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 Posted:   Jul 16, 2021 - 5:33 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

John Williams is the Julia Child of film scoring. Stolid, dependable, a consummate professional who knows how to set a table to impress. Perfectly suitable for those either possessing a timid palette or inclined to bougie affectation, if not both.



This is hilarious and I have you to thank (or blame) for Dragonslayer, which I have not yet listened to but soon!

Who is the Gordon Ramsay of film scoring?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2021 - 5:44 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

I love a lot of Williams' scores, but when one fails to connect with me it's usually because it's a restrained, reverent score for an 'important' movie. A lot of other composers are guilty of this as well, seemingly fearing overshadowing anything, but it means that I wind up with precious little to grab onto in a lot of Williams' post-2000 scores since there's a lot of prestige pics and very few fun genre movies (with him delegating those, even with Spielberg, to other composers).

I'm sure Williams' restrained, drama scores are well-constructed musically, but there's nothing that grabs me about them. Schindler's List is an important movie, but I'd listen to Jurassic Park over it every day of the week and twice on Sundays.


It's a good point and certainly true. Some of Williams' scores I find dull but fascinating to study. "Stanley & Iris" is one of those, "Heartbeeps" I can't stand, and "The River" I also find to be quite dull. "Tintin" is a headache.

"The Post" is one of his more understated scores but one that I find to be very successful and modern-sounding.

If I have to listen to an orchestral score, I seem to enjoy how a composer like James Newton Howard does it, with incorporating rock instruments like guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and sax into the soundscape. Giving it a contemporary groove, so to say.

I see the point you're making - it's fair, though quite subtle, especially since JNH doesn't always use the elements you describe. "Attack of the Clones" had a fair amount of unique instrumentation with percussion, guitars, synth. "Memoirs of a Geisha" has absolutely killer percussion and instrumentation. "The Post" is one of Williams most modern-sounding scores, like something Alexandre Desplat might score. "Catch Me If You Can" is also quite jazzy and fresh.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2021 - 2:01 PM   
 By:   rickO   (Member)

When listening to John Williams cue "Rats" from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I can hear him totally interweaving Night of the Beast from Poltergeist which is by Mr Goldsmith. If you listen to them back to back enough times you will hear it. Now let me add wholeheartedly that this is not a moment of plagiarism but a clever homage and also usage of said material.

-Rick O.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2021 - 2:04 PM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Rats...Night Of The Beast...

So who did it first?

Bartok?
Ligeti?
Schoenberg?

wink

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2021 - 2:48 PM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Number of John Williams scores I don't like: 0
Number of Jerry Goldsmith scores I don't like: 1
Number of Ennio Morricone scores I don't like: 0
Number of Johannes Brahms scores I don't like: 0
Number of Jerry Fielding scores I don't like: 0
Number of James Horner scores I don't like: 1
Number of Henry Mancini scores I don't like: Wait, on album or as heard in the movie?
Number of Christopher Young scores I don't like: 0
Number of Leonard Rosenman scores I don't like: 0
Number of Alex North scores I don't like: 0
Number of John Barry scores I don't like: 0
Number of Miklós Rózsa scores I don't like: 0

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2021 - 3:22 PM   
 By:   Spinmeister   (Member)

And number of John Williams scores you haven't actually listened to more than once, partially until you got bored or disinterested, or if ever?

Penelope
A Guide for the Married Man
Heidi
The Reivers
Fitzwilly
The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing
Midway
Missouri Breaks
Family Plot
1941
Monsignor
The River
The Accidental Tourist
Always
Home Alone
Presumed Innocent
Stanley & Iris
Far and Away
Schindler’s List
Nixon
Home Alone 2
Sabrina
Amistad
Rosewood
Seven Years in Tibet
Saving Private Ryan
Stepmom
Angela’s Ashes
The Patriot
Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone
Catch Me if You Can
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Terminal
Memoirs of a Geisha
Munich
War Horse
Lincoln
The Book Thief
BFG
The Post
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2021 - 3:56 PM   
 By:   judy the hutt   (Member)

And number of John Williams scores you haven't actually listened to more than once, partially until you got bored or disinterested, or if ever?

Penelope
A Guide for the Married Man
Heidi
The Reivers
Fitzwilly
The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing
Midway
Missouri Breaks
Family Plot
1941
Monsignor
The River
The Accidental Tourist
Always
Home Alone
Presumed Innocent
Stanley & Iris
Far and Away
Schindler’s List
Nixon
Home Alone 2
Sabrina
Amistad
Rosewood
Seven Years in Tibet
Saving Private Ryan
Stepmom
Angela’s Ashes
The Patriot
Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone
Catch Me if You Can
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Terminal
Memoirs of a Geisha
Munich
War Horse
Lincoln
The Book Thief
BFG
The Post
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi


none of the abpve

actually the more you listen the more you love it

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2021 - 6:23 PM   
 By:   Adam.   (Member)

As much as I admire the man and adore his music there are a handful of his soundtracks I no longer own because they just weren't enjoyable listens.

The Poseidon Adventure
Images
The Fury
1941
Empire of the Sun
Home Alone 2
Rosewood
War of the Worlds

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2021 - 6:46 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

When listening to John Williams cue "Rats" from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I can hear him totally interweaving Night of the Beast from Poltergeist which is by Mr Goldsmith. If you listen to them back to back enough times you will hear it. Now let me add wholeheartedly that this is not a moment of plagiarism but a clever homage and also usage of said material.

-Rick O.


I don't think they sound anywhere close to being similar. If you're talking about the quiet creepy ambience, Williams already did that for the Peruvian temple in "Raiders". If you're talking about the loud horn parts Williams already did that in "Star Wars", "Empire", his Irwin Allen scores, etc.

KeV mentioned Bartok and Ligeti which is spot-on as an influence for both here.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2021 - 6:53 PM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

As much as I admire the man and adore his music there are a handful of his soundtracks I no longer own because they just weren't enjoyable listens.

The Poseidon Adventure
Images
The Fury
1941
Empire of the Sun
Home Alone 2
Rosewood
War of the Worlds


I understand "Images", "The Fury", "Empire of the Sun", "Rosewood" and "War of the Worlds" - they're all really bleak films that by themselves don't evoke positive memories.

As I think about it now, most of the film scores I return to repeatedly are ones that tell a positive or optimistic story, or at least have an evolution.

For example, Jurassic Park has really dark and scary sections but the music undergoes a journey that descends INTO that and back OUT again.

I can't think of any bleak films that have soundtracks I return to over and over.

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2021 - 12:13 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)



I understand "Images", "The Fury", "Empire of the Sun", "Rosewood" and "War of the Worlds" - they're all really bleak films that by themselves don't evoke positive memories.



Completely disagree, I think those are great movies and all of these scores are actually among my all time favorite John Williams scores, ROSEWOOD and EMPIRE OF THE SUN would sure be in my top ten Williams list.

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2021 - 2:19 AM   
 By:   judy the hutt   (Member)



I understand "Images", "The Fury", "Empire of the Sun", "Rosewood" and "War of the Worlds" - they're all really bleak films that by themselves don't evoke positive memories.



Completely disagree, I think those are great movies and all of these scores are actually among my all time favorite John Williams scores, ROSEWOOD and EMPIRE OF THE SUN would sure be in my top ten Williams list.


I thank you for your comments

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2021 - 8:24 AM   
 By:   connorb93   (Member)

For me, I've found his scores of the last 20 years far less enjoyable because he really hasn't broadened his style at all. Apart from thematic material, you could play any of his scores and I couldn't tell you which film they belong to.

A lot of this has to do with his action writing. It's fast- very fast. I'm amazed a man nearing 90 doesn't have crippling arthritis that prevents him from physically writing so many crazy runs and rhythmic shifts, etc. It can be exciting music no doubt but after a few cues it can really become white noise. The latest Star Wars scores for example feature those signature 16-th note trumpet phrases, but apart from that it just gets to be too much of the same identity. The same goes for the dramatic moments, it's all scored in this blanket of noise, little nuance. It gets stale.

It's amazing how he comes up with so many action motifs, but again it seems to my ears like they're hardly developed. He might introduce a theme in one spot of the film and not reference it again, which loses cohesion. Some scores like AI are full of themes and developed motifs whereas the Star Wars prequels sometimes ignore possible theme usages at crucial moments or avoid bringing back themes that would tie the stories together.

All in all, they're not bad scores in the slightest but they certainly are underwhelming. I almost feel like his constant collaboration with Spielberg has been a hindrance. It's kept his style stagnant.

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2021 - 8:39 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

I see the point you're making - it's fair, though quite subtle, especially since JNH doesn't always use the elements you describe.

No of course JNH doesn't always use the rock instruments with orchestra, but at least he used to do it a lot in the 90s, and I mostly enjoyed that. And he does it more than Williams.......

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2021 - 8:58 AM   
 By:   Jurassic T. Park   (Member)

I see the point you're making - it's fair, though quite subtle, especially since JNH doesn't always use the elements you describe.

No of course JNH doesn't always use the rock instruments with orchestra, but at least he used to do it a lot in the 90s, and I mostly enjoyed that. And he does it more than Williams.......


I like “The Fugitive” which has some of what you’re describing, and I like “Waterworld” but I’m wondering if you like that one too? “Waterworld” is basically a Williams-orchestra score, even down to the use of non-traditional instruments and subtle use of synths to sweeten parts of the orchestra.

I’m wondering too if you’re a fan of Goldsmith? He has a lot of scores that use the orchestra non-traditionally and are filled with synths. And to check against - did you like Shore’s “Lord of the Rings”? Another traditional use of orchestra albeit with quite an expanded inclusion of instruments from around the world.

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2021 - 9:14 AM   
 By:   acathla   (Member)

Lol, this thread is called "Why dont you like William's scores?",
yet still the die hards renames it to "You're wrong and here is why you think you dont like William's scores".

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2021 - 9:28 AM   
 By:   judy the hutt   (Member)

Lol, this thread is called "Why dont you like William's scores?",
yet still the die hards renames it to "You're wrong and here is why you think you dont like William's scores".


no it tells it like it Tis

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2021 - 9:37 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

Lol, this thread is called "Why dont you like William's scores?",
yet still the die hards renames it to "You're wrong and here is why you think you dont like William's scores".


LOL, yes indeed.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2021 - 9:41 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Hey, wait until we bring in the science.
Graphs and Pie Charts and everything.
You won't have a leg to stand on.

wink

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2021 - 9:43 AM   
 By:   judy the hutt   (Member)

what did you expect in such a negative discussion.

 
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