Love Week: Singing Bits I Love in Film

With only a few hours left in the day, I’m struggling to get a second post out during my “Love Week” here at All Eyes on Screen. Multiple things have kept me MIA from AEOS lately, so I’m going with the thought, better late than never, right?

So yesterday, I posted about my 10 favorite romantic movies. Tonight I’ll be including a few singing bits I love in various films, which happen to be all over the place. The list isn’t conclusive, but a few favorites I really enjoy.

“Johnny B. Goode” in Back to the Future (1985), sung by Michael J. Fox

When I was thinking about writing this post, Fox’s performance of “Johnny B. Goode” was the first one to pop in my head. Back to the Future is one of my favorite movie trilogies, and this is one of the most memorable scenes. He starts off by announcing that “this song is an oldie . . . um, from where I come from,” suddenly realizing that it’s not considered old in 1955. He kills it on the guitar, and it’s completely entertaining in both the first film and when it’s revisited in the second film.

“I Put a Spell on You” in Hocus Pocus (1993), sung by Bette Midler

Every year around Halloween, I make it a priority to get a viewing of Hocus Pocus in, because it’s a holiday classic. It might be the only film I can handle Sarah Jessica Parker in too (exception: Sex in the City [only the first one!]). This part is exceptionally hilarious, because while the kids are trying to convince their parents that these three witches are, in fact, real witches, Bette Midler decides to work with the line “Put a spell on you,” and turns it into a performance at a Halloween party.

“Grow Old with You” in The Wedding Singer (1998), sung by Adam Sandler

I did include this scene in my last post. However, I had the most difficult time selecting a song I love most from The Wedding Singer. Adam Sandler sings several times throughout the film, but I think “Grow Old with You” is his most heartfelt performance. Other hilarious songs include his rendition of “Love Stinks” after he’s been left at the altar, and “You Spin Me Round” at the opening credits of the film. The ’80s Adam Sandler knows how to sing, and what better way to woo a girl than to start singing to her.

“Can’t Take My Eyes off of You” in 10 Things I Hate about You (1999), sung by Heath Ledger

Speaking of singing for women’s affections, Heath Ledger is fantastic in the little stunt he pulls to win back Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate about You. He pays off the marching band to accompany him while he half dances, half runs away from the cops trying to hustle him down. This is a favorite of my favorite singing bits in a movie, partly because Ledger is so charming singing “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You.”

“Only Hope” in A Walk to Remember (2002), sung by Mandy Moore

I used to wonder if Mandy Moore was recruited for A Walk to Remember just to deliver her song “Only Hope” in the film. This is her shining moment in the film, when she surprises everyone, especially Shane West, by stepping out and singing beautifully. She lends her voice to the film’s soundtrack as well.

“The Edge of Night” in The Return of the King (2003), sung by Billy Boyd

I’ve been reading The Fellowship of the Ring, and I noticed something familiar as I was reading a poem in the third chapter titled “A Walking Song”–the lyrics from the song “The Edge of Night” that Billy Boyd sings in The Return of the King matched parts of the last stanza in the poem. Another cool thing I learned from reading about it on its Wikipedia page is that Billy Boyd actually composed the beautiful melody for the song.

“Teacher’s Pet” in School of Rock (2003), sung by Jack Black

After reading this post, I learned that my film friend, Castor of Anomalous Material highly dislikes Jack Black, even in School of Rock. I, however, can’t get enough of Mr. Black, especially in School of Rock. It’s one of my favorite comedies, and I love this end scene where the students rally with Jack Black and perform “Teacher’s Pet” at the Battle of the Bands. The lyrics are well-written and pretty funny, and who better to lead a band of elementary school kids than Jack Black?

“Run and Tell That” in Hairspray (2007), sung by Elijah Kelley

There are multiple songs I would pull from this remake of Hairspray to claim as favorites, but I decided to go with “Run and Tell That” because the choreography is great and the lead singer, Elijah Kelley, is relatively unknown, especially in a film that included so many big names. Kelley’s voice is exposed multiple times on the soundtrack and throughout the film, but his solo “Run and Tell That” really reveals what an incredible voice the singer-actor has. I much prefer to listen to Kelley over Michelle Pfeiffer or Christopher Walken.

“Pop Goes My Heart” in Music and Lyrics (2007), sung by Hugh Grant

Although Music and Lyrics was certainly no hit, it did include some entertaining songs from a fictional 80s band with lead vocalist Hugh Grant. Although Grant certainly doesn’t possess booming pipes, he really pulls off the facade and sound of an 80s leading man fairly well. I had to include “Pop Goes My Heart” over “Way Back into Love” because the music video is hysterical, but well-made.

“Stu’s Song” in The Hangover (2009), sung by Ed Helms

And of course, I couldn’t forget “Stu’s Song” from The Hangover. The great part about the song is that it fit in so well with the rest of the film. The random uncertainty and spontaneity of the movie was its ticket to success, and Ed Helms delivers on all funny levels necessary, especially for a light break from the “drama” of the movie. The neat thing about this song is that the musically-talented actor actually just sat down and starting singing and playing the song, coming up with it on the spur of the moment. The director liked it so much that he put it into the movie.

What songs do you guys love in movies? Do you like any of the same as me? 

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Tim Burton’s Upcoming Projects

It has long been known that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have collaborated on many films, from Burton’s latest take on Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to some of his 90s films such as Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow. Regardless of his take on whatever film, viewers can safely assume that it will be dark, edgy, weird and perhaps the combination of all those adjectives–unique.

This year, Burton has his name on three film projects going out the door: Dark Shadows, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and a remake of the 1984 Frankenweenie.

Two years before its inception, the original Dark Shadows TV series creator Dan Curtis had a dream on a train and told it to the ABC network. Soon after, Curtis received the green light to begin the proejct, and from 1966 to 1971, Dark Shadows, pegged a gothic soap opera, aired on television.

Courtesy of Wikipedia, a synopsis of Burton’s film adaption of Dark Shadows:

In 1752, the Collins family sails from Liverpool, England to North America. The son, Barnabas, grows up to be a wealthy playboy in Collinsport, Maine and is the master of Collinwood Manor. He breaks the heart of a witch, Angelique Bouchard, who turns him into a vampire and buries him alive. In 1972, Barnabas is freed and returns to find his manor in ruin. It is occupied by dysfunctional descendants and other residents, all of whom have secrets.

Burton will serve as director and producer on the project, and it’s no surprise that Depp will be leading this cast, especially given the fact that as a child, he actually wanted to be Barnabas Collins. Aside Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller, and Helena Bonham Carter will star. Danny Elfman, no stranger to working with Burton (Edward Scissorhands to name only one of the many), will be composing the soundtrack.

Although pictures have been leaked from the film since September of last year, Rotten Tomatoes recently posted three photos of the film on their site. Dark Shadows will be released in theaters on May 11, 2012.

Only a little over a month later, Burton’s second project, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, will be hitting theaters. Burton will be acting as producer along the film’s director, Timur Bekmambetov.

Seth Grahame-Smith, author of the book the film is based off, adapted his novel for the screen as well. IMDB summarizes the film as follows:

President Lincoln’s mother is killed by a supernatural creature, which fuels his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers.

I’m very excited to see this film, although I’d like to take a crack at the book first. Grahame-Smith also put an interesting spin on the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice by inserting a few zombies and zombified-language of sorts, re-naming the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It is no wonder that Burton had a hand in bringing Abraham Lincoln to the film format.

In 1984, Walt Disney released Burton’s short film stop-motion animation film, Frankenweenie. Burton now is recapturing it, bringing it back to the big screen for a second time. The black and white film will be shot in 3D, which may serve the format well, given that it is stop-motion.

Frankenweenie will be the second stop-motion animation film under the direction of Tim Burton, Corpse Bride being his first. According to WikipediaFrankenweenie will pay ” homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein based on Mary Shelley’s book of the same name. In the film, a boy named Victor loses his dog and uses the power of science to bring it back to life. Once the others learn of his secret, they set out to create their own monsters, each based on their respective pets and personalities.”

Burton has written, directed, and produced Frankenweenie.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is set to be released on June 22, 2012. Frankenweenie will hit theaters October 5, 2012.