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Opinion of James Horner.


Kevin
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What do you find annoying about it, the Mexican-isms, or the typical Horner stuff? I can't stand his love theme. The sequels seemed to be more pure fun, without too much of the annoying mushy stuff.

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I thought he won an oscar for Star Trek II's score?

That was the year John Williams won for a small budgeted film call E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan was not even nominated.

Bicentenial Man is on television tonight...I'm disturbed by how much the main theme sounds like Braveheart. :)

are you disturbed by how much Aliens, and Capricorn One sound like Star Trek, or that Poltergeist sounds like Gremlins, and every other Joe Dante/JG score.

Its called signature sound, and each composer worth his salt has that.

Horner will never be the best, but he's not as bad as he's made out to be.

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Horner "only" won two Oscars for Titanic, if I remember correctly.

But check this out ...

In his youth Horner once dated Carrie Goldsmith, daughter of revered composer Jerry Goldsmith. (Carrie Goldsmith, Deconstructing Dad: The Unfinished Life and Times of Jerry Goldsmith, "Chapter 1" (excerpt)

Hot damn, I didn't know that! :lol::):D

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What do you find annoying about it, the Mexican-isms, or the typical Horner stuff?

No I love the Mexicanisms (and Spanish-isms, if you are referring to the Flamenco stuff)

I just hate the Shakahuchisomething flute in this score, together with the 4 note danger motif it just sounds like I'm constantly being trown from Zorro to Willow.

Also, while the main theme for Zorro is pretty good, by the time the first track ends I've heard it so much already that I'm sick to death of it.

But I actually like the lovetheme with it's easy-listening, poppy appeal.

In his youth Horner once dated Carrie Goldsmith, daughter of revered composer Jerry Goldsmith. (Carrie Goldsmith, Deconstructing Dad: The Unfinished Life and Times of Jerry Goldsmith, "Chapter 1" (excerpt)

Hot damn, I didn't know that! :lol::):D

According to Carrie herself, it was just one date, and it was Jerry who kept teasing her about it for the rest of his life.

Horner will never be the best, but he's not as bad as he's made out to be.

Damn straight!

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And Horner once stated in an interview that when he did his first film score in 1981 (Oliver Stone's The Hand), he'd never heard of John or Jerry.

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And Williams rips as well.

I'm sick of the Zorro theme because Miklos Rozsa wrote it for El Cid.

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Is there a particular reason why he uses the "danger motif" so much?

Maybe it's because there's so much danger present in the movies he scores. :music:

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He found a motif that he likes to use and the director/producer may like it as well.

God knows Goldsmith got enought mileage out of his US Marshalls theme/motif. Williams seems to have found his own, Ludlow's Demise has appeared in several recent films.

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That cartoon freaked me out when I was little. I liked the dinosaurs, but the kid turning into a monkey and that Screweyes dude getting 'dissolved' by the crows... :cool:

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Williams seems to have found his own, Ludlow's Demise has appeared in several recent films.

took him quite a long while to find one eh? but yea, he doesnt get as much flak as Horner does for it.

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Williams seems to have found his own, Ludlow's Demise has appeared in several recent films.

took him quite a long while to find one eh? but yea, he doesnt get as much flak as Horner does for it.

Because the guy just spends time re-orchestrating the thing. And its not a character theme. Just generic action music.

And way better than a 4 note motif.

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Williams seems to have found his own, Ludlow's Demise has appeared in several recent films.

took him quite a long while to find one eh? but yea, he doesnt get as much flak as Horner does for it.

He actually hasn't used it in quite a few years, has he?

Must've gotten tired of it after exhausting the audience's ears with it in Minority Report.

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He also used a variation of it in ROTS.

He's only used it about 4 times where Horner uses his almost every time there is danger it seems.

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I believe Nick Redman once wrote an article about Horner's music. How it is quite intentional, many of his recurring motifs. He associates certain motifs with certain concepts, and uses them in most of his pieces.

Doesn't really pan out, but it's an interesting way of explaining it.

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That would just seems to strengthen the argument against him. It's one thing to be unaware that you're continually recycling your own music, but to do it purposefully?

Ray Barnsbury

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Williams seems to have found his own, Ludlow's Demise has appeared in several recent films.

took him quite a long while to find one eh? but yea, he doesnt get as much flak as Horner does for it.

He actually hasn't used it in quite a few years, has he?

Of course.. he has not made a score since 2005 :blink:

BTW Williams has only used it more or less fully in TLW (1st source), The Patriot, Philosopher's stone, Minority Report and War of The Worlds.

3-4 seconds cameos in AOTC and ROTS. Possibly in Azkaban too. I dont remember about CoS.

Don Davis used it nicely in JPIII.

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He also used a variation of it in ROTS.

He's only used it about 4 times where Horner uses his almost every time there is danger it seems.

Williams has used variations on the Emperor's theme quite often, too.

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And Williams rips as well.

I'm sick of the Zorro theme because Miklos Rozsa wrote it for El Cid.

if you were even remotely correct on this then you really should love it, but its not el cid, and it has its own life. a marvelous score IMHO

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3-4 seconds cameos in AOTC and ROTS. Possibly in Azkaban too. I dont remember about CoS.

it is? which bits? must have missed it. and yes, it is in CoS...very little but its there.

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3-4 seconds cameos in AOTC and ROTS. Possibly in Azkaban too. I dont remember about CoS.

it is? which bits? must have missed it. and yes, it is in CoS...very little but its there.

AOC: Love Pledge and the arena 4:42 - 4:49

ROTS: 'The boys continue' , In the movie the scene when Anakin and obi wan are fighting in the plumbs and jump to a lower level in his fight (lava explosion on the background and they grip their hands), just before the lava falls and breaks the bridge thing. Its very short.

Af far as i heard yesterday, in Azkaban OST, its not there. at least in a noticeable form.

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And Williams rips as well.

I'm sick of the Zorro theme because Miklos Rozsa wrote it for El Cid.

if you were even remotely correct on this then you really should love it, but its not el cid, and it has its own life. a marvelous score IMHO

I am remotely correct, you should know that.

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When I first started listening to film music as a teenager, I liked Horner and up until about the last year, I still did. However, I just get incessantly annoyed whenever I see a track from Legends of the Fall or The Forgotten or Casper or Bicentennial Man come up on the comp or iPod. However, I am growing fonder of Krull, Star Trek III, and have always been a fan of Star Trek II and Brainstorm. Then there's the old stand-bys like Aliens, The Rocketeer, Braveheart, Sneakers, and Clear and Present Danger (well, just "Ambush" really). I think the only two scores of his that I've liked in the 21st Century have been Enemy at the Gates (derivative as it may be) and The Legend of Zorro. The rest just kinda blow.

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I can recall being a little kid, watching The Wrath of Khan and thinking, "Cool! I'll get that. Maybe this is somebody else whose movie music I can get into." Well, a short while after that, it became very hit and miss for JH in my ears. Maybe he bent under the constant deadlines, etc. But something vanished.

Even then, A Beautiful Mind was good.

Horner's is stolen from Mahler. JW's starts off with Mahler, and then expands and changes it. Like his love theme from Superman. Of course it's Strauss. But he took it and expanded it, and created something new.

So I guess then it's Strauss that Goldsmith is swiping numerous times during "Forever Young," not JW's Superman Love Theme? I guess nothing is new under the sun. :)

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All prolific composers develop certain habits, certain preferences, certain stylistic "trademarks"...There is nothing wrong with this. And it is usually not a case of "self-plagiarism". What can be more disturbing, is if a composer with a limited palette gets too comfortable with his or her own devices/musical default settings.

I think James Horner is a technically limited composer, with a musical vocabulary that seems to have imploded (not that it ever was that great to begin with).

My qualms with his music have nothing to do with repetitiveness or lack of originality. After all, how much music is truly original? Originality is such a misused, and frequently misunderstood, concept, especially in terms of art. Originality, whatever one would wish to imply by that, is a very poor criterium for judging quality in art. Truthfulness or beauty are much better criteria, even if they, too, can be fairly vague.

I find Horner's music very boring, and I am mostly unimpressed with his melodic abilities, and find him a mediocre craftsman. And what's much worse, I am never really touched by anything he writes.

Having said that, he is obviously much better than many of his Hollywood colleagues. Unfortunately, that isn't much of a compliment these days..

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I can recall being a little kid, watching The Wrath of Khan and thinking, "Cool! I'll get that. Maybe this is somebody else whose movie music I can get into." Well, a short while after that, it became very hit and miss for JH in my ears. Maybe he bent under the constant deadlines, etc. But something vanished.

I was exactly the same way. TWOK was my first Horner score, and I was completely blown away. In a good way, that is. I especially enjoyed the main title. I bought the soundtrack some years later and my respect for Horner dropped a little bit--by itself, the music often felt a little thinly orchestrated, but I still think that the OST's horrible sound quality was partially responsible for my disappointment. Anyway, I still had high hopes for Horner as I started to listen around to his other stuff. Unfortunately, "hit and miss" very well describes my experiences with him, too. Bicentennial Man, for instance, had moments of gorgeous beauty and other moments of annoying mediocrity. His so-called self-plagiarism is inescapable, too.

All prolific composers develop certain habits, certain preferences, certain stylistic "trademarks"...There is nothing wrong with this. And it is usually not a case of "self-plagiarism". What can be more disturbing, is if a composer with a limited palette gets too comfortable with his or her own devices/musical default settings.

I think James Horner is a technically limited composer, with a musical vocabulary that seems to have imploded (not that it ever was that great to begin with).

My qualms with his music have nothing to do with repetitiveness or lack of originality. After all, how much music is truly original? Originality is such a misused, and frequently misunderstood, concept, especially in terms of art. Originality, whatever one would wish to imply by that, is a very poor criterium for judging quality in art. Truthfulness or beauty are much better criteria, even if they, too, can be fairly vague.

Great post. You're right that originality is misunderstood, although you have to agree that Horner has re-used his own music more than the average film composer.

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Love his early stuff,

Dunno what happened to him though. It's as though he has lost interest in exploring new themes and new music full stop.

I respect him a lot though. And he is still one of my most favorite composers.

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After all, how much music is truly original? Originality is such a misused, and frequently misunderstood, concept, especially in terms of art. Originality, whatever one would wish to imply by that, is a very poor criterium for judging quality in art. Truthfulness or beauty are much better criteria, even if they, too, can be fairly vague.

Beautifully and truthfully written. :lol:

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you forgot Star Trek 2 and 3

and american Tails

I wnder if he gonna do a complete score of Star trek 2 and 3 ?

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Great post. You're right that originality is misunderstood, although you have to agree that Horner has re-used his own music more than the average film composer.

Hmmm...not sure I can agree with that. I'd rather say that Horner has more obviously re-used his music then the average film composer.

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I'm listening to Glory right now. It's full of classical "nods", to put it lightly, but what a score. There is true talent in Horner.

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