The Fast and the Furious: Murder, Ja Wrote

There are acts of vehicular manslaughter in the Fast and Furious franchise. There are certainly quite a few straight up murders throughout, with Vin Diesel and his family getting a fair share of blood on their hands and, therefore, steering wheels. Listening to the lyrics in almost all of these songs for the official album, however, you’d think this is the album to Death Race 2000.

“Murder, murder, murder, murder, murder.”

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Wild Wild West: AKA Problematic, Problematic West

This is a strange predicament we have here. Much like the strange and comedic contrast of fantastical steampunk technology atop a Western backdrop, never have we had such a distinct movie and soundtrack experience. Now there’s been similar ventures; Batman Forever was our first foray into a nostalgic film with eclectic song choices, American Pie was a dumb if enjoyable romp with a dumb and torturous soundtrack, and Alexander hadn’t even seen Digimon so he was stuck with just yet another ska laden session.

But what of Wild Wild West? Let’s just acknowledge this film in that we could have hour long discussions of each and every scene, it is a bizarre, troubling miracle of movie making. A miracle in the sense that it ever got made. As we vividly recall just some of the bonkers inclusions, we are alleviated by the surprisingly refreshing inclusions in the official soundtrack. I could explain more in this introduction but the usual quote I select sums up this visual and aural adventure into a very ’90’s wild West.

“Big Willie gets Dru Hill dressed as the Wild Bunch and these guys are stuck with Gilderoy Lockhart and his mechanical legs.”

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Digimon: It’s Been One Week Since We All Got Nuked

After the sensual similarities between the love anthems of Batman Forever and American Pie, a less excitable film was necessary to broaden the palette. Having discussed some of the iconic aural experiences of the millennial music era, we were both hankering for some of the more obvious hits. We needed a film that would pander to the lowest common denominator, lower than even randy hormonal teenagers. Dumb children.

While the soundtracks to our prior conversations could be suitable for an organised party, by indoctrinating young minds with sudden blasts of these popular number ones, they would certainly plead to have these CDs to play on repeat endlessly. This is the exact cultural osmosis we had pledged to investigate and one of us was in fact a victim to our very next choice.

Alexander had avoided the craze, being raised pure on pocket monsters, whereas I, Devon, had struck out on the alternative Japanese animation brought to the West. Digimon had infected my conscious with a bevy of plump analytical jumping off points; the heavy hitters, the wayward trend leeches, and most disturbingly, that damned Angela Anaconda short that preluded the home release. I mean, seriously, what was that show?

“Our ska cherries have been popped and we are tired old daddies.”

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American Pie: Only One Ska Jam?

At first glance, the moody superhero aesthetic of Batman would seem nothing like the lowbrow teen antics of American Pie. Yet, somehow, the soundtrack to Batman Forever managed to bridge the gap of sensual fuck jams. Now we’re balls deep in the aural erotica for a new generation. As well as a film that blew open the enduring paradox of reflecting a crucial and timeless gauntlet in (hetero) male youth, while everyone else asked if we actually needed to see this on screen.

As desperate as Jim was to feel that sweet apple pie, Alexander and I were hoping for some authentic era buttrock and antique era ska. Much like that pie, there was more dick here than dessert.

“The literal failure for our protagonist in this narrative is he doesn’t get his dick in.”

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Batman Forever: Bruce Wayne Bone Jam ’96

It’s hard to place Batman Forever on the list of best to worst films of the caped crusader. After all, each director brings their own cinematic flair to the iconic superhero. Burton relishes in gothic imagery, Nolan explores realistic philosophical issues, and Schumacher… well, he was just making comic book movies.

Unfairly double billed alongside Batman and Robin, his first addition to the franchise is quite the wonderful dichotomy of Burton’s poetic moodiness and Leslie H. Martinson’s camp classic Batman [’66]. It shouldn’t work but as we discover, absurd contrasts of light and dark is what the Dark Knight is all about.

Another list then where Forever can proudly shine it’s bat-signal, the official soundtrack. While Batman [’89] did feature the unforgettable Prince, Forever went hard in that pop direction. Alexander and I, Devon, take a musical trip back through ’90’s Gotham.

“Tell the fat lady she’s on in five.”

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