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Re: Top 200 Scores of the Century - #20 - 11 Plus Bonus Pick
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• Posted by: Olivia D.   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Wednesday, June 29, 2022, at 12:07 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Top 200 Scores of the Century - #20 - 11 Plus ... (Riley KZ)

> So we enter the almost end to this, but also a mistake -- by the time I
> finally numbered the end ones, my #1 pick was only #2. DAMMIT. Missed a
> score. And yep, my swapping between two different programs to write and
> organize this resulted in not posting one of my early picks so we're gonna
> do that first, THEN the top 20.

> --------

> BONUS MISTAKE PICK – Blue Planet by George Fenton (was normally placed
> #185)

> This was a very, very last-minute addition and first time listen to my
> list, which is why it got accidentally removed from my write ups (I had
> everything in list form on Excel, but wrote the reviews on Word, which is
> how this, Army of Thieves, Lost in Space, and Rumble got forgotten about
> and misplaced). Regardless, it was absolutely lovely, just about my
> favourite Fenton (Planet Earth was close to making the list, too, but the
> album was pretty bloody long. Same issue with Price’s Our Planet, which
> had some fantastic music but the damned thing took so long to get through
> I gave up when writing this list). Anyhoo, if you haven’t heard any of
> Fenton’s documentary scores, start here – you won’t regret it.

Just listened to this a little while back and its still great, FENTON!

> ----------

> Ok, now on to the main event if those words apply at all to something this
> superfluous to the world.

> #19 - The Hours by Phillip Glass

> If you’re not a fan of Glass’ music, I’ll bet you will still like this one
> – as far as the “mainstream” can apply with Glass, this is as mainstream,
> or at least “accessible”, as his music can get. Hypnotic and beautiful
> with a very peculiar, mysterious heart beating at its centre, The Hours is
> just about a perfect score to write or read to. It’s constantly moving and
> driving yet relaxing at the same time; a tricky combo to pull off, and one
> I personally feel Glass often excels at, but many who don’t usually agree
> to tend to at least admit it applies with The Hours. Plus, unlike some of
> his scores for thrillers, there’s nothing atonal or creepy to disrupt the
> melancholy mood. Wonderful stuff.

> Best Cue:

> #18 - Cinderella Man by Thomas Newman

> This Tommy. When people say Thomas Newman isn’t all that great, THIS Tommy
> is the one I keep referring to, the T. New’s that was a constant, glorious
> presence in the 90’s but still dipped into this gorgeous, orchestral well
> frequently in the 00’s with stuff like Road to Perdition (coming up still)
> and Cinderella Man. The album is short but very, very sweet, clocking in
> at under 35 minutes of actual score but containing some of the composer’s
> most uplifting, gorgeous work, especially when we’re talking about the
> final two cues (one of which is Shawshan-y goodness to the max, and the
> other a delightful Celtic romp). I’ve loved this sucker ever since finding
> it at a Future Shop (remember those?) way back in high school.

> Best Cue:

Hmm, I guess I better search for this one and Tom Newman is great!

> #17 - Southland Tales by Moby

> This is one that might be considered a stretch by the rules, cause
> numerous cues (including my very favourite, Memory Gospel) are previously
> recorded Moby tracks. However….I don’t know which ones for sure are. I
> don’t know how many of them are. And I love this album and have listened
> to it more than almost any damn thing else, so I’m just gonna say screw
> it, no one cares anyway hahaha. Southland Tales is perfect mood music;
> haunting, ethereal, trippy, often gorgeous, often just plain bizarre. Of
> all the scores/soundtracks I’ve listened to in my life, I’m betting
> Southland Tales is in the top 5 for most amount of go throughs, because it
> works any time, any where. Feeling introspective? Pop this sucker in.
> Feeling depressed? Here you go. Feeling happy and just wanna mellow/trip
> out? Boom, Southland time. It’s just goddamn wonderful, and I’ll love Moby
> forever for it.

> Best Cue (and yes I know it’s not part of the original score, but I only
> learned that like a year ago and love it so much):

> #16 - The New World by James Horner

> When his Romeo and Juliet score finally saw the (illegal) light of day,
> some complained about how much of the score ripped off themes from New
> World in particular. Part of the reason I loved that R&J album was
> specifically because of that reason – any time I can hear something even
> remotely like The New World, my day is a better one. A gorgeous, sweeping,
> and highly romantic work that even mixes sound effects of nature and birds
> to a surprisingly good effect, New World is among my very favourites of
> Horner’s career. The “Winter Battle” cue is the only time the relaxing,
> beautiful atmosphere is interrupted – otherwise, this is just stellar
> “snuggle music” from beginning to end.

> Best Cue:

Great score, just wish Terrence Malick hadn't thrown out most of it in the film, in this interview James gives you can feel his frustration of working with the man.

> #15 - The Fountain by Clint Mansell

> An exquisite score that might be one of the three most disagreed-with in
> my top 20, because for some reason I still can’t quite fathom, many do not
> hear the genius in The Fountain. Frankly, most still don’t see it in the
> film, either, which was one of the highlights of my theatrical moviegoing
> life (never before or since have I sat through the entire end credits in a
> theatre; not because I was waiting for an easter egg or final scene, but
> because my motor controls could barely function). It’s a beautiful,
> ambitious, wonderfully messy flick, and Mansell’s collaboration with
> Aronofsky has never resulted in a better pairing. The primary themes,
> played out on piano, cello’s, and sometimes synths, are memorable and
> heart-breaking, leading towards the two finale cues that stun my ass right
> back into the stone age. If you’ve avoided the score because of some bad
> reviews (dang it Clem!), please rectify that and checker out.

> Best Cue:

> #14 - Gladiator by Hans Zimmer

> One of the rare times a super popular album (of, like, any genre) hit me
> right in the belly immediately on first listen and never wavered from
> being an all-time favourite. It’s most famous for the Lisa Gerrard-led
> tracks like Now We Are Free (one of Zimmer’s career best) or the epic,
> awesome action music that sounds like it could be for a modern thriller
> set in Russia like The Battle and Barbarian Horde. On repeat listens,
> though, everything else about the music sings loudly as well; the subtle
> stuff co-composed by Klaus Badelt is exquisite, and the overall mix of
> mournful and heroism is outstanding. The “More Music” album is just about
> the only one of its kind I bought as a kid, and even with stupid dialogue
> ruining some of the cues, it’s damn great as well. Maybe too “synthy” or
> rebellious for some people, but I love it.

> Best Cue:

I love it too, one my favourite works from Zimmer.

> #13 - Gigli by John Powell

> First off, Edmund can suck it (love ya buddy). Second off…..WHYYYY? Why
> does this wonderful, beautiful, relaxing, romantic,
> adorable-as-all-holy-fuck score not get the credit it deserves? Surely it
> isn’t because of the hilariously bad movie itself, because absolutely no
> one here remembers it anyway, and John Powell’s name attached to the music
> alone should make most go “hmmm better check that sucker out”. Is it those
> random jazzy cues that stick out like a sore thumb? Sure, they’re not
> great, but they’re still kinda fun. And the rest of the music (apart from
> a gloriously anarchistic gospel cue in the end) is as if Tom Petty walked
> into your living room with a guitar and said “I’m gonna strum you some
> themes to make your down-there parts tingle”. The primary theme heard
> deliciously and repeatedly on piano and mostly acoustic guitar is goddamn
> great, GREAT I SAY, and honestly….that’s all. That’s all I need. If we can
> be happy going out on a date and only ordering an amazing salmon dish as
> opposed to steak tartare, then we can mother-fuckin enjoy the simple,
> delightful pleasures of Powell’s Gigli.

> Best Cue:

I actually like it and I'm not kidding, its a fun relaxing score that I can just play and chill out to, "Goodbye" just makes all the stress in me just disappear and I thought I wouldn't like it, because of all the bad stuff I've people say here, but I really like it and "Tai Moi Chai" and "Step Up" are just infectiously positive like Jerry Goldsmith's Hoosiers, great score.

> #12 - The Time Machine by Klaus Badelt

> Recently (by writing this – by the time its posted this might’ve happened
> 23 months ago), I made Ahn listen to this sucker for being so very very
> wrong on a Matrix 4 bet. And I was pleasantly surprised by the outpouring
> of positive responses; apparently I’m not the only one who holds this
> sucker in high esteem, which is a big change of pace since the last damn
> score mentioned. Time Machine is a huge mishmash of tones; whimsical
> Christmasy music, tragic drama, ethereal Adieum-esque choral chanting,
> epic action, fun adventure, and a whole bunch of other weirdness. It
> shouldn’t work, but dang does it ever. This was among my most expensive CD
> purchases ever; found it at a Quebec store back in 2002 for 26 bucks,
> which was literally more than I had at the time and had to borrow some
> cash from my folks for the rest. So glad I did.

> Best Cue:

Yep, it sure is, love all the nods to Jerry Goldsmith, definitely my favourite Badelt.

> #11 - Avatar by James Horner

> As with the movie itself, Avatar got plagued with a lot of criticisms of
> unoriginality. Boo freakin hoo. If a score sounds this majestic and epic
> and wonderful and gorgeous and exciting and balls deep awesome then I
> frankly don’t care if the composer copy and pasted every single note from
> a long-lost Nintendo game from 1984 – I just want more of it. Avatar is a
> sweeping achievement, and yes, essentially a Greatest Hits of James Horner
> Compilation. So what? Our greatest ever composer writing in his favourite
> wheelhouses, and all on one album!!! Fuck YES, and God do I wish we had
> more of them. The only ding on the original score album is that it
> inexplicably left off one of Horner’s career-best action cues (Quaritch
> Down), but otherwise, I give it no dings. Zero dings. Negative dings. Love
> it.

> Best Cue:

My fourth favourite Horner score and probably his smoothest collaboration with Cameron, "The Destruction of Hometree" is so heartbreaking and James' synth work on this score is brilliant, but those voices are what sets it so high for me, I swear, James Horner was the best choral composer film ever had and Avatar is proof of that.

> ---------

> Coming Up To Conclude This Shit: a whole lot of weird stuff I constantly
> whine about no one else liking, plus two series that everyone agrees are
> awesome.

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