DVD Review: Sound of Noise

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MSRP 26.98
STUDIO Magnolia Home Entertainment
RUNNING TIME 102 Minutes
• Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers
• Music for One X-Mas and Six Drummers
• Drum Battle: Preparing for the Challenge
• Slideshow
• Soundcard Stockholm
• Water Analysis Part III
• Making of “Doctor Doctor”

The Pitch

Police officer Amadeus Warnerbring was born into a musical family with a long history of famous musicians. Ironically, he hates music. His life is thrown into chaos when a band of renegade musicians decide to perform a musical apocalypse using the city as their orchestra. Reluctantly, Warnerbring embarks on his first musical investigation……

The Humans

Ola Simonsson, Johannes Stjarne Nilsson (Directors), Bengt Nilsson, Sanna Persson, Magnus Borjeson

The Nutshell

Stomp the movie, but with cops and car chases. A musically enhanced, light and fun mystery about 6 “drummers” who make music using and destroying public locations and the irate inspector who hates everything they are about.

This was the entire script.

The Lowdown

Every now and then a movie pops up where the plot really doesn’t make sense, the characters do unexplained things, the concept is barely held together but it doesn’t matter because it is just a fun time. I am going to try to explain why a movie that has a non-intelligent plot kept me thinking about it for days afterward.

Sound of Noise starts with a drummer in a van recording something as the attractive driver uses the sounds of traffic and the throttle to add to the music. As any movie that combines cops and renegade musicians should do, the van gets noticed by an officer on a motorcycle. A high speed chase ensues and the music heightens while making use of the new sounds including the siren. It ends violently in way that makes you wonder how badly injured was the cop and sets up the fact that these musicians play hard.

They wanted Giovani Ribisi for this group!

Creatively, this film succeeds in every way. The music and the items they use to make the music. It’s a cross between dubstep and techno while using construction equipment or the impossibly fun operating room machines. There are quite a few well done animations, mostly involving music staffs and notes as well as the cleverly labeled music pieces that match a master plan by the lead drummer. The cinematography is very lively, choosing some interesting shots and combines with some great scenery to give it a refreshing style that was somewhat reminiscent of a toned down Baz Lurhman.

The directors do a great job of making the music the true motive and star of the film. The rhythms heighten the excitement which in turn builds the story (as much as it can) into a deafening crescendo. The sounds they used were genuine and the drummers went by their own name in the film. The group has stayed together after the film and occasionally plays at festivals occasionally, though some of the songs may sound the same, it just isn’t the same without seeing the music being generated in an operating room.

Normally I am looking to get rid of gas from my ass.

Not only does sound create motivation for the drummers, it enhances the shame and struggle the detective lives with. His immediate family are all infamous for their work in music, yet he was cursed to be deaf to certain sounds. He is every bit his own worst enemy, as he struggles in their contempt. They look down on him for being a policeman, which he seems to have been good at until the six drummers appeared. His obsession and depression both affect his professional life and he goes from great detective to a public relation nightmare. His character arc is the strongest narrative in the film, even though it is based on either coincidence or magic, as he is able to track the drummers by not being to hear anything that they played music on, including people. This is never explained and stretches the good intentions of the story. Is this a pitiful tone deaf cop who falls in love with the wrong girl for the wrong reasons, or is this a magic tale that music snares the two opposites together in an unwilling relationship?

This also leads to the big problems of the film. There are really only two big character arcs, the detective and the female drummer. All of the drummers are charismatic, each would be able to build a respectable back story and progress as the story unfolds, but other than the initial intro for each drummer they are barely touched upon. They become this wondering circus that does some really cool stuff and then fades into the back as someone felt they weren’t worthy of more time. 102 minutes left enough time to delve into the characters more, give them all a unique voice (other than their choice of instruments) and let them progress. Sanna Persson, the female drummer doesn’t have the sweeping character arc the detective does, but her character grows and changes within the film. Even if she didn’t change, her character was well enough defined to the point we knew some of the hardships she had to deal with and even a little insight into her getting kicked out of Music program at her college. I saw her as a follower in the group upon her introduction but by the end she controlled the group.

Most movies that involve complex cat and mouse detective games focus on the story first, but Sound of Noise focused more on the nitch concept it was based on. Overall it is definitely enjoyable to watch as long as you look past the detective story and more into the music portion. I immediately recommended this to musician friends I knew and told them they should enjoy it more than most would. If a sequel gets released I will probably watch it, but I may not worry about the subtitles as I know the plot is secondary the visual and musical direction of the film.

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the deafest of them all. Make sure you write because I can’t hear you.

The Package

Such a fun movie should come with fun special features and they nail it here. Two music videos add to the great musical pieces within the film. The apartment video was almost as fun as the “Doctor Doctor” video that seems to be the most popular from this film. Speaking of Doctor Doctor, there is a making of featurette which is very interesting as it details the search for the musical instruments and some of the process they had to go through to create the music. There is a Water Study concert by Sanna Persson, which builds on her back story from within the film. Also including are a soundcard, some trailers and a slideshow. My favorite segment though was a short titled “Drum Battle: Preparing for the Challenge”, in which the two directors appear to have had a feud since the release of the film and have chosen drummer champions to wage war for them. The Drum battle never comes but it uses the musical style of the film to create a finale training montage (a la Rocky,Karate Kid) that comedic builds up a wonderful concept that I would gladly tune back to see.

For a DVD release, this disc comes loaded enough with fun extras and not the usual stuff. I give the movie itself a high 3.5 or low 4.0, but the features define the release as a solid or high 4.0. It is worth the time and effort to watch, even with a shallow story.


Out of a Possible 5 Stars

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