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James Horner - The Amazing Spider-man


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Deconstructing Goldsmith was one of the more incisive venues during the heyday of film music review sites. I for one appreciate receiving a small slice of that here.

I'm a recent-ish Goldsmith convert and reading some "deconstructive" criticisms in this site have been much obliged.

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Elliott Goldenthal once said rightly, IMHO (!), that 80% of what the different arts produce every year is shit - and he included himself. But he did go on saying it was worth it for the remaining 20%.

I understand...I solve this by focusing on the swashbuckling elements rather than the Mariachi.

Just like drums are unmistakably drummer.

Why, thank you! Even i had forgotten about it... :sigh:

I actually sort of meant to compliment your critical comments...albeit in a backhanded way. But yeah your comments generally tend to be more critical than praising, to the point of making you take on a bitter grouch caricature in my head, on top of a guy being eaten by a shark.

But you are actually very consistent in your assessments and criticisms. With most people here, I could say "bet if it was John Williams you'd say it's original.". And they probably would. But I can't say the same for you, because you would call a rehash no matter who the composer. Heck I seem to remember you being one of the few people who don't see Schindlers List as a ground breaking technical work.

I disagree with you on this score, and I still imagine you as a mean Scrooge grouch character. But I know it's just because you have discerning and consistent taste. Not because you are an evil contrarian or fanboy.

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All the people who heard Star Wars and Indiana Jones and thought Schindlers List was some fresh monumental artistic work. You know cause it has soloists and stuff.

It must have been a blissful world in 1993...when minor string chords and melancholic woodwinds still were in the 'experimental' stage.

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All the people who heard Star Wars and Indiana Jones and thought Schindlers List was some fresh monumental artistic work. You know cause it has soloists and stuff.

It must have been a blissful world in 1993...when minor string chords and melancholic woodwinds still were in the 'experimental' stage.

We've already gone through our differences with this score before publicist, but I continue to rank Schindler's List as my favourite Williams' score and his best artistic achievement.

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Heck I seem to remember you being one of the few people who don't see Schindlers List as a ground breaking technical work.

Schindler's List as a ground breaking technical work? Who says that?

Most likely BloodBoal.

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Elliott Goldenthal once said rightly, IMHO (!), that 80% of what the different arts produce every year is shit - and he included himself.

Williams also said that, but I think that percentage was even higher (98% or something like that). Of course a gentleman like Williams wouldn't use the "shit" word. So the said "poo".

Karol

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I was travelling a lot lately (to visit old friends and other things like that) and it so happened that I started to replay this melody again and again in my mind. Happened more than once. But couldn't quite locate what it was. And then I gave this score a listen yesterday and it turns out it was the main theme from The Amazing Spider-Man. Definitely a grower and very well used in the score itself to define both Peter and the web crawler. Now I like it better than Elfman's.

Karol

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Okay guys, seen it. The movie is good. Solid but ordinary. The earlier one was much better.

The music though - I must say Horner's theme works very very well in the movie. He uses it almost constantly, whenever Spidey appears and even for Parker. By the end of the movie you will remember every note. Its a really good theme in the context of the movie, haven't heard the score on album so can't comment much about that.

One complaint would be that it is a tad to optimistic, so even when it is played during darker scenes, it can sound slightly anachronistic. Also its a melodic theme unlike Elfman's kinda progression like theme. Consequently I think Eflman's theme gave a greater sense of scope since Horner's theme while good is not a total knockout. But again, very satisfying within the movie itself. The rest of the score was also good.

I'd say chalk this up as second to John Carter amongst the summer scores. Its better than Brave's score.

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Bought the score today and listened to it several times to get a good impression. I have to say, it is really somewhat surprising that, while the movie is certainly more hip and more targeted towards a teen audience than the Raimi films, the score goes in the opposite direction.

To me, Horner's score is a bit more conservative compared to Elfman. Lengthy portions of the album actually remind me of Elfman's Hulk.

What is really annoying to me is the overbearing use of piano tingling. It gets on my nerves. Did someone figure out a theme for the Lizard? Is it the ethnic wailing sound? Haven't seen the film yet.

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What is really annoying to me is the overbearing use of piano tingling. It gets on my nerves. Did someone figure out a theme for the Lizard? Is it the ethnic wailing sound? Haven't seen the film yet.

Yes does the Lizard have a theme at all? I miss memorable bad guy themes, and not just in superhero scores.
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According to a poster on FSM:

I'm really digging this. Nothing will ever top Elfman's two scores for me but I'm really surprised how much I'm enjoying it.

No Lizard theme stands out though, which is a shame since all the other villains had good themes, especially Doc Ock.

There's a horn motif for the Lizard. It's played in Metamorphosis, The Bridge, and Oscorp Tower.

and

Any way you can provide times? Thanks!

On Oscorp Tower you can listen to it at 2:38 (and played like in The Bridge). In Metamorphosis is played as a string ostinato.

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Interesting. Perhaps we are witnessing the birth of a new "danger motif" here. ;) I'll certainly be listening to this score a few more times this weekend.

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It's used very slyly, though.

I like it much more than Elfmans, which i never warmed up to. It should be noted, however, that Horner and hip samples are not the most harmonic of couplings, the whole thing is rather dishearteningly simple in construction but as far as big summer blockbuster scores go, it's the most entertaining in a long while.

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Did you like it then?

Karol

I like it quite a bit actually.

I don't remember particular highlights though, even if "Saving New York" and "Oscorp Tower" are ferocious and splendid action setpieces.

I do remember, however, a prominent Star Trek fanfare (could be from "Enterprise Clears Moorings" if I remeber correctly) in "Becoming Spider-Man" and Titanic's Leaving Port synth choir motif in a later cue ;)

It's definitely worth pointing out that this superhero film for once is not influenced by Remote Control at all. And that alone is worth the album.

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Just got back from the movie, which I personally found quite disappointing. Horner's score was certainly one of the better points of the film for me - it's mixed quite prominently and helps in propelling forward quite a few poorly-paced portions in the film. I've begun to appreciate the main theme much more after experiencing it with the visuals now.

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I just saw it, and the movie was a little eh. Definitely funny, since I'm a teenager.

About the score, I felt that the main theme was reminiscent of the CBS news theme Horner did. Peter's theme on the piano, I feel, could have been more expanded on, and that at some points, the score didn't fit in well properly with the scene. In particular, it was the part where Peter tells Gwen his involvement with Dr. Connors. The french horn plays the Spider-man theme, making it seem heroic, but the scene was very sad and guilty.

At one part, where he looks at the cranes, the very fake choir plays, along with percussion, which sounds almost ripped from Titanic.

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I like the score but I agree that it doesn't always fit in the film. The theme, while nice, to me is a little too romantic sounding and felt really out of place to me during the school fight. I think that maybe if it was arranged differently there maybe it could have worked. Personally, the music feels far more like Star Trek than Spider-Man to me, but I'm sure it will grow on me. I kept waiting for Elfman's theme to kick in, as its one of my favorite themes of the past decade, and I was even holding out hope during the final swing, but alas, reality snuck in.

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Why is Elfman's Spider-Man theme so great all of a sudden? I thought like 90% of the film score fanbase had a hard time even locating it. They even did a whole podcast on this subject (FSM that is). I like those scores (in fact I like all four) but there is nothing special about this theme at all.

Karol

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Saw the film today. Hadn't listened to the score at all beforehand, but have been humming the main theme all day. So that's something.

The film was good. I think I prefer the Raimi originals on a storytelling level, but this one had some beautiful and often very funny character work. I've been feeling kind of superhero-ed out over the last few years, but this was probably my favorite of the genre since The Dark Knight. Definitely liked it more than any of the Avengers films.

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Why is Elfman's Spider-Man theme so great all of a sudden? I thought like 90% of the film score fanbase had a hard time even locating it. They even did a whole podcast on this subject (FSM that is). I like those scores (in fact I like all four) but there is nothing special about this theme at all.

Karol

The theme is hardly hard to hear. Spider-Man and the sequels were one of the few franchises that actually had opening credits in the past decade, with the theme playing full blast. I never had any trouble identifying any themes or motifs from the Elfman scores. Anyone who says otherwise are just trying to cause troubling or haven't seen the films more than once.

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Why is Elfman's Spider-Man theme so great all of a sudden? I thought like 90% of the film score fanbase had a hard time even locating it. They even did a whole podcast on this subject (FSM that is). I like those scores (in fact I like all four) but there is nothing special about this theme at all.

Karol

I never had a problem with spotting the theme. It's actually very recognizable, to the point where any mainstream nut with no clue about film music whatsoever could point it out. Elfman's theme was just the perfect embodiment of Spiderman.

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