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Comments about the soundtrack for Man of Steel (Hans Zimmer/Various)
Much better score than what FT states. Fits Director's new vision perfectly

Raphael Meillat
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  Responses to this Comment:
Gashoe13
Much better score than what FT states. Fits Director's new vision perfectly   Tuesday, August 20, 2013 (12:26 a.m.) 

Despite some interesting insights in the score analysis, I find filmtracks' review particularly harsh, especially the rating part. There seems to be a bit of anti-Zimmer stance nowadays. I mean...1-star...really!!!??? I thought 1-star ratings were only used for pretty much trash work, garbage! It is the lowest possible rating on your scale after all. Yet, I can assure you that 1-star work this is not! It's actually a very interesting listening experience, sonically speaking.

Personally, I think more and more positive attributes can be found in this score as I keep on playing it (full deluxe edition). In other words, repeat playing gets rewarding, something not always true even for good scores. The first time I listened to it (before watching the movie), I loved a few pieces (namely 1-5-6-16-17) and didn't think too much of the rest. So It would have been a 3.5 stars I'd say. Then I saw the movie and it became a 4-star score because it fitted the movie experience so well (after all, enhancing what's on screen is the raison d'etre of movie scores).
The simplicity of the theme is one of its core strengths, along with how this simple theme is being derived throughout the score.
As a huge fan of John Williams (he's one of my favorite film composers), I also appreciate Hans Zimmer's respect and modesty when he speaks about the previous scores and his genuine appreciation of John Williams' talent. In fact, thank god Zimmer didn't try to emulate John Williams' style. Not only he doesn't have the same skill-set but it would not match the cinematic style of Man of Steel. For such complete reboot, one needed something radically different sound-wise, and Zimmer's score delivers on that front. Yes it might sound a little bit alike some of his previous efforts (Inception, Batman trilogy) but that's part of any auteur's legacy: a sound and style we as listeners can recognize and appreciate (or not). It's a signature. Like any painter or writer. I should also declare that I've always been a big fan of Hans Zimer, ever since I heard his great work on Pacific Heights (and his unused but published composition for the K2 movie). That doesn't mean I've got to like ALL his work. I don't owe him anything!
But if there's one thing we can all thank Hans Zimmer for is for a renewed interest in film soundtracks ever since he composed iconic scores like Crimson Tide or Gladiator.
Anyway, just my take on this. With no aggressive tone nor insults, something we find way too often in your comments section...
And just for added context, let me say that I've been collecting movie scores for the past 30 years, right before my early teens! I've got over 1,000 CD's (and a few tapes!) spanning from the iconic Miklos Rozsa, Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams to the likes of Ennio Morricone, George Delerue, Maurice Jarre and James Horner not to mention guys like Basil Poledouris, Michael Kamen, Danny Elfman, John Scott, and dozens more. In other words, Man of Steel is not the first soundtrack I ever bought!


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Gashoe13
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  In Response to:
Raphael Meillat
Re: Much better score than what FT states. Fits Director's new vision perfectly   Saturday, August 31, 2013 (11:44 p.m.) 

> The simplicity of the theme is one of its core strengths, along with how
> this simple theme is being derived throughout the score.

Your points are mostly okay, but I really do wonder about this. Why, exactly, is having such a simple main theme a good thing? Many composers have taken long-lined, complex and infinitely more heroic melodies and referenced them intelligently throughout their scores. You've probably heard many of them!

Look what Williams did with the original Superman march, for instance. It's an extremely complex march, with distinctive rhythms, woodwind and string counterpoint, and multiple phrases. You'd think it would be difficult to 'derive these throughout the score,' as you put it. However, he does a phenomenal job of referencing each of these. It's much better than having a piddly, brief, simplistic theme that references such an iconic and complex character.

Many other composers are good at this! Elfman did it with Alice in Wonderland, Goldsmith with The Shadow, Horner with Amazing Spider-man... Many, many composers have proven that it is very possible to represent a complex figure with a complex theme and then reference that complex theme in intelligent ways.

Zimmer writes a very, very decent theme in What Are You Going to Do When You Aren't Saving the World?. But he never develops it to satisfaction. The brief burst in Flight is not sufficient, and merely referencing the first two notes on occasion doesn't count as development.

FInally, I felt that Zimmer's work fit the film very poorly. The cues that played in the opening scene on Krypton, for instance, were awful in their relentless pounding. The same few notes played over and over again with relentless percussive effects... it was just very unpleasant. And the same goes for the final battle cue. What happened to the days when Zimmer's works tried to synchronize with moments in the movie? Gladiator? Lion King?

All in all I was left deeply disappointed.


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