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Williams Struggling with Munich


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I remember all too vividly how disappointed I was with the Nixon score. I guess that, after glorious JFK, my expectations for the new Williams/Stone collaboration were a little too high. Even though it has a few good moments, Nixon remains one of the biggest letdowns.

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Alex Cremers

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Nixon as an the album leaves much to be desired but as a whole score it is much consistent than JFK (for obvious reason that Williams scored JFK almost before it had been complitely shot). It is dark to be sure but a good score and a great musical portrait of the president Nixon.

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More consistent it may be, yes, but the material just isn't that strong.

Well that depends on the listener ROTFLMAO BTW there is a piano melody in Nixon that is very similar to the beginning of Anakin's Betrayal theme from ROTS. I came across it few months ago watching the movie. It is interesting to notice how much Nixon there is in ROTS.

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So in your opinion, Joe, are there any strong scores in the last decade besides Potter?

Since 1995, there hasn't been many interesting films that John has scored. He's scored 23 films and not one, including the Potter films, has been a truly great film, not even the overrated SPR (great war movie, not so great movie).

He's had several scores that are outstanding in that time period.

The very best are TLW, TPM, HPSS, CMIYC, AND HPPOA. These are the cream of the crop.

Very good scores include Sleepers, Rosewood, Stepmom, Angela's Ashes, A.I., and HPCOS.

Good scores are Sabrina, Nixon, The Patriot, and ROTS.

ok scores are Seven Years in Tibet, Amistad, Terminal, and WOW.

scores that are not very good, SPR, and MR.

then there is AOTC, the very worst score of the last decade, abysmal, worse than the movie.

I can't include MOG, because I've only heard bits and pieces, fortunately those were better than the midi.

Munich is an unknown, and will get to find out.

This movie, and the score will be hard to pigeonhole as none of us know what to expect. Is this a revenge flick, if so, are we supposed to stand up and cheer at the end, encouraged by John's rousing socre.?

Is it a psychological drama, a game of cat and mouse, which might call for a more somber score.

Or could it be a tense edge of your seat thriller with that stakes set high, and John's music lifting and tugging at our state of mind.

Theres also the chance that this story is so character driven that Williams resorts to lots of thematic material, as in days gone by.

Well see and hear soon.

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More consistent it may be, yes, but the material just isn't that strong.

Well that depends on the listener ROTFLMAO

Well, to this listener, Nixon isn't a tenth of JFK. I think that the quote below, a segment that I took from the Filmtracks review, says it all:

The middle section of the score is the most quiet and least exciting on the soundtrack. It consists mostly of brooding, boring atmosphere music (tracks 5, 8, 9, 12) and a weak derivation of "The Conspirators" from JFK (track 4). The soundtrack to Nixon definitely is not one that lends itself to frequent listens on its own, all the way through.

- Todd China - Filmtracks

I so agree with Todd. If you listen to it objectively, many tracks aren't that interesting. Oh, I'm so glad that there are people like Todd in this world. Of course, I'm biased. I think JFK is one of Williams' best.

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He's scored 23 films and not one, including the Potter films, has been a truly great film, not even the overrated SPR (great war movie, not so great movie).

I think Minority Report is at least one great film he has scored since 1995, though I haven't seen all of the films he scored since 1995.

~Sturgis

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I honestly didn't read through this whole thread, so if what I'm reporting on his old hat, please forgive me.

To set everyone's minds at ease (besides perhaps Roald, who by the way I have to tell: Williams is indeed on "War of the Worlds," if you hadn't heard yet :P ), I talked with Marvin Levy from Amblin Entertainment tonight, and he told me that Mr. Williams is right on track as planned and scheduled with his score. A quote he gave was slanted by the L.A. Times and then outright twisted by the ever crappy Contact Music (why does anyone pay attention to this little gossip rag?) and now everyone thinks the "news" is gospel.

But I'm here to tell you it's completely wrong and everything's pressing forward as planned. I can't tell you everything I know, but I can tell you that as John Williams fans, we all have absolutely nothing to worry about.

I will say that some folk's lack of faith over the last year has been really disturbing though. Hasn't Williams earned all the respect he deserves without the media second-guessing the man's ability to deliver? :|

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Thanks Steve!

I thought that article was total crap the second I read it

"yet to record a single note" that would be a fair sentence if the recording sessions were supposed to have been held earlier. I don't recall reading anything about the sessions being delayed because John wasn't ready.

If the sessions weren't delayed then the phrase "yet to be recorded" is totally misleading. The same could be said for every film score before it is recorded :|

The writer is an idiot

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I remember all too vividly how disappointed I was with the Nixon score. I guess that, after glorious JFK, my expectations for the new Williams/Stone collaboration were a little too high. Even though it has a few good moments, Nixon remains one of the biggest letdowns.

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Alex Cremers

Funny this came up, because I was listening the Born on the Fourth commentary this morning and during the end credits Stone basically went on for a minute sucking on Williams' teat, then said : "I think I have the three best Williams scores, I know its not Star Wars, but they're three distinct pieces of music for three completely different films, and he hit the nail on the head three times."

I'm paraphrasing, but Stone seemed overjoyed with the product. I wonder if Williams will have any involvment in the 9/11 movie Stone is currently filming. It's as American as it can get (although many other nations lost many people as well), and I think Williams would compose a tear-jerker with a fantastic horn theme.

Tim

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How am I contradicting myself? I meant to imply that I had a great faith in Williams but then I admit that perhaps I had little doubts after all. Where is the contradiction? I can go on with this debate as long as we settle this out Tim. :)

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Why I oughta!

Okay, I'll bring this thing to a grinding hault so we can duke it out!

I understand your point, but I find it funny. The following blurb is your EDITED version

Great. I was never worried. (Well a little bit if truth be told  :)  )

You said you were never worried, then took it back by saying you were a little. So it's either one or the other, back you can't say both! :)

Tim, who is now struggling with Munich

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Well the original post was very contradicting I admit that. That can be very funny (depends on the mindset I guess). But lets leave it at that. I formulated my thought badly. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

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Since you have been talking about Nixon a few posts up, thought I'd ask here: Although I do have the music, I never really listened to it. I really like the first track, but never listened to the rest. Are there any other really nice tracks on the album? I can't imagine that the score is in any way bad though. I don't think John Williams can write bad music, unless he'd try on purpose; and even then he might fail. :mrgeen:

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Since you have been talking about Nixon a few posts up, thought I'd ask here: Although I do have the music, I never really listened to it. I really like the first track, but never listened to the rest. Are there any other really nice tracks on the album? I can't imagine that the score is in any way bad though. I don't think John Williams can write bad music, unless he'd try on purpose; and even then he might fail. :mrgeen:

Well it depends on what do you like. The Miami Convention 1968 (brilliant track, the album high light), Meeting with Mao, Main title...The White House Gate, Making a Comeback. I just mentioned 4 out of 13. The other tracks outside the first one demand somewhat more concentration and time to fully appreciate them. This score is very much psychologically charged and describes the character of Nixon as much externally as it does internally. It is also quite subtle. The album is sadly so short (too long for some :) ). There is plenty of good unreleased stuff in the movie. The score is dark and forbidding at times and suits those who like that kind of music. For a person who likes Williams' adventure movie scores it is perhaps too tough to listen to. It all depends on tastes once again. I love it Joe hates it and others stand somewhere in between :)

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Since you have been talking about Nixon a few posts up, thought I'd ask here: Although I do have the music, I never really listened to it. I really like the first track, but never listened to the rest. Are there any other really nice tracks on the album? I can't imagine that the score is in any way bad though. I don't think John Williams can write bad music, unless he'd try on purpose; and even then he might fail. :mrgeen:

I think it's a decent overall score. Well worth a listen, particularly since you already have it.

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Wow.

This thread pushed me to listen to Nixon again. I guess when one has over 50 JW soundtracks, some marbles get lost over time. At least I had a great evening revisiting the Nixon soundtrack...

-Snowster

Great. I am happy you enjoyed it. It is a wonderful soundtrack! :P

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I remember all too vividly how disappointed I was with the Nixon score. I guess that, after glorious JFK, my expectations for the new Williams/Stone collaboration were a little too high. Even though it has a few good moments, Nixon remains one of the biggest letdowns.

Though it is not in the same league with JFK, I think a good 12 minute suite of Nixon could present a great concept piece about the man. The rest of the album is negligable, but it has 3-4 tracks that really try and deal with this infamous figure.

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Since you have been talking about Nixon a few posts up, thought I'd ask here: Although I do have the music, I never really listened to it. I really like the first track, but never listened to the rest. Are there any other really nice tracks on the album? I can't imagine that the score is in any way bad though. I don't think John Williams can write bad music, unless he'd try on purpose; and even then he might fail. :mrgeen:

I love the tracks The 1960's, Growing Up In Whittier, Breaking, The Miami Convention, and Meeting With Lao.

Does anyone have and watch the film, though???

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Wow.

This thread pushed me to listen to Nixon again. I guess when one has over 50 JW soundtracks, some marbles get lost over time. At least I had a great evening revisiting the Nixon soundtrack...

-Snowster

50 scores! whoa...i hope they still remain in print by the time i can afford that many (that is the time i stop living off allowance...) :)

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Living in countries deprived of the availability of film scores (like my beloved Finland) sets a whole new set of challenges for a collector and fan of JW. And if you do not order from the internet retailers it is even harder (I know from experience). Well it is a blessing and a curse since I would very soon run out of money having gone on a massive shopping spree in the net :|

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It's very, very hard to find soundtracks here too. Every 3-4 months I make the rounds of local CD stores, and I'll be lucky if I find 2-3 CDs worth buying. The only time I bought a new soundtrack here was with the Harry Potter ones, which came out here concurrently with the rest of the world. New soundtracks I get via Amazon, SAE, or friends and relatives coming from the US.

But, of course, every shopping spree I go on leaves me with a rather sizable overdraft that I only manage to cover through some miraculous circumstances. Well, that and selling drugs. Lots of drugs.

Morlock- who is currently in an overdraft of approximately 1290 NIS.

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Living in countries deprived of the availability of film scores (like my beloved Finland) sets a whole new set of challenges for a collector and fan of JW. And if you do not order from the internet retailers it is even harder (I know from experience). Well it is a blessing and a curse since I would very soon run out of money having gone on a massive shopping spree in the net ;)

Well, the most recent soundtracks can be found here too, but for older ones I usually use ebay.

-Snowster

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