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Crystal Skull vs Force Awakens


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 Do you think if Indy 4 had been more successful film (regardless of how much money it grossed) would its score be as highly regarded as The Force Awakens is today (in the soundtrack listening community). I suppose I’m injecting personal bias here.  I find the two films/scores comparable as they were both long awaited sequels to popular franchises with sky-high expectations for both the films and scores.

For my money Indy 4 is a fun score, but tainted by my disappointment in the film and nowhere as entertaining score-wise as the previous entries. But Force Awakens is a score I grow to love more and more with each listen.

 

I guess it begs the question, are you able to listen and enjoy a score and completely divorce it from its film?

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Always.  I'll never understand why some people struggle with this.       Nope.    I love the Indy 4 score, I think it's great. But The Force Awakens is just bet

What are you talking about?  Your reply is the same as everyone else's we all picked TFA over Indy 4.   ??

Well I suppose I should start by stating that I don’t outright hate either film. Both have some good ideas in them and some good performances from decent actors. Indy suffers from a bad script. Force

Well I suppose I should start by stating that I don’t outright hate either film. Both have some good ideas in them and some good performances from decent actors. Indy suffers from a bad script. Force Awakens of course plagiarized the Death Star and the death of the central mentor figure.
 

That said, both scores are legitimately great. Indy has a poorly executed soundtrack album AND is attached to a disappointing film. Force Awakens has a good album and was attached to an acceptable, unremarkable film. I don’t personally have much trouble separating scores from films, but for the reasons stated, I imagine it would be easier for many people to do in the case of TFA.

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First few replies of this thread, and you'll find the opinions all over the place, because mine will be different yet.

 

I'm not a big fan of either of the scores, but if I had to choose, I would go for THE FORCE AWAKENS.

 

Film-wise, I think TFA is a superb film. INDY IV is certainly not superb by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a lot better than people give it credit for.

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13 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

What are you talking about?  Your reply is the same as everyone else's we all picked TFA over Indy 4.

 

??

 

I was talking about the varying degrees to which we liked both scores and films.

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4 hours ago, Jay said:

 

Always.  I'll never understand why some people struggle with this.

 

 

 

Nope. 

 

I love the Indy 4 score, I think it's great.


But The Force Awakens is just better.  In pretty much every way. Bigger, better themes, better action set pieces, better emotional arc.

 

None of this has anything to do with the films themselves.  The Force Awakens score is a modern masterpeice.  The Indy 4 score is "just" a very good score.

 

I feel similarly. KOTCS's score is a very competent effort that suffers from being compared to its incredible predecessors; TFA suffers from similar comparisons, but I think it holds up better, thanks to its wonderful new themes and the somewhat reduced reliance on certain Williams cliches in the action writing.

 

Generally speaking, I find that an excellent film can further elevate my response to a beloved score, but I can still find plenty of deep enjoyment in a score for a film I dislike or have never seen.

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1 minute ago, Datameister said:

Generally speaking, I find that an excellent film can further elevate my response to a beloved score, but I can still find plenty of deep enjoyment in a score for a film I dislike or have never seen.

 

Exactly how I feel! 

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14 minutes ago, WampaRat said:

Sorry I’m a noob.

how do you add a poll on here?

 

You can't add one to a thread that's already created, but when creating a new thread you click "Poll" at the top of the screen, right next to "Content"

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I think, both score are incredibly good. But KotCS suffers in my oppinion a little bit from the album presentation. There are four long tracks in the beginning before the actual score even starts. All four tracks are brillant, but I think it would have been better to spread the principal theme presentations more across the soundtrack like it is done at the other Indy score presentation and like it is done in the TFA album. I rather like to get thown directly into the actual score of the film.

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TFA wins, however I think by the grace of at least having a strong central thematic identity. Both films in a way, whether by relying on nostalgic imagery, or by way of their main themes (Raiders March and Main Title) are quite similar, but TFA has a stronger narrative and Williams score works all the better for it. I think Crystal Skull had good intentions, but everyone and I mean EVERYONE involved seemed tired, except for perhaps Shia Labeouf. 

 

That said, there's some gems in Crystal Skull and I quite like the recording. 

54 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

I think, both score are incredibly good. But KotCS suffers in my oppinion a little bit from the album presentation.

Yes the OST is kind of a boring presentation and messes with what narrative structure there is. Listening to the sessions over the years does a lot to help flesh moments out that were either left off the OST altogether or presented wrong on album.

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11 hours ago, Jay said:

But The Force Awakens is just better.  In pretty much every way. Bigger, better themes, better action set pieces, better emotional arc.

 

None of this has anything to do with the films themselves. 

 

Of course the film affects the emotional arc in the music.

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Still I must confess, when I like to listen to an Indy score I either chose Raiders of the Lost Ark or Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I personally even prefer the music of KotCS over Last Crusade. Temple of Doom is a great score, but also the CD is not so comfortable to listen to.

Even though I am not necessarily a fan of complete score releases (for Temple of Doom for example I prefer he original album) I would be very intretested in a complete chronological score presentation of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

In Last Crusade there are longer sequences where not much is happening in the music. 

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10 hours ago, Jay said:

Sorry, I still don't get it.  Both posts before yours also were in agreement that we can separate the score experience from the film experience, as can you.

 

??

 

How is it so difficult to see?

 

Wamparat - disappointed in INDY 4 the movie, but liked the score. TFA grows on him.

You - Love the TFA score, think INDY 4 is "very good". No comment on the films.

A.A. Ron - Have issues with both films, but find both scores great

Me - Have issues with both scores. Find TFA the film great, and INDY 4 fairly good, better than its reputation.

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What impressed me about the Indy 4 score was that it was really a score that could stand perfectly in line with the old Indy scores. 

TFA is great and I like the sequels scores for what they are, but every Star Wars trilogy had its own tone in a way. Indy 4 managed to hit the tone of the old scores. At least that was my feeling about it.

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14 hours ago, WampaRat said:

I guess it begs the question, are you able to listen and enjoy a score and completely divorce it from its film?

 

Some of my favourite scores are for films I've never seen.

 

Anyway, TFA is way better than KotCS. The latter really only has a few highlights for me, and I have a feeling that even Jungle Chase wouldn't have the reputation it does now if JW had put the whole thing on the album to begin with.

 

TFA isn't perfect, but there's more to consistently enjoy, and it's a better film by miles.

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None of the thematic writing in KOCS comes close to the evolution and development of Rey's Theme within TFA.

 

While both scores have their share of uninteresting underscore, I think TFA's highlights are greater and more pronounced. KOCS being attached to such a bad film probably colours my overall opinion of that score too.

 

But if you had to line up the 3 main ideas from each film, TFA wins every time.

Rey's Theme > Mutt's Theme

Kylo Ren's Theme > Irina's Theme

March of the Resistance > Crystal Skull Theme

 

The Russian theme is fun but gets its most playful rendition in the end credits (probably because JW couldn't find anywhere in the film proper to have such fun with it).

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Yeah, the Skull theme does little for me either. I mean, the A-section is a nice spooky motif, but the B-section loses it, and it starts meandering.

 

I don't like Irina's theme either. Ironically, I actually enjoy the second part of Journey to Akator more than most of the score, and that's not good.

 

That's before you get to the utter snoozefest that is almost all of tracks 11-15.

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