More than two years ago, I started an experiment called “The Dark Side of Everything.” The idea was to see what happens when you play the classic album Dark Side of Moon along with non-Judy Garland classic films. The first installment was Star Wars, and some of the coincidences turned out to be really cool. Then I pretty much forgot about the project, because I have the attention span of a magpie with ADD.
But this summer, Michael Bay treated us to a monster blockbuster that was just begging for the Dark Side treatment. It was, of course, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Even before it was released, I was thinking, “Man, I cannot wait to sync this movie up with Pink Floyd.” And that’s pretty much the only way I recommend watching it, by the way. It’s a total headachy mess, and this is coming from someone who loves Speed Racer.
However, replace the bombastic score with a little Roger Waters, and the whole thing becomes much more entertaining…
I followed the same procedure as the traditional Wizard of Oz syncing, starting the album the moment the studio logo appeared. Let me run you through the highlights.
01:00 – The movie begins with a scene on Cybertron, as an Autobot ship tries to make a desperate escape. As it screeches away from its attackers, the opening track of Dark Side reaches its screechy conclusion and segues into “Breathe.”
04:00 – Now we get a montage of NASA’s first manned moon mission. This syncs almost perfectly with the beginning of “On the Run.” According to Wikipedia, “it is an instrumental piece that deals with the pressures of travel.” Beyond this coincidence, the synth works nicely with all the 1960s tech.
05:45 – The song reaches its climax just as the movie gets to the big reveal: a giant Autobot ship is hidden on the dark side of the moon. I swear I didn’t add the creepy sci-fi sound effects.
08:15 – The camera zooms through the derelict spacecraft, revealing Sentinel Prime. Almost perfectly in time with the first bass note of “Time,” Sentinel’s eye lights up. More sinister bass notes play as the movie’s title unfolds itself.
20:20 – The song “Money” begins as Shia LeBoeuf goes on a series of job interviews. As he attempts to charm a series of skeptical business types, David Gilmour scowls, “Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit.”
40:50 – As the album’s final track begins, a mysterious man confronts Shia LeBoeuf with a secret about the dark side of the moon. “It is code Pink, as in Floyd. Dark Side! Why do you think no one’s been up there since 1972?” That’s the year that most of the album was recorded, by the way.
42:15 – Dark Side‘s final chord rings out as we see a shot of a book called Moonfire. Coincidence? Well yes, coincidence. But still fun!
I have one more “Dark Side of Everything” to share sometime. I’ll give you a hint: it involves Meryl Streep dancing almost perfectly in time with the song “Brain Damage.”