Best of 2016: Movie Music Moments

To start Sinekdoks’ Best of 2016 series, let’s start with Best Movie Music Moments – a new category I picked for this year. The reason is simple: I am a music fan like everyone else and, usually, my yearly Best Scene lists contained one or two music moments, hence this category.

This is a list dedicated to some minutes in movies whose groove gets us into sing along and/or dance along. To the beats, to the lyrics, to the voice, and to the harmony, I root my 10 best music moments in the 2016 movies. Some moments might lead to spoiler. Read at your own risk and do not forget to comment after reading.

10. “No Dames” – Hail, Caesar! (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
"No Dames" - Hail, Caesar! (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
Channing Tatum et al at “No Dames” – Hail, Caesar! (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)

You wouldn’t see the plot twist coming in the end, once you watched this 5- minute hilarious musical scene. Channing Tatum is Burt Gurney, a Gene Kelly-esque icon, who brings out souls and joy to this sailor dance in a bar. The choreography is top-notch—from tap dance to contemporary ballet; but it is Tatum’s sassy performance that wins. With those sexy guys he leads, 8 months with “No Dames” isn’t really a big thing, right?
Read the review of Hail, Caesar! here!

09. “An Innocent Warrior” – Moana (Ron Clements, John Musker)
"An Innocent Warrior" - Moana (Ron Clements, John Musker)
“An Innocent Warrior” – Moana (Ron Clements, John Musker)

There’s no way making a musical moment list without a Disney princess’ entry; hence, Moana here. While there’s a series of fabulous tracks in the film (call it ‘How Far You’ll Go or ‘You’re Welcome’), I cannot set my eyes and ears away from this moment. Little Moana is walking to the shore finding that it’s calling her; at the same moment, ‘An Innocent Warrior’ rolls. Sung in Tuvalu by native Vai Mahina, we certainly have no idea of the lyrics, but there’s a sense that it’s the ocean talks to Moana in its barest, most natural way. It’s emotional and it’s cultural at the same time!
Read the review of Moana here!

08. “Bare Necessities” – The Jungle Book (Jon Favreau)
"Bare Necessities" - The Jungle Book (Jon Favreau)
Neel Sethi and CGI Bill Murray at “Bare Necessities” – The Jungle Book (Jon Favreau)

The Jungle Book bring out many respectful homages to the 1967 Disney animation. The best of it all is the reenactment of ‘Bare Necessities’ by Baloo (Bill Muray in CGI) and Mowgli (Neel Sethi). This scene takes only one of the most iconic moment in the animation when Mowgli mounts on Baloo’s floating body as they sing this swing-laden song. The CGI-rendering is astonishing and it makes great visuals out of it.
Read the review of The Jungle Book here!

07. “Sabotage” – Star Trek Beyond (Justin Lin)
00-star-trek-beyond
“Sabotage” – Star Trek Beyond (Justin Lin)

Okay, this one is probably cheating ’cause no one is actually singing on screen. But, have you ever seen a song as a weapon? or a song crushes myriads of Krall’s swarm ships? Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and colleagues do it by ‘making some noise’ with Beastie Boys’ cult hit “Sabotage.” The song itself causes those swarm ships crushed into pieces, leaving only surviving three. That’s a sabotage.
Read the review of Star Trek Beyond here!

06. “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” – Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier)
"Nazi Punks Fuck Off" - Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier)
Alia Shawkat & Anton Yelchin sing “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” – Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier)

Coming to neo-Nazi skinheads’ lair, Anton Yelchin-powered punk band, Ain’t Rights, decide to cover Dead Kennedys’ controversial ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off!’ The band seems hesitated but ends up enjoying the whole song, regardless angered crowds start to challenge them. This song is kind of suicide song later that we know what kind of neo-Nazi skinheads they’re performing with. Turns out this is all a treat for the audiences as Ain’t Rights rocks them with original songs. Given, Jeremy Saulnier’s reputation, it’s not to exaggerating to start worry when this bunch of clueless numbnuts start teasing their eventual ‘antagonist.’
Read the review of Green Room here!

05. “Ricky Baker’s Birthday Song” – Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi)
"Ricky Baker's Birthday Song" - Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Rima te Wiata, Sam Neill, Julian Dennison – “Ricky Baker’s Birthday Song” – Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Moving from foster houses to another, rebel Ricky Baker (Dennison) finally stumbles upon a couple of weird foster parents—“Aunt” Bella (Te Wiata) and “Uncle” Hec (Sam Neill). Cranky Hec is distant, but Bella is caring in her own way; and rebellious Ricky keeps trying to escape. During Ricky’s birthday, Bella makes him a cake and sings an original song—signifying her acceptance. In the end, Ricky starts singing together with Bella, indicating that he starts opening up and accepting the couple (or at least, Bella) as his new parents. It’s a hilarious but touching story given the heart-breaking follow up.
Read the review of Hunt for the Wilderpeople here!

04. “Rapper’s Delight” – Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater)
"Rapper's Delight" - Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater)
Ryan Guzman, Glen Powell, Blake Jenner, J. Quinton Johnson, and Temple Baker are singing “Rapper’s Delight” – Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater)

It’s the last weekend before the year officially begins and freshmen starts moving in. The baseball team seniors welcome the freshmen with some rides to the university town… and there it is. The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” is playing on the car and the guys cannot help but sing along. They just blend in into a song ignoring their age differences and they’re just really into each word of the lyrics. This testosterone-laden carpool karaoke is dope!
Read the review of Everybody Wants Some!! here!

03. “Up” – Sing Street (John Carney)
"Up" - Sing Street (John Carney)
Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Mark McKenna in “Up” – Sing Street (John Carney)

It’s 2 A.M. and Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) just cannot help but thinking about Raphina (Lucy Boynton), the girl who encourages him to start a band. Conor comes by Eamon (Mark McKenna)’s house and both starts composing a ballad called ‘Up’ about how Conor thinks about Raphina. Starting off as an acoustic feature, a swift editing then throws the feat into full band as time suddenly shifts into daytime. Catchy tunes and cool lyrics makes “Up” my personal best song in Sing Street.
Read the review of Sing Street here!

02. “The Greatest Love of All” – Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)
"The Greatest Love of All" - Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)
Sandra Hüller sings “The Greatest Love of All” – Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

Toni Erdmann is a difficult film to follow; but this scene is a relief although it might be the strongest scene in this film. You’ll find it hard to understand Windfried a.k.a. Toni Erdmann’s mind in reconnecting with his daughter, Ines. At one point, his fed-up daughter decides to play this ‘Erdmann’ thing over and ends up in a party with his father. In a climactic scene, Toni traps her into singing Whitney Houston’s ‘Greatest Love of All’ as he calls her “Whitney Schnuck!” Reluctant at the beginning, Ines slowly gets herself drown into the song, hitting every note correctly and even improvising, before finishes it off and walks away. But, can you get the signification of the song to the father and daughter’s relationship? Ironically, you can.

Honorable Mention: “Sweet Child O’Mine” – Captain Fantastic (Matt Ross)
Captain Fantastic (2016) - Viggo Mortensen
Captain Fantastic (2016) – Viggo Mortensen | Image via themoviedb.org

To honor the mother’s wish, children of Cash encourage their father to let the mother be cremated and, later, be flushed into a toilet, when she died. During the funeral, which they celebrate with joy and glee, Ben, the father leads the festivity as his daughter, Kielyr, starts singing an acoustic arrangement of Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and the other children accompany with music and dance. It’s a beautiful goodbye and a celebration of life at its finest. Goosebumps!
Read the review of Captain Fantastic!

01. “Another Day of Sun” – La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
"Another Day of Sun" - La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
“Another Day of Sun” – La La Land (Damien Chazelle)

Damien Chazelle’s jingle-jangle in La La Land starts off perfectly — setting the expectation and the tone for the whole film. The traffic is terrible during a sunny winter day in Los Angeles. Passengers in each car listens to different kind of music. But, there’s one moment when an into fades in then a young woman in yellow starts singing. Suddenly, the traffic becomes a celebration of technicolor as people starts acting in a musical ‘Another Day of Sun.’ This scene is well-shot, well-choreographed, and well-presented to orchestrate the first encounter of our prodigal couple. The song is stuck in my head for weeks now and leaves a deep impression. Even, I cannot live any traffic jam without singing now. Rad!
Read the review of La La Land here!


This is the end of Sinekdoks’ Best of 2016: Movie Music Moments. Coming up next:

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