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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
(2016)
Album Cover Art
Regular Edition
Deluxe Edition
Album 2 Cover Art
Co-Composed and Co-Produced by:
Hans Zimmer
Steve Mazzaro

Co-Composed, Co-Conducted, and Co-Produced by:
Tom Holkenborg

Additional Music by:
Andrew Kawczynski
Benjamin Wallfisch

Co-Conducted by:
Nick Glennie-Smith

Orchestrated by:
Bruce Fowler
Walter Fowler
Yvonne Suzette Moriarty
Carl Rydlund
Kevin Kaska

Co-Produced by:
Alan Meyerson
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
WaterTower Music
(March 18th, 2016)

Sony Classical (International)
(March 18th, 2016)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Both the regular and "Deluxe" albums are regular releases. The regular edition was primarily aimed at the download market, released on CD by Sony internationally. The "Deluxe" edition CD set was initially priced at about $20. A vinyl version of that expanded album is also available.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you have abandoned all hope that Hans Zimmer can, with his hoard of ghostwriters and their infinite sound design technologies, write a superhero score that actually functions properly in its thematic interplay, and you simply accept his music for the genre for what it is: a mindless means of increasing testosterone levels.

Avoid it... on the pitiful "Deluxe" version of the soundtrack album if you expect to hear any of the film's more interesting cues not included on the regular product; instead, you receive an additional 19 minutes of mostly useless, atmospheric crap.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,220
WRITTEN 4/2/16
Zimmer
Zimmer
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: (Hans Zimmer/Tom Holkenborg/Various) Just as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has officially lost all creative control of itself in the pursuit of cheap profits, so has sunk the DC Comics universe as well, its famous anchors of Batman and Superman sharing the screen for the first time in 2016's much maligned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The Zack Snyder follow-up to the re-envisioned Superman movie Man of Steel from 2013 reboots the Batman concept on screen yet another time and expands its fanboy enthusiasm for the universe, not to mention merchandising potential, by introducing several auxiliary DC characters in its haphazard storyline. Gone from any of these movies is the sense of unbridled heroism in an optimistic sense, the brooding of everyone involved so prevalent that one must once again commend The Lego Movie for appropriately poking fun at the surly demeanor of this era's superhero, both in its Batman's spoken lines and in the silly, intentionally hateful song that accompanies him. When you consider the battles of ridiculously epic proportions being proposed in these superhero movies, the nastiness conveyed by their distrusting and distrusted characters, and, by the time of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, open expression of humanity's xenophobic political response to yesterday's bright saviors, particularly Superman in this case, one cannot help but understand why so many angry American men are actually voting for Donald Trump for president during this time. Movies like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice feed off of the population's frustrations with the positive side of establishment figures, forcing heroes to lose their dichotomy and expose their supposedly normal selves, the Bruce Waynes and Clark Kents, as being a fair dose as nasty as the villains they fight. The plot of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice doesn't really matter except to say reiterate the need for studio profits, and the formula unfortunately continues to work, the film netting good (though not spectacular) grosses despite widespread disgust or dismissal from critics. These films are all process and little true character or style, and many audiences clearly don't care.

It should come as no surprise that the music for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, like that for Man of Steel, is equally about formulaic process and possesses, as expected, minimal character or style. Despite the efforts of Danny Elfman, Patrick Doyle, James Horner, and, to a lesser extent, Brian Tyler, to bring some semblance of musical intelligence to the comic book adaptations of this age, the genre remains dominated by Hans Zimmer and his Remote Control music production company. The dark, animosity-riddled vision of the superhero realm created by Snyder has a symbiotic relationship with the equally oppressive and dispiriting tone coming from Zimmer and his team of ghostwriters for these films, and many enthusiasts of the composer's aggressively morbid handling of the genre will argue that the man is simply providing filmmakers and audiences what they want to hear. The score for Man of Steel, composed by Zimmer in conjunction with his preferred team of collaborators for that moment, was met with glee from young male listeners who, largely, had appreciated his music for the Christopher Nolan Batman Begins trilogy. Film music critics, meanwhile, lambasted Zimmer and Man of Steel nearly uniformly, yielding a rare moment of near total convergence of professional opinion. Intriguingly, critical reactions to Batman v Superman have been similar, though not quite as negative, and the mass of those young men who typically embrace everything from Zimmer may be starting to reluctantly agree that the formula's execution, at least this time, has grown tired and lacks inspiration. Reuniting with Zimmer from Man of Steel for Batman v Superman is Tom Holkenborg (otherwise known as Junkie XL), who is fresh off of the absolutely hideous, explosively flatulent superhero score for Deadpool and yet is defended by Zimmer in every regard despite his clear lack of knowledge about how to handle this genre. Meanwhile, typical Zimmer ghostwriters Steve Mazzaro, Andrew Kawczynski, and Benjamin Wallfisch join the party to contribute adaptations of thematic ideas or contribute mind-numbing sound design. Of course, the patented Zimmer collaboration process doesn't allow listeners to really evaluate who was responsible for what in these scores, and that's not Zimmer's concern. He simply wants to have fun creating film scores even if the result of his group-think process continues to be utterly dysfunctional.

Zimmer reportedly labored over the strategy of tackling Batman v Superman for months before ultimately producing the only result that film music collectors already expected to hear. Listening to the man describe the agony of his creative process in each his interviews for these types of pictures is astonishingly perplexing, the media hype surrounding his answers bloated beyond all reasonable expectations. It remains disturbing just how much the composer claims to struggle to find inspiration and then, in the end, leans on his collaborators to help flesh out the same simplistic musical constructs and renderings each time. For Batman v Superman, at least you can get the impression that there was a more concerted effort to map out the themes of the DC universe. Zimmer was intent upon discarding his underdeveloped Batman theme from his Nolan films, which is actually something of a disappointment considering how obnoxious his new theme for the character's forceful side reveals itself to be. The two main identities of Superman from Man of Steel, the two-note rising phrases for the heroic element and the softer piano melody for his adoptive family, return to the best of the ability of Zimmer and his ghostwriting clones. Batman's new identity is led by a pounding series of notes, always led by one longer note and four in succession afterwards. All of them are on key, of course, because that's Remote Control methodology at its finest. Sometimes there's a sixth note appended to the line for whatever reason. The score brutally shoves this theme down your throat right at the outset of "Beautiful Lie" and proceeds to utilize it as a rhythmic tool throughout the score. Bruce Wayne's many lamentations receive a more reasonable though too distant melody that is basically sufficient but ruined for the finely-tuned Zimmer-collector's ear because its descending counterpoint line (1:10 into "Beautiful Lie" and 7:26 into "Black an Blue") is a long and direct lift from Tears of the Sun. Trying to save the day is a cameo by Jerry Goldsmith, whose theme from the finale of Alien, performed most frequently on lonesome trumpet (imagine that!) graces the score three or four times to represent a common bond between the two lead protagonists in their connection to their mothers. Despite poor mixing, the idea is intelligently interwoven in that regard, helping bring the two characters together ultimately, but it still makes you wonder if the galactic threats to humanity suggested in this move are of the famed Alien variety. Let's hope so.

While the Wayne/Kent thematic material in Batman v Superman is halfway decent and, thankfully, rather plentiful, all things considered, the identities for the actual superhero alter egos continue to disappoint. The Superman theme will not thrill some listeners as it did in "Flight" from the prior score, its muted presence best exemplified by the rather tepid opening of "Men Are Still Good." The Kent family idea is underplayed on the album compared to in the film. As for Batman, the question remains as to why Zimmer has to pound away at his notes to express anything even remotely important. Such techniques are holdovers from the 1990's, especially when the ensemble of players is mixed to sound inauthentic, and all you have to do is revisit something from Zimmer's heyday, like "Hate" from Point of No Return to find a much better enunciated version of the same general technique. There eventually has to be an end to the incessantly pounded phrases of notes in these scores. It dates back more than a decade for Zimmer, of course, and includes his famous "horn of doom" effect from Inception and others. This soundtrack should have been titled Sforzando v Rinforzando: Dawn of Wrist Injuries because the amount of forced accent to notes in the score's major thematic portions is totally ridiculous. You almost wonder if the people keyboarding this rubbish into the computers are literally pounding the keys like a five-year-old, begging fate for a sprained wrist. For those familiar with notation, forget the distinction between one sudden sforzando stab and a sustained rinforzando phrase of emphasized notes. For Zimmer and Remote Control, there needs to be a new notation: "zimforzando." Just pound the shit out of every note and forget the nuances of anything around them! Not surprisingly, the melodic highlights of Batman v Superman are the more subtle expressions that aren't swallowed up by the ambience; even here, insanely derivative elements abound. Aside from the aforementioned Tears of the Sun connections, the cello lines at 4:46 into "Men Are Still Good" can't help but remind you of Elliot Goldenthal's own Batman maneuverings in conjunction with, oddly, the introduction to "Gollum's Song" in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. The formation of sensitivity at 4:35 into "This is My World" recalls Elfman's Real Steel. Zimmer's idea for Lex Luthor is a blatant carryover from Sherlock Holmes and, for whatever reason, applies distorted, highly reverbed low piano that emulates the tango scene from Moulin Rouge.



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VIEWER RATINGS
688 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 1.75 Stars
***** 21 5 Stars
**** 32 4 Stars
*** 71 3 Stars
** 199 2 Stars
* 365 1 Stars
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Mitchell Kyler Martin - May 12, 2016, at 5:08 p.m.
2 comments  (442 views)
Newest: February 5, 2017, at 4:33 p.m. by
Freddyfrito
Dear Lord Satan, answer our Hans Zimmer prayers!   Expand >>
Valar Morghulis - May 8, 2016, at 7:57 p.m.
5 comments  (953 views)
Newest: January 20, 2017, at 12:07 p.m. by
Mitchell Kyler Martin
Look at the BOTTOM of the BvS page!!! [EDITED]
BGee - May 4, 2016, at 4:13 p.m.
1 comment  (429 views)
FVSR Reviews Batman V Superman
Brendan Cochran - April 19, 2016, at 6:18 p.m.
1 comment  (415 views)
and yet..   Expand >>
Eptesicus - April 10, 2016, at 3:43 p.m.
2 comments  (798 views)
Newest: April 11, 2016, at 8:27 p.m. by
Ed Chang
Movie Wave review of Batman v Superman
Southall - April 8, 2016, at 12:45 p.m.
1 comment  (538 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS
Regular Edition Tracks   ▼Total Time: 71:55
• 1. Beautiful Lie (3:47)
• 2. Their War Here (4:34)
• 3. The Red Capes Are Coming (Lex Luthor Theme) (3:31)
• 4. Day of the Dead (4:01)
• 5. Must There Be a Superman? (3:58)
• 6. New Rules (4:02)
• 7. Do You Bleed? (4:36)
• 8. Problems Up Here (4:25)
• 9. Black and Blue (8:30)
• 10. Tuesday (4:00)
• 11. Is She With You? (Wonder Woman Theme) (5:46)
• 12. This is My World (6:23)
• 13. Men Are Still Good (The Batman Suite) (14:03)
Deluxe Edition Tracks   ▼Total Time: 91:08

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The inserts of both albums include a list of performers. The digipak packaging of the "Deluxe" edition also contains a miniature poster and an expanded booklet featuring a long interview with Zimmer and Holkenborg about the process of creating the score.
Copyright © 2016-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are Copyright © 2016, WaterTower Music, Sony Classical (International) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 4/2/16 (and not updated significantly since).
Somewhere in the world, a young Zimmer fanboy is vigorously utilizing the "zimforzando" technique in his masturbation routine.
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