My Favorite Film Scores

When I was younger, songs from Disney movies were my gateway to soundtracks, but the earliest film scores that I remember noticing and wanting to own were John Williams’ score for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Michael Giacchino’s score for The Incredibles.

The first time I heard Hedwig’s Theme during the first teaser trailer for Sorcerer’s Stone, I was instantly transported to a world I had only been able to imagine while reading.

A few years later, by the time the end credits of The Incredibles began, I was grinning with delight not just because of the movie I’d just watched, but because I was so happy that I was getting to hear more of the movie’s music.

My love of film scores has kind of spiraled since then. I began regularly buying scores from almost every movie I saw and liked. Over the past few years, I discovered the amazing soundtrack releases of La-La Land Records and Intrada, and my bank account has continually suffered for it. (the latest title on my wish list is the complete 15-disc score collection for Star Trek: The Original Series)

While there are plenty of well-known movie themes and film scores (most of John Williams’ work, the James Bond theme, Back to the Future, etc.), there are plenty of other scores I’ve fallen in love with that, while not necessarily obscure, I want to share with people.

There’s one in particular that hasn’t been released yet, which I desperately want to own someday, so I also hope maybe this will get it noticed by others. (UPDATE: THIS SCORE WAS FINALLY RELEASED IN ITS ENTIRETY BY THE AMAZING LABEL, INTRADA I AM SO HAPPY)

Anyway, these are my favorite film scores, alphabetically.

  1. The Amazing Spider-Man by James Horner
  2. Atlantis: The Lost Empire by James Newton Howard
  3. Batman Returns by Danny Elfman
  4. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm by Shirley Walker
  5. Black Swan by Clint Mansell
  6. The Bride of Frankenstein by Franz Waxman
  7. Casino Royale by David Arnold
  8. Catch Me If You Can by John Williams
  9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Danny Elfman
  10. A Christmas Carol by Alan Silvestri
  11. Creed by Ludwig Göransson
  12. Dick Tracy by Danny Elfman
  13. Faust by Timothy Brock
  14. The Great Gatsby by Craig Armstrong
  15. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by John Williams
  16. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by Patrick Doyle
  17. The Haunted Mansion by Mark Mancina
  18. Hellboy by Marco Beltrami
  19. Hook by John Williams
  20. The Incredible Hulk by Craig Armstrong
  21. The Incredibles by Michael Giacchino
  22. Jack the Giant Slayer by John Ottman
  23. John Carter by Michael Giacchino
  24. Jumanji by James Horner
  25. King Kong by James Newton Howard
  26. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang by John Ottman
  27. Lady in the Water by James Newton Howard
  28. Let Me In by Michael Giacchino
  29. The Mask of Zorro by James Horner
  30. Men in Black by Danny Elfman
  31. Metropolis by Gottfried Huppertz
  32. Miracle on 34th Street by Bruce Broughton
  33. The Mummy by Jerry Goldsmith
  34. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by John Barry
  35. Peter Pan by James Newton Howard
  36. Quantum of Solace by David Arnold
  37. Return to Oz by David Shire
  38. The Shadow by Jerry Goldsmith
  39. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow by Edward Shearmur
  40. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Georges Delerue
  41. Speed Racer by Michael Giacchino
  42. Spider-Man 2 by Danny Elfman
  43. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock by James Horner
  44. Star Trek: Insurrection by Jerry Goldsmith
  45. Stargate by David Arnold
  46. Super 8 by Michael Giacchino
  47. Superman by John Williams
  48. Superman Returns by John Ottman
  49. The Terminal by John Williams
  50. Thor by Patrick Doyle
  51. Thunderball by John Barry
  52. Tomorrow Never Dies by David Arnold
  53. Tomorrowland by Michael Giacchino
  54. Tron: Legacy by Daft Punk
  55. The Wolfman by Danny Elfman
  56. The World is Not Enough by David Arnold
  57. X2 by John Ottman

Star Trek Beyond: I Really Wanted to Like This Movie

I’m seriously surprised at how much I didn’t like Star Trek Beyond. As of this writing, I’ve made my way through two-thirds of The Original Series, in addition to two seasons of The Next Generation and all-but-two of the Trek films. I make no claim to be a hardcore or lifelong fan of this franchise/universe, but I love it very much.

Which is why I’m wondering if I saw a different movie than everyone else who has reviewed Star Trek Beyond and sung its praises.

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Regarding Captain Marvel

Recently, I have been seeing multiple posts online about the upcoming Marvel Studios movie Captain Marvel. Specifically, how many doubt this movie will actually be made due to a perceived lack of casting rumors/general development from Marvel Studios. There are also those that believe Marvel solely announced this movie at Disney’s own Comic-Con, D23, as a response to Warner Brothers (finally) making a Wonder Woman movie. I’d like to set the record straight. Time for some backstory!

A while ago over at Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige had to answer to a man named Ike Perlmutter. Ike originally came from the world of toy companies, and had a habit of wanting Marvel projects to be done as cheaply as possible, and also vetoed attempts to make more Marvel products based on their female characters. It took Feige a very very long time to get Captain Marvel greenlit, despite the character’s popularity, most likely because of Perlmutter. There also used to be a “creative committee” made up of Marvel executives and writers that would constantly give notes on projects. The kind of notes that made Edgar Wright decide to leave Ant-Man. The kind of notes that may have played down Janet/Wasp’s role in Ant-Man. Again, despite the character’s popularity. When there was a massive disagreement on the budget of Captain America: Civil War, Feige got so frustrated that he threatened to quit Marvel unless Perlmutter was taken out of the picture. Now, Perlmutter is only in charge of the television division, while Feige only directly answers to Disney chief Alan Horn. (sources 12, and 3)

So, with this newfound power, guess what the first thing Feige did was? He got three more Marvel movies greenlit, along with an Ant-Man sequel with Wasp in the title. People complained about Janet not being Wasp in the movie, as well as not being given much to do, and the sequel is telling us that is being rectified with its title. (source)

Did Ant-Man and the Wasp push back Captain Marvel? Yes. By a few months. Does this mean she’s not a priority at Marvel? No!

There are two female writers attached to the project. Nicole Perlman, who wrote the original draft of Guardians of the Galaxy before James Gunn came in. And Meg LeFauve, who recently co-wrote a little movie you may have heard of called Inside Out. (source)

Here are some casting rumors for you: Emily Blunt has been so heavily rumored she had to acknowledge those rumors (and makes an excellent point about actresses being rumored for leading action roles, btw) (source). Ronda Rousey is literally campaigning for the role (source). Rebecca Ferguson has also been rumored (source).

Also, Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers very nearly appeared in a cameo at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. But since her inclusion would have literally been a couple of seconds of footage, and because most people who don’t follow comics have no idea who she is, Marvel and co. decided to hold off and establish Carol Danvers in her own movie instead of shoehorning an awkward cameo at the end of an already-overstuffed movie. (source)

Also, Marvel didn’t announce Captain Marvel at D23 this past year. They actually announced this movie in October 2014 (source).

Marvel is not a perfect company. It has taken far too long for them to have a female-led movie. This is a problem Hollywood has in general. But people need to do some research on these movies before assuming the worst. Captain Marvel is coming. Nothing is going to prevent that.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Can We Have Our Heroes Back Now?

Let’s get this first part out of the way: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an objectively bad movie. Its characters are woefully underdeveloped, with unclear motivation at every turn. The editing is some of the worst ever done for a big-budget Hollywood production. And there are so many dream sequences in this movie, without any attempt at transition or clarification, that at a certain point I resigned myself to not knowing what the reality of this movie would be for the remainder of its running time.

There’s also the Martha scene.

I’m just not touching that. It’s an embarrassment of bad storytelling. Others have dealt with that scene, and its stupidity. I won’t, because I am incapable of giving that scene more attention than it has already received.

Still with me? All right, let’s get to what is really wrong with this movie. And Zack Snyder as a superhero filmmaker.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Edit: This is the first of a few reviews from my tumblr that I will be re-posting here.

I feel bad for Andrew Garfield. (I’m very well-aware that he’s probably very stable financially, and also dating Emma Stone, but that’s not what I am referring to.) I feel bad that he is an actor with a great understanding of the character he plays, has openly discussed what makes the character interesting and what about the character could change, and despite all of this, he ends up with a creative team that does not share this understanding.

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