You can tell a lot by the opening credits…
Sometimes all it takes to suck me into a movie (or show) is a great opening title sequence. True, I adore movies where they don’t even show you the title or credits (or just a title) in the beginning but other times I love a well done opening sequence. I was thinking about that this morning and decided to post up some of my favorites ones from geeky things. Some are chosen based on music, others on the visual sequence and some for both. For today’s post I’ll stick with 5 in no particular order.
1. Star Trek: First Contact
Seriously, I never fail to feel like hope is filling me when I hear this opening theme. It’s not just the familiar strains of “Star Trek” in the beginning that call to me but if you listen to the music it seems to grow from tentative and almost darker and then swells to a heartbreakingly sad moment with the strings. As you feel the sadness and desire for hope tugging at you, just when you feel it might be too much the music crescendos again into the hopeful theme that makes you think that all will be okay. That all you hope for and strive for will happen. Yeah. That’s what I think of when I hear that theme.
Though I admit that the narration with the “rules” had me giggling I was still unsure about this movie (I’m terrified of zombies) until the opening sounds of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” took over. These opening credits are definitely one of my favorites with everything happening in such slow motion that you can see every drop of blood as it sprays. The crazy situations that folks are caught in as they get attacked by zombies, right down to the dude being chased by stripper zombies and the guy with the machine gun are hilarious. Who doesn’t love this sequence?
3. The Stand
Though I often think of needing more cowbell when I hear “Don’t Fear the Reaper” I have to admit that many times I think of dead people instead. This miniseries had a habit of putting upbeat sounding songs to the most horrible images. It’s brilliantly done, however, and this opening sequence will certainly stay with you. Of course, the song is perfect for showcasing the death of the folks at ground zero of “Captain Tripps”. Keep in mind that you may never look at cafeteria lunch the same way again.
Probably my favorite opening titles by Danny Elfman. You can hear this manic tone in almost all of his compositions but this particular one is my favorite. It also helps that It’s great driving music, particularly on a commute home after work.
5. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
There was always something about this sequence that got to me. It was the first Terminator movie I saw and that might have something to do with it. In any case I’ve grown up loving that opening theme with the raw, machine-like percussion and the strings, reaching for hope (it’s actually called the “Hope for the Future” theme…that pretty melody that’s in the theme). Now add to that a playground that’s been turned into an inferno and a Terminator skull slowly appearing out of the flames to grin at you. How could that not be awesome?
There are many more themes I love but I’ll save those for a later date. Any thoughts on the ones I did choose? Any that you think I should consider for the next post?