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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2012
    I liked the Portman score!!
    listen to more classical music!
  1. 2002 - Hart's War - Rachel Portman

    I don't think that this was the score I chose last time I did this list - though I would be pleased if it was - but a lot of things have happened to me since the last time I made my selections. I suppose that one of the interesting things is that favourite lists change over time because of any number of reasons.

    To be perfectly honest, Rachel Portman's score for Hart's War - particularly the main theme - manages to cut through everything around me when I listen to it and it seems to bring my emotions into a kind of sharp focus. What I hear in the brass solo of tracks such as "Final Salute" I can't really put into words and whilst I listen to this cue now I find a whole flood of feelings come back to me. Obviously I have never met the composer before - I probably never will - but what she had done with this theme, it's like she has tapped into my soul and put that down on the manuscript page. It's sad, yes, but what she then does is take this theme, wraps it (protectively and lovingly) with full orchestra and transforms it into a celebratory eulogy that always brings me to tears. This score isn't just about this theme though. The remainder of the score has some very dramatic music that makes for an varied as well as emotional journey.

    2002 also produced Terence Blanchard's 25th Hour - another score that contains a very powerful and emotional theme. The way that he takes the theme, stripped of most of the orchestra and focuses on only one or two instruments, then adding back the orchestra bit by bit lifts the theme (a bit like Portman's) to almost celebratory levels. This theme also strikes a chord. However, the wailing embellishments he adds are a bit of a distraction.

    James Newton Howard's Signs will be familiar to many - and this one may have been my first choice before - and the climax cues of this score are rightly held by many as being some of the best around. But the composer's reliance on repetitive motifs and hypnotic ideas makes this stand out. In some ways similar to Signs, Hans Zimmer's score to The Ring is another stand out score for me. I just love the way that he moulds the strings into various shapes and contortions that - to me at least - very rarely bores. A couple of other scores worth a mention are Bingen Mendizábal's lovely score for El Viaje de Carol. The lovely melodic title theme and the use of simple piano makes for a very enjoyable listen. And Yasunori Mitsuda's score for the video game Xenosaga, with the drama of tracks such as "Gnosis" and the partnership of dramatic orchestra and spine-tingling choral work in "The Miracle", deserves a wider audience (though listening to the entire score is a bit of a struggle to be honest).

    Honorary mentions also to themes from The Triangle (LoDuca), The Touch (Poledouris' title song mainly) and Mark Thomas' themes in the British horror film Dog Soldiers.

    This year's titles are particularly oriented around great themes and I make no apologies for this, and looking at the scores I could have chosen there are a myriad of popular titles that I haven't even mentioned. But I look forward to hearing other peoples' favourites from this year - I am sure that some of these other scores will be mentioned.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    I'll return to this tomorrow but I must say I really liked your heart felt ( no pun intended ) reasons for choosing Portman's score Alan, it's obviously something special and meaningful to you.
    On Friday I ate a lot of dust and appeared orange near the end of the day ~ Bregt
  2. HART'S WAR sounds lovely! And up until today I can't remember ever even hearing of it. Thanks, Alan.

    My four favorites from 2002 are...

    THE TWO TOWERS (Howard Shore). While (imo) the least awesome of the LOTR scores, it's still monumental, with great new themes, and a perfect companion for the wonderful film. I LOVE "Forth Eorlingas."

    DRAGONFLY (John Debney). Debney is the chameleon of film composers. He can sound like anyone. In this case he sounds like JNH and his score to UNBREAKABLE, which is not a bad thing! The finale of this one is fantastic and almost single-handedly puts this score near the top of my list for 2002

    SIGNS (James Newton Howard). Excellent stuff. That nearly musical idea in this score comes in three-note groups is so cool. And what more can be said about the two part finale that most of us haven't already said before?

    IRIS (James Horner). This score doesn't get mentioned much anymore, but I think it's a solid effort from Horner, and very nice to listen to, if a bit monochromatic (to borrow Horner's way of thinking about music).

    I might mention a few others that I like, but these four really rose above the rest of the pack for me.
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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    Signs wins this year... and the entire decade of the 2000's... and entire new millennium. One of THE finest film scores ever written.

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
  3. christopher wrote
    THE TWO TOWERS (Howard Shore). While (imo) the least awesome of the LOTR scores, it's still monumental, with great new themes, and a perfect companion for the wonderful film. I LOVE "Forth Eorlingas."


    the least awesome? shocked
    I call this one the most awesome one of the 3 punk

    your choice of course
    waaaaaahhhhhhhh!!! Where's my nut? arrrghhhhhhh
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    HART'S WAR has a fine, fine theme, but the rest of the score isn't that interesting to me. I remember trading off this CD for that reason a few years ago. Portman usually writes some spectacularly beautiful melodies (CIDERHOUSE RULES has one of the most gorgeous themes of all time), but then relies a little too much on repetition of that for my taste. But it's nice to read about folks who have a person relationship to scores, like you obviously do with this, Alan.

    2002 was first and foremost a very strong year for John Williams, but not only.

    My honourable mentions are: THE BOURNE IDENTITY (John Powell), THE GOOD THIEF (Elliot Goldenthal), LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (Howard Shore), MINORITY REPORT (John Williams), THE TIME MACHINE (Klaus Badelt), SPIDERMAN (Danny Elfman), MEN IN BLACK II (Danny Elfman), HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (John Williams), SOLARIS (Cliff Martinez), CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (John Williams) and FRIDA (Elliot Goldenthal).

    But the winner would have to be:

    STAR WARS: ATTACK OF THE CLONES (John Williams)

    If only because of the gobsmackingly beautiful love theme "Across the Stars", but also a series of other interesting tracks.
    I am extremely serious.
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    I think Attack of The Clones is the weakest of the STAR WARS scores ( at least on album ), it's still bloody good though and yes, Across The Stars is a classic Williams theme, gorgeous.

    If I go by what I've played the most then it will have to be JNH's SIGNS but THE TWO TOWERS, THE TOUCH, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS and BOURNE IDENTITY all vie for playing space and get regular workouts*.

    *I'm not sure about that term 'regular', at times that means I may play select tracks more than once a year but it could mean that the full score only gets played once every year or so? Truly regular multi-played per year scores for me is stuff like Star Treks I, II & III, early Star Wars, Conan, John Barry's classic Bond's etc.
    On Friday I ate a lot of dust and appeared orange near the end of the day ~ Bregt
  4. As a whole the entire Lord of The Rings music is a monumental achievement, but there's something about The Two Towers that relegates it to my least-favourite of the the three.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    Hmmmmm, I do like the main title theme to Hart's War, but the rest of the CD, like so many other Portman compositions, just babbles along without many highlights.

    In earlier years the winner for me would be a toss-up between Michael Brooks' exquisite, tender and eminently listenable India: Kingdom Of The Tiger and Randy Edelman's electrically charges, high-octane score to xXx (with Poledouris' heartfelt score to The Touch a nice third to round out a top three)

    For 2002 a GREAT many other scores though come to mind: John Debney's explosive The Scorpion King, ; John Powell redefining "quirky" forever with his fantastically fun Pluto Nash; Klaus Badelt's strongly techno-oriented cold, calculating and mesmerizing Equilibrium; Ed Shearmur's finest and most allround opus The Count Of Monte Cristo (honestly: why this beautiful score is so overlooked is beyond me), and, maybe slightly more controversially, Brian Tyler's finest and most allround opus Children Of Dune, a stunning epic of a work.

    Some most deserved honourable mentions to Shearmur's Reign Of Fire, which is harsh and brutal and totally fits the film (and works wonders on CD as well!), Thomas Newman not treading newground but nevertheless doing what he does best in Road To Perdition, John Powell creating a lovely, highly thematic (always very welcome!) romantic score for Two Weeks Notice and Beltrami's strong and driving work on Blade II.

    Some more scores to consider from 2002 (Wow! What a great year this was!):
    - David Arnold's charged Die Another Day
    - Jeff Danna's thoughtful Uncorked At Sachem's Farm (with some great guitar in there)
    - The soundtrack CD to Frida (yes, I know it's Goldenthal, but it's mostly source cues...but damn are they good!)
    - Richard Jacques' work on the video game Headhunter: clever and fun!
    - Alan Williams' fine and strong score to the documentary Kilimanjaro: To The Roof Of Africa
    - Christopher Young's fun and light-hearted Country Bears

    For me though, this year though the nod has to go to Roque Baños Salomé.
    It's a highly personal choice that has encountered little love from others, but the thoroughly thoughtful mix between oriental moods and Spanish flamenco style is nothing less than spellbinding to me. There's an utterly engrossing, hypnotising, highly emotional quality to this score that really hits home.

    But then I am thoroughly partial to this style, so this may easily my most personal choice ever. smile
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    Erik Woods wrote
    Signs wins this year... and the entire decade of the 2000's... and entire new millennium. One of THE finest film scores ever written.

    -Erik-


    Not only do I agree but it is definitely in my top 10 with Best Years of Our Lives and King Kong (Steiner).
    Tom smile
    listen to more classical music!
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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    kiss punk beer
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
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      CommentAuthorplindboe
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    Hart's war is an excellent choice. Not only do I worship the theme, but I enjoy the entire album. My 2002 winner though is Mychael Danna's Ararat. Stunning score, with so many highlights. My 2nd favourite is Einaudi's Doctor Zhivago, and this is followed by Shore's The two towers. I also love De tweeling (Merkies), The time machine (Badelt), Hitman 2 (Kyd), Hero (Dun), Gunslinger girl (Sahashi), Far from heaven (Bernstein), Two weeks notice (Powell), The count of Monte Cristo (Shearmur), Perlasca (Morricone), Signs (Newton Howard) and Unfaithful (Kaczmarek).

    Wow, this was a really good year.

    Peter punk
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    confused
    Interesting.
    I have Far From Heaven filed under 2003
    Hitman 2 under 2005
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorplindboe
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    According to imdb they are both from 2002:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0297884/
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0339160/

    Peter smile
  5. I think Far from Heaven was actually 2002.
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    Hmmm...the CD covers say differenttly. Strange.
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
  6. I might be pretty clueless, basing it on Filmtracks though.

    Same thing for Hans' Beyond Rangoon too - the film is 1994, the album was 1995.
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website
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      CommentAuthorplindboe
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012 edited
    I usually go for the date when the movie/game was first released. Of course, sometimes CDs are released at a much later date. I wouldn't file Kamen's Back to Gaya under 2012 for instance. That said, it was released in 2004, and Kamen died in 2003, so my filing system isn't perfect either. I guess I'd prefer if everyone used the recording session date. But since that's not always as readily available, I use the movie release date.

    Peter smile
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
    Fair enough. smile
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
    I just realized that another of my favorites for 2002 was the Thomas Newman score Road to Perdition a powerful haunting one.
    Tom
    listen to more classical music!
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2012
    sdtom wrote
    I just realized that another of my favorites for 2002 was the Thomas Newman score Road to Perdition a powerful haunting one.
    Tom


    It's a superb score.
    On Friday I ate a lot of dust and appeared orange near the end of the day ~ Bregt
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      CommentAuthorsdtom
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2012
    As I look back ten years I'm not as impressed with the film but the score is truly a favorite of mine.
    Tom
    listen to more classical music!
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2012
    Any news on 2003? wink
    On Friday I ate a lot of dust and appeared orange near the end of the day ~ Bregt
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2012 edited
    Still 10 more years to go! Any plans for 2003, Alan? How are your feelings about this thread these days, generally?
    I am extremely serious.
  7. I will get this year's selection up today.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2012
    3 hours, twenty minutes ...
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
  8. ...1 hour, 15 minutes...
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
  9. 2003 - Coronado - Ralf Wienrich

    What? Who? I hear you all cry. In looking back over the 155 scores from 2003 there are many that have great themes, great action scoring and/or more emotional passages. But these noteable features of these scores are sat alongside parts that don't really do much for me. But, Wienrich's score for this German/USA co-production that's perhaps more of a nod to Indiana Jones than is perhaps wanted, is consistently a great listen. (Wienrich's output has tended to be for German TV.)

    Maybe it's a bit too like the Indiana Jones universe in musical terms as well - there is, after all, a track entitled "Scherzo for Truck and Orchestra" - but the Saturday morning matinee feel to the score is very infectious. The score is full of adventure, drama and romance that's captured in the opening "Overture". The score is available currently on iTunes.

    The mammoth projects of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Howard Shore) and The Matrix Reloaded/The Matrix Revolutions (Don Davis) are good examples of there being numerous highlights in amongst solid scores but, for me, the highlights don't quite equate to being a favourite. Jeff Danna's The Gospel of John is a difficult one to pass on: it's such a distinctive score that definitely has it in my top 10 for this year.

    Foreign films make a strong presence in 2003: Yann Tiersen's Goodbye Lenin!, Marcos Ciscar's Arn de Gothia (I can't imagine the film to which this score is attached), Held Der Gladiatoren (Carsten Rocker) and especially Michel Cusson's Séraphin: Un Homme et Son Péché all have great themes and music that are highlights for the year.

    Thomas Newman's Angels In America has a great theme but I find the remaining score being not too memorable and Brian Tyler's score for another TV mini-series, Children of Dune, has some of the best tracks of the year - the main title and cues such as "Inama Nushif", "Trap The Worm" and "The Jihad" are tracks I could listen to on repeat. Tyler's scores for the episodes of Enterprise are typical Tyler scores...and his score for Timeline has some of his best music (IMO) and is infinitely preferable to Jerry Goldsmith's effort (IMO).

    I started off talking about a score that may have too much in common with Indiana Jones and another score that has that similar Saturday morning matinee feel is Christopher Gordon's score for the short animation, Ward 13. A great adventure score but with a hint of something different in the mix too.

    I suppose not a chosen score many would have anticipated; many may not even have heard of film/composer. And I can't recall what I chose originally (Coronado was released in 2006 and I may not have heard it the first time I did this list.)
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
  10. I don't know what is my favourite work of this year, but Hans Zimmer's The Last Samurai (as an album, not as a film score though) is among my very favourites.
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website