In no particular order:
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King –
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – John Williams – from “Sail Barge Assault” (5:25 to End on ’97 Special Ed. Release): Jabba the Hutt is toast, Han’s been rescued, the droids have been sucked out of the sand, and everyone’s ready to get the hell outta this godforsaken sand pit. Cue what is, for me, one of the most awesomely balls-out moments in the entire saga. It climaxes with a triumphant shot of the Millennium Falcon and Luke’s X-Wing breaking orbit and sailing off into the cosmos accompanied by an absolutely boner-inducing brass fanfare. Goddammit I love this part!!!
The Iron Giant – Michael Kamen – from “The Last Giant Piece” (Final :30 on OST): OK, so…the whole cue’s just over a minute anyway. But the last half is just so stupendously glorious! The film has just cut to the
Signs – James Newton Howard – from “The Hand of Fate, Pt I” (Final :50 of Track, OST): I firmly believe that this score, overall, is about as close to perfect as one could ever hope to achieve. The film climaxes with this scene and it all comes together with this particular moment. Gibson gets the boy outside, and
Stargate – David Arnold – from “The Other Side” (appx. Final :30 of Track, Special Ed.): I still say Stargate is
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – Jerry Goldsmith – from “A Busy Man” (3:32 – 3:52, OST): OK, so I’m sure you’re thinking, “Of all the damned Trek films…you pick this one?! REALLY?!?!” Yes, really! There’s this great little moment towards the end of the cue/scene, you have all this heavenly music swirling, Kirk and Co. are on the planet trying to find “God”, everyone on the Enterprise is awestruck (save the ever-vigilant Scotty, who’s trying his damnedest to get shit fixed). Then you cut to a monitoring screen, to which nobody notices that the scanners have picked up a Bird of Prey on an intercept course and cloaking. And behind it, perfectly matched to the rest of the underscore, Jerry’s “Klingon Theme” has the most subtle and wonderful entrance. It’s a rather inspired moment in what is otherwise a giant, coughed-up, hairball of sci-fi.
Braveheart – James Horner – from “Bannockburn” (6:05 – 6:21, OST) – Wallace is dead, the Scottish army is on the field at Bannockburn to accept an English truce…then, they basically just say, “Fuck this shit!” Hamish (Brendan Gleeson) throws down the proverbial gauntlet (by way of chucking Wallace’s sword into the battlefield), and then there’s this tremendous orchestral swell climaxing in one of the most well-placed cymbal crashes ever as Robert the Bruce draws his sword. And there’s that look! He has that awesome look on his face that just says, “I’m gonna stick this thing so far up your ass, your brain will feel the tip!!!” It’s spectacular!
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within – Elliot Goldenthal – from “Adagio and Transfiguration (2:33 – 3:33, OST): I love this score. How can anyone not love this score. The fact that Goldenthal doesn’t have an Oscar for this score is a crime worthy of the Nuremburg trials. You might have noticed a pattern that my favorite bits tend to be from sections that really grab you by the nuts and squeeze…and this is no exception. The final moments of the cue as Alec Baldwin’s “spirit” is carried off into the…wherever…and all is made right with the world are accompanied by this window rattling orchestral swell. And it’s marvelous. And then, we cut to the “spirit” thingy shooting off into the cosmos with this perfect, somber solo trumpet that hits every note perfectly (no pun intended).
Star Trek: First Contact – Jerry Goldsmith – from “First Contact” (3:01 – 3:37, OST): What kind of half-assed, no account Star Wars fan am I that I only have one SW cue on here but two from Star Trek. Eh…whatever. This one actually breaks down into two separate moments for me. The first being that grand statement of the Main Theme as Cochrane let’s go of Lily’s hand so he can go greet their new guests. It’s quite awe inspiring and wondermous. It’s followed shortly thereafter by that amazing climax up to the cymbal crash as the alien throws off his hood, then low and behold…VULCANS!!! FUCKING AWESOME BABY!!! Two teary-eyed, inspirational moments within a minute of each other on the same cue!
Raiders of the Lost
Con Air – Mark Mancina/Trevor Rabin – from “
The Prince of
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