Movies with Bad Music Scores

Discussion in 'Movies' started by DeeF, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    The worst sin among many committed by Mission to Mars was its abominable score. Far from Morricone's finest hour, and the worst I can recall in recent memory.

    Adam
     
  2. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    I used to think that about Mission to Mars, too. I have not yet dared to revisit that dreadful film, but on its own, Morricone's music is beautiful. I can't honestly remember if it was his music and the images clashing, or if the sound mix had the score too loud to a film desperately trying to hammer out emotion.
     
  3. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Star Wars Just absolutely gets on my last nerve!
     
  4. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I am so kidding about that! [​IMG]

    Just making sure you guys were awake. [​IMG]
     
  5. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    This movie is the KING of films that need to be re-scored.
     
  6. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    A Knight's Tale is one I wouldn't change. If one adapts some sort of medievel music as a score, the movie will be revealed as a shallow teen version of Rocky or Karate Kid.

    But with the anachronistic rock score, it becomes a creative cinematic experiment. Keep the score.

    P.S. Ladyhawke just isn't that good a movie -- I don't think it needs to be redone either.
     
  7. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    Well, I'll admit that Ladyhawke isn't "Schindler's List". But, I liked it (as well as others here, since it's been mentioned several times now). And a different score (along with an anamorphic transfer) would raise it's I.Q. a bit.
     
  8. Jacinto

    Jacinto Second Unit

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    I for one have never understood the problems most seem to have with the Ladyhawke score. Is it stereotypical music for what we'd expect hollywood to produce for a medieval fantasy? No, but that doesn't make it a bad score, it makes it different. We are typically quick to praise other elements of film (endings, cinematic style, editing) which break with convention, but for some reason scores are not afforded the same artistic freedom. Ladyhawke's score is fantastic music, but most people get too hung up on the style to really listen. The sound may be dated, but most music is, and that doesn't mean the music itself is bad. I would push for a new anamorphic transfer of Ladyhawke, but a re-score? Not a chance.

    "In Spring of 1983, we spent several months driving through the European countryside looking for the perfect medieval background for Ladyhawke. During the entire trip in our mini bus, we religiously played The Alan Parsons Project. Several countries later, it did not seem possible to make the film without their original and unique music or Andrew Powell's magnificent scoring. Once one sees the movie, he or she understands the score is as special as Vittorio Storaro's photography, as stunning as Michelle Pfeiffer's beauty, as light as Matthew Broderick's humor, and as powerful as Rutger Hauer's strength. The music also became the love theme for the producer, Lauren Shuler-Donner, and myself who happened to fall in love during production, so you can see this music holds dear to both of our hearts."

    -Richard Donner

    "Dick knew that for some of the score he wanted the kind of rock/orchestral extravaganzas which I had written for the Alan Parsons Project. We both felt that this was going to be controversial with a medieval film - and some of the critics did indeed object (although a conventional 'Korngold' style score would be some 700 years out of period instead of our 750 - not a huge difference!). Those critics also seem to have overlooked the fact that probably only 20% of the score was 'rock' based, 60% of it was orchestral, and a further 20% was 'Gregorian' chant or lute and recorder music."

    -Andrew Powell
     
  9. Bernhard

    Bernhard Stunt Coordinator

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    The worst one I can think of right now is Bill Conti's awful score for the Bond film 'For your Eyes only' - always takes me out of the spectacular action sequences (one of the best from any bond film IMHO).
     
  10. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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    What makes it bad is not so much the anachronistic nature, but that it's BAD 80's synth pop. Worse, much of the score simply doesn't match the scene or tone of the movie.

    I have a fondness/weakness for overblown rock-opera stuff (Meatloaf's comeback song in 1993 is a guilty pleasure of mine), but the Ladyhawke score was just not good.

    I'm fine with breaking convention - and I understand that for Donner and his wife the music came to be associated with the story. But he should have stepped back from his personal preferences and thought about what fit the story and scenes best.

    And the argument about an orchestral score being just as anachronistic is specious at best. Orchestral scores, since the beginning of film, have managed to transcend musical trends and genres. There is a timelass, classic and even epic feel to most orchestral scores. This is nearly impossible to achieve using contemporary musical genres and styles. I have yet to hear anyone making the argument that the score to Ladyhawke should have been music only heard in the period depicted.
     
  11. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I actually think the problem with Ladyhawke's score is the mix of rock and orchestra/traditional. If they had gone for an entire rock score, it might have worked. But the orchestra stuff makes the rock stuff look/sound bad.
     
  12. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    The Third Man. I could not stand the zither. Over and over and over and over. The critics may love the score, but it ruined the movie for me.

    The Dr. Zhivago score also grated on my nerves, but not as much.
     
  13. AlexCremers

    AlexCremers Second Unit

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    Most scores of today are quite redundant. They blatantly copy the emotion or action already given to us by the images. It's echoing the same information. In his liner notes on the LP of 'Prince of the City' Sidney Lumet writes: "The key to a good score is finding a function for the score that is not being filled by any other element in the picture." How right he is!


    ------------
    Alex Cremers
     
  14. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Well I have to chime in on this thread. First because I'm a movie score aficionado and second because I disagree so strongly on a few people's opinions here.

    Completely disagree. You do realize that the majority of John Barry's work for the Bond franchise, probably 95% of it, consists of orchestral work.

    My personal picks for worst movie scores go to Steve McQueen's last movie The Hunter. The score, which according to IMDB is by Michel Legrand, is over-the-top atrocious. The other two movies were scored by the same person, who also happens to be part of a small group of rock'n rollers that made the crossover to scoring movies. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page scored Charles Bronson's Death Wish 2 and 3. I was reminded of how bad their scores are after coming across them on AMC recently.

    Btw in terms of former rockers that score movies, Queen's Brian May scored both The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. There's also Oingo Boingo's former front man Danny Elfman who's a staple of movie scoring. Stewart Copeland scored Francis Coppola's Rumble Fish and I saw his name on something else recently. I think there are a few more I'm forgetting(Thomas Dolby?).

    Ridley Scott's Legend is an excellent study in a movie being re-score resulting in vastly contrasting film scores. I loved the Tangerine Dream score, having heard it for many years. But once I got a hold of the great 2 disc DVD I quickly favored Jerry Goldsmith's wonderful score.
     
  15. Doug Burress

    Doug Burress Auditioning

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    A Knights Tale
    Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
    As much as I like the music in both, it just doesn't fit the movie.
     
  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I thought it was awkward at first, but it somehow works.


    Using the "wrong" music often proves to be the "right" music. Other examples of this kind of contrast is "Stuck in the Middle with You" in Reservior Dogs, "I Can't Stop Loving You" in the anime Metropolis, and the Tristan & Isolde suite in Un chien andalou.
     
  17. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Anything written by Leonard Rosenman. He uses the same style over and over again! From East of Eden to Fantastic Voyage to Star Trek IV, it's the same style repeated ad nauseaum!
     
  18. Rutgar

    Rutgar Second Unit

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    Admittingly Rosenman's scores are rundantly similar. But, I wouldn't say ST-IV should be re-scored. It was actually a very good score, and fits the film. Inspite of it being the same melody heard throughout Bakshi's "The Lord of Rings". [​IMG]
     
  19. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I'm not crazy about the zither in The Third Man, but it's certainly original -- a specific choice often works because nothing else sounds like it.
     
  20. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Bakshi's LOTR? That was so long ago I've almost forgot! [​IMG]

    As for ST IV, it's probably the only movie where Rosenman's style fits in, and I'd rate that one third for ST scores, with ST I by Jerry Goldsmith being first, and ST VI by Cliff Eidelman being a very close second.
     

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