Skip’s Quips: The Song Process Remains the Same

Blog Sketch 082813If I had a dime for every movie that finishes up with some sort of awful song at the end, I’d be rich.

When did this trend in cinema start? It seems like every picture nowadays has some kind of rock tune playing over the final credits – and usually, they’re not that memorable. Once in a while, you get something along the lines of George Harrison’s “Dream Away,” which concluded Time Bandits. But it’s usually a noisy, guitar-heavy sound blast with screaming vocals. Not my cup of tea.

I like when filmmakers take the time to end their movies in interesting ways. A song can be appropriate, such as Simon & Garfunkel singing the “The Sound of Silence” in the remaining images of The Graduate. That ditty provided insight into the ways the main characters were feeling: lost and hopeful at the same time. I don’t see that kind of commentary, however, in most of the melodies ending films. And that should change. Directors can easily find songs that are germane. They don’t have to be just filler.

I don’t like watching filler onscreen. The credits can be just as much a part of a film as the dialogue; they can add something integral. Why can’t an ending song do the same?

Mundane melodies be damned. Let’s have topical tunes close more pictures … and more attention paid to these cinematic parts. A good, relevant ditty can keep fannies in the seats throughout the end of a movie. It would keep me in my place, for sure.

And that’s nothing to sneeze at. Or scream at, for that matter.

Skip’s Quips: Theory of ‘Frozen’

Blog Sketch 082813I think the reason Frozen was such a hit was marketing.

Ads for the animated film were all over TV. They got people to see it.

But I’m not sure why so many people liked it. I thought the script was dreadful and the songs mediocre. Plus, it was highly, highly unfunny, especially the character of the live, talking, happy-go-lucky snowman. It’s highly possible that the execrable Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was a more humorous, better developed character.

OK, the computer animation was quite well done in Frozen; that was no surprise. Yet the film seemed artificial, manufactured, as if devised specifically for a certain audience and peppered with hip dialogue and silly situations. It didn’t have an organic quality, and the songs just made it worse.

I’m in the minority on this, I know. Frozen was a huge success. Yet that doesn’t necessarily equate quality, and in that light, the movie doesn’t make the cut for me.

Disney can do better than this, methinks.