• Why do film scores suck now?
  • Why do film scores suck now?

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  1. #1
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    Why do film scores suck now?

    Sorry I was a bit blunt with that title. It's just how I feel. Just as a disclaimer I'm not a huge film watcher as I usually watch TV shows but it's something I've noticed for a while now when I do. Or rather, I want to notice the music but none of it stands out. I'm not a fan of Marvel/general comic/superhero films but I ended up watching Guardians of the Galaxy with my dad last night when I visited. I really didn't like it. For the most part that's because of all of the clichés as I could always guess what was about to happen without even trying but it's because of the music too. I love a catchy tune, but the film heavily relied on old songs from the '70s or '80s.

    While that isn't bad in itself I would have enjoyed the film more if it also had a memorable score. It's always the same when it comes to Marvel on the rare occasion I do watch one of their films. Some decades back we had theme tunes that everybody knows today, like Star Wars as a major example. I even remember the background music from the Alien films as they correlated with viewer emotions, so I get really involved in music like that. I even heard they often rip other film music nowadays with a little bit of editing.

    Anybody who knows a bit about me will know I love video game music. I often find it's far catchier than film music and—similar to good film music—in narrative-driven games it works well on an emotional level, but it's rarely taken seriously because... games. You'd think that TV shows won't have amazing scores because they're stretched out over a far greater running time. But even with my favourite TV series, 24, though the whole series lasts over 130 hours I remember a lot of the music as Sean Callery is a fantastic composer and produces memorable music that match scenes perfectly. Now, why can't a film studio with an astronomical budget (particularly when compared to the cost of the same amount of time in TV) produce great music nowadays that we'll remember for years? When you can remember the theme music from Clownhouse but you can't remember anything from recent films you know something's wrong.


  2. Agree Starwind55 agreed with this post
  3. #2
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    I mean, you'll always have lazy ones out there, but my man Cliff Martinez is out there making dope electronic tunes for the movies!
    And of course, my personal favorite of his is Martinez's work on the The Knick.


    But I will admit Mantis, that Clownhouse track is hot fire!
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    This was a good idea Mantis.

  4. #3
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    Film scores have fallen in down a lot in quality since the days of James Horner, Alan Silvestri, Ennio Morricone among others. Granted some of those composers are still working today but either they do smaller movies that don't get seen as much or they just phone it in to the point that fails to live up to the music they've done years ago. Maybe it's because tighter schedules mean that they can't give their best work or maybe they are just going through the motions for a buck. Who knows? I think there is one factor that is, at the very least, partially responsible; Hans Zimmer. Don't get me wrong, I think Hans is an excellent composer who has done some wonderful scores (His work on Gladiator springs to mind) but his style seems to rub off on other composers who try to do a similar style and, as a result, we get similar sounding scores that just sort of blend together.

    As for use of recognizable pop music, personally I thought it made sense in context of Guardians of The Galaxy, but I must admit that movies, perhaps trailers too, rely on popular music a little too much. Now, I think using songs from recognizable artists can work well. Seriously, watch Heavy Metal and tell me that it would've been just as entertaining without the likes of Black Sabbath, Sammy Hagar, Cheap Trick or Blue Oyster Cult gracing it's soundtrack. The problem with using such music, however, is that they either are going to use flavor of the months songs that are just going to date the movie (This is especially true for trailers. Remember in the mid 2000s when trailers used Let the Bodies Hit the Floor, a song that would go on to be one of the most overused songs for AMVs right after Anime I Have Become?) in a few years or it's just thrown it not because it fits the mood of the scene but rather it's just something that people will go "Haha, it's that song!" It's certainly not going to help immersing you into the film's atmosphere.

    We still get flashes of good stuff. Alien: Covenant, while not a great film, had a wonderfully atmospheric score that sounded Silent Hill-ish at times. Still, it seems like getting John Carpenter caliber scores is few and far between these days.


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  6. #4
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    Well, many movies are too predictable these days. I guess they can't add really dramatic and appropriately themed music to that or it would be just like telling you what's going to happen. Yeah, that's an excuse. I know what you're saying, but I've also found the same to be true of some TV series.

    I'm currently watching one on Netflix, and the music is so repetitive and annoying that I have to turn it down for long stretches. It's almost made me quit watching the show, which is actually good aside from the music. I know this isn't the same thing, just saying... the music definitely has an impact.

    I love game music too. One thing World of Warcraft has nearly always done well is the music.

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