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Comments about the soundtrack for Minority Report (John Williams)
A small overlook to Williams's last 3 Scores

iBug
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(212.252.6.205)


  Responses to this Comment:
Roman Dlouhý
Sean Raduechel
Spianman
A small overlook to Williams's last 3 Scores   Sunday, July 14, 2002 (1:27 p.m.) 

I didn't watch Minority Report yet but I listened to the score and I must say that I'm not impressed with the last efforts of Williams.
After A.I. which was the last time I liked a Williams score really much we had Harry Potter, Episode 2 and Minority Report.
I won't write everything in detail since I wrote so many comments on the first 2 but what I want to emphasize is that Williams is slowly fading away to the storytelling and storytelling only. Spielberg clearly writes out in every CD booklet that Williams is the best musical storyteller of all time and I think he's right. Williams tells the story every time with notes and sounds. But the problem is in these 3 scores he doesn't go further than telling the story for me. Harry Potter has a nice theme, Star Wars has a great theme but the general sound of the scores is not really fun to listen. Especially think of Star Wars, except Across The Stars suite there is no track which I listen and really feel something. Also in Harry Potter, Harry's Wondrous World track is a really good suite and has beautiful music and the concert suite at the end combines several themes and makes a nice track to listen but the other tracks are even entertaining are just telling some story, they don't make sense without the pictures in my mind. The Quidditch track for example, when I put the DVD and put the CD and synchronize both I have a nice 6 minutes. Since I know the scene and every small movement-action in the scene I have fun when listening to the track, also for the chess game track, it has some entertaining percussion with some tension in it, with the film great, listening is also fun but the fun comes mostly because I like the action in the scene and I like the usage of the music to make that action stronger and those make me like the music. Take Episode 2, take the 3 action tracks Zam Chase, Jango's Escape and the Arena, everyone of them contain the same kind of music as I mentioned before, fun to listen especially the Zame Chase, it has some incredible percussion use and really nice tempo and some unique sounds for a Williams score but not enough. Definitely not enough. Then I listen to Minority Report, it has no remarkable theme like Episode 2 or Potter. The only interesting tracks are 8,9 and 10 except the end titles or the opening suite. Track 10 is a strong action cue but it's exactly the same type of music as the Zam Chase or Quidditch Match. Fast tempo, nice percussion, nice brass, nice vibraphone but still something is missing. I think the only great track in Minority Report is track 8. It's really something new for me, great string work and as harmonically it's quite complex and as a track it's complete because it is not cut to parts with some slow passages, it begins, it gets stronger and it resolves. The only flaw is that it's too short.

I'm not finding these scores quite impressive because that something which is missing from all of them used to be in every Williams score before. When I think of E.T. finale or Close Encounters finale or Superman, those scores went far more than storytelling. They greatly told the story but they were also great music without the story. I just don't want to hear any brass going to higher tones because Anderton is flying higher, I want to hear more melody, more harmony in the music. The action cues are based on only orchestration, maybe that's why Williams recommends Don Davis to make JP 3 score, Davis is a great orchestrator and for JP 3 with the original themes the only thing the movie needed is orchestration like Williams did for the first 2, even not as successful as the first 2 scores. A.I. and Patriot were the last Williams scores which had melody in almost every track. I hope we will see more old type Williams music in Indiana Jones 4 and Episode 3 because I miss that music.

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Roman Dlouhý
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  In Response to:
iBug

  Responses to this Comment:
iBug
Pawel Stroinski
Re: A small overlook to Williams's last 3 Scores   Monday, July 15, 2002 (6:29 a.m.) 

> scores. A.I. and Patriot were the last Williams scores which had melody in
> almost every track. I hope we will see more old type Williams music in
> Indiana Jones 4 and Episode 3 because I miss that music.

I dare say my enthusiasm for Williams' music has been sealed as "unflagging", still and all I think we are not going to hear any type of that "old great" Williams anymore, the man to whom you refer through scores such as Superman or E.T.
I hate to even pronounce the words as "old" or "blasé" but I think it may slowly come with his --and generally any artist's-- aging.
For me, the last real grand movie score was Seven Years in Tibet or even Angela's Ashes (which I accidentally happen to enjoy more than when it came out).
I don't think John Williams' flair for composing is flat out gone, I mean I believe this craft he's always had is something a human never loses, only he's lately begun scoring as if he's been unimpressed with what he writes to. Seems like he underestimates the projects he's been working on recently. Perhaps.
The same "slackness", in my opinion, can't be said of his non-film music works. They always deliver what his movie scores haven't managed in last couple of happenings; his concert pieces are sealed with brilliance and longevity. Luckily.


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iBug
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  In Response to:
Roman Dlouhý
Re: A small overlook to Williams's last 3 Scores   Monday, July 15, 2002 (12:25 p.m.) 

> I dare say my enthusiasm for Williams' music has been sealed as
> "unflagging", still and all I think we are not going to hear any
> type of that "old great" Williams anymore, the man to whom you
> refer through scores such as Superman or E.T.
I hate to even pronounce
> the words as "old" or "blasé" but I think it may
> slowly come with his --and generally any artist's-- aging.
For me, the
> last real grand movie score was Seven Years in Tibet or even Angela's
> Ashes (which I accidentally happen to enjoy more than when it came out).
>
I don't think John Williams' flair for composing is flat out gone, I
> mean I believe this craft he's always had is something a human never
> loses, only he's lately begun scoring as if he's been unimpressed with
> what he writes to. Seems like he underestimates the projects he's been
> working on recently. Perhaps.
The same "slackness", in my
> opinion, can't be said of his non-film music works. They always deliver
> what his movie scores haven't managed in last couple of happenings; his
> concert pieces are sealed with brilliance and longevity. Luckily.

I agree with you. I happen to like Angela's Ashes a lot, it's really a great score with a great theme. I don't have Seven Years in Tibet but I have it's theme in a compilation album and it's great. You say he's not impressed by the new movies, that's also true. E.T. was a really great movie with great music, also Hook was the same kind of movie. The new movies don't have that much emotions together, the new movies are becoming more dramatic but less emotional. A.I. was filled with emotions and Monica's theme is magnificent I think but we really need more movies of that kind. I also don't think we will hear another E.T. from Williams some day but still he can do better than Minority Report or Eposide 2 I'm sure. : )


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Pawel Stroinski
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  In Response to:
Roman Dlouhý
Re: A small overlook to Williams's last 3 Scores   Friday, September 27, 2002 (7:33 a.m.) 

> I dare say my enthusiasm for Williams' music has been sealed as
> "unflagging", still and all I think we are not going to hear any
> type of that "old great" Williams anymore, the man to whom you
> refer through scores such as Superman or E.T.
I hate to even pronounce
> the words as "old" or "blasé" but I think it may
> slowly come with his --and generally any artist's-- aging.
For me, the
> last real grand movie score was Seven Years in Tibet or even Angela's
> Ashes (which I accidentally happen to enjoy more than when it came out).
>
I don't think John Williams' flair for composing is flat out gone, I
> mean I believe this craft he's always had is something a human never
> loses, only he's lately begun scoring as if he's been unimpressed with
> what he writes to. Seems like he underestimates the projects he's been
> working on recently. Perhaps.
The same "slackness", in my
> opinion, can't be said of his non-film music works. They always deliver
> what his movie scores haven't managed in last couple of happenings; his
> concert pieces are sealed with brilliance and longevity. Luckily.

I happen to like the "New" Williams as you put it. I actually found myself enjoying Stravinsky's "Rite of Springs" and the new Williams is closer to it.

Minority Report is a thriller. What did you want? 1941?

But yes, old Williams is more listenable. I have problems with rhythm in his scores . I sometimes don't know in what signature did he write.

Pawel


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Sean Raduechel
(wcfls-238.wcfls.lib.wi.us)

  In Response to:
iBug
Hey! Where's the Creme filling!   Thursday, August 1, 2002 (3:38 p.m.) 

I agree with you that Williams last three scores are lacking in many of the qualities found so abundantly in his earlier works. But I also feel you are falling from the primary need of a film score, its ability to work with the film. Now I'm sure we would all like to hear film music that is as rhythmic and as pleasant to listen to as ET is, but the truth is, not all films can work with scores like that. One thing Williams is good at is composing for movies that work well with his full orchestra, not quite as genius as Tchaikovsky or Wagner (who can be), style. But give him a film like "American Beauty" or "Rode to Perdition" and it just isn't quite the same. What I would say the problem is with the three films you've mentioned, probably less so with the later two the most recent of which, MN, I have yet to see, is that he isn't playing the emotion on screen as well as he used to. It's like a twinkie without the creme filling.

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Spianman
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(20.5-200-80.adsl.skynet.be)

  In Response to:
iBug

  Responses to this Comment:
Dogan Bilge
Re: A small overlook to Williams's last 3 Scores   Thursday, March 6, 2003 (6:10 a.m.) 

I think you're mistaking concerning the part "Minority Report" in your "speech".. You say that MR has no such themes like HP or SWE2. I think you're wrong, very wrong; Mr does have themes: for me there is a main theme and that's the theme you here in track 3: the theme from the the precrime departement; then another theme is sean's theme, and that's just like the theme in A.I. from the mother of the (artifficial) child (don't remember the name, sorry...) Well I think that Minority is a very fine score, my only point is that williams still uses the same action motifs (tracks 3 in MR, track 11 in Hp, track 12 in Lost world..) AND HE HAS TO STOP DOING THAT!!!

Greetingzz Spianoman

> I didn't watch Minority Report yet but I listened to the score and I must
> say that I'm not impressed with the last efforts of Williams.
After
> A.I. which was the last time I liked a Williams score really much we had
> Harry Potter, Episode 2 and Minority Report.
I won't write everything
> in detail since I wrote so many comments on the first 2 but what I want to
> emphasize is that Williams is slowly fading away to the storytelling and
> storytelling only. Spielberg clearly writes out in every CD booklet that
> Williams is the best musical storyteller of all time and I think he's
> right. Williams tells the story every time with notes and sounds. But the
> problem is in these 3 scores he doesn't go further than telling the story
> for me. Harry Potter has a nice theme, Star Wars has a great theme but the
> general sound of the scores is not really fun to listen. Especially think
> of Star Wars, except Across The Stars suite there is no track which I
> listen and really feel something. Also in Harry Potter, Harry's Wondrous
> World track is a really good suite and has beautiful music and the concert
> suite at the end combines several themes and makes a nice track to listen
> but the other tracks are even entertaining are just telling some story,
> they don't make sense without the pictures in my mind. The Quidditch track
> for example, when I put the DVD and put the CD and synchronize both I have
> a nice 6 minutes. Since I know the scene and every small movement-action
> in the scene I have fun when listening to the track, also for the chess
> game track, it has some entertaining percussion with some tension in it,
> with the film great, listening is also fun but the fun comes mostly
> because I like the action in the scene and I like the usage of the music
> to make that action stronger and those make me like the music. Take
> Episode 2, take the 3 action tracks Zam Chase, Jango's Escape and the
> Arena, everyone of them contain the same kind of music as I mentioned
> before, fun to listen especially the Zame Chase, it has some incredible
> percussion use and really nice tempo and some unique sounds for a Williams
> score but not enough. Definitely not enough. Then I listen to Minority
> Report, it has no remarkable theme like Episode 2 or Potter. The only
> interesting tracks are 8,9 and 10 except the end titles or the opening
> suite. Track 10 is a strong action cue but it's exactly the same type of
> music as the Zam Chase or Quidditch Match. Fast tempo, nice percussion,
> nice brass, nice vibraphone but still something is missing. I think the
> only great track in Minority Report is track 8. It's really something new
> for me, great string work and as harmonically it's quite complex and as a
> track it's complete because it is not cut to parts with some slow
> passages, it begins, it gets stronger and it resolves. The only flaw is
> that it's too short.

> I'm not finding these scores quite impressive because that something which
> is missing from all of them used to be in every Williams score before.
> When I think of E.T. finale or Close Encounters finale or Superman, those
> scores went far more than storytelling. They greatly told the story but
> they were also great music without the story. I just don't want to hear
> any brass going to higher tones because Anderton is flying higher, I want
> to hear more melody, more harmony in the music. The action cues are based
> on only orchestration, maybe that's why Williams recommends Don Davis to
> make JP 3 score, Davis is a great orchestrator and for JP 3 with the
> original themes the only thing the movie needed is orchestration like
> Williams did for the first 2, even not as successful as the first 2
> scores. A.I. and Patriot were the last Williams scores which had melody in
> almost every track. I hope we will see more old type Williams music in
> Indiana Jones 4 and Episode 3 because I miss that music.


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Dogan Bilge
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(212.253.3.50)

  In Response to:
Spianman
Re: A small overlook to Williams's last 3 Scores   Thursday, March 6, 2003 (10:31 a.m.) 

I agree, in Minority Report after long listening Sean's Theme and the end titles theme grew on me. And I agree about the action motives. The action cue in 10th track, Quidditch and Lost World 12th track are the same. He has to find something new.

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