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  Re: Laying the Zimmer-basher smackdown just like old times?  
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• Posted by Pawel Stroinski
• Date: Monday, July 24, 2006, at 7:05 a.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: Laying the Zimmer-basher smackdown just like old times? (Cvija)

> Yeah, that was one of the points in my sentence.

> I don't think that Zimmer is booed that much among film music fans.

> NP: Dinotopia.

Taking into account that much of recent fans of the genre were brought into it by Zimmer he is not booed so much, no. And even among some traditionalists he may be taken as a guilty pleasure.

I believe the problem lies somewhere else. And it's a problem both of Zimmer's growth as a composer and the fact of who is brought in. The problem is Jerry Bruckheimer.

From the very firing of Silvestri we knew that Jerry Bruckheimer will never allow a traditional genre score from any composer. That's what Silvestri wanted to do and he got sacked. Given some preferences of the producer (Dan Goldwasser said once he is a woodwind hater, how can you bring in a swashbuckler WITHOUT wind section, huh?), Zimmer sticks to his comfort not to lose his job, not to mention he wasn't a fan of the genre ("I never cared for Korngold"). So it's not about his comfort zone, since getting a Bruckheimer job already sets the sound of the score.

Crimson Tide may have brought many fans into the genre (not as much as The Rock maybe though) and it may have been a revolution in film music (though again the definite MV score is The Rock and setting comparisons to it, when it comes to the Pirates scores is not so wrong as it may sound at the first time. What else? The Thin Red Line?), but it brought a problem. Bruckheimer's preferences make a submarine thriller, a King Arthur epic and a pirate swashbuckler sound the same. This may make an assignment like that a thankless job. And I believe actually King Arthur is one of weakest Zimmer action scores, not the best as Kuhni says. To the best I, for a change, take the second PotC score.

Bruckheimer's preferences largely set the sound of Zimmer in the action genre. When he tried to do a more classical action score with Peacemaker (with Prokofiev influences, not to mention first Holst references), he was liked I think only by his fans, even I think it's a Zimmer failure due to his orchestration problems. He stopped in between a more classical action score and his traditional MV sound and eventually these MV cues sounded the best, the rest of the score being a convoluted mix between classical references, MV sound, rejected Crimson Tide underscore and a beautiful dramatic ethnic theme which still belongs to his highlights. After Peacemaker he vanished from the action genre for a longer time with writing few minutes into Chill Factor before leaving it to Powell, Badelt and, as far as I remember, Rona. In 1998 we had Prince of Egypt (an epic score) and The Thin Red Line. In 2000 came a director that has strange gusto when it comes to film scores Ridley Scott. Too, you don't write a swashbuckler for John Woo. Pearl Harbor was another Bruckheimer, Black Hawk Down is an experiment (and both Ridley Scott and Bruckheimer), Tears of the Sun had not much action music and seemed an orchestral and more traditional version of BHD. THe Last Samurai dropped wind section for color reason (he wanted the score to lack color, to represent Japanese culture). See the picture?

There weren't many action scores for Zimmer to develop. He did it with Pearl Harbor slightly, which presented a new action music style, much more dramatic and not-so-rock influenced.

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