John Williams -- a little boring?

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by Mastadge, Aug 17, 2004.

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  1. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    And yet it's called "Love theme for Arwen and Aragorn" so you'd think it was.... the love theme? As for Gollum's song theme, it is used in the film at the very end...

  2. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    ...as a bridge to the end credits ;)
    "Love theme for Arwen and Aragorn" is a matter of interpretation, I think. You could think of it as the love theme, but also as a love theme.
  3. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    That's stupid. There is no need for more than one love theme. It was a dumb move, period.

  4. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
  5. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    I think we've hijacked this long enough. There is a LOTR thread after all...

  6. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Well, we did put a peroid on it. Let's just end the debate :)
  7. Well_Of_Souls Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2001
    star 5
    If there's a film composer that's been playing it safe nowadays, it's Danny Elfman.

    I disagree 100% with this statement. IMO, Elfman is the one major composer who constantly expands and matures with his music in every score he writes. There is almost always something interesting going on in his music, at least to my ears.
  8. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Then we can draw the conclusion that it depends highly on what kind of film music you prefer whether you think a composer is repetitive or not.
    It's the same as liking different groups. One person might say that Iron Maiden sound the same all the time, while the other person, who's a Maiden fan, thinks that each song sounds different.
    A fan can make out the details to a much larger extent than a non-fan.
  9. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    re: Danny Elfman, I don't think he plays it safe at all. Playing it safe would be rehashing his old stuff, which I personally find more enjoyable. But instead he keeps going in new directions and maturing, while people keep whining for him to go back to Oingo Boingo Beetlejuice zaniness.
  10. stradman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2002
    star 3
    I have only seen the movie once and not listened to the soundtrack, but I remember Elfman's work on Big Fish to be interesting.
  11. BabaORileyFett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2002
    star 4
    I guess I haven't really heard anything particularly distinctive or memorable with the last few scores helmed by Elfman. Both Spidey flicks, The Hulk, and Red Dragon left me underwhelmed. Big Fish had spurts of rousing, engaging composition, but as a whole, it was languid.

    Perhaps ?playing it safe? wasn?t the best way of putting it. ?Not using his full potential? is probably more accurate.



  12. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    It all sound similar.
    The Harry Potter music gets on my nerves and is always the same thing.

    I love the Indiana Jones, ET and Close Encounters music.

    The guy is great, it is just that much of his music sound similar.
    But then you could say the same thing about GL, the guy is a great but the majority of his films are similar.

    -Seldon
  13. stradman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2002
    star 3
    Every artist has major trends to their music. Just by the sound and structure, I can tell if a piece is a Wagner, Mozart, Beethoven, Puchini... This is not because I study music and am a declared music major, it is because I have listened to so much of each that I can tell because of the style that each writes in.

    In the same token, many in this forum could, just by the sound, determine if a score was done by John Williams, Klaus Baldet, Jerry Goldsmith, Henery Manncini, James Newton Howard, Howard Shore, James Horner, Hanz Zimmer...

    Unfortunately, these Composers are hired to write a certain piece of music in a certian way. These composers are hired for their sound, and the sound of their last movie. I think as a general rule, movie composers are often not given the chance to really strech their creativity. If you think that Williams is getting a little boring in his old age and not as creative as he once was, I suggest that you listen to the concerto for Cello and Orchestra by John Williams. You can find it on Yo-Yo Ma Plays the Music of John Williams. You will not be dissapointed.
  14. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7
    Unless I'm mistaken, Williams had 3 months to compose TPM's music before cinema release, according to a TV documentary I saw donkeys ago. If true, and bearing in mind just how much music there was in that movie, it speaks to proven talent.

    In either case, KOTOR's music was nothing less than outstanding. You don't notice it whilst playing, but when you do you see just how much depth and range they are, setting the mood for each given scene.

    This was based off the prequel's blueprint, but isn't it better to listen to somethign other than the same old year after dog year SW themes?
  15. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    I'm currently listening to IJ& The Last Crusade, and to me the music sounds a little soft or blurred -- the instruments and sounds aren't very sharp and distinct. Is it just me or was this score not recorded terribly well?
  16. dudalb Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 3
    A couple of years ago I would have agreed about Danny Elfman being pretty much a Johnny One Note, but since then Elfman has really stretched himself quite sucessfully. He did the original dramatic score (not the songs, repeat, not the songs) for "Chicago" and did it entirely using 1920's style Jazz music. Elfman does seem quite delibertly to be getting away from the "zany' kind of score ("Beetlejuice") that made him famous.
    BTW someone pointed out Williams jazz score for "Catch Me If You Can". Williams started out...as did Shore and Elfman for that matter...as a Jazz Musician. And Williams also used progressive jazz for the Coruscant scenes in AOTC.
    I do think that Williams does take on too many projects, and stretches himself thin. And he is capable of a mediocre score, as in "The Patriot".
    I was not a big fan of his score for TPM, (Yes, The Duel Of The Fates is a great theme, but what other of the original themes for the film is memorable)but cut him some slack because he was so rushed on it.
    With AOTC he was at the top of his game again.
    BTW Miklos Rozsa and Bernard Hermann are my own nominees for film score Deity. Williams has frequently cited both as major influences.
  17. BabaORileyFett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2002
    star 4
    Personally, I think his AOTC score blows TPM's (which didn't do much for me as a whole, other than two or three themes) out of the water.

    It's easily his strongest and most memorable SW score since ESB. From beginning to end, the AOTC soundtrack gels.

  18. Well_Of_Souls Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2001
    star 5
    I personally find TPM's score to be far superior to AOTC's (which, while not bad, I still consider to be the worst SW score to date). Despite the horrendous cut-and-paste job that they did with TPM's score, I still rank it as my third favorite of all the five SW scores, just behind ESB and ANH. The TPM score was the last great John Williams score, as far as I'm concerned.

    And I'm sorry, but I get a little bothered when people immediately assume that the memorability of a score is what makes it good. For me, there's a lot more to it.
  19. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    "I get a little bothered when people immediately assume that the memorability of a score is what makes it good. For me, there's a lot more to it."

    I think I agree with that. Can't think of any examples right now (well, maybe the music for Tetris which I have a hard time recalling :p), but many pieces are awesome without being that memorable.


    As for TPM vs. AotC... I'm not sure. But I think there is more TPM music than AotC, so it's "more good stuff" instead of simply "better" ;)
  20. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Ever made a TPM "Ultimate Edit"? You'll appreciate the soundtrack twice as much.
  21. Well_Of_Souls Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2001
    star 5
  22. BabaORileyFett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2002
    star 4
    When it comes to soundtracks and scores, memorability is only one factor that plays apart in my overall enjoyment. But if a soundtrack or score is memorable, that says a lot right there about its ability to connect with me.

    AOTC's soundtrack just has an overall more interesting palate of sound and texture, IMHO. There isn't one note I'd remove or change.

    I think it's Williams' most beautiful and romantic SW soundtrack to date.

  23. Moleman1138 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2004
    star 6
    Everything JW writes sounds too close to one another. HP, Indy, SW. He uses the same themes over and over and over. Sometimes it's tiring. Sometimes I just can't get enough of JW and want more.
  24. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Williams rarely reuses themes. Yes, you can hear lots of little similarities, but our musical system only allows for so many different combinations...
  25. Well_Of_Souls Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2001
    star 5
    Everything JW writes sounds too close to one another. HP, Indy, SW. He uses the same themes over and over and over.

    Just out of curiousity, exactly which themes are repeated "over and over and over" throughout those scores you listed?
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