1. Alexander Desplat’s score for THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON. I saw this with my family on Christmas day. Big budget high production, with all the resources to make an epic soundtrack.
2. Thomas Newman’s WALLE. As a father of two little monkeys, FINDING NEMO is always on the TV is our apartment, and I recognized some of the same styles and motifs going on. I loved the allusions to Star Wars throughout. Kudos to Peter Gabriel for the closing credits song (the use of the electric organ with a bit of distortion was perfect!)
3. Hanz Zimmer and James Newton Howard’s score for THE DARK KNIGHT coupled with Heath Ledger’s performance made this movie one of the best of the year for me. Sometimes jarring, the music fit the movie well.
4. After living for a year and then recently touring Japan again, I absolutely love the asian drums and instruments in KUNG FU PANDA. Hanz Zimmer and John Powell got it goin on. I loved Jack Black’s interjections into “Kung Fu Fighting” sung by Cee-lo Green. As a flute player that song is dear to my heart, along with “Car Wash”
5. As a sax player, I love the funky sounds of John Powell’s score for HANCOCK. Plus my wife thinks Will Smith is hot so we can watch it as much as possible.