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Name Film Scores that are often considered “GREAT” but you just don’t like?


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I have quite a few film scores that I hear film fans rave about, film scores that just do not do anything for me and in some cases actually prevent me from enjoying the film more. 
 

Be warned. This list may trigger some of you. I do not pretend to be a musical scholar or even know my treble from my clef. But I know what I like and what I do not. So without further ado…

 

The first score that comes to mind is one I actively dislike so much it prevents my enjoyment of the film. Let me apologize in advance. This is a beloved score. I wish I felt the same, I wish I could understand how someone could enjoy it. But…

 

Blade Runner by Vangelis  I hate, hate, hate this score. I know, I’m sorry, it’s beloved and I wish I understood why. I can’t stand the synth, saxophone aesthetic…it’s a movie that’s suppose to be about the future but is dated instantly by the music. I do enjoy the pounding drums and vocal wailing but the other stuff? No thanks. I should say, I can’t name a single Vangelis score I enjoy. Synth, especially early synth, is not my forte
 

The Untouchables Ennio Morricone. It’s another one that sounds very dated. The main title music, the synth, the harmonica. That awful music where we see how Al Capone lives in that hotel. Now some cues are terrific. When they go on their first raid? It’s wonderful. However, the movie is overscored. It’s comes off as soap opera cheese at times, especially when dealing with Elliot Ness and his home life. I know that’s a DePalma flourish but..it’s not for me. I also dislike the music in Scarface immensely, but I don’t think anyone would call that a great score. 
 

Beetlejuice: Danny Elfman. Ok let me explain. The main theme is wonderful. Inventive, fun, driving…it’s amazing. But then there is everything else. Those screeching fiddles? I can’t even describe the aesthetic. It’s grating and off putting(which may be the point but it’s still not pleasant to listen to).

 

Man of Steel: Hans Zimmer. Boy I do not get the love for this score. The piano theme is so overused and the percussion amounts to just pounding noise. Oddly enough I really enjoyed the score for the sequel BvS. But this movie? Considering John Williams and Shirley Walker have given the world tremendous Superman themes and are memorable and stand the test of time, Zimmer goes for yet another rising tone theme not too dissimilar from his Batman work. 
 

The Batman Michael Giacchino. Oh Michael Giacchino. How I once held your name with such high promise. Coming out of the gate with The Incredibles, a utterly fantastic throw back John Barryesq superhero score, and then LOST? Man. I was a fan. Your Cloverfield suite for the end credits is still probably my favourite thing you’ve done and the best piece of music written in all of 2008. It’s a shame it went unused in an actual movie and was relegated to an Easter egg end credits suite. It was wonderful. But I digress..Now that you’ve agreed to score every other film ever made, oh boy, has your quality dipped. And no score disappointed me more than The Batman. I would hear fans hyping up your theme and when I finally heard it I was so let down. Yet more pounding percussion. This theme so resembles the Zimmer/JunkieXL BvS Batman theme in style it kinda shocks me. Give me more than some ascending/descending Dun, Dun Dun duns. Please! Then there’s the Riddler motif. Again, it’s been done before. An eerie female lullaby? Hmm. Where have I heard that before?

 

So…what are some of your choices? Don’t be afraid to get controversial. Time to open up and let fly the “hot takes”(oh how I loath that term). 

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Just now, bruce marshall said:

I was going to contribute to this thread until I saw YOUR picks.

Jeez!

 Haha don’t judge. I can’t help what I dislike. I know it’ll ruffle some feathers and I honestly don’t like admitting sometimes that I dislike Blade Runner due to the score. I just don’t like it for whatever reason. It’s my secret shame that’s not so secret anymore. 

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I totally see what you mean about Giacchino's score and his recent work in general, but I don't hate the score. At worst, it serves the film well which is the entire brief of a film score. It's not very original and I don't revisit the score outside of the film, but it's a fine score that does it's job. It has easily identifiable themes that fit their intentions. I don't think it's a bad score, just an appropriate and serviceable score. I do think it is a missed opportunity to write something more unique and impactful in terms of musical quality.

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Gladiator - Hans Zimmer

The Lisa Gerard vocal parts are nice, but the rest... action music sounds like pirates of the caribean and the main theme is so boring.

 

Witness - Maurice Jarre

I cannot express how much more I would have prefered a score based on accoustic instruments instead of this synth score.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Bounty95 said:

 

Youre Crazy Season 3 GIF by The Office

 

OK I'm actually worse... I dare say I have never understood the love for any Jerry Goldsmith score :(

This is a joke? Or are you serious? If so…wow. *any* Jerry Goldsmith score? 
 

I mean…Chinatown? Star Trek TMP? Rudy? The Mummy? Poltergeist? 

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Actually never really cared for the score for Inception (with the exception of "Time")

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10 minutes ago, Mr. Gitz said:

Chinatown

Oo, I tried that once or twice but not for me, it just flew over me.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Gitz said:

This is a joke? Or are you serious? If so…wow. *any* Jerry Goldsmith score? 
 

I mean…Chinatown? Star Trek TMP? Rudy? The Mummy? Poltergeist? 

 

I realise they are good scores, and I absolutely love the main theme of ST:TMP. Still none of these really clicked with me in a way that I want to revisit them as a whole on a regular basis. Maybe I should force myself to do that :mellow:

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1 hour ago, Bounty95 said:

I realise they are good scores, and I absolutely love the main theme of ST:TMP. Still none of these really clicked with me in a way that I want to revisit them as a whole on a regular basis. Maybe I should force myself to do that :mellow:

 

Depending how old you are or rather, how long you follow this line of hobby i'd sit back and relax: at some point your interests and tastes broaden by sheer necessity and you will do so freely or it just ain't your thing, in which case forcing is just a hopeless exercise.

 

There are many things in film music i categorically dislike - like banal strings/piano music that so many people seem to find touching - and no amount of forcing will ever change that.

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20 minutes ago, Bounty95 said:

I realise they are good scores, and I absolutely love the main theme of ST:TMP. Still none of these really clicked with me in a way that I want to revisit them as a whole on a regular basis. Maybe I should force myself to do that :mellow:

I recommend the earlier Goldsmith. Studs Lonigan, Hour of the Gun, Black Patch, Rios Conchos.

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20 minutes ago, publicist said:

There are many things in film music i categorically dislike - like banal strings/piano music that so many people seem to find touching - and no amount of forcing will ever change that.

 

My brain seems to prefer touching woodwinds or touching brass for some reason

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2 hours ago, publicist said:

 

My pick still is Titanic, a score i find deeply lowest common denominator, and cf above, i absolutely concur that my opinion doesn't count a bit. It's a classic, so be it.

 

I largely agree about Titanic, and no edition or expansion has been able to change my mind, but I must say I was very impressed by the track 2-1,2 Miles Down from the 4-cd expansion. Easily the highlight of the whole thing

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THE MISSION

 

SCHINDLER'S LIST 

 

I don't dislike SUPERGIRL, LEGEND, and POLTERGEIST II, per se, but I really don't see what all the fuss is about, for any of them. I understand that they are good (with, at least one of them, being great) scores, but they leave me cold. I'll take RUNAWAY, LINK, and EXTREME PREJUDICE over those three, any time.

 

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1 hour ago, Romão said:

I largely agree about Titanic, and no edition or expansion has been able to change my mind, but I must say I was very impressed by the track 2-1,2 Miles Down from the 4-cd expansion. Easily the highlight of the whole thing

 

I just retreat into 'Perfect Storm', which is the only Horner score with ocean and boats i'll ever need.

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7 hours ago, publicist said:

 

Depending how old you are or rather, how long you follow this line of hobby i'd sit back and relax: at some point your interests and tastes broaden by sheer necessity and you will do so freely or it just ain't your thing, in which case forcing is just a hopeless exercise.

 

I agree. I never got into the Star Trek scores. All of them. Then beginning of this year I though why not watch the films, also for the first time, and then listen to the scores after.

 

I am completely in love with these scores. Some of them are in my all time favourite list.

 

The same thing counts for different scores. Sometimes it just takes time. And after a while your taste broadens by listening to lots of different stuff. Forcing indeed, doesn't seem like the right choice.

 

7 hours ago, publicist said:

There are many things in film music i categorically dislike - like banal strings/piano music that so many people seem to find touching - and no amount of forcing will ever change that.

Same

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Secret of NIMH

Supergirl

Lionheart

First Knight

 

An American Tail

The Land Before Time

Balto

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27 minutes ago, Bellosh said:

Up - Michael Giacchino

Hook - JW

Powell's HTTYD scores

 

wtf, i love all these scores so much:conf:. So that these are not liked by anyone, I really would not have expected....

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2 minutes ago, Michael G. said:

wtf, i love all these scores so much:conf:. So that these are not liked by anyone, I really would not have expected....

 

I'll still listen to Hook at times, select cues, but yeah, I just can't get into it the way this place loves it.

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7 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

Oh, yes! HOOK. What's that all about?

 

It's not as playful as Home Alone

Not as magical as Harry Potter

Not as adventurous as Indiana Jones

And there's not enough pirate material

 

All my opinion of course ☺️

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12 hours ago, Bounty95 said:

 

Youre Crazy Season 3 GIF by The Office

 

OK I'm actually worse... I dare say I have never understood the love for any Jerry Goldsmith score :(

 

 

I don't like most of Goldsmith's music either. Star Trek music aside, I can point to The 'Burbs and that's about it. 

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It's rare I don't like a score, completely, but I do have a black list.

 

Very few scores are on that list.

 

On Spotify, I have blocked only one film music composer. His music exasperates me, it's physical.

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I’d say the only Goldsmith and Horner scores I Really like are ones I have nostalgic connections to as a child - so not even sure if it’s about the music for me.  I used to blind buy releases from both composers regularly, but wisely decided to save my money somewhere around 15 years ago.

 

Also don’t care for HTTYD despite really enjoying Powell.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2

 

Everyone says "it's so fun and creative and inventive and FUN and FUN!!!" but it only makes me angry. The Electro theme makes him look like even more of a joke than he already is.

 

That said, I do like the "You're that Spider Guy" cue, it's by far the best thing on the score.

 

Mad Max Fury Road

 

Another one that most people love, but I really don't care for it. These Junkie XL scores are extremely simplistic and formulaic. Throw in a lot of drumming, a big brass section playing the exact same note at the same time and some synths, and there you go! A "modern and fresh" score by one of Hollywood's biggest hacks!

 

Man of Steel

 

The constant violent drums are very grating to me and the writing is too simplistic.

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I hate to be that guy, but Shore's LOTR never connected with me--just seems like nice-ish settings for old folk music with some standard adventure music thrown in.  

 

Just about everything from Morricone rubs me the wrong way.  

 

I love Goldsmith's orchestral sound, but I tend to strongly dislike the electronic stuff.  So, lots of scores take turn gratifying and frustrating me.  

 

I don't know if Williams's disaster scores are considered great, but I don't really care for them.  

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I knew this thread would degenerate into some candid confessions of this kind: "I have a very limited musical culture."

 

The positive thing is that tomorrow you may like what you disliked yesterday.

 

Yes, that happens! :yes:

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6 hours ago, Bellosh said:

Up - Michael Giacchino

Hook - JW

Powell's HTTYD scores

 

Wow. Wow. Wow.

 

Hook? 
 

I know I said give me your “Hot Takes” and to get controversial. But…”Hook”?? My god. 
 

What don’t you like about Hook? It has one poor bit and that’s the very odd, unWilliams sounding, sitcomesq cue when the kid is playing Baseball & Robin Williams doesn’t make it in time for the game.  
 

But besides that? The ethereal, haunting choir around the 2 minute mark of “Leaving Neverland” is perhaps my favourite piece of Williams music ever composed. It touches my soul. No…it IS my soul. 
 

then there’s “You are the Pan”. And “Childhood Remembered”. It’s one of Williams greatest scores.

 

 

1 hour ago, Tom said:

I hate to be that guy, but Shore's LOTR never connected with me--just seems like nice-ish settings for old folk music with some standard adventure music thrown in.  

 

Just about everything from Morricone rubs me the wrong way.  

 

I love Goldsmith's orchestral sound, but I tend to strongly dislike the electronic stuff.  So, lots of scores take turn gratifying and frustrating me.  

 

I don't know if Williams's disaster scores are considered great, but I don't really care for them.  


Wow. 
 

I wondered if there was someone in the world who didn’t like Shores LOTR scores. 
 

It’s amazing how we all have different tastes. I consider Fellowship of the Ring to be not only one of the greatest scores ever composed, but some of the best music ever composed. Yeah. I went there. But hey, everyone has different tastes. 
 

Now I do think Shore overscored some of the latter two films, especially in the extended editions, the Old Man Willow bit always comes to mind. 

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15 minutes ago, Mr. Gitz said:

know I said give me your “Hot Takes” and to get controversial. But…”Hook”?? My god. 

There are more of us than you can possibly know

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10 hours ago, Tom said:

I hate to be that guy, but Shore's LOTR never connected with me--just seems like nice-ish settings for old folk music with some standard adventure music thrown in.  

 

Just about everything from Morricone rubs me the wrong way.  

 

 

Both of these are grounds for an auto-ban.

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Hans Zimmer’s Interstellar. I don’t think it’s bad music, but it didn’t blow me away. A lot of people (general audiences more so than film score aficionados) hype it up as being of the “best scores” ever, and I think it’s good but nothing to write home about. I think it’s very popular with general audiences because of the strength of the film. Same goes for The Dark Knight trilogy, although I love some of James Newton Howard’s cues from Batman Begins.

 

Silvestri’s Forrest Gump - good music and a good film, but not something I really listen to. I think it’s a similar situation to Interstellar. I speculate that general audiences who love the film have an emotional connection to the music for that reason, not because of the merits of the music.

 

James Horner’s Avatar. Again, good music on a technical level and a good film, but I don’t love the score.

 

Never got into Lord Of The Rings/The Hobbit, but I think that’s largely because I haven’t seen the films.

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1 hour ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

 

Both of these are grounds for an auto-ban.

 

 

 

 

Look, the thread is not about scores most people don't like.  

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4 hours ago, Mr. Gitz said:

Wow. 
 

I wondered if there was someone in the world who didn’t like Shores LOTR scores. 
 

It’s amazing how we all have different tastes. I consider Fellowship of the Ring to be not only one of the greatest scores ever composed, but some of the best music ever composed. Yeah. I went there. But hey, everyone has different tastes. 
 

Now I do think Shore overscored some of the latter two films, especially in the extended editions, the Old Man Willow bit always comes to mind. 

I mean, the Lord of the Rings scores are sooo sloow. That is not everyones cup of tea. But I think, you can hear that with every film Shore got more into this writing for big orchestra. In Fellowship you still hear, that he was more used to write for smaller ensembles. But in Return of the King the music is in full bloom. That is why I also consider that score as his best. And I also like the Hobbit scores, even though for both trilogies I consider the respective middle score the weakest of the three.

 

So, my favourite Middle Earth scores are Return of the King and An Unexpected Journey.

Can't help it.

 

 

3 hours ago, Archive Collection said:

 

James Horner’s Avatar. Again, good music on a technical level and a good film, but I don’t love the score.

Oh, don't get me started about James Horner. Almost all his scores held in high esteem don't do anything for me. Avatar, Amazing Spiderman, Legends of the Fall, Glory, The Mask of Zorro. The list is long.

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