Thursday, August 30, 2012

LIST: 15 Favorite Movie Songs

Well, a couple of my friends have noted that I am weird in that I make lists. Like lots of lists. 'High Fidelity' style. In many different fields. It's an organizational, professional and memory-based habit of mine. I'm certain I'm not the only one who does that. But I figure why not take that to this blog...

But I didn't do none of them boring favorite movies or directors just yet. People listen to music as far as I know (as you cannot taste or smell them) and with that, I decided, as a music enthusiast myself, to listen to popular music from all sorts of music. Which also meant dealing with some painful ones. Then I picked the ones I really liked. (Speaking of music, +5 to anybody who will name where this blog's name comes from)...

Of course, it's a focus on songs composed specifically and released with the picture at hand. Metallica's 'For Whom the Bell Tolls', The Doors' 'The End', Nick Cave's 'Red Right Hand' and so many other (in my opinion superior) songs were oh so hard to part with in my heart, but didn't fit this criteria. Also, concept albums made into movies don't count. Sorry, 'The Wall', 'Tommy' and 'Quadrophenia' (though the latter will be made up for in the top 15).

So here goes. Not much of an intro, but I suppose one ought to let the music speak. I included YouTube links for the Top 15. Any that had an available music video I added as well, because, dammit, this is primarily a movie blog. Enjoy!

15. 'A Perfect Twist' - Mike Patton (A Perfect Place)
Absolutely sexy, scary, threatening yet seductive in a manner only our Patton can do. In addition, catchy handclap (and rim shot) beat and grand bandstand sort of sound.

14. 'You Know My Name' - Chris Cornell (Casino Royale)
When I heard this, this was the reboot in my mind to the whole James Bond theme sound. The mood of the song was classic scanning feel (with thanks to the orchestra in the background), but Cornell's voice gave that song a modern edge. Even if it's not one of his best vocal performances (and no, it's not even close), it's most fitting for the film and a classic song to remember.

13. 'Deep Cover' - Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (Deep Cover)
Speaking of songs that fit with the movie, Deep Cover is the urban thriller theme song. It was written for Deep Cover but you gotta admit you can think of it as a placeholder for any other undercover scenario picture until they compose a better song suited for the theme. Not likely. Btw, the fuck is up with Snoop Dogg calling him himself Snoop Lion?

12. 'Love Song for a Vampire' - Annie Lennox (Bram Stoker's Dracula)
Is it weird that I find Annie Lennox quite attractive? It is? Okay, I won't say that then. But this synthesizer driven score is seductive in a way that most popular of this day cannot reach. Everytime I watch Bram Stoker's Dracula now, I watch the entire credits just to hear this song (and to see the Columbia Pictures logo in blood red. I don't know why that image strikes me but it does.)

11. 'Blaze of Glory' - Jon Bon Jovi (Young Guns II)
This is more of a nostalgia factor than any actual merit I can give. But I insist everybody, especially Western fans, ought to give this album (and the movie a try). Young Guns II has its flaws but its also fun and a mood-hanging tribute, while Jon Bon Jovi provides the same feel with his soundtrack.

10. 'Hero' - Chad Kroeger feat. Josey Scott (Spider-Man)
When the 2002 Spider-Mania phenomenon backs up a song designed so specifically to make the audience root for the hero, you know you have yourself a hit, which is what Hero was. It made you root for Spidey and it was a good feeling when it did. I am an unashamed fan of the band from which this vocalist is in which shall not be named (Sorry to disappoint, guys, I promise the next artist picks will make up for it), and I'd say this is one of Kroeger's finest performances (fitting for the songs when he doesn't sound like a crybaby but not like a douche). The only downside is that solo. Ew...
Wow, his face is very hard not to laugh at there.

9. 'Santa Fe' - Jon Bon Jovi (Young Guns II)
Again, nostalgia. But hey, would you hate such a genuine song intent on telling such tales if you grew up like I?

8. 'The Nile Song' - Pink Floyd (More)
I have not seen the movie yet at all, I only bought the album because PINK FLOYD YO. You cannot argue with Pink Floyd. I don't trust anyone who doesn't like Pink Floyd. Argue with this. I dare you. Listen to David Gilmour. David Gilmour is better than you. DAVID GILMOUR IS BETTER THAN YOU!!!!

7. 'Bother' - Stone Sour (Spider-Man)
Well sorry Kroeger, but Corey Taylor has you beat in this department of making you feel for Spidey. While 'Hero' is the more popular song, 'Bother' is the understated performance of Taylor singing lyrics that, while not likely written for the themes, become embed deep in the idea of juggling the entire world in order to keep your own life and the lives of others safe. It's about not cracking down in the heat of the moment.

6. 'What the Hell Have I' - Alice in Chains (Last Action Hero)
The Last Action Hero soundtrack remains one of my fav soundtracks (behind Pulp Fiction and Mortal Kombat). As a metalhead, this album is a goldmine of newly written songs by the likes of Buckethead, Queensryche (both those two artists working with legendary composer Michael Kamen in their respective contribution), Alice in Chains, Megadeth, Anthrax and Cypress Hill (among others). However, this song, albeit the one least fitting to the atmosphere of the picture, is the one I enjoyed the most. Featuring a riff by Jerry Cantrell that feels like Robby Krieger from Hell, the song chills me out from whatever funk I'm in the moment I hear it. The movie itself is great too, I will never understand the hate it gets. If you get a chance to see it as a child (or show to yours), see it.

5. 'Il Cupo Dolore' - Mike Patton (A Perfect Place)
Well, I'm sucker for opera. And for Mike Patton. So Mike Patton doing opera does it for me. Apparently a background sort of track for the short film (when Patton wrote the score he got so excited he made it 30 minutes longer than the movie itself), but the scale of it, even when brought down by the sound of scratching vinyl and the tone of dusty grammaphone, makes this one of the most ambitious vocal performances I've ever had the pleasure of hearing.

4. 'Summer Wine' - Ville Valo and Natalie Avelon (Das Wilde Leben)
This is another one where I haven't seen the movie. But the sweeping style and the style play between Valo and Avelon gave it a place here for me.

3. 'Love, Reign O'er Me' - Pearl Jam (Reign Over Me)
It's very hard to top Roger Daltrey's performance in this classic, but Eddie Vedder provided a searing emotional bellow for this cover that did justice and carried the Adam Sandler picture. Although, Sandler's courtroom cry of the song earlier on could probably give Vedder a run for his money in emotion, as it is one of the only Adam Sandler movies where I will admit he actually acts, and he does a hell of a job.

Song kind of makes up for Limp Bizkit's butchering of 'Behind Blue Eyes', constructed for a just as bad movie called Gothika. Almost.

2. 'Birth Ritual' - Soundgarden (Singles)
 This is yet a third one where I have not seen the movie yet. I sort am trying to find a way to. It seem easily grunge the movie. I've seen a clip of Alice in Chains in it (with a comedic interview involving Matt Dillon's character) and I was sold. But in the meantime, this driving force IS, as opposed to 'You Know My Name', one of my favorite vocal performances I've heard outta Cornell.

1. 'Humans Being' - Van Halen (Twister)
Okay, maybe I ought to apologize for being so biased, but the post does say favorite, not best. This is my number one favorite song composed for a movie. The verse sounds so cool, the solo is great, the drumming is the type of stuff I love Alex Van Halen for.

The other songs that were heavily considered and are great stuff anyway. Top to bottom most are the closest to being added. If you see an arrow next to the song, it means LISTEN TO THE DAMN SONG.
'Meant to Live' - Switchfoot (Spider-Man 2)
'I Still Believe' - Tim Cappello (The Lost Boys)
'Kick-Ass (We Are Young) - Mika (Kick-Ass)
'Til I Hear It From You' - Gin Blossoms (Empire Records) <---
'The Wrestler' - Bruce Springsteen (The Wrestler)
'A320' - Foo Fighters (Godzilla)
'I Disappear' - Metallica (Mission: Impossible II)
'Ordinary' - Train (Spider-Man 2) <---
'New Divide' - Linkin Park (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) <---
'Live to Rise' - Soundgarden (The Avengers)
'Won't Back Down (Bring You Hell)' - Fuel (Daredevil)
'Angry Again' - Megadeth (Last Action Hero)
'Hero' - Regina Spektor (500 Days of Summer)
'A Dream of Roses' - Mike Patton (A Perfect Place) <---
'Lose Yourself' - Eminem (8 Mile) <---
'Bird's Eye' - Mike Patton and Serj Tankian (Body of Lies)
'Cry Little Sister' - Gerard McMann (The Lost Boys)
'Live and Let Die' - Paul McCartney and Wings (Live and Let Die) <---
'Real World' - Queensryche (Last Action Hero)

Monday, August 20, 2012

R.I.P. Tony Scott (1944-2012) and Phyllis Diller (1917-2012)

While I never attach myself to any celebrity death, as I have never known any personally, it's always saddening and a mood killer to hear about anybody's passing. I have not been familiar with the work of Mrs. Diller, the only film I've seen of hers being A Bug's Life (Lasseter, 1998), but she leaves behind any expansive legacy and influence in female comedians of America. It is unfair to be relegating her cinematic memoriam to a single paragraph, but I do not wish to be a blogger who will talk about a career he never followed or understood. So, I must leave it to a wish for a final peace to Mrs. Diller and a confidence in her remembrance being rightfully carried by her loyal fans.

Tony Scott, on the other hand, while not being a favorite director of mine personally (I preferred his elder brother, Ridley, director of personal favorites Blade Runner and Alien - condolences to him), his pictures have been blueprints and benchmarks for action movies around the globe. Focusing less on characterizations and more on movement that gives "movies" it's essential name from "moving pictures", Tony had an eye and feel for the energy of the screen and the pacing of the dramatic sequences of airtight tension. The plots add to these high-octane rides, such as the locomotives and jets of Top Gun or Unstoppable. An additional piece of note is his demand for the look of the film, from the mise en scene to the color shades and correction of the picture. One of my previous film professors, while educating us on editing processes and techniques, called out on Tony's masterful use of color correction, giving Domino a greenish tone to reflect the greed of the world the protagonist surrounds herself in and the grit to remind us that this is an ugly truth of a life, or Man on Fire to make us feel the heat of the sun-dried Mexican city it's set in... the chill blue of The Hunger's themes of ever-approaching and inevitable aging and death...

True Romance is my single favorite Tony Scott movie, and it's not just from the Quentin Tarantino screenplay or the wonderful cast selected by Tony. Tarantino, as much as I love him as a filmmaking influence, likes to go wordy on his scripts and this is no exception. In the hands of an amateur, it could've been a bore or an anti-action movie of substance but no style... However, Tony brought a feel of excitement and, in the words of the characters, "cool" to the picture in a way that probably made Tarantino himself envious. It felt like one enjoyable road trip and we were all along for the ride. The mafia was coming to kill us (really Clarence and Alabama, but it felt like us) and we didn't care. We were just so in love with the leads... and it helps us fall in love with cinema once more.

So what if he never had absolute critical acclaim? That's not what fuels the ambition of directing. I'll tell you what does. Love of cinematic movement. Kinetic pictures. Love of movies. That's what brings a lot together. True Romance is a fuckin' movie. - see the movie to know the true context of that statement. Thanks, Tony.

Unfortunately, I also can't refrain from empathizing intensely with his older brother as well. Not only as Ridley being an influence in moviemaking to me, not only as being acquainted with several people who had committed suicide, but as an older brother. I cannot imagine how I'd feel if my younger brother would take his own life. I do hope for the best emotional recovery for Ridley.

R.I.P. Diller and Scott. You brought an impact to the worlds of comedy and action. Both suffered a loss. But your work will continue to be admired.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Actor Spotlight: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt had been the most recent actor in my memory to actually spend time in my mind as my favorite actor. I have yet to have an actor to replace him, but he's not at the top of my mind anymore. I guess I'm just lazy.

An interesting case of a child actor who improved and continued to have a career after his adolescence, the man has utilized other talents in his roles such as physicality and choreography, voice and pantomime storytelling.

His early indie film performances had showcased a versatile ability at an early point in his career. Pacino had to span a career to reach roles from Tony Montana to Michael Corleone to Frank Serpico. JGL only had to do a couple of years between.

His more recent roles have had a toll taken on their quality unfortunately, in my eyes. Despite enjoying the Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, I am not a fan of how Christopher Nolan has used him (or Michael Caine, ugh, worst use of a veteran yet). And he's had to take some... less than pleasant films previously, one of which I am ashamed to have bought without seeing only because I saw Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in it (and another of my favorite actors).

And yet, neither of them could save the film...

However, one cannot doubt the fact that his hard work in the field has finally paid off, having been cast in two Christopher Nolan pictures, one Steven Spielberg picture and a Quentin Tarantino which he unfortunately had to turn down. He's finally been cast into the limelight.

I find a huge interest that he does not consider himself a method actor at all, however, and the minimalistic approach among his more impressive performances. When it came to him and roles where his character is more than extraordinary, he knows less is more with his actions and feelings, but he still makes you notice them somehow. It may partly be the help of the script, or the director, or the cameraman, or the editor, but it's also on JGL to reflect those emotions in a way that's not showy but not wholly realistic. It's a modern form of acting made just for the cinema in my opinion. Not Brando or DeNiro at all. But it's just how I love it.

So on to my top 5 favorite performances by him:

5. The Lookout - Chris Pratt
When I say his work is the old-school work of nuances, this performance is essentially the prince of that. From the beginning, his discomfort at attempting to regain normality in everyday rituals like shaving, driving, cooking or work is apparent without being too in your face. Granted at the beginning, we need the training wheels on inner monologue to understand his dilemma, but it doesn't last and we follow him throughout. Nevermind the cool turbulence Gordon-Levitt puts his character under once the main heist plot is set into motion.

4. (500) Days of Summer - Tom Hansen
It's really not so much something new out of him, since it seems an extension of the childish infatuation he portrayed in 10 Things I Hate About You, as a perfection of that sort of emotional bait by teaming it with the self-awareness of Woody Allen's character Alvy from Annie Hall. It owes just as much to the editor and writer to Gordon-Levitt as well, by placing scenes (or days) at a juxtaposition (or revisiting) to see just how the rise and fall of Tom Hansen's lust goes. +5 for utilizing Gordon-Levitt's physical skills for a musical number of the modern hipster essence. (More popularly and better utilized along with his gymnastics training later in Inception, the highlight of his performance in that picture).

3. Brick - Brendan Frye
The movie relies most on the performances of every single cast member to not seem incredibly hokey as a hardboiled detective story but also to not seem so dramatic as a high school movie. Nearly everybody made due on this demand of the script, at the center of it Lukas Haas as the Pin and Gordon-Levitt as Brendan, carrying an air of Hammett's Spade, waltzing in pleasantly to observe the dealings of the world.

2. Morgan M. Morgansen's Date with Destiny (and others) - Morgan M. Morgansen
What can I say? I'm just a sucker for silent characters. Morgan draws back to the persona of the Little Tramp, but with a modern and stylized draw. The performance itself is accented by the animated background, the Victorian esque sepia tone, the demeanor of the characters. It's easier to watch a world like this slip around us for the length of the shorts. This took imagination. Well-done.

1. Hesher - Hesher
I am of the firm and heavy belief that Hesher is meant to be a guardian angel to the lead characters of this film. That said, he's the weirdest guardian angel ever. He is loud, crass, rude and a bully. He steals, assaults, trespasses, drinks, destroys random people's homes, commits arson, squats in another person's home uninvited in only his underwear, vandalizes and ultimately graverobs. But it eventually proves for a good effect in the life of the protagonist.
He's said to have been heavily influenced by late Metallica Cliff Burton, to the point where Metallica, having been shown the film without being told that fact, exclaimed that Hesher reminded them of Cliff, and Hesher is heard performing 'Anesthetia (Pulling Teeth)' in one scene. If that is so, that makes Cliff one hell of a badass to me.

And the complete ranking (IMHO) of JGL's performances from what I've seen.
My ranking on all the performances I've seen him in. It's not a consideration on the quality of the films themselves (Because... come on, G.I. Joe over Inception?!) but his performance in comparison to the rest of the movie or his other performances.

The Dark Knight Rises (Nolan, 2012) - John Blake
Inception (Nolan, 2010) - Arthur
Shadowboxer (Daniels, 2005) - Dr. Don
Killshot (Madden, 2007) - Richie Nix
10 Things I Hate About You (Junger, 1999) - Cameron James
Stop-Loss (Peirce, 2008) - Tommy Burgess
50/50 (Levine, 2011) - Adam Lerner
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (Sommers, 2009) - Rex/The Doctor
Manic (Melamed, 2001) - Lyle Jensen
Angels in the Outfield (Dear, 1994) - Roger
The Lookout (Frank, 2007) - Chris Pratt
(500) Days of Summer (Webb, 2009) - Tom Hanson
Brick (Johnson, 2005) - Brendan Frye
Morgan M. Morgansen's Date with Destiny/Morgan and Destiny's Eleventeenth Date: The Zeppelin Zoo (Gordon-Levitt, 2010) - Morgan M. Morgansen
Hesher (Susser, 2011) - Hesher

Want to See:
Mysterious Skin (Araki, 2004)
Uncertainty (McGehee/Siegel, 2008)
Looper (Johnson, 2012)
Lincoln (Spielberg, 2012)

Miscellaneous I've Seen:
Treasure Planet (Muskers/Clement, 2002) - Jim Hawkins
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (Miner, 1998) - Random Kid with a Hockey Stick (forgot the name)
The Brothers Bloom (Johnson, 2008) - Cameo

MOVIE REVIEW: In the Loop (Iannucci, 2009)

So, I've seen this movie at least four times in this past year... the last time watching it was a midnight one a couple of days ago with a girl who requested to death for us to see it. So, I suppose it's about time to actually review this.

The movie's events are put into motion with Minister for International Development Simon Foster (played with a pathetic stumbling of manners by Tom Hollander) making two contradicting statements prior to the 2003 US Invasion of Iraq in separate interviews. Having this screwup badly timed prior to his first day, Foster's new office aide Toby (Chris Addison) is assigned to make Foster look less of a fool in the presence of the U.S. Government during their trip to Washington.

But enter Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), who is the closest thing the Prime Minister has to a hitman, though the official title is as PM's Director of Communications. Whenever Tucker is not present, it takes Judy Molloy (Gina McKee), International Development's Director of Communications, to let Foster know his words will come back to bite him but Tucker steps in frequently throughout the film to tell off Foster and Toby and keep them as best in line as he can.

In the meantime, Foster's words have caused U.S. Lt. Gen. Miller (James Gandolfini) and Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomacy Karen Clark (Mimi Kennedy) to actively question the possibility of invading Iraq, while Karen's nemesis, Assistant Secretary of State for Policy Linton Barwick (played with an unnervingly calm attitude by David Rasche) carries out a secret war committee away from the eyes and ears of other government officials.

The things that go wrong in Foster, Toby and Tucker's visit towards the US capital bring a hilarity in a fish out of water story as nobody in the US government treats them at all important, in the meantime the UK trying to act more important than they feel, the visit based largely on director/writer Armando Iannucci's visit to Hollywood.

I still have not been watching The Thick of It, the TV series that In the Loop spins-off (also featuring Malcolm Tucker), but this movie has made me interested. The script, like most British humor, relies immensely on a comedy of situations and a subtle wit.

But easily the single greatest part of the movie, and the reason I was begged to show the girl this movie, is Capaldi's as Tucker. He owns the movie with his fierce, venomous attacks on practically every character he comes across. Nobody gets respect from him at all, he's contemptuous and in need to fix up every little screw-up on the part of both the UK and the US. Almost every insult he brings out is memorable and every lash is something nobody wants to be on the receiving end of. Tucker's face-off with Miller at the UN is one of the most malicious moments in recent cinema, the two going at each other verbally with a determination to make the other feel adequately inferior.

The rest of the movie may be cool and all but the reason I've been meaning to watch The Thick of It is only to see more of Tucker. Because he's really something my words can't describe.

There is certainly the chance that one might be bored of the film with its primarily political satire, but if you can keep your attention long enough during the film, it's very rewarding. All said and done, I give it a 8.5/10.

Now to take another several months til I actually watch The Thick of It. Dammit, man.

BONUS: Found these fun little images for said girl's enjoyment. She's a Doctor Who fanatic. I can sort of live without it now.

MOVIE REVIEW: Taken (Morel, 2008)

In 2008, the French film Taken, produced by France's international action movie great Luc Besson, was released. My best friend and I were dragged by my mother, who was showing my sister Coraline, to the theater. At the time, neither my friend nor I was in any mood to see it, so we opted for Taken instead. We liked it a lot, we thought it was exciting, non-stop, pulse accelerating action, but neither of us saw it as the phenomenon it would've become.

Now, we're in 2012. To my surprise, yet appreciation since I thought it was worthy of it, Taken is set alongside the Bourne trilogy as a modern action classic. Liam Neeson has entered a new phase in his career where he is the default aged and worn action hero, taking up starring roles in The A-Team, The Grey and Unknown.

 The story follows Bryan Mills, a former CIA operative who had retired from missions sometime prior to the beginning of the film. He struggles to retain a relationship with his daughter but ex-wife Lenore (Famke Jannsen) is apprehensive towards him at any attempt. When the daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), requests a chance to go to Paris with her friend (which only turns out to be half the story), Bryan has to be coaxed into letting his daughter travel. Less than an afternoon after the two girls arrive, however, they are kidnapped and Bryan takes charge into rescuing them.

From this point on, it's a mix between espionage thriller and brawling movie action with the occasional vehicular or building damage. Few words are exchanged that are not for the sake of building tension to the next bit of harm Mills invokes on the lives of everybody involved with his daughter's kidnapping.

In terms of Mills' character arc, it's not there though. The violence and intelligence he displays is not an outright surprise, due to an earlier scene in America where he bodyguards for a pop star. We know he cares about  his daughter from his attempting to feed her dream as a singer, buying her a cheap but thoughtful karaoke machine for her birthday and then asking the afore-mentioned pop star for any help in how she can reach that goal. He's also pretty uncomfortable with anything that is not 100 percent safe, like his daughter's trip, at points trying to negotiate with her for his unseen chaperoning. But, by the end of the movie, he does not change as a character, largely because he was right the whole time. He's still exactly who he is in the beginning.

The movie's story also does not help from portraying both women in Bryan's life as incredibly flawed. Kim is really superficial and Lenore is antagonistic for all the wrong reasons. It's hard for me to see Bryan spending his life trying to reconnect with them, but then again, maybe I'm not a father or a husband.

Now, since the story is laid to bed, the action is not spectacular or technical enough for the movie to ride on along with Neeson's scary in-your-face manner on the screen, but it does reel the audience in along with the nonstop tone that partners up with every fistfight or shootout Mills engages in. So, despite its apparent flaws I can't say I did not enjoy Taken, because I certainly did. I'd be glad to watch it whenever I'm bored. It does that to me.

And one cannot deny it brings up an important question on safety, on the underground sex trade and the circumstances behind it (kidnapping, bribery and the like) and on street-level crime that always evades the eye of bureaucracy. Doesn't delve too deeply into the matter without going into the melodramatic or mafia-esque portrayals, but it's enough to bring the issues into the public eye like few other movies could.

All said and done, I give it a 7.5/10. Styled movie that, once you can endure the moments until the kidnapping that bring Mills into action, keep you from switching it off until he gets his daughter back.

Yea, I'm gonna see the sequel when it comes out.

SHORT CARTOON REVIEW - The Cat Concerto (Hanna/Barbera, 1946)

Figuring I don't want to bite off more than I can chew with my first review, so I will start small, but not entirely small-scaled. The subject of this review is the Tom & Jerry classic, The Cat Concerto. It's entirely dialogue free, like most of the Tom & Jerry cartoons, have been. But soundtracking still plays an incredibly important part, in case the title of the piece didn't give it away. And the short cartoon uses it well, but first a look at the short's other factors.

The plot itself is pleasantly simple enough for us to follow without thinking too hard about it, allowing us to just empty our minds with the laughs involved. Tom's the pianist of an apparently major concerto and Jerry's been living in the piano. Annoyed with Tom's work on his home, he intends to get back. It's just that. It's a departure from the cat and mouse chase they had working for them, but it's the same theme of their animosity and a refreshing template for them to base it off of. From the beginning, they subtly let you know this is a comedy, from Tom's brief wardrobe malfunction.

Then begins the fun. While points of the animation do not sync as well with the music as several other points do, the music provides a very nice rhythm for the physical show the two do so well, having them bounce along to the sound. It also provides energy and intensity to what's going on. It doesn't forget the squeaky cartoon noises of things like scissors, slamming the keys' cover and the suit falling down. They just all give the spotlight to the great music, every once in a while showing up to do their job.

This time, the advantageous mouse hole is the inner workings of the piano. Some classic gags exist., like the entire pancaking of body parts, but for the most part it revolves around the usage of the keys or the inner hammers on the strings of the pianos, usually bouncing Jerry up and around.

Eventually Jerry takes the upper hand and completely tires Tom out to the point of Tom's suit falling apart. A usual victory for the little mouse concludes the short, as he takes Tom's bow for him.

Based on the style, animation, shot choice and use of sound, I give this an 8/10. It's enjoyable every now and again to remember the fundamentals of silent comedy, but it's not totally innovative save for its use of music as humor.

But don't just take my word for it. Watch the damn thing. Now.