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Do you consider Solo: A Star Wars Story to be one of the great film scores?


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  1. 1. Do you consider Solo: A Star Wars Story to be one of the great film scores?



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For the 2010s it certainly is in the top! For me it’s up there with HTTYD and Force Awakens as the best of that decade.

 

 

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Of course it's not on par with the very best film scores of all time... but it's a brilliant score and one of the best of the 2010s, and that is enough.

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Absolutely!

 

Yes, John Williams wrote some of the themes, but Powell makes them his own in the way he uses them.

 

It also features some of the best action music I’ve heard in the modern era. The complete Train Heist cue is 10 minutes of the best action music I’ve ever heard. Hands down.

 

There are very few composers at the moment who can write extended action music that is interesting and, more importantly, melodic at the same time. James Newton Howard can do it when he feels like it but Powell exceeds in this department.

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1 hour ago, LongTallJodie said:

In recent years, absolutely.  It stands head and shoulders above the sonic wallpaper most films get these days.  Of ALL TIME?  The competition there is stiffer, but it's still a lot of fun.

 

Exactly. "THE great"? Maybe not, hard to say. But it certainly is great!

 

Yavar

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I do. It's like Powell blended Williams with Goldsmith action writing and went to town. 

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I really enjoy most of it. My gut response to the poll question is no, though. Powell's themes don't collectively reach the level of "great" to me, and while I really like his handling of Williams's new themes, I'm less enthusiastic about his handling of previous Williams material. Overall - fun score that fits the film.

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I don't know if Solo is really one of "the great film scores," but it's certainly one of my favorites. I think it's just a little lopsided due to the weaknesses of the film itself, which provided Powell the opportunity to write a ton of fantastic action music for the beginning and middle, but no satisfying climax at the end.

 

That bad ass riff that plays as Qi'ra kills Dryden is the last piece of action music in the movie and unfortunately, it just kind of abruptly ends as the movie itself fizzles into nothingness. The fact that this cue is titled "Dryden's Long, Long Fight" makes me think someone at the scoring stage wished it really was a longer fight, if only to provide a canvas for a better musical resolution. Certainly one expects something a little more dramatic, if not thrilling from the finale of a Star Wars film.

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It's fun, but certainly far from *the* greats. Neither in concept nor execution. And the last SW Williams'ses aren't, either.

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I am not sure if anybody really dares seriously calling a film score one of the great film scores if its movie is just mediocre (even with the score).

 

I don't.

 

Solo too much relies on Star Wars nostalgia, too few really good original ideas.

No question, the score is better than the movie. But that applies to at least 80% of all John Williams scored movies.

 

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49 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

I am not sure if anybody really dares seriously calling a film score one of the great film scores if its movie is just mediocre (even with the score).

 

Jurassic ParkThe Omen? (Just the first two that come to my mind)

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I guess it depends on the definition of mediocre but the overwhelmingly popular consensus on Jurassic Park is definitely that it's one of the all-time memorable Spielberg/Williams collabs and not just great music in some forgettable movie. 

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36 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Jurassic ParkThe Omen? (Just the first two that come to my mind)

But in these two examples I can say that the score managed to lift the movie up by about at least two levels.

Not my experience with Solo. The score did not really improve the movie itself.

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12 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

The score did not really improve the movie itself.

The movie doesn't allow it to. Mixed too low.

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2 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

I am not sure if anybody really dares seriously calling a film score one of the great film scores if its movie is just mediocre (even with the score).


What, you never saw Conan the Barbarian?

 

1 hour ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Jurassic ParkThe Omen? (Just the first two that come to my mind)


Jurassic Park is in no way a mediocre film.

 

58 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

The score did not really improve the movie itself.

 

46 minutes ago, Holko said:

The movie doesn't allow it to. Mixed too low.


Exactly. The biggest problems with Powell’s Solo stem directly from the movie itself.

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11 minutes ago, A. A. Ron said:

What, you never saw Conan the Barbarian?

 

That's such an overrated score.

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37 minutes ago, A. A. Ron said:

What, you never saw Conan the Barbarian?

 

That is a pretty good argument against my point.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jurassic Shark said:

That's such an overrated score.

 

That's like calling The Empire Strikes Back an overrated score. I'm sure lots of people do, but it's still a stupid take.

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2 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

That's such an overrated score.

 

2 hours ago, Holko said:

Conan's a great score. And the movie's a bit better than mediocre.

 

The score's great. The film's great.  Basil's great. Arnold's great.  They're all great.

 

Very, very, very great.

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Quote

Do you consider Solo: A Star Wars Story to be one of the great film scores?

 

No, not really. At least not if we're talking in a historical sense. But I think it's a fine score -- I prefer it over all of Williams' sequels, for example. Both film and score are certainly among the highlights of the year it came out.

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I always think of Solo, Hubris Choral Works, and HTTYD 3 as examples that show that Powell could be one of the greats. Unfortunately, his best scores are frequently mixed way too low for most audiences to recognize their quality, and much of Powell's filmography is filled with a lot of generic, forgettable blandness, or music that's well made but not unique.

 

His career has highlights, but his best work is either associated with a specific franchise, or is a collab with another composer (John Williams, Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams). Solo is a great score to me, but not on the level of the first 6 Star Wars scores. It's probably 8th best after The Force Awakens. 

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I don’t think it’s quite as good/great as the sequel scores, but it’s pretty close. I’d put it a hair below “great”. I would place the HTTYD scores in that category though

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6 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

But in these two examples I can say that the score managed to lift the movie up by about at least two levels.

Not my experience with Solo. The score did not really improve the movie itself.

 

That's certainly so. But they're still (or because of it) among the Great Film Scores, even though Solo is a film I ultimately find more enjoyable (if far more generic), with a perfectly fine score that I don't count among them.

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54 minutes ago, blondheim said:

Ouch. Oof, that hurts to read. Basil is one of my all-time favorite composers. I think he is under-rated in the extreme. I once got into a screaming match with someone over Poledouris. He deserves respect. People sometimes talk about Goldsmith being a cult composer, but Basil really takes the cake for obscure projects. He scored John Waters' films for chrissake

 

Agreed 100%. After we finish The Goldsmith Odyssey a quarter century from now or whatever, my friend Jens and I want to do The Poledouris Odyssey (which would obviously be a lot shorter). Basil's a favorite of mine.

 

55 minutes ago, blondheim said:

And sidebar: like when the fuck is someone going to release the complete Amerika?

 

And sidebar: when the fuck is someone going to release the complete Free Willy 2? And when the fuck is someone going to release the complete Serial Mom?

 

Yavar

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I haven't seen the movie or listened to the score.

 

But I will say the poll being a 50/50 split as I type this, really surprises me.

 

Maybe I'm missing out.

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As much as I love Solo and John Powell, I wouldn't call it "one of the great film scores". As usual with Powell it is very accomplished technically, but "great" usually signifies something deeper...

 

But who cares if I find it great or not? If you like the score, listen to it, if you don't, then find something else. :)

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I answered "no" to the poll. I've listened to Solo a bunch of time, and I enjoy it, but beyond the Enfys Nest material (and Williams' themes of course) I can't ever remember a thing from it... which is another way of saying I just don't find it very memorable. 

 

Now if the poll were about How To Train Your Dragon, that would be another story.

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1 hour ago, Yavar Moradi said:

 

Agreed 100%. After we finish The Goldsmith Odyssey a quarter century from now or whatever, my friend Jens and I want to do The Poledouris Odyssey (which would obviously be a lot shorter). Basil's a favorite of mine.

 

 

And sidebar: when the fuck is someone going to release the complete Free Willy 2? And when the fuck is someone going to release the complete Serial Mom?

 

Yavar

 

I have been working on a Poledouris survey myself! I have been obsessed with Basil Poledouris for years.

 

And I'd rather see the first Free Willy or Les Miserables get a new release. I also want the complete Conan the Destroyer, warts and all.

 

Give me all the warts.

 

Weird aside: I have always thought Basil would have produced an incredible Batman theme had he ever been given an opportunity.

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15 hours ago, A. A. Ron said:

Jurassic Park is in no way a mediocre film.

 

 

This!! 

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5 hours ago, eitam said:

Now if the poll were about How To Train Your Dragon, that would be another story.

This.

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Is it a classical golden age-esque score? Because I have to confess I stopped listening after hearing the first 20 seconds. 

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