Bad Movie/Good Soundtrack — IndieWire’s Critic Survey

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 8:00 am

I always enjoy IndieWire’s critics surveys and this is an especially good question: What is your favorite example of a bad movie with a great soundtrack?  I was not surprised to find Elizabethtown mentioned by Alissa Wilkenson of Christianity Today.  I would call Cameron Crowe’s movie more a mess than a complete failure, but as is clear from the autobiographical “Almost Famous,” he got his start writing about music and his soundtracks are always terrific.  I enjoyed Mike McGranagan‘s praise for the “Twilight” soundtracks and the thoughts of my friend Dan Kois:

I barely remember anything about Until the End of the World, Wim Wenders’ sort-of road movie, sort-of spy thriller, sort-of apocalypse sci-fi. I remember being really, really disappointed by it when I saw it my senior year in high school. But oh, wow, the soundtrack, which served as rich mixtape fodder that same year: crucial unreleased tracks by R.E.M. and Talking Heads; Elvis Costello doing the Kinks; grim and great Lou Reed, k.d. lang, and Depeche Mode songs; and my first introduction to CAN, Patti Smith, and Nick Cave. Plus that Achtung Baby song, before I got sick of everything on Achtung Baby.

There’s a difference between a soundtrack (that can include songs) and a score.  Two movies that are not terrible but not great with outstanding song-based soundtracks are “Boys on the Side” and “Leap of Faith.”  My favorite songs from those movies include:

 

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Music Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Monsters vs. Aliens Debate — Back for Halloween

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Thanks to Betty Jo Tucker for re-broadcasting our Monsters vs. Aliens debate in time for Halloween!  I could easily have taken either side in the debate and it was a blast to argue in favor of some of my favorites.

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Internet, Gaming, Podcasts, and Apps Media Appearances

Pediatricians Say Kids Spend Too Much Time Watching Media

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 9:27 pm

kid-watching-tvKids spend too much time staring at screens according to recommendations released today from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“The average 8-year-old spends eight hours a day using various forms of media, and teenagers often surpass 11 hours of media consumption daily, according to the authors of the AAP statement. More than three quarters of teenagers have cell phones, and teens ages 13 to 17 send an average of 3,364 texts per month. Several studies have linked high media consumption with poor health outcomes. For example, children with TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be obese.”

I strongly endorse the recommendation to limit media to no more than two hours a day (with non for children under two) and never, ever in the child’s bedroom.  I’d add: never, ever during meals or in car trips of less than an hour.

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Parenting Understanding Media and Pop Culture
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