This past weekend I watched several movies for their soundtrack. I picked movies that I thought or were supposed to have a fantastic soundtrack.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
I have watched this movie many times so this time I focused about 80% of my attention to the music. Doing so really changed my viewing. Some people have thought the extended version adds scenes that slow down the movie and are pointless. One extra scene is when Angel Eyes walks into the Confederate fort. First I like the scene because it actually explains why Angel Eyes is at the POW camp and enlisted with the North. Without this scene he just magically and conveniently happens to be there when Tuco and Blondie show up for no reason. Secondly this scene has an excellent brass score making it worthy of viewing just for the music.
The other change I found is that some of the overly long scenes are now too short. When Tuco finds the cemetery and runs around and around, if you are just looking to move the plot forward it seems to go on forever. However, with Ecstasy of Gold playing (my favorite music of the movie) he finds Arch Stanton's grave too quick. The same is true of The Trio. Tuco, Blondie, and Angel Eyes seem to take forever before someone draws but when I was focused on the music it was like "Ah man. Why did you have to shoot so soon?"
Once Upon a Time in the West
I had watched this once before on blu and many had said it had the best soundtrack. I personally didn't remember it very well so I was hoping for another if not better TGTBTU. Unfortunately I was let down. It wasn't that the music wasn't good, it was there were really only 4 themes and while the music was used to excellent effect, it was very rarely used. It is amazing how much of this movie has no sound. Even when you count the exaggerated natural sounds as a soundtrack, which Ennio Marricone did on purpose, it was pretty light. This movie is great but I still consider TGTBTU a superior film in all aspects.
I consider this movie to have the best soundtrack of recent movies. Daft Punk provides excellent music that just goes perfectly with each scene it is playing. This movie just speaks to me and it is almost the perfect movie. I loved Tron when it came out and I think it still holds up beautifully. I also became a father during the time between the two movies so I empathize with both Sam Flynn trying to save his dad and Kevin Flynn willing to sacrifice everything to protect his son. When a movie speaks to a person there is no point in debating the merits and quality; it either does or it doesn't. However I would be willing to debate / discuss that this movie has the best soundtrack of any modern day movie. There are other modern day movies with great soundtracks but this one steps up another level.