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The Book Thief vs. The BFG vs. The Post - The "middling" JW scores from the last few years!

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I'd say these are "middling" or mediocre JW scores, even though, yes, two of them are Spielberg movies. I'm not saying that I don't like them, don't get me wrong, these are solid, enjoyable scores in their own right, but they aren't exactly Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or even War Horse, Memoirs of a Geisha or A.I. That spark of genius is missing in these 3 scores, at least in my opinion. 

 

That said, how would you rank these 3 scores and movies? What do you especially like about these scores (no need to focus on thing we dislike about them), and what makes them special to you? 

 

As for me, score-wise:

 

1. The Book Thief 

2. The Post

3. The BFG 

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All three albums I enjoy a lot. Not mind-blowing listening experiences, but overall just very pretty music when I’m not in the mood for the ‘big’ JW scores. And for the BFG and the Post they fit like a glove with the movie so in that respect they’re just very good scores. Haven’t seen Book Thief.

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Middling JW is top drawer for 95% of everything else. 

 

This topic reminds me that I need to listen to these 3 scores. I've only heard The Post once and enjoyed it. I'm familiar with the BFG theme and that's about it. The Book Thief didn't really register when I saw the film but that's usually par for the course for meon first viewing.

 

2 hours ago, Josh500 said:

I want to give The BFG a chance, but I haven't even seen the film once.

 

I wouldn't if I were you. It's alarmingly bad.

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The Book Thief is my fave, the most emotionally affecting, several really nice melodic ideas that make the OST feel like a complete narrative. Haven’t seen the movie.

 

The BFG is loaded with bits and pieces of all the JW whimsy I enjoy but doesn’t hang together quite as well for me. The end credit suite is very nice but I still prefer his others this decade except Last Jedi. Still the score has one of my favorite recent themes of his:

 

 

And The Post is cool, I just hardly ever think to go back to it.

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15 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

The BFG is loaded with bits and pieces of all the JW whimsy I enjoy but doesn’t hang together quite as well for me. The end credit suite is very nice but I still prefer his others this decade except Last Jedi. Still the score has one of my favorite recent themes of his:

 

 

 

This section somehow reminded me of Lincoln... 😂 WTH. 

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52 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

The Book Thief is my fave, the most emotionally affecting, several really nice melodic ideas that make the OST feel like a complete narrative. Haven’t seen the movie.

 

The BFG is loaded with bits and pieces of all the JW whimsy I enjoy but doesn’t hang together quite as well for me. The end credit suite is very nice but I still prefer his others this decade except Last Jedi. Still the score has one of my favorite recent themes of his:

 

 

 

Do you like the concert version of the BFG suite?  While I like the OST, the concert version is much better and gels really well (once you get over the excised theme).   

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I've listened to the Spielberg/Williams 3 recording and heard him do it in concert. Haven't directly compared it to the OST or anything so I'm not super aware of whatever differences there are (besides the omission of my aforementioned favorite theme :lol:)

 

I don't dislike it at all, it's just War Horse, Lincoln, and Force Awakens represent an even greater standard imo. I like the Book Thief's suite a lot too. I guess The Post has one as well which I haven't given that much thought to, I probably prefer BFG in that case.

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1. The Book Thief

2. The BFG

3. The Post

 

Same goes for the movies but it is stronger, The Post is totally meh, why did they do it? 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

 

The BT is one of JW's greatest, BFG is wonderful but The Post is shit(the movie) , couple of nice tracks by Johnny of course. 

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I'm loathe to participate in a Josh500 thread but The Book Thief is the clear winner.  It has elegance.  The BFG is just typical Spielberg fluff with little that wasn't done better in other scores, and The Post is about as interesting as the score to that movie can be.

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4 hours ago, Will said:

While I did put Book Thief last for score, it has some excellent moments, including this absolutely heart-breaking section:

 

 

 

This is indeed an awesome moment. The great thing about JW scores is that, even if they happen to be mediocre overall, they still contain many snippets of brilliance that might be reminiscent of his classics. 

 

This particular moment has shades of Close Encounters, I think. By God it does! 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Will said:

 

My appreciation for The BFG score is of course well known around here. 

 

One purpose of this thread is to make me (and others, who feel similarly) more enthusiastic about these 3 JW scores and make us go back to them. 

 

So which are your favourite The BFG score moments? Which stand out, in your opinion? 

3 hours ago, hornist said:

 The Post is shit(the movie) 

 

The score is okay, quite good, but yeah, I also dislike the movie. What a waste of talent (Williams, Spielberg, and Hanks - couldn't care less about Streep)! Such a self-serving, hypocritical, and somewhat obnoxious movie... 

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4 hours ago, Josh500 said:

 

One purpose of this thread is to make me (and others, who feel similarly) more enthusiastic about these 3 JW scores and make us go back to them. 

  

So which are your favourite The BFG score moments? Which stand out, in your opinion? 

 

Just three examples (excluding any from the end credits suite)...

 

7:10-7:55 here:

 

1:31-2:00 here:

 

This whole cue:

 

 

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5 hours ago, Dixon Hill said:

I'm loathe to participate in a Josh500 thread but The Book Thief is the clear winner.  It has elegance.  The BFG is just typical Spielberg fluff with little that wasn't done better in other scores, and The Post is about as interesting as the score to that movie can be.

The Post is a solid movie/score!

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6 hours ago, SteveMc said:

I take offense at the premise that The Book Thief is mediocre overall.

 

It's average, tried and tired territory. I'd rather listen to Angela's Ashes any day.

 

12 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

It's better than Nixon.

 

Nope.

 

To answer the thread:

 

1) The BFG

2) The Book Thief

3) The Post

 

The BFG has colour, The Book Thief is an elegant recollection of Williams' usual dramatic devices and The Post is mostly inconsequential filler music.

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It's an interesting lineup - all three dealing with different subject matters and different genres- BFG (fantasy),The Book Thief (war drama), and The Post (procedural drama) What I find fascinating about the latter two is for their subtlety and complexity as underscore and not the more grandiose, theatrical part of their films. The BFG felt much like a chance for Williams to dive back into the childlike wonder of his earlier Blockbuster scores, whilst The Post and The Book Thief are extensions of the type of gritty, cerebral underscore that I think he enjoys writing. Growing up, it was the overt, grandiose themes that drew me to Williams' work, now later in life, I actually find myself getting caught up in what many might call 'filler' track, the underscore and the small moments that are often overlooked for the bigger set-pieces. Setting the Type and The Presses Roll are brilliant, but I prefer much of the rest of the score.

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1 hour ago, King Mark said:

I like Book Thief a lot

I like BFG better than initially, and I would love to hear the complete score

I don't listen to The Post much

 

Have you actually seen all 3 movies? 

 

29 minutes ago, KK said:

It's average, tried and tired territory. I'd rather listen to Angela's Ashes any day.

 

Yes. Somehow AA seems far more superior.... Although I'm quite warming up to TBT, the more I listen to it. I think it has also to do with the fact that AA the movie is far more superior, as well. 

 

13 minutes ago, Arpy said:

 etting the Type and The Presses Roll are brilliant, but I prefer much of the rest of the score.

 

"Presses Roll" seems to be one of the highlights. Gotta relisten to that one... 

 

13 minutes ago, Arpy said:

Growing up, it was the overt, grandiose themes that drew me to Williams' work, now later in life, I actually find myself getting caught up in what many might call 'filler' track, the underscore and the small moments that are often overlooked for the bigger set-pieces.

 

Agreed! In an average JW score, you're apt to find dozens and dozens of these brilliant moments and sparks of genius that you go back to over and over again. And the older (and, presumably, the more mature) you get, the more they catch your attention... 

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29 minutes ago, pete said:

Learning to play a theme from The Book Thief on piano a few years back (Five years ago tomorrow!)  really increased my appreciation for that theme and for the score in general.

 

 

 

I haven't tried to play that myself, but I'm a fairly good piano player, my favourites being Beethoven and Chopin. 

 

Out of JW's works, I am able to play "Theme from Schindler's List" and "Over the Moon"! I remember as a kid, it took me weeks and weeks to master the latter. Those darn triplets... lol

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I'm currently learning The Presses Roll on the piano. Such a fun piece to play, but challenging to pull off well. I've also played the SL theme and several other pieces from the folio. Over the Moon is on my todo list. Have you played anything in the JP folio? Highly recommended!

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9 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I'm currently learning The Presses Roll on the piano. Such a fun piece to play, but challenging to pull off well. I've also played the SL theme and several other pieces from the folio. Over the Moon is on my todo list. Have you played anything in the JP folio? Highly recommended!

 

Oh yeah, "Theme from Jurassic Park" is par for the course. I can play that too. 

 

What else? I started playing Sabrina too... Don't know whether I still can, that's quite tough. I used to have a whole book with JW sheet music arranged for the piano. 

 

 

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War Horse is his best score of the decade. Lincoln second. I really like The Post.

 

The Last Jedi is just a phoned in greatest hits compilation. What’s new just isn’t very good and it’s mostly recycled material. That’s probably not his fault though. 

 

I have listened to BFG and Book Thief several times and can’t recall anything from either. 

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Top 5 of this decade, for me:

 

1. War Horse

2. The Force Awakens 

3. Lincoln 

4. The Last Jedi 

5. The Adventures of Tintin 

 

58 minutes ago, Bilbo said:

War Horse is his best score of the decade. 

 

I'm inclined to agree. 

 

1 hour ago, Thor said:

THE POST has nothing to do in this company. 

 

How so? What do you like about it so much!? 

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5 hours ago, Thor said:

THE POST has nothing to do in this company. Alongside WAR HORSE, it's Williams' best score since 2005.

 

Could you elaborate on that?

 

I agree it’s a fantastic score, but musically it can’t compare to the richness of the Star Wars sequel scores. 

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