For months now, HERC has been telling everyone his favorite movie of 2012 was
The Avengers Moonrise Kingdom Lockout Marley The Hobbit but as he looks back on the year in movies and his tear-stained notes (what? you don't jot notes about movies after you've watched them?), HERC has got to proclaim The Perks Of Being A Wallflower as his favorite film of 2012.
Based on the equally compelling book of the same name originally published by MTV Books (WTF?) way back in 1999, with a screenplay written as well as directed by the book's author, Stephen Chbosky. Not so simply put, the book is romantic, tragic, uplifting, touching, ultimately devastating and equally hopeful coming of age story. And although he had read the book, which is actually a collection of letters, a couple of times and he felt he knew the material, HERC was reduced to a big salty puddle on that beautiful Autumn day by the raw honesty projected on the big screen in that darkened theater, surrounded by a few loved ones who showed great concern for his heightened emotional state.
The film originally earned an R rating from the MPAA but the producers appealed the decision and ended up with a PG-13 for their efforts which allowed many more younger people, people the same age as the characters portrayed in the movie, to partake. As for the rest of you, the home video release of the movie is scheduled for just a couple of days before Valentine's Day, which will once again take place on February 14th. The subject matter is not sugar-coated nor is it glorified or sanctified, it is simply presented realistically by an immensely likable and talented cast accompanied by one of the better mixtapes soundtracks ever compiled.
The music helps establish the time and mood for when the movie is set: 1991-1992. In the late Eighties, critics called the music "college rock" but as the Nineties dawned it became "alternative rock". For the most part, the songs are not the over-played warhorses trotted out in every other filmed version of the period's events but there is at least one puzzling pick, which sounds good in the context of the rest of the tracks but came out after the time frame portrayed in the story.
HERC calls shenanigans. Shenanigans calls nitpick. Let's get that song - Cracker's "Low" - out of the way without further adieu:
Another great song, somewhat controversial back then and even now, is the brilliant "Dear God" by XTC. Then, as now, it remains one of HERC's all-time favorite songs.
One of those "warhorses" is still a great song twenty years on. Anyone else think Sir Paul McCartney did better than alright in front of Dave and Krist and Pat in their recent performances?
One of several tracks used on the soundtrack yet not mentioned in the book is New Order's jittery "Temptation". It's a little older than some of the other songs but it meshes nicely with the others. The 7" single mix is used on the soundtrack.
And finally the song that makes the movie for most people, David Bowie's 'Heroes', the theme from the tunnel scene. Through the droning and melancholy music, the pleading lyrics rise up with a message of hope. HERC is a big Bowie fan and especially appreciated the tagline the record label used to promote the 1977 album, as seen below on the back of the sleeve of the second single:
Perhaps due to music licensing rights and the perplexing inability to obtain them, some of the songs mentioned in the book did not make the transition to the movie's soundtrack. HERC has included as many songs as he could from both the book and the movie in the playlists below. There might even be a few of his own picks...