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Nick Parker

JWFan Composer Roast #1 (Pilot): Danny Elfman

Who Would You Like to Roast for #2?  

14 members have voted

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  1. 1. Who Would You Like to Roast for #2?

    • Thomas Newman
      1
    • James Newton Howard
      2
    • Howard Shore
      4
    • James Horner
      6
    • Bernard Herrmann
      1

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  • Poll closed on 07/15/18 at 12:42 AM

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By popular vote, here's our first composer roast on JWFan! The recipient... the singular Danny Elfman! Before this begins proper, I'll get housekeeping out of the way:

 

Here's the parent thread so you can get an idea of how this is going to work:

 

Some highlights: this should be fun and good-natured: regardless of their reputations, these are talented dudes we're roasting here! Please feel free to either deliver a more "speech" like roast, or more compact roastings, including riffing on others' roasts. In addition to this being Elfman's roast, there is also a poll above for #2, if you're interested in this series to continue. People voted to focus more on younger composers, so most of the choices in each poll will be from composers who got big from the 80's on: James Horner is right on the precipice of that, so I included him on the poll! Also, feel free to suggest any dark horse candidates in this thread: the poll closes this Saturday, July the 14th.

 

With that said, let's get our coals raking! I figured I would begin this roast with some short opening thoughts about Danny Elfman, a hero of mine when I was a teenager. One of the reasons I really looked up to him was he was a man who overcame many odds to become one of the most successful, popular composers of the last 50 years. The guy started out as a nerdy ginger in LA, formed a band, then became the composer for some of the world's most iconic titular characters in all of cinema. Seriously, they're all are right in the name! In The Simpsons, he wrote the theme for the Simpsons, for Edward Scissorhands, he scored Edward Scissorhands, for Spider-Man, he scored Spidey, for Batman, he scored the Caped Crusader, and in Planet of the Apes, he scored Mark Wahlberg. But it wasn't smooth sailing for him to get to that illustrious point in his life.  For example, as any film score fan knows, he got a lot of flack in his earlier years, being accused of having ghostwriters responsible for his music. Fortunately, as the years went by, that criticism began to die down: I think after hearing all of his music for Tim Burton after Big Fish, people realized Danny was his own ghostwriter. 

 

In all seriousness, though, I'm glad those accusations went away: Danny truly deserves recognition as a supremely skilled, singular, and dedicated artist. Like any respectable artist, he started out with all kinds of colorful, fresh, and new sounding ideas, full of vigor and creative imagination, then upon maturing, became complacent in turning out work that's bland, uninspired, and a pale shadow of his older work. In fact, when Danny Elfman was first offered Fifty Shades of Grey, he refused because he thought it was going to be a documentary on his career!  The last great score Danny made was 1998's A Simple Plan: there, he scored Bridget Fonda! Seriously, what a class act she is: at a rising career on the heels of cinematic royalty, she stepped away from the spotlight to stay home and take care of the kids while her husband could focus on his career. I'd need to be taken care of, too, if I had to hear demos for crap like Justice League at home all day...preferably with a 9mm! I mean I'd try to shoot Danny, but my shot would probably miss him like an Oscar at the Academy Awards.

 

I really can't diss the man too hard, though: he's a self-taught composer, and I have a lot of respect for that. He found his own way, his own path...ya know, Danny Elfman is often associated with magic: the films he's worked on, his name, his music...really, his music is like alchemy: it's like it was materialized by gathering the pubic hairs of Bernard Herrmann, Dmitri Shostakovitch, and Philip Glass and grinding them on a keyboard.

 

Regardless of how you feel about him and his work, though, or his growth as a composer: it's impossible to deny his place as one of the great film composers in American history, a rare person who embodies both a composer for film and composer of music. He'll always have my deep admiration, and when I see a movie marquee with his name on it, I'm always a little more curious about the project itself, and how he'll utilize his skills to adapt to it: he's been known to still throw surprises in his career, even after decades of success. Kudos, Danny Elfman!

 

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He was called 'The Hummer' back in the 80's.

 

While he has his moments, and a sizeable amount of great movie music under his belt, i just don't care that much for his voicings and other harmonic/thematic choices which often come off as one-note and boring. I liked him more when his music was more naive (from Pee-Wee to Hulk) but nowadays he's a more polished (read: more boring) composer with too many inconsequential scores that do nothing and even surefire assignments like 'Tulip Fever' somehow never come off as particularly inspired.

 

For a roast, i just lack the passion. Sorry.

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A while back I roasted Hans Zimmer for not being able to write a score on his own. It was in the thread about a man named John Williams getting arrested:

On 4/30/2018 at 10:34 AM, Josh500 said:

A man accused of killing a sheriff's deputy was held in the state's maximum-security prison Sunday pending his initial court appearance. John Williams was transferred to the Maine State Prison in Warren after his arrest Saturday, the fourth day of a massive manhunt in the central part of the state.

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/john-williams-suspect-held-maximum-security-prison-maine-deputy-eugene-cole/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab5i&linkId=51117337

 

Discuss! :P

To which I commented:

On 4/30/2018 at 5:00 PM, Jerry said:

In other news, Hans Zimmer shot a guy in Northern Kentucky. We're not sure but we think it may have been a group effort 😝!

And in fact @Nick Parker you actually replied with:

On 4/30/2018 at 5:17 PM, Nick Parker said:

ROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAO

Man, that's clever!

ROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAOROTFLMAO

 

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2 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

He was just implying that his reply with the laughing emoji was sarcastic.

I guess I didn't realize.

 

Darn you @Nick Parker it was a good joke! I guess I should've been thrown off by all those spinning heads!

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2 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

Gotta prioritize between this and quick-draw clickbait crap threads that extend to 3+ pages, I guess.

 

Gotta admit defeat with this composer. He's lost his mojo too long ago. My advice: rename it 'random rambling discussion about fucking boring recent comic book score nobody really likes but pretends to because it's...well, it's new'.

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5 minutes ago, Jerry said:

I guess I didn't realize.

 

Darn you @Nick Parker it was a good joke! I guess I should've been thrown off by all those spinning heads!

 

Yeah I'd hope between all of them and yours, the joke wouldn't go over at least one of them. ;)

1 minute ago, publicist said:

 

Gotta admit defeat with this composer. He's lost his mojo too long ago. My advice: rename it 'random rambling discussion about fucking boring recent comic book score nobody really likes but pretends to because it's...well, it's new'.

 

The people voted! JWFan is a democracy!

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Elfman drifted away from his super circusy, Nino Rota inspired sound.  But he's doing Dumbo so I don't see how he could get away from it there.

 

I'm so sorry this wasn't a joke.

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                            Danny                                                                                  Elf                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Man

Image result for dannyImage result for legolasImage result for man stock photo

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2 minutes ago, publicist said:

Which looks like a twisted parody of a Tim Burton movie.

 

Well yeah it goes without saying that a new Burton movie looks like garbage.  But, just as a trip down memory lane, I'd be interested to hear Elfman try on that funhouse mirror version of Rota sound again.

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But also I'm not nearly as down on his recent work as pub!  At least his concert work.  Really looking forward to the recording of his violin concerto.

 

I promise I'll post a joke when I think of a good one.

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While I'm not as compelled by his resume as I'd like to be, I intend to keep ill speak of him to a minimum seeing as how Batman Returns is the only superhero score I really truly love. Not to mention doing the theme music to my favorite TV show.

Image result for cryptkeeper gif

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My name is Danny Elfman. Hire me for your paycheck work on the strength of my long-faded glory. I'm probably overpaid but sincerely hope you don't mind. I have large mansions and expensive luxury hobbies to accommodate.

 

depp.jpg

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7 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

But also I'm not nearly as down on his recent work as pub

 

pub is so down on everything he's practically been going down on Korngold's buried corpse for years now.

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3 minutes ago, publicist said:

expensive luxury hobbies to accommodate

 

Considering his main hustle has been royalties from selling Jack Skellington merchandise to reclusive teens in Hot Topic for years, I'd say composing's been a good hobby for him!

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5 minutes ago, publicist said:

Don't get carried away here or i let your rotten corpse of a DOA thread die on the spot.

 

Didn't know if the "doesn't translate" comment was in reference to the Hot Topic line or not, so I asked if there was a similar equivalent in Germany. Cute that you see yourself as the lifeblood here, though.

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He's spreading himself too thin over too many less-than-perfect projects. The result being that his most interesting work is being written...away from films.

 

He wrote Justice League. While it isn't horrible, it's a score that tries to please everyone and ends up being for nobody.

 

Is he bad? No, not at all. But it has been a while since a really fine Elfman score. Like...a decade?

 

Karol

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Just now, Nick Parker said:

 

A man to truly take the baton from where Goldsmith left off!

Not in that sense even. It's just that the projects he selects don't offer much excitement.

 

Karol

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Just now, crocodile said:

Not in that sense even. It's just that the projects he selects don't offer much excitement.

 

Karol

 

Considering some of Goldsmith's last projects were stuff like The Sum of All Fears, I feel comfortable standing by my statement!

 

On a more earnest note (I'm starting to feel dirty just offering mean zingers), I was actually deeply impressed with how colorful Tulip Fever was. Elfman had a great ear for interesting woodwind timbres, and I was glad to hear him use those in a film recently.

1 minute ago, publicist said:

Scoring multiple billion dollar franchises?

 

Oh and that too.

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2 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

 

Considering some of Goldsmith's last projects were stuff like The Sum of All Fears, I feel comfortable standing by my statement!

 

On a more earnest note (I'm starting to feel dirty just offering mean zingers), I was actually deeply impressed with how colorful Tulip Fever was. Elfman had a great ear for interesting woodwind timbres, and I was glad to hear him use those in a film recently.

I've never heard that one.

 

The thing about Elfman he seems to be like a battery that you observe running out over several projects. Then he recharges himself and you feel aftershocks in several works after. And so on and so on. I don't think he distributes his energy wisely.

 

Karol

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