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Soundtracks, Soundtracks, Soundtracks: Bad Films, Great Scores

Jul. 6, 2012by: Paul Huffman

There are many things that make a movie what it is. It all starts with a story (according to what every How-To book on screenwriting tells us), there is the director and his crew, there are the actors, who bust their asses to bring a vision to life. Then comes the wonderful world of post-production. What is one result of that? The music. Soundtracks enhance the movie going experience. They can make us cry, they can pump us up, they can make us remember the 80's. Whether it be a musical band or a composer, soundtracks help our favorite movies stay etched in our mind forever.

Part of the magic of a film score is that it can take a movie that just isnt working and improve it with its presence. These soundtracks below and so many others are proof that there is so much more to a film that what you see on screen, love can be made to your ears as well. Because of the less than stellar films they accompany many of them dont get the love they deserve, hopefully todays article can open your eyes to a few of them.

1. QUEEN OF THE DAMNED BY VARIOUS ARTISTS

I wanted to love this movie when I first saw it. I love the Anne Rice novels, and I loved the adaption of Interview with the Vampire as many do. The casting of Stuart Townsend was the first nail in the coffin (pun intended), I have nothing against the guy but he just didnt work as Lestat for me and most of the supporting cast left a lot to be desired. The late Aaliyah however, was mesmerizing in her small role, her scene at the bar mixed with this films stellar rock soundtrack and Jonathan Davis score made this film a bit more tolerable. Queen of the Damned had a lot of potential, as far as the music went it delivered. Purchase the soundtrack here

2. THE LAST AIRBENDER BY JAMES NEWTON HOWARD

I hadnt seen a single episode of Avatar before seeing this film, but I didnt need to know something was off with The Last Airbender and my brothers (who is a fan of the show) groans of displeasure affirmed that M Nights latest effort was indeed shit. NOTE: Ive since seen episodes of Avatar to justify this opinion; I felt it was called for. That said, just like Shyamalan films before this James Newton Howard came along and made sitting through The Last Airbender a bit of an easier task to accomplish, a testament to his talent. Purchase the soundtrack here

3. MAN IN THE IRON MASK BY NICK GLENNIE-SMITH

Man in the Iron Mask as a film has some redeeming qualities, some of the casting was inspired but the casting of Leo DiCaprio to capitalize on his star power at the time was pretty lazy if you ask me. Maybe nitpicking on the lack of an accent coming from a couple of the characters is a bit ridiculous to have an issue with, but it bothered me. Some things are distracting and can take away from the experience. But the wonderful score by Nick Glennie-Smith made me feel a range of emotions nonetheless, I dug the love theme and other emotional tracks like Kissy Kissie and the track Surrounded pumped me up and made me want to become a musketeer. All for one, and one for all. Purchase the soundtrack here

4. PATCH ADAMS BY MARK SHAIMAN

Its funny how peoples tastes can change as the years go along. For instance, these days I like drama in film to be a bit more understated and the melodrama not thrown in your damn face as it was with films like this and John Q. Too much of said melodrama can make a film lean more towards an uncomfortably corny side, which is what I think Patch Adams suffered from. However, Im a sucker for an emotional piece of music (talk about contradictions) and Mark Shaiman came along and provided that for me in spades. One of the few scores that can still move me to tears these days, and I like to be made to cry now and again to remind myself I still have it in me. Purchase the soundtrack here

5. K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER BY KLAUS BADELT

Klaus Badelt provided an amazing score for this film that drowned out Harrison Fords laughable Russian accent a few times and made up for the bits of a miserably slow pace. I guess when it came down to it, there just wasnt enough going on in K-19 to keep me fully engaged. But tracks like Heroes and Reunion rocked my world. Badelt, mentored by the great Hans Zimmer, teamed up with Kirov Orchestra to really capture the pride of Russia theme this film carried. Klaus also contributed to the Gladiator and Pearl Harbor soundtracks. Purchase the soundtrack here

HONORABLE MENTION: PEARL HARBOR BY HANS ZIMMER
Extra Tidbit: Any other soundtracks you lot would like to add to this list? Any suggestions for a potential Vol. 2 of this particular article let me have em!
Source: JoBlo
Tags: soundtracks

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11:41AM on 07/06/2012
Waterworld (James Newton Howard) and The 13th Warrior (Jerry Goldsmith). Bad films. Great scores.
Waterworld (James Newton Howard) and The 13th Warrior (Jerry Goldsmith). Bad films. Great scores.
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12:08PM on 07/06/2012
Lost in Space by Bruce Boughton and Danny Elfman's The Wolfman.
Lost in Space by Bruce Boughton and Danny Elfman's The Wolfman.
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12:10PM on 07/06/2012
Lost in Space by Bruce Boughton and Danny Elfman's The Wolfman.
Lost in Space by Bruce Boughton and Danny Elfman's The Wolfman.
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12:19PM on 07/06/2012
John Barry's soundtrack to A View To A Kill is gorgeous.
John Barry's soundtrack to A View To A Kill is gorgeous.
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12:23PM on 07/06/2012
Chris Young's score for A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 is my favorite horror soundtrack of all time. Not the best movie though.

Also really loved Elfman's work on Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. That movie was awful.
Chris Young's score for A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 is my favorite horror soundtrack of all time. Not the best movie though.

Also really loved Elfman's work on Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. That movie was awful.
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12:44PM on 07/06/2012
This is a great article, I'll occasionally come across a bad film with great-sounding music but never realised that there is a whole bunch of such films. Cutthroat Island has a great, rousing score by John Debney that out-pirates even Pirates of the Caribbean's music. Alan Silvestri ends up doing lots of very good scores for mediocre films, including Richie Rich - I can't believe how epic that score sounds at times. While I don't mind it, lots of people don't like The Tourist, but James Newton
This is a great article, I'll occasionally come across a bad film with great-sounding music but never realised that there is a whole bunch of such films. Cutthroat Island has a great, rousing score by John Debney that out-pirates even Pirates of the Caribbean's music. Alan Silvestri ends up doing lots of very good scores for mediocre films, including Richie Rich - I can't believe how epic that score sounds at times. While I don't mind it, lots of people don't like The Tourist, but James Newton Howard does a beautiful, romantic and sweeping score for it, that is really sweet and old-fashioned. Love that one.
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2:29PM on 07/06/2012

The Last Airbender...

...is maybe James Newton Howard's best score ever. It's a masterpiece and it's a shame that he wasn't even nominated for that, just becuause the movie was bad. No, istead The Social Network won best original music, which had three notes in its entirety. Because the movie was good? Meh...

EXTRA TIDBIT:
Van Helsing by Alan Silvestri
The Shadow by Jerry Goldsmith (btw, I love that movie)
Lady in the Water by James Newton Howard
The Time Machine by Klaus Badelt
and like Vince Mango wrote
...is maybe James Newton Howard's best score ever. It's a masterpiece and it's a shame that he wasn't even nominated for that, just becuause the movie was bad. No, istead The Social Network won best original music, which had three notes in its entirety. Because the movie was good? Meh...

EXTRA TIDBIT:
Van Helsing by Alan Silvestri
The Shadow by Jerry Goldsmith (btw, I love that movie)
Lady in the Water by James Newton Howard
The Time Machine by Klaus Badelt
and like Vince Mango wrote below:
Waterworld by James Newton Howard
The 13th Warroir by Jerry Goldsmith
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3:27PM on 07/06/2012
I must say, James Newton Howard is at his best when in collaboration with MNS. The soundtrack for The Last Airbender gives me eargasms. "Flow Like Water" can be played on repeat the whole day, and I wouldn't get tired of it.
I must say, James Newton Howard is at his best when in collaboration with MNS. The soundtrack for The Last Airbender gives me eargasms. "Flow Like Water" can be played on repeat the whole day, and I wouldn't get tired of it.
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3:37PM on 07/06/2012
I must say, James Newton Howard is at his best when in collaboration with MNS. The soundtrack for The Last Airbender gives me eargasms. "Flow Like Water" can be played on repeat the whole day, and I wouldn't get tired of it.
I must say, James Newton Howard is at his best when in collaboration with MNS. The soundtrack for The Last Airbender gives me eargasms. "Flow Like Water" can be played on repeat the whole day, and I wouldn't get tired of it.
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8:44AM on 07/08/2012
Well, most people consider Mission to Mars to be a bad movie. I don't agree with this but the movie has an AMAZING score either way. One of my favorites in fact.
Well, most people consider Mission to Mars to be a bad movie. I don't agree with this but the movie has an AMAZING score either way. One of my favorites in fact.
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8:51AM on 07/08/2012
BTW, Man in the Iron Mask and K-19 are NOT bad movies! I also happened to love Patch Adams as well. The other two are bad though. Especially Last Airbender.
BTW, Man in the Iron Mask and K-19 are NOT bad movies! I also happened to love Patch Adams as well. The other two are bad though. Especially Last Airbender.
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11:22AM on 07/08/2012
The main theme for "Judge Dredd" is pretty awesome.
The main theme for "Judge Dredd" is pretty awesome.
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12:01PM on 07/09/2012
Van Helsing. Alan Silvestri's fast-paced, thunderous score renders the movie almost watchable.
Van Helsing. Alan Silvestri's fast-paced, thunderous score renders the movie almost watchable.
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5:53PM on 04/30/2014

Pearl Harbor wasn't that bad

Have to say Hans Zimmer did a wonderful job on Pearl Harbor. I realize the movie isn't to everyone's tastes with the love sub-plot with the later Miss Underworld, Kate, but Zimmer did the best with what he had. I probably enjoyed the movie a lot more (than I should have) because of it.
Have to say Hans Zimmer did a wonderful job on Pearl Harbor. I realize the movie isn't to everyone's tastes with the love sub-plot with the later Miss Underworld, Kate, but Zimmer did the best with what he had. I probably enjoyed the movie a lot more (than I should have) because of it.
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