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9 Songs Better Than The Movies They Appeared In

Zach Davison

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Flash by Queen image
EMI

Imagine Batman and Robin being in the same sentence as Citizen Kane… Of course, there are times when we all collectively decide that this film or song is objectively bad. It’s oddly unifying, but for the most part, it’s just a matter of opinion. Sometimes the songs from movies are better than the films themselves.

When the world of film meets the world of music, the two can help produce an all-time classic. 

A terrible soundtrack can’t necessarily save a terrible film, but a great soundtrack can bolster a good film into greatness. Oftentimes we’re met with a fantastic soundtrack that outweighs the film and our senses are put into conflict. 

Great song, forgettable movie, here are 9 songs far better than the movies they appeared in.

1. Another Way to Die – Jack White and Alicia Keys

From Quantum of Solace (2008)

James Bond films are synonymous with their theme tracks and so many music icons have carried the mantle. And more than one of the songs has been better than their movies. Louis Armstrong, Paul McCartney, Tina Turner, and a woefully misjudged A-Ha, have all taken up the reins for the esteemed Bond song.

The second film in the most recent Daniel Craig reboot of the much-loved franchise took the disparate duo of Jack White and Alicia Keys. And managed to flounder whatever goodwill they’d set up.

“Another Way to Die” had a mixed critical reception and some believed it didn’t feel like a Bond song, but that’s exactly the point! It wasn’t just another tedious, ouch-my-ears-are-bleeding Bond song. 

Unfortunately, it was tacked on to a less than stellar Bond film, which indeed was just another Bond film. Hmm, I think I can see the correlation here…

2. Flash – Queen

From Flash Gordon (1980)

Flash Gordon falls into the territory of it’s so bad that it’s good. Yet asides from the terrible acting, the main thing we all took away from the film was the theme song. Flash! Ah-ah! Saviour of the universe.

Cheesy dialogue, laughable costume design and a typical good triumphs over evil plot, Flash Gordon is so ’80s that it hurts! That doesn’t mean that the film is unwatchable by any means, but it’s certainly good for all the wrong reasons.

With stadium-rock legends Queen at the helm of the soundtrack, the film had to do a lot to fail. It’s doubtful that Flash Gordon could’ve ever matched the star quality of Queen. Though nobody could have foreseen just how much of a commercial and critical flop Flash Gordon would be.

On paper, Queen was a perfect fit for the film, and indeed they were – when you think garish sci-fi opera, who else but Queen? Sadly, they couldn’t save the film, unlike Flash who, as we all know, saved every one of us so this ends up on our list of songs better than their movies.

3. Heart of Glass – Blondie

From Anger Management (2003)

When you use Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” to open your film you better damn well hope that it lives up to such a classic song – spoiler: it didn’t!

Obviously it would be difficult to match the success of an iconic 1979 number one single, “Heart of Glass”. But Anger Management was yet another throwaway Adam Sandler film. Oh, and they dragged Jack Nicholson into it too.

Granted Adam Sandler films have a love or hate quality to them, but the lukewarm reception to Anger Management speaks for itself. The film had its moments – it certainly wasn’t quite Jack and Jill, though comparatively, “Heart of Glass” is a ’70s gem that weirdly sounds like an ’80s gem.

4. Korn – Did My Time

From Lara Croft: Tomb Raider The Cradle of Life (2003)

Another one from back in 2003 when nu-metal was still a thing, Korn’s “Did My Time” was something of a positive to come out of the Razzie winning Tomb Raider film, The Cradle of Life.

Okay, so “Did My Time” is a little of its time, but it did earn them a Grammy nomination, whereas The Cradle of Life won awards but not ones to pop champagne to. 

Funnily enough, punching sharks underwater and fending off shadow monster trees don’t make for a great film. Hence the aforementioned Razzie and Golden Schmoes award for worst movie of the year.

The Cradle of Life was yet another showcase of video games rarely translating well to the silver screen. “Did My Time” was a notable success for Korn, so at least there’s that.

5. In the City – Joe Walsh of The Eagles

From The Warriors (1979)

The Warriors is a cult classic, and for the record, I really like the film, but the sensible part of my brain knows that it’s more than a tad silly. 

But, it did give us a favourite of classic-rock radio stations, “In the City” by ex-Eagles guitarist, Joe Walsh.

The entire film centres on a gang-member (Luther) killing a gang-leader (Cyrus) who was trying to broker peace between all the gangs of New York City. Yet in the chaos the matching sleeveless leather jacket wearing, the Warriors are blamed. 

The Warriors have to make their way back to Coney Island with all the also matching uniform wearing gangs on their tale – it’s riveting stuff. 

Luther’s justification for such a central plot point: he just likes doing stuff like that. If you were looking for deep forays into character psychology then you are in the wrong place.

“In the City” was later re-recorded by the Eagles for the album The Long Run, but the song was never released as a single.

6. No Shelter – Rage Against the Machine

From Godzilla (1998)

If you ever wanted proof that a good soundtrack cannot save a terrible film, then look no further. And no, the P Diddy and Jimmy Page collaboration is not included in that. Godzilla (the Matthew Broderick one) hosted more than a few reputed musicians. Who no doubt vehemently kicked themselves after watching the film. Foo Fighters, Green Day and Rage Against the Machine? Where did they go wrong?

“No Shelter” marked a strange contribution to the film’s soundtrack. Considering that the song was an attack on the world of Hollywood and films. Stranger still, “No Shelter” seemingly attacked the very film it featured in with the line, “Godzilla, pure motherf**king filler, to keep ya eyes of the real killer”. Either the irony was lost on them or this is pure genius I’m not sure. Nevertheless, the song was certainly something to take away from an otherwise abysmal film.

Godzilla was a resounding commercial failure and any pipe dreams of a sequel were quickly abandoned. Maybe Rage Against the Machine were happy about this? Again, I’m not sure, all this irony is overwhelming.

7. Wild Wild West – Will Smith

From Wild Wild West (1999)

Though it would be difficult to produce anything quite as terrible as the film Wild Wild West. Will Smith’s song of the same the name just oozes light-hearted ’90s fun. It’s slightly cringe-worthy granted, but maybe after a few drinks, it’s enough to get to you on your feet. Not convinced? Maybe it’s a generational thing…give me that at least.

“Wild Wild West” hearkens back to a time that Will Smith would rather forget with him being a serious actor now, but we remember the real Will Smith. Silly yet fun music, Fresh Prince, and some less than great films, Smith has certainly come a long way since then.

For the ’90s kids, “Wild Wild West” still pops, though as one of those songs better than their movies. For everyone and their dogs, the film was a car crash. Will Smith is genuinely embarrassed by the film, what’s more to say? Erm… more than a few Razzie awards… ouch!

8. Living in America – James Brown

From Rocky IV (1985)

Although grossly patriotic, James Brown’s “Living in America” is a feel-good song of the highest degree. Though sensationalist and a little gaudy. I’m not even from the US and yet somehow I feel like donning a star-spangled jumpsuit when I hear this classic hit. And what could be a better fit for a dire film that has a less than inconspicuous subtext of ‘America is the greatest!’?

If you like half-baked political discourse. Or borderline Russiaphobia and endless montages then Rocky IV might just be for you. Clearly Stallone had the mounting tensions between Russia and the US in mind when he penned the screenplay for Rocky IV in 1985. But it came across has somewhat tone-deaf. The infamous line, “I can change, and you can change, everybody can change…” as he looks over a mostly Russian crowd is vomit-inducing. Somehow I don’t think a film about boxing is enough to ease years of political strife. Perhaps don’t use “Living in America” in your film if you’re trying to broker good relations between these two countries? Maybe I’m reading into this too much.

Of course, the Rocky franchise was and is extremely successful having grossed over one-billion pounds. Despite peaking at number five “Living in America” was James Brown’s biggest single in the UK. You can always trust us self-loathing Brits to celebrate a song about living somewhere else, “Living in the UK” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. In the US “Living in America” did one better and peaked at number four.

9. Sweet Emotion – Aerosmith

From Dazed and Confused (1993)

Put your pitchforks down, step back and re-watch Dazed and Confused… Is it really that great? Is it maybe just nostalgia that’s making you believe that it’s great? We get it! The ’70s is over…man.

Dazed and Confused had a monumental soundtrack with Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, and Bob Dylan all making a musical appearance. But, the opening “Sweet Emotion” was a particular high of songs better than their movies. And yes, high is italicised because unless you grew up in the ’70s. Or are/were incredibly high when watching Dazed and Confused the film had very little to offer. There’s a certain boyish charm to the film, but it really hasn’t aged well at all. Case in point: Matthew McConaughey’s character, Wooderson…ugh!

Upon its release, Dazed and Confused garnered moderate commercial success though it since went on to be a household teen movie. The opposite was true for “Sweet Emotion” which was the first of a string of hits for Aerosmith before they go a bit…you know, ballady…

Teen movies always come off as somewhat cheesy especially after a re-watching them as an adult, but nostalgia is a helluva drug. The soundtrack was undeniable, but the film is a little tired… and hungry!

Hey-ho, when all is said and done, as I mentioned, art is subjective. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It’s true that a good song can help nudge a film into something brilliant, but what that song is still down to opinion.


And that’s our list of 9 songs better than the movies they appeared in. Are we wrong? Are there any we missed out that you would like to have seen on the list? If so, leave us a comment below.


More from our music pages HERE.

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    Elvera Rail

    December 8, 2020 at 8:12 am

    great post

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Movie News

The Good, The Bad And The Classic

Sarah Casserley

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Star From Disney Plus

Disney Plus Star image
Disney Plus

Disney Plus introduced Star to the service a little while ago now with loads of highlights. We’re sure, like us, you’ve had a good old delve into the catalogue and watched some of your faves. But, just in case you’ve missed anything, we have put together a little guide on what’s good to get stuck into. Also what’s bad and could do with being swiped past, and the classic must-see TV series and films that you probably didn’t even realise were there.

So, when you find yourself looking for something to watch on a Friday evening or binge for a couple of weeks, don’t scroll endlessly, just take a look at our guide of Disney Plus Star recommendations.


The Good

These are the films and series that have been released within the last 10 years, which you need to watch or should at least be on your ‘to watch’ list.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Atlanta (2016 – Present)

If you haven’t watched this series yet, why not? The creative and talented Donald Glover heads up the show as the main character ‘Earn’, and on the writing credits too (among 6 others, including his brother Stephen Glover), in this funny, gritty and realistic series which follows a rapper ‘Paper Boy’ and his manager Earn (Glover) as they navigate the rap business. If you have watched the show before, you may want to re-watch for a recap as season 3 has been promised to us very soon.

9-1-1 (2018 – Present)

This isn’t just any emergency service drama, this series covers the lives of several Los Angeles first responders: police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers. It also has some big names involved, including Angela Bassett and, later in the series, Jennifer Love Hewitt. For some reason though, there’s only two of the four seasons of 9-1-1 on Disney Plus Star so far, but it’s well worth a watch and we’re sure the other two seasons should be along soon.

Doll Face (2019 – Present)

By the title alone, and the fact that it’s a weekly release, it initially looked like this series was set around a stereotypical break up and was destined for the bad list. However, the witty script, amazing female actors and relatable storyline made me put this series firmly within the good pile as I can’t wait to watch more. Kat Dennings takes the lead in the series and really brings to life upcoming writer Jordan Weiss’ story of female friendships after a breakup.

Films on Disney Plus Star

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

This beautiful coming of age story, based on a book with the same name, is a great watch for all ages, not just teens. Be ready for oodles of romance, as well as teary and heart-warming moments, as you follow two teens affected by cancer as they set off on a journey of discovery.

The Favourite (2018)

We love a period drama, and this quirky look at the reign of Queen Anne is no exception. With starring roles from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult, it’s no wonder The Favourite had 336 nominations in award season and 182 wins. It’s definitely one of the best films from the last 5 years on Disney Plus Star.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

There are some examples coming up in these lists that give sequels a bad name, however, Deadpool 2 isn’t one of them. If you were putting off watching this one because of the sequel curse, don’t, it’s just as good – if not better – than the first. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as the foul-mouthed superhero and, this time, he brings some new friends: Domino (Zazie Beetz), Fire Fist (Julian Dennison) and Weasel (T.J. Miller) among others.


The Bad

There’s not as many on this ‘bad’ list as Star has done a pretty good job with their chosen titles. However, like any service, there are always a few bad eggs in our opinion… This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch these, it’s more of a warning that there may be better things to press play on.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Lost (2004 – 2010)

To be completely honest here, the first two seasons of Lost are very entertaining and interesting to watch, as you follow several people who try to survive a plane crash and have to adapt to life on a strange island. But, by the middle of season three, things start to get a little confusing and we found ourselves getting lost (pun intended) in the plot until the final sixth season, only to be hit with a heavily reported disappointing end… even worse than some people’s feelings about Game Of Thrones. So, we recommendation delving into some of the other series rather than this one.

24: Legacy (2017)

Trying to build another series from an established series can be very hit or miss – and this one was a huge miss. So much so that Fox axed it just after one series.

It takes on the same format as the original 24 series, where one season is just one day, however, this time they are trying to stop a terrorist attack. The format just doesn’t work with this storyline and you lose a lot of momentum and excitement, plus the acting just isn’t the best.

Films on Disney Plus Star

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Just like building another series off a series, sequels can also be tricky beasts… some are good, some are bad and, when it follows an absolute classic like ‘Independence Day’, it needs to be amazing. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite live up to the legacy of the first film; I mean, not even ‘Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth couldn’t get this to match up with the original. But it is still entertaining, so if you do decide to watch this one, just do so with caution.


The Classic

As you have probably already noticed there are some absolute classics on Disney Plus Star, so this is going to be the longest list, full of series that you can binge from start to finish and films that stand the test of time and can be re-watched repeatedly. Most of these titles don’t need much explanation as you’ll have already watched or heard about them, but you might not have spotted them yet on Disney Plus Star as some were buried deep in the archives.

Series on Disney Plus Star

X Files (1993 – 2001)

If you were born in the 90s or 00s, this one may have gone under your radar; however, once you watch the first season full of aliens, wired going ons and the brilliantly disjointed relationship of FBI agents, conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and realist Dana Scully, you won’t want to stop watching. Granted some of the special effects are a little dated and unbelievable, but you will soon forget about that as you get sucked into the narrative.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2002)

I know, I know, it’s hard to think there are people out there that haven’t watched a single vampire slaying, kick-ass, sci-fi loaded episode… but there is. If you are one of those people, what are you waiting for? Every single episode is here wating for you to binge. If you don’t fancy delving into the full thing, I would recommend at least taking a peek at the seventh episode of the sixth series (Once More, with Feeling: Buffy the Musical).

24 (2001 – 2014)

Before Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) burst on our screens in 2001, this kind of format for a series had never been attempted before and it just worked, so much so it ran for 9 seasons. It may seem odd at first, as each series is just one day, but you really do get sucked in.

Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – 2018)

Within its almost 13 years of being on air, this series has offered every heart-warming and breath-holding moment you need from a hospital-based drama. This would be a perfect series to start if you want something that will last you a while.

Sons of Anarchy (2008 – 2014)

Bikes, leather and action: what’s not to like? This series ran for a glorious 7 seasons, and within these episodes, there is storyline upon storyline that will keep you hooked and wanting to know more about the motorcycle club that straddles the line between legal and illegal.

Films on Disney Plus Star

(We’re pretty sure you will have watched most of these films, but they are well worth a re-watch)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

The film that started them all. Since the release of this film in 1968, there have been seven more sequels and remakes of the original sci-fi movie, two of which you can also watch on Disney Plus Star: Planet Of the Apes (2001) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

Jewel of the Nile (1985)

It could possibly be that the countless TV showings over the have passed you by, but if you’ve not seen Jewel of the Nile, you should definitely give it a go. Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito are fantastic in this pure 80s romantic action comedy.

Cocktail (1988)

Sticking within the 80s romantic comedy realm, you’ve also got Cocktail, which is full of love ultimatums, with a dash of cheese. Come on, you know you want to watch a young Tom Cruise at work.

The Fly (1986)

One name – Jeff Goldblum. Watch it.

Pretty Woman (1990)

We were just as excited as the first time we watched it when we saw this classic on the service. To not watch this again would be a big mistake. HUGE.

Toys (1992)

This wonderfully wacky story by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson comes alive with the help of one of the best comedic actors of all time, Robin Williams, alongside the wonderful Joan Cusack and, bizarrely, LL Cool J.

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)

Whether you love Tina Turner’s music or not, it does not matter. This is one of the most interesting and inspirational biographical movies that you will ever watch. Word of warning, the incredible Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne are so great at their roles that some of the more sensitive scenes are very realistic.

Braveheart (1995)

With any new service, there are glitches, and we found one! Whilst watching this absolute classic a few weeks ago, about two and a half hours into the film the screen when to the small screen format as if the credits had come up, making it difficult to watch the last part of the film. However, when we went to finish the film off a week later the glitch had been fixed and you can now watch the whole film without interruption… FREEDOM!

William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

We all know that when it comes to film, Baz Luhrmann is a genius and he doesn’t disappoint with this abstract take on the story. It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone.

Independence Day (1996)

90s Will Smith doing what he did best: lots of running, fighting and shouting – need I say more? Oh yes, you can also watch another one of his masterpieces, Enemy of the State (1998) on this service too.

Con Air (1997)

‘Put the bunny back in the box’ and sit down and watch this classic… we all know Nicholas Cage films can be a little unpredictable, but this film is definitely a hit, especially as he is joined by other legends of the screen, including John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack and Ving Rhames.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Well if it’s at our fingertips, why not watch this film for the 56th time… this year.


So, there you have it, these are some of our highlights and must-miss titles from Disney Plus Star. Are there any that we missed? If so, comment below and let us know what category they belong in.


Check out the top 10 hidden gems in the other Disney Plus feeds HERE.

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