Bobby Mercer returns home to bury his murdered foster mother. The scene shows Wahlberg driving into town as Marvin Gaye's haunting yet soothing "Trouble Man" hails the return of a little boy lost.

San Mendes' Jarhead was very shrewd in its song selections. The opening sequences are scored to Bobby McFerrin"s "Don't Worry, Be Happy," while the closing sequences are scored to Public Enemy's "Fight the Power." The line in the P.E. song where Chuck D raps, "'Don't Worry, Be Happy' was the number one jam/Damn if you say it you can slap me right here" provides the movie with a ironic joke that reverberates long after the movie is finished.