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Underappreciated film scores...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Timothy Alexander, Dec 25, 2002.

  1. Timothy Alexander

    Timothy Alexander Second Unit

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    I was just watching The Prince of Egypt the other night and I was just reminded to the fact that it's score is just breathtaking at times. Most notably during The Burning Bush scene and then the beautiful Red Sea scenes(Especially when the Red Sea closes up. I still get goosebumps from it's musical cue).
    Hans Zimmer did an amazing job on this movie and I'm kind of surprised when it first came out nobody really mentioned how excellent it was.
    Any other movies out there with great background music you feel never got recognition?
     
  2. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Mission to Mars by Ennio Morricone. The movie may have been horrible (I didn't think so [​IMG]), and the score may not have been appropriate for the movie, but it's wonderful to listen to on its own.
    Traffic by Cliff Martinez. An anti-score requested by Soderbergh (as mentioned by Martinez in the isolated score/commentary track on the Criterion DVD).
    Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron by Hans Zimmer. The first time I listened to it (I hadn't seen the movie yet), I thought, "This couldn't be more of a ripoff of The Rock!" But after repeated listenings, this soundtrack KICKS ASS!!!
    Behind Enemy Lines by Don Davis. Hard-hitting, electronic, patriotic...this soundtrack never got an official release. [​IMG] But if you look hard enough...[​IMG]
    Pearl Harbor by Hans Zimmer. Beautiful, moving music. Almost every morning since I started college in 2001, my alarm has awakened me with Track 2 (Tennessee). Great, calm music to wake up to.
    Unfaithful by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. The first minute of the movie reeled me in with the absolutely gorgeous music. I ordered the soundtrack online almost immediately, and on some recent college days, I woke up to the first track on this CD instead of "Tennessee" from Pearl Harbor.
    Indecent Proposal by John Barry. I don't think Barry has ever gotten the right treatment, as I hadn't really heard of him until this year. The trailer for Far From Heaven featured this music and I fell in love with it. There's only one track on the soundtrack that features Barry's work, but it's a suite lasting 25:22.
    This is all music that I brought home from college. I have more at college, so probably more to come...[​IMG]
     
  3. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Really agree with Pearl Harbor. One of my all time favorites and was left off last years Oscar ballot for best score. Strong bias in Hollywood. Granted LOTR was great, and deserving, but PH was a tremendous soundtrack too.
    Most of the ones from memory or ones in my collection were recognized by awards/nominations or by the public. I'll give it some more thought.
    Good thread btw.
     
  4. Zane Charron

    Zane Charron Second Unit

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    Two that come to mind are the ethereal score for Keith Gordon's 'Waking the Dead' and Peter Weir's 'The Truman Show'. Granted, half the Truman Show's score is "just" canned Philip Glass tracks, but they fit so perfectly along with the rest of the score and the picture itself.
     
  5. Keir H

    Keir H Second Unit

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    I thought The Peace Maker has a wonderful soundtrack although yes, it's an older movie. I also believe that Hans Zimmer is a bit underrated to John Williams whom I like very much as well but, Zimmer movies have always set the "mood" well for me.
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Johnny Mandel's simplistic piano score for Being There.
     
  7. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Ah yes, The Truman Show soundtrack is also excellent! One of the ones I left at college. [​IMG] The Peacemaker is another one I left at college, although I'm not sure what to think of it, because I haven't really listened to it much. So many great scores, so little time. Most (if not all) of Zimmer's stuff is awesome. Crimson Tide, The Rock, The Pledge, Mission: Impossible II (NOT all action-themed, there's some really beautiful, perhaps "sexy" music on there), The Thin Red Line, As Good As It Gets, Broken Arrow, Nine Months, Backdraft, Driving Miss Daisy, Rain Man...the list goes on, but those are the ones I have. I left out Gladiator and The Lion King on purpose because those are pretty popular. Hans Zimmer deserves much more popularity than he has right now, because he has composed for an incredible variety of movies, and he's succeeded with every score that I've heard. Just a couple years ago, I thought he just composed action scores. Then I heard that he composed As Good As It Gets, and I was blown away. For those of you who haven't heard much of Zimmer's stuff, a great way to start off is to listen to his "The Wings of a Film" CD. It's a recording of selections from a live performance of his works, and it brings new life to at least one of his songs, "Lea Halalela" from The Lion King. Alright, that's it for now, sorry to rant...[/soapbox] [​IMG]
     
  8. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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    Interview With The Vampire. This was the first soundtrack I actually thought was worth buying. Another one that I like is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I don't know if these are particularly underrated, but I don't recall hearing too much about them in the past.
     
  9. Peter_James

    Peter_James Stunt Coordinator

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    I know that this is an old one now, but I think that the original Home Alone soundtrack was great! It was up for an Oscar in 1990. Too bad that the DVD is not 5.1 or DTS!!!!!
    What's up with that anyway?

    For a low budget movie that wasn't expected to do very well, they got John Williams to score it, and it's really great.

    P.J.
     
  10. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Film scores are so ignored and unacknowledged that any list would do it injustice; and besides, what is often considered appreciated to film fantatics may still be held highly by film score fans.
     
  11. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

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    I would say Alex North's Cleopatra. It should have won the Oscar.
     
  12. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    I wouldn't say it's underappreciated, as it did earn an Oscar nomination, but a great one I don't hear discussed much is Braveheart. The final scene, especially the sword throw, is one of the best-scored moments in cinema IMO.
     
  13. Stephanie T.

    Stephanie T. Stunt Coordinator

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    How about Elmer Bernstein's score for Animal House? It's a great score that has the relative misfortune of being upstaged by Belushi, et al. Not to mention all those great songs...
    And I have no idea how much positive or negative attention it garnered, but Wojiech Kilar's score for The Ninth Gate was, ahem, instrumental to my falling for that movie.
     
  14. Adam_ME

    Adam_ME Supporting Actor

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    A few of my favorites that don't get enough props:
    Hook - I hated the movie, but I've always thought the score was one of John Williams' most underrated. And you know he must've liked it since he reused the main theme for "Across the Stars" in Episode II...allegedly.
    Deep Blue Sea - Decent monster movie, but a terrific score by Trevor Rabin. Almost too good for the type of film it was featured in. "Aftermath" is my favorite track, and was also used in the trailer for A Beautiful Mind.
    Dragonheart - Another example of music that's way too good for the schlock it's used in. I know the main theme has been beaten to death in countless trailers, but there are many great tracks to be found in Randy Edelman's score.
    The Horse Whisperer & Meet Joe Black - For me, this one-two punch in 1998 is where Thomas Newman peaked. Sure, he did American Beauty and The Green Mile afterward, but he'll likely never duplicate the quality of these two scores. It's just a shame most people haven't heard any of this music.
     
  15. Timothy Alexander

    Timothy Alexander Second Unit

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    Bad Boys, the Will Smith/Martin Lawerence movie also had, what I always thought, one kickass score by Mark Mancina. Great movie but the music was almost too good for the type of movie it was, just like what Adam said about Deep Blue Sea.
     
  16. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I second the sentiments concerning the score to Braveheart. I know lots of folks around here hate and loath James Horner, but I'm not one of those people. As a matter of opinion, I think the score to Glory is his best work.
     
  17. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Elliot Goldenthal - Final Fantasy
    Randy Edelman - Dragonheart
    Basil Poledouris - Flesh + Blood
    Andrew Powell - Ladyhawke
    Maurice Jarre - Enemy Mine
    Giorgio Moroder - Cat People (1982)
    John Barry - Howard the Duck
    Toto - Dune (1984)
    Alan Silvestri - Judge Dredd
    James Newton Howard - Waterworld
    John Scott - The Final Countdown
    John Scott - Greystoke
    Howard Shore - The Fly (1986)
    Jerry Goldsmith - Explorers
    Jerry Goldsmith - The Edge
    Jerry Goldsmith - Medicine Man
    Jerry Goldsmith - Mulan
    John Williams - Dracula (1979)
    John Williams - The Witches of Eastwick
     
  18. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    James Horner is alright in some scores, but horrible in others. A Beautiful Mind is his latest travesty, with the theme basically being ripped off from Bicentennial Man, another one of his works. My "favorite" of his is Apollo 13, even though he rips off Glory a bit. A friend of mine claims that Horner once said, "Never change a winning theme." [​IMG]
    Forgot to mention Thirteen Days by Trevor Jones. The theme is spectacular and overall a great score.
    Ooh, Steve mentioned a composer that I think is horribly overlooked, Alan Silvestri. His scores for Zemekis's films (Back To The Future, Forrest Gump, Contact, Cast Away, etc.) are all spectacular, and his work for non-Zemekis films such as The Mummy Returns, Father Of The Bride, Serendipity, etc., is great as well.
     
  19. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Wojciech Kilar - Dracula(1992)
    Eric Sera - The Fifth Element
    Alex North - Dragonslayer
    Harvey Schmidt - Bad Company(1972)
    Denny Zeitlin - Invasion of the Body Snatchers(1978)
    Jerry Goldsmith - Psycho II (many refer to these years (82 to..I don't know..87?) as Jerry's worst, however I personally find many of his scores from this time frame, this one particularly, to be among his best...and very underrated of course)
     
  20. doug zdanivsky

    doug zdanivsky Supporting Actor

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    Most scores, I find (especially instrumental, and to a lesser extent popular music), tend to lose much of their relevence/emotional impact when taken out of the context of the scenes they are accompaning.

    For example the Braveheart scene that you mention, at the end, where the sword is flying. Do you get a lump in your throat listening to the soundtrack on the CD-player? I don't. But watching the that sword being unleashed and soaring in time with the music.. gets me every time!

    I would MUCH rather sit and watch the movie, than listen to the soundtrack.

    I feel strongly that soundtrack and movie together make the most profound impact. And if you were to take one or the other away, the effect is diminished to a great degree.

    I also think the most effective soundtrack is the one you aren't really aware of, in a stand-alone kind of sense..

    Some of my favorites are:

    The Mission, with Deniro and Jeremy Irons
    Prince of Egypt
    Empire of the Sun
    Gladiator
    Crimson Tide
    Last of the Mohicans
    Braveheart

    To name but a few..
     

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