Monday, August 27, 2012

Paramount: 100 years of crazy juice

'Coming from Paramount': Not to be confused with 'Coming on Perry Mount!,' something that was uttered by a porn star during a film shoot with porn actor Perry Mount.
Paramount is a studio full of huge missteps like Richard Gere dancing around in a diaper and the stupidly whitewashed live-action adaptation of its sister company Nickelodeon's animated Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise. It's also a studio that's responsible for many of my favorite movies (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, 1999's Election).

All year long, Paramount has been celebrating its 100th anniversary. Because the Saturday after next is the date when one of Paramount's most popular properties, Star Trek, made its debut on NBC (46 years ago, to be exact), I'm posting a 100th anniversary playlist consisting of original themes from my favorite Paramount movies and shows (Star Trek: First Contact, Taxi) and original themes I like that come from Paramount movies I've never seen (Fear Is the Key, Three Tough Guys) or Paramount movies I don't care for (the late Tony Scott's Top Gun).

Instead of a mountain surrounded by stars, the production company logo in porn star Perry Mount's movies is a tit surrounded by leather studs.
I'm glad that Spotify carries Paramount Pictures' 90th Anniversary Memorable Scores, an impressive 2002 Sony Classical comp, even though it contains cues from Forrest Gump and Titanic, two other Paramount smash hits I don't care for. However, I'm a little bummed that Spotify doesn't carry the songs from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut or the scores from Face/Off, Election, Zodiac, Vertigo, Psycho, the original Italian Job, Once Upon a Time in the West, Star Trek II and the first J.J. Abrams Trek movie. Spotify carries re-recordings of Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo and Psycho pieces, The Italian Job's "Getta Bloomin' Move On," Ennio Morricone's Once Upon a Time in the West themes, James Horner's Trek II cues, Michael Giacchino's Trek cues, Dave Grusin's Three Days of the Condor theme and Neal Hefti's enjoyably loungy theme from the Odd Couple movie and TV series, but I'm not using them. I hate most film and TV score re-recordings.

Almost all these score re-recordings on Spotify are tinnily performed on cheap synthesizers, they come from labels I've never heard of and they suck gigantic J.J. Abrams red balls. That's why there are no re-recordings on this three-hour "Paramount: 100 Years of Crazy Juice" playlist, even though Billy May's cover of the Odd Couple theme isn't bad because it's, well, Billy May.

'dmachado' is clearly a masochist.
The playlist goes in chronological order from 1958 to the present day, but it kicks off with a '90s piece: one of my all-time favorite joints, Eric B. and Rakim's "Juice (Know the Ledge)" from Paramount's 1992 Tupac Shakur movie Juice, the first directorial effort from former Spike Lee cinematographer and frequent episodic cable TV director Ernest Dickerson. Juice's Hank Shocklee-produced soundtrack is a terrific snapshot of hip-hop and R&B in the early '90s (when Shocklee and his Bomb Squad were in their prime as beatmakers) and has aged remarkably well. The film itself isn't quite a masterpiece. It would probably be a more intriguing film if I watched it again, but in black-and-white instead of color, a trick I learned from rapper Prometheus Brown.

"I gave Juice the homemade noir treatment and discovered a whole nother film underneath the film's already muted colors. Stripped down to monochrome, New York becomes Gotham. Tupac's dark portrayal of Bishop is intensified," wrote Geo back when he used to write at length about movies on his blog (I wish Prometheus hadn't abandoned film criticism because we need more film critics of color, but between his touring schedule and balancing two bands at the same time, it's understandable).

"The DJ battle scenes in the club no longer look like a 90s MTV dance show but more like a classic rap video," continued Prometheus in his Juice post. "Omar Epps's scratching, however, remains artificial. Can't desaturate that."

Most minimalist movie posters suck gigantic, stylized-in-the-manner-of-Saul-Bass donkey balls, but this minimalist poster's fantastic.
Complete tracklist after the jump...

"Paramount: 100 Years of Crazy Juice" tracklist
1. Eric B. and Rakim, "Juice (Know the Ledge)" (from Juice; theatrical release date: January 17, 1992)
2. The Five Blobs, "The Blob" (The Blob theatrical release date: September 12, 1958)
3. Tom Jones, "Promise Her Anything" (Promise Her Anything U.K. theatrical release date: November 1965)
4. Sonny Rollins, "Alfie's Theme" (from Alfie; U.K. premiere date: March 29, 1966)
5. Nancy Sinatra, "The Last of the Secret Agents" (from The Last of the Secret Agents?; L.A. premiere date: May 25, 1966)
6. Alexander Courage, "Star Trek--Main Title" (from season 1 of Star Trek; series premiere date: September 8, 1966)
7. Lalo Schifrin, "Mission: Impossible (Main Title)" (Mission: Impossible series premiere date: September 17, 1966)
8. Gerald Fried, "The Ritual/Ancient Battle/2nd Kroykah" (from the "Amok Time" episode of Star Trek; airdate: September 15, 1967)
9. Christopher Komeda, "Main Title (Vocal)" (from Rosemary's Baby; theatrical release date: June 12, 1968)
10. The Glitterhouse and Bob Crewe, "Barbarella--Extended Main Title" (Barbarella theatrical release date: October 10, 1968)
Jane Fonda shows Milo O'Shea her O-face.
11. Nino Rota, "Main Title (The Godfather Waltz)" (from The Godfather; New York premiere date: March 15, 1972)
12. Roy Budd, "Main Theme" (from Fear Is the Key; U.K. theatrical release date: December 1972)
13. Mikis Theodorakis, "On the Streets" (from Serpico; theatrical release date: December 5, 1973)
14. Isaac Hayes, "Title Theme" (from Three Tough Guys; theatrical release date: March 15, 1974)
15. David Shire, "Theme from The Conversation" (The Conversation theatrical release date: April 7, 1974)
16. Jerry Goldsmith, "Love Theme from Chinatown (Main Title)" (Chinatown theatrical release date: June 20, 1974)
17. Richard Rodney Bennett, "Overture and Kidnapping" (from Murder on the Orient Express; theatrical release date: November 24, 1974)
18. Nino Rota, "End Title" (from The Godfather Part II; theatrical release date: December 20, 1974)
19. Tangerine Dream, "Betrayal (Sorcerer Theme)" (Sorcerer theatrical release date: June 24, 1977)
20. The Bee Gees, "Night Fever" (from Saturday Night Fever; New York premiere date: December 14, 1977)
21. Bob James, "Angela (Theme from Taxi)" (Taxi series premiere date: September 12, 1978)
22. Barry De Vorzon, "Theme from The Warriors" (The Warriors theatrical release date: February 9, 1979)
23. Blondie, "Call Me" (from American Gigolo; New York premiere date: February 1, 1980)
24. John Morris, "The Elephant Man Theme" (The Elephant Man New York premiere date: October 3, 1980)
25. Shelley Duvall, "He Needs Me" (from Popeye; theatrical release date: December 12, 1980)
26. John Williams, "Washington Ending & Raiders March" (from Raiders of the Lost Ark; theatrical release date: June 12, 1981)
27. Randy Newman, "Main Title" (from Ragtime; theatrical release date: November 20, 1981)
28. Harold Faltermeyer, "Axel F" (from Beverly Hills Cop; L.A. premiere date: December 1, 1984)
29. Maurice Jarre, "Building the Barn" (from Witness; theatrical release date: February 8, 1985)
30. Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens, "Top Gun Anthem" (from Top Gun; New York premiere date: May 12, 1986)
31. Ennio Morricone, "The Strength of the Righteous (Main Title)" (from The Untouchables; New York premiere date: June 2, 1987)
32. Joe Strummer & The Latino Rockabilly War, "Trash City" (from Permanent Record; theatrical release date: April 22, 1988)
33. John Williams, "The Penitent Man Will Pass" (from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; theatrical release date: May 24, 1989)
34. Ron Jones, "Captain Borg" (from the "Best of Both Worlds, Part 1" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation; earliest syndication airdate: June 18, 1990)
35. Patrick Doyle, "Winter 1948" (from Dead Again; theatrical release date: August 23, 1991)
36. Marc Shaiman, "Main Title" (from The Addams Family; theatrical release date: November 22, 1991)
37. Dennis McCarthy, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine--Main Title," (from the "Emissary" episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; earliest syndication airdate: January 3, 1993)
38. James Horner, "Main Title/A Clear and Present Danger" (from Clear and Present Danger; theatrical release date: August 3, 1994)
39. Jerry Goldsmith, "Star Trek: Voyager--Main Title" (from the "Caretaker" episode of Star Trek: Voyager; airdate: January 16, 1995)
40. Danny Elfman, "Zoom B" (from Mission: Impossible; theatrical release date: May 22, 1996)
41. David Newman, "The Phantom" (The Phantom theatrical release date: June 7, 1996)
42. John Carpenter and Alan Howarth, "Escape from New York Main Title" (from Escape from L.A.; theatrical release date: August 9, 1996)
43. Jerry Goldsmith, "End Credits" (from Star Trek: First Contact; L.A. premiere date: November 18, 1996)
44. John Frizzell, "Beavis the Sperm" (from Beavis and Butt-head Do America; L.A. premiere date: December 15, 1996)
45. John Williams, "Hymn to the Fallen" (from Saving Private Ryan; theatrical release date: July 24, 1998)
46. Danny Elfman, "Main Titles" (from Sleepy Hollow; theatrical release date: November 19, 1999)
47. David Schwartz, "Theme from Deadwood" (Deadwood series premiere date: March 21, 2004)
48. Jonny Greenwood, "Future Markets" (from There Will Be Blood; Fantastic Fest premiere date: September 27, 2007)
49. Michael Giacchino, "Roar! (Cloverfield Overture)" (Cloverfield L.A. premiere date: January 16, 2008)
50. John Debney, "I Am Iron Man" (from Iron Man 2; L.A. premiere date: April 26, 2010)
51. Carter Burwell, "The Wicked Flee" (from True Grit; New York premiere date: December 14, 2010)
52. Hans Zimmer, "Rango Suite" (Rango Westwood premiere date: February 14, 2011)
53. Patrick Doyle, "Sons of Odin" (from Thor; Australian theatrical release date: April 21, 2011)
54. Alan Silvestri, "Captain America March" (from Captain America: The First Avenger; Hollywood premiere date: July 19, 2011)
55. Howard Shore, "The Thief" (from Hugo; New York Film Festival premiere date: October 10, 2011)
56. Michael Giacchino, "Light the Fuse" (from Mission: Impossible--Ghost Protocol; Dubai International Film Festival premiere date: December 7, 2011)
57. Alan Silvestri, "The Avengers" (from Marvel's The Avengers; L.A. premiere date: April 11, 2012)


  1. I like that you included recent films like Captain America with classics like The Godfather. Great list Jimmy

    1. Thanks! It took me a while to search for these tracks on Spotify. I was particularly surprised to discover that Spotify carries the original version of the "Captain America March" (it's part of some Disney album).