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Does "The Adventures of Mutt" work?


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#1 tpigeon

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:41 PM

I've been thinking about this for a while. The jungle chase in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is such a frustrating sequence. I want to love it, and although it has a number of good elements it ultimately is too disjointed and needlessly infantile. One of these infantile moments is (of course) when Mutt is taking crotch shots from plants. But hold your thoughts on that for one moment; even if the crotch shot and Tarzan sequences were excised / improved, the whole chase still wouldn't feel right. And I can't help but think that John Williams had a lot to do with it by adding his "Adventures of Mutt" theme. The music is too flighty and non-threatening, and it feels totally out of place in the scene. I know the scenario is ridiculous, but shouldn't we be feeling some kind of tension or suspense when a hero and villain are dueling on moving cars? Williams rarely outright misses the mark in terms how the music interacts with the action, but here he may have been way off.

Thoughts?

Ted
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#2 Luke Skywalker

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:42 PM

The piece is great.

I hope Episode III is Called 'Revenge of the Sith'

#3 Erik Woods

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:48 PM

The piece is great.


Agreed! Great stand alone piece of music but IMHO doesn't fit the character or the action on screen. BTW, Ted, I agree with what you wrote as well.

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#4 Taikomochi

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:49 PM

The piece is great.


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#5 Ray Barnsbury

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:50 PM

The music is too flighty and non-threatening, and it feels totally out of place in the scene. I know the scenario is ridiculous, but shouldn't we be feeling some kind of tension or suspense when a hero and villain are dueling on moving cars? Williams rarely outright misses the mark in terms how the music interacts with the action, but here he may have been way off.

The piece is great.

Agree with both. Great fun on its own, but way too light and jaunty for the scene.

#6 Josh500

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:50 PM

I've been thinking about this for a while. The jungle chase in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is such a frustrating sequence. I want to love it, and although it has a number of good elements it ultimately is too disjointed and needlessly infantile. One of these infantile moments is (of course) when Mutt is taking crotch shots from plants. But hold your thoughts on that for one moment; even if the crotch shot and Tarzan sequences were excised / improved, the whole chase still wouldn't feel right. And I can't help but think that John Williams had a lot to do with it by adding his "Adventures of Mutt" theme. The music is too flighty and non-threatening, and it feels totally out of place in the scene. I know the scenario is ridiculous, but shouldn't we be feeling some kind of tension or suspense when a hero and villain are dueling on moving cars? Williams rarely outright misses the mark in terms how the music interacts with the action, but here he may have been way off.

Thoughts?

Ted


The scene could have been constructed better (mainly the SFX), but the musical piece DOES indeed work. It's great, I love it.

#7 Datameister

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:52 PM

Meh, it didn't bother me. It's okay to have adventure and excitement without the sense of peril sometimes.

- Datameister, who nevertheless LOVES the subtle sense of dread that the music builds throughout Raiders, for instance.

#8 Quintus

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:56 PM

A BIG FAT NO. It is the worst thing to happen to Indiana Jones since being entombed in the Well of Souls.

Way to undermine the vague tension of the jungle chase...

I've said it sucks since day one. I don't care how "technically" superior it is, or how great a standalone cue it might be; in the movie it mostly SUCKS.

#9 Josh500

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:58 PM

A BIG FAT NO. It is the worst thing to happen to Indiana Jones since being entombed in the Well of Souls.

Way to undermine the vague tension of the jungle chase...


Well, that scene was clearly meant as a kind of comic relief, even without the music.

JW just went along with it (or maybe Spielberg told him how to score it).

I think the music is fitting. Jungle Chase (the scene) cannot be compared to Desert Chase, IMO.

#10 Richard Penna

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:01 PM

The only tense moment in the entire cue for me is the final minute or so with the militaristic sounding part.

Apart from that, I listen to it as just a tremendously fun action cue, so yes, in a way I think Williams perhaps misjudged the approach (or Spielberg just gave inaccurate direction).

#11 Marian Schedenig

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:04 PM

To me, Mutt's theme is clearly the score's weakest spot.

#12 Quintus

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:05 PM

Spielberg just gave inaccurate direction.

Because of the music, the Jungle chase as a sequence, is a joke.

#13 Datameister

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:09 PM

Because of the music, the Jungle chase as a sequence, is a joke.


It's the dumb humor, unrealistic situation, and hit-and-miss visual effects that contribute to its jokelikeness for me, not the music.

#14 Luke Skywalker

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:10 PM

The piece is great

And it fits the scenes it scores.

What is the need of ultra-tension? Its mostly a cat & mouse game with the skull. From the moment there are no guns, its a sword duel, Mutt seems to be good at it so i did not fear he was going to be killed or something.

Was there any tension needed on Robin hood? It had an evil tyrant prince, still, it was a lighthearted film and the score fits it.


Do i have to mention 'The Pen is mightier than the sword' moment from Last crusade?

I hope Episode III is Called 'Revenge of the Sith'

#15 Quintus

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:11 PM

Because of the music, the Jungle chase as a sequence, is a joke.


It's the dumb humor, unrealistic situation, and hit-and-miss visual effects that contribute to its jokelikeness for me, not the music.


Of course all of those things are true, but the spotting session was the nail in the coffin.

I'm used to JW making a substandard scene work better, not even worse.

#16 Josh500

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:11 PM

Spielberg just gave inaccurate direction.

Because of the music, the Jungle chase as a sequence, is a joke.


So you think if the music had been different, the scene would have come off tense and suspenseful?

I don't think so.

#17 tpigeon

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:13 PM

This is one of those JW cues that really seems to divide us. I hear the argument for its achievement as a standalone piece, but I'm trying to consider it in relation to the visuals from the scene. And to me, the scene (and likewise the movie) is mostly a failed opportunity. It should have been tense and exciting, but it just falls apart.

Spielberg just gave inaccurate direction.

Because of the music, the Jungle chase as a sequence, is a joke.


So you think if the music had been different, the scene would have come off tense and suspenseful?

I don't think so.


Sometimes I wonder though. Action music (especially Williams') can really dictate the flow and feeling of a big sequence.

Ted
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#18 Quintus

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:14 PM

So you think if the music had been different, the scene would have come off tense and suspenseful?

I think a better composition tonally, may have have helped to gloss over at least the sequence's worst offenders.

#19 Josh500

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:16 PM

This is one of those JW cues that really seems to divide us. I hear the argument for its achievement as a standalone piece, but I'm trying to consider it in relation to the visuals from the scene. And to me, the scene (and likewise the movie) is mostly a failed opportunity. It should have been tense and exciting, but it just falls apart.

Ted

Spielberg just gave inaccurate direction.

Because of the music, the Jungle chase as a sequence, is a joke.


So you think if the music had been different, the scene would have come off tense and suspenseful?

I don't think so.


Sometimes I wonder though. Action music (especially Williams') can really dictate the flow and feeling of a big sequence.

Ted



Well, here, Spielberg clearly MEANT it to be more comedic than suspenseful.

JW just scored it accordingly. I don't think we can blame Williams here. You can blame Spielberg (or Koepp or most likely Georgie).


So you think if the music had been different, the scene would have come off tense and suspenseful?

I think a better composition tonally, may have have helped to gloss over at least the sequence's worst offenders.


Possibly yes. However, I have a strong feeling that Spielberg told JW how to score that scene.

Except for this and the monkey-scene, The Jungle Chase HAS been scored VERY tensely and suspensefully after all.

#20 Quintus

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:17 PM

Josh's eternally tiresome fanboy defence of JW = :sleepy:

Possibly yes. However, I have a strong feeling that Spielberg told JW how to score that scene.

And guess what: They BOTH got it wrong, as I said a few posts up this page.

To suggest that Williams doesn't serve as a post production creative director of sorts, is ludicrous.

#21 Josh500

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:21 PM

Josh's eternally tiresome fanboy defence of JW = :sleepy:


Think whatever you want.

But that's my honest opinion.

Josh's eternally tiresome fanboy defence of JW = :sleepy:

Possibly yes. However, I have a strong feeling that Spielberg told JW how to score that scene.

And guess what: They BOTH got it wrong. As I said a few posts up this page.


WRONG?

Sorry, but you have no idea what you're talking about, do you? There is no right or wrong here. :sleepy:

Many people like that scene after all. You just don't. That's all there is to it.

#22 Quintus

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:22 PM

Fair enough on the like/dislike factor.

I have however edited a previous post on the first page (my last post), which I think further explains my viewpoint.

To put it as straightforward as I possibly can: JW's Mutt music during the Jungle Chase makes the movie feel like a kids flick. None of the previous Indy movies were exclusively kids movies, yet JW's terrible film music makes it seem that way in Indy IV. He scores an Indiana Jones movie action sequence as if it were produced by Walt Disney.

#23 Luke Skywalker

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:30 PM

All the relation (and criticism) between 'The Adventures of Mutt' and the Mokey-wine swinging scens should be eliminated to rate this piece, as they are wrong.

The piece does not play in any of those scenes. Mutt's theme does.

I hope Episode III is Called 'Revenge of the Sith'

#24 Quintus

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:35 PM

See:

Mutt music

Above.

#25 guest

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:48 PM

A nice cue but totally wrong when it comes to Indiana Jones. And the transition to the cue in the Jungle Chase feels like Williams said "what the hell I'll just paste this bit of music in here".

#26 BurgaFlippinMan

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 09:02 PM

I think it definitely fit the scene well. Its more a question whether you like the scene itself in the first place.

#27 Luke Skywalker

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 09:40 PM

See:

Mutt music

Above.


:sleepy:

Yes it was your intention to speak about all mutt music and not just Adventures of mutt (what is the theme of the thread) from the very beggining:

A BIG FAT NO. It is the worst thing to happen to Indiana Jones since being entombed in the Well of Souls.

Way to undermine the vague tension of the jungle chase...

I've said it sucks since day one. I don't care how "technically" superior it is, or how great a standalone cue it might be; in the movie it mostly SUCKS.


And The rest mutt music is a slightly altered Raiders march. The other (monkey first scene) music is so short and harmless that i dont know how can it ruin anything...


And Another example from the OT:

The basket game.

A comical cue that scores the tension indy is feeling about Marion's kidnaping and DEATH.

Spot on Scoring... (or that is what happens when you over-analyse things in order to find faults?)

I hope Episode III is Called 'Revenge of the Sith'

#28 Datameister

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 09:46 PM

That's a good point about "The Basket Game." Why aren't we feeling the tension in that scene?

- Datameister, who actually hated that cue initially and only grew to love it later on.

#29 Red

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 09:58 PM

Now that you mention, it probably is too light and nonthreatening for the scene (which I don't think it all Williams' fault). But the piece is still some good fun. It's doesn't bother me that much.
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#30 Quintus

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:07 PM

Another example from the OT:

The basket game.

A comical cue that scores the tension indy is feeling about Marion's kidnaping and DEATH.

Spot on Scoring... (or that is what happens when you over-analyse things in order to find faults?)

That's all wonderful and dreamy, but you're forgetting two vital things: The Basket Game scene WORKS. The score for that scene WORKS.

To compare anything from KOTCS to Raiders is like comparing mutton to silk.

#31 Luke Skywalker

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:16 PM

To compare anything from KOTCS to Raiders is like comparing mutton to silk.


I'm just using the same argument used to diminish the KOTCS piece, but for a Raiders cue, and its valid, very valid. (as Valid as your opinion, I mean...)


That's all wonderful and dreamy, but you're forgetting two vital things: The Basket Game scene WORKS. The score for that scene WORKS.


It works because it was filmed 28 years ago, and it is not a scene of 2008's KOTCS.



Raiders is and excellent soundtrack, just in case someone is reading me wrong

I hope Episode III is Called 'Revenge of the Sith'

#32 E.T. and Elliot

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:22 PM

"The Basket Game" works in ROTLA
"The Adventures of Mutt" works in KOTCS

Imo.

#33 Quintus

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:23 PM

It works because it was filmed 28 years ago, and it is not a scene of 2008's KOTCS.

Okay.

Gladiator's score works because it was filmed a few years ago and it isn't Dungeons and Dragons.

"The Basket Game" works in ROTLA
"The Adventures of Mutt" works in KOTCS

Imo.

Yay!

#34 Luke Skywalker

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:39 PM

It works because it was filmed 28 years ago, and it is not a scene of 2008's KOTCS.

Okay.

Gladiator's score works because it was filmed a few years ago and it isn't Dungeons and Dragons.


Do you mean that if the movie is critically acclaimed, the score by definition, works, regardless of its quality?

OK but i'm not sure that is a 'good' point to use for Raiders.

And really Making the paralelism between Gladiator and Raiders (that a low hit) and D&D to KOTCS, is not talking about about mutton and silk, its between garbage and platinum.

I hope Episode III is Called 'Revenge of the Sith'

#35 Hlao-roo

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:50 PM

That's all wonderful and dreamy, but you're forgetting two vital things: The Basket Game scene WORKS. The score for that scene WORKS.

That's all wonderfully compelling, but you're forgetting two even more vital things: The Jungle Chase scene WORKS. The score for that scene WORKS.

#36 Henry Buck

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 11:38 PM

Haha, like "The Basket Game" is the same as "The Jungle Chase" because both scenes are comedic. Of course not. There are many kinds of comedy. If "The Basket Game" was like "The Jungle Chase," instead of shooting the Arab swordsman, Indy would have had a full fledged sword duel with him, full of impossible stunts. Then he would have tripped and fallen into a townsperson, who in turn would have tripped and hit another townsperson and so on and so on until a domino effect took place and crushed the swordsman. That's the George Lucas of 2008 for you.

#37 fommes

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:38 AM

To me, Mutt's theme is clearly the score's weakest spot.



#38 indy4

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 02:12 AM

Haha, like "The Basket Game" is the same as "The Jungle Chase" because both scenes are comedic. Of course not. There are many kinds of comedy. If "The Basket Game" was like "The Jungle Chase," instead of shooting the Arab swordsman, Indy would have had a full fledged sword duel with him, full of impossible stunts. Then he would have tripped and fallen into a townsperson, who in turn would have tripped and hit another townsperson and so on and so on until a domino effect took place and crushed the swordsman. That's the George Lucas of 2008 for you.

But the point is that both scenes have aspects of theme that are filled with tension, but because of the music we don't feel that tension.

I think it works great in both instances.
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#39 Henry Buck

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 02:57 AM

I feel tension in "The Basket Game."

#40 Datameister

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 03:00 AM

I feel tension toward the end, once they arrive at the truck. Before that, a lot of it is significantly more lighthearted than the jungle chase cues.

By the way, in case there was any confusion, I didn't mean to imply that those two sequences were comparable in quality. I'm one of those guys who thinks Raiders is nigh untouchable in just about any category imaginable, and as much as I enjoyed KOTCS on the whole, there's not a doubt in my mind which one is the "better" film.




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