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 Posted:   Mar 18, 2020 - 7:28 PM   
 By:   steffromuk   (Member)

I know this type of subject tends to divide since the perception of scoring movies and supporting a story and all its emotions and narrative intentions is a very subjective thing. But I recently rewatched Roland Joffé's "THE KILLING FIELDS".
I remember seeing it as a kid and being shaken by it. It left a strong impression on me.

I was shocked at how a terrible match Mike Oldfield's music is to the picture. It sounds so out of touch with what's happening on screen most of the time. It's extremely distracting and goes from being either over pompous, cheap and uninspired or too experimental. It constantly pulls you out of the film.
The only part of the score I like was the end credits. The rest was a torture for the ears.

I can't think of other movies that have such problem, or at least to that degree of almost ruining the impact of the story.
Another movie I could think of (I gonna get some heat for this one I'm sure) is De Palma's "THE UNTOUCHABLES".
I love the score, but some of the tracks really don't work on the scenes they've been used for.

Can you think of other movies that suffer from misuse of music more than bad music?

 
 Posted:   Mar 18, 2020 - 8:24 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Dragonslayer razz

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 18, 2020 - 9:58 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

THE SOCIAL NETWORK


I remember enjoying the acting in the movie, but hating the music every time it started up. It just sounded like a kid went out and bought a keyboard synthesizer and just plucked out the simplest, boring, uninspired 6 note excuse for a Main Theme that had no development and then just played the demo beats and such that came on the unit for the rest of the score.

And it won Best Score at the Oscars and Golden Globes to boot!

If Williams or any other composer of merit was nominated that year and lost to it, that would have really sucked.

It was up against Hans Zimmer for INCEPTION, Desplat for THE KING'S SPEECH, 127 Hours by the Slumdog Composer and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON which out of all of them was probably the best music, by John Powell I believe.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 18, 2020 - 10:29 PM   
 By:   Don Norman   (Member)

"Mission to Mars" by Ennio Morricone. It just didn't seem to fit the movie, IMO. I wonder if it was what the director wanted, though.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 18, 2020 - 10:35 PM   
 By:   Don Norman   (Member)

... It was up against Hans Zimmer for INCEPTION, Desplat for THE KING'S SPEECH, 127 Hours by the Slumdog Composer and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON which out of all of them was probably the best music, by John Powell I believe.

HTTYD was, by far, the best. One of the best scores in its decade, IMO.

 
 Posted:   Mar 18, 2020 - 10:48 PM   
 By:   Adventures of Jarre Jarre   (Member)

Scarface. Sometimes it sounds like Moroder sat on a Moog while watching Falcon Crest, and other times it sounds like a baby being tortured, slowed down so we wouldn't notice... BUT I NOTICED.

 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 12:24 AM   
 By:   Gold Digger   (Member)

Holcroft Covenant - Stanislas. Watched this again a while back. It has a nasty synth score that made me feel unwell watching it. No idea who Stanislas was.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 3:08 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

How bizarre. I find ALL of the suggestions in this thread perfectly fitted for their movies. Sometimes, the music is SUPPOSED to be a character all in itself with more attention drawn to itself than usual; I actually love it when that happens! And sometimes it's supposed to go AGAINST the visual content, as contrast or commentary.

Whether the particular musical style is not to your liking, is another issue altogether. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the score's suitability in a film. If you're evaluating a score's suitability in a film, you'll need to take a far more objective stand.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 6:12 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I agree with the OP about THE UNTOUCHABLES. Morricone's music seems too triumphant at the wrong times, but I guess that's the way DePalma tracked it. I don't think it works at all.

I'll think of more examples when I find my brain.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 6:17 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I've thought of one - THE THIRD MAN. It's a GREAT film, but the Anton Karas zither score is seriously damaging. It's not so much the theme - which is annoying in itself - it's the way it's just sped up for action scenes or slightly adapted for other scenes. I'm not saying that it needed a Rózsa-style noir score, or even a typically "anonymous" 1940s score. No music at all would have been better than the zither crap, or at least just have it as source music and for the titles.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 6:20 AM   
 By:   moolik   (Member)

Most annoying ones for me THE MACINNTOSH MAN by Jarre ,THE ODESSA FILE by Lloyd Webber SHADOW OF A DOUBT Tiomkin.
And probably therefor unfitting.
And my razzie for the worst and most unfitting score ever THE HUMANOID by Morricone.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 6:36 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Mentioning THE HUMANOID in a "Great Films" thread doesn't compute, moolik. I'm glad that Morricone took the approach he did. He knew that nothing would save that turkey. He knew he was getting paid and he played one of his little jokes on everyone.

The other films in your list, with the exception of SHADOW OF A DOUBT aren't really great either. I'm not a huge Tiomkin fan, but I don't remember his score "unfitting" the movie. Yeah, THE MACKINTOSH MAN is pretty bad as a score, but again I don't know if a cracking great score would have made the film much better.

 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 7:12 AM   
 By:   SpaceMind   (Member)

"Mission to Mars" by Ennio Morricone. It just didn't seem to fit the movie, IMO. I wonder if it was what the director wanted, though.

Definitely agree.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 7:15 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

If this thread was a competition, Ennio Morricone would definitely be the Winner.

 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 7:21 AM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

"Mission to Mars" by Ennio Morricone. It just didn't seem to fit the movie, IMO. I wonder if it was what the director wanted, though.

Ditto for me. I still remember to this day how upon leaving the theater several other audience members were both laughing and commenting on how they thought how unintentionally funny the score was to them. Unfortunately I had to agree. It stuck out like a sore thumb.

 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 7:32 AM   
 By:   gandalf   (Member)

Holcroft Covenant - Stanislas. Watched this again a while back. It has a nasty synth score that made me feel unwell watching it. No idea who Stanislas was.

It’s Polish composer Stanislaw Syrewicz.
Yep. The music sounds cheap and synth, but not bad. At least apart from the movie.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kmYEOQvE7eg

 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 7:37 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

The Untouchables (1987)
Mission to Mars (2000)
L'Umanoide (1979)
and generally: If this thread was a competition, Ennio Morricone would definitely be the Winner.

I'm awaiting TG's comment in reply ... smile

Coincidentally, I played Mission ... yesterday ... first time in over three years. I admit to finding it, as a stand-alone listen, somewhat grating in places but acknowledge that my tastes have changed. Too many years of buying/listening to the Maestro's works ...

I've seen all three of the mentioned films and, suppose, I'm used to his style, so nothing really bothers me (albeit some of his scores are less interesting than others). I've been critical of several scores in recent weeks re: films I've reviewed but whether the films, so reviewed, are Great is open to question.

As I've said many times, Skyfall (2012) was a huge disappointment to me (especially so as I'm a fan of the JB007 franchise) and Thomas Newman contributed wholeheartedly to said disappointment. Would the film have been more enjoyable with a decent score ... I can't see how a JB007 score (rather than the generic soundscape we got) could not have helped. But I doubt it could have been transformed into a Great movie.
Mitch

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 7:37 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

Just the other day I watched the well-known film noir I WAKE UP SCREAMING. The film is pretty good but the score is very annoying. Cobbled together by Cyril Mockridge, it essentially consists of two themes: Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" and Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow." The latter piece is very puzzling because it not only doesn't fit the film, but also because this was a Fox film using a song from the MGM music library. Someone at Fox must have really, really wanted this song in the film. If there's any symbolic reason for featuring this music, it escapes me. Perhaps there's a Golden Age expert here who knows the backstory.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 7:45 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I've thought of one - THE THIRD MAN. It's a GREAT film, but the Anton Karas zither score is seriously damaging.

I agree, Graham. I watched this movie last year and have read somewhere why the director used this music. Maybe here? Anyway, it was redundant and irritating. It was a good movie, but the music often pulled me away from the visuals. (Haven't been able to find anything in the search engine for several days, so I don't know where it was that I discussed this movie.)

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 19, 2020 - 8:00 AM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

As far as The Killing Fields, I think the score has its moments. The title music sets-up an effective atmosphere of tension, and the orchestral passages -- particularly when Pran reaches the hospital at the end -- are very effective. David Bedford also contributed one cue.

On the other hand, the evacuation scene, with its ludicrous "ding-dong-ding-dong-ding-dong-ding-dong" cue when the helicopter appears absolutely destroys the moment. I remember Gene Siskel actually singling-out this cue as an example of effective scoring, even going so far as to suggest other composers would probably have overdone the sequence (though I suspect Siskel was unknowingly just reacting to the low dub of the music).

 
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