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Comments about the soundtrack for Windtalkers (James Horner)

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Horner Bashing
• Posted by: Joseph Dner   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Saturday, June 15, 2002, at 7:06 a.m.
• IP Address:

Note: this is not a hate letter to Christian or other reviewers. I respect his reviews as I respect others' opinions. However, I am tired of everyone being unfair to a talented composer. If you don't like his style, don't buy his scores. It is getting extremely old hearing everyone complain whenever he releases a score.

I just thought I would throw this out there. And, like many of Horner's scores, it is nothing that anyone hasn't heard before. With that said, I shall begin.

Today as I searched the net to find other reviews on the score to Windtalkers I noticed one thing. Everyone likes the score, but ultimately hates it because it is by James Horner and because it is by him... that must mean that it is derivative and the same ol' same ol' crap.
I will be the first to admit that I have heard Horner scores that do sound very similar in nature. I will be the first to admit that this is distracting at times. I will be the first to admit that Horner hasn't scored something totally original since Spitfire Grill (a score which I do not like very much).
However, there comes a time when enough bashing is enough.
Reviewers seem to act like James Horner is the only one who gets stuck on autopilot. John Williams' score to Presumed Innocent and Angela's Ashes have the same theme. His score to Amistad and The Patriot share a theme. His score to Seven Years in Tibet play the same theme over and over and over. Angela's Ashes does the same. Do reviewers bash Williams. No! Why? Because he is the maestro. However, does Horner get bashed when he reuses a thing? Hell yes! John Williams gets a free ticket to the Academy Awards every year. Does he deserve it? No, not every year. Don't get me wrong - I am a huge fan of John Williams and I am highly anticipating his score to Minority Report. However, I feel there is, what's the word, discrimination against Horner. Almost everyone of Hans Zimmer's action scores sound the same. Do people bash him? They used to, but ever since Gladiator they have found a new love for him. I don't know. Maybe it is just me, but I think reviewers are being highly unfair to Mr. Horner.
In conclusion, I am not even a huge fan of James Horner's works. I own exactly one of his scores. That score is Windtalkers. I find it to be original (for Horner), INSPIRED, and highly enjoyable. Personally, I am sick of all the big Horner epics that are immediate classics (such as Braveheart, Titanic, Legends of the Fall, A Beautiful Mind, etc.). I will gladly take one of his more subtle, more challenging, and much more interesting scores (such as Windtalkers). I am not trying to change anyones opinion of the score to WIndtalkers. However, reviewers are getting in the same rut that Horner is in because every new review of his work states the exact same thing: Horner is unoriginal, his new score sucks, there is no thing... which brings me to one last point. Just because a theme requires you to listen for it does not mean that it is not a theme. It simply means that Horner decided to let the movie tell the story instead of his melodramatic, big bang scores.

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  •   Horner Bashing  (3740 views)    We're Here
       Joseph Dner - Saturday, June 15, 2002, at 7:06 a.m.

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