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Comments about the soundtrack for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (John Williams)
Laughably in-depth and hasty review

Montana Score Fan
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  Responses to this Comment:
Dan
Christian Clemmensen
Matthew
tonyman
Laughably in-depth and hasty review   Tuesday, April 26, 2005 (4:59 a.m.) 

While the review was certainly well-thought out, it was lengthy and somewhat pretentious beyond necessity. It might be important to note that the final chapter in the Star Wars saga does not introduce any new characters that haven't been seen in the previous five films, except for General Grievous. Therefore it would be slightly unrealistic to expect new themes. We should expect new themes for ... what? Coruscant? There is one. Palpatine? There is one. Darth Vader? There is one. Wookies? There is no wookie theme in the other movies, why would he introduce and then abandon a theme? The themes in these six movies are meant to mesh together, and there is no need for any new themes specific to this film, save Grievous.

A closing fanfare and full development of the Force Theme in the final track probably should not be expected, either, as this movie -- while ending on a note of hope -- will most likely not end on a note of exuberance. The first time we could expect exuberance would be after a significant victory over the Empire, as happens in the Throne Room track at the end of Episode 4. That's the Force Theme, fully developed, and one rarely hears it fully developed at other times in the films.

This review, at a glance, appears clearly to be a populist response to common complaints about the previous movies, and the projection of those expected faults into the third movie. How else could one really, honestly make a correlation to George Lucas' recent penchant for special effects creation trumping storytelling as the basis for a bad film score review? Has George Lucas' CGI work HONESTLY affected John Williams? I have serious doubts to this.

Also, though I certainly appreciate the effort, the cacophony of different rating metering systems is unnecessary. "Music as Heard in Relation to Film Scores in General"? Do we rate every album in the same manner? Do we need to in this instance? I think not. This system simply shows an inability to authoritatively take a stance on an album that may, as the reviewer looks back in retrospect, may have been too hastily written.

However, this is not to say the review has legitimate criticisms, such as the score's inability to develop a strong action theme. The comparison of General Grievous to The Asteroid Field is a good one: the asteroid piece had a clear identity and a memorable melody. Grievous is much different and worse.

In the mad rush by Internet score reviewers to judge this album, many make specific expectations based on story line events that they expect to happen. What these gun-jumping reviewers may not understand is that the cues presented on this CD may not match up with those presented in the film. Lord knows Sony Classical has hacked other scores to pieces, and Lucas himself has horrifically trashed Williams' music in favor of already-written themes (think The Love Pledge/Arena Battle). In the films, the birth of the twins may be handled in a different manner. Though it is possible, I doubt that the twins will be born and then there will be an abrupt cut to a funeral scene as the track as presented on the album suggests. To judge the effectiveness of the music in portraying this scene based on album presentation alone is shoddy and bush-league work. And since this review and many others are clearly implicit in their criticism of plot points in correlation to their presentation on the album, they might have been better suited to wait until the music is presented as it was meant to be heard: in the film and part of the story. This album, like the last two Star Wars film scores before it, is merely the colors and paints on the painter's palette. Once we see the films, we see the entire painted picture, and appreciate it as it was meant to be.

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Dan
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Montana Score Fan

  Responses to this Comment:
Christian Clemmensen
greg
Re: Laughably in-depth and hasty review   Tuesday, April 26, 2005 (7:06 a.m.) 

I totally agree with you. So many reviewers are scrambling to review this album, and what the public is getting is a half-baked excuse for a review... There are some good points, however, since I haven't heard the entire score, I choose not to comment too much (yet...).


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Christian Clemmensen
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Dan

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Dan
Re: Laughably in-depth and hasty review   Tuesday, April 26, 2005 (7:59 a.m.) 

> I totally agree with you. So many reviewers are scrambling to review this
> album, and what the public is getting is a half-baked excuse for a
> review...

So 5 hours and 4000+ words qualifies as a "half-baked excuse for a review"? And all of it at no charge to you?

Don't let the screen door hit you in the ass on the way out...



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Dan
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Christian Clemmensen
Re: Laughably in-depth and hasty review   Thursday, April 28, 2005 (7:48 a.m.) 

Christian,

I am sorry that you feel that way.

However, if your going to be a reviewer, you have to realize that not everyone shares your opinion. If you don't like constructive criticism, you might be in the wrong business. And, to be honest, I realize that you worked hard on this review. However, I just don't see how listening to a soundtrack for a week (or even a month) can give someone a really good grasp on it. It takes me a year sometimes to hear all the wonders these scores contain. I also realize that you needed to get the review out because of the time factor. I'll grant you that. However, that doesn't mean I have to like your review, or agree with it. It may not be half-baked, but I still think that most of the reviews for ROTS are done a little to hastily. If that isn't the case with yours, I apologize for jumping to conclusions.

But, in everyone's haste to review the scores, it's sometimes hard to tell what has been thought out and what hasn't.

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greg
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  In Response to:
Dan
Our lives are half-baked and laughable excuses for this planet   Tuesday, April 26, 2005 (11:22 a.m.) 

> I totally agree with you. So many reviewers are scrambling to review this
> album, and what the public is getting is a half-baked excuse for a
> review... There are some good points, however, since I haven't heard the
> entire score, I choose not to comment too much (yet...).

I have chosen to Barnikay the fried lemur Man


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Christian Clemmensen
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Montana Score Fan

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Mike
ChrisAfonso
Montana Score Fan
Then walk your ass across the street and submit a better one...   Tuesday, April 26, 2005 (7:50 a.m.) 

> While the review was certainly well-thought out, it was lengthy and
> somewhat pretentious beyond necessity...

In all seriousness, if you're indeed on campus in Missoula, then you should already know Filmtracks was started in '96 and is still maintained from that campus area. So my suggestion is that you get your head out of that keg, write a more superior review for Revenge of the Sith, and walk it to our offices. If you can't handle that, then my opinion about the current Griz student body is even worse than before.

As for the criticism about the "hastiness" of the Revenge of the Sith review... We held on to the album for a week before reviewing it, compiled and compared all the recorded cue lists, read the screenplay, went through all the interviews with Williams during sessions, listened to the music endlessly, watched the bonus DVD, and then spent five hours preparing and writing the review.

Are you prepared to do the same?

Christian



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Mike
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  In Response to:
Christian Clemmensen

  Responses to this Comment:
Christian Clemmensen
Re: DVD thoughts?   Tuesday, April 26, 2005 (4:41 p.m.) 

I have yet to hear the music (my soundtrack is on pre-order), but have no gripes about your review, save one:

Please give your thoughts on the DVD! I'm dying to know more about it. I know this isn't a DVD review site, but most DVD review sites aren't reviewing it because it's a 'bonus DVD' with a CD (although DVDFile.com has a good one up now). C'mon, give a guy a break!


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Christian Clemmensen
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Mike

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Mike
A quick Filmtracks review of the bonus music-video DVD for Revenge of the Sith   Tuesday, April 26, 2005 (5:41 p.m.) 

> I have yet to hear the music (my soundtrack is on pre-order), but have no
> gripes about your review, save one:

> Please give your thoughts on the DVD! I'm dying to know more about it.

The track listings in the "notes" section of the Filmtracks review tells pretty much the story. Ian McDiarmid pleasantly gives a short blurb before each selection while sitting on the scoring stage.

The music videos are tastefully edited. The music is featured much more at the forefront than it was on the Phantom Menace "Duel of the Fates" cue that was filled with dialogue on the 2-CD release. Not many sound effects are included. The videos typically use footage from the appropriate film in which the theme was introduced, but they employ a cool wet mix of the dialogue (echoing, dreamlike) when giving a scene from a different film (premonitions, ghosts, and the sorts).

The "Battle of the Heroes" one is an extended preview... similar to the teasers. The rest of the videos contain spoilers. How much you like each one depends on your liking of the cue itself. My personal favorites are the Across the Stars and the Light of the Force ones.

They surprisingly don't show Williams conducting the music --at least not in the majority that I watched. The first video has some pics of Williams and Lucas that we've all seen before, although they've been artificially 3-dimensionalized.

The DVD is a good inclusion, definitely. Entertaining, although I lose patience with the little blurbs (narration) after a while. Thanks go to Sony for this nice freebie.

Christian



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Mike
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Christian Clemmensen
Re: A quick Filmtracks review of the bonus music-video DVD for Revenge of the Sith   Wednesday, April 27, 2005 (1:41 p.m.) 

Thanks. Much obliged.

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ChrisAfonso
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Christian Clemmensen

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G.K.
Re: Then walk your ass across the street and submit a better one...   Wednesday, April 27, 2005 (4:35 a.m.) 

Thanks for the little insight, Christian

I do agree with one point, though: The over-the-top rating system. Seriously, if this score is ***** "compared to film scores in general" why not give it a final ***** rating and just have that "**** in comparison to other Star Wars scores" there in addition (instead of the other way around)? I thought every score was rated here in its own, not "compared by", and that "film scores in gerenal" was the overall rating criterium, not "star wars". If you have the final rating for people who already own the other Star Wars scores, you could just as well decrease the final rating of many Horner scores for people who already own many Horner scores, as they don't give them much new stuff. Yet you do the opposite there ("although quite some amount of it has been there before for people familiar with Horner's other scores, this score on its own is very enjoyable *yadda yadda 4 stars*" (sic)).

I really enjoy your reviews, but the rating leaves me scratching my head from time to time.

Chris

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G.K.
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ChrisAfonso

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ChrisAfonso
about Horner and ROTS   Wednesday, April 27, 2005 (10:28 a.m.) 

> Thanks for the little insight, Christian

> I do agree with one point, though: The over-the-top rating system.
> Seriously, if this score is ***** "compared to film scores in
> general" why not give it a final ***** rating and just have that
> "**** in comparison to other Star Wars scores" there in addition
> (instead of the other way around)? I thought every score was rated here in
> its own, not "compared by", and that "film scores in
> gerenal" was the overall rating criterium, not "star wars".
> If you have the final rating for people who already own the other Star
> Wars scores, you could just as well decrease the final rating of many
> Horner scores for people who already own many Horner scores, as they don't
> give them much new stuff. Yet you do the opposite there ("although
> quite some amount of it has been there before for people familiar with
> Horner's other scores, this score on its own is very enjoyable *yadda
> yadda 4 stars*" (sic)).

Hi there! We'll se us at jwfan.com

I don't wholly agree with you there. I think that filmtracks has the most diverse rating system of all the Soundtrack pages out there. You have to consider how different people are; some own all Star Wars scores, some own none, some are soundtrack fanatics, some are occasional listeners. You can't just slap one rating on the review, in my opinion.
A review should inform as many people as possible and not everyone wants to read through such a long text, so second or third ratings are inevitable I think.

Concerning your Horner comparison: I don't know if you can draw parallels there. Without a doubt there is a difference between reviewing a part of a trilogy (ROTS) and reviewing a standalone movie (Horner).
You have to see Williams' work in context, whereas Horner is regurgitating his stuff for films that are completely independent from each other.



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ChrisAfonso
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G.K.
Re: about Horner and ROTS   Thursday, April 28, 2005 (12:40 a.m.) 

> Hi there! We'll se us at jwfan.com

> I don't wholly agree with you there. I think that filmtracks has the most
> diverse rating system of all the Soundtrack pages out there. You have to
> consider how different people are; some own all Star Wars scores, some own
> none, some are soundtrack fanatics, some are occasional listeners. You
> can't just slap one rating on the review, in my opinion.
A review
> should inform as many people as possible and not everyone wants to read
> through such a long text, so second or third ratings are inevitable I
> think.

> Concerning your Horner comparison: I don't know if you can draw parallels
> there. Without a doubt there is a difference between reviewing a part of a
> trilogy (ROTS) and reviewing a standalone movie (Horner).
You have to
> see Williams' work in context, whereas Horner is regurgitating his stuff
> for films that are completely independent from each other.

Sure, but what difference does that make for someone primarily listening to the music, wether it's for a series or not? I thought the issue here is "for people who know the rest this score is not as good as it would have been if all of the music was new". And that translates directly to Horner.


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Montana Score Fan
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  In Response to:
Christian Clemmensen

  Responses to this Comment:
Christian Clemmensen
Another Guy from L.A.
Jason
Please avoid personal attacks or belittling   Saturday, April 30, 2005 (5:56 p.m.) 

In response to earlier comments, I think it would be useful to note that neither I nor anybody else is questioning the length or obvious amount of thought that went into Mr. Clemmensen's review of the score. What some of us were saying is that, in the mad rush to review the music as presented on Sony's album, one may lose sight of the forest for the trees, because the music in the movie may be drastically different. On screen, this may be the best score of the six, and if it turned out that way, would we feel perhaps a little embarrassed for rushing to conclusions based on the album presentation of the score? Would we continue to insist it was the worst of the six? Or would we admit we rushed into writing a review as fast as we could while still providing time to listen to the album? I imagine that if you were simply given the album presentation of "Empire Strikes Back" as it was originally released, and judged it without seeing it in the film, you probably would have thought it was awful. Of course, we know that wasn't the case. People consider that score to be superior to many others due to its presentation in the film, not because of its 1980 album. All the listening in the world to that album (even "for a week") wouldn't change the fact that the album was terrible, the score in the film was superb.

I am not offering my own review, nor made any illusion to doing so. A common childish response to criticism is to "try and do it yourself and do it better," but when Americans criticize a President, one doesn't say, "Well, why don't you run for office and do it better?" Or, when they say a car is ugly, "Well, why don't you build a better Pinto?" To argue as such is baseless.

Also, your assumption that I spend my days with my head in a keg shows to me that you already have a preconception about UM students, and it would be worthless to try and discuss it with you otherwise. Clearly from your whiney, petulant response to valid criticism, you are unable to accept anything but glowing praise. If you don't want to be criticized, shut off your feedback forum (message boards), or else screen every comment so your ego can be stroked into complacency. If you provide the forum, don't belittle people for using it for its purpose. And please don't personally attack me or any other poster because of a difference of opinion. I called the review pretentious, not you. And instead of responding to my criticisms, you attack me by assuming I am a beer-crazed keg-dweller.

Perhaps, in the end, you should address this question: Does Filmtracks review film scores anymore? Or does it review film score albums? I think you have already answered that question based on this review, which I still contend ? because the film is yet to be released ? was written before any person can accurately gauge the quality of the score.

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Christian Clemmensen
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Montana Score Fan

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Montana Score Fan
It doesn't really matter if your head is in a keg or not...   Saturday, April 30, 2005 (9:29 p.m.) 

> Perhaps, in the end, you should address this question: Does Filmtracks
> review film scores anymore? Or does it review film score albums? I think
> you have already answered that question based on this review, which I
> still contend ? because the film is yet to be released ? was written
> before any person can accurately gauge the quality of the score.

You'll have to pardon my irritation with you in particular, but part of the reason I lost my patience with you was because your statements like the one above show absolutely no understanding of how this --or the other score sites-- operate.

If you'd do your research, you would learn that I have no problem with criticism... It's been coming in for nine years. Also, you'd learn that Filmtracks, as well as all other score sites, reviews soundtrack albums as they are heard on the album. It's simply not time efficient or economically possible for us to wait to view every film before reviewing the score.

That, combined with your rudeness and the fact that I have worked at UM at various times over the past ten years and would like to expect better from its students (despite the general level of drunkeness) causes me to classify you as a either a dickhead or an ignoramus. I suggest you learn a little more about this site before qualifying one of its longest reviews using unapplicable criteria.

When I say "write your own review," I'm not implying that mine would be better. It's not a challenge. I publish many high quality donated reviews, most of which are better than mine. The problem is that most of the malcontents, such as yourself, enjoy bitching about general things without being the type of souls who would actually attempt a review themselves...

Christian



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Montana Score Fan
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  In Response to:
Christian Clemmensen

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Jeron
Dave E.
John
Re: It doesn't really matter if your head is in a keg or not...   Saturday, April 30, 2005 (10:28 p.m.) 

Well Christian, I'll leave it up to the reader to judge who was the "dickhead" in this brief conversation, and that's all I really have to say about that.

I'm glad you're so proud of your super-big review.

Cheers

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Jeron
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Montana Score Fan
Re: It doesn't really matter if your head is in a keg or not...   Sunday, May 1, 2005 (8:51 a.m.) 

> Well Christian, I'll leave it up to the reader to judge who was the
> "dickhead" in this brief conversation, and that's all I really
> have to say about that.

I think its pretty clear that you don't understand how filmtracks reviews albums and that you're not listening to what the editor is saying.



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Dave E.
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Montana Score Fan
Re: It doesn't really matter if your head is in a keg or not...   Sunday, May 1, 2005 (11:19 a.m.) 

> Well Christian, I'll leave it up to the reader to judge who was the
> "dickhead" in this brief conversation, and that's all I really
> have to say about that.

> I'm glad you're so proud of your super-big review.

> Cheers

I don't know why Clemmensen even responds people like you. You're trying to skew everything to make him look bad when it is you who doesn't seem to understand the way soundtracks are reviewed in magazines and on web sites. I think he is only responding because you are in the same remote city as him.



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John
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Montana Score Fan

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Another Guy from L.A.
Peter Linn
Has anybody checked out this guy's sickening personal blog site?   Sunday, May 1, 2005 (5:28 p.m.) 

I figured this guy's web site was probably chrisrodkey.com since he used it as his e-mail address. So if you're wondering, his name seems to really be Chris Rodkey. http://www.chrisrodkey.com

What's really pathetic is that this guy insults Clem's writing for simply being the way it is and yet his own personal blog is complete useless crap. I hate blog sites and I should get that out in the open, but I like seeing a guy write soundtrack reviewes -even if they are 'hasty'- rather than a personal blog that does me absolutely no good at all.

Clem, I don't think you should worry to much about this Rodkey fellow. Anybody who writes that much about himself is obviously the one with the ego problem.

> Well Christian, I'll leave it up to the reader to judge who was the
> "dickhead" in this brief conversation, and that's all I really
> have to say about that.

> I'm glad you're so proud of your super-big review.

> Cheers


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Another Guy from L.A.
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John
Re: Has anybody checked out this guy's sickening personal blog site?   Sunday, May 1, 2005 (9:18 p.m.) 

> I figured this guy's web site was probably chrisrodkey.com since he used
> it as his e-mail address. So if you're wondering, his name seems to really
> be Chris Rodkey. http://www.chrisrodkey.com What's really pathetic is
> that this guy insults Clem's writing for simply being the way it is and
> yet his own personal blog is complete useless crap. I hate blog sites and
> I should get that out in the open, but I like seeing a guy write
> soundtrack reviewes -even if they are 'hasty'- rather than a personal blog
> that does me absolutely no good at all.

Dan Goldwasser at Soundtrack.net wastes his time on a personal blog like that too. Like you say, he'd do us all a much better service by writing more soundtrack reviews instead of telling us about every meaningless event in his life.

It's funny to watch Clemmensen get riled up when a blogging college student attacks one of his best reviews for following the normal Filmtracks review format!



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Peter Linn
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John
I love this line on his site ...   Monday, May 2, 2005 (8:21 a.m.) 

> I figured this guy's web site was probably chrisrodkey.com since he used
> it as his e-mail address. So if you're wondering, his name seems to really
> be Chris Rodkey. http://www.chrisrodkey.com

His current entry says:

"Classes were great today. I love Mondays. I don't love Mondays. Classes weren't really that great."

What a joke. No wonder Clemmensen decided to respond. I'd be humiliated coming from the same college as this kid. I noticed that Clemmensen did wheel out the FANBOY DEFINITION for another kid further down the Revenge of the Sith page.



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Another Guy from L.A.
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Montana Score Fan
What personal attacks?   Sunday, May 1, 2005 (9:10 p.m.) 

> Clearly from your whiney, petulant response to valid criticism, you are
> unable to accept anything but glowing praise. If you don't want to be
> criticized, shut off your feedback forum (message boards), or else
> screen every comment so your ego can be stroked into complacency.

You must not know Clemmensen that well. There isn't a more humble, self-degrading individual about his own writing. Ask him for a list of his 20 worst reviews and he'll start naming them off. If he is really belittling you, he probably has some good reason to do so. He rarely responds to anyone on the comment areas.



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Jason
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Montana Score Fan
Re: Please avoid personal attacks or belittling   Monday, May 2, 2005 (7:11 p.m.) 

> if it turned out that way, would we feel perhaps a little embarrassed for
> rushing to conclusions based on the album presentation of the score?

Are you suggesting that soundtrack sites only review scores in the context of the film? How would it be possible for a reviewer to watch all those films with timeliness?



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Matthew
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Re: Laughably in-depth and hasty review   Tuesday, April 26, 2005 (3:28 p.m.) 

Come on, Christian has never written a better or more well thought out review. I have yet to hear the whole score, so I don't have an opinion of it yet, but Christian makes his case very clear and very well.

I don't see how you can say that it was hastily written, it's clear he put a lot of time and effort into this, this isn't something he just threw together.

As a reviewer myself (although for film, not music) I was very impressed by the ROTS review.

Kudos, Christian.

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tonyman
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Montana Score Fan
Re: Laughably in-depth and hasty review   Monday, May 2, 2005 (12:24 p.m.) 

> In the mad rush by Internet score reviewers to judge this album, many make
> specific expectations based on story line events that they expect to
> happen. What these gun-jumping reviewers may not understand is that the
> cues presented on this CD may not match up with those presented in the
> film.

a couple of problems there;

1- soundtrack reviewers rate the cds and not the music in film

2- filmtracks held the cd from sony for a whole week to do research for the review

not sure whats so laughable or hasty there

other sites didnt wait before reviewing it and none of them did the research that filmtracks did



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rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. Scoreboard created 7/24/98 and last updated 4/25/15.