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 Posted:   Jun 23, 2008 - 4:18 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Watched Meet Joe Black for the first time this weekend and was struck by Thomas Newman's beautiful and moving score. Just ordered the CD and I hope it's jampacked with musical goodness! It served the movie well, and I could hear a bit of influence for his future score, The Good German, especially the love theme. My hat goes off to Mr. Newman!

 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2008 - 6:09 PM   
 By:   Michael Condon   (Member)

A favorite movie of mine.

 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2008 - 6:15 PM   
 By:   drivingmissdaisy   (Member)

Good movie and the kind of scoring from Newman thats my favorite, lush beautiful strings!! The highlite is the second to last track, I think it's like 9 minutes long.

 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2008 - 7:42 PM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

Great score for an endless, insipid boreathon.

 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2008 - 8:11 PM   
 By:   dman   (Member)

I love to hear people discover great Newman scores.

I happen to think it's a wonderful score to a terrific film.

 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2008 - 9:40 PM   
 By:   Hadrian   (Member)

It is indeed a beautiful and haunting score...one of Newman's best.

 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2008 - 11:02 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Gorgeous score for beautiful, thought-provoking film.

Is it too long for some people? Yes, I'm certain.

But it's the fastest three hours of movie I've ever sat through (at least 8 times, thus far).

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2008 - 4:33 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

I don't like everything that Thomas Newman has done, but MEET JOE BLACK is certainly my favourite. Those mournful, almost spiritual strings are the closest he's come to sounding like his dad - maybe that's why I like it so much.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2008 - 4:43 AM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

I'd criticise the film, but I simply can't talk.

You see, I have a soft spot for THE HORSE WHISPERER. (And not just the score.)

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2008 - 8:08 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

I'd criticise the film, but I simply can't talk.

You see, I have a soft spot for THE HORSE WHISPERER. (And not just the score.)



We all have films like this one.

"Meet Joe Black" is ONE of mine. I find it very rewarding with each viewing. Funny enough, the first time I saw it, I considered it a boring bloat with an interesting score.

One night, channel checking and bored with little to nothing of interest airing, I landed on an airing of "Meet Joe Black." Suddenly, and I DO mean "suddenly", I was mesmerized by the film. I later concluded that this is a film that requires the viewer to be patient...to "think" while the story unfolds...and that is the mindset I had that night.

It makes all the difference, and the rewards are magical.

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2008 - 8:26 AM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

I'd criticise the film, but I simply can't talk.

You see, I have a soft spot for THE HORSE WHISPERER. (And not just the score.)



We all have films like this one.

"Meet Joe Black" is ONE of mine. I find it very rewarding with each viewing. Funny enough, the first time I saw it, I considered it a boring bloat with an interesting score.

One night, channel checking and bored with little to nothing of interest airing, I landed on an airing of "Meet Joe Black." Suddenly, and I DO mean "suddenly", I was mesmerized by the film. I later concluded that this is a film that requires the viewer to be patient...to "think" while the story unfolds...and that is the mindset I had that night.

It makes all the difference, and the rewards are magical.


I thought it was a very well-crafted film. Amazingly, though it's 3 hours, it never felt like it was too long. I wasn't checking my watch all the time. It seemed that 3 hours was how much time was needed to tell the story; no more, no less.

I read user comments at IMDB yesterday about the film, and I was amazed at what I saw. Some folks thought that the car accident was ridiculously cheesy and claimed people were laughing in the aisles. I don't get that at all. I found it shocking (I had to watch it twice actually) and completely disorienting, especially after that lovely sequence of the two characters looking back and forth at each other as they are departing, but missing each other's glance each time. Really a good scene.

Brad Pitt is neither here nor there for me. When he's great he's great (e.g. Twelve Monkeys), but for the most part, he doesn't stand out for me. But I thought his performance in Meet Joe Black was the best work he's ever done. He played it kind of like an alien amongst strange human culture (reminded me a bit of Jeff Bridges in "Starman"), mixed with childlike qualities that were really interesting to watch. Say what you will about the peanut butter scene. I thought it was hysterical! Interestingly, Pitt has stated that he's embarrassed by some of his earlier performances not being very good, and this was included on his list. Shame. He's underrated himself with this one.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2008 - 3:22 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

A FEW SPOILERS BELOW!

So this thread spurred me to see this film yesterday. I liked the beginning, but it quickly deteriorated after Joe introduces himself to Bill. Either it was utterly boring or it was riddled with tons of clichées and moralistic monologues.

It was kind of frustrating for me, because Hopkins is my second favourite actor of all time (after Nicholson), and Brad Pitt is one of my least favourites. So I was drawn between being annoyed by Pitt to getting some relief in Hopkins (although it was a run-of-the-mill performance by him as well).

Now, I can see that some of Newman's music may work well on album, but I really think he went overboard with the lush strings, and "oomphing" moments that didn't need it. There was one point, for example, where multiple "climaxes" in the dialogue get multiple climaxes from Newman to the extent that they cancel each other out, not to mention that they weren't really needed in the first place. I'm trying to think of what scene this was (I'm sure it was one of the romantic ones between Joe and Susan....perhaps the farewell scene).

Also, some of the symbolic imagery was a little obvious and simplistic - like crossing the bridge "to the other side" or the source music playing tunes like "It's a Wonderful World" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

Overall, a barely mediocre film and score, IMO. But sounds like a fine album.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2008 - 4:41 AM   
 By:   Michael Arlidge   (Member)

Anyone who isn't left in a blubbering mess by the end of "That Next Place" doesn't have a soul, as far as I'm concerned. It's truly one of the most exquisite pieces of music I have ever heard.

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2008 - 6:19 AM   
 By:   spielboy   (Member)

another thomas newman masterpiece. The farewell scene is superb and uplifting, but the tender love theme is splendid too (see the lovemaking scene playing with the close-ups).

film for me is a gorgeously shot (E. Lubezki DP makes Claire Forlami look like an angel) GUILTY PLEASURE.

"...Yes...."

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2009 - 8:02 AM   
 By:   scorechaser   (Member)

The score is beautiful, especially of course "That Next Place" which I am going to play in its full lenght in my next show.

But there is one thing that does bother me about this good film: Right to the end, when Hopkins has vanished with Pitt into the unknown, how does his daughter know that he is dead? When the Pitt charachter from the beginning of the movie returns, she says something like "I wish you could have known my father." Did I misss something? When did she learn between the takes that her father passed on?

This always buffled me since I saw the movie the first time...

 
 Posted:   May 12, 2009 - 8:41 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

The score is beautiful, especially of course "That Next Place" which I am going to play in its full lenght in my next show.

But there is one thing that does bother me about this good film: Right to the end, when Hopkins has vanished with Pitt into the unknown, how does his daughter know that he is dead? When the Pitt charachter from the beginning of the movie returns, she says something like "I wish you could have known my father." Did I misss something? When did she learn between the takes that her father passed on?

This always buffled me since I saw the movie the first time...


There is a scene at the party between "Joe" and Susan: Although nothing is actually revealed by Joe, it is here where she learns who, or what, Joe is. He looks deep into her eyes as if sending her a visual message. You see her looking at him in a strange, knowing way as she recognizes what he is. She knows she loves him and is loved by him, but she also knows his purpose.

This film being a fantasy, the filmmakers didn't want to get bogged down into too much literal exposition, I'm guessing. It's one of the rare instances where film expects us to use our imaginations.

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2009 - 10:11 AM   
 By:   Scorebuff   (Member)

I like the film and the score. smile

 
 
 Posted:   May 12, 2009 - 3:30 PM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

Though I really like the music on its own, I've got to agree with Thor's long ago remark that the cues at the climax of the film do gild the lily a bit. It's probably more a matter of audience sensibility than anything.

Something I didn't realise when I last posted in this thread was that one of the themes of the score - it appears in the album track 'Yes' and one of the later tracks - seems like a likely composed response to a temp track using a version of Arvo Part's 'Fratres'. (A piece which has also cropped up, via temp track, in the original scores of SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS, AUSTRALIA and - from memory - a Horner score.)

It's one of the rare instances where film expects us to use our imaginations.

Which is commendable. Where MEET JOE BLACK might have run into a problem or two is that it hadn't been particularly subtle in the way it presented ideas up to that point. You could forgive an audience for thinking they were in the sort of film where things were going to be explained. (Though it's better that they weren't. You put that idea into words and its value vanishes in a puff of smoke.)

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 26, 2013 - 3:20 AM   
 By:   Vermithrax Pejorative   (Member)

I've never seen the film - 3 hours seems a bit OTT for a romance story - but the CD is gorgeous and I find myself returning to it often.
It's one of Newman's best.
I would place it in my Top 5 scores by him, together with LITTLE WOMEN, ROAD TO PERDITION, FINDING NEMO and SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION.
It's Thomas Newman Time in my house at the moment smile

 
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