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Temple of the Doom appreciation thread


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I'll say the same thing I did in another thread regarding ToD.   The thing about ToD is that JW composed every single note of it with perfection, whether we're talking about action sequences

General Grievous, you’re shorter than I expected.    I don’t post a hell of a lot, but Temple of Doom just gets me every time.   I remember being a kid seeing it in the theater and welling up w

The thing about Temple of Doom is that some can't see past the fact that the film was never supposed to be about representing Indian culture as a whole.  The Thuggees are essentially a terrorist cell

Like you, I adore (JW) action music. His style is so detailed, rich and seamless, jumping from one theme to another, and the evolution and clever use of theme. For instance, the Slave Children theme that goes from dark at the beginning of the movie at the village, to heroic at the end at the bridge. Impressive and beautiful. JW is so good at this, that I sometimes recognize differently adjusted themes years after listening to the OST or watching the movie.

 

TOD is one of those OST that solidified my love and appreciation for JW music. He didn't have to write a motif for the water escape, or the cart chase, or all the catchy action cues, and yet he did, and it makes the movie better for it. All of this music work make this movie unforgettable. I'd say the TOD OST has the strongest identity of the 3 Indiana Jones movies, maybe because it's the most action-packed, in your face but that's exactly why I love it. It's a ride of an OST. 

 

I'm not necessarily saying it's my favorite, as I adore Last Crusade too, which has a very different musical identity. As weird as it sounds, Last Crusade gives me European vibes, because of the composition, and the religious/holy motifs mostly at the end of the movie. It definitely has more heart and is very different.

 

I wish we had genius music like this for today's movies, JW or not (when applicable of course, ie. action movies).

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I've always been fascinated for JW's use of Short Round's Theme for the trek music to Pankot Palace.

 

I like to think it's foreshadowing Short Round saving Indy and Willie.  Without him, they probably never get out of the Temple.  Did JW purposely do that?  I like to think so.

 

It also just works extremely well as 'trek' music.

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Probably does a better job than TLC at finding the actual highest highlights to shove into those insanely restrictive 40 minutes but many of them are very much hurt by being yanked out of the intended context with their jumpscare starts with no buildup and stuff like that.

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2 hours ago, Quintus said:

While it's a terrific score in another league to any sort of modern blockbuster soundtrack equivalent, ToD is my least favourite of the three main Indy scores. I thoroughly enjoy the music as heard in the film, but on its own I tend to find a lot of it quite overbearing. Still, it's a bona fide classic nevertheless.

It's the 1941 of Indiana Jones scores...but like 1941, it's an awful lot of fun.

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Hey, you liking it more than something else can be objectively true any time. It being better than the others is what some people may contest. (not me, its my favourite of the Indy scores and movies, I'm past caring to conform to conventionally accepted rankings)

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The Concord release is flawed, technically speaking. VERY flawed! Wrong pitch on some of the unreleased tracks and excessive reverb on all of the unreleased tracks. Unbalance between the apparently three sources used, the OST master plus two different sources for the unreleased stuff (I assume it's two sources because of the obvious shift in quality during "Short Round Helps" and "Broken Bridge/British Relief"). The only thing I did altered was the pitch of the unreleased tracks, where needed. That was unbearable to me. That's why I haven't touched my CD for over a decade or so.

 

But I actually don't mind the relentless action sequencing. Of course, they should have included more of the suspensefull stuff on CD5 (there was more than enough room for it).

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7 hours ago, phbart said:

The only thing I did altered was the pitch of the unreleased tracks, where needed. That was unbearable to me. That's why I haven't touched my CD for over a decade or so.

 

Isn't that basically impossible to fix because the tapes run at inconsistent speeds throughout? Meaning, different sections of tracks are running at different speeds and the pitch is inconsistent (so you can't provide a blanket fix to the whole track and resolve the pitch).

 

How the hell that even happened with digital recordings boggles the mind. If the tapes were improperly handled during transfer, it'd make more sense (but the spectograms indicate the source was digital).

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Back in 2014 I saw John Williams at the BSO for his film night, and I eagerly flipped through the program book to get to the playlist, and there was NO Temple of Doom cues.  I figured he might have added something for the 30th anniversary of that movie/score.

 

I wonder where Temple of Doom (and a lot of our forum favorites) rank with Mr. Williams himself.

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18 hours ago, crumbs said:

 

Isn't that basically impossible to fix because the tapes run at inconsistent speeds throughout? Meaning, different sections of tracks are running at different speeds and the pitch is inconsistent (so you can't provide a blanket fix to the whole track and resolve the pitch).

Actually you can alter portions of the track's pitch. I used Cool Edit Pro (now called Adobe Audition). In the case of "Short Round Helps" (where the first 1:15 are wrong) and "Broken Bridge/British Release" (where the British Relief portion is wrong), this is what I did. The results are remarkably seamless.

 

Short Round Helps

Short Round Helps.png

 

 

British Relief

British Relief.png

 

 

For all other tracks with wrong pitch (from CD2 Saving Willie, Water!, The Sword Trick, and from CD5, Indy and the Villagers and Return to the Village/Raiders March) I just applied the change for the entire track.

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On 8/7/2020 at 6:32 AM, SilverTrumpet said:

I happened to give it another listen two weekends ago and sometimes I feel like I like it better than Raiders.

 

I know that's probably not objectively true, but man. It's completely fantastic. 

RAIDERS is my least favorite because I never cared for the main theme.

The subsequent scores use less and less of it, all to the better!

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12 hours ago, Bellosh said:

Back in 2014 I saw John Williams at the BSO for his film night, and I eagerly flipped through the program book to get to the playlist, and there was NO Temple of Doom cues.  I figured he might have added something for the 30th anniversary of that movie/score.

 

I wonder where Temple of Doom (and a lot of our forum favorites) rank with Mr. Williams himself.

The film has alot to do with it.

It's reputation was never great and has only diminished in light of modern cultural sensitivities.

Personally,  thought it went way overboard with the " gross out" stuff

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2 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

The film has alot to do with it.

It's reputation was never great and has only diminished in light of modern cultural sensitivities.

Personally,  thought it went way overboard with the " gross out" stuff

 

Yeah you're very right, and I was always understanding of that.  I figured he'd atleast give us the Parade of the Slave Children or Short Round's theme that night, though.

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Chill, Erik!😊

 

I don't I agree with ALL  the criticisms.

The critics didn't focus on the Thugee /Indian culture depiction so much as

The " white savior" aspect; which is valid.

The " grossness" extended beyond the dinner scene. Remember the bugs? The beating

heart? Yuk! 😆

Overall it's an entertaining adventure but

it's not in the same class as the other two films - anyway you look at it!

 

Btw I loved it when I first saw it in 70mm

Later, watching it for a second time, I thought to myself " what were you thinking?!" 😎

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Remember the bugs, are you serious? Remember the spiders? Remember the snakes? Remember the rats?

Remember one guy's face melting off, another's being sucked onto his skull, and another's head exploding? Wow, a beating heart, so gross.

 

Does Indy being white have anything to do with a depressed starving oppressed rural village asking a healthy educated person for help?

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7 hours ago, Erik Woods said:

The thing about Temple of Doom is that some can't see past the fact that the film was never supposed to be about representing Indian culture as a whole.  The Thuggees are essentially a terrorist cell using Hinduism as a front to condone what they are doing. They are NO different that radicalized Islamic terrorists, for instance, who blow up buildings in the name of God.  

As for the dinner... of course it was gross.  These aren't normal people and the meal was never indented to represent Indian cuisine as well.

So this BS about racism, sexism and whatnot in Temple of Doom is utter BS. 

And Spielberg speaking ill of the fllm doesn't help the films reputation either. It's a superb piece of entertainment that did what it was supposed to do and did it brilliantly!

 

Well said.

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On 8/7/2020 at 10:16 PM, crumbs said:

How the hell that even happened with digital recordings boggles the mind. 

 

Well, I would guess the score was recorded to analog tape AND digital, but 1984 era digital was probably not considered good enough when making the Concord box in 2008, so they figured they'd transfer the analog tapes in high res and use that.  They just didn't use the machine properly when they did.  Hopefully the tapes were re-vaulted adequately...

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3 hours ago, Jay said:

 

Well, I would guess the score was recorded to analog tape AND digital, but 1984 era digital was probably not considered good enough when making the Concord box in 2008, so they figured they'd transfer the analog tapes in high res and use that.  They just didn't use the machine properly when they did.  Hopefully the tapes were re-vaulted adequately...

 

Listen, sorry read, I am someone who have a relative (and not perfect) pitch and the pitch "problems" about the Concord boxset are overstated. Okay, Mike Matessimo would have done it better, but, still it's not the failure like many want us to think.

 

Tuning the music on the true true true right pitch (even if it's always relative, because no software can do it automatically) is a very modern concern thing... born with the digital era. 

 

Like I said before, if it's less than a 1/4 tone...

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6 hours ago, bruce marshall said:

It sounds too much like SW

 

Ranking the Films

 

TLC

ROLA

KOCS

TOD

 

Ranking the scores

 

TLC

TOD

ROLA

KOCS

Skull better than Temple? Wtf, man? One of the most violent Spielberg movies and lazy piece of shit with PG-13

 

And Raiders March sounding like SW is bullshit too. If you do comparison like this, Superman sounds like SW too and you can go on

 

Why not to say that they sound the same because they use orchestra? Wow!

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