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John Williams should be offended by Superman Returns!!


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Is it just me, or was John Williams completely screwed over by Warner Bros, and in particular, Bryan Singer. I just recently got the DVD of Superman Returns and was looking forward to seeing a modern telling of a movie that I loved as a child. I remember being 10 years old and sitting in the theater with my mouth wide open as the credits started to role. The combination of the credits, outlined in blue, flying overhead, and John Williams' powerful score were amazing in 1978, and still are today!! So here's my gripe................... The opening of Superman Returns is a complete retread of the original 1978 film, except....................... Did anyone notice in the opening credits of Superman Returns that there is one name, and one name only, that is shown at a quicker rate and shorter duration than all the other ones??? You guessed it, John Williams!! I find it even funnier, if you are able to read it, what his credit actually says is only, "Superman Theme Composed by John Williams". The music for this film is credited to John Ottman, WRONG!!!!! Aside from a couple of notes thrown in here and there, the entire film score is basically John Williams' original music cut, pasted, and butchered with wannabe attempts at his style, by Ottman, thrown in between. Wow, did I ramble, or what!! I really hope I'm not the only person who saw it this way. Looking forward to your reactions!!

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Agreed, but lets be fair. Ottman did compose a bunch of new music. It isn't mostly Williams stuff. However "Superman Theme Composed by is quite a misleading credit for the young ones out there who may not know better.

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When I watched the film again on DVD I was really suprised, because I dont recall the credit moving so fast when I saw it in theaters, although, I was actively looking for his name. I agree though, if they were going to pay homage to the '78 film, they should have atleast given an adequate nod to those who created it.

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Your comment about the credit is true, however Ottman truly crafted a powerful and emotional score, his new theme for Superman was one of the only memorable melodies besides John Powell's work this year. This score is beautifully constructed and very respectful to Williams style. It is one of the best orchestrated scores since Davis' Matrix trilogy. If you aren't amazed by the Airplane crash cue I'd be shocked, each shot of film is memorably cued, it even fits perfectly with sound effects, something only Williams has truly mastered. I had the good fortune of meeting Mr. Ottman at a soundtrack signing event and he is a very humble person, who speaks to you like a regular person. I've read several interviews with him, Williams is his idol, also keep in mind he scored the film after months of also being the editor, a very exhausting process for those who know. He's Singer's editor on all of his films also. All in all I believe Ottman, Powell and Giacchino keep hope alive in me that there will still be orchestral film scores in the future.

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The "Superman Returns" credits felt like a speed-reading class. And what was with all that cosmic stuff in the background? That just made it worse. There was no chance to enjoy anything in the whole sequence. It was made for impatient, attention-challenged channel-surfers who can't last through a 30 second TV theme. There was great opportunity to savor the music and the imagery as the 1978 sequence did, but if only this were the film's only missed opportunity!

As for Williams' credit, it was inappropriate, but then again so was "Superman II," which said: "Music Composed and Conducted by Ken Thorne; From Original Material Composed by John Williams." Considering that just about the entire score was an adaptation of Williams' original, I've always felt that Thorne should have gotten an "Adapted and Conducted by" credit only.

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Bryan Singer is an insecure ass clown, just watch him on any dvd extra.

What a douchebag, and he has no sense of film music whatsoever.

Loathe him and everything he stands for.

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Sorry to say that if you think that if "the entire film score is basically John Williams' original music cut, pasted, and butchered with wannabe attempts at his style", you have absolutely no idea about how composition works.

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... and the only memorable stuff from this new score is Williams' old themes. Ottman used them a lot, and that's cool, but yes, the credit was hard to read. If I recall correctly it was also almost "hidden" by some foreground/background gfx...

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... and the only memorable stuff from this new score is Williams' old themes. Ottman used them a lot, and that's cool, but yes, the credit was hard to read. If I recall correctly it was also almost "hidden" by some foreground/background gfx...

Williams is just a composer. I mean... who cares? People are more interested in executive producers, costume designers and casting directors.

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:roll:

Another Superman Returns-bashing thread.....quel surprise.....

The only reason some people really don't like this score is because Williams didn't write it I'm afraid.....Ottman made a fantastic job of writing new material and adapting (NOT cutting and pasting) Williams themes.....just because it ain't a Williams Superman, doesn't mean it ain't any good!!

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Williams was credited correctly, if he was slighted I'm sure his attorneys would be all over this. In fact I would imagine his agent or attorneys were consulted on how he would be credited.

You know John Ottman did compose a majority of the score. Although the temp tracks are obvious, he should have provided a small credit to James Horner as well but that's beside the point.

I would be more offended by the horrible editing to the theme than I would be at the speed the credits flew by. Besides today's audience couldn't handle a six minute opening credit sequence with no action taking place.

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I wasn't expecting a Williams score from Ottman, but I expected a competent one that worked in the film.

What we got was, in my opinion, neither successful as a stand-alone score nor as a follow-up to Williams' original.

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:roll:  

Another Superman Returns-bashing thread.....quel surprise.....

The only reason some people really don't like this score is because Williams didn't write it I'm afraid.....Ottman made a fantastic job of writing new material and adapting (NOT cutting and pasting) Williams themes.....just because it ain't a Williams Superman, doesn't mean it ain't any good!!

Very well put. I finally saw the movie on the big screen here at Uni and it was really good, and Ottman's score worked really well for me. Particularly, the montage with the love theme part of 'How Could You Leave Us' really made my hair stand on end.

In fact, that cue and 'Rough Flight' are among my most listened to cues at the moment. I really don't care whether Williams wrote it - Ottman did a very good job in my view.

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Let me offer my opinion...

I just saw the film the other day. I failed to catch it on the big screen, so I had to wait for the DVD release.

I found the film a nice one. I found the score to be quiet good for todays low standarts...

Now, you all remember the promotional phrase back in 1978...

"You'll believe a Man Can Fly!"

and what made me believe was Johnny Williams' score.

Unfortunatelly, in Superman Returns, I wasn't able to believe that a man could fly...

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I couldn't believe that Clark Kent disappeared for 5 years and Lois acted as if she hardly knew him when he returned.

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I couldn't believe that Clark Kent disappeared for 5 years and Lois acted as if she hardly knew him when he returned.

Hey, don't get me started... there are so many dumb things to be found in the story...

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Bryan Singer is an insecure ass clown, just watch him on any dvd extra.  

What a douchebag, and he has no sense of film music whatsoever.  

Loathe him and everything he stands for.

I guess its true what they say, it does take one to know one.

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Superman Returns was a pointless film. The plot was crappier than Superman III and IV. As for the score, the score was just as crappy as the film. Only one track is good and that is the last 50 seconds of Rough Flight. Superman Returns was made to show fans how Superman would look and fly in this century. Overall, Superman Returns was the worst film and had the worst score of 2006.

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It's odd. The score to Superman Returns is in both my top 5 and bottom 5 for the year. There are so many great moments in the score and, yet, so many missed opportunities. In some parts, particularly when he's flying, the film comes to a halt. People should never be yawning in the theatre when Superman flies, but they were.

On the whole, I enjoyed the film and have seen it multiple times.

I too noticed the credit zipping by very fast for Williams. I would have liked, "Original Themes by John Williams" since Krypton and Smallville also appear, not to mention that Ottman used a section of the Helicopter Sequence from The Movie.

In the end though, as a Superman fan, I wanted three things: 1) The Superman theme 2) An opening credits that uses Williams' music 3) Fly Around the World at the end.

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What we got was, in my opinion, neither successful as a stand-alone score nor as a follow-up to Williams' original.

That says it all, my friends.

I beg to differ.

Well, I beg to differ to your differentiation of....whatever. :baaa:

John- who still enjoyed the film

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You know, professionally there's a problem with inaccurately stating who did what, but in reality, no one watching the film ever even pays attention to the credits, :baaa:.

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Williams should be offended despite being the humblest man alive?

A score being bashed because it used Williams' themes but wasn't as good a score as that of their origin?

A score being bashed because not every cue has strict leitmotif or highly-catchy original themes?

A film being bashed because it revisits an old franchise in a new way, thus shitting on some peoples' childhood?

Talk of the quality of score writing and production put aside so that unjustified opinions can be thrown at one another?

No recognition for peoples' subjective preferences when it comes to style, themes, orchestration, references and adaptations?

Why it's just another day on JWfan! Some of you people are painfully boring. I agree with Dooku when he says that Powell, Ottman and Giacchino are holding the torch for the future of orchestral film scores. I'm sure some people are writhing in pain that this torch isn't in the exact shape as John T. Williams and will not, and certainly cannot be as such for the next 30 years of cinema. :|

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A score being bashed because not every cue has strict leitmotif or highly-catchy original themes?

No. I bash this score because, to me, it is horrible. It's not just because it's not Williams (I enjoy the scores to The Goblet of Fire and, to a lesser extent, Jurassic Park III), it's because I truly, honestly believe that it's an awful score.

A film being bashed because it revisits an old franchise in a new way, thus shitting on some peoples' childhood?

Again, nothing whatsoever to do with that. I bash the film because I thought it was rubbish. I really wanted to like this film. I wouldn't have seen it otherwise. I genuinely dislike this film - as I do the score - because it doesn't work as a standalone film, or as a continuation of the series.

Talk of the quality of score writing and production put aside so that unjustified opinions can be thrown at one another?

What exactly is an unjustified opinion? :?

No recognition for peoples' subjective preferences when it comes to style, themes, orchestration, references and adaptations?

Why it's just another day on JWfan!

Yep.

I agree with Dooku when he says that Powell, Ottman and Giacchino are holding the torch for the future of orchestral film scores.

I like some of Powell's work. However, if Giacchino and Ottman are "holding the torch" as far as film scoring goes, count me out.

I'm sure some people are writhing in pain that this torch isn't in the exact shape as John T. Williams and will not, and certainly cannot be as such for the next 30 years of cinema. :|

Again, not the case. The thing I like about film music is that it constantly changes. But one thing that has always been a common factor: these people all knew how to write music. A lot of the young composers around now seem to just think that tapping a few notes into a keyboard and passing it on to orchestrators is composing. It isn't. The resulting scores are bland, and almost none of these composers are developing their own styles. What does a John Ottman score sound like? What does a Michael Giacchino score sound like?

Of course, there are numerous exceptions - Desplat probably being the most promising in my eyes - but they just don't get the jobs they deserve, because most directors/studios just want someone who can knock out a production-line score in a couple of weeks.

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Superman Returns was a pointless film. The plot was crappier than Superman III and IV. As for the score, the score was just as crappy as the film. Only one track is good and that is the last 50 seconds of Rough Flight. Superman Returns was made to show fans how Superman would look and fly in this century. Overall, Superman Returns was the worst film and had the worst score of 2006.

And you are petitioning for the complete release of V for Vendetta? Perlease!!

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Williams was credited correctly, if he was slighted I'm sure his attorneys would be all over this. In fact I would imagine his agent or attorneys were consulted on how he would be credited.

OK, if word 'Theme' stands for : Superman March, Can you read my mind, Krypton theme, Smallville theme, Growing up music, Superman action-rescue music (when kitty is in the car)

I tend to think Williams just didnt care how he was credited.

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Again, didn't we go over this six months ago?

:angry:

It's like the issue of rereleasing Indy or Star Wars soundtracks. Everything that can be said (or asked) has been done already but everybody feels the need to keep doing it.

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I tend to think Williams just didnt care how he was credited.

That right there should tell you how ridiculous the first post is and how silly this thread has become.

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I couldn't believe that Clark Kent disappeared for 5 years and Lois acted as if she hardly knew him when he returned.

Just spotted this post Mark......if this is your true opinion, you have missed a huge amount of sub-text in the movie.....go watch it again!

:angry:

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Well let's not start to put down Ottman, it's not like he's did a hack job or a crappy media-venturised score. He quite honored the work of John and did his own thing.

Was the movie pointless? Completely pointless, yep. It had no soul, a bunch of scenes put together without any relation with the other.

I guess it would have been too long to write "Music based on themes written by John Williams" in the credits.

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Again, the lack of outrage coming from John Williams himself should tell you just how un-important and silly this has become.

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I couldn't believe that Clark Kent disappeared for 5 years and Lois acted as if she hardly knew him when he returned.

Ah well...girls...:happybday:

Burga - who was probably the first to bring up the super fast JW credit on this board...

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