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The Composers, Scores, and the Chewers Who Love Them Thread - Page 3

post #101 of 1226
I'm listening to Elfman's 'Aunt May Packs' from the SPIDER-MAN 2 score as I type this...why on why didn't Raimi use this beautiful piece in the film?
post #102 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
The people who think Williams only writes big brassy themes remind me of the people who think his Jaws score is nothing but the "da-dum" over and over again. For every Superman March or Imperial March, there's a Love Theme or Yoda's Theme.

And maybe there's a preponderance of loud action cues in his repertoire because he's scored some of the most famous action-adventure films of all time?
It's not so much about "big brassy themes" as much as it's he's the perfect composer for someone like Spielberg in that his music always lets you know how to feel. Now I know the same could be said of many composers, but I feel that someone like Thomas Newman writes music that lives alongside the film rather than as just emotional cues.
post #103 of 1226
Thread Starter 
I've been listening to the score for "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" (thanks again Nigel!) and have really been blown away. I've always been a fan, but Shirley Walker's work on the film is just unbelievable. It's probably the biggest and most ambitious Batman score that's been done, and runs the gamut between beautiful, haunting, and powerful with ease.

Walker has to be one of the most criminally underrated and underemployed composers in the business. She orchestrated "Batman" and "Batman Returns" for Danny Elfman, which is a huge reason why his music achieved the grandiose, full orchestral sound it did. All of the memorable themes and cues from "Batman TAS", "Superman TAS" and a genius blending of both superhero's "tones" into the theme for "The Batman/Superman Adventures", she brought adult, dramatic composition to cartoons. Aside from that she's mainly done horror movies it seems, which is a pity.

I really don't know why she doesn't do more. There are precious few female composers, and her work has been nothing short of amazing.
post #104 of 1226
Walker also provided a hell of a score for the Willard remake, but I think a total of seven people actually saw the movie.
post #105 of 1226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by g-dude
Walker also provided a hell of a score for the Willard remake, but I think a total of seven people actually saw the movie.
That's what I'm saying. She's seemingly one of those composers who keeps getting stuck with crap assignments but still scores the hell out of them. Randy Edelman had some great pieces like this too, where these big famous themes were buried in crap like "Dragonheart".

I have a a feeling this is one of those industry insider dynamics I'm just not going to be privy to. There is no other reason why she gets stuff like "Final Destination 3" while the Graeme Revells, Marco Beltramis, and Trevor Rabins still get the big projects. Maybe she needs a better agent, or maybe she only does movie work to pay the bills and has other musical interests.
post #106 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stew
That's what I'm saying. She's seemingly one of those composers who keeps getting stuck with crap assignments but still scores the hell out of them. Randy Edelman had some great pieces like this too, where these big famous themes were buried in crap like "Dragonheart".

I have a a feeling this is one of those industry insider dynamics I'm just not going to be privy to. There is no other reason why she gets stuff like "Final Destination 3" while the Graeme Revells, Marco Beltramis, and Trevor Rabins still get the big projects. Maybe she needs a better agent, or maybe she only does movie work to pay the bills and has other musical interests.
Agreed. Personally, I think they should ask her to do the next BATMAN.
post #107 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by g-dude
Walker also provided a hell of a score for the Willard remake, but I think a total of seven people actually saw the movie.
That was a shame, too, because I really enjoyed it. It's one of the few examples of a remake that understood what made the original work, while avoiding what didn't. I think it blows the original away.
post #108 of 1226
I echo the admiration of Shirley Walker's work, what kills me is the Batman: TAS DVD's have her on commentary and she mentions the material is all there and she said it's possible one day to release the material, which'd be a blast.
post #109 of 1226
I own Walker's MASK OF THE PHANTASM score, and I'll join the consensus and say it's an amazing piece of art. I had to buy a used one on Amazon just to get my hands on it.
post #110 of 1226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden
Agreed. Personally, I think they should ask her to do the next BATMAN.
That's a really great idea. She proved time and again that she knows the Batman universe, and has scored it in every variation. She's done the lighter episodes of the show, the surprisingly dark "Mask of the Phantasm", she's a great composer. And hell, she'd be infinitely cheaper than a Zimmer or Newton Howard I'm sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Chocula
I echo the admiration of Shirley Walker's work, what kills me is the Batman: TAS DVD's have her on commentary and she mentions the material is all there and she said it's possible one day to release the material, which'd be a blast.
I would absolutely love to get that soundtrack. She wrote a unique and instantly recognizable theme for every villain. Clayface, Two-Face, Batgirl, and the Joker got standout themes, and I'm amazed at how much they stick with me even from when I was 8 years old.
post #111 of 1226
With game score CD's becoming more common and popular, I'm surprised we're not seeing more TV scores.
post #112 of 1226
Thread Starter 
I don't know how many TV shows really would warrant it. I mean, when Giacchino writes full orchestral scores for the "Medal of Honor" games, release it. But how many TV shows feature anything more than a couple moody cues or an annoying title song? "Batman TAS" is the exception I think, not the rule. Giacchino did some great stuff with "Alias" and "Lost" too, but again, I think that stands out because it's not the norm.
post #113 of 1226
Most TV shows would only have soundtracks, as precious few of them employ actual scores.
post #114 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crow
For me, Rocky IV is THE 80's soundtrack. But in particular, DiCola's one of the scant few who managed to make those synthesizers work just as effectively as an orchestra. I'd love to get some of the more obscure synth scores that work if anybody's got suggestions.
Let's see, just to throw out a few not terribly obscure ideas possibly in that vein:

Blade Runner
Dune
Buckaroo Banzai
Blue Thunder
Escape from New York
Ladyhawke
1984
Red Dawn?
Tron?
Terminator?
post #115 of 1226
Funny you mention tv scores, I'm uploading the LOST and 24 scores to the "Music Swap" thread right now. I love the work Giacchino did on LOST, and never really got into Alias, so I can't really comment on that. Sean Callery's 24 score is very hit and miss, but there are some great musical moments from that show.

One fantastic video game composer that I find myself listening to often is Marty O'Donnell. His scores for the "Halo" games are stunningly great.
post #116 of 1226
While we're talking TV shows--Bear McCreary's Battlestar Galactica score is great listening. Very much recommended. Better than the Miniseries score.

Also, if you're a fan of DiCola's transformers score, try and find "Artistic Transformations" It's DiCola performing most of the score on solo grand piano. Greatly improves the musicality of the thing. Almost makes that stuff "classy." or as close to it as "Dare" can get.
post #117 of 1226
Another great show that had some great stuff for T.V., Arrested Development, so delightfully quirky and walking the line between serious and parody, David Schwartz's work on that was awesome.

So awesome I ripped all the music only tracks from Season 1's Special Features.
post #118 of 1226
It's not exactly the most popular show around here, but Walter Murphy's work on Family Guy has been chock full of jazz-influenced goodness since day one. The original music numbers on the show have also been perfect throwbacks to 50s musicals.
post #119 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatboy Roberts
While we're talking TV shows--Bear McCreary's Battlestar Galactica score is great listening. Very much recommended. Better than the Miniseries score.
I could never get into that. It works okay in the actual series, but listening to it on its own does nothing for me.
post #120 of 1226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by temos
Also for snyth scores add Manhunter, Thief and also the Long Good Friday had some synth stuff in it which was quite unique for that type of movie and also very good too.
I don't know how good it is, but Giorgio Moroder's "Scarface" theme is pure 80s synth.
post #121 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden
I could never get into that. It works okay in the actual series, but listening to it on its own does nothing for me.
I'm a pretty big fan of percussion, so I was patient with it beyond the first 2 listens, and that's when I started, almost accidentally, catching all the thematic work he was sneaking in. Plus, "The Shape of Things to Come" and "Passacaglia" were two of the best pieces of score I'd heard that year, as well as the frenetic mayhem of the "battle on the moon" cue. But it seriously did take about 2 or 3 listens before I really started appreciating it

The season 2 soundtrack appears to have evened out the balance even moreso, whereas on the season 1 soundtrack strings would almost be punctuation and garnish for the drum heavy tracks, now in Season 2 it's almost 50/50.
post #122 of 1226
Re: Williams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Goldberg
It's not so much about "big brassy themes" as much as it's he's the perfect composer for someone like Spielberg in that his music always lets you know how to feel. Now I know the same could be said of many composers, but I feel that someone like Thomas Newman writes music that lives alongside the film rather than as just emotional cues.
I'm a huge Williams fan but I agree with what you're saying, which I guess is the same as saying I don't mind being manipulated, at least not by Williams. I just take to his musical sensibilities, so I'm drawn in by that manipulation rather than cast out.

I also agree about Newman, and I've always appreciated that about him as a composer.
post #123 of 1226
John Williams is a composer whose themes actually work better on their own than they do in the films. He has a tendency to draw attention to himself that doesn't always serve the story. On an album, freed from the need for subtlety, his pieces make for great listening.
post #124 of 1226
Nigel, there are exceptions. The original STAR WARS, EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, SUPERMAN, and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. I think all of his themes work in the context of those films and are infinitely listenable outside of them. And two or three themes from the prequels, too.
post #125 of 1226
Thread Starter 
A couple interesting composer developments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMDB
'Gladiator' Composer Faces Copyright Battle

Gladiator composer Hans Zimmer is being sued by the Holst Foundation over claims the film's Oscar-nominated score is a copy of the late Gustav Holst's famous "Planet Suite." If the foundation win their claim for infringement of copyright they could make millions of dollars, because sales of the film's soundtrack have gone platinum. Despite Zimmer admitting on the album sleeve that he uses "the same language, the same vocabulary, if not the same syntax" as Holst, the music publishers who hold the copyright in Holst's works, J. Curwen & Sons have decided to take legal action. A Curwen spokesman says, "After a considerable period of discussion between the two parties it has become necessary to ask for the assistance of the courts." The defense lawyer says, "Mr. Zimmer's work on Gladiator is world-renowned and is not in any sense a copy of Mars. Just listening to the two works is enough to tell any listener this claim has no merit."
And AICN says Elfman is taking his name off "Nacho Libre" after some of his score was replaced with source music. Is it me or does Elfman seem unusually cranky these days. First the Raimi tiff and now this. Perhaps it's because he's slowly heading down the James Horner path of boring and predictable.
post #126 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stew
And AICN says Elfman is taking his name off "Nacho Libre" after some of his score was replaced with source music. Is it me or does Elfman seem unusually cranky these days. First the Raimi tiff and now this. Perhaps it's because he's slowly heading down the James Horner path of boring and predictable.
That's interesting considering Beck was originally going to provide music for the film and was dropped (I think a couple of his songs remain).

You're right about Elfman seeming to be cranky, too. It's like he's turned off that switch that keeps public figures from saying what's on their minds. I was really surprised to hear the extent of the rift between he and Raimi.
post #127 of 1226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Banks is my hero
It's like he's turned off that switch that keeps public figures from saying what's on their minds.
Now that can be quite entertaining. I can't say I don't agree with Raimi and now the makers of "Nacho Libre" though. He's sort of settled into the mediocre, predictable trend Horner now wallers in. There's still flashes of previous greatness ("Hulk", "Big Fish") but too often I think he coasts. While not as bad as some think, I don't think he really pushed himself on "Spider-Man".
post #128 of 1226
Elfman hasn't done a score that's risen above mediocrity since PLANET OF THE APES. I like his older work, but he's coasting on former glories.
post #129 of 1226
Elfman lost me when he started trying to score every picture with meandering, "cerebral" music. In and of itself I think it's great that he tried to push himself as a composer and stray from his comfort zone, but he went from someone I loved to someone who rarely engaged me emotionally, and that's a big drop. Like Charlie I liked POTA, and I've liked a few of his recent scores like SLEEPY HOLLOW and THE FAMILY MAN, but I wish he'd let loose again like he used to.
post #130 of 1226
Thread Starter 
I thought he did an excellent score for "Mission:Impossible" too, but yeah, he's nothing like he used to be. Makes you appreciate John Williams even more, that he's still out there pushing himself, never just sitting back and cashing the paycheck. I think a lot of composers lose their fire for it, Elfman and Horner as two chief offenders right now.
post #131 of 1226
I actually think the Zimmer/Holst thing is more interesting. I certainly found The Battle pretty reminiscent of Mars, The Bringer of War.
post #132 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stew
I don't know how good it is, but Giorgio Moroder's "Scarface" theme is pure 80s synth.
Good call. Forgot about that one. I love that dark, brooding synth sound.
post #133 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stew
And AICN says Elfman is taking his name off "Nacho Libre" after some of his score was replaced with source music.
You'd think Elfman would get the hint by now. I think his close-knit, secure relationship with Tim Burton has made him a tad out-of-touch when it comes to evaluating the quality of his recent work. That's not to say that he's totally lost it...far from it. There are enough highs on the SPIDER-MAN 2 score that it's above mediocrity for me, but it lacks that gusto to push it into classic, essential territory, and for a film as great as SPIDER-MAN 2, anything less than an essential score seems lacking.
post #134 of 1226
I will go back slightly and say his BIG FISH score was very good. But I love that movie to death anyway.
post #135 of 1226
Thread Starter 
This has been a good summer for music fans IMO. I have loved John Ottman's "Superman Returns", and Zimmer's "Pirates 2" is the best thing he's done in a while. I've been listening to Zimmer's in particular a lot lately, and he has several distinct and memorable cues, most notably a great piece for the Kraken which I really love. If you enjoyed Giacchino's "M:I-3" like I did, this has been a pretty good sumer for genre scores.
post #136 of 1226
Passion, Peter Gabriel's score for The Last Tempation of Christ is my all time favourite, hands down. His Birdy score is quite good as well, certainly worth a look but Passion is greatness.

Suprised there is not more Morricone love.
His score for The Untouchables is pricless, one of the best matches of Music and Movie I have ever seen.

I would like to nominate myself as John Williams Biggest Fan & Defender, actually. i watched Munich just last night, i really don't see how anyone can fob his work off as all being "samey" with later day works like that.
post #137 of 1226
I have to say that for such a goofy movie Team America has a surprisingly good Bruckheimeresque score.
post #138 of 1226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desslar
I have to say that for such a goofy movie Team America has a surprisingly good Bruckheimeresque score.
Yep, Harry Gregson-Williams. He should know, he's helped score a few. It is a cool score.
post #139 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stew
Yep, Harry Gregson-Williams. He should know, he's helped score a few. It is a cool score.
To be honest I never heard of the guy before getting that album. What other good stuff has he done? I guess Narnia was solid.
post #140 of 1226
Speaking of spoofs that have solid scores, I'd like to offer up David Newman's Galaxy Quest. As fun to listen to as that movie is to watch.

Going a ways back, Erich Wolfgang Korngold has some fun scores such as The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Sea Hawk and where's the love for Miklos Rosza? Ben-Hur, King of Kings, El Cid. Epic, big scores without being overwhelming.
post #141 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by ObiJuan
Going a ways back, Erich Wolfgang Korngold has some fun scores such as The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Sea Hawk and where's the love for Miklos Rosza? Ben-Hur, King of Kings, El Cid. Epic, big scores without being overwhelming.
Yeah, Robin Hood has a great score. And astoundingly I don't think Max Steiner has been mentioned. I mean, Gone with the Wind, King Kong, Casablanca - come on people.
post #142 of 1226
It's often said that Steiner's King Kong score was actually the moment that modern film scoring was invented. Nobody had ever composed music to the details of the action before.
post #143 of 1226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desslar
To be honest I never heard of the guy before getting that album. What other good stuff has he done? I guess Narnia was solid.
He was a part of Zimmer's Media Ventures crew, so he helped with cues to several of the Bruckheimer/Bay productions uncredited. He was a co-composer on "Enemy of the State", got his first solo gig on "Spy Game", and has done more and more since. Recently he's done "Man on Fire", "Veronica Guerrin", and "Kingdom of Heaven". He's also the composer of the "Metal Gear Solid" video game scores.

Once you brought that up, I went back and watched "Team America" again. His score is hilarious. It's so serious, a perfect satire of those scores that he himself knew so well because that's where he got his start. Funny stuff.
post #144 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by ObiJuan
Speaking of spoofs that have solid scores, I'd like to offer up David Newman's Galaxy Quest.
Abso-friggin'-lutely. Love that bombastic main theme.
post #145 of 1226
Thread Starter 
Giving this a bump after a year, as I originally envisioned it as a one-stop for discussion of what's going on in film scoring. Here are my thoughts from the last year or so:

Clint Mansell, if there was any remaining doubt, has most definitely arrived. "Requiem For a Dream" wasn't a fluke, and "Sahara" wasn't the only demonstration that he has range. "The Fountain" is my favorite score of last year.

This year hasn't wowed me yet, at all. Christopher Young replaced Elfman on "Spider-Man 3" and I barely noticed. David Arnold turned in another disappointing Bond score (the final cue exempted). Tyler Bates had a decent "300" score, but overall, nothing has really knocked me out yet. Themes seem to have almost completely gone out of style.

However, special kudos have to go to David Holmes for "Ocean's 13". Fantastic.
post #146 of 1226
I mostly agree with you on the examples you presented. I enjoyed Tyler Bate's 300 score, but I felt that it didn't really achieve a decent balance between the bombast and the really quiet moments.

I have been loving Javier Navarette's PAN'S LABYRINTH score to death. I whistle the lullaby all the time now.

Other than that, I can't think of anything memorable in the past few months.
post #147 of 1226
Whoa gotta disagree on the Bond score. It was one of Arnold's better bond scores in quite a while. He couldn't rely on the traditional themes and created lots from scratch.

Otherwise yeah, Ocean's 13 score is a great listen, in fact I'll listen to it now.
post #148 of 1226
As we've discussed in the Bond thread, I'm really becoming disappointed with the lack of coherent theme work in modern scores. You can hum the themes from Jaws, Star Trek and Batman and expect people to know them. What modern films will that apply to twenty years from now?

I'm certainly not saying that melody is required to make great music. I'm not that much of a barbarian. But some movies demand a good march, or at least a recognizable theme or two that can be kicked in at the appropriate moments. Almost nobody is serving that style right now, and I miss it. The Star Wars prequels may be guilty of a lot of things, but at least they brought the leitmotif back to film scoring. I didn't even realize how much I'd missed it until I heard it again.
post #149 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAIRUS
Whoa gotta disagree on the Bond score. It was one of Arnold's better bond scores in quite a while. He couldn't rely on the traditional themes and created lots from scratch.
It was one of the better ones, which is exactly what's kind of sad about it; it still wasn't very good. It was wallpaper; it sat in the background and added some color to the room, and that was about it.
post #150 of 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg David
It was one of the better ones, which is exactly what's kind of sad about it; it still wasn't very good. It was wallpaper; it sat in the background and added some color to the room, and that was about it.
Well I'd say Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles) would probably do pretty well. Seriously though, I'd pass some blame to Cornell for the opening theme. A lot of Bond scores are based on that.
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