How the “Inception” Soundtrack Conquered the World

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


This weekend, I saw Iron Man 3 plus about a dozen trailers. OK, not really. It was only half a dozen. It just seemed like more. But the soundtracks for at least two of them included the deep, throbbing duhhhhn that I associate with the movie Inception. This made me wonder: Does every action movie trailer in the world now sport an Inception-style ripoff soundtrack? Today, I discovered that Ian Crouch answered my question last week. Apparently, the answer is yes:

For the unfamiliar, a quick tour of recent trailers promoting big-budget fare gives a fuller sense of this abominable sonic trend: spots for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Prometheus,” “Iron Man 3,” “Olympus Has Fallen,” “World War Z,” “Oblivion”—the list goes thudding on and on. Sometimes the hum is delivered by deep horns, other times by strings—often these are expertly timed to the sound of drums and/or something exploding onscreen—and recently it has taken on a digitized, layered character.

If you’re curious, Crouch has more details at the link, along with a little history of this particular bass note. Plus a mini-history of the evolution of the trailer. Unlike him, however, I don’t think his recut trailer for Ghostbusters sounds incongruous. Kinda cool, actually.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate