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 Posted:   Nov 21, 2019 - 6:06 PM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)


The Specialist basically has one theme (a great one, true), but that's it. Are you seriously telling me The Specialist is as good as Barry's scores for films like The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa or Dances with Wolves?


To me personally, I think The Specialist contains some of Barry's best post-60s work. It's not on the level of The Lion in Winter, but I think it's as good a score as Body Heat, and I honestly rate it much more highly than Out of Africa (which I've always found uninspired and costive).

And I don't think The Specialist is a terrible movie at all. Yeah, it's blokey, tawdry and over-the-top -- but that's what makes it so awesome! big grin

 
 Posted:   Nov 21, 2019 - 6:32 PM   
 By:   'Lenny Bruce' Marshall   (Member)

I prefer Morricone's HOWARD THE DUCK, YOU SUCKED

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 21, 2019 - 7:52 PM   
 By:   Alex Klein   (Member)

Since you've had HTD your tune has switched-lanes too call yourself a top-fan, giggling. JB didn't need too impress any-one its LITTLE Howard that's all vs superior works, If Barry was working Bonds or not he got big-projects pal when he needed em like Day-Lewis. How was JB lazy, stealing whatever, most composers take enough colours they want from earlier materials been hearing that since 1940s, Jerry-G big-fan of doing that, also lots of composers taking classical pieces padding I guess, so I don't understand your silly-duck dilemma.

It's not a dilemma; it's a fact that Barry went the extra mile with Howard the Duck. There are no other Barry scores from the 1980s that have as much variety as Howard, not even The Living Daylights.

Alex

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 21, 2019 - 7:55 PM   
 By:   Alex Klein   (Member)



To me personally, I think The Specialist contains some of Barry's best post-60s work. It's not on the level of The Lion in Winter, but I think it's as good a score as Body Heat, and I honestly rate it much more highly than Out of Africa (which I've always found uninspired and costive).

And I don't think The Specialist is a terrible movie at all. Yeah, it's blokey, tawdry and over-the-top -- but that's what makes it so awesome! big grin


To each his own, of course, but there's no denying that The Specialist doesn't have as much thematic variety as Howard the Duck or Out of Africa.

And yes, I do love 'Did You Call Me'; it's one of Barry's best themes, ever.

As for the movie itself... let me just say that Stallone only did one good movie in his whole life (Rocky) and we're still paying for it.

Alex

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 6:55 AM   
 By:   leagolfer   (Member)

Since you've had HTD your tune has switched-lanes too call yourself a top-fan, giggling. JB didn't need too impress any-one its LITTLE Howard that's all vs superior works, If Barry was working Bonds or not he got big-projects pal when he needed em like Day-Lewis. How was JB lazy, stealing whatever, most composers take enough colours they want from earlier materials been hearing that since 1940s, Jerry-G big-fan of doing that, also lots of composers taking classical pieces padding I guess, so I don't understand your silly-duck dilemma.

It's not a dilemma; it's a fact that Barry went the extra mile with Howard the Duck. There are no other Barry scores from the 1980s that have as much variety as Howard, not even The Living Daylights.

Alex


Sure, your vibes use to be positive then HTD undermined JB's work calling his ethic lazy, pilfering, which in-fact Barry's 80s 90s scores were well on par too HTD, its cult-craze too some like you who get wrapped-up after many years not me.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 22, 2019 - 1:42 PM   
 By:   Alex Klein   (Member)



Sure, your vibes use to be positive then HTD undermined JB's work calling his ethic lazy, pilfering, which in-fact Barry's 80s 90s scores were well on par too HTD, its cult-craze too some like you who get wrapped-up after many years not me.


Curious: I never saw the words "lazy" and "pilfering" in my original post.

But to each his own, I guess.

Alex

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 23, 2019 - 1:08 PM   
 By:   leagolfer   (Member)



Sure, your vibes use to be positive then HTD undermined JB's work calling his ethic lazy, pilfering, which in-fact Barry's 80s 90s scores were well on par too HTD, its cult-craze too some like you who get wrapped-up after many years not me.


Curious: I never saw the words "lazy" and "pilfering" in my original post.

But to each his own, I guess.

Alex


Hey Alex, i'm no good with comprehension poor at writing, editing X again, but one thing i'm ok at is figuring slime writers witty styles, you stated JB was lazy that is in there B&W for sure, your smug writing also witty about JB's ethic not being motivated using previous work for projects as it was pilfering, start listening to other composers you might start realising that.

Rating Howard around Chaplin, Golden Child most others till JB's end, over 2 Bonds not sure yet haven't got Howard in hand, but not equal too DWW, Scarlett Letter, My Life or Indecent Proposal we all need required tastes mine are sad & romantic melodies that are beautiful emotionally what JB thrives or his influenced writing styles for ethnic cultures these are not only inventive materials also very powerful orchestrations. Glad to get this premier but i'm not about to cheapen JB's skill or work.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 24, 2019 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   Alex Klein   (Member)

Hey Alex, i'm no good with comprehension poor at writing, editing X again, but one thing i'm ok at is figuring slime writers witty styles, you stated JB was lazy that is in there B&W for sure, your smug writing also witty about JB's ethic not being motivated using previous work for projects as it was pilfering, start listening to other composers you might start realising that.

Rating Howard around Chaplin, Golden Child most others till JB's end, over 2 Bonds not sure yet haven't got Howard in hand, but not equal too DWW, Scarlett Letter, My Life or Indecent Proposal we all need required tastes mine are sad & romantic melodies that are beautiful emotionally what JB thrives or his influenced writing styles for ethnic cultures these are not only inventive materials also very powerful orchestrations. Glad to get this premier but i'm not about to cheapen JB's skill or work.


I never criticized Barry for repeating himself; I was simply pointing out the fact that Howard The Duck has harmonic progressions Barry later used for other scores.

As someone else pointed out, even Elmer Bernstein noticed the quality of Barry's scores were in direct proportion to how much Barry cared about the films in question. If Bernstein noticed this before I was even born, it is pretty fair to say that my theory makes sense.

Alex

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 24, 2019 - 2:54 PM   
 By:   leagolfer   (Member)

Hey Alex, i'm no good with comprehension poor at writing, editing X again, but one thing i'm ok at is figuring slime writers witty styles, you stated JB was lazy that is in there B&W for sure, your smug writing also witty about JB's ethic not being motivated using previous work for projects as it was pilfering, start listening to other composers you might start realising that.

Rating Howard around Chaplin, Golden Child most others till JB's end, over 2 Bonds not sure yet haven't got Howard in hand, but not equal too DWW, Scarlett Letter, My Life or Indecent Proposal we all need required tastes mine are sad & romantic melodies that are beautiful emotionally what JB thrives or his influenced writing styles for ethnic cultures these are not only inventive materials also very powerful orchestrations. Glad to get this premier but i'm not about to cheapen JB's skill or work.


I never criticized Barry for repeating himself; I was simply pointing out the fact that Howard The Duck has harmonic progressions Barry later used for other scores.

As someone else pointed out, even Elmer Bernstein noticed the quality of Barry's scores were in direct proportion to how much Barry cared about the films in question. If Bernstein noticed this before I was even born, it is pretty fair to say that my theory makes sense.

Alex



I know what smarmy critics do Alex, more gossip off the conveyor-belt guaranteed to be unfactual-news both gone, till I hear any interview of word this quote don't mean diddly, & if i'm corrected maybe EB had sour-grapes not getting his chance for Bonds, i'm not going to let Elmer run-over my tastes or views.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 24, 2019 - 3:55 PM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

Here is Bernstein's exact quote about John Barry from Starlog # 103, Feb 86:

"John's very special and very strange. I always have a feeling that John's scores depend completely on how he feels about a film. When he feels good about it, you can tell in his scores. The Lion in Winter, for instance, is really an impressive piece of work. I have a feeling he was devoted to that picture. In the same way, some of the early Bond scores are spectacular."

 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2019 - 6:44 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

I think it's a good theory that holds up to some extent, but like all theories there are puzzling exceptions:

Just before scoring Diamonds Are Forever, he told interviewer Michael Perilstein that he was bored of scoring Bond films and they didn't interest him any more. Diamonds was easily the worst Bond film made to that date, too, although much worse was yet to come, so I doubt the film changed his mind much.

The Diamonds score, though—fantastic. One of the best.

He famously hated his experience on Born Free and tried to get out of doing the film. The score—fantastic.

He knew he was scoring dross when he scored Raise The Titanic and Night Games. The scores—fantastic.

On the other hand he was said to really like My Life. The score—well, I like it, but if there was ever a generic Barry score, it was this one.

I still think it's a good theory, but I don't think you can hold it up as a fast and reliable rule.

Cheers

 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2019 - 11:42 AM   
 By:   Tom Servo   (Member)

The creative process of a true, unique artist will always be a mystery to everyone on the outside. On the surface, there is so much thematic variety and invention heard in Barry's music for sub-par movies, that it could make one assume he was really emotionally invested but who knows? None of us here on the board approach the level of brilliance and creativity of Barry, Goldsmith, Williams, Newman, et al, so we'll never understand what motivated them for each project. In some cases, the thematic variety could have been a sheer necessity just to maintain a level of personal engagement in the movie.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2019 - 12:59 PM   
 By:   moviescore1   (Member)

So, this title appears to be OOP everywhere. I thought this was an Intrada "while interest remains" release? Is it gone forever, or will it get a repressing?

The dreaded "temporarily out of stock" message. Now it won't be available for years. (Sorry, I'm still bitter about The Rocketeer)

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2019 - 3:19 PM   
 By:   Alex Klein   (Member)

Some good points by Stephen Woolston and Tom Servo.

I might venture to conclude that Barry, in general terms, couldn't seem to find creative interest on a consistent basis in movies he considered bad or uninteresting, unlike Goldsmith, who was always able to get creatively engaged in the worst crap Hollywood ever came up with.

As Stephen says, all theories and rules have exceptions and contradictions - Barry certainly churned out magnificent work for subpar films, of course.

When it came to James Bond, however, I feel Barry was definitely bored of the character after OHMSS, and yet he always felt he was indebted to Cubby Broccoli for catapulting Barry's name to film music fame, a debt the composer translated into scores that always delivered the goods.

Plus, very much like with Howard the Duck, the Bond movies seemed to be a guarantee that Barry's name would remain in the top 10 list of film composers. In this sense, it seems like Barry was conscious that it was not a good idea to refuse big budget films, and that these films demanded all of his creative skills.

A little self promotion never hurt anybody.

Alex

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2019 - 6:34 PM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

I think what inspired Barry wasn't so much whether or not the film was good, but was there something in the film he could latch onto?

A couple of examples: For The Black Hole, which is just a dreadful film, Barry found inspiration not in the juvenile script or poor acting, but in the swirling and deathly nature of the black hole itself. His score, largely based on a death march over a churning backdrop, was one of his best of that era. Conversely, when asked to supply a "Star Wars" type theme, he didn't feel it at all and therefore treated the request as an intellectual exercise--composing a retrograde version of "Star Wars." The result was adequate, though uninspired.

For You Only Live Twice, a ridiculous film that found James Bond pretending to be Japanese by stooping as much as possible and not talking at all, Barry composed one of the best scores of his career. How? Why?

Well, there were elements in the film he could latch onto. There was something about the exotic nature of the orient that kept him from having another wack at a thundering Goldfinger-type song, resulting in a timeless song that is so hauntingly beautiful that it really has no business being in that film.

You also had the space kidnapping, the lush volcanoes and sunsets, the Kobe Dock fight (Freddie Young!), and that very special moment when Bond is getting married and sees the face of his bride. These are all examples of Barry finding something to inspire him in a poor film.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2019 - 7:00 PM   
 By:   Alex Klein   (Member)

I think what inspired Barry wasn't so much whether or not the film was good, but was there something in the film he could latch onto?

A couple of examples: For The Black Hole, which is just a dreadful film, Barry found inspiration not in the juvenile script or poor acting, but in the swirling and deathly nature of the black hole itself. His score, largely based on a death march over a churning backdrop, was one of his best of that era. Conversely, when asked to supply a "Star Wars" type theme, he didn't feel it at all and therefore treated the request as an intellectual exercise--composing a retrograde version of "Star Wars." The result was adequate, though uninspired.

For You Only Live Twice, a ridiculous film that found James Bond pretending to be Japanese by stooping as much as possible and not talking at all, Barry composed one of the best scores of his career. How? Why?

Well, there were elements in the film he could latch onto. There was something about the exotic nature of the orient that kept him from having another wack at a thundering Goldfinger-type song, resulting in a timeless song that is so hauntingly beautiful that it really has no business being in that film.

You also had the space kidnapping, the lush volcanoes and sunsets, the Kobe Dock fight (Freddie Young!), and that very special moment when Bond is getting married and sees the face of his bride. These are all examples of Barry finding something to inspire him in a poor film.


Agreed. We could add the following:

- Mercury Rising: Barry exploited the relationship between the kid and Bruce Willis with a lyrical theme, whereas the action scenes received almost no attention.

- The Incredibles: Even though Barry never wrote a complete score for this film, we know that Barry's demos focused more on the main characters going through the aging process than all the adventure and Bondisms.

- Moonraker: Outer space provided Barry with a chance to explore the film's romance and mystery, coupled with the surreal scene at the jungle.

Alex

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2019 - 7:08 PM   
 By:   Alex Klein   (Member)

As a side note, let me remind everybody that Barry never enjoyed talking about the bad films he scored. Every time someone asked him about things like Howard the Duck, the composer could never hide his embarrassment.

More food for thought... wink

Alex

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2019 - 7:50 PM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

I too feel that some of the films which seemed to be personally meaningful to Barry -- like Frances, Out of Africa, Chaplin, Cry The Beloved Country -- didn't inspire scores that particularly impressed me. I find The Scarlet Letter (which was hastily written in two weeks) much more engrossing and emotionally resonant than any of those scores.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 25, 2019 - 10:16 PM   
 By:   Alex Klein   (Member)

I too feel that some of the films which seemed to be personally meaningful to Barry -- like Frances, Out of Africa, Chaplin, Cry The Beloved Country -- didn't inspire scores that particularly impressed me. I find The Scarlet Letter (which was hastily written in two weeks) much more engrossing and emotionally resonant than any of those scores.

Wow, really?

The Scarlet Letter ranks very low in my list of Barry's 90's scores.

And, for me, all the other ones you mention are way better than Scarlet.

I guess we could say that Elmer Bernstein and I disagree with you big grin.

Alex

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 26, 2019 - 7:29 AM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)


I guess we could say that Elmer Bernstein and I disagree with you big grin.


Elmer probably does in regard to The Scarlet Letter! big grin

 
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