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Blanche Hudson

Hans Zimmer and Tom Holkenborg's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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Came back from the film now. The first 2/3rds are quite good, the last third is rather poor -- interchangeable with any given Marvel extravaganza of the last decade. Throughout the film, there are weaknesses and strenghts. The strenghts are where Snyder is allowed room to really do his stuff -- like the gorgeous dream sequences. The weaknesses are in predictable plotting, over-acting by Jesse Eisenberg and some of the run-of-mill, grating 'noise' (both visually and aurally).

 

Unlike most others, I like several elements in the score -- especially the references to MAN OF STEEL, the guitar stuff for Wonder Woman and the SHERLOCK HOLMES-like theme for Lex Luthor, which pans out as the chord progressions underlying a slow 90s power anthem. Also some of the Wagnerian choral music is fine. But the intense drumming was done much better in MAD MAX and the onslaught of action music is also "standard" and nothing to write home about.

 

Overall, a very uneven experience. 3 out of 6.

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Nope, it's just a piece of masterful cinema. And the more vitriol I read about it, the more I love it! (it's as if I have the "key" to some immense insight into its brilliance that nobody else has).

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4 hours ago, Thor said:

Nope, it's just a piece of masterful cinema. And the more vitriol I read about it, the more I love it! (it's as if I have the "key" to some immense insight into its brilliance that nobody else has).

 

The key to a great vault which holds many "special" (AKA misunderstood) movies. Prometheus, Toys, The Happening, Cloud Atlas... 

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2 hours ago, Quintus said:

 

The key to a great vault which holds many "special" (AKA misunderstood) movies. Prometheus, Toys, The Happening, Cloud Atlas... 

 

That's like listing Beethoven...and then following up with Rick Astley, One Direction and Miley Cirus. 

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9 hours ago, Thor said:

Nope, it's just a piece of masterful cinema. And the more vitriol I read about it, the more I love it! (it's as if I have the "key" to some immense insight into its brilliance that nobody else has).

 

Huh. I consider this comment very telling about your personality, Thor.

 

Actually, there seems to be a definite parallel between the kind of love you clearly have for Prometheus and the love you have for original soundtracks as concept albums. I'll grant you that a somewhat higher percentage seem to share your appreciation of the latter; it's just interesting to me that one's appreciation of a thing can grow simply because of a lack of appreciation on the part of others. Those of us who tend to like our scores expanded are the same way. We like scores on their own merits, but sometimes we grow to like them even more because it's so different from what our peers are listening to.

 

On topic: I don't think this score is nearly as bad as people make it out to be. It's not at all what I would consider great, but it's hardly garbage.

 

1 hour ago, Thor said:

 

That's like listing Beethoven...and then following up with Rick Astley, One Direction and Miley Cirus. 

 

Beethoven wishes he had the musical talent of Rick Astley! :P

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Of course it's not garbage.  And of course it's not great.  But some people just have a truly ignorant, yes, I believe ignorant, disdain for Zimmer, and he can do nothing but wrong to them.  And in a way, their attitude, I believe, parallels what you were talking about above.  They are vocally disdainful about scores like this and rip on them and joke about them for no other reason than that it makes them feel more secure in their own tastes and likes.  What else could be gained?  Nothing.  It's the stroking of one's ego and nothing more.  It's quite easy to be silent about things you don't like - unless  you have some such deeper motivation for criticizing.

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On March 19, 2016 at 1:27 PM, E.T. and Elliot said:

When it comes to these DC Comics movies, it seems you have to be either Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard or someone connected with them in order to do the music. I'm sick of this shit.

 

I'm rooting for Patty Jenkins to pick someone unrelated to score Wonder Woman.

1 hour ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

Of course it's not garbage.  And of course it's not great.  But some people just have a truly ignorant, yes, I believe ignorant, disdain for Zimmer, and he can do nothing but wrong to them.  And in a way, their attitude, I believe, parallels what you were talking about above.  They are vocally disdainful about scores like this and rip on them and joke about them for no other reason than that it makes them feel more secure in their own tastes and likes.  What else could be gained?  Nothing.  It's the stroking of one's ego and nothing more.  It's quite easy to be silent about things you don't like - unless  you have some such deeper motivation for criticizing.

 

Justin Boggan from FSM really seems to have it out for Zimmer. It's like Zimmer was the bully that constantly picked on him in high school -- absolutely vitriolic! I know Zimmer's blockbuster sound has permeated major studio films for the worse, but it's not his fault. It's the studios' fault for wanting that sound in every damn blockbuster.

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You're absolutely right.  I'm not a fan of 99% of what's done in the mock-Zimmer blockbuster style myself, and I think it's a damn shame that it's everywhere.  But some people want Zimmer himself crucified for this, Zimmer, who has only really done "it" himself in a small handful of recent scores, and in those cases far better than any imitators (by choice or by force) could ever do, and who does so much wonderful work beyond that one sound.  And it's ludicrous when you see the stuff that gets their approval!  Just as generic as the Zimmer imitators, but in a slightly different idiom, and put out by the composers they want to pretend are the saviors of their beloved 80's symphonic sound.  Absolutely ludicrous, tribal thinking, that has approximately nothing to do with actual music.

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30 minutes ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

You're absolutely right.  I'm not a fan of 99% of what's done in the mock-Zimmer blockbuster style myself, and I think it's a damn shame that it's everywhere.  But some people want Zimmer himself crucified for this, Zimmer, who has only really done "it" himself in a small handful of recent scores, and in those cases far better than any imitators (by choice or by force) could ever do, and who does so much wonderful work beyond that one sound.  And it's ludicrous when you see the stuff that gets their approval!  Just as generic as the Zimmer imitators, but in a slightly different idiom, and put out by the composers they want to pretend are the saviors of their beloved 80's symphonic sound.  Absolutely ludicrous, tribal thinking, that has approximately nothing to do with actual music.

 

I agree with you 100%. I really dislike Zimmer's Batman v Superman score, but I would place blame on Snyder too. Snyder could've encouraged Zimmer to go more creative or more orchestral. Amazing Spider-Man 2 had more creativity than Man of Steel, for instance.

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ASM 2 was also much lighter pop music, idiomatically and thus easier to swallow than the teutonic heaviness of this. There are some obvious examples of creative musical thinking (or maybe tinkering) sprinkled throughout BvS, though on the whole it's bland and tedious. But there's one thoughtful sentence by The Pilgrim i have said in one form or another so often over the years and it's my major gripe with many other film music fans:

 

And it's ludicrous when you see the stuff that gets their approval! 

 

Exactly this! Out of this mindset, encouraging pats on backs for utterest mediocrities were born, as well as venom and boo-hisses for anything even slightly out-of-the-box (also true for Williams scores, in fact).

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Just listened to the score.

 

Negatives: Not a fan of most of the new material. Might grow on me when I see the film and hear it in context and with characters etc. Wonder Woman material didn't jump out at me as anything fresh and Lex Luther's stuff seems overly cliche and dry. Kind of a watered-down Sherlock/Pirates motif.

 

Positives: The new Batman material seems half Zimmer half Elfman which is nice. His material seems to go well with what I've seen of the visuals and Batfleck so far. And as I expected, I would like the returning Superman material the most of all. I admit I kind of fell in love with Zimmer's piano theme for Clark and I'm glad to hear it return a few times. 'This Is My World' is a great piece that shows the multiple personalities of Superman; with the fragile, emotional piano theme for Clark, the more heroic and uplifting theme for Superman, and the choral, religious material for the 'Jesus' saviour nature of him. A nice extra touch there. 

 

 

 

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I like the Lex Luthor theme. Crashing dramatic chords played on classical piano and cello's and bases. Like the overture of some Wagnerian opera, mixed with all kinds of quirky styling.

Zimmer is often very good in defining a character musically and this is a perfect for this new Lex Luthor. Who constantly demands to be the centre of attention and is psychotic.

 

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The softer material is largely Zimmer, including Batman's emotional theme in the opening. A lot of the more painful electronica is JXL. A lot of the other stuff is a mix of both.

 

I wish the Vivaldi-esque violin idea was expanded on for Luthor.

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So... many... template tracks.

 

Wish I had his machine room!

 

Those gnarly low brass chords are actually pretty perfectly Gothic and brooding for a more comic booky Batman, aren't they?  Really adds some dimension to a character we haven't seen much of at this point. 

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Yes, for me at least, I think it was easier to jump in with a new "veteran" Batman, after a great trilogy with another version, thanks to the presence of music that seemed to fill in a lot of the background depth of the character.  It helped Batfleck to be an established presence.

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