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Bad movies which were elevated in your eyes due to the greatness of the score (or you simply like it too much and much better than the movie itself)


mxsch
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Well, there's a fairly recent example: Wonder Woman 1984. The movie ain't good, but Hans Zimmer's score works so great within it, it elevates the material. I'd probably hated that film if it had a worse score.

 

From Zimmer, there's also Pirates 3. It's not a great movie by any means, but Zimmer's epic score rises above the shittiness of the material. 

 

From Williams, I'd say The Patriot, a score too good for a movie that's pretty bad.

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Well, i have a bunch actually.

Jupiter Ascending

John Carter

The Last Airbender

Speed Racer

Prometheus

Alice in the Wonderland

Transformers Dark of the Moon

These are the main ones, but i probably have more.

 

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Way too many examples.  Every great film has a fantastic score.  A more interesting question is which great film had a poor score because so much of story telling comes from the music. 

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The Last Airbender

Godzilla 1998

The Hobbit 3

Crimes of Grindelwald

Cloverfield Paradox

Rise of Skywalker

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

Golden Compass

Superman Returns

 

to name a few for me.

 

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5 hours ago, Quintus said:

 

 

Ah, a Redditor. Welcome to JWFan. 

Don't get the joke.

 

5 hours ago, Edmilson said:

Attack of the Clones is a horrible movie that would've been even worst if it wasn't for Williams.

I'm think that AOTC is far from being horrible movie, yeah, romance stuff is awful, but overall it's not that bad. Still better that absolutely ruined piece of shish named Sequels.

 

4 hours ago, Harry Irene said:

star wars prequels, batman forever, tron legacy, alien 3, the last airbender, chappie

Prequel hater detected.

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I was bored to tears while watching Wyatt Earp. Loved the score, though. That and the cinematography are the only things it had going for it. And Krull is one of my favorite Horner scores, but after watching the movie for the first time in years a while back I found that it's best left a fond memory from childhood.

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From what I've heard, Giacchino and Newton Howard both have lots of experience working in bad movies, and they usually deliver their best scores in those projects.

 

From Giacchino, the first one that comes to mind is Jupiter Ascending, also John Carter or Tomorrowland

 

And from JNH, some of Shyamalan films, the Fantastic Beasts movies, Maleficent, and the list goes on and on.

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I wouldn't say Tomorrowland or John Carter are bad films, just undercooked and in both films there are genuinely good ideas that for one reason or another didn't play out the way they could've. Jupiter Ascending is just gibberish. 

The Last Airbender has a phenomenal score to an atrocious film - it's insane the disparity between the two and it makes me weep to think that such a great score was wasted on that awful adaptation. 

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The whole DCEU (except JL), Jupiter Ascending, The Eiger Sanction, Sabrina (1995) among others.

1 hour ago, Jurassic Shark said:

The Lost World.

You definitely have a problem with this movie.

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1 hour ago, Arpy said:

I wouldn't say Tomorrowland or John Carter are bad films, just undercooked and in both films there are genuinely good ideas that for one reason or another didn't play out the way they could've. Jupiter Ascending is just gibberish. 

The Last Airbender has a phenomenal score to an atrocious film - it's insane the disparity between the two and it makes me weep to think that such a great score was wasted on that awful adaptation. 

Yeah, I don't think those are bad movies either, but they weren't very well recieved at the time of their release. I quite like John Carter and I think it has some interesting world building and some great action sequences. And the score is one of my favorites from Giacchino.

 

The Last Airbender on the other hand, just awful, and it didn't deserve such a fantastic score

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JOHN CARTER is one out of a very few Giacchinos I can at the very least "tolerate". But I can't remember the film being that bad? More of an enjoyable romp.

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7 hours ago, mxsch said:

I'm think that AOTC is far from being horrible movie, yeah, romance stuff is awful, but overall it's not that bad. Still better that absolutely ruined piece of shish named Sequels.

 

Prequel hater detected.

 

Sequel hater detected.

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6 hours ago, Arpy said:

The Last Airbender has a phenomenal score to an atrocious film - it's insane the disparity between the two and it makes me weep to think that such a great score was wasted on that awful adaptation. 

 

I agree. How he managed to write one of his best fantasy scores for a movie so horrible as this one is beyond me. 

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When movies are bad (or even only lackluster), they often destroy images/stories in my head of what the music should depict. Though i would single out Goldsmith as the guy most regularly getting shafted by association, Morricone, Horner and Barry suffered similar fates quite often.

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16 hours ago, Edmilson said:

 Fallout? Mad Max Fury Road? The Social Network?

 

Fury Road's score is fine for what it is, just like the film's script is fine for what it is, and what the film needs. The score is successful in continuously keeping up the tension, and that works on the album, too.

 

Social Network's score is also fine for the film. Nothing I remember in detail, or probably would want to listen to on its own, but it supports the film well.

 

Fallout is crap. If it doesn't harm the film most of the time, that's mainly because it's a loud action film and the score is often just an additional layer of loud sound effects. The film is one of the best in the series, but I'd argue it could have had even more impact with a good score.

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Quite a few scores for De Palma films were "saved" by their scores. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy his films quite a bit, they are usually beautifully crafted, but the scores definitely elevated them beyond the schlock.

 

Karol

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58 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Fury Road's score is fine for what it is, just like the film's script is fine for what it is, and what the film needs.

 

Not sure the film *needed* the grating amateurish adagio stuff.

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13 minutes ago, publicist said:

 

Not sure the film *needed* the grating amateurish adagio stuff.

 

Love those bits; the perfect contrast to the aggressive metal. Lifts the whole thing into mythology.

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Fallout on its own is not a bad score, it's just a very temp track-y one. McQuarrie clearly wanted a The Dark Knight Rises/Inception sound and instructed Balfe to write accordingly.

 

I watched on the other day Gemini Man, which is another action movie he scored and again he used the same bag of tricks that were already old in 2012. I believe the problem is not with him, but rather with the directors and producers who want their scores to sound like Zimmer's.

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2 hours ago, Darth Wojo said:

The prequels were badly made good movies. 

 

The sequels were well made bad movies. 

 

Prequels are love. Prequels are life. No one can touch them.

 

3 hours ago, Kasey Kockroach said:

Almost every John Powell score.

 

Hihihi Kaser!

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The way the question is phrased doesn't quite work for me anyway. I don't think a great score has ever saved or elevated a bad film for me - there are tons of great scores for bad films, and in some cases the scores may be enjoyed in the film for what they do, like great acting or great cinematography can also stand out in bad films; but in the end it doesn't make the films less bad.

 

There are of course films that *rely* on their scores to achieve their goals. For example, unlike some, I don't consider De Palma's The Fury a bad film (even more controversially, I think it's better than Carrie). If I say it's great because of its spectacular symbiosis of visuals and score, and that it would otherwise have been a mediocre film with a lacklustre script and some lousy acting, it doesn't mean that it was "saved" by the score any more than a film that's great because of its writing was "saved" by its script. I've often said that I disagree with the criticism of many De Palma films as "style over substance", because I believe "style *as* substance". De Palma always knew of the power of visuals and score, and employed them to their fullest effect. The story and script are vehicles that allow him to do that, and in many cases (to which I count The Fury), they're perfectly serviceable. Compare Fury Road, which certainly doesn't have a sophisticated or brilliant script, yet still has all the script it needs. Of course, many De Palma films wouldn't work with lesser visuals or lesser scores, but since the film intentionally demands them, the quality of the score merely fulfils (or perhaps exceeds) the film's requirements. It doesn't rescue a failed film, because the film was never intended to work with a lesser score.

 

Cutthroat Island is, for me, a case of a score that *by itself* almost convinces you that making the film was a good idea. But it doesn't save, or even help, the film - I've watched it several times, just because the score manages to get me in the mood for it, and it's horrible (if anything, it gets worse with repeated viewings). Another, far less extreme, case is The Omen: The film isn't bad by any means, I just always felt it doesn't live up to its potential, and always leaves me feeling disappointed in the end. Goldsmith's score, on the other hand, very much scores that potential, not just of the actual story, but of the concept behind it. It cannot elevate the film beyond what the film offers it, but on CD it tells the same story better without it.

 

There are cases, however, where the film is fine, and the score is spectacular, and the score in the film is on yet another level. Poltergeist does this for me. I like the film, I love the score, but if I watch the film and fully concentrate on the music (including the many parts I know from the CD that are sadly dialled out in the film), it turns out that Goldsmith, in combination with just the visuals, tells the story better than the "complete" film does. This would be a prime candidate for a live to project performance (ideally with as much dialled out score restored as possible), because the combinations of visuals and music elevates both the score and the film itself.

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1 hour ago, Thor said:

Love those bits; the perfect contrast to the aggressive metal. Lifts the whole thing into mythology.

 

The concept, maybe. The execution was just painful.

49 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

For example, unlike some, I don't consider De Palma's The Fury a bad film (even more controversially, I think it's better than Carrie). If I say it's great because of its spectacular symbiosis of visuals and score, and that it would otherwise have been a mediocre film with a lacklustre script and some lousy acting, it doesn't mean that it was "saved" by the score any more than a film that's great because of its writing was "saved" by its script. I've often said that I disagree with the criticism of many De Palma films as "style over substance", because I believe "style *as* substance". De Palma always knew of the power of visuals and score, and employed them to their fullest effect. The story and script are vehicles that allow him to do that, and in many cases (to which I count The Fury), they're perfectly serviceable. 

 

Exactly, a less *schlocky* concept wouldn't have allowed for all the outrageous imagery and the grand guignol drama. Pauline Kael may have been capricious in her criticism quite often, but she understood that De Palma's cinema often makes for better movies than many respectable dramas that are just boring in their bland safeness.

 

Quote

Another, far less extreme, case is The Omen: The film isn't bad by any means, I just always felt it doesn't live up to its potential, and always leaves me feeling disappointed in the end. 

 

It's not a movie that needs to be seen more than once so you probably shouldn't have had an encore. ;)

 

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There's endless scores that I like to listen to more than I enjoyed watching the movie.  This must be true for every film score fan on earth.

 

As far as a good score making a movie better, sure that happens all the time too.

 

I can't think of any real examples of me wanting to re-watch a bad movie just because I love the score.  Maybe something like The BFG; I saw the film in the theater and it was fine, nothing I'd probably watch again until like 20 years later or something.  But I came to love the score so much, in the fall I actually watched it again to figure out what scenes all the music went with to get a better grasp on what the themes represented.  It didn't actually elevate my appreciate of the film itself, though, just became a cause for re-watching.

 

I guess for me a bad film is a bad film regardless of good its score is.  A good score can make me more likely to revisit a bad film, but probably won't change my opinion of the film at all.

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