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I Lost a Bet, Review #2: The Time Machine, Klaus Badelt
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• Posted by: AhN   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022, at 10:40 a.m.
• IP Address:

The Time Machine - Klaus Badelt, 2002

An adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel, The Time Machine tells the story of an inventor in turn of the century New York who invents a time machine in order to save his dead wife. This guy clearly never read a sci-fi novel though, because he doesn't realize until later that it won't work. So instead he goes into the future where things are post apocalyptic, because when you have a fridged wife, everything feel apocalyptic anyway. The film was pretty poorly received, which I for all I know is a case of people judging a book by its cover, because my god is that poster hideous. Not only monochrome, but ORANGE monochrome? Yikes.

Anyway, The Time Machine was scored by Klaus Badelt, one year away from the score that launched him to superstardom and the Hollywood A-list. Once he became a household name with the first Pirates of the Caribbean, it was nothing but fame and success for Klaus, culminating in his Oscar win in 2010 for Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.

*double checks notes*

Oh, he faded away in prominence as he grew jaded with Hollywood and retreated to smaller non-American projects, and probably hasn't scored anything since 2017.


Anyway, The Time Machine! It's got a handful of good themes, the main theme is really good. I like how in the B phrase of it it sounds very Horner-y. ( ) Lot of good action sequences too. What really tickles me though, is how the main character goes hundreds of thousands of years into the future, and when he meets this regressed version of humanity Badelt conjures up your standard 90s/2000s Media Ventures African Vocal Music. Like...idk it just makes me laugh.

This is the part where I started reading Christian's review of this, and I want to emphasize that, because he also makes Zimmer and Horner references (as well as Goldsmith, which I definitely hear now that it's been pointed out), makes a quip about how PotC didn't launch Badelt's career, and even says "While all of these references will positively tickle some film music collectors, others may consider these similarities disturbing despite their masterful symphonic rendering." Just a coincidence we both used "tickle" in this context. Meanwhile Southall says this at the end of his review: "While it is certainly not sensible to get carried away, based on this evidence it is difficult to imagine a film music future in which Klaus Badelt doesn't figure prominently." Welp.

Anyway, Time Machine, damn good score! Check it out, you won't regret it! Most times you listen to a piece of music you don't regret it, so I guess that's a pretty lukewarm recommendation, but that's why I said "damn good"! Though I guess one of the taco chains here has the slogan "Damn good tacos" and they recently took their best vegetarian taco off the menu, so idk if "damn good" is even that strong an endorsement anymore. Man I need to move out of this place, I don't even have good tacos to keep me here now. Where was I? Right, this is probably going to be the best score I hear in this bet. Ugh, am I just incapable of saying straightforward positive things about scores Riley recommends to me? No, it's a good score, take this as seriously as you take my other soundtrack opini--oh man, we're screwed. 4/5


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