ordinary U2 Lana and Oscars



No surprise to anyone but I am not a big Oscars fan. Or any red carpet-like event for that matter.ordinary U2


I guess I paid attention to the Oscar nominations this time because of a song I liked <which was on the initial long list … but didn’t make the short list> and a song which made the list for what I would consider ‘bigger political picture’ reasons <and made it to the short list>.


I will start with the latter.


Bono & Mandela.


U2 could have played a C-flat over & over again <possibly mixing in a C for texture> and I would have put money the song would have been not only on the long list of those considered but also in the final list.


I woulda won that bet.


The song isn’t horrible but it is … well … ordinary.


U2 Ordinary Love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC3ahd6Di3M


I’m not really into this song.

I had high hopes for this song.

Unfortunately my hopes were dashed in its ordinariness. The lyrics are nice & the message is good but it isn’t even close to being as emotive or powerful as a number of other songs.

I am fairy confident in suggesting that if this wasn’t in a movie about Nelson Mandela I don’t really think it wouldn’t be reaching the heights of acclaim that it is.


The other song being touted?

atlas coldplay

Atlas by Coldplay from Hunger Games 2.




If you could give an award of a song with the movie … not as a stand alone song … this may be it.


The song? It’s okay.

The song with the movie? Spectacular.


Atlas <Coldplay>: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh3TokLzzmw


By the way.

What I mean is that I seriously doubt you will put this on a heavy rotation playlist on your mp3 player. It’s power is when heard with the movie … stand alone? Not so much powerful.

And I am not an Oscar judge but I believe the award is for best original song … not best original song only when watching the movie.


Kinda seems like it needs to work in the movie and on the radio <or headphones>.

But, hey, that’s me.



Here’s the deal with Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack.


Atlas may not <note: is not> be the best song on it.


Ellie Goulding’s song Mirror is a fabulous song in its own right. And perfectly matched for the movie. I am fairly sure it couldn’t be nominated as an original song for a movie but as for a song in a movie … well … you don’t get much better than this as for a song use.


And there is Weeknd’s song ‘Devil May Cry.’ Fabulous.


Of Monsters and Men have a wonderful song.

Silhouettes <excellent homemade video with it>: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG9320M0w3k


Lorde’s voice is used perfectly on a song called ‘Everyone Wants to Rule the World.’



Some other Oscar considered songs.


‘Let it Go’ from Frozen.

Unfortunately I don’t really get what everyone loved about ‘Let it Go.’

Nice. Sappy. Helped by Demi Lovato’s voice. But for that type of movie it is kind of pedestrian. Compare it to some songs from Jungle Book or Little Mermaid or any other great animated movie and … well … it just doesn’t compare well.


Let it Go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moSFlvxnbgk


Demi Lavato <who I am not a huge fan of> sings it … and her voice helps me out a little. Her voice is more resonant and deeper. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHue-HaXXzg


Now.happy pharrell

As for a song that works well away from the movie … and a song that shifts from a kids movie <Despicable Me 2> to mainstream radio … Pharrell kicks ass with Happy.



‘happiness is the truth.’ – Pharrell


Happy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM


Not only is it a fun … well … happy … song but it is good listening and the youtube video ‘happy every hour’ campaign is awesome.

This song is well worthy of Osacr consideration.


And as soon as I typed that I begin to truly recognize the difficulties of judging movie songs.


A song from Mandela versus a song from Despicable Me.

Each song embodying the tone & character of the film genre?



“Hey mom … I was an Oscar judge this year … and I voted for Despicable Me instead of Mandela.”

<insert uncomfortable silence here>



All that said.

I end by returning to the ‘former’ aspect of my opening thoughts.

lana del rey singingA song I liked that didn’t make it to the final cut.


While in the initial Oscar considerations … Lana Del Rey’s ‘Young & Beautiful’ <from the Great Gatsby> wasn’t selected as an Oscar song nominee.


What a shame.


The movie was horrible <but that shouldn’t impact judging of a song>.

The song is anything but horrible.

And perfectly set to the movie.


Young & Beautiful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_1aF54DO60




Because I am discussing movies.


A note on a couple of movies … Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Hobbit: Smaug.


Two excellent viewing movies.

Fun & entertaining and while both are maybe 20 minutes of editing <cutting> away from spectacular … I am nitpicking.

Even with some parts that drag … these two movies are sensory spectacles.



For the record.

I loved both books.


But I am going to make a point about the movie industry.


Hunger Games was a trilogy directed to teens. A delightful if not slightly disturbing set of books with a pretty good message overall. Well written. Simple. Quick reads.


Hobbit is one book. A dense complex read with a dizzying array of characters which enter and leave in a matter of pages.


Both pieces of literature are receiving a 4 movie treatment.

Seems kind of crazy to me.

Yeah yeah yeah. I know. It’s about the money.

But at some point I imagine we would like to remember the ‘art’ portion.


I have now seen both Hunger Games movies and both Hobbit movies.

Enjoyed them all.




I could have done Hunger Games <trilogy of books> in 3 movies … possibly even 2. And they would have been unrelentlessly amazing.


I could have done Hobbit in 3 movies … possibly even 2 <although I am not sure about that>. More difficult than Hunger Games to do but they would have been unrelentlessly amazing.


<by the way … just what I wrote reminds us of the difference level of literature and writing between Hunger Games and Hobbit>


I sometimes believe the movie industry <and all of us I imagine> forget that while editing  is often like choosing amongst your children … it is a necessary evil that actually leads to a greater good.hunger games girl on fire



Good movies.

Go watch them.


Hunger Games you don’t have to read the books to enjoy.

Hobbit helps if you have read the book.



And don’t forget to listen to the music .. in particular while watching Hunger Games.

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Written by Bruce