Saturday, August 9, 2014
What Good Movie has Bad Music (and Vice Versa)?
In the comments of this week's podcast, regular reader/F-Head Joseph Finn brought up the idea of otherwise good movies that have bad music (in response to some comments made on the show about A Fish Called Wanda, a movie that suffers from this very problem). It's a great question and one worth talking about. So are there any movies you love that have bad scores or soundtracks?
Conversely -- and probably easier to answer -- are there any bad movies you can think of that have great soundtracks?
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It's maybe a stretch to call it a good movie, but Mission: Impossible 2 does not deserve the violation of Lalo Schifrin's awesome theme music that Limp Bizkit brings to the soundtrack. Pathetic.ReplyDelete
As for bad movies, there are few movies I've sat through worse than Cop-Out (and I LOVE buddy cop movies) but Harold Faltermeyer's score is terrific. I love his stuff anyway, but it feels right at home with Fletch and Beverly Hills Cop and Tango & Cash and the immortal Kuffs. Shame it's for such an awful movie.
Good Movie with Bad Music: I'm probably alone here but I really don't like the score (more specifically the main theme) for the new Star Trek reboot movies. It has none of the majesty of any of the previous Star Trek movie themes, and reminds me of the Batman Forever theme (never a good thing).ReplyDelete
Bad Movie with Good Music: Maximum Overdrive! AC/DC provides an awesome soundtrack to this (so) bad (it’s good) movie.
If you weren't an adolescent in the late nineties then you probably wont get this, but...ReplyDelete
Bad Movie with Good Soundtrack: Spawn.
I wouldnt listen to it much (if at all) but at the time, that one was everywhere.
*wouldn't listen to it much nowDelete
Good topic! Drives me crazy when the same passage from an annoying score is used over and over in a film. Straight Story, Untouchables (I'm in the minority, but I never dug Morricone's score for that film) and every time they played fuckin' Scarborough Fair in the Graduate, immediately come to mind. Drawing a blank but I know there are a bunch more.ReplyDelete
Best music in an awful film: Reality Bites. That movie is cringe worthy.
Honorable mention- "Get On Up". Haven't seen it but I guarantee it's woeful.
Yes, yes, yes! I hate the music in The Graduate!Delete
Hell yeah, Scott. Glad your with me.Delete
Get on Up is OK. It uses non-linear storytelling which helps avoid some of the standard bio-pic beats. The soundtrack is very good.Delete
My point exactly. Storytelling; fine, whatever. Soundtrack, very good,Delete
I can listen to the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End soundtrack all day long, but I would love to never see that mess of a movie again. Ultraviolet also has music that's much better than the movie deserves. Same with Deep Blue sea (although Deep Blue Sea is arguably pretty damn awesome)ReplyDelete
Other way around, apart from the perfect main theme, the soundtracks to the first two Terminators are really underwhelming to me.
For bad movie, good score combos I would put forward most of David Holmes' work! He has scored a couple of really good films but I'd happily listen to almost anything he has done. Ocean's sequels anyone?ReplyDelete
I would also put forward 9 Songs as my definitive answer to this. Awful, awful film but some great (and live) music.
Great films, bad music is way harder. It may be cheating but how about Anvil? I know they were influential but the music in the film does nothing for me.
Also, and I know this is far from popular opinion, I'm not a Vangelis guy...
I have to agree on Vangelis. As great as Blade Runner is (and it is!) the music sounds like something that would be playing at Massage Envy all day. I much prefer Tangerine Dream for those kind of scores (see: Near Dark). Wang Chung's score for To Live & Die in LA is pretty great & in that vein too.Delete
+1 for Blade Runner. I don't mind that the music is moody; it's just way too synthesized.Delete
It's funny how subjective and personal taste in soundtracks can be. (much like films as a whole)Delete
I actually really like the Vangelis score for Blade Runner. For me the synthesizers add to the Sci-Fi nature of the film. Moreover, the sparseness of the soundtrack at times no more than mere electronic beeps/tones in the cadence of the human heart are an auditory foreshadowing of the theme of the film as a whole. Juxtaposing that with the 1920s feel of "One More Kiss‚ Dear" by Don Percival to feed the film noir vibe.
Good point Tom. I just found out that someone doesn't like the score to "Forbidden Planet"!Delete
Honestly, the score for Blade Runner is one of my favorite scores. The synthesizers sound like they're aching.Delete
I love the Blade Runner score, too. I'm a sucker for a lot of the synthesizer scores of the '80s, particularly genre stuff.Delete
I even like Toto's score for Dune.
Dune's score is classic.Delete
The Tangerine Dream soundtrack for "Thief" (1981) doesn't do anything for me.ReplyDelete
Good movie/bad soundtrack: "The Avengers," my favorite movie of 2012. Seriously, Alan Silvestri's score is as vanilla and forgettable as the movie's first 15 minutes. In fact, this is the one area where DC kicks Marvel's ass, memorable soundtracks in its film adaptations: "Batman" (all scores, even the '66 movie), "Superman," (yes, even the "Man of Steel" thumping beats are kind-of memorable) and so forth with an occasional dog ("Green Lantern," which isn't bad as much as Marvel-like generic). Except for Danny Elfman's "Spider-Man" score (which sounds like everything else he's done for Tim Burton), John Ottman's music for the Brian Synger-directed "X-Men" movies and the WWII song in "Captain America," can anyone seriously say the music in anything Marvel's done in recent years is memorable and/or stays with you after the movie's over?ReplyDelete
Bad movie/good soundtrack: A few. Ken Thorpe's score for the Alan Arking 1968 vehicle "Inspector Clousea" is better than it has any right to be, especially considering it's up against Henry Mancini's uber-memorable "Pink Panther" music. "Speed Racer" is considered a "bad" movie (not by me, I dig it) but Michael Giacchino really goes to town with an epic Frankestein soundtrack that's goofy and cartoony one moment, action-packed the next and emotional and deep the next. Fred Myrow and Malcolm Seagrave deliver great tunes and a memorable theme to the otherwise crappy Don Coscarelli opus "Phantasm" (my opinion). James Horner's soundtrack for "Battle Beyond The Stars" is more epic and bad-ass than it has any right to be attached to such a low-budget "Star Wars" ripoff. Ditto for Horner's "Legends of the Fall" soundtrack, quality work attached to Oscar bait so ponderous and pretentious you're surprised the movie isn't called "The English Patient."
Good movie/Bad music - Forbidden Planet. I know they were trying to be different but it's annoying as hell.ReplyDelete
Bad movie/Great music - Disney's The Black Hole & Xanadu.
Good movie with bad music - Passenger 57, the music sounds like you're shopping at the grocery store most of the timeReplyDelete
Bad movie with good music - Legend
Which version of Legend? Tangerine Dream's score over the theatrical cut or Jerry Goldsmith's score over the International version?Delete
I've never been a fan of Bill Lee's score for Do the Right ThingReplyDelete
Bad movie, good soundtrack: Judgment Night! I still love Sonic Youth getting high with Cypress Hill and Dinosaur Jr. gettin funkee with Del Tha Homosapien. Faith No More and Boo Yaa Tribe!?ReplyDelete
Great movies with bad music brings to mind Modern Romance. "You Are So Beautiful" over the opening AND closing credits was a bummer. When Brooks' character gets high on ludes and talks about how much he loves his records, he puts on "A Fifth Of Beethoven". Yikes!!!
Honorable good music mention for The Crow.
I really like the movie Judgment Night, I think it works pretty well. That was a killer soundtrack, though.Delete
Yeah Jp. Fantastic sound track. Hiphop and hard rock mixed together. Brilliant. Ice t and slayer is my favourite track. Forgot about that oneDelete
I like the epic orchestral score in The Chronicles of Riddick.ReplyDelete
Good movie/bad score - Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; the music would be fine as outdoor background music for walking around Universal Studios Theme Park on a sunny day, but doesn't fit for a Star Trek movie.ReplyDelete
Bad movie/good score - every Friday the 13th movie through Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.
Sorry I'm late, but I'm sticking with my original answer: I like Ladyhawke a lot, but that Alan Parson synthesizer score is horrendous.ReplyDelete
Ladyhawke was the first movie that popped into my head! Good film, but the 70's porn soundtrack is pretty odd.Delete
The rap over the credits of Blood Diamond is shockingly cringe inducingReplyDelete