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TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

View Poll Results: Can a film's score make or break the movie?
Yes 31 83.78%
No 1 2.70%
I never pay attention to the score, just the pop songs used 2 5.41%
Other (Explain in post) 3 8.11%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 31 2009, 04:14 AM   #1
Data Holmes
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A Score can make or break a movie...

What do you think. I so think that the score of a film can make or break it. A great score can cover for an ok film, and it can push a great film even further.

What say you?
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Old March 31 2009, 04:19 AM   #2
LightSith
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

I think a great example is The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

I honestly think it would be an A-, B+ film. But the music makes it an A+. A really brilliant score.
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Old March 31 2009, 04:23 AM   #3
Kirkman1987
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

I think a great score can elevate a mediocre movie, say Conan the Barbarian (great score, ok movie) . I don't think a great score can save a bad film though.

A score is important though. Without the John Williams score, star wars wouldn't work half as well.
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Old March 31 2009, 04:26 AM   #4
Neroon
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

On the opposite side... I think that what was used as the score for "Ladyhawke" - something of rock type if I recall correctly. It really reduced my enjoyment of the film, even if it does mean I was stereotyping somewhat.
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Old March 31 2009, 04:52 AM   #5
J. Allen
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

Another example:
The "Heavy Metal" movies.

To me, the original "Heavy Metal" has a fantastic score to highlight the changing dynamics of the movie.
"Heavy Metal 2000" for me was bland "pop/rock" to underscore a poorly made movie.

Another example: "Wall-E"
I believe the movie was an A. The score? An A+, so an all around win for the movie. (I am a HUGE Thomas Newman fan).

J.
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Old March 31 2009, 05:06 AM   #6
The Borgified Corpse
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

Kirkman1987 wrote: View Post
Without the John Williams score, star wars wouldn't work half as well.
Or, in the case of some of the scenes in the prequels, they wouldn't work AT ALL without Williams. The man deserves a fucking Congressional Medal of Honor for the miracle work he put on those films.

What is Superman without John Williams? What makes Star Trek: First Contact feel five times bigger than it actually is?

Alien 3 is another film that only barely squeaks by without a great score.
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Old March 31 2009, 05:13 AM   #7
Mike Farley
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

About 50% of the tension in Halloween (the real one, not the Zombie-fied one) is derived from John Carpenter's brilliant score.
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Old March 31 2009, 05:23 AM   #8
OdoWanKenobi
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

Oh absolutely. Many people never appreciate just what an important role music plays in making a film. Music more than anything else in a film can affect our emotions. Would the scene in Jurassic Park where we first see a dinosaur be anywhere near as wondrous without the music? Would we feel the tension in the air anywhere near as much when the Joker bears down on Rachael? Would we get anywhere near as pumped at a Bond movie without that familiar theme playing in the most exciting moments? No. Anyone who knows anything about film will tell you that music is one of the absolute most important elements when it comes to causing emotion.
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Old March 31 2009, 05:30 AM   #9
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

Look at Chariots of Fire. A very good film. But long shots of people running on the beach are not the most dramatically exciting thing in the world. Put an interesting and inspirational score to it and BINGO! You've got a winner.

Also, another one that comes to mind is Jaws. The shark had his own theme song for God's sake! But it worked, and it turned a scary movie into a nail-biting suspense-filled thriller.
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Old March 31 2009, 05:34 AM   #10
Data Holmes
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

auntiehill wrote: View Post
Also, another one that comes to mind is Jaws. The shark had his own theme song for God's sake! But it worked, and it turned a scary movie into a nail-biting suspense-filled thriller.
And that was born out of the shark being a failure of a special effect and them needing to remove it from vision... so Williams gave the shark a "voice", a sonic marker to evoke the feelings that no visual could have...

Excellent example auntiehill.
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Old March 31 2009, 02:04 PM   #11
MyCylon
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

Yes, I think a score can pretty much make or break a movie. Music in films is very important to me, and I've found that basically all my favorite films feature music that stands out in some way. The same is true for my favorite TV show, nuBSG, by the way.

It's funny sometime because I'll watch a film with friends, be fascinated by some of the music, point this out to my friends afterwards, and basically none of them will have noticed .

I think for me a truly great movie will always have to be a movie with a truly great score. That's simply what pushes a film from A or A- to the very rare A+.

I don't think a great score can save a really, really bad movie. But it can certainly elevate a mediocre one and make it a whole lot more enjoyable and fascinating. An example for me is I-Robot. I adore that score (or many parts of it anyway), and it creates an atmosphere you can really almost slip into. Without the score, the weaknesses of the film would be far, far more evident I think.

What I find fascinating is how some pretty weak movies can yield amazing scores. I think A.I. is a great example of this (as well as quite a few other Williams scores, mind you). It's arguably Williams's finest offering from the time even though I feel the movie is deeply flawed.
And, ironically, my favorite section from that score ("Stored Memories") is from a part of the film I would have cut (the coda with the A.I.s in the future).

I do remember that there were films where I felt the score basically killed the movie but I'm pulling a blank right now. There's certainly films where I regretted that the score wasn't stronger, "Renaissance", for example.
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Old March 31 2009, 02:06 PM   #12
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

I voted 'other' because some films work well without incidental music and others are much more reliant on it. Also not all scores work all the time, so you can have a curate's egg situation.

Justtoyourleft wrote: View Post
I do remember that there were films where I felt the score basically killed the movie but I'm pulling a blank right now.
Okay I know it was a fairly dodgy movie but Mission to Mars had a dire soundtrack which didn't help it.
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Old March 31 2009, 02:53 PM   #13
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

Interesting that No Country for Old Men had barely any music. It won Best Picture. They say the lack of music actually hates the tension. I wouldn't know. I hated the film dearly. It is, simply put, not worthy of my trash can. If anyone else, from Bay to Speilberg, had delivered the exact same film, it would be exposed as a waste of celluloid. But something about the Coen Brothers, the masters behind all stories where all people care about is a stash of money. Gawd I hate this film.
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Old March 31 2009, 08:07 PM   #14
Temis the Vorta
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

Rewatch the Star Wars prequels sometime - there is nothing of interest going on except the nice SFX and the music, which provides all the emotional cues that the characters and the plotline are supposed to have, but utterly failed to do.

That's the best example because you can hold the score in isolation as one of the few elements that's working in the least, so you can really observe the power of an excellent score. Otherwise, you have situations where the score adds a lot, but it's just one competing factor of many: Last of the Mohicans, Dexter, Lost, BSG, occasionally Heroes.

Example of a bad score (in a movie that wasn't all that good anyway): Miracle at St. Anna. I kept noticing the damn score and wishing it would STFU already.
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Old April 1 2009, 12:28 AM   #15
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Re: A Score can make or break a movie...

I love the score for Remo Williams: the Adventure Begins.
http://everwhatever.com/remo_music/remo_williams.html
but overall the score makes this cheesy movie feel alive, it traces the up and down relationship of Chiun and Remo
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