One of my biggest pet peeves are when movies are released on dvd/blu ray and there are multiple edition of the same movie. The biggest culprit is the Lord of the Rings series where each movie of the trilogy released as the theatrical version but soon after a director’s cut came along and made these movies even longer. I’m not bitching about the longer version but rather, if you bought the first version on dvd and, like me, love watching the director’s cut, this means more money out of the pocket. Or to boot, Star Trek Into Darkness and how Paramount decided to c-block, (content block, you dick) us by putting the bonus material broken up via iTunes, disc format, and even stores. However, this upcoming release on Gravity may be an exception.
I love movie scores and soundtracks enormously. If a score can live beyond the visual of the film they go with then this is a worthy soundtrack to listen over and over again by itself. Before the age of DVD, there was “laserdisc” which if you saw them, they are the size of a record album. If you’re reading this and saying what’s a record album, you’ve made me feel that much older and a step closer to the grave. Getting back on point, one of the benefits of a “laserdisc” player was the feature to separate the audio from the music so one could hear the score by itself or watch the movie without the score. Doing either option does change the movie watching experience. Flash forward to today, the only movie that I own that does a score isolation was X-Men First Class. The score cue which is one of my favorite is called Frankenstein’s Monster. This is the scene in Michael Fassbender (Magneto) is in South America and stops in a little town bar. As the scene plays out, Fassbender has been looking for these particular men from the days at the camp. The music is low and slow but builds as the scene gets more tense. By the time the men realize what Fassbender is doing with his mutant powers; it’s too late. This dark theme and ominous music for Magneto can fully appreciated being separated by itself and watching the visuals play out. Honestly, the death screams really drown out the music by that point so hearing it by itself is a treat.
Moving to Gravity, I’ve only seen this movie once and it was on the big screen. Thankfully, the score and the visuals worked well together which made me want to buy it on dvd when it came out. At this time, I haven’t and I don’t know why I am hesitant to have this in my collection. After reading this news piece below, thank god I waited. There’s nothing worse than a fan and collector of movies to be stuck with a dvd that did not have all the goodies as mentioned before. So, will I be waiting for this new release? YUP. The absence of music or score does give a movie a different feel. Being that this movie takes place in space and in space no one can hear you scream…wait…wrong movie but you get the idea that in space there is no sound, so why would there be music? The tv series Firefly had no sound for the space shots of Serenity traveling though we did hear music. But my feeling, this may be the best example of not having a score to compliment the visuals. Don’t get me wrong, the score was amazingly good but seeing the climax scene from Hitchcock’s Saboteur where it’s completely devoid of any music during the lead up and the death of the villain speaks volumes. Now imagine that goodness stretched to the entire film and in this case, Gravity. Silence would not only golden but a wonderful change to the non stop ear noise carnage from most movies. I can’t wait to get my copy…. next year.
I was already kind of traumatized by watching Sandra Bullock hurtling through the vast nothingness of space in Gravity; the idea of seeing the movie without its score, where space is as audibly empty as it is visually, sounds chilling. And that’s exactly what we’re going to get in a new special Gravity Blu-ray.