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What film composers do you absolutely despise?

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Showing 1-25 of 38 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 20, 2012 7:23:22 PM PDT
I can honestly say that I have well and truly hated James Horner ever since I first heard his name. His only good score that I've heard thus far was for Titanic.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 7:59:20 PM PDT
I'm with you completely on James Horner, who is usually terrible, bombastic. Even 'Glory', which is a good score, is overwrought.
Most Hans Zimmer stuff is pure garbage.
Giorgio Moroder's synth-scores of the '80s made my ears bleed:
'Cat People', 'Flashdance', 'Scarface', 'Fair Game', et al.

Eric Serra is total hack; he mostly works with Luc Besson.
About half of John Williams' derivative works disgust me. The other 48% is 'ehh', and a 2% margin of 'okay/so-so'.

James Newton Howard, similarly, is at least half-crap.

Another one that turned hacky after awhile is Jerry Goldsmith, who used to be great. I forget when he went bad, sometime in the mid-90s I'd bet. Definitely by the time he made 'Executive Decision' and 'Air Force One', with a few exceptions later like 'The Edge' and 'L.A. Confidential'. The rest was junk.

For "avant-garde" dreck, Michael Nyman nearly all of the time is bad.
Pretty much anything Philip Glass has done after 'Candyman' (his last good score.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 8:02:40 PM PDT
I actually really like select Hans Zimmer scores (my favorites being "The Lion King", "The Dark Knight", and "Inception"). I would completely disagree on John Williams, by far my favorite (even though I said the most conformist thing in the world, but hey, he revolutionized the genre).

I liked Goldsmith's score for Rudy.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 8:36:19 PM PDT
I've yet to see 'Rudy'. Someone gave me the DVD, and I like Sean Astin. I just haven't gotten around to it quite yet!

Goldsmith did a superb job with the 'Hoosiers' score, so maybe lightning struck twice in the inspirational sports genre for him.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 8:37:31 PM PDT
Rudy is quite good, you won't be disappointed.

Posted on May 20, 2012 8:44:41 PM PDT
Deee! says:
I think they're all a damn sight better than those of us here calling their work "utter garbage". Just an observation...

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 8:46:16 PM PDT
Well observed, Monsieur.

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 10:16:08 PM PDT
The closest I got to that sentiment was saying "Most Hans Zimmer stuff is pure garbage."
I should further qualify that I meant most of his work I've *heard* is garbage. I have only heard about half of it.

Some scores from the acclaimed Hans Zimmer which I haven't heard:

'Bird on a Wire'; 'Toys'; 'Something to Talk About'; 'Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron'; 'Riding in Cars with Boys'; 'Kung Fu Panda'; 'Rango'; 'Thunderbirds'; 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'; 'The Peacemaker'; 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End'; 'Madagascar', etc....

And in hindsight, here are some Zimmer scores I thought were okay:
'Paperhouse', 'Beyond Rangoon'; 'True Romance'; 'The Thin Red Line', and his work with Nicolas Roeg and James L. Brooks.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 9:51:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 21, 2012 1:52:03 PM PDT
Hikari says:
Not forgetting "Green Card"--his score for that was an absolutely perfect match for the material.

I've only seen the first "Sherlock Holmes" but that was a good score. Better than the movie, in fact.

I see nobody's mentioned Vangelis . . . I thought he was the cat's meow back in the '80s, but viewing his scored movies now (Chariots of Fire; The Bounty) . . I find the synth music instrusive and dating to the piece.

Can we include, as a contrast in this discussion, composers we think are cool?

Props to Howard Shore for his masterwork, "LOTR". I'm not sure that I've liked all of Mr. Shore's stuff so well, but that one was a triumph, and the commission of a lifetime, I'm sure.

Alexandre Desplat is fast becoming my favorite composer now working.

Rolfe Kent is always reliable, too. His music is quirky just like the pictures he scores.

Another current fave is Barrington Pheloung for his score to "Lewis". Beats the one he did for "Morse' even.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 1:00:57 PM PDT

re: Can we include, as a contrast in this discussion, composers we think are cool?

Oh, I don't know about that. We really ought to stick to movie composers whom we despise and detest, and want to throw into an incinerator. ;-)

Seriously, I agree with you on Howard Shore's music for LOTR. A triumph.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 2:12:22 PM PDT
Absolutely. Bernard Herrmann did some brilliant work, as did Alan Menken.

Posted on May 21, 2012 3:00:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 21, 2012 3:06:53 PM PDT
Fascinus says:
John Williams. Bombast and overkill and overemphasis, oh, and excess.

Posted on May 21, 2012 3:14:50 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 21, 2012 3:15:18 PM PDT]

Posted on May 21, 2012 3:15:02 PM PDT
Fascinus says:
For interesting and currently undersung composers, David Raksin, Leonard Rosenman, in the early modern era and in the classic era, Victor Young, Hollander...

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 3:45:07 PM PDT
Hikari says:
Any word, do you know, whether Howard Shore is scoring The Hobbit? He would seem to be the logical choice.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 6:20:35 AM PDT
I haven't heard yet, Hikari ... but, yes, it would just make sense for him to score that one.

I still listen to the LOTR scores. Every time I hear "Twilight and Shadow" with Renee Fleming I still find it remarkably beautiful.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 6:23:45 AM PDT
Balok says:

> About half of John Williams' derivative works disgust me. The other 48% is 'ehh', and a 2% margin
> of 'okay/so-so'.

I generally can't stand the overly derivative film composers like John Williams. I liked his score to _Family Plot_, which actually wasn't all that derivative, and for _Catch Me If You Can_, because at least instead of performing his usual theft from Wagner and Bruckner, at least this time he was stealing from Carl Nielsen.

Posted on May 22, 2012 6:29:39 AM PDT
Sometimes a score will pleasantly surprise me. Hans Zimmer's music for "The Ring" (the American remake of the horror movie "Ringu") really added a lot of depth and emotion to that film.

Posted on May 22, 2012 8:05:57 AM PDT
B. McIntosh says:
Tyler Bates. (Watchmen/300)
No talent whatsoever.
And if I see one more post about Hans Zimmer I will....Do....Something.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 8:58:58 AM PDT
McIntosh: I can't tell if that is hatred towards Zimmer or what.

Posted on May 22, 2012 9:36:47 AM PDT
D. Mok says:
The worst score I've ever heard is Marc Shaiman's score for A Few Good Men. The first time I've heard a score so bad that it plummeted a perfectly fine film to the level of made-for-TV.

For a brilliant composer, try Joe Hisaishi. He scored most of Takeshi Kitano and Hayao Miyazaki's films. Amazing arrangements, melodies, choice of instruments, and they fit the films remarkably well.

Posted on May 22, 2012 10:21:40 AM PDT
D. Larson says:
And here I thought everybody would be beating on Danny Elfman!

His bouncy little tunes used to be cute; as the years have rolled by, they've gotten a lot more tiresome. But, at least you don't have to pay attention to the credits to know that it's an Elfman.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 10:27:56 AM PDT
I would agree, although I loved his score for Good Will Hunting.

Posted on May 22, 2012 11:08:19 AM PDT
C. J. Vasta says:
Does anyone remember a John Willams score after 1987? Perhaps he lost his mojo trying to make Michael Dukakis epic. One of his best scores was the theme to The Lost in Space. They probably got 4 seasons based on that theme alone. The theme for Land of Giants was also good All told Williams has a 20 year career which culiminated in writing some most recognizable movie music in history starting with Jaws. When you're music gets that well known, it's possible to get burnt out and for every work to seem derivative. His theme to Catch Me IF You Can I mainly remember because it was playing in the very confusing DVD menu. It seemed like a 60s Theme Song as if WIlliams has been asked to write a them of a TV show based on the premise in the style of Henry Mancini.

It's kind of funny, JPB's comments on Jerry Goldsmith. I Imagine that he did lose some steam when he in his 70s after a decades long career. Perhaps he liked money too much, or felt a need to keep working, and perhaps many thought mediocre Goldsmith was better tjan a lot of other composers A-Games. Whedon's particularly good at picking music for his TV series particularly Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse.

I'm Surprised I haven't seen a lot of unlove for Danny Elfman. Has he done anything noteworthy since 2000. His Spiderman themes seem heavily derirvative of his Batman work., and what's original in them does not seem memorable. Then again have there any memorable movie themes from the era of the Comic Book movie. There don't seem to be any movie themes as evocative as Williams's Superman or Elfman's Batman. Whenever I think of Iron Man or X-Men, I tend to think of music from an amimated series. So perhaps the Avengers will change that.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 11:25:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2012 11:25:58 AM PDT
I can't condemn all of his work, but Rolfe Kent did a terrible job with the music in the Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle film "Reign Over Me." It's like the worst of 1970's sad tv movies that try to dictate your emotions before you've even decided which characters you give a crap about yet. Perhaps the editor and director share some of the blame for exactly how the music was used.
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Discussion in:  Movie forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  38
Initial post:  May 20, 2012
Latest post:  May 25, 2012

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