Movie News

ScoreKeeper 's Top 10 Best Scores Of 2008 List!!

Published at: Jan. 5, 2009, 1:06 p.m. CST by merrick

Greetings! ScoreKeeper here brandishing my list of ten high-powered film scores deemed by yours truly to be the best of 2008. I’m fond of these end-of-the-year lists as it catalyzes hearty and heady discussions of film music, cinema, and everything else in between. Looking back, I believe 2008 was an above-average year for film music. Individual masterpieces were down but the overall quality of great film music created a rather swollen bell-curve. As is typical with these sorts of things, I know there are scores that I have yet to discover that could and should be among my top ten. Regardless, from the orgy of film music I relished in 2008, these ten stand out most prominently to me. Enough of the gab. I’ve got to get a head start on 2009! T-minus ten and counting…

10. JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER (2008) by Ryan Shore – Every year I catch myself midstream while strains of Elfman-esque cynicism toward film music and pessimistic tirades race through my unconscious brain. Am I really turning into a world-weary old curmudgeon who can’t hear the music through the scores? Am I turning into that guy? Then a score like JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER (2008) comes along and I think, “There! Was that so damn hard!?” Ryan Shore’s rousing portrayal of classic monster movie music is the perfect prescription for any film music aficionado mired in the swamps of banality. With each meticulously scored measure, Shore proves that film scoring remains a craft built upon the fundamentals of music composition. Whether it’s through the color (and clarity) of his orchestrations, the complexity of the harmonic language, or the searing lusciousness of his melodic phrases, the music contains a profound richness spurred by conventional and aleatoric orchestral textures. The film itself is a modestly-budgeted nod toward classic monster flicks of yore which delicately balances camp with nostalgia. In the spirit of great monster movie music composers like Herman Stein, Irving Gertz, Henry Mancini, Bronislau Kaper, Akira Ifukube, and Hans J. Salter, Ryan Shore retains the essence of their musical language while injecting enough of his own voice to allow a unique originality to persevere. The score was performed by The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra and was released on CD (1000 edition) by MovieScore Media (MMS-08018) which is also available on iTunes. [find it HERE]
09. BURN AFTER READING (2008) by Carter Burwell – There are many formulas found within the process of filmmaking. A slice of them are noble and justified while most slices are pathetic and fatigued. The recipe of adding one part Burwell to two parts Coen, however, will loyally produce cinematic perfection nearly every time. The dazzling genius that bombards you from a multitude of facets in BURN AFTER READING is almost a liability. I found myself so enamored with the film that its brilliance teetered dangerously close to the precipice of distraction. Leading the charge toward this distinctive excellence is the score composed by Carter Burwell. If one were to listen to the music away from its visual narrative I doubt an unbiased ear would realize that its true intention is comedy. Through a complex tapestry of drums and percussion, the music conveys tension and indirectly underscores action far more than is ever apparent in the narrative itself. There’s a juxtaposition of buffoonery and perilousness which is a quintessential Coen Brothers comedy characteristic. While the writing, direction, and performances all conjure the buffoonery, Burwell is left alone to inflict a seemingly unwarranted sense of danger. The score which plays against its narrative is another endangered beast that needs nourishment. If it’s not the scores themselves perhaps modern filmmaking hasn’t warranted such approach. Either way, in the case of BURN AFTER READING, it’s a combination of pure delight further establishing the impressive careers of one of the best collaborative relationships in show business. The score was released on CD by Lakeshore Records (LKS 340372) and is also available on iTunes. [find it HERE]
08. THE SUBSTITUTE (2007) by Marco Beltrami – I first discovered this splendid film at Fantastic Fest 2008 in Austin, Texas, almost by accident. It was on my slate of desired films for the day; however, by the time I rolled around to fetch my ticket the film had sold out. Feeling dejected yet determined, I decided to hang outside the theater doors in hopes of snagging an unfilled seat at the last minute. My persistence paid off as I managed a seat smack in the center of the front row. What followed was one of the more purely enjoyable cinematic experiences I had had all year. Hailing from Denmark, THE SUBSTITUTE pits an other-worldly invader disguised as a substitute teacher against a class of rag-tag students hell-bent on revealing her true identity to their respective adult authority figures. Admittedly the plot sounds a bit trite and hokey but this audience favorite delivered a nostalgic punch of entertainment accentuated by a well-crafted score sporting the charm of a classic drive-in science fiction B-movie. I had not noticed during the screening who was credited with scoring the film so when I got home I immediately looked it up on IMDB. I have to admit I was shocked to learn that THE SUBSTITUTE was scored by Marco Beltrami! First of all, it’s a small independent film from Denmark and secondly, it didn’t at all resemble a Beltrami score even though he’s established a fairly diverse sound throughout his career with a host of scores including MIMIC (1997), HELLBOY (2004), THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA (2005), and 3:10 TO YUMA (2007). As far as I know, the score has not been released nor is it slated for release which I hope is remedied soon. I haven’t had the chance to revisit the music since my theatrical experience that lone evening. Considering the deluge of scores that are made available these days I would hope that the score for THE SUBSTITUTE gets its opportunity. It’s by far my favorite Beltrami score to date.
07. CLOVERFIELD (2008) by Michael Giacchino – What? You don’t remember the music from CLOVERFIELD? That may be due to the fact that the entire film was practically devoid of music. What few strains existed appeared during the oft ignored end credit scroll. If you walked out of the theater at the start of the closing credits than you missed one of the truly great film music masterpieces written in 2008. Sporting the endearing title “Roar!”, this single twelve-minute compositional salute to GODZILLA composer Akira Ifukube outshined thousands of hours of combined musical output from the majority of composers working in film in 2008. The piece starts off extremely quiet as “footsteps” of the approaching beast are sounded by bass drums and low piano strings off in the distance. A field drum enters foreshadowing the entrance of strings and woodwinds into a full blown march reminiscent of Ifukube’s immortal theme from GODZILLA (1954). The addition of a soaring female vocalise compliments the rampage and adds another Toho touch to the fabric of the work. Composer Michael Giacchino then carefully crafts the expositional material through the rigors of compositional development allowing the material to endure through its required mammoth length. The piece holds together so well it could easily transcend its visual counterpart to be enjoyed by eager audiences in concert halls around the world. “Roar!” from CLOVERFIELD was not released on CD but is available for download on iTunes.
06. THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008) by Alexandre Desplat – This year’s odds-on Oscar™ pick for Best Original Score is probably the score that puts Alexandre Desplat into a higher realm of consciousness for me. Although I’ve admired practically every score he’s done, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON exhibits a deeper and more profound understanding of narrative structure than I’ve encountered in his other works. There’s a classic presentation to the music that conjures intoxicating melodies to evoke the various emotional requirements of the story. Desplat also chooses his orchestral colors carefully by assembling small trios and quartets of instruments to represent certain themes or characters in the film. He also utilizes melodies and harmonic progressions that provide contrast in retrograde. The fact that I wept like a baby during the final twenty minutes of the film is the ultimate testament to the effectiveness of the score. That would not happen had I been relegated to mere observation of the moving image. There had to be something potent enough to connect me with those images at the level that I did. That something was the music of Alexandre Desplat. The score was released on CD by Concord Records (CRE-31231-02) and is also available on iTunes. [find it HERE]
05. THE VISITOR (2007) by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek – Throughout the year as I traverse the field of new film scores in search of gems I harbor an instinctual longing to encounter music with unparalleled breadth of emotion realized through the humble expression of a small ensemble. This year that score is THE VISITOR. I have mentioned before how much I adore chamber scores in film. It’s an endangered sound in cinema and one that allows a unique expression unrivaled by other, perhaps more conventional, means. There’s nothing more difficult to perform than a single note played softly billowing with expression. As music in film continues to grow fatter, louder, and brasher, the alluringly seductive sound of a single piano or string quartet accompanied by the mournful soliloquy of a solo cello is pure quintessence. In THE VISITOR, composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek weaves simple tunes into a tapestry of piano and strings evoking an astonishingly harsh sense of loneliness. With an uplifting twitch of a single melodic phrase, Kaczmarek remedies these feelings of abandonment until its inevitable fall vanquishes it away. That kind of power executed with a menial flick is a trait which separates the truly gifted composers from imposters. While THE VISITOR doesn’t quite usurp Kaczmarek’s magnum opus, FINDING NEVERLAND (2004), it’s certainly a gem to be cherished. The simple purity of this score is not to be missed. The score was released on CD by Varèse Sarabande (302 066 890 2) and is also available on iTunes. [find it HERE]
04. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008) by Johan Söderqvist – This film is the unambiguous darling of 2008. Touted as a masterpiece in the horror genre it stretches the very definition of what constitutes a horror film. Is this a horror film? Is it a story of unrequited love? There are certainly elements of both but I contend that no matter what extraneous elements are woven into its narrative, it is still ultimately a story about predation. A twelve-year old girl who is revealed to be a vampire frozen in time befriends a young neighbor boy. As the story ensues we feel a bond forming between them. Like all good stories with rich character development, we are confronted by questions of motivation. Is love her motivation or is it something far more sinister? In order to fully understand the music, one must begin to have at least an introductory comprehension of the story. For it's the music that permeates the cracks and cements this entire complex together. With questions about motivation abounding, composer Johan Söderqvist, scrupulously weaves together strains of bone-chillingly cold horror with the encompassing warmth of newly acquired love. While the two work harmoniously in concert, it’s fundamentally a struggle between the pair of conflicting compulsions until one ultimately succumbs to the other. Söderqvist does a masterful job balancing the opposing forces of the score which breathes a refreshing passion into the frosty narrative. Without the effectiveness of the score, the mountainous piles of layers within the narrative could not properly be digested. It’s far too robust to absorb on a purely intellectual level. One must also be granted an unabated emotional connection to the deep cavernous layers. No other filmmaking ingredient will grant the audience such access as music and I can’t imagine music granting such access more effectively than Söderqvist has achieved. The score was performed by The Slovak National Symphony Orchestra and was released on CD (500 edition) by MovieScore Media (MMS-08022) which is also available on iTunes. [find it HERE]
03. WALL-E (2008) by Thomas Newman – It’s almost unfair that other composers have to write film scores while this modern master of his craft continues to work. WALL-E is a priceless cinematic gem that critics and audiences alike will continue to marvel over and ponder for years to come. What starts off as essentially a “silent” film, Newman had the unenviable task of breathing souls into a pair of metallic boxes with personalities. Wall-E himself is expressed with a delightful staccato theme first performed on the English Horn while the diminutive robot clatters about his daily tasks. To contrast Wall-E’s clunkiness, Newman composed a lusciously streamlined orchestral theme for Eve. Both of these two themes represent the two styles in which Thomas Newman is both known for: his rhythmic percussive music and his lavishly warm orchestral music. Pixar is both very wise and lucky to have established a collaboration with Thomas Newman. His film music is timeless, ageless, and of the highest quality being produced anywhere in the world. …just like Pixar. The score was released on CD by Walt Disney Records (0000174302) and is also available on iTunes. [find it HERE]
02. APPALOOSA (2008) by Jeff Beal – There was a fairly hefty period not too long ago when filmmakers relegated the western to the scrapheap. No longer viewed as a viable profit source and with wells of creativity drying up, producers seemingly abandoned this much beloved American original. Without much ballyhoo, the western finally appears to be making a resurgence. With a litany of fresh scripts, gritty visionaries are resurrecting the past in order to reinvent the future. The western has always been a veritable goldmine for interesting film music. Whether it was Ennio Morricone and his ground-breaking scores for Sergio Leone or composers from the Golden Age of film music like Max Steiner, Dimitri Tiomkin, and Alfred Newman, or even more recent additions to the western musical lexicon like Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, or John Williams, the western has always been an inspirational source for composers to craft compelling music. I love it when a score appears unexpectedly out of nowhere and captures my attention. This was true for APPALOOSA, composed by Jeff Beal. Although I adore Beal’s scores for television productions like ROME (2005-2007), NIGHTMARES AND DREAMSCAPES (2006), CARNIVALE (2003-2005), and his score for the motion picture POLLOCK (2000), I can’t say I was honestly expecting to hear what would eventually become my second favorite film score of 2008. Beal does such a marvelous job evoking classic western scores of the past while maintaining one of the most affluent characteristics of these scores: originality. When one looks back on Morricone’s score for THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY (1966), you can’t help be awestruck by Morricone’s brazen bravery in composing music so spectacularly new to the big screen. It’s the originality of the music that I believe is the most important characteristic in crafting an evocative western film score. It seems it is getting more difficult to find composers (and of course directors and producers) who are willing to take the creative chances others would have in the past. With APPALOOSA, I don’t feel like there was much trepidation in being so daring. While APPALOOSA doesn’t sound like any score I’ve ever heard, it certainly shares a kinship with its western score brethren. The scope of the music remains relatively restrained. Our ears are not perpetually pounded by an onslaught of noise from a hundred piece orchestra. Each layered ingredient of the music is crystal clear and expressed humbly without sacrificing power. Beal’s main theme is a statuary testament to classic western themes which captured the spirit of adventure in the old west. It is developed through a variety of guises from the energetic and spirited to the sullen and downtrodden. My favorite piece of the entire score, “Riding Off, APPALOOSA End Credits” features this theme passed around the ensemble with interjecting solo riffs from a variety of instruments like solo violin, piano, harmonica, trombone, and tuba much like a jazzy Glenn Miller jam session. Truly a master stroke of creativity. The score was released on CD by Lakeshore Records (LKS 340432) and is also available on iTunes. [find it HERE]
01. SPEED RACER (2008) by Michael Giacchino – I speak and write so often about my unmitigated passion for film scores that when I encounter film music as inspiring and remarkable as SPEED RACER I find myself painted into the proverbial corner with no vocabulary left to properly express my true feelings. Mere words seem passé when confronting the very core of what feeds your passion. I wrote a full review of the score for SPEED RACER earlier in the year. [find it HERE] I revisited it hoping to mine some of the language in order to help more accurately encapsulate my current feelings but to no avail. There just isn’t any language left. This is simply my favorite film score of 2008. It was an extremely easy decision. As much as I loved other scores this year, none will compare. Every time I listen to the final climax of the film, as the Bruckner-ian low brass heralds the ascending “Here he comes…” motive, and the soaring voices of the choir celebrates Speed’s ultimate victory, I know I’ll be in a ceremonious state of unadulterated ecstasy. It’s a state only the very best film music is capable of taking me. Don’t ever let anybody tell you there is no such thing as magic. Michael Giacchino’s score for SPEED RACER is just that…magic! The score was released on CD by Varèse Sarabande (302 066 898 2) and is also available on iTunes. [find it HERE]

ScoreKeeper!!!



Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    No Dark Knight?

    by DisneyFanatic

    Hmmm...

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Wow

    by skimn

    A grade Z title has a years best score? Who'd thunk it?

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Really?

    by Bruce Thomas Wayne

    No Dark Knight? Really?

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Thank you.

    by Zarles

    Speed Racer's score is fantastic. Giacchino's re-working of the theme song is the best part about it. It's got the jump-jack sound ("Chok chok chok!") worked right into the music, for chrissakes. Anyone who hates on this score solely because they didn't get the movie is a dumbass.<p><p>"Roar!" was a great choice, too, but I would've liked to see the 'Slumdog Millionaire' OST appear in here somewhere, as well. Great, great stuff from start to finish.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:25 p.m. CST

    what?- no witless protection?

    by zom-bot.com

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:27 p.m. CST

    i did like the speed racer score

    by zom-bot.com

    thanks for reminding me- i'll have to pick it up. there were just enough nods to the theme song to make you want more but not outright cover it or be obnoxious...

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Best Soundtrack ever?

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Star Wars or Superman? <p> Eh?

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Amen to Appaloosa!

    by IAmMrMonkey!

    Great movie (if you didn't see it, why the hell not?) and a great score too.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Great article

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Thanks ScoreKeeeper, haven't seen some of the films on your list but very much looking forward to seeing and hearing them now.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST

    None of you mo's liked Hamlet 2?

    by EvilWizardGlick

    Movie "score" topics are ALWAYS mo' centric. But even some damn Mo had to like Rock me sexy Jesus, or Raped in the face. Or the gay anthem. Plus there were at least two songs by a Gay man's choir. One even being an Elton John classic. Which makes it a double mo hit.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Looks like

    by kwisatzhaderach

    The Dark Knight crazies are going to hijack this thread too...

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Man I miss Goldsmith

    by Bishop6

    Just aint the same w/o him. Dark Knight score works great in the movie, but horrible to listen to outside of that unless your a schizophrenic. Giachinno's stuff-Meh..very 'zingy' works great for the incredibles..not so sure how his Star Trek score will be though. As for speed racer..who the fuck even went to see it, sat thru it long enough to appreciate the score?!?!

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Kentucky Colonel

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Don't know about best score ever, but best theme is surely a three-way-tie between Star Wars, Superman and Raiders. That the same man composed all three is just mind-boggling.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Kentucky Colonel - don't forget...

    by thethedew

    'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and 'Empire Strikes Back' - man, was JW on a tear or what? My pick: Raiders. Eh?

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Bishop6

    by kwisatzhaderach

    I agree with you, too bad Goldsmith is no longer with us. The Trek movies have a great history of scoring, Goldsmith, Horner, Eidelman. I guess Generations was the weak link, thank god they got back Goldsmith for First Contact.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Great fucking pick with the SPEED RACER score!

    by zillabeast

    100% with you on that one. I would have snuck TDK onto that list, though, although I know you are indifferent to that particular score :P.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:38 p.m. CST

    Giacchino

    by OneBuckFilms

    It's nice to see Michael Giacchino getting some good vibes here. Not heard much of Speed Racer (pretty much none), but Roar! is one of my favorites. Along with Ratatoulis, The Incredibles, Lost and Mission: Impossible III, I suspect his Star Trek score to be really good. He's a little bit fo a throwback, and a very good way.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Best Score?

    by CharyouTree

    Hmmn so many, BladeRunner, Akira, Sunshine, Predator, Alien, Terminator, Robocop, hmmn sci-fi-tastic

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    OneBuckFilms

    by Bishop6

    Im hoping he will keep the melodies and not fall back to 'generic action music' territory..gotta keep the hero melodies in the audience mind I think.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST

    In Bruges should be on there

    by Lovecraftfan

    It had the perfect score to compliment the film.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Best Score ever...

    by dundundles

    Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is truly one of the few complete scores that I can throw on and listen to the entire thing without stopping or skipping ahead. It is all around the best complete piece of work Williams has ever done. The Star Wars movies have great themes, as does Superman, hell even the flying theme from ET, but the notes between the crescendos are somewhat meddling. It's incredibly hard to make an entire score to a movie completely and totally listenable. And I totally disagree with you on the Cloverfield bit. It is definitely worth a listen but to call it one of the best of the year? Pah. And you didn’t even touch the Hellboy 2 score. I find it to be one of the best Elfman scores in many years. And what about Slumdog Millionaire’s fantastic music? That score was in my opinion one of the best if not the best this year.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST

    I'm no expert..

    by brock landers baby

    And I own quite a few soundtracks. I can tell you Dark Knight is one of the finest I have EVER heard. I have played it more than any in my colection,so for me that says something. I'm half convinced this list is a prank.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Harry, please find someone who doesn't want to bear Giacchino's

    by lalalandlovechild

    Speed Racer was good, but not THAT good. And including Roar in lieu of an entire score just solidifies that Scorekeeper wants to lap up Giacchino's ball sweat.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Dark Knight

    by Chesterfield Slacks

    Pretend you never knew The Dark Knight existed and just listen to the score. It only services the picture with its aggressively brooding, low register instrumentation and percussion. Not fun to listen to at all on its own, unless you want to prep yourself for an all-nighter of destruction, robbery and death. Thank goodness it's not on the list (prepares for Joker-crazy fan-bleating)

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Where's the Top 10 Opening Sequences List?

    by Kiera Knightley's Sexy Beanpole

    or the top 10 end credits? how about the top 10 movie posters of the year? How about the top 10 stickiest movie theater floors?

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:23 p.m. CST

    There's Jerry Goldsmith

    by Chesterfield Slacks

    and there's everybody else

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Dark Knight was one of the best

    by kuldan

    If not the best comic book film of recent memory to properly use score to convey moments of dark foreboding while properly giving a character a simple, particular theme. The Joker's one-note theme was very reminiscent of the power of John Williams' simple notes for the coming of "Jaws." Probably won't get nominated for an Oscar this year for score, let alone the fact that it SHOULD WIN the Oscar.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:27 p.m. CST

    I assumed that the Cloverfield music was by Danny Elfman

    by eggart

    It sounds just like a dull latter-day Elfman score.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    This list is fucking worthless.

    by Grando

    Dark Knight was not only the best score of 2008, but of the past god knows how long. The Joker cue was a work of fucking insane genius. ScoreKeeper can suck my dry ball sack.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST

    No Howard? Humbug.

    by CaseyMcCall

    No James Newton Howard on the list? Where is Defiance? Dark Knight ruled. Giacchino is good, but a tad on the overhyped side. Cloverfield is somewhat ridiculous. It's one cue, come on!

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Rambo

    by Abominable Snowcone

    ought to be here, even if the main stuff Brian Tyler did was based on Jerry Goldsmith's First Blood music. That music embiggened me. Made me want to like, set up claymores at work and stuff.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Why Dark Knight shouldn't be on the list.

    by kgerm

    The Dark Knight score is essentially the same themes from Batman Begins aside from that creepy Joker tone that starts every scene he's in which is sweet but it's more ambience than anything. With the Speed Racer score, it's like you're hearing colors. Giacchino is the best if not most imaginative composer out right now.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Dark Knight Score

    by seanny_d

    I suppose it depends on how Score Keeper is judging the scores. If he's judging them on their ability to supplement the story on screen, I would say that Dark Knight probably deserves a spot on there. <p><p>But as Chesterfield said, it's a really odd listening experience on its own measure. I totally think it was brilliant in the context of the movie, but it doesn't have that same listening quality as something like Speed Racer does. I have the entire 2-hour version of the soundtrack that they put up on the internet a few weeks before the movie's release and I can listen to it all the time. It's amazing. I'm really hoping that Giacchino pulls out his Star Wars or Superman pretty soon. His work on Lost is damn near brilliant and I'm really curious to see what he does with Star Trek.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    TDK

    by Series7

    Was just Batman Begins over again.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    The Happening.

    by casinoskunk

    I wish that James Newton Howard used his talent somewhere besides M Night's films. His music for the Happening was beautiful and completely wasted on that turd. The Dark Knight was a SHIT score. Zimmer is a no talent HACK who does not deserve the recognition that he recieves, mostly due to the fact he does not write huge chunks of the scores that he gets credit on. I would like to say that i really enjoyed David Arnold's work on Quantum of Solace as well as John Powell'w work that he did for the shitty films he worked on this year!

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:48 p.m. CST

    no slumdog?

    by devanjedi

    no Slumdog millionaire?

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Best composer scores

    by skimn

    Goldsmith: Planet Of The Apes. An original score that still sounds innovative 40 years later. Runner up: The Omen 3. Personally his Damien theme in the third installment is as musically agressive as Williams' Vader theme in Empire, which brings us to<p>Williams: Empire Strikes Back, as good as Star Wars with the classic Empire March Theme. Runner up: The Witches Of Eastwick, an overlooked witty score that bettered the film immensely.<p>Horner: Aliens. Yes, he lifted passages lock stock and barrel from Wolfen, but it is a great pounding action score. Runner up: Star Trek 2, giving the sense of nautical adventure that oddly Goldsmith's original lacked.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Oh and Elfman..

    by skimn

    I would choose Pee Wee's Big Adventure, a score as childlike and playful as the movie. Runner up: Batman, the beginning of the bombastic "superhero movie" music.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Herrmann...

    by skimn

    every goddamn score he produced...

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Thanks...

    by scaryskeleton

    For the great article. I haven't heard some of these, and will make it a point to check them out.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Great choices, skimn

    by Chesterfield Slacks

    Pee Wee is pure Elfman at his best.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Glad to see Indy and the KOTCS

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Didn't make the cut. I'm a huge fan of Williams action/fantasy scores, but this was the most forgettable stuff ever.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    I find it ironic that the best Burton films

    by Rev. Slappy

    are the ones Elfman didn't score.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:25 p.m. CST

    what burton film hasn't elfman done?

    by zom-bot.com

    i'm not being a smart ass, i really don't know. i thought there was maybe one and i can't even remember it.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:34 p.m. CST

    AVATAR SCORE WILL FUCK YOUR EARDRUMS!

    by zom-bot.com

    AVATAR SCORE WILL FUCK YOUR EARDRUMS!

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST

    NO DARK KNIGHT??!!

    by BobParr

    TDK should be the top of every list for every category for everything from now until the end of time!!

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST

    ok dark knight was a bit overrated, but...

    by Obscura

    the score is fantastic. ive never listened to a score so much, it really is great... but i also understand why people don't like it, its not traditional, it doesn't follow normal structure... but for me those facts just make me love it more.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Speaking of Michael Giacchino...

    by DerLanghaarige

    Is his Sky High score available somewhere?

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:41 p.m. CST

    The Dark Knight score

    by skimn

    reminded of the scoring session in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.<p>"Okay we need something dark and ominous sounding here....now something ominous and dark..."

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Ed Wood

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Scored by Howard Shore.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST

    List needs more RAMBO.

    by Its a LION

    Everytime I hear it I want to disembowel somebody with a machete. Now that's a MAN'S soundtrack.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST

    THANK YOU for omitting The Dark Knight

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    If that score gets an Oscar nom where Danny Elfman's Batman did not, I'm going to fucking scream.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Spot on with Speed Racer &...

    by spooky2k

    Cloverfield. Easily two of the best pieces of film music I've had the pleasure of hearing this year. Dark Knight shouldn't be in there as it is simply extremely forgetful. I find myself wanting to listen to ROAR! and Let Us Drink Milk over and over. Just beautiful. Not sure that I agree with Wall-E. Seems there's a divide between us UK cinema-goers and our respective USA counterparts. While beautiful at times, it could have been so much more (just like the film). ANd yes, I do love me some Giachinno and think Pixar should have get him to do Wall-E after his enormously successful Incredibles and Ratatouille scores.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Wait for the "Batman VI" crowd and their "WHERE MUH DARK KNITE!!

    by JackPumpkinhead

    No, you don't get a mention of your "score" that consists of two gloomy, endlessly repeated synth notes, one of which was copied from the earlier film. Just as your beloved B-grade Heist knockoff isn't getting any meaningful Oscars.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    The Sweeney Todd score pretty much already existed.

    by Rev. Slappy

    I think Elfman's best work for Burton has been Edward Scissorhands.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Re: "What Burton films hasn't Elfman done?"

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Ed Wood (scored by Howard Shore) and Sweeney Todd (scored by Steven Sondheim). Also his short films Vincent and Frankenweenie (the latter having a fine tag-team score by Michael Convertino and David Newman that deserves a CD release).

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Uh-oh, here they are crawling here...

    by JackPumpkinhead

    Just wait until this gets linked on some Batman VI fanatic boards...

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    And good call on The Happening, casinoskunk

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    As HORRIBLE as M. Night Shyamalan's films have gotten, I always look forward to them for the SOLE purpose of enjoying Howard's music. They'e one of the best director/composer teams around right now. I just with the films were as good as the music written for them (Signs is a musical masterpiece).

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Appaloosa was one of my favorite scores of the year too.

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    And I liked the film quite a bit too, even though some others at the screening I attended were not as enthusiastic. "Roar" was also one of the best geek treats of the year, and a damn good reason never to leave the theater until the credits have rolled.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:10 p.m. CST

    I love the score to Pee Wee also...

    by hillvalley

    ... but I recently saw Fellini's 8 1/2 for the first time and realized just how close Elfman came to plagiarizing Nino Rota. <p><p>Still consider the man one of my fav. composers, when he's working with Tim Burton that is. Otherwise he sounds like he's just working for the paycheck.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Yeah

    by Cobbio

    Thanks, Scorekeepah. Good list!<p>

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    How about worst Elfman?

    by starmand

    I nominate Standard Operating Procedure. Whoever thought Elfman's whimsical style was appropriate for a documentary about Abu Ghraib was batshit crazy.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Yo Scorekeeper! I would like to know if you've listened to...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...the score of (drumroll) 'Tinkerbell', by Joel McNeely.<br> Seriously, I kid you not when I say it's great! There is this score for a DTV kidsmovie and really, really want to own it on CD and recommend it to everybody!

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Yup. Speed Racer.

    by Gil Brooks

    Totally agree. That's a great fucking score.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST

    No SLUMDOG?

    by VWantsRevenge

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Elfman was the bomb

    by Series7

    In Beetlejuice. The opening credits is awesome. Ever since Mars Attacks, he hasn't done anything worthwhile. Though I did really like the Hellboy 2 stuff, just wasn't that memorable, though I need to watch it again. Fucking long wait netflixs.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Re: TINKERBELL

    by ScoreKeeper

    No I haven't. But I'm not surprised you think so highly of it. You never know where you'll find great film music and straight-to-DVD family fodder often sports good scores. One of my favorite John Debney scores was for THE ADVENTURES OF ELMO IN GROUCHLAND (1999) which was a straight-DVD feature. BAMBI II (2006) by Bruce Broughton is also very good. I would've never discovered them had I not had kids of my own. I'll check out TINKERBELL. Thanks!

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 5 p.m. CST

    Nope, Scorekeeper

    by CaseyMcCall

    Quote: "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (sometimes referred to as Elmo in Grouchland) was the second theatrical feature-length film" Released by Columbia Pictures. So you're mistaken.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story

    by Boo Cocky

    Best film score ever. EVER!

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Also, this might be considered 2007

    by Boo Cocky

    But Assassination of Jesse James score was the best soundtrack I've heard in the past year.

  • ...the music of the new Batflicks seriously sucks shit through a straw.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 5:23 p.m. CST

    When I saw the end credits of Wanted and saw

    by skimn

    Danny Elfman did the score I said "Huh?". Underrated Elfman, "A Simple Plan" and "Nightbreed".

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 5:29 p.m. CST

    No IronMan or Slumdog milionaire?

    by Stalkeye

    Are you fucking kidding me? But chessy speed racer music gets the nod.Uh, ok.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 5:29 p.m. CST

    The Other Boleyn Girl

    by topaz4206

    Is a gorgeous score and deserves to be somewhere on this list.<br><br>Otherwise, I really enjoyed the list, thank you Scorekeeper.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 5:39 p.m. CST

    TDK Great film: Boring ass score.

    by Stalkeye

    Almost sounded a bit redundant, dontcha think?Elfman's 89 version was more ambitious IMO.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Say what you guys want bout TDK

    by SomaShine

    the two notes that made up the Joker's theme is the most memorable moment of any film soundtrack of the year. Two notes not instantly reconizable. Here's what makes a great score..its the the music in a film that is NOT used for another films trailer. ten bucks says all of SK's top ten will be used in a film's trailer in the future. You will NEVER hear the Dark Knight score being used for another films trailer.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 6:23 p.m. CST

    No DARK KNIGHT = mark of intelligence.

    by Darkman

    Lot of other fine scores you neglected (Burwell's IN BRUGES, Elfman's WANTED, Powell's BOLT, David Newman's THE SPIRIT, Doyle's IGOR, Randy Newman's LEATHERHEADS...), but still...good fuckin' list.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 6:33 p.m. CST

    More elitism on this site...

    by Fah-Cue

    By NOT picking Dark Knight and picking weaker films. Seriously -- I liked Speed Racer... but the score wasn't anything much. The Joker theme alone was worthy of attention. Frackin' fanboys and elitist article writers on this site is what keeps me going to other more substantive sites.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 6:46 p.m. CST

    John Debney's "Halloween Tree" score is beautiful too.

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    It's lyrical and evocative. In fact, I wish I had it on cd!

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 6:47 p.m. CST

    SPEED RACER SCORE WAS AWESOME!

    by Earthquake WestCoast

    An awesome score for an awesome movie! The score made the film that more powerful.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 6:48 p.m. CST

    AVATAR/James Horner should be special

    by unionJACKass.webs.com

    Well, very special, in fact.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 6:51 p.m. CST

    TDK score was a rehash of Batman Begins

    by Earthquake WestCoast

    It was mostly just noise. You can't hum it. And if you listened to it and didn't know it was from TDK, I guarantee you would think it was crap! The TDK was a that loses a lot with every new viewing. To defend TDK and say it's the greatest in everything, well...that's just sad. Personally, Batman Begins was better.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Elfman's the best! No he's not! TDK's the best! No it's not!

    by Amy Chasing

    Like Kevin Smith said about AICN talkbackers: "You can't win with those guys."

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Bun-nuh nah..nah nah nah...bun nuh nah

    by ballsmcretard

    nah nah naaaah nah...bum bum bun-nuh...nah nah nah nah ....naaaaah -Thats from Rambo.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Speed Racer

    by doubleARon

    I wholeheartedly agree. How is picking Speed "elitist", it's one of the most spat upon movies of the year. I earned a signed TDK cd for trying to convince Scorekeeper it was a great soundtrack, and I LOVE this list for making me look into these movies further. I'd also rate Speed Racer's soundtrack above TDK's.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 7:27 p.m. CST

    It's sad that an Indiana Jones movie came out this year

    by I Dunno

    and no one even thought about its score, I can't remember it myself.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 7:39 p.m. CST

    the most frustrating thing about the new Batflicks...

    by Ravetin

    ...is that the scores would be fucking incredible if they would just drop Zimmer and his goddamn, shitty synth orchestra. you can hear hints of a modern noir-ish score when the music is on JNH mode. i wish they'd just let him do his thing.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Raiders - Best Score Ever

    by finky089

    KOTCS - most over-anticipated and unmemorable score this year. but, then Williams hasn't been the same since the late 80's/early 90's.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Risk Marginalization by Ignoring Dark Knight!

    by Larry of Arabia

    Why would you even think of pointing out scores to films that nobody has seen? *cough* man it was hard to say that with a straight face. Wait, let me try again. By not voting for Dark Knight as the best you... no, still cant get my head that far up my own ass.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Elfman's best - Pee Wee/BeetleJuice/Batman

    by finky089

    With Nightbreed next on that list.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST

    I think Fah-Cu was trying to...

    by Larry of Arabia

    subtly mock the guy at Cinemablend who said people go to his site because they champion populist films like Dark Knight while newspaper and TV reviewers are dying because they try to tell people that the best films of the year might be films they haven't seen or didn't get wide release. Awards shows risk irrelivance state Annie Hall might be better than Star Wars. (seriously, he used a 30+ year old example for that one) Now if you don't mind I have to go. WWE Raw and Superstars of Dance are both on.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Milk and Synecdoche...

    by edgardevice

    Best scores of the year! And while I think DK shouldn't be on any list, i don't think you can knock the score for not standing apart from the film. There is a reason it is called a "film score".

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 9:08 p.m. CST

    GIACCHINO FTW!

    by Crow3711

    His music from the final episodes of S3 and throughout S4 of Lost is brilliant, ROAR! is completely badass, and I didn't really watch a lot of Speed Racer, but I'm sure it's great. I don't usually particularly notice the music, but his always seem to command my attention.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 9:30 p.m. CST

    The love theme in Attack of the Clones was good

    by I Dunno

    So I wouldn't say Williams didn't do anything good after the early 90's. He definitely coasted on Revenge of the Sith and Indy 4 though. But give him a break, he's like 100.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 9:30 p.m. CST

    I agree on The Happening!

    by flickchick85

    TERRIBLE movie, but fantastic score. It's funny, most of my favorite JNH scores are for movies I don't give a shit about - Restoration, Treasure Planet, Signs, Peter Pan, King Kong...That's why the guy hasn't won 10 Oscars by now - his best scores are for crappy movies that the Academy would be too embarrassed to nominate.<p> I like Giacchino and love "Roar," but I don't think it deserved a spot on this list in lieu of a complete score, as if there weren't enough great full scores this year to fill the list. "The Happening," "Wall*E" and "Benjamin Button" were probably my top 3 this year.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 9:39 p.m. CST

    And I loved the TDK score mainly for the Two-Face music.

    by flickchick85

    I read in an interview that Hans Zimmer handled the music for the Joker and James Newton Howard did the stuff for Two-Face...which makes sense, b/c I fucking loved "Watching the World Burn" in that final Two-Face scene, while I could take or leave most of the Zimmer stuff, and I'm definitely much more of a Howard fan in general.<p> But TDK was not even close to the best score of the year, so bravo Scorekeeper for omitting it - kind of a bold move around here, no?

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 10:04 p.m. CST

    TDK is a slow burn

    by IAmJack'sUserID

    It really is great once you let the music kinda burn in your mind long after listening to it. Those IDIOTIC FUCKWEEDS who dismiss it as mere "noise" need to...well, feel lots of pain and immediately. And should not reproduce to boot.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 10:20 p.m. CST

    One great score not mentioned: KUNG FU PANDA

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Kinda sad that Zimmer (working in tandem with the immesely more talented John Powell) found more inspiration in an animated movie about a klutzy panda bear than he did for FUCKING BATMAN, but the Kung Fu Panda score is terrific. Just the fact that the film had ONLY score music aside from the end credits inclusion of "Kung Fu Fightin'" was remarkable. No shitty Smash Mouth soun montages designed to move soundtrack CDs, just a stirring, Asian-tinged orchestral score with good melodies and kicky action cues (i.e. NOT just one idiotic synth drone held down on a keyboard). Check it out.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 10:32 p.m. CST

    TDK is some of the best music ever, even if mainly begins

    by most excellent ninja

    was the score. But the music is genius. both films are probably the most intelligent scores ever made. the music by itself is real music, beautiful pieces of music. Humming doens't mean shit. it's how much you enjoy it as normal music. And it's brilliant. Anyone who disagrees is a cunt with shit taste in music. I listen to Mogwai, that confirms my good taste.

  • Jan. 5, 2009, 11:55 p.m. CST

    TDK? Seriously? Ever heard of Steiner? Morricone?

    by pollaxt

    Sometimes these talkbacks are just plain disgusting. Watch a movie for once outside of geekdom. Watch "Gone with the Wind." Watch "The Mission." Watch anything that Philip Glass has ever done. Then we can talk about best film scores of all time. TDK. Seriously?

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 12:06 a.m. CST

    I listen to Mogwai, too...

    by Ravetin

    ...Hans can still suck my ass.

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 2:48 a.m. CST

    Fuck SPEED RACER! Fuck it to hell!

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with some of you AICN guys? I'm starting to think that some of you are 8 year old immature dumbasses with a love for chimp jokes.<p>Btw, the TDK score is brilliant. Period.

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 3:09 a.m. CST

    Sorry - at AICN staff we all suck Giacchino's

    by HEADGEEK

    tunes straight from the source. Michael is currently my favorite composer working. So much energy and love in his music. It is thrilling!

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 3:24 a.m. CST

    Thank God

    by The_Myhand

    Obviously its already being debated on here...but its actually refreshing about TDK's score not being on that list....obviously the only thing different between TDK and Begins score was the Jokers "Theme" which was cool yes, but still, I mean come on. I love that film don't get me wrong but my god some people....

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 4:26 a.m. CST

    tdk score

    by MariusXe

    was way better than begins! everyone saying its the same clearly never listened to both completely. sure, here and there are similarities, but its a fucking sequel! both scores ar great and in my opinion the most memorable in the last ten years or so. FUCK THE NAYSAYERS!

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 4:29 a.m. CST

    most exellent ninja

    by MariusXe

    yes mogwai indeed confirms your good taste in music!

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 4:33 a.m. CST

    oh and elfmans an overrated cunt

    by MariusXe

    shirley walker saved his batman theme in the animated series

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Elfman didn't do the score for "Ed Wood."

    by The Tao of Joe

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 8:12 a.m. CST

    by ZoeFan

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 8:13 a.m. CST

    No Dr. Horrible?

    by ZoeFan

    That was a great score...sort of.

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 10:23 a.m. CST

    "Lusciously streamlined"?

    by banditmania

    Gimme a break.

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Hey D. Vader..Um..ever hear of JAWS

    by SomaShine

    2 notes

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Prince Caspian?

    by darthvedder81

    I thought Harry Gregson-Williams put a rousing score together for that one. I like Caspian and Reepicheeps themes.

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Im no TDK worshipper

    by purplepurple

    but the score was one of the best parts of an already very good movie. One of the finest scores Ive heard in recent years, very weird it didnt even make the top 10

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    If I would have my list,

    by DisneyFanatic

    then the score from LOST's S4 would definitely be number 1.

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Great list! Giacchino is the next Williams people!

    by Evil Hobbit

    Here's my list:<br> <br> 10. James Newton Howard - the Happening. More haunting then the movie, a great, brooding horror score.<br><br> 9. Tuomas Kantelinen - Mongol. Epic, moving, classical.<br><br> 8. John Ottman - Valkyrie, for his brilliant chorus theme<br><br> 7. James Newton Howard - Defiance. Brilliant use of subtle theme's that resemble a mixture between the Village and Schindler's list. Sometimes a bit cliche, but when executed with this restrained brilliance I'll eat them anytime!<br><br> 6. John Williams - Indy 4. This soundtrack got me all hyped for a movie that ultimately crushed all my anticipation. Nonetheless, the best Indy 4 experience is by keeping the dvd in the box and putting the soundtrack on. The haunting skull theme, the noirish Irena and the swashbuckling Mutt track are once again pieces of pure Williams brilliance. Complexly layered and executed like no other. Brilliantly mixed with the classic Indy themes and wrapped up in a magnificent finale track.<br><br> 5. Thomas Newman - Revolutionary Road. Road to Perdition meets American Beauty. Simply stunning. <br><br> 4. Harry Gregson Williams - Prince Caspian. Where is the Reepicheep theme on this cd?<br><br> 3. Thomas Newman - Wall-E. Best Newman score since Finding Nemo. Inventive instrumentations, heartmelting themes. Sweeps you up and down to earth.<br><br> 2. Michael Giacchino - Speed Racer. Frentic, heartwarming, adrenalous and sweeping. A brilliant, high octane, tears evoking soundtrack.<br><br> 1. Zimmer and Howard - the Dark Knight. Probably not the score that lingers easily on the ears as an album, but it was the soundtrack that moved me most in the theaters. It grabbed me by the bullocks and turned the Dark Knight into the most intense cinematic experience of the year. The best use of characteristic themes in a film since Jaws. The presence of the Joker could be felled even when he was off screen. And when he was coming! Man o man, did that dissonant guitar put me on the edge of the Imax seat. Zimmer hasn't been this creative for years. Combined with Howards warmer (yet brooding) and more hopefull work for Harvery and Gotham it is -- to me -- the best soundtrack of the year. The one that supported the story and it's characters, and thus the cinematic experience, to the very best!

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Another 2008 Gem: Joe Hisaishi's Ghibli Concert

    by Evil Hobbit

    Legendary composer Joe Hisaishi gave an amazing Studio Ghibli concert this year. With a 200 man orchestra and a 400 man choir, it is one of the largest, most breathtaking movie related concerts ever. Unfortunately, it's not available yet on cd or dvd ... BUTT!, it did air on Japanese TV. On this youtube link you can view some clips from the concert: http://tinyurl.com/9p33x8 <br> It is pure brilliance. Right from the Nausicaa clip it is breathtaking. The scope, the scale. Enjoy.

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Just listened to Speed Racer

    by eggart

    I felt like I'd heard the entire thing before. The love for this score is inexplicable.

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 5:40 p.m. CST

    I like Mogwai also

    by Larry of Arabia

    But I listened after midnight and they turned into Super Furry Animals. (rim shot!)

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Joker theme = Jaws theme, thats a big issue aginst it.

    by Larry of Arabia

    Nolan compared the Joker to Jaws. Then, they use a similar two note theme to signify their presence. That's homage, not Oscar worthy. In fact I argue that it worked far better in Jaws because the score was the only thing that signified the presence of the shark for most of the film. You never, ever saw it until suddenly someone was just gone and the music stopped. As long as the theme went on you were waiting for that moment. Now, that two note theme was not totally original back then, but you get my point. This isn't the groudbreaking idea anybody makes it out to be no matter how loud they argue. I welcome a well thought our argument that lifting for an arguably more effective source is Oscar Worthy. Unless their argument is "Jawz iz old & sux, TDK rulez, thatz y!" I mean, how can you argue with something airtight as that?

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 6:23 p.m. CST

    The anticipation for Giacchino's STAR TREK score.....

    by zillabeast

    Can it even be calculated??

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    A balanced perspective on TDK score and other issues.

    by jerseycajun

    For those defending TDK score as superior, I must disagree. It was extremely effective, yes. It was put to excellent use - within the context of the film. But it was to the movie overall what good seasoning is to a fine meal. It contributes great "flavor" but it's not a feast in itself. The best music scores are like a separate course that complements the rest of the meal, but also tastes great as leftovers. TDK score sticks in my mind mostly for its association with the scenes they go with, not because the cues are in themselves outstanding. I agree with Scorekeeper,however. Giacchino is one of the finest, if not the finest composer currently working in Hollywood. "Roar!" plays as a complete listening experience and I'm glad to see it making the list especially after I thought folks would forget about it after so much time and for having only been played over the credits (the best parts of it come well into it's running length.) Looking forward to see what he comes up with for Star Trek and Pixar's "Up".

  • Jan. 6, 2009, 6:45 p.m. CST

    And for those...

    by jerseycajun

    taking the opportunity to put down all the other aspects of TDK alongside the soundtrack, well, I can't fathom what you thought was lacking. It gets better every time I see it. A rare feat.

  • Jan. 17, 2009, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Giacchino? Your list is shit and so are you

    by Bass Cadet

    A man who has, let's face it, written ONE good film score (Incredibles) gets a lot of sackriders on this forum. Desplat's Benjamin Button score completely outclasses everything you have on this list. Your taste in film music is in your ass. Go watch your Lost fanboy boxset and leave serious film music discussion to people who know what they're talking about (people who can see how amateurish your Ifukube reference is). "Roar!" ? Nga PLZ.

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