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Best Soundtracks of 2017


Warning, subjective post ahead! My determination for what makes a good movie soundtrack simply lies in its ability to return us back to special moments in the film, moments that were carefully thought out with music added to enhance its effect on us, the viewers. For some, even if the movie wasn’t too outstanding, the music can be its saving grace. And in 2017, here are a few soundtracks that stood out.

The Results

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Awesome Mix Vol. 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

This film is based on the superhero team of a colorful characters (they all still kind of weird me out), with stars, a major score, and nostalgia that I can’t help but feel, as most comic-oriented films tend to have. The soundtrack however connected with movie watchers who grew up in the comic-heavy, side-stepping & heavy pastels & some assortment of collection of fabric & hair products years. Then there are those who are too young to recognize the music. It opens with “Mr. Blue Skyby ELO (hear that great transition at 3:38!), which is always great for a montage or those life moments where you want to block out the madness. The release also closes with a punching synth of the teams’ version of “Disco Inferno” called “Guardians Infernoby The Sneepers and David Hasselhoff. DAVID HASSELHOFF! Not to mention the whirr & funk Parliament brings in the classic “Flashlight” & “Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang” by Silver are great for reminding us life is full of surprises and good music is ageless.

Fifty Shades Darker: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Hear me out. Well hear this soundtrack out. I promised you I wouldn’t watch it but to be fair, I skipped through all of those scenes. Yes, I thought I could get the price of a cable channel crime episode for about two hours. I was wrong. However the selected inclusion of all kinds of artists and genres piqued my interest to go beyond the film. There’s “Helium” by Sia which immediately caught my attention, and came at a cliche moment where the girl realizes she really loves the guy despite everything. There’s “Lies in the Dark” by Tove Lo, gritty & grating synth for after hours, and “The Scientist,performed by Corinne Bailey Rae in all her honesty. And then there was the dynamic “Not Afraid Anymore” by Halsey. Overall, what really dampened my disappointment definitely was the inclusion of tracks + artists suitable for your tastes at any hour of the day, or anytime of the year.

Baby Driver (Music from the Motion Picture)

We’ve all done it; you hear a song and can’t help but imagine a perfect scene to go along with it. That’s essentially how this movie started, which is pretty awesome and admirable. This film will be memorable simply for the state of awe I was in once I realized what was happening. A good chunk of the scenes carried out the same way it started, in the actors and their movement or behaviors all lining up. It was funny, helped me understand a relatives love for heist movies, and mocked any attempts I tried at recreating it during my time spent in Los Santos… Highlights were definitely opening with “Bellbottoms” by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, a weird but melody-driven song, with a “look at me!” appeal rightfully placed in the film’s opening, as was “Chase Me” a hip-hop brash and full with heavy-hitters Danger Mouse, Big Boi & Run The Jewels at the end of the soundtrack. Then there’s “Neat Neat Neat” by The Damned, I have a small guilty pleasure for punk, especially for a bass as just hitting like this one. By all means, start the song over, and let “Debraby Beck mellow you out.

Again this post is extremely subjective, but we’d love to hear your vote for the best soundtracks of 2017, and here’s hoping this year movie releases make the competition even tougher.

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Allison King Talks Her Roles in ‘Thank You for Your Service’ and ’12 Strong’


After acting in several recent highly acclaimed films like Baby Driver and Midnight Special and appearing in many hit television shows over the years, Allison King’s talent has not gone unnoticed. Now, she can be seen playing Linda Sanders in the film Thank You for Your Service and soon as Marcha Spencer in 12 Strong, alongside Michael Shannon. Here, we chat with King about her most fulfilling roles and what we can expect from her next.


Cliché: You’ve been in films like Baby Driver and Midnight Special, as well as several hit television shows. What was your most impressionable moment and what did you learn from it?
Allison King: I think my most impressionable moment as an actor was walking on to the set of Midnight Special. I was so nervous and really wasn’t sure what to expect from Adam Driver, who I only knew from Girls at the time, and Jeff Nichols, who I was such a fan of. I just didn’t know what to expect from these two, who I looked up to artistically. Of course, they were about as lovely as can be and incredibly generous and kind. And so, during filming, I learned a big lesson, which is that every single person on a set is lucky to be there and should feel a great sense of gratitude and should work to set a tone of diligence and creativity. They work hard and long hours, all in the name of creating something meaningful and memorable. So, now, when I walk on to a set, I make sure to check my fear and allow myself to remember it’s a big band of creative people who just want to do good work.

You’ve worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Have any of them taught you anything you’ll never forget?
Yeah, of course! I’ll speak generally here and this is hard to articulate, so bear with me: I never realized how powerful a lead actor is in the filming process in setting the overall tone of a set. Now, I’m a believer that film is a director’s medium and working on a film is essentially stepping into the mind of the director. But, a lead actor is the center of the project and it’s almost like you’re in their home when you’re on set. Imagine they’re hosting a party and you’re invited. The way they behave affects every other person on that set and how engaged and enthusiastic people are about that project long after shooting is wrapped. It’s my feeling that the lead actors we admire have an innate sense of this and set a tone that’s generous and creative and invites every single person on that set to their party. I can’t really overstate this. It’s like the special sauce. It has the power to make a good project great.

You play Linda Sanders in Thank You for Your Service. Can you tell us a little about your character? What drew you to this role?
I’d read The Good Soldiers by David Finkle and been moved by these people he followed and sketched so beautifully. What excited me about this project was that it was about the unseen side of war. In movies, we tend to focus on the battle and glory of it all, rather than the inherent cost of putting your life at risk and the cost on the families back home. It’s a harder story to tell and I found Jason Hall’s script incredibly powerful in its simplicity and humanness. I was deeply moved by it and just wanted any little thing to do with it.

Did you get a chance to work with Miles Teller and Amy Schumer, who have leading roles in Thank You for Your Service?
I really only worked with Beulah Koale, who is wonderful in this movie. He pulls off an incredibly complex role of someone battling inner demons that he never gets the opportunity to verbalize because he physically cannot. He pulls off the emotional center of this movie beautifully and in a way a lot of soldiers will identify with. I think this is the power of movie-making. When people get to see themselves and their struggles reflected in a positive way, a real conversation can be had and real healing can begin.

What do you hope viewers take away from the film? Does the film have a special meaning for you?
It does. I hope that we begin to see that mental health is physical health, that telling people to toughen up, man up, or shake it off just doesn’t cut it. I hope families can see themselves in this film and begin real conversations around getting better and getting help. Not just soldiers, but anyone who’s struggled with PTSD, depression, or any sort of mental health issue. There is help available to everyone.

You also have a role in the upcoming film 12 Strong, starring Chris Hemsworth, Michael Pena, and Michael Shannon. Can you give us some insight into your character?
12 Strong is based on a non-fiction book called Horse Soldiers, which follows a group of special forces into Taliban controlled territory just after September 11. I play the wife of one of the soldiers, sending her husband, played by Michael Shannon, off to an unknown place doing unknown things. Family is never told where special forces are going to protect them. It was challenging to get back into the mindset of post-September 11. It was such a scary time.

What was it like working with Michael Shannon in 12 Strong?
Our scene is very emotional and he gave me a lot of space and was incredibly generous. He’s one of the people I was talking about earlier. He’s a theater guy and understands the ensemble work ethic and sets a lovely, diligent, and creative tone for the set. I loved every minute of working with him. Fingers crossed I get another opportunity.

You are also a passionate philanthropist. Can you tell us about the some of the organizations you support and why they are important to you?
My husband and I always Adopt-a-Family instead of exchanging gifts for Christmas. We really enjoy the feeling of being Scrooge after the ghosts visit him, shopping and wrapping gifts for our community instead of just for each other. We find it really connects us to the true meaning of the holiday and keeps us away from the consumerism this holiday has come to mean. And, this sounds very Martha Stewart, but I also usually clean out our linen closet and coat closet and we donate our old linens and blankets to local animal shelters and coats to Goodwill. Everyone needs a little extra warmth this time of year. We keep it local in our community!

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Allison King Talks Her Roles in ‘Thank You for Your Service’ and ’12 Strong’: Photographer: Birdie Thompson, MUA: Anton Khachaturian, Hair: Matilde Campos