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

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The Last Straw
• Posted by: Miles   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Monday, July 16, 2012, at 11:13 p.m.
• IP Address:
• 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!

Comments in this Thread:     Expand >>
  •   The Last Straw  (4821 views)    We're Here
       Miles - Monday, July 16, 2012, at 11:13 p.m.

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