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John Williams: Unpopular Opinions

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Let's see...

 

- I prefer Chamber of Secrets over the other two

- I frequently listen to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull over the previous 3

- I don't really care for Williams' "serious" scores

 

And that's coming from someone who's been listening since the 80s!

 

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Listened to the Lost World complete score yesterday and it's still in my bottom 5 post-1975  Williams scores! :P

Yes, I really am not into percussive loops.

48 minutes ago, bondo said:

- I don't really care for Williams' "serious" scores

 

 

 

By serious you mean for serious films like Schindler's List or concert music?

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I'm with you on the 'serious' scores. I'm not sure I've ever listened to JW's concert music.

 

Schindler's is one of those cases where I don't give a damn how well musically crafted it is. It varies from boring to just so depressing that I don't want to listen to it. The film probably makes my top 5 list of films so elitist that I'll never watch them.

 

JP is such an exciting, interesting and varied score and I'll prefer it a million times over SL any day.

 

My latest? I nearly deleted my already cut down Raiders and ToD playlists. I never listen to them. Crusade has some really great bits and cracking action, and I like Jungle Chase and The Departure from KotCS.

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3 hours ago, filmmusic said:

By serious you mean for serious films like Schindler's List or concert music?

 

Sorry, his music for serious films.  His themes for Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot, and Seven Years in Tibet, for example, are absolutely fantastic and work well in context.  I just never find myself listening to them apart from their respective films.  I have the same opinion about Spielberg's "serious films."  I don't doubt their quality, but I definitely watch movies and listen to film music from more of an escapist POV... I'm never in the mood to listen to Munich, haha!

 

When I think of a prototypical John Williams score, my mind goes straight to Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park. 

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6 hours ago, bondo said:

I don't doubt their quality, but I definitely watch movies and listen to film music from more of an escapist POV... I'm never in the mood to listen to Munich, haha!

 

Escapist POV is all fine and dandy, but don't you think the diet is awfully one-sided if it's JUST that? I love my escapist stuff, but I would go absolutely nuts if I couldn't balance that with more "serious" fare now and then, whether music or films.

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2 hours ago, Thor said:

 

Escapist POV is all fine and dandy, but don't you think the diet is awfully one-sided if it's JUST that? I love my escapist stuff, but I would go absolutely nuts if I couldn't balance that with more "serious" fare now and then, whether music or films.

 

For a lot of filmgoers I suspect escapism is all they go for. I'm rarely in the mood to watch something serious.

 

I work with someone who goes out of his way to find varied films (he also IMO falls into the 'snob' category) but I think he's more dedicated than the average filmgoer.

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I find myself watching fewer and fewer films as I get older, but I *do* watch more escapist entertainment than I used to.  I'm still a fan of Christopher Nolan and David Fincher in particular, but especially when it comes to movie music, I prefer fun! And this, of course, is why we're in the unpopular opinion topic lol ;)

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Fair enough. I've had the exact opposite evolution. As a kid, teenager and even young adult, it was indeed mostly about "having fun". But as I got older, more serious films (art films, indie films or big serious films) became the more interesting thing, allowing "fun" or escapist entertainment to be the occasional space between these films. For variety's sake. Unlike you, I also see more movies than I used to (about 250 each year, out of which approximately 150 new ones).

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On 22.11.2017 at 3:20 AM, bondo said:

I find myself watching fewer and fewer films as I get older, but I *do* watch more escapist entertainment than I used to.  I'm still a fan of Christopher Nolan and David Fincher in particular, but especially when it comes to movie music, I prefer fun! And this, of course, is why we're in the unpopular opinion topic lol ;)

 

 I feel completely left alone by what mainstream cinema is offering me in the way of 'fun' these days.

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On 11/21/2017 at 8:20 PM, bondo said:

I find myself watching fewer and fewer films as I get older, but I *do* watch more escapist entertainment than I used to.  

 

 

Yep same here.

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What's wrong with mainly watching escapist entertainment?

 

I've had a long debate with my work friend about what constitutes an 'art house' film, and we still don't agree. What I object to is the idea that they are inherently better or more respectable than popcorn films.

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42 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

I've had a long debate with my work friend about what constitutes an 'art house' film, and we still don't agree. What I object to is the idea that they are inherently better or more respectable than popcorn films.

 

I object to that idea too. A film should be evaluated on its own terms. But I still think a diet of only popcorn entertainment is not "good for you". Then again, it's not my place to moralize -- I drink beer and eat potato chips more than most people! :D

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I vastly prefer escapist fun stuff too.

Enough serious and decidedly no-fun stuff in real life already.

Really don't need more of that in my entertainment too.

Rather, I like entertainment that inspires to do great things! And upbeat, fun, heroic does for me. :D

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Exactly!

 

I completely reject the argument that watching only fun popcorn movies is 'not good for you'. What's interesting is that both Thor and my work friend take films very seriously, as in finding 'good' and thought-provoking films to (and I quote my friend from an argument earlier today) 'expand my experience of the world'.

 

If that's your thing, that's great. But if you're only into movies casually, perhaps as a piece of weekly escapism, and have other major hobbies in your life, why should it be considered bad to only watch the fun stuff? It just all comes across as rosy-tinted, preachy nonsense to me. Watch what you want to watch.

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On 24.11.2017 at 8:59 PM, Richard Penna said:

Exactly!

 

I completely reject the argument that watching only fun popcorn movies is 'not good for you'.

 

OK, reject it if you wish. It's called denial.

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3 hours ago, Pieter_Boelen said:

Disagreement in personal preference, I think. ;)

 

No, not really. When I say watching only popcorn movies is "not good for you", I mean that for everyone, everywhere. Like eating only fast food is not good for you. Of course, that doesn't prevent people from doing it regardless.

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Hm.

 

Here's one (maybe):

 

When JW is given a temp and asked to compose something in the same style/texture, it's better than even money that JW's take will be better than the original, and > 90% of the time it will be just as good.

 

Example #1: Duel of the Fates >= O Fortuna
Example #2: Cantina Band >= whatever 30s/40s era swing tune it was modeled on

Example #3: Dartmoor == whatever William Walton piece it's modeled on

 

Said another way: even when JW is paying homage or "plagiarizing" (as some say) because the director told him to model the score on a specific temp track, you never get a pale imitation. You get something just as good, sometimes better.

 

Come at me.

 

-- post merge --

 

Another one (maybe):

 

In any given JW score, the notes between the themes (and accompanying the themes) are better/more interesting than the themes themselves.

 

(maybe this one isn't so unpopular)

 

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11 minutes ago, Xinau said:

Said another way: even when JW is paying homage or "plagiarizing" (as some say) because the director told him to model the score on a specific temp track, you never get a pale imitation. You get something just as good, sometimes better.

Agreed, in that vein...

Odd temp track choices make great Williams cues, especially the Zimmer temps (ala Padme's Ruminations, the second half of Anakin's Dark Deeds, No Man's Land, the Dueling theme from Tintin, the entirety of Munich)

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4 hours ago, Thor said:

 

No, not really. When I say watching only popcorn movies is "not good for you", I mean that for everyone, everywhere. Like eating only fast food is not good for you. Of course, that doesn't prevent people from doing it regardless.

 

What? It absolutely is personal preference. Everyone needs to eat, and an all-junk food diet probably is bad for you.

 

Watching movies is a choice, and watching only popcorn movies has no negative effects. Who the hell are you to say that it's bad for someone to not watch more serious movies? Elitist crap, Thor.

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2 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

Watching movies is a choice, and watching only popcorn movies has no negative effects. Who the hell are you to say that it's bad for someone to not watch more serious movies? Elitist crap, Thor.

 

Not at all. Having a one-sided diet in anything is not good for you. I also think it's unhealthy to ONLY watch art movies. In both cases, it displays a limitation. That's just my honest take on that. When I talk to people about movies (especially those that purport to have a serious relationship to it), I never ever take them fully seriously if they display a one-sided tendency this or that direction. Whether that is "I only love popcorn stuff, and can't stand those artsy-fartsy movies" or "I hate superficial Hollywood, and only watch indie art movies".

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41 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

Having a one-sided diet in anything is not good for you.

 

Telling someone who watches movies for escapist entertainment, amongst other interests, that it's 'not good for them' is making a judgement about their entertainment preferences that are none of your business. It's elitist and pretentious. Simple as.

 

What if someone said they enjoyed soundtracks, but only really JW? I'd certainly encourage them to listen to other composers, but to say it's actually bad for them? No. No. No. No.

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2 hours ago, Thor said:

When I talk to people about movies (especially those that purport to have a serious relationship to it), I never ever take them fully seriously if they display a one-sided tendency this or that direction. Whether that is "I only love popcorn stuff, and can't stand those artsy-fartsy movies" or "I hate superficial Hollywood, and only watch indie art movies".

Well said!

 

I have a friend who thinks he is now too elevated to like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, because it's popular. He now watches lots of arthouse movies and does not even really understand what they're about. But you know, it's cool to be excentric just to be cool.

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40 minutes ago, Brundlefly said:

Well said!

 

I have a friend who thinks he is now too elevated to like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, because it's popular. He now watches lots of arthouse movies and does not even really understand what they're about. But you know, it's cool to be excentric just to be cool.

 

Secretly he probably watches popular cinema while nobody's looking.

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13 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

 

Telling someone who watches movies for escapist entertainment, amongst other interests, that it's 'not good for them' is making a judgement about their entertainment preferences that are none of your business. It's elitist and pretentious. Simple as.

 

You conveniently skipped over the fact that I also said the other extreme angle is equally bad. So by definition, that negates your 'elitist' point. I think a healthy film diet has a considerable amount of diversity. One should appreciate a film on its own terms, and be properly curious to explore all facets of the medium (and by that one's own emotional and analytical life) to call oneself a serious and healthy film lover. This, IMO, is something that moves beyond mere "preference". For example, one can PREFER popcorn movies, but still be open to and explore other types of movies. Or the other way around.

 

You're free to watch whatever you want (just as you're free to eat whatever you want), but I'm also free to say what I think about one-sided viewing habits.

 

 

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True. Although the same thing could be applicable to them too (diversity is good for EVERYONE), this is mostly about those who purport to be film buffs. If you present yourself as a film buff to me, and only have leanings in one particular direction, I will not take you seriously.

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On 30/11/2017 at 4:32 PM, Thor said:

 

No, not really. When I say watching only popcorn movies is "not good for you", I mean that for everyone, everywhere. Like eating only fast food is not good for you. Of course, that doesn't prevent people from doing it regardless.

That.... Is ever so slightly not entirely accurate, I think.

 

The above may be a tiny bit of an understatement. :eh:

 

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Apparently there is!

 

---

 

I simply believe in the idea of someone being able to choose their own entertainment without being preached at to 'expand their horizons' by people who take the area more seriously. If a self-proclaimed film buff only watches action movies, maybe something's iffy there, but for casual viewers? Leave them the hell alone!

 

Partly why I hate film critics. I don't like being told what I should enjoy. Where possible I avoid looking at RT to see the rating because I don't want my opinion to be swayed by the critics' consensus.

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On 30/11/2017 at 4:32 PM, Thor said:

 

No, not really. When I say watching only popcorn movies is "not good for you", I mean that for everyone, everywhere. Like eating only fast food is not good for you. Of course, that doesn't prevent people from doing it regardless.

I dare say that watching only popcorn movies is far more healthy than real life dealing only crap.

The two can be balanced against each other though, which seems like a good option to me.

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11 minutes ago, Pieter_Boelen said:

I dare say that watching only popcorn movies is far more healthy than real life dealing only crap.

The two can be balanced against each other though, which seems like a good option to me.

 

Indeed. Has it occurred to Thor that not everyone's 'real' life is happy and rosy, and that some people use cinema to literally escape all that for a few hours and have some fun? Actually, thinking about it that way makes your comments feel more insulting.

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22 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

 

Indeed. Has it occurred to Thor that not everyone's 'real' life is happy and rosy, and that some people use cinema to literally escape all that for a few hours and have some fun? Actually, thinking about it that way makes your comments feel more insulting.

 

As I've said at least two or three times now, my main target for this particular criticism is those that claim to be 'film buffs' (I take it that most members on this board are at least above average interested in movies). Why do you consistently ignore these specifications?

 

The general public is more of an 'iffy' crowd. I think diversity is good for them too, but the danger is not as present.

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