Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Top Composers speak out

In a widely popular interview (drew 4700 listeners in its first 24 hours out) the always-polished James Horner rips--in turns Gabriel Yared--and his critically acclaimed Troy score--director Wolfgang Petersen, and others. Horner's comments went well beyond a general negative remark or two; his criticisms are heavy and scathing, especially to Gabriel, whose music he said sounded like "it was so corny" it came from a "1950s Hercules movie." Anyway, those words and many more (including an abundance of complete musical tracks) are available on the entire interview, which you can listen to at film score radio, via this link. Personally, I found Yared's music to be some of the best work I've heard for an epic film, and certainly better than Horner's replacement score (though James had precious little time to put it together). For whatever reason, James' schedule for 2007 is empty thus far. Though his work for New World was well-received, I wonder if Horner is mired in the biggest dry spell of his career. I must confess that--in recent years--my favorite soundtrack from him was The Legend of Zorro.

On a less controversial note, my favorite film composer (a hard desicion to make!) Hans Zimmer did an interesting interview with soundtrack.net; of which the first part is already on the site. I think that for all the disrespect Zimmer has endured over the years from people who just can't stand his music, Hans is a pretty nice guy . . . and he's once again got his work cut out for him.

The Holiday is the last film of 2006 with his name stamped on the credits, but its back to business again in 2007 when Zimmer has three more movies on his plate: Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (of course), August Rush, and The Simpsons Movie. It's anybody's guess how much original Zimmer stuff will get on any of those projects, but I think that The Holiday will contain the most. IMDB.com (which should be treated as more a speculative source) states that Hans is only composing the theme for August Rush, which would be a shame as the story should require some pretty cool music. As for the Simpsons Movie, I can't--for the life of me--understand why Elfman isn't heading up that project! Goodness knows that Zimmer's music will only have a few blessed minutes of screentime; it's all but certain that Remote Control Productions will helm the brunt of the scoring duties. Hans himself admits that he's "probably ruined the credit of what 'additional music' is supposed to mean . . . I've done it very much."

Anyways, that's the scoop on those guys.

. . . And in other news, Brian Tyler is scoring Alien Versus Predator 2. Why in the world are they created a sequel to that awful film? I have no idea! Unfortunately, Tyler's music is often no better than the film it underscores, with his best music showcased in Timeline and Frailty, in my opinion. The Greatest Game Ever Played definitely outperformed the movie, but then, that isn't hard to do in a golf flick. Even James Horner's cliched, trite piece of work for Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, outdid the movie. Tyler's got 3 other projects in '07, too, besides AVP2; and I expect there'll be a highlight among them; Brian's definitely got the ability to write some astonishing stuff!

Also, Mark McKenzie's soundtrack to the movie The Ultimate Gift (a 2007 film starring James Garner) is a pretty decent offering, and will be available for sale around the movie's theatrical release date. For now, you can catch a few sound clips over at the composer's site. Check out the "Redemption" cut; it's the best one there. I wish there was a clip for the Main Titles; that's the best musical section in the soundtrack!

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