Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:32 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Annoyingly bad music scores 
Author Message
Post Annoyingly bad music scores
A few days ago I re-watched "Mission to Mars" and this time the dramatic score by Ennio Morricone (whom I still hold in high esteem) was even more annoying and intrusive than before. I think it is ill-fitting and outright bad - simply because Morricone isn't a sci-fi composer.

This is just an example and my personal opinion. Please feel free to disagree.

Many a dramatic score is meant to be non-intrusive and goes unnoticed by most audience members. If that is the case, at least the composer did a good job. Some scores are meant to be noticed and if they add to the movie going experioence, the composer did a great job.

Yes, I am a musician, BUT that only makes me competent at making music, it doesn't make me necessarily competent at evaluating music - since well made music is made for listeners (with some interest), not for musicians only. Just as gourmet food is made for gourmets and not for cooks, and quality furniture is made for people who use and admire it, not for fellow furniture makers.

I would love to hear your opinions: which soundtracks (including dramatic scores and wall-to-wall pop songs as in "Goodfellas") did you find annoyingly distracting, ill-fitting or outright bad. This is a highly subjective topic, so there is no right or wrong. Please feel free to speak your mind.

I look forward to reading your valuable input.


Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:29 pm
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7433
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
Good topic, Perf!

I know this is probably movie sacrilege of a kind I won't live down, but I think the zither-heavy score for The Third Man is distractingly bad and a very poor move by the filmmakers.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:36 pm
Profile
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
JamesKunz wrote:
Good topic, Perf!

I know this is probably movie sacrilege of a kind I won't live down, but I think the zither-heavy score for The Third Man is distractingly bad and a very poor move by the filmmakers.


Great call! Agreed 100%. I never mentioned it because I, just as yourself, thought it would be blasphemy.

Anyway, I am not expecting posts I agree with, I simply like to hear different opinions. If I agree: O.K. - if not, still O.K. at least I know what people think.


Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:06 pm
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 649
Location: The Desert
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
A couple recent films, Flight and Killing Them Softly, had some soundtrack selections that struck false notes. It's almost become a rule now that if a film is going to have a scene of a character taking drugs, the scene will be accompanied by a Velvet Underground tune. In the former film, Kelly Reilly shoots up to the Cowboy Junkies' cover of 'Sweet Jane'. In the latter film, the characters shoot up on heroin literally to the sounds of 'Heroin'.

Those aren't the only moments in the two films that feature painfully-obvious soundtrack choices. In Killing Them Softly, when Brad Pitt finally comes around, his introduction is set to Johnny Cash's 'The Man Comes Around'. And, if I'm remembering correctly, Flight features both 'Gimme Shelter' and 'Sympathy For The Devil' by the Rolling Stones, two of the most overplayed songs in film soundtrack history. This unimaginative song selection isn't a new thing for Zemeckis; Forrest Gump also suffered from the same problem.

These are all great songs, but they're so omnipresent in film soundtracks that the meaning and impact they bring along with them has become cliched and predictable.

I agree that this is a good topic. I'll try to think of some actual film scores that rub me the wrong way.

_________________
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
Letterboxd Profile


Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:24 pm
Profile WWW
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
Blonde Almond wrote:
A couple recent films, Flight and Killing Them Softly, had some soundtrack selections that struck false notes. It's almost become a rule now that if a film is going to have a scene of a character taking drugs, the scene will be accompanied by a Velvet Underground tune. In the former film, Kelly Reilly shoots up to the Cowboy Junkies' cover of 'Sweet Jane'. In the latter film, the characters shoot up on heroin literally to the sounds of 'Heroin'.

Those aren't the only moments in the two films that feature painfully-obvious soundtrack choices. In Killing Them Softly, when Brad Pitt finally comes around, his introduction is set to Johnny Cash's 'The Man Comes Around'. And, if I'm remembering correctly, Flight features both 'Gimme Shelter' and 'Sympathy For The Devil' by the Rolling Stones, two of the most overplayed songs in film soundtrack history. This unimaginative song selection isn't a new thing for Zemeckis; Forrest Gump also suffered from the same problem.

These are all great songs, but they're so omnipresent in film soundtracks that the meaning and impact they bring along with them has become cliched and predictable.

I agree that this is a good topic. I'll try to think of some actual film scores that rub me the wrong way.


Thanks! That is exactly the kind of post I was looking for (as long as we don't go into the "songs that should be forbidden" such as "I feel good" and "Sweet Home Alabama" territory, since that has been covered already).


Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:31 pm
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:22 pm
Posts: 775
Location: Hobart Australia
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
I am not sure if this reponse is in the intended spirit of this thread but the only film which comes to my mind is Never Say never again which could not use any of the official 007 music and the replacement music by Michel Legrand was not up to the same standard.

I can mention many films where the score was great thou ;-)

_________________
The pen is truly mightier than the sword
The Joker (Batman - 1989)


Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:11 pm
Profile WWW
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
I would characterize Iron Man's score as aggressively bland. If I try really hard, I think I can recall a fragment of one theme, but I mainly recall stock orchestral punches and CSI electric guitar cliches. It's one thing to be unmemorable, but it's quite another to be so unmemorable that you realize how little of it you're going to remember while you're in the middle of watching the movie.

And Titanic's score... hoo boy. I realize that a lot of it is guilt by association with that terrible Celine Dion song, which is technically not "score" in itself, but any piece of music that recalls that song needs to be dragged into a ditch and dealt severe violence with the blunt side of an ax.

JamesKunz wrote:
I know this is probably movie sacrilege of a kind I won't live down, but I think the zither-heavy score for The Third Man is distractingly bad and a very poor move by the filmmakers.

Image

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:22 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2101
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
Titanic's score is quite good, except for the Celine Dion song. Enya does a nice, atmospheric score that fits right in.

I didn't like the droning score (if you can call it that) to The Dark Knight Returns. I guess it was to give you a sense of forboding, but mostly it made the sound muddy and Bane hard to hear.

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:01 pm
Profile
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3646
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
I tend to like soundtracks that features artists I like, but most orchestral musicc fades from my memory as soon as the film is over. I personally never liked the score of the LOTR films, too cheesy, corny and melodramatic for my tastes.


Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:21 pm
Profile
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
O.K. here is another example of a film sore which I find annoyingly bad and ill-fitting. It has been mentioned in this Forum before.

Ladyhawke - Alan Parsons is a great sound engineer and pop music producer but not a film composer.


Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:30 pm
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
Vexer wrote:
I tend to like soundtracks that features artists I like, but most orchestral musicc fades from my memory as soon as the film is over. I personally never liked the score of the LOTR films, too cheesy, corny and melodramatic for my tastes.


Wow, finally someone who doesn't think Howard Shore's LOTR score is pure genius. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Only because a music score is part of an epic, successful movie trilogy, doesn't make it brilliant.
Again: this is just my own opinion. I think Howard Shore is great creating ominous and haunting textures, especiallly when using woodwinds and heavy, static textures (Silence of the Lambs, Panic Room, etc....), but creating sweeping, complex epic music simply isn't his gig. IMHO that is.


Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:41 pm
Second Unit Director

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:45 pm
Posts: 426
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
JamesKunz wrote:
Good topic, Perf!

I know this is probably movie sacrilege of a kind I won't live down, but I think the zither-heavy score for The Third Man is distractingly bad and a very poor move by the filmmakers.


Hm, I think that it fits the Viennese setting rather well and has a haunting quality, which is appropriate for the movie, but to each his own I guess.

In general, I don't like the cod-metal guitar shredding which accompanies action scenes in many modern movies.

The worst soundtrack ever must be Joan Baez's warbling on the soundtrack for "Silent Running". Wonderful sci-fi movie and it would be one of my favourite films, if it weren't for the terrible screeching by La Baez.

Totally bad in another way is the soundtrack for "Velvet Goldmine". The glam rock songs - some of them covers by Sonic Youth and others - are actually excellent by themselves, but the movie is a thinly veiled take on David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust character and it doesn't have a single Bowie song on it. What the fuck?


Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:21 am
Profile
Cinematographer

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 628
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
The music used in Black Narcissus was annoying. I can't call it bad since I think it is intentionally used to get the viewer into the same agitated state as the characters, but it surely did annoy me while watching.


Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:44 am
Profile
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3646
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
I've heard some people complain about classic rock songs being covered in films like Detroit Rock City(i'll admit to liking Marilyn Manson's cover of Highway To Hell) and Rock Of Ages. Personally I don't have anything against it myself.


Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:58 pm
Profile
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
Vexer wrote:
I've heard some people complain about classic rock songs being covered in films like Detroit Rock City(i'll admit to liking Marilyn Manson's cover of Highway To Hell) and Rock Of Ages. Personally I don't have anything against it myself.


I guess covers of classic rock are more annoying to devoted fans of the originals. I think it can be refreshing to hear a cover of an (overplayed) classic rock song. Highway to Hell by AC/DC definitely IS overplayed.


Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:51 pm
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3646
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
Threeperf35 wrote:
Vexer wrote:
I've heard some people complain about classic rock songs being covered in films like Detroit Rock City(i'll admit to liking Marilyn Manson's cover of Highway To Hell) and Rock Of Ages. Personally I don't have anything against it myself.


I guess covers of classic rock are more annoying to devoted fans of the originals. I think it can be refreshing to hear a cover of an (overplayed) classic rock song. Highway to Hell by AC/DC definitely IS overplayed.

Agreed on that, I can understand why people have an issue with Tom Cruise singing classic songs(people are calling it "the Glee effect), but i'm open-minded to people putting they're own spin on classic material.


Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:22 pm
Profile
Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:55 pm
Posts: 87
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
I think the score to King Kong (2005) was rather mediocre. It was recorded in two months and really felt like it.

I disagree about the Lord of the Rings score. I thought it was one of the best movie scores of the decade.


Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:15 pm
Profile
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
Raf wrote:
I think the score to King Kong (2005) was rather mediocre. It was recorded in two months and really felt like it.

I disagree about the Lord of the Rings score. I thought it was one of the best movie scores of the decade.


Well Peter Jackson fired Howard Shore (I don't know the reason) late in the game and hired James Newton Howard instead, who had about one month to hammer out the entire score. I think he did a remarkable job - considering, but of course it is still run of the mill. When you are on a ridiculous deadline, you most likely will go for your own acquired set of the "tried and true" instead of wasting precious time waiting for inspiration or going painstakingly through melodic/harmonic permutations.

I personally don't like Howard Shore's LOTR score. I actually worked my way through the soundtrack CD set and wanted to like it, but didn't. But I know many people who do like it. Howard Shore definitely is a great composer (he studied at Berklee, Boston - one of his teachers was the great Michael Rendish whom I had the pleasure to meet in person), so anything he does is at the very least highly professional. The fact that I am less than overwhelmed by the LOFR score is just my personal opinion. Perhaps I need to give it another try with a more open mind.

As I said: Please speak your mind.


Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:47 pm
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:56 pm
Posts: 215
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
Funny you should start with Morricone's score for Mission to Mars as the first score to pop into my head here was his work on The Untouchables, which just added to the overall effect of the film feeling nothing short of grating to me.

_________________
Never take a forum signature too seriously, even this one.


Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:55 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Annoyingly bad music scores
Threeperf35 wrote:
I personally don't like Howard Shore's LOTR score. I actually worked my way through the soundtrack CD set and wanted to like it, but didn't. But I know many people who do like it. Howard Shore definitely is a great composer (he studied at Berklee, Boston - one of his teachers was the great Michael Rendish whom I had the pleasure to meet in person), so anything he does is at the very least highly professional. The fact that I am less than overwhelmed by the LOFR score is just my personal opinion. Perhaps I need to give it another try with a more open mind.

There are things I like about the scores to the LOTR movies. Some of the themes are very charming. But I find that they don't develop much, and when they do develop, they do so into cliches. They're not wholly generic like so many Hans Zimmer scores, but they still achieve a generic sensibility because Shore doesn't find interesting places for his motives to go.

_________________
The temptation is to like what you should like--not what you do like... another temptation is to come up with an interesting reason for liking it that may not actually be the reason you like it.


Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:34 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: calvero, Google [Bot] and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr