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 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 10:17 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

This is another entry in my "Complete Score Breakdown" series, focusing on the complete scores to films that have had abbreviated previous releases or have gone unreleased.

Today we are looking at Point of No Return (1993) by Hans Zimmer.

Well now here is a score in serious need of expansion! The original CD release of Hans Zimmer's 1993 score to Point of No Return clocked in at 26 minutes and included four cues (plus a selection of Nina Simone songs). Four excellent cues, and among the best in the movie's score, but leaving out a substantial 42 minutes of unreleased score!

The score really is something interesting. It does feature occasional bursts of 90's Zimmer action, but that's really not the focus of the score, in my opinion. Some of the more harsh synth action music is a little too dated and cheesy (as in the cue I named "Escape Attempt") but overall it's solid stuff. It's a very varied score and features the action music alongside standard early 90's Zimmer suspense music; upbeat, rhythmic, pop material for Maggie's training and new life in Venice, CA; hard-rock beats accentuated with gospel-type (Rain Man-esque) female vocals. Then there's the wonderful thematic material, lovely on piano and awesome with orchestral accompaniment, backing vocal, and rhythm. The main theme really is a treasure and is all over the complete score. It gets significant airtime on the short CD release, but it's given room and chance to breathe and develop even further in the complete score.

The highlights of the unreleased material for me include "Bob's Story", a short but gentle piece including the main theme as Gabriel Byrne tells a story of Bridget Fonda as a little girl; "Codename Nina", a tense cue that underscores Fonda's first solo hit at the Marriott; and the lengthy and exciting 8-minute cue "The Cleaner/Infiltration" that scores the introduction of Harvey Keitel's character, his subsequent cleaning, and his and Fonda's infiltration of the final mark's estate.

I think this score (featuring additional music by Nick Glennie-Smith) ranks alongside A Perfect Murder (among the scores I've done for this Complete Score Breakdown series) as the one that I'd like to see expanded the most and that I think would benefit from extra material the most. There is so much missing music from the CD and 90's Zimmer is very popular among certain crowds, so I could see this being a very welcome expansion.

CURRENT CD RELEASE RUNTIME: 26min 15sec
COMPLETE SCORE RUNTIME: 68min 40sec
UNRELEASED SCORE RUNTIME: 42min 45sec

Complete Score Cue Titles and Cue Times (unreleased tracks named by me for the sake of identification):

1. Hate (4:32)
2. Judge, Jury, Executioner (3:43)
3. Bob's Offer (2:05)
4. Escape Attempt (1:35)
5. Training Pt. 1 (2:18)
6. Training Pt. 2 (1:49)
7. Training Pt. 3 (2:30)
8. Happy Birthday, Maggie (5:43)
9. Hell's Kitchen (5:00)
10. Final Kiss (1:27)
11. Maggie's Release (2:05)
12. Codename Nina (5:48)
13. Bob's Story (1:06)
14. Wedding Bells (6:40) -- (film version includes female vocals not included on CD track)
15. Visiting Amanda (0:45)
16. Final Job Preparations (1:20)
17. House Call (3:10)
18. The Cleaner / Infiltration (8:18)
19. Maggie vs. Victor (1:37)
20. Dead and Free (End Titles) (7:05)

Current CD Release track titles and track times (omitting Nina Simone tracks):

1. Hate (7:26) -- (combination of complete score cues "Hate" and "Dead and Free (End Titles)")
2. Happy Birthday, Maggie (5:36)
3. Wedding Bells (8:06) -- (combination of complete score cues "Wedding Bells" and "Training Pt. 2")
4. Hell's Kitchen (5:08)

Thanks for reading, see you next time!

Deputy Riley

smile

 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 11:46 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

Man, I do not agree with any positive comments on this score. It's incredibly dated, and for a film that should not have been made. My brother and I were talking about this movie the other day (he likes it), so I went and listened to the score again (I bought it on tape AND CD, so I have a right to my negativity here!)....woof!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 11:50 AM   
 By:   jfallon   (Member)

Ahhh Shaun so dissapointed you don't care for this entry. Thanks for the breakdown Deputy. For me this score is one of my favorites from Hans. Hate is just so badass. Would love to hear the score in full.

 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 11:56 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

I liked it back when it came out, but it hasn't aged well. I think this cheesy Zimmer sound is just not for me anymore, though I like the similar-sounding (fake instrumentation-wise, at least) End Title cue from Broken Arrow.

 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 12:24 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

I liked it back when it came out, but it hasn't aged well. I think this cheesy Zimmer sound is just not for me anymore

Shaun, I can understand your position, even if I don't agree with it. I think I feel the same way about Days of Thunder as you do about Point of No Return. I liked it back in the day, but aside from a few great tracks it has not aged well and I think a lot of it is cringe-inducing dated-sounding stuff. That's really the only early Zimmer score I can think of at the moment that has so severely suffered from the one-two punch of time and cheesy synths.

I can see how someone would view PoNR this way, although what defines it for me in a positive way is the piano work (especially performing the main theme), the thematic material, the handling of the drama in the music and a lot of the action/suspense. The upbeat pop-type stuff (training sequences, Maggie's arrival in Venice) is just barely likeable to me, really, but it doesn't make up much of the score and sometimes it's very well-done. It's just a hair on the good side of cheesy, if that makes sense.

And while I couldn't stand the female-gospel-vocals used in Rain Man, which I think is the same voice used in Point of No Return as well as Drop Zone (could be mistaken), they are acceptable in the latter two scores and work well, particularly in PoNR giving Maggie the tried-and-true musical female vocal identity.

 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Ahhh Shaun so dissapointed you don't care for this entry. Thanks for the breakdown Deputy. For me this score is one of my favorites from Hans. Hate is just so badass. Would love to hear the score in full.

You got it, bud! "Hate" is totally badass. I included that youtube clip above that clips off the first badass half of the track "Hate" but I wanted a clip that represented the more thematic and upbeat aspects of the score, the more attractive side. But the choppy rhythms and vocals and electronics of the first half of "Hate" are not to be dismissed otherwise!

 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 12:50 PM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

For whatever reason, the music I really can't stand on the album is for the scene where Dermot Mulroney is whining about his feelings behind the door while she's in the bathroom trying to focus on assassinating someone.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 1:51 PM   
 By:   BROMHEAD1   (Member)

...

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 1:51 PM   
 By:   BROMHEAD1   (Member)

Love this score.Would buy a complete release in a blink

 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 2:17 PM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

Great score, and such good memories from watching this in the theater 22 years ago. Yes, I would buy an expansion. I remember ordering the CD, and receiving it. I don't think I even knew if there would be any score material on it, this was before the internet, so it was a relief when the front cover said "Music Composed and Arranged by Hans Zimmer"...

This was a replacement score, written after Gary Chang exited the project.

And I don't agree at all about Days Of Thunder. Still a wonderful score.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 3:31 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Fantastic score and great film too (for a remake). I wasn't aware that there was so much unreleased music in the film. I wonder if some of it will add to the listening experience we already have.

 
 Posted:   Apr 30, 2015 - 3:59 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Fantastic score and great film too (for a remake). I wasn't aware that there was so much unreleased music in the film. I wonder if some of it will add to the listening experience we already have.

I would guess Thor that you would be happy with the existing CD, because personally, if I had to pick the best 25 minutes of the entire score, the CD is pretty much it. It encapsulates all the various tones and moods and methods of the score. However, for someone like myself (and certainly others), 26 minutes is a paltry amount of score when it is that good and when there is so much more remaining to be heard (with plenty of variation).

I agree the film was very good. I've seen it a few times before but never appreciated it as much as I do now. I've seen Besson's Nikita too, which I feel is inferior. The main focus of Point of No Return of course is Maggie's becoming a better woman, finding herself, and finding the freedom to start over and get a second chance (and Fonda handles the role tremendously) but for me the surprisingly touching heart of the film is the unspoken unrequited love story between Gabriel Byrne's character and Maggie. Byrne was awesome, so many subtle looks and simple words conveying so much. Not a huge fan of the Mulroney angle and I wish Miguel Ferrer was in it more, but Gabriel Byrne and Bridget Fonda are this movie for me.

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2015 - 5:22 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

I also remember a friend of mine (hi Lars Christian) playing the HATE track incredibly loud in his car all the time.

I wonder why John Badham didn't hire Zimmer for films like Nick Of Time, Incognito and Brother's Keeper. Would surely have rocked!

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2015 - 5:34 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

I wonder why John Badham didn't hire Zimmer for films like Nick Of Time, Incognito and Brother's Keeper. Would surely have rocked!

Maybe Zimmer turned him down at that point. Who knows...

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2015 - 8:09 AM   
 By:   Randy Watson   (Member)

I also remember a friend of mine (hi Lars Christian) playing the HATE track incredibly loud in his car all the time.

I wonder why John Badham didn't hire Zimmer for films like Nick Of Time, Incognito and Brother's Keeper. Would surely have rocked!


Incognito is probably Ottman's best score, so I'm kinda glad Badham didn't hire Zimmer for that one.

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2015 - 9:01 AM   
 By:   SBD   (Member)

I wonder why John Badham didn't hire Zimmer for films like Nick Of Time, Incognito and Brother's Keeper. Would surely have rocked!

Maybe Zimmer turned him down at that point. Who knows...


Not to derail things, but I still wonder sometimes why Badham didn't hire his old classmates, Arthur B. Rubinstein and David Shire, for DROP ZONE and POINT OF NO RETURN (and thinking about it, Rubinstein would've seemed to be a natural for BIRD ON A WIRE, with its - albeit superficial - resemblance to the STAKEOUT films). Maybe it was a scheduling thing, maybe he - or a music supervisor - felt that the score needed a different take. It's interesting to wonder.

Not really interested in this score, Deputy, but I do enjoy these threads of yours.

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2015 - 9:55 AM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Not really interested in this score, Deputy, but I do enjoy these threads of yours.

Thanks SBD!

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2015 - 12:19 PM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

I wonder why John Badham didn't hire Zimmer for films like Nick Of Time, Incognito and Brother's Keeper. Would surely have rocked!

Maybe Zimmer turned him down at that point. Who knows...


Not to derail things, but I still wonder sometimes why Badham didn't hire his old classmates, Arthur B. Rubinstein and David Shire, for DROP ZONE and POINT OF NO RETURN (and thinking about it, Rubinstein would've seemed to be a natural for BIRD ON A WIRE, with its - albeit superficial - resemblance to the STAKEOUT films). Maybe it was a scheduling thing, maybe he - or a music supervisor - felt that the score needed a different take. It's interesting to wonder.

Not really interested in this score, Deputy, but I do enjoy these threads of yours.


Well, Badham talks a bit about this in his liner notes for Drop Zone. He saw Rain Man and thought immediately that he wanted to work with Zimmer, so it was surely not a scheduling thing.

I feel Zimmer had a freshness at that time in the early 90s that Rubinstein and Shire did not have. I personally found the Nick Of Time score out of place and the weak point of an otherwise splendid film.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2015 - 2:19 PM   
 By:   strkfreak   (Member)

Hi,
I haven't seen this thread until now. Thanks for the info, DeputyRiley, I had a 2 CD set of Point of no Return since long ago, and the first CD coincides more or less with what you indicate, 68 min and 20 tracks, although the duration of some tracks isn't the same that you indicate. So if that first CD is the complete score, I don't know what is in the second, alternate?. One day with patience I'll check.
Again, thanks for your helpful info.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2015 - 2:29 PM   
 By:   kaseykockroach   (Member)

Could I per chance make requests? I don't want to be a pest, I'm just not sure where the proper time and place is for such.

 
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