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  WINDY CITY TIMES

DINNER AND A MOVIE
by Gregg Shapiro
2001-02-14

This article shared 1082 times since Wed Feb 14, 2001
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With Valentine's Day upon us, I know that some couples will probably be going out to a romantic dinner and a movie. Some of the movies from which the soundtracks in this column are derived may have already come and gone, and rightfully so. Perhaps they've already shown up on the shelves of your favorite video store or on a pay-per-view channel. For some of these movies, it is their soundtracks that live on long after the light from the projector fades.

Snatch: Original Film Soundtrack ( TVT ) is the best soundtrack of the bunch, and the one that stands the best chance of success, whether or not the movie is a hit. The 20 tracks are a mix of movie dialogue ( Brad Pitt's mumbling bare-knuckle boxer, Dennis Farina's New York diamond dealer, Alan Ford's violent "business man" ) , classic British '80s punk/new wave ( "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers, "Ghost Town" by The Specials ) , classic R&B ( Maceo & the Macks, Bobby Byrd ) , and contemporary sensations ( Massive Attack, Overseer, Mirwais ) . Director Guy Ritchie even found a way to include a classic contribution from his new wife Madonna ( "Lucky Star" ) .

The Family Man: Music From The Motion Picture ( Sire ) and Finding Forester: Music From The Motion Picture ( Columbia/Legacy/Sony Music Soundtrax ) also draw from musical sources, both new and old. Finding Forester is mostly composed of jazz compositions by such legendary performers as Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman. Bill Frisell contributed the newest compositions. This soundtrack is a far cry from the one to director Gus Van Sant's previous movie, Good Will Hunting, which was a showcase for singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, and other cutting-edge modern rock acts.

The thought process behind Seal singing the "This Could Be Heaven," the theme song to the Nicolas Cage/Tea Leoni winter holiday flick might have had something to do with the success the one-named singer had with a song from a Batman movie. The song is almost as schmaltzy as the movie and might even earn Oscar consideration. The other new song on the soundtrack, Elvis Costello's "You Stole My Bell," reminded me of Aimee Mann's recent soundtrack work ( Magnolia ) . The irony is that Costello and Mann have collaborated in the past. The people who assembled The Family Man soundtrack earn extra points on the silly scale for including tracks by Mocedades ( "Eres Tu" ) and Mr. Big ( "To Be With You" ) . Score composer Danny Elfman gets space at the end of the soundtrack with the instrumental main title and "Promise."

Goth metal punk is the order of the dark day on Dracula 2000: Music From The Dimension Motion Picture ( DV8/Columbia/Sony Music Soundtrax ) . The 15 tracks are a good representation of this growing musical genre, combining contributions by established ( Powerman 5000, Slayer, Monster Magnet, Static-X, Pantera ) , upcoming ( Disturbed, System Of A Down, Godhead, Linkin Park, Taproot ) and somewhat lesser-known metallurgists ( Saliva, Flybanger, Half Cocked, Endo ) . Your ears may bleed long before the vampires have a chance to bite your neck.

It seems that techno-metal and slasher /horror films go together since some of the same "artists" ( Disturbed, Static-X, Linkin Park ) on the Dracula 2000 soundtrack compilation also appear on Music From The Motion Picture Valentine ( Warner Sunset/Warner Brothers ) . Valentine also has contributions from Snake River Conspiracy, BT, Filter and Amanda Ghost. That doesn't mean I'm recommending it, I'm just telling you who's on it. Fend for yourself.

Of all of the movies mentioned here, Twin Falls Idaho is the one guaranteed to be available for home rental, in case you feel like dinner and a movie at home. If you missed this incredible independent feature about Siamese twin brothers, their erotic exploits, and the mission of one to save the ailing other, is an unforgettable cinematic experience. Stuart Matthewman's score to Twin Falls Idaho ( W.A.R./Kramden ) is as haunting and exotic as the movie itself. The mostly instrumental score is enhanced by a Lisa Ekdahl's cover of the standard tune "When Did You Leave Heaven" and Mark Anthony Thompson's performance of the song "Don't Grow" ( which was co-written by Thompson, Matthewman, and one of the film's costars, M. Polish ) . If you recognize Mr. Matthewman's name, it could be because he has been collaborating with Sade since her first domestically released album in the mid-1980s.

The music that Clifford Mansell composed for Darren Aronofsky's Requiem For A Dream ( Nonesuch ) is equally as stunning as what Stuart Matthewman created for the Twin Falls Idaho soundtrack. Combining electronic instrumentation with strings ( played by the Kronos Quartet ) , the music effectively sets a variety of moods. For example, the 38-second "Tense" suggests tension, while both versions of "Party" sound like someone getting high. The 33 tracks range in length from 11 seconds to four minutes and 28 seconds in length and are a suitable requiem for Aronofsky's requiem.

New songs by Stevie Nicks ( "Touched By An Angel" ) , Paula Cole ( performing a duet with Dolly Parton on the song "Heart Door" ) and the Lenny B Remix of k.d. lang's "The Consequences Of Falling," elevate Music From The Motion Picture Sweet November above most various artists soundtrack compilations. Previously available contributions from Enya ( "Only Time" ) , Amanda Ghost ( "Cellophane" ) , Robbie Williams ( "Rock DJ" ) and Tegan & Sara ( "My Number" ) , also make this soundtrack a keeper. If would be swell if the movie, starring Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron, was as sweet as the soundtrack.

Chocolat was one of 2000's unexpected cinematic sensations, while All The Pretty Horses ( directed by Billy Bob Thornton and starring Matt Damon ) turned out to be one the year's biggest disappointments. Music From The Miramax Motion Picture Chocolat ( Miramax Records/Sony Music Soundtrax/Sony Classical ) and Music From The Motion Picture All The Pretty Horses ( Miramax Records/Sony Music Soundtrax/Sony Classical ) are as different from the movies from which they are derived. Rachel Portman's score for Chocolat ranges from sweet to semisweet to bittersweet, while the score to All The Pretty Horses ( co-written by Marty Stuart, Kristin Wilkinson and Larry Paxton ) , in combination with the contributions from Daniel Lanois and Bill Monroe, is a somewhat Western experience.

The critics' screening that I was supposed to attend for Sugar & Spice ( in Chicago ) was canceled, but the coming attractions sure look cute. Music From The Motion Picture Sugar & Spice ( Trauma ) has the same bubbly ( but dark )

energy, beginning with Cindy Alexander's peppy cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl." The remaining tracks have a Blink 182 vibe, the highlights of which include Lefty's "Girls," Noogie's "I'd Rather Float," The Flys' "She's So Huge," Size 14's "Let's Rob A Bank," Spiderbait's retro "Shazam," and Juno Reactor's funky instrumental "Pistolero." However, Republica's "Ready To Go" is becoming one of the most overused songs in recent memory and its inclusion on this soundtrack proves my point.


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