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Everything posted by Trumpeteer

  1. I suppose I shall be the lone dissenter here and express my displeasure at this news. While I want John Williams to finish out the third Star Wars trilogy, I haven't been impressed with too much of the music in this new trilogy. Lots of rehashes and too many reminders of how awesome the original trilogy was musically. When "The Force Awakens" ended, I shrugged my shoulders (physically and emotionally) over the music. After "The Last Jedi," I silently hoped Williams would hand over the reins to someone else for Episode 9. Oh, well. I hope there is a surge of inspiration that comes from this film. I really want the music to be good. But, I'm tempering my expectations because they have been dashed twice previously.
  2. What a wonderful film. The Holy Trinity of Spielberg/Streep/Hanks did not disappoint. Add in a lovely and unobtrusive John Williams score, and this is my favorite Spielberg film of the 21st century. I did not listen to the score album before seeing the film (as I usually do), and I was curious if this was going to be too much music or not enough. It was the perfect amount. As was stated in the Variety article, the music did not get in the way of the performances. The first music cue was when Ellsberg started compiling the papers, stealing them from the office and copying them. Very reminiscent of the pulsing danger theme from "Munich." Then, there's no music for probably 40 minutes. I was not wondering where the music was, because none of the scenes felt like they needed musical accompaniment. I disagree with "crumbs" when he said he didn't like the tacked-on ending, which I won't spoil. It basically follows up Streep-as-Katherine's comment about not wanting to deal with a situation like this again. I think only those who were alive in the mid-1970s, or know their American history, know why the last two minutes needed to close out the film. What really pleased me is that there were no title cards explaining the aftermath of the events in the movie. We were left to discuss it on our own, but not while the music during the end credits was playing! It's the first John Williams score in 11 years that I liked from start to finish. (Lincoln is a very close second.) At this point in his career, these are the types of films JW should be doing, not trying to fill every second of the next Star Wars music with pointless music.
  3. I visited the site in Dallas last September where John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It's creepy to see the spot where the fatal bullet hit him. I had my iPod with me, and listened to "Arlington" from "JFK" during that visit. Very emotional moment to have the music complement the action. All year, I have been posting a new piano performance on my Facebook page as part of my New Year's resolution. This month, I decided to learn the theme from "JFK" and post it as a commemoration of the president's death, which took place 54 years ago today. Here it is... JFK_Theme.MP4
  4. Only $7,000. It was the sixth question. Basic deduction should have ruled everyone out except Williams. He used his +1 lifeline and they picked Katharine Hepburn. Sorry about the misleading topic headline.
  5. Unfortunately, the contestant got it wrong.
  6. I bet they changed the distribution of the film in order to qualify for an Academy Award. I think the debut has to be at a film festival or a movie theater in order to be eligible. Think about it: Kobe Bryant could be an Academy Award winner next year. With the combination of Glen Keane and John Williams, it seems like s slam dunk.
  7. Ever since hearing the brass play over the introduction to the island in "Jurassic Park" in 1993, I have been a major fan of John Williams and his music. I have been spending the day listening to his music, and will started my annual "John Williams Film Festival" last night with "Jaws." Happy birthday!
  8. The Oscar-winning score has also been a part of a film nominated for Best Picture for 14 of the past 15 years. The only exception was "Frida" in 2002, when "The Hours" was the only score among the nominees with a corresponding Best Picture nomination. This year, "Bridge of Spies" is the only nominated score that was featured in a Best Picture nominee. That said, this might be just the second time in 16 years that an Oscar-winning score has not been featured in a Best Picture nominee. I'm always rooting for John Williams to win an Oscar, but I'm predicting Morricone.
  9. I saw "The Hateful Eight" yesterday. I was going only to hear the score. I was not disappointed. The main title music is an awesome crescendo into the action of the film, and the major theme (as well as its orchestration) was memorable from the start. I knew it would win an Oscar, if it were to get nominated. Even though the film is being criticized for being over the top and too bloody, the music Morricone wrote was the best of the year. After the film, I ducked into a "Star Wars" screening and watched the scene where Rey flies the Millenium Falcon for the first time. After the scene, I thought, "One minute of Morricone's music is better than 10 minutes of Williams' music." That's something I thought I would never say. Plus, Morricone is 87 years old. Though the final ballots will not list the composers' names, the Academy voters will know who they are voting for in the score category. I have read a lot of articles that go on and on about Morricone's age. How many people can get out of bed at 87 years old, much less write action music? Of course, the same could be said of Williams, and they might want to give him an Oscar to make up for not giving him anything for Empire or Jedi, and to offer up an apology for not nominating him for the prequels. Either way, it'll be an old guy on the stage to accept the Original Score Oscar.
  10. I definitely agree with the connection to Sunday Night Football. While listening to the end credits, I found myself finishing the theme, and it took me a while to figure out what music was in my head. Not surprising, given that he's done this before (i.e. main theme from Nixon).
  11. I saw the movie about 12 hours ago, and after getting a good sleep and rethinking things, here is my comment on the score in the film. It ranks seventh among the seven Star Wars scores. There is no main theme that instantly gives you the chills that we got from the other six films, and that saddened me. Once the film was done, I might have thought the score had been written in the vein of "Chamber of Secrets," in that Williams wrote general themes and someone else filled in gaps with musical noise. Seeing JW get sole composing credit was kind of shocking to me, unless that was conractually required. As for the movie itself, it had great energy. The new actors were great. I liked the plot, even if it seemed a bit familiar as it went along. The ending needed more of a punch to get us pumped for the next film. I know every final scene in the SW films is dialogue-free, but I wanted "you-know-who" to say SOMETHING!
  12. That was awesome! Loved the Williams button at the end of the piece! I think the cannons referred to in the press release were in the video played during the bridge. There certainly weren't any cannons fired on the National Mall. I am very glad to see how young and lively he looks at 82.
  13. I was going to write something very similar, so I'll just copy it. A very happy 82nd to you, Maestro. Your music inspired me to learn to play piano and see movies in an entirely new way.
  14. I was so busy with my annual John Williams Film Festival that I forgot to get online and wish him a happy birthday! Usually, the film festival consists of the original Star Wars trilogy, Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, ET and Schindler's List (i.e. his Oscar-winning scores plus Empire and Jedi), but this year I mixed it up. I watched the trilogy, ET, Jaws, Sorcerer's Stone and Azkaban. And then when I thought I was done with the film festival, I discovered How To Steal a Million on Netflix. Fun movie, and amazing to hear the very early work of "Johnny Williams." You don't get a feeling that this man will become the John Williams, but everyone has to start somewhere!
  15. Marvin Hamlisch was nominated in 1977 for his score to "The Spy Who Loved Me." I've never been a big Bond fan, but I suppose I'll have to see "Skyfall" to hear the score ... and to see that sexually ambiguous scene between Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig.
  16. Damn. As always, I'm a little late to the party. Nothing to see here.
  17. "Lincoln" is a shoo-in for a nomination. Though the score is likely the most subdued of any film in the Spielberg-Williams canon, it's going to be on the list of categories people check off for a nomination for the film. That said, the score in "Lincoln" is very much like the score for "Saving Private Ryan," and we all know what happened at the Oscars for Best Score that year. I wouldn't say the short amount of music in the film hurts Williams' chances, since "Brokeback Mountain" won for just as much music. But there are indeed more complex and interesting scores this year that enhance their films in better ways than Williams did with "Lincoln." I was very impressed with the scores for "Life of Pi" and "The Impossible," and we know how much the Academy likes awarding Score Oscars to people with non-Anglo names. I also think Patrick Doyle could get in there for "Brave." It's a nice Disney score with the usual ethnic instrumentation that makes the score stand out to voters, especially those that will be nominating the scores. If WIlliams wins for "Lincoln," it will be because the voters overwhelmingly liked everything about the film more than any other in 2012. That has happened before, and could help Williams this year.
  18. Turner Classic Movies yesterday aired a new episode of its "Master Class" episodes, featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg talking about their collaboration over the years. There's not much new material divulged in the episode, at least not much new material for this longtime John Williams fan. For instance, Spielberg talks about what he told JW after JW saw "Schindler's List" for the first time. When Williams says Spielberg needs a better composer for "Schindler's List," Spielberg says, "Yes, but they're all dead." And we all know how much Williams adores Bernard Herrmman's music. The one thing that really stood out to me that I never knew was that Spielberg met Herrmann the day he died, during the last scoring session for "Taxi Driver." The clips of the movies they show are nice, especially the first bike scene in "ET." Got a little choked up watching the scene, as I always do. From what I gathered, the episode was filmed before Williams started scoring "Lincoln." On the upside, it's always nice to hear the two talking about their years together and hear them talking about their love of being in the business. After the episode, they showed "Amistad," one of their unsung collaborations. The movie itself was a great example of how John Williams makes his movies better. The movie was just OK, but the music really put more emotion into the characters and drove the film forward in some points. It's a lot of talking, but not as interesting as the dialogue and scenes in "Lincoln," though "Amistad" tries very hard.
  19. The movie is excellent, Day-Lewis is incredible and Spielberg's direction is quite interesting. The lighting in the film is questionable. Too many shots of Lincoln in shadows mixed in with shots of bright light streaming in through the windows (a Kaminski trademark). As for the music, it's very sparse. I think one or two reels went by with no music, or about one minute of transition cues. Of course, there is little action to score, and I commend Spielberg and Williams for not wanting to write music for the sake of underscoring any of the "secret" White House meetings to keep the audience aurally engaged. (The bluegrass music for the "lobbyists" was fun.) That said, I wasn't wowed by the theme for Lincoln. After JFK, Nixon and John Quincy Adams, I was expecting another great presidential theme. But, on more reflection, it's very subdued and introspective, much like the way Day-Lewis played the president. I am extremely happy Williams did not score the scene when the spoiler alert bill was passed. Most composers and directors would need some music here, but there was just cheering and shots of people in tears (followed by that superb shot of Lincoln and his son hearing the bells). The song the House sang shortly after was very rousing and I am glad that was used (not sure if it's historically accurate, but I bet it is). The end credits, sadly, do not measure up to "Arlington" from JFK, which is one of the greatest compositions Williams has ever written, but it did have a beautiful piano melody at the end. I was surprised that so many people sat through the entire credits, and were mostly quiet during the credits. Unfortunately, subdued scores rarely win Oscars (see: Brokeback Mountain), so I am not predicting Williams' name being called on Oscar night. But I'm not sure of any other scores that will have the same exposure this year, outside of maybe "The Master," if Johnny Greenwood didn't pull the same ineligibility issue he had with "There Will Be Blood."
  20. I'll reply to this thread with my response to a similar thread in 2007: I get chills equally from "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back." "Star Wars" for its opening blast and the way the tempo seems to pick up slightly as the main theme churns away, and for the French horn near the end. (I've always wished there was footage of those first takes. There had to be a lot of electricity in the air, knowing that they were doing something amazing.) "The Empire Strikes Back" for the bridge between the string section and the second rendition of the theme, and the trumpet crescendo near the end. I get the use of the trumpet solo in "Jedi" symbolizing Luke's lone journey to overturn the Emperor and his heroic attempt. But the orchestra at times doesn't seem to be in sync and JW has to wrangle them all together a couple of times. Of course, that could just be the editing. I think Empire had a fuller sound in the original recording, which may be due to upgrades in mixing during those three years. Add in the militaristic feel of the recording (played as more of a march than in 1977) and it just slightly trumps the 1977 version.
  21. This was just posted today: I'm so excited to have finally seen this! (They don't allow this to be embedded.)
  22. You obviously haven't seen The Tree Of Life. I haven't seen The Tree Of Life yet, but I definitely want to. I'm only speaking of the films I *have* seen, and out of the two I mentioned, I preferred Hugo's cinematography to War Horse's. But both were very good. You DO NOT want to see "The Tree of Life." Trust me. You have been warned. If you thought a movie like "Mullholland Drive" was disjointed and "out there," this one will be a true head-scratcher, especially when you get to the 30-minute mark. The cinematography was nice, but I wasn't sure why half the shots on screen were being shown.
  23. Clip, clop... Of course, they confuse "score" with "song," but still, it was funny.
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