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  I would agree that POTC 2 is lazy, however....  
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• Posted by Doug C.
• Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2006, at 11:36 a.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: I would agree that POTC 2 is lazy, however.... (Southall)

> I think Da Vinci Code is Zimmer's strongest work since Thin Red Line. It's
> still a bit of a hodge-podge of old scores though (particularly Hannibal),
> but I don't really care in this case because the final results serve the
> film OK, and make a good album.

What did you think of the Pledge? I thought that was a very strong work. I also thought Hannibal is genius. I feel that Da Vinci Code is the evolution of Hannibal, the Pledge, The Ring, and a dash of Prince of Egypt. All great scores.

> That's true... and that's what I don't like. The Greatest Story Ever Told
> was mindless and lazy popcorn entertainment... but listen to THAT score
> and tell me is't mindless and lazy.

I think The Greatest Story Ever Told is sort of pre-popcorn film era. Comparing apples to apples, you would compare Prince of Egypt to that. Tell me the Burning Bush is not one of Zimmer's greatest works.

> Wow... Your first two sentences are spot-on... but after that... well, all
> I can say is "wow." The Ring is NOT complex music. It's
> incredibly, almost unbelievably, simplistic music. I think it works pretty
> well... but it's been done a thousand times elsewhere, surely. Frequently,
> better.

Maybe not complex in terms of writing, but complex in mood. Keep in mind this is a horror film. Not many horror films today try to use solo celloist piece, just orchestral hits to scare the heck out of people. The best horror scores in my opinion establish a good mood, like the Ring. Not just to punctuate a scare (aka Scream and any other horror film today). Also, listen to the end credits suite in Ring. That is a pretty well written piece.

> I've got a large number of Zimmer albums, I've followed him for over a
> decade, and I don't have a short term memory. I give him a hard time
> because what he's doing is pushing the whole art of film music down into
> the gutter. In this junk popcorn music he writes, he's proving that films
> really don't need original scores, that music really isn't an important
> part of the dramatic needs of a film, that film music is just
> accompaniment, not improvement. For sure, he pulls some brilliant things
> out of the air sometimes, like The Thin Red Line or The Lion King, and I
> give him very much credit for that - but the bad aspects are SO bad.

I think you are exhaggerating a bit. Every once in a while a composers just strikes out. I think his prior few blockbusters have been decent. King Arthur's score is better than the movie, a very fun listen. Last Samurai had moments of sheer beauty. Heck, I even thought Batman Begins score worked wonderfully in that film and can easily be identified with that film.

Look what happened to Elfman on Spiderman 2. Raimi basically tried to do a cut and paste to his first score (and actually did in some parts). Attack of the Clones the same deal. Maybe we should stop blaming the composers and start looking at the directors. How much time did Zimmer have to do POTC 2? According to the interviews I read, not much at all. Is that his fault?

I wish all film scoring could be like Lord of the Rings. Lots of time is spent and the director gets the composer in very early. But summer popcorn flicks typically are rush rush rush. Everyone suffers.

> They do... and there's no problem with that. But they don't enforce the
> same score onto a film regardless of the unique needs of that film. Surely
> there's a big difference between, say, bits of Mars Attacks sounding like
> bits of Men In Black, than there is between bits of King Arthur sounding
> like bits of The Peacemaker.

Why? Both are high testosterone adventures. (Actually I would take exception saying that both sound completely alike. I think King Arthur has a more epic feel). But on that note, should Planet of the Apes Main theme sound like the train theme in Mission Impossible? Should Batman's theme have similarities to the creatures in Nightbreed?

> Like I said in my review, I don't blame Zimmer for it - he's doing what he
> does, and it seems to be what Hollywood wants at the moment. But I still
> hate the direction it's taking film music in. Hopefully, someday it will
> recover - these things go in cycles - but there's been a sustained period,
> now, of the big summer blockbusters getting junk music which makes no
> attempt to do anything other than be there - a period unique in film music
> history, I think.

I think you are really worrying too much and not looking at the big picture. Just think of how many great scores have come out in the last few years. Look what James Newton Howard is doing with the M. Night movies (blockbusters). Look what Klaus Badelt did with The Promise. Lets not forget Shore for giving us one of the landmark (if not best) scores ever with Lord of the Rings.

While the may be more bad scores out there than before, it just because there are just more movies in general. Don't forget the great 4 to 5 star scores you review on your site.

Buck up happy camper!


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