*chirp...chirp*

Join Judge Clark Douglas as he explores the musical side of film courtesy of the world's finest composers.

*chirp...chirp*

Postby Carl Wonders » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:38 am

Awfully quiet in here...

Just finished up the 1971 show. Clark, you clearly have a thing for Don Ellis' score for The French Connection, as I think it's maybe the third time you've played a cue from it. Frankly it's never done much for me, though it works adequately well in the film. I do like the cue from the famous foot chase into the subway you played, however. On the other hand, I'm a big fan of Roy Budd (another jazz musician turned film composer). It's clearly dated, but still a lot of fun.

On a completely unrelated note, I was wondering if you (or anyone else) had picked up the (at long last released) expanded Star Trek V score? I had forgotten just how good that score is. Probably because I never bought the original album and thus listening to it would have required actually WATCHING Star Trek V. Other than the annoying Synclavier sounds that crop up (I always thought that was a sound design choice, not score) it's fantastic stuff. In fact, I think I actually prefer it to ST:TMP only because some of the Vejur stuff gets a little heavy for me at times. There are even some moments that harken way back to scores like Planet of the Apes with the rams horn and similar sounds during the Nimbus III scenes. I guess the only other downside to the score was that it introduced that four-note motive that Goldsmith later used ad nauseum in his TNG scores (I wish he would have kept that gorgeous melody from the Yosemite scenes instead).
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Re: *chirp...chirp*

Postby cdouglas » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:09 pm

Indeed. The Sounds and Sights of Cinema message board is no longer the thrilling center of conversation it once was. It was there once, right? I'm pretty sure one or two threads had comments in the double-digits, at least...

Ahem. Anyway, all evidence would suggest that I do indeed have a thing for Don Ellis' work on The French Connection, but that actually isn't the case. Don't get me wrong; it's a fine score and an innovative one, but it's only been featured so often because it happened to fit comfortably into whatever theme I was using at the time. This is what happens when I fail to monitor everything. One day I'll become senile and start playing the theme from Papillion every week. And yes, Roy Budd > Don Ellis.

And yes, I did pick up that expanded Star Trek V score. One of the most striking instances of a great score written for a terrible film. While I still prefer Star Trek: The Motion Picture (seriously, Goldsmith carries more of that movie than any member of the cast), it's a very strong outing. The new release a big improvement on the original album.

Thanks for dropping by, Carl.
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Re: *chirp...chirp*

Postby Carl Wonders » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:58 am

I think my biggest issue with Ellis' music in the film is that, while I get that he's going for atonality and dissonance, a lot of the time it just sounds to me like the musicians are playing the wrong notes or failed to tune properly... :-\

I also agree with you that The Motion Picture's score is superior from a musical sense, but I sometimes find it less listenable in the middle sections. Kind of like the movie, now that I think of it. And I agree that Goldsmith essentially carries most of the film, considering he only really had support from things like Scotty forgetting where the docking port was on the Enterprise, and Stephen Collins gaping at a strobe light in his face.

Great scores written for terrible movies...do I smell a show theme here? RIght now Star Trek V is ranked #2 on my list just after CutThroat Island. I think I probably have Stargate up there somewhere too (I'm a big sucker for early David Arnold stuff, essentially up through Tomorrow Never Dies).
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Re: *chirp...chirp*

Postby cdouglas » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:54 pm

Carl Wonders wrote:Great scores written for terrible movies...do I smell a show theme here? RIght now Star Trek V is ranked #2 on my list just after CutThroat Island. I think I probably have Stargate up there somewhere too (I'm a big sucker for early David Arnold stuff, essentially up through Tomorrow Never Dies).


I've actually done variations on that sort of show - I know i did one on music from box office bombs (Howard the Duck, etc.), and another spotlighting good music from mediocre films (though that's admittedly different from "terrible films"). On the latter, I recall being chided by Chief Justice Michael Stailey for suggesting that Stripes was mediocre.
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Re: *chirp...chirp*

Postby Mach6 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:09 pm

A great selection of scores for the Summer Blockbusters, Clark. Jaws is easily the most famous. That’s a no contest in my book. I thought about posting this in the Mildly Mediocre Movies topic but since I consider ID4 to be a terrible movie, I’ll post it here.

The Independence Day score is a big guilty pleasure of mine. It’s so cheesy, ultra patriotic, & bombastic, (especially during the big countdown to the initial alien attack, the escape scene in the tunnel, the chase with Will Smith’s jet & the alien craft in the canyon, Smith & Goldblum’s captured alien craft trying to escape the mothership, etc.,) yet I still enjoy every second of it. It’s one of the few soundtrack CDs I still have after all these years. I know it’s a cliché to say this here, but this score would only work with this type of cheesy, sci-fi movie. Maybe it’s just the American jingoistic meathead in me or I have really bad taste in movie soundtracks.
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Re: *chirp...chirp*

Postby cdouglas » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:02 am

Mach6 wrote:The Independence Day score is a big guilty pleasure of mine. It’s so cheesy, ultra patriotic, & bombastic, (especially during the big countdown to the initial alien attack, the escape scene in the tunnel, the chase with Will Smith’s jet & the alien craft in the canyon, Smith & Goldblum’s captured alien craft trying to escape the mothership, etc.,) yet I still enjoy every second of it. It’s one of the few soundtrack CDs I still have after all these years. I know it’s a cliché to say this here, but this score would only work with this type of cheesy, sci-fi movie. Maybe it’s just the American jingoistic meathead in me or I have really bad taste in movie soundtracks.


Hey, I really dig the ID4 score, too. It's a whole lot of fun; the sort of gloriously overblown major-key bombast that few film scores dare to attempt these days. Cheesy? Sure. But the quality of the writing is pretty impressive in contrast to many other blustery blockbuster scores.
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