Music Break: Bourne theme song ‘Extreme Ways’ by Moby

The choice for this week’s music break is quite an easy one. This is my hubby’s iPhone’s ring tone and it’s been that same one for years. It’s undoubtedly one of the most memorable theme songs featured in a trilogy… and beyond. If you read my review of The Bourne Legacy, it’s still one of the few great things about that movie.


According to Spinner.com, Moby is remixing Extreme Ways with a huge orchestra for the new movie, to re-imagine it from a symphonic perspective. You can watch the behind the scenes video of Moby on the set of that here.

“I wanted to create a juxtaposition with the orchestra and let the orchestra be more melodic and bombastic to contrast with the sort of frenetic rhythmic elements,” Moby is quoted as saying. “Having the best classical musicians on the planet playing the music I’ve written is really wonderful.”

Just for comparison sake, here’s what the original theme song featured in The Bourne Ultimatum:


Apparently this was not a hit when it was released in 2002,  but this song has gone on to become one of Moby’s most-downloaded songs [per Wiki]. It’s catchy and cool, and the lyrics seem to capture the essence of who Jason Bourne is and his extreme journey, even though it was not written specifically for the film.

Extreme songs that told me
They helped me down every night
I didn’t have much to say
I didn’t get above the light
I closed my eyes and closed myself
And closed my world and never opened
Up to anything
That could get me along

I had to close down everything
I had to close down my mind
Too many things to cover me
Too much can make me blind
I’ve seen so much in so many places
So many heartaches, so many faces
So many dirty things
You couldn’t even believe

Just a quick background on the composer, Moby, who was born Richard Melville Hall in Harlem on September 11, 1965. According to his Wiki page, apparently his middle name and the nickname “Moby” were given to him by his parents because of an ancestral relationship to Moby Dick author Herman Melville. He’s also a DJ and photographer who got his start in electronic dance music in the early 90s, but it’s not until about a decade later that he gained international success with his electronica album Play. He’s now sold over 20 million albums and is considered one of the most important dance music figures who helps bring the music to a mainstream audience both in the UK and in America.

Anyway, back to Extreme Ways. It’s pretty amazing that 10 years later, this song still sounds so fresh and ‘of the moment.’ An astounding soundtrack for a stellar trilogy!


Thoughts on this music folks? Are you a Moby fan?

Encore Entertainment’s Essential Performances of the 90s Showdowns – Game # 17

This is Part II of Encore’s World of Film & TV that was spearheaded by Andrew. I have posted GAME 13 two days ago. The goal of this tournament is to determine the single performance, chosen by you fine lovers of cinema, that is worthy to be the BEST of the decade. Andrew asked me to do a write up to a couple of the showdowns [you can see the entire bracket here].

Please take part in this well, essential blog event by casting your VOTE and make your voice heard!

Without further ado, here’s my writeup for Game 17:

Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) as Hannibal Lecter

I happened to see Silence of the Lambs in the cinema and I tell you, for a while I was so terrified of Anthony Hopkins and even the mere mention of ‘chianti’ and ‘liver’ makes me shudder. It’s no wonder his personification of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the charismatic cannibal who never blinks when he speak, was ranked #1 on the American Film Institute’s Villains in its compilation of the 100 Years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains.

Much of the iconic mannerisms: the nasty slurping sound and the creepy way he speaks Clarice’s name to taunt the young FBI officer are all improvised by the seasoned actor. Yet it takes a special skill not to overdo the creepy-ness, it takes skill to avoid becoming caricature. Such a character could easily have the opposite effect of being comical instead of sinister but Hopkins avoid the potential dilemma. He manages to forge that delicate balance of portraying a charismatic figure that effortlessly pulls you in, whilst at the same time scares the living heck out of you.

VS.


Michelle Pfeffier in The Age of Innocence (1993) as Ellen Olenska

I believe Scorsese’s period drama showcases Pfeiffer’s best work and in a way proves that she is a serious actress who somehow, unfortunately, is not regarded as such by her peers. So perhaps that’s why the beautiful actress identify so well with Ellen Olenska, an outcast in a 19th century New York high society when she is separated from her husband. Raised by a single mother in a society where divorce was still a taboo, I immediately identify with her predicament.

This is my favorite Scorsese film and though it’s not violent in the physical term, it’s definitely a vicious one in terms of matters of the heart. The conversations between Newland Archer (the sublime Daniel Day-Lewis) and Olenska are heart-wrenching, their yearning and frustration that they cannot be with each other just makes my heart bleed. Yet Olenska is not just some lovesick puppy. She is a strong woman who defies society and refuses to conceal her independence, even at the risk of being scorned by people around her. That defiance spirit is magnetic and I credit Pfeiffer’s astute performance in getting that across without being overbearing. A magnum opus from a celebrated director, and I’m glad to say the film’s stunning cinematography and costume design match the equally beautiful performances. It’s rare to see a flawed heroine depicted in such a bewitching way, but Countess Olenska is surely one of them.

So…

Which of these is the finer performance of the 90s?


Please cast your VOTE on Andrew’s blog and/or let me know your pick and why in the comments.