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Old 11-22-2015, 12:09 AM   #1
Mark Pope
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Favorite Active Film Composers?

I have heard the John Williams vs Hans Zimmer debate a million times played out over the interweb by casual fans. I'm curios to find that of actual musicians, composers and film makers, which composers are your favorite? Since I mentioned Zimmer, I'm going to jump to his immediate defense here and say that I think while he may not be the symphonic mastermind that John Williams or Howard Shore are, he is a fantastic FILM composer, and I do think his music usually does an incredible job in bringing out the emotional backbone of a movie.

That having been said, my favorite is probably Howard Shore. I also love Alexandre Desplat, John Powell and the late James Horner (I know he's not an active composer, but given how recent his tragic death I think it fare to include him).

What do you think?!
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:05 AM   #2
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i like christophe beck
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:41 AM   #3
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i like christophe beck
Great choice. He's definitely got the lock-down on a particular style of comedy. A talk about hard-working, he's putting out like 5 and 6 scores a year!
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:40 AM   #4
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I love John Williams, but not his recent work, which leaves a bland taste in my mouth, especially the STAR WARS prequels. Amazing, since I loved the scores to the original trilogy. Lately, it has been Henry Jackman (KICK-ASS, KINGSMAN, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS). I'm still waiting for John Murphy to do something as significant as SUNSHINE and 28 WEEKS LATER, which I loved.

James Horner! I can't believe he died, last June, and nobody on the forum mentioned it. I just found out, as I rented SOUTH PAW, last night. The producers could not afford him, so he did the score for free! One of his last.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:42 AM   #5
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Cliff Martinez, Clint Mansell, Trent Reznor, Carter Burwell, Nick Cave/Warren Ellis, Thomas Newman, Jˇhann Jˇhannsson, Mychael Danna, Harry Gregson-Williams...those are some of my current favorites.

TV has some amazing composers working today as well: Dave Porter (Breaking Bad, The Blacklist), Trevor Yuile (Orphan Black), Jeff Beal (House of Cards), John Hardy (Hinterland)
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Old 06-17-2016, 04:57 AM   #6
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I really like Michael Giacchino. Had the pleasure of seeing the 'Incredits' performed live in Manchester by the Halle. Blew me a away.
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Old 06-17-2016, 05:05 PM   #7
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Nick Cave's soundtrack for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" was really quite excellent.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:08 PM   #8
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I stand by James Newton Howard. He's the most talented underrated composer. He's done amazing work on some of the biggest movies you've seen yet nobody ever brings his name up!
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Old 06-25-2016, 03:31 AM   #9
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Wait, there's a John Williams vs Hans Zimmer debate?! !!!!!!!!!!

Zimmer's scores all sound the same! The only time they're interesting is when he collaborates with other composers. He and Junkie XL killed with Supe.v.Bat, and then of course there's Gladiator.

But c'mon. Are you kidding me? John Williams is the Michael Jordan of film scores, I don't know how anyone would even try to debate that.

I'm definitely a fan of James Horner and James Newton Howard. Danny Elfman is fantastic.

I think Bear McCreary is a name to keep an eye on. His score for 10 Cloverfield Lane is amazing!
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Old 06-25-2016, 06:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker Funk View Post
Wait, there's a John Williams vs Hans Zimmer debate?! !!!!!!!!!!
I agree. No one touches vintage Williams (JAWS, STAR WARS, RAIDERS, and ET). Loved his work since GILLIGAN'S ISLAND and LOST IN SPACE. After RETURN OF THE JEDI, I felt his quality go way down, around the same time he starting devoting a lot of time to the Boston Pops. I think it was 9 months of the year, compared to 3 months that allowed for movie scoring. Some people may be comparing the latter part of his career to what Hans has been doing.

I've been buying various Zimmer scores, since PAPER HOUSE, DROP ZONE, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2. (It was decent, bu I liked Elfman's first MISSION IMPOSSIBLE score, much more.) He is so hit and miss. His sound usually produces big sounding mood over thematics.

I was really disappointed in INTERSTELLAR and that over-used organ type sound. On the other hand.... INCEPTION really connected with me. Brilliant work!




I loved that director, Nolan, cranked the score on that movie. He also cranked it with Interstellar, but that technique annoyed me on that one. I've also enjoyed the BATMAN BEGINS and DARK KNIGHT (Zimmer working along side James Newton Howard). Interesting technique of fleshing out a minimalistic 2 note theme and making huge layers and sequences out of it. I like MAN OF STEEL, also.


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I stand by James Newton Howard. He's the most talented underrated composer. He's done amazing work on some of the biggest movies you've seen yet nobody ever brings his name up!
I was just rewatching THE SIXTH SENSE and was noticing how much the score elevated that slow paced, but excellent movie. Talk about giving something a voice.


Some other mentions: John Powell (THE BOURNE IDENTITY movies) and Henry Jackman (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and KINGSMAN).


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Old 06-25-2016, 06:48 PM   #11
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Oh, and someone to watch out for would be Dean Valentine. He scored trailers for PROMETHEUS ("BUUUUM....BUUUUMM!"), INTERSTELLAR, THE MARTIAN, FURY, and this:




Love it.
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:41 PM   #12
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One of my current favorites is Michael Giacchino.

He started out scoring video games, moved to TV (Lost, Alias, Fringe, & Six Degrees among others). His film work includes:

Zootopia
Jurassic World
Inside Out
Tomorrowland
Jupiter Ascending
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Star Trek Into Darkness
John Carter
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
The Candidate
Up
Star Trek
Ratatouille
Sex, Lies and Videotape
Mission: Impossible III
Sky High
The Incredibles



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Old 06-25-2016, 09:40 PM   #13
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Michael Giaccino, good stuff. I didn't know his name before today, but I like all of those scores (the ones I've seen/heard anyway). Ditto that for Dean Valentine. Scoopic, the music you linked of his almost sounds like a what would happen if Elfman and Zimmer collaborated.

As far as Williams is concerned, it is my opinion that he's still at the top of his game. I don't agree that there's been any drop-off in quality or innovation. His score is damn-near the only reason to watch any of the Star Wars prequels, and I think the music was just as good in Force Awakens. And frankly, I'm stunned that anyone would suggest his quality of worked dropped off after Jedi. I mean, Jurassic Park!!!

I'm also eager to see what comes of Junkie XL. I think his collaboration with Zimmer on Supe.v.Bat was fantastic, and I LOVED what he did for Fury Road.

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Old 06-25-2016, 09:41 PM   #14
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Alcove, press "quote" and you'll see how I linked the YT video you meant to link.

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Old 06-25-2016, 11:09 PM   #15
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Yup, I was tired. I forgot the behind the "=" thing.
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