Big Night – OST


Over the years, I’ve noticed details in movie trailers that can tell you if a movie is going to suck or not.  They’re little details that most people never notice, but they happen all the time.

1. The Trailers on TV Suddenly Switch Marketing Tactics: I see this one quite a bit these days.  The first trailers for “Hancock” promoted it as a comedy.  When that didn’t go over too well, they started marketing it as an action film… instead of as the big piece of shit it was.  It means the film isn’t being received well.

2. Reviews: Trailers love touting good reviews, but the key is to see who gave the review.  Most great films will put the name of the publication in big bold print like “Rolling Stone Magazine calls it The Best Film of The Year!”  But if the movie sucks, they put the reviews in big letters and the source in illegible tiny letters underneath…like “This Film is a Triumph!” Jeff Craig – Sixty Second Previews.  This is usually because the reviewer sucks and gets paid to give good reviews to crappy films.

(Also avoid any film reviewed by Jeff Craig who apparently thinks the mere act of projecting moving images on a wall is ‘A Triumph!”)

Another variation on this scam is to declare things like “This is the Movie to see this season!” and deliver them as if they were reviews, but no credit is given…mostly because no one made that statement in a review.  A marketing hack did.

3. It Goes Straight to DVD:  Anytime I have to go to the video store with my parents I have to explain this concept.  “I didn’t know they made a fourth sequel to American Pie!” my Dad will say. And I’ll say “That’s because they were too ashamed to tell you.”

4. The Soundtrack Features a New Hit Song By Somebody: I don’t know why this usually is the case, but if they promote a movie with a song, then the movie is probably lacking…and the soundtrack is really lacking.

A good soundtrack is less concerned with hit songs and more concerned with songs that complement the setting and mood of the film, and nowhere is that more apparent than on the soundtrack to the 1996 film “Big Night.”

If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it.  It follows two Italian brothers (played by Stanley Tucci and the always awesome Tony Shalhoub) trying to keep their struggling Italian restaurant afloat without compromising their values.  Their dreams seem close to fulfillment when a competitor promises to send Louis Prima to the restaurant for dinner, and a lavish feast is prepared.  I won’t spoil the rest for you, but if you like Italian food, this movie has got some serious food for visual masturbation.  And if you like Italian music, then you’re in for a real treat.


The problem with most movies that go for a retro vibe in their soundtracks is that they tend to simply devolve into piles of kitsch and uninspired top 40 rehashing (Forrest Gump, I’m looking in your direction.)  But “Big Night” seems to avoid this pitfall and come up with some really nice pieces.

Sure the Louis Prima numbers are no brainers with hits like ‘Oh, Marie’ and ‘Bouna Sera,’ but it’s the authentic old country sound of Claudia Villa’s ‘Stornelli Amorisi’ and Matteo Salvatore’s ‘Il Pescivnedolo’ that really brighten up the set. Toss in some inspired swinging jazz work by composer Gary DeMichele and you have a soundtrack for your next pasta night…or wine drinking stupor.

To be honest, I think that playing this soundtrack while cooking actually makes your food taste better.  I could be wrong, but why take that chance?


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