Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:27 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel 
Author Message
Post Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Just gave it a chance and browsed through the parts which are already on YouTube.

I understand that younger audiences want a more "slam! In your face! Epic but raw power!" - sound to go along with the movie. I also try very hard not to be biased, but please anyone tell me this is good.... I'm not convinced.
It is not just because I don't like it. It is not that I know that the skills once again are more in creating soundscapes (hardly original BTW - long sustained rumbling build up, "tribal" war drumming, endless ostinati going on in copy/paste fashion, long sustained horn and bass trombone blasts, electric guitar in the mix - single soft notes on piano, compuiter-remix-type, as opposed to written into the score and performed live, religious chants ... almost nothing in between, Zimmer apparently fired the woodwind and tuned percussion section, there's no interesting musical fabric, no texture no subtlety, no memorable melodic lines or contours, not even memorable motifs, no interesting harmonic changes or key changes, Zimmer just keeps on hanging in the same bass pedal forever... it's completely static, no magic and certainly no "flying" - Zimmer just got the "steel" thing right) as opposed to pristine musicianship. I do know that the music needs to serve the movie and contemporary tastes, not my particular taste, but please anyone tell me this is good? I will not argue, promise. I told you guys my opinion (= this sucks a big hairy one), I am open to hear yours ("I don't give a flying fuck" also counts BTW):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EngKxF3Cqh4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4OdIOGBW2Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCsAO1pTheg


Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:26 am
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3609
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Honestly a lot of orchestral music in films sounds pretty much the same to me, this music sounds decent, but I can't say it really blows my mind.


Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:31 pm
Profile
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Vexer wrote:
Honestly a lot of orchestral music in films sounds pretty much the same to me, this music sounds decent, but I can't say it really blows my mind.


Absolutely. A lot of orchestral music sounds very similar (especially nowadays) for two reasons:
1) film directors demand a certain style and specific elements, recently it's mostly war drums, horn blasts, a random blanket of strings and in quieter moments soft piano notes.
2) orchestral music should be non-intrusive and not clashing with dialog, lately often to the point to be non-melodic "normalized" and generic to the point of becoming interchangeable. The latter has the added bonus of Peter Jackson (for example) being able to fire Howard Shore and hire James Newton Howard instead, and you hardly can tell the difference if you are not into film scoring (just as people who are not into screenwriting can't tell, just as a random example, functional from casual dialog).

3) Pop tunes (existing ones or originals) in movies are usually played during parts with no dialog (so the song lyrics don't clash) and because they are, well, pop(ular) - it's time to clap your hands, tap your feet and move in your seat until the next bit of dialog or loud action. That's why they are much more memorable than many an orchestral dramatic score. There are exceprions such as a lot of Ennio Morricone's scores, which are essencially "songs" and in Sergio Leone's movies they are usually not played underneath loud action ore dialog.

BUT a guy with the name of Hans Zimmer should be able to blow your mind (unless you don't care that much about music, which is fine with me).


Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:49 pm
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3609
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Threeperf35 wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Honestly a lot of orchestral music in films sounds pretty much the same to me, this music sounds decent, but I can't say it really blows my mind.


Absolutely. A lot of orchestral music sounds very similar (especially nowadays) for two reasons:
1) film directors demand a certain style and specific elements, recently it's mostly war drums, horn blasts, a random blanket of strings and in quieter moments soft piano notes.
2) orchestral music should be non-intrusive and not clashing with dialog, lately often to the point to be non-melodic "normalized" and generic to the point of becoming interchangeable. The latter has the added bonus of Peter Jackson (for example) being able to fire Howard Shore and hire James Newton Howard instead, and you hardly can tell the difference if you are not into film scoring (just as people who are not into screenwriting can't tell, just as a random example, functional from casual dialog).

3) Pop tunes (existing ones or originals) in movies are usually played during parts with no dialog (so the song lyrics don't clash) and because they are, well, pop(ular) - it's time to clap your hands, tap your feet and move in your seat until the next bit of dialog or loud action. That's why they are much more memorable than many an orchestral dramatic score. There are exceprions such as a lot of Ennio Morricone's scores, which are essencially "songs" and in Sergio Leone's movies they are usually not played underneath loud action ore dialog.

BUT a guy with the name of Hans Zimmer should be able to blow your mind (unless you don't care that much about music, which is fine with me).

When it comes to my enjoyment of a film, music is the least important aspect for me, if the film is entertaining and has compelling characters, then I rarely take notice of the soundtrack, though I will say some films have brilliant uses of popular songs. One composer that does stand out for me is Brian Tyler, I loved his work on the Fast And Furious films. For me the most memorable stuff Zimme didr was the score for the video game Modern Warfare 2.


Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:09 pm
Profile
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Vexer wrote:
When it comes to my enjoyment of a film, music is the least important aspect for me, if the film is entertaining and has compelling characters, then I rarely take notice of the soundtrack, [...edit...]


That's fine with me. If a dramatic score goes unnoticed, it means at least it was not annoying and not intrusive. :mrgreen: Film composers are well aware that their job is many times rather ungrateful, depending on the style and use within the movie. The music is often something subliminal, aims directly for the subconscious, and tries to bypass the audiences consciousness so they can stay focussed on the visuals, story and characters.


Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:17 pm
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:26 am
Posts: 237
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Zimmer seems to craft his scores to be accompaniment for fireworks. Lots of crack boom bam. In some ways he’s locked into his Backdraft composing much like the girl in high school who had the really cool hair and you bump into 10 years later and she still has that style, it still works, and she can’t still pull it off, but it may be a bit dated, unless it comes around again in which case she may be trying to appear younger than she is, but you’d still hit it if you could, maybe.
I ran the hell outta that sentence. Sorry.

I don’t think Zimmer captures leitmotif as well as Williams or Barry or even Michael Giacchino. In some ways he’s just an older Steve Jablonsky. Not necessarily more mature or refined; just older. You’re a hell of a lot more informed on music theory than I’ll ever be, but it strikes me that Zimmer composes trying to capture mood and tone, while Williams composes for characters and their interaction. At least that's what I'm grasping for...

I have a Pandora station that I frequently listen to that I enjoy (Basil Poledouris radio) where I can frequently “see” the characters or scenes unfolding as I listen with the composers I enjoy. With Zimmer or Jablonsky, I can see or feel peril or dread or frenetic activity, but I don’t as quickly tie this music to a scene or character.

-Or am I still talking out of my ass…?

_________________
______________________________
Specializing in rodent behavior modification.
-Watch me pull a habit out of rat.


Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:18 pm
Profile
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Awf Hand wrote:
-Or am I still talking out of my ass…?


Nope, not at all. I totally agree with you. And: only because I know music theory (because it's a tool I need for what I do) doesn't mean I know how music affects people while watching movies. Film music is made for people who watch movies, not for fellow composers. Deep knowledge of music theory is just a means to an end - and sometimes necessary to get your job dome when you suffer from writer's block. If you want to write a great melody, you can go through mathematical permutations (Williams does that as he stated in an interview) but the final melody you chose will be a choice of intuition. So I am not more entitled to "know" what is good or what is bad than anyone else.

Zimmer comes from 80s post punk pop music and its associated synth tweaking (there was also prog rock and jazz-fusion, both styles which I like much more but I understand that post punk was more in line with the 80s life style). I don't think he ever was able to really go deep into (and understand) delicate and subtle textures and melodic lines (let alone complex counterpoint) since he has no classical and no jazz background. Williams has both, oodles of it.

Now wait: I mentioned counterpoint. Some people might say: I don't care about conterpoint, as long as it sounds great to me. But there it is: Like cooking, furniture making, playing baseball, anything: you need to know the inner workings (= have your fucking shit together). Truste me: Zimmer hasn't. It works because his kind of stuff as you say (again) fits into our times. Obvious and hammering on your head. And not to forget: subtle and beautiful is uncool.

But that'0s just my opinion. My modest knowledge about music theory doesn't give me the right to judge Zimmer. The fact that I think he sucks (and the musical taste of any director who hires him unless his style really fits - Zimmer is good at was he does best, but that's a narrow field of techno-remix-sound design) is just my opinion.


Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:53 pm
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
From what I've heard so far (just the last couple trailers that had original music in them), it sounds like typical Zimmer, maybe a little less sinister than some of his cuts from Inception, Dark Knight, etc. I'll comment on it further once I've seen the movie, but my expectations for the music are tempered. I'm sure as hell not expecting anything to compete with the previous film scores.

_________________
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 Jun 04, 2013 4:29 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:26 am
Posts: 237
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Ken wrote:
From what I've heard so far (just the last couple trailers that had original music in them), it sounds like typical Zimmer, maybe a little less sinister than some of his cuts from Inception, Dark Knight, etc. I'll comment on it further once I've seen the movie, but my expectations for the music are tempered. I'm sure as hell not expecting anything to compete with the previous film scores.


Superman '78 score is one of the most iconic scores of any movie ever.

_________________
______________________________
Specializing in rodent behavior modification.
-Watch me pull a habit out of rat.


Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:51 pm
Profile
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Awf Hand wrote:
Superman '78 score is one of the most iconic scores of any movie ever.


(just my humble opinion): abso-fuckin'-lutely!!!

[Edit]. O.K. I am not saying this is what the soundtrack for "Man of Steel" should be like. We are living in different times and the tone is different (nothing Mr. John Williams couldn't handle BTW), but going back to "counterpoint": Check how John Williams dovetails many different melodies or motifs (=small parts of melodies) into the orchestral texture. Sometimes it's call and response, sometimes it is one melody nested inside another, sometimes it's the same melody in a different voice, sometimes it's all of the aforementioned and then some. And never anything sounds out of balance. There is no filler, everything is rich and has almost Wagnerian proportion yet everything sounds crystal clear and doesn't hit the listener over the head. In fact, it sounds even like it's less than it actually is. Trust me, I have seen original John Williams scores, there are no shortcuts. Even when you think: that is just the string section, he most likely has woodwinds and tuned percussion (for example) hidden in there to give it subtle timbric shades. Only the very best can do that and still please so many people. Sorry to say that: Hans Zimmer is very likely 100% aware that John Williams is lightyears better. If audiences prefer Zimmer, fine. If "modern" means "less" fine. Williams is too good to be true anyway. It's a miracle that he made it.

I know it's 2013 and we all have short attention spans. For the finest of John Williams' "dovetail" (melodies within melodies within melodies) - technique check this and go right in at 1:52.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD0RofPgoo8

Pleas forgive my harsh language, but even Zimmer's wet dreams sound worse. This is the shit! (just my opinion 8-) )


Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:58 pm
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
One thing I'll point out is that Zimmer is sticking to the traditional Superman scores in at least one way: hitting that fifth interval right out of the gate.

Almost every Superman theme ever written either goes right up to the fifth or gets there in a hurry and tends to come back to it often. Zimmer's theme (as heard in the "it's not an S" trailer, plus the Hardee's commercial) is no exception.

Further evidence for my theory that Superman's musical identity just exists, and all composers who compose themes for the character are subconsciously drawing upon it.

_________________
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.


Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:44 pm
Profile
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Ken wrote:
Almost every Superman theme ever written either goes right up to the fifth or gets there in a hurry and tends to come back to it often.


The fifth has to do with the nature of horn/brass instruments such as F-horns, Bb- and C- Trumpets, the Tuba family and Trombones. It is a natural harmonic, the third partial to be precise, (it can be played with instruments which don't feature sophisticated modern piston valves, just by adjusting the embouchure) and has been used for ages in military fanfares, ceremonies and wake up calls. The next note in the Williams score is a major third (two octaves and a major third above the root note) - which is the 5th partial in the overtone series and still can be played by any horn (lip reed) instrument. These sounds are familar, linked to the military, our biological ability to recognize the overtone series (check the DVD's of the six 1973 Harvard lectures by Leondard Bernstein - brilliant!!!)

Please: anyone really interested: take your time and listen to this absolute genius - at the same level of John Williams (IMHO):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3HLqCHO08s

...and of course they sound masuline (war).
John Williams knew exacty what he was doing when composing the "Superman March/Main Theme".


Last edited by Threeperf35 on Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:04 pm
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:26 am
Posts: 237
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
You sure do know yer music 3perf.


Attachment:
slim.gif
slim.gif [ 61.13 KiB | Viewed 811 times ]

_________________
______________________________
Specializing in rodent behavior modification.
-Watch me pull a habit out of rat.


Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:24 pm
Profile
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Awf Hand wrote:
You sure do know yer music 3perf.


Attachment:
slim.gif


Naw. Not even the best know everything :) Anhowz: please enlighten me. :)

[Edit] Please enlightn me regarding the meaning of the pic you posted :)

For those who don't have the patience to go through the entire Bernstein lecture (which I fully understand - it's way more interesting for musicians) you may want to drop in right at 31:00

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3HLqCHO08s

Trust me, it is VERY informative for those who don't know about the harmonic/overtone series but have some interest in music and why certain melodies work in a perticular way.


Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:41 pm
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:26 am
Posts: 237
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Threeperf35 wrote:
[Edit] Please enlightn me regarding the meaning of the pic you posted :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ4YJpG3Zvo

-Because I couldn't find the above clip fast enough.

_________________
______________________________
Specializing in rodent behavior modification.
-Watch me pull a habit out of rat.


Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:15 pm
Profile
Director

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1478
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Zimmer's score sucked


Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:00 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
I don't remember any of the music from the movie. I don't even remember hearing the original pieces that were in the trailers.

_________________
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.


Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:17 pm
Profile
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Ken wrote:
I don't remember any of the music from the movie. I don't even remember hearing the original pieces that were in the trailers.


If I understood your post correctly, you agree with me 100%.


Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:02 pm
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
calvero wrote:
Zimmer's score sucked


Haven't seen the movie yet (still isn't out where I am located), but from all available sources which are online I can tell that this is ultra-generic Zimmer. It sucks big ugly hairy ass.

You can do this, just buy this (no advertising!!!!) - it is possible because symphonic cinematic sounds are so standardized and unmelodic by now that the computer version has become the norm. If you think a symphonic orchestra and a great composer and orchestrator are obsolete by now, it's because the shit you can make with existing software has become the norm (not because it's as good or better - no way):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoX5JC0eRxk


Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:13 pm
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:26 pm
Posts: 2157
Post Re: Hans zimmer's score for Man Of Steel
Threeperf35 wrote:
If I understood your post correctly, you agree with me 100%.

Basically, yeah, I do. I would say that if Zimmer has a high water mark, it's either Inception or The Thin Red Line. They have his usual problems, but they at least play to his strengths. Credit where credit is due: I appreciate his knack for integrating textures in combinations that other composers wouldn't think of, like that great grungy Strat tone in Inception. Not something you usually hear paired with brass and strings.

Man of Steel doesn't feature much of that kind of creativity. I did notice one instance, though, in the piece of music that I guess is supposed to be the hero theme. Each iteration of the main phrase kicks off with a slide guitar glissando that climbs an entire octave.* A nice little way of suggesting something (or someone) "taking off". It's hardly a new strategy in film scores, but it's usually not done with a rock instrument.

So if those other movies are his best scores, relatively speaking, Man of Steel is definitely one of the lesser ones. It's mostly just throbbing percussion to accompany the action.

Zimmer is not without original ideas. The bummer is that he always releases those ideas into the world while they're still unfinished. Perhaps if he worked with a world-class orchestrator, his pieces would escape the world of verse-chorus pop songs that they currently live in. I would like to hear what he could do with the help of someone to bounce ideas off of, to flesh out themes in ways other than just raising and lowering the dynamics or switching up the instrumentation.** We've heard those strategies a million times from this guy. He's overdue for something different.

---

*I did not notice this in the movie, or even in the trailers, but you can hear it if you listen to the piece by itself. It sounds like a slide guitar, but I guess it could be a pitch glide effect. Or maybe a Steinberger transtrem, but that seems unlikely. I don't know why I'm overthinking this.

**He split the score in the first two Batman movies with James Newton Howard, but to my knowledge, they worked independently of one another. Honestly, I never could tell which stuff was Howard and which stuff was Zimmer.

_________________
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 Jun 18, 2013 11:32 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 3 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