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 Posted:   Feb 17, 2015 - 11:14 AM   
 By:   Jon Broxton   (Member)

My review of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, for anyone who's interested:

http://moviemusicuk.us/2015/02/17/fifty-shades-of-grey-danny-elfman/

Jon

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2015 - 12:22 PM   
 By:   Dylan   (Member)

Nice review.

I was really looking forward to this score because the filmmakers seemed sincere in their attempt to transcend the badly-written source material and I was hoping they'd make something style over substance or at least something as delightfully trashy as "Wild Things" or "Cruel Intentions." I haven't seen the movie but by all accounts it doesn't seem like that happened, so I will skip it. Elfman's music also doesn't reflect what I'd sort of anticipated from him... then again, I'm one of those people who has been disappointed with almost every Elfman score since 2004.

While the "Shades" score is ten times better than "Big Eyes" I have to side with the detractors. I really want to be a fly on the wall for some of these composer/director meetings to know exactly what goes wrong in the direction. I want to see if at some point Elfman or the director was onto something much more interesting with the music but somehow got thwarted. But if Tim Burton can misdirect Elfman at this point, I guess anybody can.

"Shades" is indeed a blend of his concert style with a modern FM pop sound and I admit the results are occasionally intriguing ("Ana and Christian" is one of the few tracks where I felt this marriage was wholly successful - this cue, and a few others, actually recalls the late 90s John Ottman) but for the most part this is yet another streamlined, tepidly orchestrated Hollywood score that doesn't go anywhere. I have no problem with Elfman not being "symphonic" if the arrangements aren't straight out of Thomas Newman's marimba and xylophone playbook, complete with pop beats from One Direction. I really want to still love Elfman, and I do (remember "Sommersby" and "Dick Tracy?" Remember "Big Top Pee-Wee," which just had a fantastic re-release?), but like a lot of his fans I'm unable to get excited about what he's turning out these days. Even when the music is good the arrangements are so tepid that it almost ruins it.

 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2015 - 8:53 AM   
 By:   TM   (Member)

Expecting Elfman to write a Burton fantasy score for 50 Shades would be like expecting Carter Burwell to write one of his glorious noir scores for Twilight. It would have been rejected, regardless of how famous he is. He's constantly trying new genres. If he was constantly rehashing his dark gothic sound we'd be complaining about that instead.

 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2015 - 9:15 AM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

I haven't heard the score but I happen to know exactly why Elfman took the assignment and it had nothing to do with money; he saw it more as a challenge because of the "genre."
I'm not sure whether composers streamlining their scores has anything to do with age as much as it does the demands of film and directors these days. Elfman's most interesting work lately has been for documentaries and concert pieces where the music has more room to breathe.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2015 - 9:19 AM   
 By:   MikeP   (Member)

Maybe I'm the only one really enjoying this score. I've no idea how to plays in the movie, but good Lord it can only help razz

It is a modern, moody score, and for me I don't see any "phoning it in". Then again, Elfman's big orchestral showcase scores always leave me cold. Elfman doing dramatic scores, or things outside what we usually expect from him ( The Kingdom, The Next Three Days ) are the ones that grab me.

It was a blind buy, but a very good score.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2015 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   MikeP   (Member)

My review of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, for anyone who's interested:

http://moviemusicuk.us/2015/02/17/fifty-shades-of-grey-danny-elfman/

Jon



Excellent review.


What he said.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2015 - 9:47 AM   
 By:   Dylan   (Member)

I never wrote that I wanted Elfman to write a "symphonic" or "gothic" score for this. I simply yearned for the orchestrations to be more colorful and less tepid. So many Hollywood scores now are arranged in a very specific way to keep the music emotionally distant, even if the composer is trying to score emotions. It reminds me of the interview Michael Andrews gave around the time of "Bridesmaids" when he said that filmmakers today want their movies to sound as "realistic" as possible, which is a drag for those who love emotional film music that isn't a "realistic" accompaniment to a movie. Emotions are more real to me than cold realism. But anything is better than Elfman doing an "American Beauty" pastiche like "Big Eyes."

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2015 - 4:04 PM   
 By:   JamesSouthall   (Member)

I think this is excellent. My review:

http://www.movie-wave.net/fifty-shades-of-grey/

 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2015 - 4:16 PM   
 By:   johnmullin   (Member)

Great review, James! I still think Elfman has written a few excellent scores post-ALICE IN WONDERLAND (RESTLESS, CIRQUE DU SOLEI: IRIS and THE UNKNOWN KNOWN), but for the most part the way you talk about your feelings about Elfman's recent work is similar to how I've felt about it myself. I still really do look forward to his music, but I feel like his heart is more in his documentaries and non-film projects than it is in scores like EPIC and MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN. Nevertheless, while FIFTY SHADES doesn't hold my attention for the full duration of its album, there are several dynamite cues in here, and I totally approve of your use of the word "classy" here.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 22, 2015 - 4:30 PM   
 By:   JamesSouthall   (Member)

I had intended to put in a clarification that I was only referring to his dramatic scores, not things like Iris and Unknown Known, which are great.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2015 - 1:09 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Um, yeah...I'll just say that your "several years" of phoning in te high profile assignments must start after Alice in WONDERLAND, because that score is truly magnificent, particularly in complete form.

Yavar


and MILK.

That's two pretty great scores
bruce

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2015 - 2:53 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

This is my favorite Elfman score to come along in many, many years! I love it. "Variations on a Shades" is quickly becoming contender for my favorite cue he's ever written...it's currently playing on a loop and I can't see myself ever tiring of it, it is so wonderful, and a great encapsulation of the spirit of the score.

Totally digging this "shade" of Elfman in Fifty Shades of Grey. No interest in the movie, but this score is outstanding.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2015 - 4:25 PM   
 By:   foxmorty   (Member)

This is my favorite Elfman score to come along in many, many years! I love it. "Variations on a Shades" is quickly becoming contender for my favorite cue he's ever written...it's currently playing on a loop and I can't see myself ever tiring of it, it is so wonderful, and a great encapsulation of the spirit of the score.

Totally digging this "shade" of Elfman in Fifty Shades of Grey. No interest in the movie, but this score is outstanding.


the last track reminds me a ton of zimmer's the weather man. love the music for that one, so hearing a related cousin is fine by me.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2015 - 4:27 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

This is my favorite Elfman score to come along in many, many years! I love it. "Variations on a Shades" is quickly becoming contender for my favorite cue he's ever written...it's currently playing on a loop and I can't see myself ever tiring of it, it is so wonderful, and a great encapsulation of the spirit of the score.

Totally digging this "shade" of Elfman in Fifty Shades of Grey. No interest in the movie, but this score is outstanding.


the last track reminds me a ton of zimmer's the weather man. love the music for that one, so hearing a related cousin is fine by me.


Hmm, okayyyyy...so now I have to check out The Weather Man! smile

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2015 - 4:27 PM   
 By:   Jason LeBlanc   (Member)

Chronological order, for those who prefer that way

01 Shades Of Grey (2:07)
06 Going For Coffee (1:32)
07 Where Am I ? (1:35)
04 Then Don't ! (2:32)
03 The Red Room (3:26)
09 Clean You Up (2:43)
02 Ana's Theme (1:23)
08 Ana and Christian (3:24)
10 The Contract (3:27)
11 The Art Of War (3:32)
05 A Spanking (2:32)
12 Did That Hurt ? (2:54)
13 Bliss (2:29)
14 Show Me (3:02)
15 Counting To Six (3:21)
16 Variations On A Shades (6:22)

NOTE: 1 and 16 are concert arrangements you can place wherever you like; I just left them where Elfman put them.

 
 Posted:   Feb 23, 2015 - 4:28 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Chronological order, for those who prefer that way

01 Shades Of Grey (2:07)
06 Going For Coffee (1:32)
07 Where Am I ? (1:35)
04 Then Don't ! (2:32)
03 The Red Room (3:26)
09 Clean You Up (2:43)
02 Ana's Theme (1:23)
08 Ana and Christian (3:24)
10 The Contract (3:27)
11 The Art Of War (3:32)
05 A Spanking (2:32)
12 Did That Hurt ? (2:54)
13 Bliss (2:29)
14 Show Me (3:02)
15 Counting To Six (3:21)
16 Variations On A Shades (6:22)

NOTE: 1 and 16 are concert arrangements you can place wherever you like; I just left them where Elfman put them.


Thanks! I do prefer it chronological.

 
 Posted:   Mar 2, 2015 - 11:43 AM   
 By:   Zaku   (Member)

Very surprised by this score. I really like it and I can already tell this is one I'm gonna listen to many times. I'm not a huge Elfman fan as many are but this score I really enjoy.

Boy was the movie bad.

 
 Posted:   Mar 2, 2015 - 12:54 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Foxmorty, thanks for the heads-up on Weather Man! Checked it out on your recommendation and am loving it. Wonderful Zimmer, a very fresh sound. Good word!

 
 Posted:   Mar 3, 2015 - 5:48 AM   
 By:   foxmorty   (Member)

Foxmorty, thanks for the heads-up on Weather Man! Checked it out on your recommendation and am loving it. Wonderful Zimmer, a very fresh sound. Good word!

glad to hear it. i really love that music and adore the movie. might be a midwest thing on that. just has a very different contempo vibe. would love a proper release! and enjoying 50 shades quite a bit as well. it's processing well with me. i think it's more masterful then a lot of the feelings conveyed so far.

 
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