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The Composers, Scores, and the Chewers Who Love Them Thread
#36
I think the big question now is who will pick up the mantle to become the next generation's Williams or Goldsmith. I'm leaving out Horner, Zimmer and Thomas Newman because they are established veterans. I guess they'd be tweeners.

I like John Powell a lot but he's chosen a limited range of projects so far.

Marco Beltrami has shown a technical expertise similar to his old teacher, Jerry Goldsmith, but so far not the unerring ear for what will serve the narrative both musically and dramatically.

Brian Tyler is also technically competent (I thought THE HUNTED was an underrated gem of a score) but he's been saddled with overbearing temp tracks lately.

Elliot Goldenthal doesn't work in film enough, and neither does Mychael Danna.

I agree with Charlie that Mark Isham is largely underrated, but he's at his best with smaller ensemble pieces.

Someone who's really come into his own in the last few years is James Newton Howard, but it's worrisome to me that he'd score duds like RV or DREAMCATCHER. Still, I'm looking forward to LADY IN THE WATER.

One composer I've been keeping an eye on is Alexandre Desplat, who's demonstrated a keen sense of drama in varied projects. He's also classically trained, which is one facet that's severely lacking in a lot of up and coming composers. That's certainly not a necessity in writing good scores, but it almost always makes for more interesting and engaging work.

What other young composers are you guys into?
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#37
I think SUPERMAN RETURNS will point the way to see if Ottman really is the real deal (although, judging from X2 and the soundtrack.net snippets, he's definitely on his way.)
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#38
Quote:

Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden

Kamen's score reminds me of BATMAN BEGINS, very good incidental music, but not really that great in the actual film. My favourite Kamen score is THE IRON GIANT though.

And interestingly enough, they both are toned way down in their films' sound mixes. Singer didn't really like Kamen's score IIRC, due to the story at the time being that Kamen sort of poked fun and trashed the film to the orchestra during the scoring session, unaware that Singer had arrived to listen in. I can't help but think that it's no coincidence that at every point the music should be pumped up, it's not.

I'm a little more confused by "Batman Begins" which amps up certain parts but then keeps it low at both points where the main theme "Molossus" should be pounding away.
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#39
I'm a pretty big fan of Howard Shore, Ennio Morricone, and John Williams.

I don't really know if I can articulate why, but I just love nearly everything I have ever heard from these guys.
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#40
Quote:

Originally Posted by Charlie Brigden

I think SUPERMAN RETURNS will point the way to see if Ottman really is the real deal.

You know, I actually think it will make that determination more difficult because such a huge chunk of the score rests on Williams' shoulders. I've heard Ottman's reorchestrations of some of Williams' original materail and it's quite good, but it's still Williams' original material.

Part of me wishes Ottman would stick to either editing or composing. I think he's a gifted composer and would benefit from having that much more time to write.
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#41
That's true, I just think seeing how he fills in the gaps for such a huge movie might help. I guess it depends just how much is used.
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#42
Quote:

Originally Posted by Colt45

What happened to Danny Elfman?

He played the same four notes enough times that even folks at a 3rd run, hicktown drive-in could tell his music was all the same.
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#43
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonathan Banks is my hero

Brian Tyler is also technically competent (I thought THE HUNTED was an underrated gem of a score) but he's been saddled with overbearing temp tracks lately.

Speaking of Tyler, the Children of Dune soundtrack is nothing short of amazing, making the serie better than it really was.

Nice call on Yoko Kanno.

I'm kinda partial to Hans Zimmer. The Thin Red Line and Gladiator have some impressive tracks on them.
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#44
Zimmer's score for 'The Rock' is one of my personal favorites. Great balls-to-the-wall action music.
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#45
What do you guys say of Carter Burwell? He's done some very versatile work over the years. Love his Coen scores, especially in Miller's Crossing and some stuff in Being John Malkovich is beautiful. And then he does a score like he did for Three Kings - totally different in style and attitude than anything he has done before.
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#46
Patrick Doyle is another underrated composer. Yeah, he scored Goblet of Fire, but after his scores for Henry V and Dead Again, I thought he'd be bigger. His Henry score in particular does a nice job of sounding period without alienating a modern audience, and Dead Again has a nice lush noir sound to it.
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#47
Any love for Terence Blanchard? I think its 25th HOUR score is beautiful and haunting.
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#48
OK, here goes.

I'll second John Debney for The Passion and Patrick Doyle for Henry V, that "Non Nobis Domine" scene just makes me tingle in a wonderful way.

Brian Tyler's stuff in Six String Samurai and Bubba Ho-Tep (love the walk down the hallway).

James Newton Howard's Atlantis and Shyamalan scores, particularly Signs which I think takes great classic cues and does some very cool stuff with them. Looking at his IMDB page I see he did both Sixth Sense and Stir of Echoes, that's kind of funny.

But my man has always been James Horner: Wrath of Khan, Aliens, Willow, Glory, Field of Dreams, Sneakers (which is great), Legends of the Fall, Braveheart, and last but CERTAINLY not least, Commando. Of course, writing "My Heart Will Go On" might just wipe everything good off the table.
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#49
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Bodhisattva

Of course, writing "My Heart Will Go On" might just wipe everything good off the table.

Say what you want about Celine Dion and the lyrics, but that's a rock-solid melody.
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#50
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson

Say what you want about Celine Dion and the lyrics, but that's a rock-solid melody.

I do like the Titanic score but Celine Dion is just a dealbreaker for me.
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#51
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stormin

His work on the Passion Of The Christ is equally breathtaking, and it is his contribution that makes the film as emotionally engaging as it is, not Gibson's. .

I don't know if i'm alone in this, but the score of Passion of the Christ made me think way too much to Peter Gabriel's Passion: The Last Temptaton of Christ score. It's the one to beat.
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#52
Quote:

Originally Posted by The_Bodhisattva

I do like the Titanic score but Celine Dion is just a dealbreaker for me.

So don't watch the end credits ... there are plenty of movies that tack on a vocal track over the end credits just to give one of the studio's recording artists something to do.
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#53
I just realized I forgot to mention my all time favorite: the score to Ravenous by Damon Albarn and Michael Nyman. LOVE those insane strings.
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#54
Bernard Herrmann's Cape Fear is brilliant, so is the rest of his work. Angelo Badalamenti is also brilliant (He scored almost all of David Lynch's movies).

I'm also big fans of Jon Brion, Michael Giacchino (his work on The Incredibles and LOST is fantastic) and enoy me some Ennio Morricone
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#55
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stormin

John Debney is sadly ignored by virtually everyone when it comes to the appreciation of composers. His work on Cutthroat Island yielded one of the best swashbuckling scores ever made (if not the best), but it had the unfortunate luck of being attached to a horrible movie. His work on the Passion Of The Christ is equally breathtaking, and it is his contribution that makes the film as emotionally engaging as it is, not Gibson's. But once again he was forgotten, this time because he worked on a picture that was overshadowed by a superstar director and purposely skirted around come awards season due to controversy.

I love that Cutthroat Island score. Debney's work on the Sin City score is fantastic, probably the best music from that whole movie.
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#56
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson

Patrick Doyle is another underrated composer. Yeah, he scored Goblet of Fire, but after his scores for Henry V and Dead Again, I thought he'd be bigger. His Henry score in particular does a nice job of sounding period without alienating a modern audience, and Dead Again has a nice lush noir sound to it.

Yeah, Doyle is great. he's not afraid to do a big score, and I actually think his music is what made Branagh's often over-the-top approach to "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" and even parts of "Hamlet" okay.

I also love his score for "Great Expectations", and odd pick I know. But there's a piece there called "Kissing in the Rain" with Tori Amos as his Lisa Gerard that is just fantastic.
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#57
Okay, so almost 60 posts into this thing and we've hardly mentioned Hans Zimmer. Is there a negative opinion around these parts or what?

Like any composer, he has his share of time fillers. But I'd say he is sort of like John Williams in that he got known for and somewhat pigeonholed in a genre he did very well, and doesn't get enough credit for the times he breaks that mold. Bruckheimer scores made him a name, I think "The Thin Red Line" marked a turning point.

Ffrom there it was "Gladiator", a classic, straight into "Hannibal" (underrated) and "Black Hawk Down", another fantastic and diverse score. Done in 15 days no less. I for one really liked his work on "Batman Begins" as well, though I know we're far from a consensus on that one.

I really like the majority of his work, and I think he's better than his Bruckheimer origins tend to get him credit for.
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#58
I won't pretend to be an expert on a lot of these guys but I almost always enjoy Zimmer's work. He has a ton of beats in BROKEN ARROW that were just perfect, especially that bit when Travolta emerges from the canyon.

For what it's worth, I like Graeme Revell.
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#59
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stew

But there's a piece there called "Kissing in the Rain" with Tori Amos as his Lisa Gerard that is just fantastic.

I'll have to check this out.

As I stated earlier, Zimmer's done a great job so far. Black Hawk Down is wickedly fun to play, as it's dark and brooding, and won't stop to lighten up.

One composer that I find interesting, if uneven, is Graeme Revell. He can put some fantastic work ( The Crow, Pitch Black, The Insider - with Lisa Gerrard) and some bland stuff ( Dune miniserie, Tomb Raider, The Chronicle of Riddick).

One soundtrack to look for by Revell is the rejected soundtrack for The 13th Warrior, recorded with Lisa Gerrard. Less bombastic than Goldsmith hurried score, it's a whole different take on this tale, going for a more earthy and organic tone.
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#60
People may think this is an odd view, but I still think that The Lion King might be Hans Zimmer's best work. Word is that he also worked on instrumentation on the musical numbers. To Die For, in particular, is an awesome track (and I mean "awesome" in its non-surfer usage).

I've enjoyed Graeme Revell's work, but the unfortunate thing about his scores is that they have a tendency to be buried in films that promote big soundtrack albums. His cues have been drowned by pop music so many times, it's depressing. I'd love to get a score album for Titan A.E, but I don't see that happening.
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#61
I enjoyed parts of Beltrami's score to the Faculty, and his theme for T3 isn't half bad. I've heard a few scores by Revell, but nothing particularly memorable comes to mind.
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#62
Aside from THE CROW, I love what Revell did with HARD TARGET. That whole final half hour is a great loud bombastic score and fits the events on screen just right. I liked his SIN CITY stuff as well.
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#63
I'm a bit surprised that Alan Silvestri hasn't been mentioned yet. He composed some fantastic scores in the eighties, especially for "Back To The Future" and "Predator". His "Predator" score was one of the first movie themes that I remember humming.

I liked his score for "Forrest Gump", but apart from that he kind of fell off the map in the 90's for me.
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#64
A look at IMDB shows that he's been scoring a steady stream of crap for some time now. I wonder what happened. Did being removed from Mission: Impossible hurt him that bad?
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#65
Just have to throw in some love for Barry's "Out of Africa" score. Lovely and soaring, "Flying Over Africa" still gives me shivers and always makes me flash to the scene with the plane swooping over the lake of flamingos.
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#66
I like Clint Mansell's work. Elements from Requiem for a Dream have been used over and over for other films' trailers. I'm really looking forward to his work on The Fountain. The couple songs he did for Pi were really cool, but you have to like electronic music.
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#67
Quote:

Originally Posted by PSU Masterchief

I'm a bit surprised that Alan Silvestri hasn't been mentioned yet. He composed some fantastic scores in the eighties, especially for "Back To The Future" and "Predator". His "Predator" score was one of the first movie themes that I remember humming.

I liked his score for "Forrest Gump", but apart from that he kind of fell off the map in the 90's for me.

His music for The Mummy Returns is a fun bit of scoring too.
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#68
Not to mention ENTER THE DRAGON.
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#69
I've always loved Lalo Schifrin's work in the late sixties, early seventies, he scored 'Bullitt', 'Dirty Harry' and he created the theme for 'Mission Impossible', I know he doesn't really do movie scores anymore but he was pretty damn good back then.
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#70
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stormin

If as a director I was given Graeme Revell or Marco Beltrami for a composer when there are so many other talented-but-cheap composers available, I would be so fucking pissed. With the exception of The Crow, these two bring nothing but blandness to any film they score.

I've liked a track or two here and there, but overall, I couldn't agree more. Whenever I see one of those two guys attached my hopes just sort of dwindle. They seem to be the choice of directors for films that don't really give a shit about the score. Fair ot not, they've composed a lot of noise.
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