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 Posted:   Nov 19, 2013 - 1:45 AM   
 By:   Vermithrax Pejorative   (Member)

Strains of STEPMOM can be heard in Max & Liesel.

 Posted:   Nov 19, 2013 - 4:48 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

But you attacked the music itself for being "weak" and "desultory" (or "purposeless" for those of us who don't own a word-a-day calendar)... How can you possibly declare it that with any validity without understanding the context?

Ahem. That's what I meant with: the music has to stand on its own two feet. Music has its own logic, grammar, vocabulary. If it doesn't have a shape, it's purposeless, to use your word, isolated on a CD. A problem with today's album cuts is that they often include these cues, which would have been eliminated 15, 20 years ago, but today's buyer must feel better concerning the amount of material being presented, instead of the quality. The album could easily be trimmed down to 30 minutes, or less, without any material of any consequence being cut.

 Posted:   Nov 19, 2013 - 6:54 AM   
 By:   johnmullin   (Member)

Well, I'm not a fan of the Brian Tyler / Michael Giacchino albums that just seem to shovel 79:29 worth of music onto a disc and call it a day, but in general I'm not sure I agree with the idea that soundtrack albums should contain fewer cues and less music (but still presumably cost the same to purchase). Many a soundtrack junkie on the board has been disappointed by "that one cue that was left off the album" at one time or another, me included. Intrada, La La Land, the Varese CD Club and all the rest wouldn't exist if so many here did not feel that way. Not sure why you'd want to go back to the days of the 30 minute Varese specials. It seems to me that 50 some minutes is a fine length for an album, and THE BOOK THIEF seems to play alright at that length to me.

 Posted:   Nov 19, 2013 - 2:29 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

You can tell this film sucks by the newspaper adverts.
Positive quotes from two obscure critics and the odious Richard Roeper are all they could drag up.
Even quote queen Peter Travers apparently couldn't say anything nice!

Hopefully, John Williams score floats above the film

Don't go by reviews or quotes.

you need to judge something for yourself and not go by what others think.


isn't that the underlying point of my post?

 Posted:   Nov 28, 2013 - 7:35 AM   
 By:   Adam S   (Member)

I thought this was something that works better as a book than a film but getting to hear new Williams score was a treat. My appreciation and enjoyment of a score increases when I can hear how every musical decision has a purpose related to the film.

As far as Williams being a character composer, that's a clumsy stereotype at best. With this film we have the delicate piano motif in the higher register that seems to represent words coming alive off the page. The main theme seems loosely connected to the girl's love of books and her overall journey. A theme for the relationship with Max. And my favorite, the haunting musical lament, mostly heard on piano, that represents both a character and an idea, death itself. Another impressive contribution to film music, IMO.

- Adam

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2013 - 1:56 PM   
 By:   Jon Broxton   (Member)

BTW: Have the "reviewers" who raved about this (judgement being called into question) seen the movie? Hardly possible, since it hasn't enjoyed a general release yet.

Yes, I had seen the film before I reviewed the score. And thanks for putting the word reviewers in snark quotes.

 Posted:   Mar 3, 2014 - 4:03 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

It may not have won the Oscar but what a beautiful score this is. I'm listening to it now and it's a great listen, IMO. The film opens here in UK, this week so I hope to hear it in context soon.

 Posted:   Mar 3, 2014 - 4:22 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

I plan to catch it tomorrow evening after work, Peter. It's likely to only hang around for the week in my local cinema. The reviews I read over the weekend however, were generally negative..

 Posted:   Mar 3, 2014 - 4:32 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Yeah, I'm seeing it this week but most of the reviews have moaned about how sanitised and beautiful looking the whole thing is.
I'm expecting something akin to Boy In The Striped Pyjamas (as it's also told from a child's perspective).
I must admit though, the MAIN reason I'm going to see it is because John Williams scored it, pure and simple. There's something about hearing his scores at the cinema that kindles my heart! wink

 Posted:   Mar 3, 2014 - 5:41 AM   
 By:   theMaestraX   (Member)

Lovely film! John Williams snubbed again by The Academy!

 Posted:   Mar 3, 2014 - 6:58 AM   
 By:   WillGoldNewtonBarryGrusin   (Member)

Lovely film! John Williams snubbed again by The Academy!

C´mon. I adore John Williams´ work - and so does the Academy. But they can´t give him an award every time. He´s like the Meryl Streep of film composers.

 Posted:   Mar 3, 2014 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

I plan to catch it tomorrow evening after work, Peter. It's likely to only hang around for the week in my local cinema. The reviews I read over the weekend however, were generally negative..

It was like a Family Channel movie of the week. Doesn't even deserve a PG-13 rating. Though I think ppl miss the point. It's not about Nazi Germany, it's about the wonders of reading. The score just does what it needs to do. Nothing special and certainly not Oscar worthy.

 Posted:   Mar 6, 2014 - 3:10 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Well, it's what I'd term an 'old school' style film, but that ain't no bad thing these days.
I did struggle at first with the 'narrated by death' device and the 'allo allo' accents, but the film won me over as it continued, mainly because I got involved with the characters and storyline.
It is told in a similar style to The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, but since I thought that was quite a good film, I guess it's no surprise this one won me over too (the fact my two favourite composers scored them helped).
The young actress playing Liesel is the closest I've seen to a human Bambi. Those doe eyes are adorable smile
Williams' score is very fragmented during the first hour, with only snippets used (10-20 second pieces at times) compared to what's on the CD. His cues play out longer as the film progresses and the film certainly benefits from his music.
As already noted, Angela's Ashes is the main draw, with Stepmom also quoted in the Max & Leisel theme. I think the 70's style some people have mentioned is just Williams being Williams.
Having seen the film, the CD is crazy way out of order, film sequence-wise. I might re-arrange the cues in to film order (something I've done with War Of The Worlds and JNH/Shyamalan CD's to their/my benefit) and see if it improves my enjoyment of the score.
That final epilogue cue sure put a tear in my eye.

 Posted:   Mar 6, 2014 - 5:37 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)


 Posted:   Mar 6, 2014 - 6:38 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

I'm listening to this for the first time since seeing the film and it's amazing how it changes my perspective of it.
I kinda liked it when I first got it, spinning it 3 or 4 times and thinking 'yeah, nice enough, Angela's Ashes blah blah', but now I know how it fits and where it all goes, it's been a lovely revelation.
I always wondered why a track called I Hate Hitler was so contemplative and serene and now, having seen the film, I know. I would say a better cue title would be The Lake, or Liesel & Rudy, or Young Friends Farewell wink
With the film narrated by Death and Williams' penchant for plot spoilers, he deserves extra credit for avoiding ruining my viewing with his more vague track titles at certain points.

 Posted:   Mar 6, 2014 - 3:49 PM   
 By:   theMaestraX   (Member)

I agree but sometimes the academy gets it WRONG! Like Social Network
winning Best Film Score above....Pah! & the young actress in that melt my heart!

 Posted:   Mar 7, 2014 - 1:06 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I saw the film yesterday. It's rather bad, as expected from the trailer. Maudlin stuff. And I'm afraid Williams' score doesn't diminish that feeling. However, on its own it's a fine score. So I'm kinda opposite of Kev above. I'd rather not think of the movie while listening to it.

 Posted:   Mar 7, 2014 - 1:52 AM   
 By:   Mr. Popular   (Member)

I saw the film yesterday. It's rather bad, as expected from the trailer. Maudlin stuff. And I'm afraid Williams' score doesn't diminish that feeling. However, on its own it's a fine score. So I'm kinda opposite of Kev above. I'd rather not think of the movie while listening to it.

I'm probably gonna get killed for saying this but I was not impressed with this score. Been there done that feeling.

 Posted:   Mar 7, 2014 - 2:12 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Well you ain't Mr Popular round here wink but that's cool, I like opinions in all shapes and forms!

 Posted:   Mar 7, 2014 - 9:51 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

I hope you don't mind jonnyquest, but I'm cutting and pasting your comment from my Happy Birthday thread a few weeks back cos I like it and it belongs in this thread.

By: jonnyquest (Member)
As our hero (and we all) get older, I'm increasingly grateful for each and every new note and musical memory John Williams gives us. And I look to his vast body of past work as one of the things that has made my life - many of ours - most worth living.

I finally saw "The Book Thief" last weekend, and at the unexpected, climactic and totally haunting moment when "The Visitor At Himmel Street" appears in the movie and the score, I was just crushed (in the best way) by what an absolutely perfect movie moment (two minutes, actually) it was, and how many of those have washed over me, courtesy of Mr. Williams, since I was a kid.

No matter who the "other" film makers may have been, from Hitchcock or Irwin Allen or Eastwood to DePalma, Spielberg, Altman or Robson (!), Williams has always been the steadfast voice of the moments that made me love cinema. So now each time I hear that "Himmel Street" cue, it seems to be the perfect accompaniment to this montage I see in my mind's eye of my own movie/music memories. I can imagine a little film of myself, wide-eyed with excitement at the opening helicopter sequence of "Inferno," or feel my chest thumping with wonder at the "I Can't Believe It's Real" moment in CE3K, or crying like a baby as Clark Kent says goodbye to his mother while Johnny cues the London Symphony Orchestra. And a thousand others. In this gallery of memories, I'm growing up and changing, but one thing is constant: me sitting there in the dark - eyes, ears and heart wide open, and John Williams supplying the wonder. And then, me sitting there in the dark, as audiences leap up to bolt for the exits, while I just close my eyes to take in every note as the credits roll. (There's nothing like hearing a new JW score for the first time, in a cinema, knowing this is the latest of what seems to be an unstoppable parade of melodies that will now be part of your everyday life). I was that guy 40 years ago, and I was that guy last weekend at "The Book Thief".

I often wonder if the day that I join the ranks of those who just jump up and leave will be the day we won't have another Williams score.

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