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Comments about the soundtrack for The Dark Knight Rises (Hans Zimmer/Various)
The Last Straw

Miles
<Send E-Mail>
(ip68-231-18-199.ph.ph.cox.net)


  Responses to this Comment:
B. Ross
Solaris
Jack
The Last Straw   Monday, July 16, 2012 (11:13 p.m.) 
• Now Playing: Snow White and the Huntsman (James Newton Howard)  

Dear Mr. Clemmensen:

As a film music aficionado, I have very few sources to rely on for updates and recommendations. I have vistied your site and others regularly, and probably will continue to in the future. For those times I have disagreed with what you or other reviewers have written, I have kept my thoughts to myself, recognizing your opinions as just that--opinions. However, this review has compelled me to drop my two cents in and offer up some defense of The Dark Knight Saga's music. And before you write me off as a lunatic "fanboy," allow me to say that I also own (and greatly enjoy) James Horner's "Spider-Man" score.

I do not believe that the music for this trilogy will ever truly eclipse, for example, John Williams' "Superman" anthem, but I think that this deserves more consideration beyond "it-is-a-superhero-film-therefore-it-must-be-scored-like-this." Zimmer's music does not soar as Horner's or Williams' does, but I feel that it does speak to a more visceral aspect of the listener's spirit. It embodies Batman's single-minded commitment to justice rather than "duality." Moreover, a theme need not be "complex" in order to have worth--The Joker's wailing strings, Bane's chant and, not least, Catwoman's leitmotif, do an admirable job at encompassing the elemental nature of their characters. Zimmer's music for these films may not be great art, but it is very effective at communicating with the listener on a primal level. The driving rhythms of "Imagine the Fire," for instance, insinuate themselves into the psyche during that track's runtime, pulling them to their feet and saying "Listen! Feel the desperation of the moment!"

Consider also the film for which the score was written. "Batman," and "The Avengers," and "The Amazing Spider-Man" are progressively more "realisitc" in their tone, but their balletic action sequences and fantastic technology still remind viewers of their comic-book origins. Nolan eschewed this approach for his trilogy, trying to make the universe he created as gritty and as grounded in the real world as possible. I do not think that the music for films which take this approach ought to hit the listener over the head with its "comic-bookiness" as Elfman's did in 1989, or Horner's did a month prior. This is not a bad thing, mind you--just a tonally inappropriate one for these particular films. Perhaps Zimmer has become complacent, as you say, but I hold hope that a respite from The Dark Knight films will allow him to provide "Man of Steel" with a score which suits its tone and approach, just as he has here.

Now that I have politely stated my case, I want to make something else clear to you: just because you are one of the only film music sources I can rely upon does not mean that I like you. Jon Broxton, despite my not agreeing with all of his judgements, is at least able to clearly and honestly state what he likes and dislikes about a score without making himself seem any better than his reader. You, on the other hand, continually present yourself as a supreme exemplar of taste and wit, dispensing such bons mots as "Fact: our population is hopelessly stupid" to the unenlightened around you. Someone likes this score? Then it cannot possibly through any merit of its own--they must be a "fanboy," blinded by hype and their own idiocy. The idea that Nolan could praise Zimmer is just incomprehensible to "those who recognize" that Zimmer just doesn't "deserve" acclaim. But of course you recognize it, because you are just so much smarter and more educated than the rest of us. A fellow film music lover you may be, but your insufferably pronunciamento tone, your bellyaching about how a score you dislike should have been done, your near-constant unnecessary injection of political and social musings into your writings, and especially your elitist smugness disguised as "wit" endear you to me not at all. Continue reviewing, but know that at least one person here sees you for you are: an egotistical, narrow-minded, smug, overbearing, abrasive, smarmy, pretentious, smug, controlling, over-biased, sanctimonous, smug, elitist IDIOT.

Have a lovely evening!



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B. Ross
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(176.sub-75-245-212.myvzw.com)

  In Response to:
Miles

  Responses to this Comment:
Miles
Re: The Last Straw   Tuesday, July 17, 2012 (2:46 a.m.) 
• Now Playing: Einstein on the Beach (Philip Glass)  

> Dear Mr. Clemmensen:

> As a film music aficionado, I have very few sources to rely on for updates
> and recommendations. I have vistied your site and others regularly, and
> probably will continue to in the future. For those times I have disagreed
> with what you or other reviewers have written, I have kept my thoughts to
> myself, recognizing your opinions as just that--opinions. However, this
> review has compelled me to drop my two cents in and offer up some defense
> of The Dark Knight Saga's music. And before you write me off as a lunatic
> "fanboy," allow me to say that I also own (and greatly enjoy)
> James Horner's "Spider-Man" score.

> I do not believe that the music for this trilogy will ever truly eclipse,
> for example, John Williams' "Superman" anthem, but I think that
> this deserves more consideration beyond
> "it-is-a-superhero-film-therefore-it-must-be-scored-like-this."
> Zimmer's music does not soar as Horner's or Williams' does, but I feel
> that it does speak to a more visceral aspect of the listener's spirit. It
> embodies Batman's single-minded commitment to justice rather than
> "duality." Moreover, a theme need not be "complex" in
> order to have worth--The Joker's wailing strings, Bane's chant and, not
> least, Catwoman's leitmotif, do an admirable job at encompassing the
> elemental nature of their characters. Zimmer's music for these films may
> not be great art, but it is very effective at communicating with the
> listener on a primal level. The driving rhythms of "Imagine the
> Fire," for instance, insinuate themselves into the psyche during that
> track's runtime, pulling them to their feet and saying "Listen! Feel
> the desperation of the moment!"

> Consider also the film for which the score was written.
> "Batman," and "The Avengers," and "The Amazing
> Spider-Man" are progressively more "realisitc" in their
> tone, but their balletic action sequences and fantastic technology still
> remind viewers of their comic-book origins. Nolan eschewed this approach
> for his trilogy, trying to make the universe he created as gritty and as
> grounded in the real world as possible. I do not think that the music for
> films which take this approach ought to hit the listener over the head
> with its "comic-bookiness" as Elfman's did in 1989, or Horner's
> did a month prior. This is not a bad thing, mind you--just a tonally
> inappropriate one for these particular films. Perhaps Zimmer has become
> complacent, as you say, but I hold hope that a respite from The Dark
> Knight films will allow him to provide "Man of Steel" with a
> score which suits its tone and approach, just as he has here.

> Now that I have politely stated my case, I want to make something else
> clear to you: just because you are one of the only film music sources I
> can rely upon does not mean that I like you. Jon Broxton, despite my not
> agreeing with all of his judgements, is at least able to clearly and
> honestly state what he likes and dislikes about a score without making
> himself seem any better than his reader. You, on the other hand,
> continually present yourself as a supreme exemplar of taste and wit,
> dispensing such bons mots as "Fact: our population is hopelessly
> stupid" to the unenlightened around you. Someone likes this score?
> Then it cannot possibly through any merit of its own--they must be a
> "fanboy," blinded by hype and their own idiocy. The idea that
> Nolan could praise Zimmer is just incomprehensible to "those who
> recognize" that Zimmer just doesn't "deserve" acclaim. But
> of course you recognize it, because you are just so much smarter and more
> educated than the rest of us. A fellow film music lover you may be, but
> your insufferably pronunciamento tone, your bellyaching about how a score
> you dislike should have been done, your near-constant unnecessary
> injection of political and social musings into your writings, and
> especially your elitist smugness disguised as "wit" endear you
> to me not at all. Continue reviewing, but know that at least one person
> here sees you for you are: an egotistical, narrow-minded, smug,
> overbearing, abrasive, smarmy, pretentious, smug, controlling,
> over-biased, sanctimonous, smug, elitist IDIOT.

> Have a lovely evening!

Yeah... I think you've just out-douched and out-snobbed anything Clemmensen has ever said in that final, vapid sentence with which you've left us. I'm happy we're not reading your reviews... that would be miserable.



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Miles
<Send E-Mail>
(ip68-231-18-199.ph.ph.cox.net)

  In Response to:
B. Ross

  Responses to this Comment:
B. Ross
Re: The Last Straw   Tuesday, July 17, 2012 (7:44 a.m.) 

> Yeah... I think you've just out-douched and out-snobbed anything
> Clemmensen has ever said in that final, vapid sentence with which you've
> left us. I'm happy we're not reading your reviews... that would be
> miserable.

I'm truly sorry I came off that way. Clemmensen just really irritates me. At least I made the effort to politely state my case before I started with the ad hominem. I like to think that I would be more professional than I was here if I were to write reviews.



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B. Ross
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(203.sub-75-221-206.myvzw.com)

  In Response to:
Miles

  Responses to this Comment:
MGDrone
Re: The Last Straw   Tuesday, July 17, 2012 (2:05 p.m.) 
• Now Playing: The Edge (Jerry Goldsmith)  

> I'm truly sorry I came off that way. Clemmensen just really
> irritates me. At least I made the effort to politely state my case before
> I started with the ad hominem. I like to think that I would be more
> professional than I was here if I were to write reviews.

Fair enough. I guess some critics have to be the Roger Eberts while others have to be the John Simons.


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MGDrone
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(customer-qro-140-220.megared.net.
mx)

  In Response to:
B. Ross

  Responses to this Comment:
B. Ross
Re: The Last Straw   Monday, July 23, 2012 (11:13 a.m.) 

> Fair enough. I guess some critics have to be the Roger Eberts while others
> have to be the John Simons.

I'm sorry, CC is definitely not on the "Roger Ebert" level as a critic. CC's opinion is, I think, relevant and not to be dismissed, but he hasn't reached the level of skill or wit as Roger Ebert.



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B. Ross
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(25.sub-75-249-242.myvzw.com)

  In Response to:
MGDrone
Re: The Last Straw   Tuesday, July 24, 2012 (4:01 p.m.) 
• Now Playing: La Mer (Debussy)  

> I'm sorry, CC is definitely not on the "Roger Ebert" level as a
> critic. CC's opinion is, I think, relevant and not to be dismissed, but he
> hasn't reached the level of skill or wit as Roger Ebert.

Well, as far as film score criticism goes (which is obviously nowhere near the medium of film criticism), I think it's fair to say that Christian Clemmensen is top of the line. Anyway, I meant to compare him more with John Simon.


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Solaris
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(pd956a3d8.dip0.t-ipconnect.de)
Profile Picture
  In Response to:
Miles
Re: The Last Straw   Tuesday, July 17, 2012 (3:30 a.m.) 

> Dear Mr. Clemmensen:

> As a film music aficionado, I have very few sources to rely on for updates
> and recommendations. I have vistied your site and others regularly, and
> probably will continue to in the future. For those times I have disagreed
> with what you or other reviewers have written, I have kept my thoughts to
> myself, recognizing your opinions as just that--opinions. However, this
> review has compelled me to drop my two cents in and offer up some defense
> of The Dark Knight Saga's music. And before you write me off as a lunatic
> "fanboy," allow me to say that I also own (and greatly enjoy)
> James Horner's "Spider-Man" score.

> I do not believe that the music for this trilogy will ever truly eclipse,
> for example, John Williams' "Superman" anthem, but I think that
> this deserves more consideration beyond
> "it-is-a-superhero-film-therefore-it-must-be-scored-like-this."
> Zimmer's music does not soar as Horner's or Williams' does, but I feel
> that it does speak to a more visceral aspect of the listener's spirit. It
> embodies Batman's single-minded commitment to justice rather than
> "duality." Moreover, a theme need not be "complex" in
> order to have worth--The Joker's wailing strings, Bane's chant and, not
> least, Catwoman's leitmotif, do an admirable job at encompassing the
> elemental nature of their characters. Zimmer's music for these films may
> not be great art, but it is very effective at communicating with the
> listener on a primal level. The driving rhythms of "Imagine the
> Fire," for instance, insinuate themselves into the psyche during that
> track's runtime, pulling them to their feet and saying "Listen! Feel
> the desperation of the moment!"

> Consider also the film for which the score was written.
> "Batman," and "The Avengers," and "The Amazing
> Spider-Man" are progressively more "realisitc" in their
> tone, but their balletic action sequences and fantastic technology still
> remind viewers of their comic-book origins. Nolan eschewed this approach
> for his trilogy, trying to make the universe he created as gritty and as
> grounded in the real world as possible. I do not think that the music for
> films which take this approach ought to hit the listener over the head
> with its "comic-bookiness" as Elfman's did in 1989, or Horner's
> did a month prior. This is not a bad thing, mind you--just a tonally
> inappropriate one for these particular films. Perhaps Zimmer has become
> complacent, as you say, but I hold hope that a respite from The Dark
> Knight films will allow him to provide "Man of Steel" with a
> score which suits its tone and approach, just as he has here.

If you just had ended your rant here... alas, you did not.



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Jack
(c-98-231-169-189.hsd1.md.comcast.
net)
Profile Picture
  In Response to:
Miles

  Responses to this Comment:
Bob
Re: The Last Straw   Thursday, July 19, 2012 (6:05 p.m.) 

> I do not believe that the music for this trilogy will ever truly eclipse,
> for example, John Williams' "Superman" anthem, but I think that
> this deserves more consideration beyond
> "it-is-a-superhero-film-therefore-it-must-be-scored-like-this."
> Zimmer's music does not soar as Horner's or Williams' does, but I feel
> that it does speak to a more visceral aspect of the listener's spirit. It
> embodies Batman's single-minded commitment to justice rather than
> "duality." Moreover, a theme need not be "complex" in
> order to have worth--The Joker's wailing strings, Bane's chant and, not
> least, Catwoman's leitmotif, do an admirable job at encompassing the
> elemental nature of their characters. Zimmer's music for these films may
> not be great art, but it is very effective at communicating with the
> listener on a primal level. The driving rhythms of "Imagine the
> Fire," for instance, insinuate themselves into the psyche during that
> track's runtime, pulling them to their feet and saying "Listen! Feel
> the desperation of the moment!"

While a lovely and flowery polemic, you have done none of the objective analysis a review is supposed to convey at all beyond describing your feelings purely on a base level. If you're going to tell me the theme represents duality (beyond the almost grade school level idea of two notes = two sides = duality) then you're going to have to prove it.

What I read was essentially a mostly boring rant complied of previous ( did I mention boring?) arguments which are essentially a complied like an apologia, to explain why you like Hans Zimmer and you are the one who understands him only, and that kind of logic comes off like a heart sick teenage girl defending Justin Bieber's music with steel and cutlass from enemy word slingers, because the music is not "high art" but "effective." These are both un-provable since 1. you most likely haven't seen the film yet thereby it is not yet possibly to prove its effectiveness and 2. you need to define what high art is.

It helps any reviewer to have a working knowledge of music plus an awareness of Hans Zimmer's track record, as Christian has probably listened to every score he composed thereby begin able to pick out what ideas originate from where, and being able to analyze the music, which he does. Plus, critics are an opinion, I still am dumbfounded as how people lack so much self confidence and get butt-hurt when someone else doesn't like a score that you hold dear.

(Message edited on Thursday, July 19, 2012, at 6:24 p.m.)


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Bob
<Send E-Mail>
(m870536d0.tmodns.net)

  In Response to:
Jack
Re: The Last Straw   Thursday, May 9, 2013 (11:41 a.m.) 

> While a lovely and flowery polemic, you have done none of the objective
> analysis a review is supposed to convey at all beyond describing your
> feelings purely on a base level. If you're going to tell me the theme
> represents duality (beyond the almost grade school level idea of two notes
> = two sides = duality) then you're going to have to prove it.

> What I read was essentially a mostly boring rant complied of previous (
> did I mention boring?) arguments which are essentially a complied like an
> apologia, to explain why you like Hans Zimmer and you are the one who
> understands him only, and that kind of logic comes off like a heart sick
> teenage girl defending Justin Bieber's music with steel and cutlass from
> enemy word slingers, because the music is not "high art" but
> "effective." These are both un-provable since 1. you most likely
> haven't seen the film yet thereby it is not yet possibly to prove its
> effectiveness and 2. you need to define what high art is.

> It helps any reviewer to have a working knowledge of music plus an
> awareness of Hans Zimmer's track record, as Christian has probably
> listened to every score he composed thereby begin able to pick out what
> ideas originate from where, and being able to analyze the music, which he
> does. Plus, critics are an opinion, I still am dumbfounded as how people
> lack so much self confidence and get butt-hurt when someone else doesn't
> like a score that you hold dear.

First of all, if you are comparing Justin Bieber to Hans Zimmer, you have to seriously rethink some things. Second, this isn't about respecting other people's opinions. I'm sure we all do repect each other here. The problem is this score is pretentious, as if you need a higher knowledge of music to know what is good and what is bad. And I also want to address the first thing you wrote about how the music needs to represent duality. NO IT DOES NOT. That's the story's job, not the music. I'm tired of you old school pretentious jerks who think a score needs to tell you how to feel. The fact it, that it does not. And if you think I'm wrong, well I'm glad you are old people that won't be around for much longer. A score needs to give the film gravitas, it needs to transcend the imagery in screen but it does not, and SHOULD NOT, tell the viewer what to think. A great story will do that itself. And no, I'm not a fanboy of Zimmer, I admire what he does but is far from my favorite composer. You butt hurt old guys need to move on. And James Horner's score for Spider-Man SUCKED.


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