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Favorite Film Scores of This Century (2000 - Present) - Page 2

post #51 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

You and I are on the same page, sir. Those three were the next ones on my list to post.

 

We both like chilly minimalism! 

post #52 of 152
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

Oh, and I forgot - MICHAEL CLAYTON is another one that gets a lot of play from me. I'm a huge, huge fan of that one. 

I get a lot of writing done to MICHAEL CLAYTON's score.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post
 

Morricone won the Oscar based on a score which consists of a lot of his old material, including the Exorcist 2 theme and unused segments from "The Thing," but his main theme from "The Hateful Eight" is m'fin glorious:
 

I think his "Overture" piece is even better!

 

 

That's Morricone in full-blown horror land, and I love it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

Fuck, and how could I miss A BEAUTIFUL MIND? Horner gets a lot of flack for recyling his material, and Beautiful Mind is very reminiscent of SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISHER, but I think the math-chess connection is a nice pairing/callback, and the Charlotte Church vocals really enhance the material. 

I like A BEAUTIFUL MIND'S score, but it's really SNEAKERS PART II with a side helping BICENTENNIAL MAN

 

For my money, Horner's best score of the century is THE LEGEND OF ZORRO.  The movie sucks, and his MASK OF ZORRO score is even better (one of his very best, in fact), but LEGEND has to be in the conversation if for no other reason than its extraordinary action climax, for which Horner pulls out all the stops...

 

 

post #53 of 152

Scores I've bought recently:

 

 

 

And yes, totally seconding Micah Levi's work on Under the Skin.

post #54 of 152

More animation!

 

Bruno Coulais, Coraline:

 

 

Fantastic Mr. Fox, Alexandre Desplat:

 

post #55 of 152

More Desplat. He's both prolific and underrated.

 

post #56 of 152
Thread Starter 

Desplat's great, and one of his best is THE GHOST WRITER.  Quirky, sinister, and compelling.  His finale track builds to a truly satisfying culmination.

 

post #57 of 152

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a genius score. Incredibly re-listenable too. It's a very simple thing, but the longer "duh-DUH duh-DUH" opening he wrote for the logos that flows naturally into the Davey Crockett theme at the opening of the film puts a big, dumb grin on my face.

 

For Desplat in a totally different mode:

 

 

I'd love to hear more of Desplat in big, bombastic blockbuster mode because based on this, he'd completely own it.

post #58 of 152
Without cheating and going back before 2000, Hans Zimmer's Man of Steel and Daft Punk's Tron Legacy are two soundtracks that have enduring places on my iTunes playlist.

The third is Michael Giacchino's soundtrack for Doctor Strange.

post #59 of 152

I'm going to cheat a bit and list my favourite NON-FILM score of the Century...namely Mick Gordon's excellent work on the 2016 DOOM game. 

 

 

 

 

I've been gaming a long ass time and NEVER has a video game score enhanced the game like this does. It's also just a bunch of really fucking kickass tracks to listen to. I can not overstate how much I love this soundtrack. 

post #60 of 152
If we're going to bust out video game soundtracks, I've got the soundtrack album from every World of Warcraft expansion, but the soundtrack I'd most recommend to others is Portal 2.

WHICH THEY RELEASED FOR COMPLETELY FREE, HINT HINT.

post #61 of 152

I think it's fair to say that, like James Horner, Danny Elfman has descended into cliche too many times to count this decade - particularly in his collaborations with Tim Burton - but I absolutely adore his jazzy, uptempo score for MILK, which is both one of the most traditional and the most experimental pieces he's done. 

 

 

Recently, I mentioned this in the main discussion thread, but I remain so impressed - and so in love - with the score to GET OUT by Michael Abels. It takes a particular kind of skill to craft a score that's instantly iconic, but Abels has done it. The main theme definitely deserves to become one of those instantly recognizable pieces of horror music - and given that it's hummable, I think it will be: 

post #62 of 152
Thread Starter 

Dipping into horror, by far my favorite scores in the genre this century are Roque Banos' massive, intense, choral-infused work for EVIL DEAD...

 

 

... and Mark Korven's profoundly unsettling, atonal THE WITCH...

 

 

post #63 of 152
Thread Starter 

John Williams had a pretty spectacular 2001, as his other big score besides SORCERER'S STONE was A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.  I was initially cool on the score (as I was towards the film), but it's continued to grow on me considerably.  His main theme is one of his most achingly bittersweet...

 

It really packs a wallop in the final sequence.  The oboe (I think) counterpoint that begins at 1:30 is such a simple - yet enormously effective - addition.  As an aside, this theme is forever linked to my mother for me, as she claims this is her favorite movie theme of all time, and has several times been reduced to tears by it.  Good work, Johnny!

 

But even better than that theme (in my opinion) is the long-lined melody Williams crafted for the Blue Fairy (and the larger concept of David wanting to be human).  It's warm, yet tinged with a bit of mystery, and its undulating secondary phrase (which kicks in at 3:40) hints at an uneasy quality.  Nobody but Williams could come up with something like this...

 

 

post #64 of 152

I bought this score immediately after seeing the movie.  Remember stores?  I went to one that sold CD's straight from the theatre.

 

 

And while people think Abrams didn't get Star Trek, no one thinks Michael Giacchino didn't.  It doesn't raise the film to Great Human Achievement like Horner's score for The Wrath of Khan does, but still, holy shit.

 

post #65 of 152
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabass Inna Bun View Post
 

I bought this score immediately after seeing the movie.  Remember stores?  I went to one that sold CD's straight from the theatre.

Big fan of this one, too.  It's unfiltered Newman.  One of the most "Newmanian" things he's written so far.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabass Inna Bun View Post

And while people think Abrams didn't get Star Trek, no one thinks Michael Giacchino didn't.  It doesn't raise the film to Great Human Achievement like Horner's score for The Wrath of Khan does, but still, holy shit.

It's a terrific theme, one of Giacchino's best.  I've always loved how the descending notes at the end of the theme's main phrase seem to very subtly evoke the Original Series main theme.

 

I actually think the STAR TREK BEYOND score is the best of his trilogy.  Stronger action, interesting variations on his established themes, and one new killer melody for the Yorktown...

post #66 of 152

The '09 Trek doesn't succeed on the level it did without the Kelvin sequence, and the Kelvin sequence doesn't succeed with Giacchino, period:

 

 

The passage at 1:40 where it goes from full orchestra to very small is like Giacchino's own version of the "You will travel far, my little Kal-El" passage in the Superman score (maybe the single best in any Williams score). And from that into:

 

 

Abrams even specifically calls out that musical transition in his commentary, and rightfully so. From tragic to absolutely soaring in seconds. Between this and Up, '09 was the year of Giacchino.

post #67 of 152

I guess I just have a deaf spot for Giacchino. He does a big satisfying sound, but I can never remember the themes. All meat, no bones.

post #68 of 152

A very underrated score (by a very underrated composer) is the one for Rise of the Planet of the Apes by Patrick Doyle. I was sort of bummed they dumped it for the sequel.

 

post #69 of 152

My favourite new composer is a guy called Cristobal Tapia De Veer. He got his start on television (I first noticed his stuff on Utopia, which was my favourite show for while) but has since begun to branch out into film. His work might not be for everyone, it's a bit glitchy and often discordant but I love listening to it.

 

 

post #70 of 152
Thread Starter 

Hans Zimmer's INTERSTELLAR is, in my opinion, his finest score of this decade.  One that he apparently wrote alone, without his usual cadre of additional composers, it's experimental and hugely emotional, and the usage of organ throughout lends the music gravitas and a really distinct personality  "Cornfield Chase" is a dazzling marriage of piano and organ...

 

 

"Stay" is a centerpiece track which presents the score's main motif in a fashion in which it builds and builds (starting at about 2:56) before climaxing in a massive thematic statement at 5:35...

 

And then there's "No Time For Caution," the action/intensity highlight of the entire score which was left off the album release but which Zimmer subsequently released because so many people were asking for it...

 

post #71 of 152

I love how Zimmer uses much of the sound of the score as if it were part of the hum drums of the space shuttle itself. 

post #72 of 152
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post
 

I love how Zimmer uses much of the sound of the score as if it were part of the hum drums of the space shuttle itself. 


There's actually a lot of interesting "sound design"-y elements to the score, but it's almost always listenable, unlike - for example - Steven Price's GRAVITY score, which works incredibly well in the movie but isn't something I'd ever listen to on its own.

post #73 of 152

"No Time for Caution" is probably my favourite Hans Zimmer track. 

post #74 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a genius score. Incredibly re-listenable too. It's a very simple thing, but the longer "duh-DUH duh-DUH" opening he wrote for the logos that flows naturally into the Davey Crockett theme at the opening of the film puts a big, dumb grin on my face.

 

For Desplat in a totally different mode:

 

 

I'd love to hear more of Desplat in big, bombastic blockbuster mode because based on this, he'd completely own it.

 

 

I had a debate once with a guy who was saying that in order for a film score to be good it has to be something you want to listen to by itself.  That's what 'good' definitively means.  I was saying this is utter garbage, but it wasn't really a debate so much as blunt contradiction from him.

Anyway Godzilla reminded me of this debate.  Quite a lot of it isn't strictly enjoyable as far as I'm concerned.  It's stirring and has strong elements that I like.  But it just keeps adding and bending  and piling on dischordant, cacophonous elements.  At heart it's even a little bit too bold and verging on corny and then it goes riotous and ugly. It's utterly wonderful.  I don't know if I'd say I enjoy it though, as such.

It's also really dense in a way that seems less common to me sometimes (I've honestly not paid too much attention in recent films,  which might tell the story all by itself).  I've got nothing against sample driven 'band in a box' techniques for scoring.  But you can often tell that they're padding everything out, or things are a bit repetitive because adding true colour is quite difficult all by yourself when you've got two weeks or whatever (or even when you're roughing it on computer and re-recording it with the real thing).  Godzilla's score is so resplendently orchestral it's a real stand out.

post #75 of 152
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Originally Posted by Muzman View Post

 

I had a debate once with a guy who was saying that in order for a film score to be good it has to be something you want to listen to by itself.  That's what 'good' definitively means.  I was saying this is utter garbage, but it wasn't really a debate so much as blunt contradiction from him.

I think a film score can be "good" even if it only purely services the movie.  To qualify as "great" for me, I think it has to be a score that I'd want to return to purely for its own sake, that functions as a legitimate musical work.  Again I go to GRAVITY's score, which I think was a deserving Oscar-winner for how important it is to the totality of the movie, but as music on its own I derive no enjoyment or enrichment from it.

 

Moving on, more Michael Giacchino: INSIDE OUT.  For one of Pixar's crowing achievements, Giacchino contributed two all-time great themes.  The first...

 

 

The main melody here is an incredible earworm, and it's accompanied by ethereal and incredibly evocative synthetic and orchestral textures.  And the secondary theme featured here...

 

 

... is a brighter, more optimistic counterpoint to the first, though they both seem to suggest bittersweet and longing qualities.  If not for another John Williams score that I'm sure will show up here before too long, INSIDE OUT would have been my favorite of 2015 (by some distance).  It continues to get a lot of play from me.

post #76 of 152

Let's turn to a guy who's deserved more recognition than he's gotten over the years, IMO: Carter Burwell.

 

 

Now, this particular score draws very heavily on the hymn Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. But by God, does it work. It's an absolutely gorgeous, elegaic, thrilling work, and one that I listen to frequently. But for Burwell's masterpiece this century (and probably from his whole career):

 

 

The composition of this piece alone is richer than the entire soundtrack of most movies. The way he balances each theme, each melody, the call-and-response structure as it cascades from instrument to instrument - this is the work of a master at the height of his powers. Lush, romantic, soaring - this is the beating heart of the film that Carol and Therese cannot express. Burwell strikes an impressive tightrope balance between what Boone earlier called chilly minimalism and the more complex and heart-and-sleeve work demonstrated above. Burwell is one of the most underrated composers working right now, and even up against arguably the two greatest film composers of all time in 2015, I may very well have voted for this one to win.

post #77 of 152
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

 But for Burwell's masterpiece this century (and probably from his whole career):

 

 

The composition of this piece alone is richer than the entire soundtrack of most movies. The way he balances each theme, each melody, the call-and-response structure as it cascades from instrument to instrument - this is the work of a master at the height of his powers. Lush, romantic, soaring - this is the beating heart of the film that Carol and Therese cannot express. Burwell strikes an impressive tightrope balance between what Boone earlier called chilly minimalism and the more complex and heart-and-sleeve work demonstrated above. Burwell is one of the most underrated composers working right now, and even up against arguably the two greatest film composers of all time in 2015, I may very well have voted for this one to win.

I don't totally love CAROL's score overall, but that opening cue is absolutely superb.  And you're correct about how underrated Burwell is.

post #78 of 152

Burwell also did the fantastic score for IN BRUGES. 

post #79 of 152

Two soundtracks I own that I love for films that I do not enjoy at all:

 

 

 

Often when listening to a soundtrack I tend to associate with the scene of the movie, but these soundtracks I can appreciate seperate from the bland monsters they were associated with (see also Tron, mentioned above).

 

It's been a tricky one this year, nothing has really jumped out at me. I quite liked the WW soundtrack, but it's main riff was the 'Immigrant Song' almost setup that was established in BvS. The only one I've gone for so far this year is Bear McCreary's Colossal, and mostly, it's just the finale playing off the beats he's established throughout the film.

 

post #80 of 152
Thread Starter 

There hasn't been quite enough James Newton Howard in here.  One of his very best scores is 2002's SIGNS, a score which manages to incorporate moments of striking intensity, eerie mystery, and emotional catharsis.

 

The main title cue is just tremendous, establishing the score's primary three note motif and allowing it to build to frenzied levels...

 

But the finale cues, "The Hand of Fate" (parts 1 and 2) are next level great, delivering a grand climax followed by a subtly optimistic denouement that feels totally earned...

post #81 of 152

Enough can't be said for Howard's quartet under M. Night's direction.

 

The Sixth Sense. Unbreakable. Signs. The Village.  All just wonderful experiences. I think though my favorites have to be Unbreakable and The Village, the last of which is just beautiful to hear on its own. 

post #82 of 152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post
 

Enough can't be said for Howard's quartet under M. Night's direction.

 

The Sixth Sense. Unbreakable. Signs. The Village.  All just wonderful experiences. I think though my favorites have to be Unbreakable and The Village, the last of which is just beautiful to hear on its own. 

Yes.  As I said in my first post in this thread, I think THE VILLAGE is Howard's masterpiece.  It's easily in my top 5 scores since 2000.

 

But really, aside from AFTER EARTH, all of Howard's Shyamalan scores are terrific.  Each has some incredible highlights, but LADY IN THE WATER is particularly impressive, and far better than the movie deserves...

post #83 of 152

I just recently watched the movie for the first time on HBO Go.  The score was the only thing that stood out to me. The movie is so slight most of the time and generally lacks (except for a few shots) Night's eye for photography. It's like he was too busy drinking a latte at video village to give proper artistic and creative direction. But mostly, the move just isn't written well. 

post #84 of 152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post
 

But mostly, the move just isn't written well. 

That's an understatement.  The score is the only redeeming element for me.

post #85 of 152

With the exception of maybe Tron Legacy and The Social Network the one I come back to the most is Clint Mansell's score for The Fountain.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piBwItX1yc4

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr0NBPRMe2E

post #86 of 152

I championed Zimmer on the last page for INCEPTION and a few others, but I have to comment on the score for INTERSTELLAR.  On its own, it's a truly beautiful thing to listen to.  As a score to a film, I find it to be obtrusive.  Part of the fact is that it's so high in the mix as to be deafening and drown out the dialog in key scenes, but it's also almost too beautiful.  it doesn't enhance the film to me...it distracts.

post #87 of 152

I'll have much, much more to say about all three Williams Star Wars scores of the 21st century, but for now, today's discovery: an extended version of The Jedi Steps composed and orchestrated by Williams for the Boston Pops.

 

post #88 of 152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
 

I championed Zimmer on the last page for INCEPTION and a few others, but I have to comment on the score for INTERSTELLAR.  On its own, it's a truly beautiful thing to listen to.  As a score to a film, I find it to be obtrusive.  Part of the fact is that it's so high in the mix as to be deafening and drown out the dialog in key scenes, but it's also almost too beautiful.  it doesn't enhance the film to me...it distracts.


Whoa.  Well, to each his own!  I am with you about the mix, though; the overall balance between dialogue, music, and effects was flat-out bad during my theater experience.  Sounds much better through my home setup, though.

post #89 of 152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

I'll have much, much more to say about all three Williams Star Wars scores of the 21st century, but for now, today's discovery: an extended version of The Jedi Steps composed and orchestrated by Williams for the Boston Pops.

 


I LOVE that arrangement!  The way he expands on the theme gives it even more of a mythic and mysterious sweep.  I'm praying he expands on it more in THE LAST JEDI.

 

And yeah, THE FORCE AWAKENS score is incredible.  I know it left some people cold, but I consider it an instant classic, and it's gotten way more play (as a whole) than any of the prequel scores (save maybe PHANTOM MENACE).  How could anyone listen to this and not feel absolutely thrilled?

 

post #90 of 152

I recall reading Zimmer's interview where he said that he never listens to his soundtracks from CDs or consumer stereo files, since in his opinion they sound terrible compared to the 5.1 original masters. Though my puny, non-professional ears find Zimmer's score for RUSH amazing. The album should be labelled with a "do not play when driving a vehicle" -warning.

 

 

 

post #91 of 152

I've never listened to the RUSH soundtrack in isolation before.  I'll need to pick that one up.

post #92 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post
 

Enough can't be said for Howard's quartet under M. Night's direction.

 

The Sixth Sense. Unbreakable. Signs. The Village.  All just wonderful experiences. I think though my favorites have to be Unbreakable and The Village, the last of which is just beautiful to hear on its own. 

FWIW, his score for The Last Airbender is also fantastic, with one of the single most spectacular pieces of film scoring I've heard in this young century ("Flow Like Water").  The movie is liquid shit, though.

 

 

Lots of my favorites have already been mentioned, so I may have to dig in and see if I can find something new to add to the (great) conversation.

post #93 of 152

Philomena, by Desplat. Really a lovely score.

 

post #94 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post
 

And yeah, THE FORCE AWAKENS score is incredible.  I know it left some people cold, but I consider it an instant classic, and it's gotten way more play (as a whole) than any of the prequel scores (save maybe PHANTOM MENACE).  How could anyone listen to this and not feel absolutely thrilled?

 

 

Agreed! And while The Resistance is indeed great, Rey's Theme is honestly one of my favourite pieces of Star Wars music...ever. 

 

post #95 of 152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by First Class 782 View Post
 

FWIW, his score for The Last Airbender is also fantastic, with one of the single most spectacular pieces of film scoring I've heard in this young century ("Flow Like Water").  The movie is liquid shit, though.

That's one of the great singular cues of Howard's career, certainly.  It's almost amazing he was able to find the inspiration for something that good from such a terrible movie.

 

On the subject of terrible movies with great scores, Danny Elfman's ALICE IN WONDERLAND is really, really good.  It's vintage, '90s-style Elfman.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Codename View Post
 

 

Agreed! And while The Resistance is indeed great, Rey's Theme is honestly one of my favourite pieces of Star Wars music...ever.

It's so good.  My favorite statement of the theme the one near the start of the end credits; it's the most sweeping version in the whole score, and the brass counterpoint gives the thing a fanfare-esque quality that is spine-tinglingly great!

 

 

post #96 of 152

The most recent would be SWISS ARMY MAN by Andy Hull & Robert McDowell. A lot of the soundtrack is sung / voiced by Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe, which gives the film a very unique feel. Most of the film is just those two characters in the woods, with their voices playing in the background. You develop some kind of a Stockholm syndrome with those weirdos, and get completely immersed by their characters and performances, both acting and musical. I remember feeling distressed after stepping out of the theater to afternoon traffic. After spending 90 minutes with Paul and Dan, I wanted to get back in and away from all these ordinary people! (Which is kinda the opposite of what the film is trying to say about life)

 

post #97 of 152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtanen View Post
 

The most recent would be SWISS ARMY MAN by Andy Hull & Robert McDowell. A lot of the soundtrack is sung / voiced by Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe, which gives the film a very unique feel. Most of the film is just those two characters in the woods, with their voices playing in the background. You develop some kind of a Stockholm syndrome with those weirdos, and get completely immersed by their characters and performances, both acting and musical. I remember feeling distressed after stepping out of the theater to afternoon traffic. After spending 90 minutes with Paul and Dan, I wanted to get back in and away from all these ordinary people! (Which is kinda the opposite of what the film is trying to say about life)

I absolutely couldn't stand the movie, but have returned to the score several times.  It's certainly a singular work.

post #98 of 152
Thread Starter 

One of the most underrated composers out there is Christopher Young, and one of his very best scores is for Sam Raimi's DRAG ME TO HELL.  Young employs some familiar musical devices (a solo violin to represent satanic/evil forces, for example), but the whole package is monstrously entertaining.  At times subtly creepy, while at other times gloriously bombastic.

 

post #99 of 152

Since we've veered into video games, I'm going to pimp Jeremy Soule.  Everybody knows him from his Elder Scrolls work, but I'm a huge fan of his work on the D&D RPGs, particularly Icewind Dale.  I would stand in Easthaven doing nothing just to listen to the theme he wrote for it:

 

post #100 of 152
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

Since we've veered into video games, I'm going to pimp Jeremy Soule.  Everybody knows him from his Elder Scrolls work, but I'm a huge fan of his work on the D&D RPGs, particularly Icewind Dale.  I would stand in Easthaven doing nothing just to listen to the theme he wrote for it:

I'm not much of a gamer, so I've tended to overlook their scores (with some exceptions), but this sort of stuff makes me want to broaden my horizons a bit.

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