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What Is The Last Score You Listened To? (older scores)


Ollie

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4 hours ago, E.T. and Elliot said:

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith expanded score

The Empire Strikes Back OST

Star Wars: The Force Awakens OST

Star Trek: Generations complete score

 

Which is the odd one out?

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Executive Decision - Jerry Goldsmith

 

A true bottlecap - Goldsmith authorative description of even many of his regular-sized albums - this new Varése expansion of a real pragmatic action/suspense score to an equally pragmatic-if-fun Joel Silver airplane abduction blockbuster is a red flag example why the 90's became less and less kind to intelligent film music.

 

With story and characters reduced to cartoon levels to allow for a maximum dose of expensive action sequences to be inserted at precisely timed key points, the composer's job for better or worse was to give the movie it's all-important cum shots on the aural channels (often in tandem with large amounts of aircraft blasting off some carrier) while carpeting the rest with functional morse codes to clue the audience (bomb may go off soon!) that would require more mathematical than musical acumen.

 

Goldsmith was of course bound/damned to be successful at this: his often motivic, unfuzzy and swift writing for the genre made it much easier to him than for many other composers of his generation to deliver the goods, with the only downside being that the resulting scores became less and less interesting to listen to on their own. Which is also a confirmation how awfully good his scores from bygone times actually were ('Cassandra Crossing', 'Capricorn One', 'Outland', 'First Blood' etcetc).

 

There is something off, though, if the most sound characterization in your movie score is for a bomb (a typical Goldsmith 90's device of swooshing/twitching synth stuff that runs through most of the picture's latter half. Goldsmith lack of interest also shows in a succession of cue titles that say 'Gee, i don't care': Pick it Up!, Do it!, Hold it!, Don't Do it and so on.

 

In smaller doses, 'Executive Decision' can be quite fun, with a huge arsenal of roaring Goldsmith horns in the open fifths and some moments where the composer has fun with his prolonged crystalline counter trumpets echoing in the background. The little beacons of light ('The Abduction', 'Initiating Approach') can't outweigh the huge amounts of repetition and the bluntness of the orchestration, chief among them a depressingly rigid drum machine and a, for Goldsmith, terrifyingly uncreative application of synth tic-toc's.

 

 

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To be fair, Goldsmith always had a penchant of short, descriptive track titles of one to three words.

 

But yeah this is distinctly average 90's Goldsmith with a decent enough theme and a nice setpiece or two. No ready for it to have ever been presented beyond the 30 minute OST though.

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First Blood

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

Masters of the Universe

Star Wars

 

These scores are so dated. Those corny fanfares. Themes should be a maximum of two notes. They need more electronics. Not enough bass. Just...no.

 

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

 

Sappy sentimental drivel. They should have Trent Reznor redo it.

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Nobody's Fool - Howard Shore

 

I fell in love with the novel when I was in high school and thought the movie was a really good adaptation, one of Paul Newman's most under-appreciated performances.  The score is probably my favorite of Shore's 90s dramatic scores. Really beautiful themes and, as the La-La Land liner notes point out, the instrumentation and tone of much of the soundtrack foreshadows how he would score the Shire in LOTR.  Bravo Mr. Shore!

 

This is my favorite track and it definitely has a lot of the Shire in it.

 

 

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Misconduct - Federico Jusid

 

A beautiful throwback to the 1990s suspense drama scores. Jusid channels Herrmann through the excellent "Overture", but carves his own way elsewhere. There's a nice structure to the score, befitting Jusid's classical training, but it remains interesting and well-orchestrated throughout.

 

 

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Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

 

I don't know what James Horner was worse at: composing music or flying planes. Thank God Zimmer took over for Amazing Spider-Man 2. This style of music is so antiquated and cheesy. Giacchino's Star Trek scores are completely superior.

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:music: Man of Steel by Hans Zimmer. A much better and more coherent piece from its schizophrenic sequel. In fact listening to this album is a much better experience than watching this dreadful film. Zimmer gets what Superman is all about and manages to tie the Kryptionian New Agey weirdness, Kansas' human element and superheroic feats into one recognizable idea. Obviously, his theme has very little to do with John Williams' idea of American patriotism, but at least it stands on its own as an unique beast. Which in itself is a good thing, and makes sense within its own sonic world. Some of the action bits are bit annoying but it all flows relatively well from one track into another and it seems to form a fairly coherent whole. Underrated score.

 

Karol

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Why would you say its underrated, Karol?  It's received pretty steady acclaim since it came out.

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Perhaps you're right. But I always felt that John Williams fans (or orchestral music fans) never gave this a proper chance. Some reviews (I'm not saying all of them) were properly biased (MovieWave, MovieMusicUK and Filmtracks all gave it one star). It has nothing to do with that sound, of course, but feels like it does justice to the character in its own way. I treat it more as a pop music piece and that makes sense when dealing with a popculture icon. And this is the type of Zimmer that I can stand behind.

 

And this is one of the best Zimmer tracks ever:

 

 

Karol

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Memoirs of a Geisha (Williams) - I just don't understand how this hack keeps getting scoring assignments.  It's scores like this dreadful mess that confound me to no end.  It's clear Williams has no knowledge of or respect for the ethnic music traditions behind the music, and all the mediocre violin and cello solos are unnecessary and boring.  Dull, self-indulgent, and insensitive: stay far away from this one.

 

Deadpool (Holkenborg) - Sometimes it's just nice to have a reminder of why we love film music in the first place, and I have the feeling I'll always be able to turn to this for that purpose.  From the first time I heard this, I was blown away by all the nuance and dynamic range.  Tracks like "Twelve Bullets" and "Maximum Effort" are genius from the first beat to the last.  It's time for the orchestra to die its long overdue death; all hail the sequencer!

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Just now, Gnome in Plaid said:

Memoirs of a Geisha (Williams) - I just don't understand how this hack keeps getting scoring assignments.  It's scores like this dreadful mess that confound me to no end.  It's clear Williams has no knowledge of or respect for the ethnic music traditions behind the music, and all the mediocre violin and cello solos are unnecessary and boring.  Dull, self-indulgent, and insensitive: stay far away from this one.

 

Deadpool (Holkenborg) - Sometimes it's just nice to have a reminder of why we love film music in the first place, and I have the feeling I'll always be able to turn to this for that purpose.  From the first time I heard this, I was blown away by all the nuance and dynamic range.  Tracks like "Twelve Bullets" and "Maximum Effort" are genius from the first beat to the last.  It's time for the orchestra to die its long overdue death; all hail the sequencer!

 

Yes!

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2 minutes ago, crocodile said:

:music: Interstellar by Hans Zimmer. To close my Zimmer trilogy, I chose another fine one.

 

 

Karol

 

Good choice again!  What a special piece of music.

 

Memoirs is great too, and now that it's been mentioned, I think I have to put it on later!

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1 hour ago, crocodile said:

:music: Man of Steel by Hans Zimmer. A much better and more coherent piece from its schizophrenic sequel. In fact listening to this album is a much better experience than watching this dreadful film. Zimmer gets what Superman is all about and manages to tie the Kryptionian New Agey weirdness, Kansas' human element and superheroic feats into one recognizable idea. Obviously, his theme has very little to do with John Williams' idea of American patriotism, but at least it stands on its own as an unique beast. Which in itself is a good thing, and makes sense within its own sonic world. Some of the action bits are bit annoying but it all flows relatively well from one track into another and it seems to form a fairly coherent whole. Underrated score.

 

Karol

 

It's much, much better score than the sequel. Still, I could do without all the drumming and banging

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cocoon-the-return.gif

 

Cocoon - The Return - James Horner

 

A really lame retreat that takes great pains to avoid any departure or even enrichment of the first score. Though through the sheer loveliness of the old themes and two wonderfully joyous swing numbers it's a breezy and charming listen.

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The main difference is that it feels breezier and gentler. Which, depending on your mood, might be good or bad.

 

:music: Lair by John Debney

 

Karol

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Freud (Goldsmith) - I forced myself to at least give Deadpool a try for the April Fool's post, and needed a palate cleanser after that monstrosity.  Not much can rival early Goldsmith.  I feel... cleansed now.

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I think I should post more. I'll start here.

 

Been rehashing some old Graeme Revell work. Notably Chronicles of Riddick, my favourite of his. Currently "M38" A.K.A. the theme for the Prison Escape scene of the film. 

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Yes, the first 1:30 of this, how great is that, and the preceding track as well?  That climax just lifts me right out of my seat, on its own.  Can you imagine how great a scene could be if the cinematic component were on the same level? 

 

 

I like to imagine better contexts for moments like this that come from movies that weren't too hot.  This one really sets my imagination going.  Let's hear it at the end of the first part of the big Avengers war movie, after someone bites it and the rest of the crew goes off to fight Thanos. 

 

...is Tyler scoring that one again?

 

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The composer for Avengers 3 & 4 has not been announced yet.

 

Though Henry Jackman, who scored Winter Soldier for the Russos, did return to score Civil War for the Russos, and since they are directing Avengers 3 & 4, he seems likely...

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Think he wrote something close to an hour. But then, that was never really confirmed. Was it one of his assistants (or whoever) who mentioned that they needed to complete so much music in so little time (and everyone assumed it must have been this film). Something like that. There was another 5 minutes of his material available on Youtube about a year ago (in poorer quality) but I can't find it now. Some of it, or perhaps even all of it, was from the opening Sokovia sequence. I know that the bit when Stark drones try to warn the residents is there. There was a nice statement of Elfman's theme in that bit.

 

Karol

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4 hours ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

Yes, the first 1:30 of this, how great is that, and the preceding track as well?  That climax just lifts me right out of my seat, on its own.  Can you imagine how great a scene could be if the cinematic component were on the same level? 

 

 

 

I find it funny that for all the bashing Zimmer gets, TASM2 features more woodwinds that most of the Marvel factory scores.

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I also like all the suites Hans did for that (Electro, Harry). It's a cheeky score - and few scores manage to smuggle such heresy beyond the watchful eyes of their sponsors.

 

 

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3 hours ago, KK. said:

 

I find it funny that for all the bashing Zimmer gets, TASM2 features more woodwinds that most of the Marvel factory scores.

Although I don't know who wrote what for certain, I get the feeling Zimmer wasn't the problem with TASM 2, but that the badness comes from the rest of the "Magnificent" Six.  Zimmer's suites, particularly the Harry suite and the woodwind parts of the Electro suite, are interesting (also, as I've said before, what I would give for a version of the Electro suite with electric guitars instead of dubstep and without that damn chant), but so much of the score is middling at best.

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You make it sound like ASM 2 was some damn thesis. They just had some fun and the Electro stuff is cheesy by design - and why not, you get fake seriousness in flattop quantities in all the other superhero movies.

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Indeed. The bottom line is that this score was "fun". And it's interesting how literally they took a concept of teenage popculture icon in an urban environment that is Spider-Man. Whether you like it or not, this score captures this idea very well. The character is supposed ro be youthful after all.

 

Karol

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Bah! Humbug! These damn kids of today with their newfangled dubsteps and phat beats and whispering Pharrel Williamses. :stick:

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by Hans Zimmer and the other guys: I tried. I really tried. I couldn't get past the first five tracks. I guess it is official, I am allergic to Zimmer.

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