Ho guys, The past two HARRY POTTER films, GOBLET OF FIRE and ORDER OF THE PHOENIX have noticeably lacked something the first three did not. I'm not talking about the slashes and gashes to the story because those two books were nearly 1,000 pages long... sorry I think the technical term is 'cuts'? I'm talking about the music. Of course, John Williams scored the first three POTTER films, but ever since PRISONER OF AZKABAN only his theme has been present in the latest additions to the series (this will include HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, which is being scored by Nicholas Hooper). Now, when you were reading DEATHLY HALLOWS, did a score by Hooper come to your mind as you read the Gringotts Robbery, or the Battle of Hogwarts? Hell. No. Think no farther than that. John Williams told fans that he will be returning for DEATHLY HALLOWS at a lecture in the Berkshire Museum. The report from the lecture notes that Williams is very excited to start working on Indiana Jones. Report is here: http://fsm.rciwebhosting.net/board/posts.cfm?threadID=44398&forumID=1&archive=0 -Bean
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:11 a.m. CST
Can't go wrong with williams.
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:11 a.m. CST
music sets a good portion of the tone and he is a master
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:11 a.m. CST
by Queen Liffey
...had a fabulous score. But maybe it's just me. I have to admit the Azkaban score was wonderful though.
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:13 a.m. CST
I kid. He totally f-ing rocks!
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:17 a.m. CST
but he still does great, great work. I'm glad to see he'll be scoring DEATHLY HALLOWS.
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:24 a.m. CST
It will be sad day when Williams leaves us, just think Jaws Superman Indy Star Wars HP ET And AI...... Oh well, one blip for composer and director
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:26 a.m. CST
Main reason Empire is the greatest movie ever made, it has the greatest soundtrack ever recorded for a film. ..Jaws..Indy..Superman..ET are 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th ...The guys a legend
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:30 a.m. CST
I have to agree. Order of the Phoenix didn't seem weak on score at all. Don't get me wrong, it'll be nice to have Williams on for Harry's big send-off. But, to say that the others have suffered because of his absence is a bit untrue.
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:34 a.m. CST
... after finishing the last book, and I thought to myself, "Man, John Williams’ score is fucking great, I wish he'd come back for the last one". This is brilliant (but scary) news, since it seems that someone has tapped my brain. Also, I hope they get a really great director for the last film - nothing against Yates, he did a decent job with the last one, but the final book becomes epic towards the end, a great director could make a classic finale to the series.
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:46 a.m. CST
I have to say, I LOVED the score for OotP BUT the two films without Williams have felt like they were missing something in that department. I can't wait to see him back on the conductor's stand! On another note, GEEZE! 2008 is gonna be the year of John Williams!
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:49 a.m. CST
by Klaus Herzog
Probably. He is and forever will be the greatest film music composer of all time (With Morricone at number 2). The Main Theme for Superman is the best piece of film music ever.
Aug. 24, 2007, 10 a.m. CST
Gustav Holst, - The Planets, written between 1914 and 1916. The original Star Wars music later borrowed by John Williams. John Williams, the original Puff Daddy.
Aug. 24, 2007, 10:10 a.m. CST
Because the chop-socky manner in which Lucas treated Williams' music in those films was just sacreligious. Beyond the stilted dialogue and pedestrian story, the way Lucas just diced Williams' score completely lost me in those films.
Aug. 24, 2007, 10:21 a.m. CST
...and ROTS?? Williams is THE greatest film composer of all time, and one of the best composers of all time. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.
Aug. 24, 2007, 10:26 a.m. CST
by Abin Sur
It can only improve the movie, sir.
Aug. 24, 2007, 10:29 a.m. CST
I love Gustov Holst. I love The Planets. But people that make the comparison between it and the score for Star Wars are simply regurgitating a silly myth. Yes, there are similarities. Just as there are similarities between Star Wars and The Hidden Fortress. Or Where Eagles Dare. Flash Gordon. Etc... You may as well say the score is The Rite of Spring. Or Night on Bald Mountain. Stating that they are the same thing doesn't show how musically knowledgeable you are. In fact, it does just the opposite.
Aug. 24, 2007, 10:39 a.m. CST
by Mister McClane
I actually think the latest movie featured the best score of the entire series. Sure, the couple of main themes Williams composed are very good, but also not very different from a lot of his other work. Hooper creates at least three new main themes in the new movie that are really strong, the most recognisable being Imelda Staunton's. Listen to the new score in full and I think you'll find it far more varied and imaginative than the choppy, slapdash stuff Williams turns out these days. BTW I am a massive Williams fan, but I don't think he's done that much of note for the last ten years. 'Revenge of the Sith' resembled the original movies in quality.
Aug. 24, 2007, 10:49 a.m. CST
LINCOLN in 2009, eh? Somebody's taking another shot at a Best Original Score Oscar...
Aug. 24, 2007, 10:53 a.m. CST
by Brian 2000
the score to Prisoner of Azkaban was certainly the best and one of Williams's best. I am perfectly happy that the "Something wicked this way comes" theme is a POA-only theme, but I do not understand why Hooper and Doyle have not made use of the "Window to the Past" theme, which is the best theme composed for the series (it evokes the emotion at the heart of the books far more than any other theme). Still, I look forward to Hooper's score for HBP. In OotP Umbridge's theme was perfect, the montage music for the Dumbledore's Army sequence worked incredibly well, and I'd argue that Hooper used Hedwig's Theme more appropriately and powerfully than either Williams or Doyle.
Aug. 24, 2007, 11:13 a.m. CST
He's actually one of the best COMPOSERS of all time, right up there with Beethoven and Amadeus. That's right, I said it.
Aug. 24, 2007, 11:17 a.m. CST
by Aragorn II
Lifetime achievement Oscar. Can I get an amen?
Aug. 24, 2007, 11:19 a.m. CST
by Osmosis Jones
I mean, he'll be about 80 then. Or why not just get Patrick Doyle back? His score to Goblet Of Fire was very fine. Just no more Nicolas Hooper crap.
Aug. 24, 2007, 11:29 a.m. CST
The world's greatest ever director would be the first one to admit too. I really think Williams is in top 20 most important people ever. I really do, anyone agree?
Aug. 24, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST
...that anyone in the industry that is over 60 is going to drop dead on any given day?
Aug. 24, 2007, 11:56 a.m. CST
I doubt Williams knowingly ripped off ol' Gustav, but there is a particular section of Mars, Bringer of War, that sounds just like part of the Star Wars score(or actually the reverse) when the Millenium Falcon is being tractored into the Death Star. It's pretty uncanny. All that said, I love Williams. Sure there's some repetitive tunes, or some soundtracks that aren't as good as the classic years, but it's like that for any artist in the music world. It will be a sad day when he dies, just like it was when Goldsmith left us.
Aug. 24, 2007, 11:56 a.m. CST
Jaws wouldn't be half the movie without John Williams score. Just the underwater opening with those ominous opening notes set the mood perfectly for what was to follow. One of my favories is the overlooked and underrated Witches Of Eastwick score. Hell, I've been a fan of his and never knew it when I was kid watching those Irwin Allen shows like Land Of The Giants, Lost In Space and The Time Tunnel, when he was going by Johnny Williams.
Aug. 24, 2007, 11:59 a.m. CST
I know! Is Williams at deaths door or something we don't know about? Christ people, don't obit the guy already. He's in his mid-70's, got plenty of years (and scores)in him.
Aug. 24, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST
Bring it Spielberg, and then Captain America (2010) pretty please. :)
Aug. 24, 2007, 1:02 p.m. CST
Williams may have created it all, but you can't just dismiss the contributions of the other composers to the series. Phoenix had some great themes. I love this idea of him coming back for the final film, though. He does know how to do epic themes, that's for damn sure.
Aug. 24, 2007, 1:03 p.m. CST
was great in OotP.
Aug. 24, 2007, 1:16 p.m. CST
Because it was actual music, not fragments of sounds to score a film by scenes. It's as if he wrote music first. He scored it like James Newton Howard. I'm talking about the music here, not which is more important, no shit jaws is widely recognized, but would you listen to that in your car like you would a band? It's a literal score piece whereas ROTS was music.
Aug. 24, 2007, 1:16 p.m. CST
I saw Order the day it opened, and just sighed. Afterwards my friends asked me what I thought, and all I could say was...well, I didn't like the score. They thought I was crazy-picky about it. But, it brought the film down for me. I made comments and comparisons to Williams' works... I mean you hear that Indy theme, you know that there's going to be someone punched in the face, or shot at or driven over and your heart starts beating faster...THAT is what score-music should be. My friend David commented that he didn't even hear a lick of music in Phoenix...and I said that was my point...and the rest of them just looked at me like I was crazy. Ah well... at least I know I have you guys to sympathize with me on crap like this. I just wish Williams would do HBP as well as Hallows...maybe there will be a change of mind/heart/scheduling?
Aug. 24, 2007, 1:19 p.m. CST
I clicked on a friend's myspace and he had the Anvil of Crom theme from Conan...and I was stuck by the similarities to the LoTR music by Shore. I hadn't listened to the Conan in a while, and that theme really resonated with me.
Aug. 24, 2007, 1:22 p.m. CST
what are you talking about. sure it wasn't perfectly executed like empire, but phantom menace had duel of the fates, AOTC had across the stars and the ROTS score was beyond excellent, just a little choppy but the music itself was brilliant.
Aug. 24, 2007, 1:26 p.m. CST
by Blue Meanie 1138
I remember when I used to run out and buy each and every soundtrack for a Spielberg movie, because the Williams score was so transcendent. But I can't think of the last one that I would call "memorable". I bought the soundtracks for AI, AMISTAD, and MUNICH, but I wouldn't classify these in the same world as JAWS, CE3K, etc. Hell, even SUGARLAND EXPRESS and HOOK were better. And I had no interest in the scores for WAR, MINORITY, CATCH ME, or TERMINAL. Maybe Spielberg's film choices of late hasn't been that inspired, but I haven't felt that old kick from a Williams score since the first JURASSIC. This may be heresy, but it may be time for them to part. They seem to be in a rut, where they're so familiar with each other, there aren't anymore challenges left.
Aug. 24, 2007, 1:32 p.m. CST
I think the term "uncanny" is a bit strong. Perhaps "vaguely familiar" or "somewhat reminiscient". Yes there is some strong percussion over the background horns. But the tempo, rhythm, melody are all different. The simple fact that "Mars" is in 5/4 time separates it from this and most all similar songs. (The part refered to in Star Wars is a combination of 3/4 over 4/4 if I remember correctly. Perhaps it is this combination of different time that reminds us of "Mars"). There is also a spot in "Neptune" that sounds a bit like some of the Tatooine track. That being said, there is a short spot in The Rite of Spring that sounds even more like a spot in "The Princess Appears".
Aug. 24, 2007, 1:42 p.m. CST
I think I like Bernard Herrmann more, but both are awesome. I just hope he continues to compose for many years to come. For me, the film score is easily one of the most important aspects of the filmmaking process. Even if a film completely sucks, it can at least be improved by a fantastic score.
Aug. 24, 2007, 2:03 p.m. CST
Hope his new Indy score is a stormer.
Aug. 24, 2007, 2:19 p.m. CST
by Bubba Gillman
(and I happen to like it), the score is interesting. None of the fanfares that he's widely known for, but some really evocative tracks. In any event, Williams is peerless. My single favorite individual piece is probably the Well of the Souls them from Raiders. Hope there's something as cool in Indy 4.
Aug. 24, 2007, 2:36 p.m. CST
Is that obviously the advances in digital technology that allowed Lucas to edit and change his film until almost literally hours before it was set to arrive in theaters had a hugely negative impact on the score as a whole. Go back to the "making of" pieces done on the original trilogy and you've got Williams with his orchestra actually marrying the score to the images. In the prequel trilogy, the score got mangled and the tracking of the music to the images was off because Lucas fiddled and fidddled and fiddled with the visuals until the last possible second. The flow is not nearly as smooth as in the original series. "Duel of Fates" was nothing more than a classical "single" that got stuck over a battle montage - not much better than would some cheesy hair-metal ballad have been tacked onto a training montage in some old '80s sports film. The little flourishes in the soundtrack of the original trilogy, signaling scene wipes and transitions are just not present in the modern trilogy, knocking them down in my opinion. Of course, there were numerous other reasons why the prequels didn't measure up, which have been re-hashed endlessly here and elsewhere (Wasn't that originally why the internets were created?), but the kicker for me, was the pro-tooled to death "score" by Williams.
Aug. 24, 2007, 2:47 p.m. CST
The Empire Strikes Back score lost to Fame!?!
Aug. 24, 2007, 3:47 p.m. CST
I hope John Williams blows us away with the new film's score like he did with RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. <p> I always feel that Williams rises to the challenge of a great film. Don't get me wrong I think all of his scores are great, but the better the film the better the score it seems. <p> Having him back on HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS is awesome. Now if they can only get a great director for the big finale. Like a poster above said, The Gringotts Robbery and The Battle of Hogwarts directed by a truly gifted action/adventure director (all the Potters so far have been very workman like in that regard) and scored by Williams? How great would that be?
Aug. 24, 2007, 3:50 p.m. CST
How could I forget?? All film composers, Mr. Williams included, should bow in memory of Bernard Herrmann. His work with Hitch..North By Northwest, Psycho, Marnie, Vertigo, etc. is unmatched. And his scores for Harryhausen fantasies are inspired also. Later in his career he would pick up the odd low budget flick like It's Alive or DePalma's great Sisters. So glad his last was a bona fide classic, Taxi Driver.
Aug. 24, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST
to the motifs of Bernard Herrmann.
Aug. 24, 2007, 4:22 p.m. CST
Say what you will about TPM and AOTC (on second thought, don't-- you bastards have whined enough about those movies) but Williams's score for ROTS was as superb as the film itself.
Aug. 24, 2007, 4:28 p.m. CST
What the Potter scores lacked without Williams is cohesion. 'Order of the Phoenix' had some very good cues but overall sounded like a temp track. Williams is not just the master of the indelible melodic line - he weaves those melodies into a full story of its own. (Listening to the score for 'Empire' - the plot can be understood practically from the music alone.) Williams's use of counterpoint deepens the storytelling. Also, it's not just what we hear of Williams that is so amazing - it's also his knowledge of when not to score a moment. Think of his choices of when not to score: A third of the last battle in 'Star Wars' plays without score - and when it comes in - what a moment! Also, the rollover sequence in 'The Poseidon Adventure' - any lesser composer would have had action music under all of that - Williams knew the scene played best without any score at all. (something the remake blundered) His taste and experience are matchless.
Aug. 24, 2007, 4:51 p.m. CST
Finally something good about a Potter score! Sorry, I was not impressed by the scores of the last two movies. They were adaquate, not great. Even Chamber of Secrets had a decent score. The only theme Williams did that I wasn't happy with was his Voldemort theme which is mainly distasteful to me because I found the attempts at suspense in the first film to be very bland--and that theme was used every time. But hey, this guy did Duel of the Fates, he can make things epic. Yeah, I liked Revenge of the Sith score too, but so much of it was a curtain call of themes he'd already done (though oddly they used the Leia theme and not the Luke and Leia theme), that it wasn't quite as fresh as his PoA seemed, which was a huge step since he'd been using the Hedwig theme so much in the previous films. Not that I'm trying to establish a pecking order, I liked all this music, and don't like "best" and "worst" labels, but I think PoA was a strong acheivement and Williams deserves praise for that. I'm sorry he isn't doing "Half Blood Prince" though. More unnoticable white noise I guess for one more Potter movie.
Aug. 24, 2007, 5:17 p.m. CST
by Flim Springfield
Seriously, it's his music that elevated a ton of "pretty good" movies into greatness. Star Wars without John Williams is a b-movie.
Aug. 24, 2007, 6:50 p.m. CST
The last two Potter scores have been absolute shit. I can't imagine Deathly Hallows without him.
Aug. 24, 2007, 7:02 p.m. CST
I've watched an interview with John Williams on the WAR OF THE WORLDS 2nd disc (UK) and he said if I can remember it was the first time he didn't visit the set of a film to get the feel of it. I think the WAR OF THE WORLDS score is massively underrated. Very underrated film too. On IMDb WAR OF THE WORLDS has a 6.6 and KNOCKED UP has a 8.1 rating as of 24/5....W...T...F.
Aug. 24, 2007, 7:51 p.m. CST
If he's saying he'll be back that means they are actually planning the 7th and final movie, meaning they will know who they want to direct. It NEEDS to be Cuaron. The Cuaron/Williams combination was fantastic. It's still the best movie (Order of the Phoenix contains some great moments like the Dumbledore/Voldemort duel and then Harry being possessed by Voldemort, but overall it does not beat Cuaron's Prisoner of Azkaban, and the other three don't come close). Cuaron simply HAS to return for Deathly Hallows. WB, pay him lots of money to return, let him do what the heck he wants, this guy knows what he's doing.
Aug. 24, 2007, 8:10 p.m. CST
Because Last Crusade was fucking chamber music compared to Raiders and Temple. Don't forget to HIT that leitmotif this time, John.
Aug. 24, 2007, 8:59 p.m. CST
It's nice reading such a great talkback discussion. Great job with the all the commentary. Personally I favored Hooper's lesson in restraint over Doyle's lesson in indulgence but Williams is definitely the true master. I don't use the term "master of their craft" often but with Mr. Williams I use it often. It's nice to know that as long as Williams is scoring films there are classic scores on the horizon.
Aug. 24, 2007, 9:01 p.m. CST
I can imagine the dramatic score as Abe stares Mary Todd in the eye and thinks to himself "Why the hell did I marry this psychopathic bitch?"
Aug. 24, 2007, 10:17 p.m. CST
by Osmosis Jones
I don't *want* to think of Williams dying (fuck, that'd put a severe dent in any interest I have in contemporary film scoring), but the man *is* 75. That's a year older than Jerry Goldsmith was when he passed away three years back. That's FOURTEEN YEARS OLDER than Basil Poledouris and Shirley Walker when they died last November. He still seems in good health, but it's not unreasonable to assume that we might not have him around for much longer. And even if he *does* live to be 100, do you honestly think he'll still be scoring movies for anyone other than Spielberg? My guess is that, if we're lucky, we'll have about five more years of Williams scores to look forward to until he retires.
Aug. 25, 2007, 5:22 a.m. CST
Aug. 25, 2007, 5:25 a.m. CST
My grandpa is 95 and he´s still kicking ass.
Aug. 25, 2007, 7:02 a.m. CST
Had it playing on rotation when I read Deathly Hollows. I'm a fan of what Patrick Doyle did too, but it's good news about Williams. He did fairly standard 'John Williams' scores for the first two fairly standard films, but when Curron added a whole new style to the Potter films, Williams effortlessly addapted, and re-designed his own music to fit the film perfectly. Definately one of his best scores, he is a true master! Very welcome return to Potter!
Aug. 25, 2007, 7:48 a.m. CST
by King Sweyn Forkbeard
And not a mention of John Barry? <P> The only man who can hold a candle to Williams. Fuck Bond, his score for Zulu was his best.
Aug. 25, 2007, 8:41 a.m. CST
by Atticus Finch
The PoA soundtrack is not only one of Williams' best in years, it is one of his best period. "A Window to the Past " and "Buckbeak's Flight" are both phenomenal and catch the spirit of the Potter books better than even "Harry's Wondrous World" I think. PoA is right up there with The Empire Strike Back for me, anyway.
Aug. 25, 2007, 8:58 a.m. CST
what else was brilliant about PoA: the beautiful integration of spanish music. in fact if you spin up that DVD and just let the credits run you will not only get a beautiful recapitulation but the most incredible credits i personally think (as a designer) on any film i've ever seen.
Aug. 25, 2007, 11:49 a.m. CST
The credits on Lemony Snickett... are comparable incredible.
Aug. 25, 2007, 11:51 a.m. CST
i thought lemony snicket was generic so i didn't bother even watching the credits. i bet it was the same company that did 'em...
Aug. 25, 2007, 6:27 p.m. CST
by Mr. Osato
But, I prefer John Barry. The James Bond scores alone prove his greatness, and then theres scores like The Black Hole, King Kong, hell, even Game Of Death. He can write a theme out of his ass and have it be memorable.
Aug. 25, 2007, 8:12 p.m. CST
by Anakin Whoopass
I can't remember any original themes from the last two HP films. The leitmotif style is perfect for fantasy films because it has a balancing, grounding effect. It works as an emotional tour guide through a strange world. A fantasy should also have memorable music as an integral part. Bombastic themes can be a bad distraction in realistic films, but Williams knows that better than his critics, I think, and plays much more in the background of films like Munich and Saving Private Ryan. I'm thrilled he's coming back to HP. PoA was among his best. As for George Lucas, Williams picking up his baton should have been the signal to stop editing.
Aug. 25, 2007, 9:39 p.m. CST
Williams Azkaban score is magical, memorable and inspiring! I can't even recall the score of the last two potter films, other than Williams potter theme. So of course I welcome Williams back. He'll end it with an epic bang and moving finale that will have everyone in the aisles crying and forever moved by the final moments of Harry Potter.