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 Posted:   Apr 14, 2019 - 12:01 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Saw it very recently, and loved every second of the movie. The balance of comedy and dramatic stuff was right on the button for me.

But sorry folks. There's no addition to what I consider the greats of superhero music. What Williams, Elfman, Goldenthal and Walker do as already stated was compose 'in your face' 'shut your mouth' themes. This just doesn't happen any more.

As I said in the Elfman Replies thread, the other day I had an Elfman Batman day. I could not stop listening to Batman Returns. Three truly great themes in one score. Each one hummable as hell. I'm whistling them right now! Batman!, Penguin!, Catwoman! And I do remember that the opening to the film was incredible on first viewing in the cinema. One of the most impressive music to film sequences I've ever experienced, and I could not wait to get my own copy of Birth of the Penguin I was so blown away.

And despite hearing the Shazam score in the cinema, and those clips on here several times over, I'm simply not getting the earworm effect at all. Whereas the above animated Superman clip was the first time, just now, that I've ever heard it, and straight away there's a theme instantly hummable.

The Shazam score is indeed very pleasant, and beautifully orchestrated, and I especially liked the Lord of the Rings-ish choral work for the Seven Deadly Sins, but the theme still escapes me.


I hear a very definite theme throughout this score. I agree that it's not wholly original and draws upon harmonic tropes from 80s action/adventure fare, but its interest to my ears is how Wallfisch develops the material throughout. That coupled with the expert orchestral colorations has kept me listening to it on a daily basis since it was released.

I listened to the Walker Superman theme and to be honest, it sounds very predictable and generic to me as much as the Shazam theme does for others. Elfman's earlier period of composing was comprised of motivic writing rather than long-spun themes like Horner would craft. Because of the compact nature of Elfman's style from that era, it was easier to latch onto his musical ideas.

I recall a big controversy when Lost in Space and Spiderman were released. Both were charged with a lack of memorable thematic material. In retrospect, they of course had themes, just longer than 4 or 8 bars.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 14, 2019 - 2:37 PM   
 By:   KeoNato   (Member)



I recall a big controversy when Lost in Space and Spiderman were released. Both were charged with a lack of memorable thematic material. In retrospect, they of course had themes, just longer than 4 or 8 bars.


I’m not sure why this is such a big problem in superhero movies — from Elfman’s Spider-Man to Ottman’s X-Men, to this — longer themes get missed in first listens and we inevitably hear a common complaint that the movie “has no theme.”

It’s always there — it just might not be something you can hum in 5 notes.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 7:57 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

I love being able to hum something in five notes!

I guess I'm just a thematic material kind of film music fan. I always prefer scores with larger passages of tuneful, melodic music. Sometimes composers of claim not to like the leitmotif method, but still manage to give scores with very memorable. Look at Herrmann. My introduction to film music really were his scores for the Harryhausen films, and they all have recurring thematic material. Certainly the Argo ends up having the Prelude as a theme, and the storm and sea stuff in Mysterious Island repeats the Prelude there too.

But the superhero genre to me seems to be the one most appropriate one for thematic scoring. The whole concept seems Wagnerian to me. I take the point about the Walker Superman theme. It is a little generic, and of course owes much to the John Williams classic. And during the time of this thread I got out the Jay Gruskin soundtrack for Lois and Clark, which despite liking it I always thought was REALLY generic, but since I put it on I've been humming the damn thing ever since! So I have to hold my hands up and admit I obviously want that instant recognition.

I do think, too, that the old fashioned opening title sequence makes for a better chance of substantial theme, and of course we get many Tim Burton films with just this. Plus I'm a sucker for the recurring piece with variations, so I love moments like The Cemetery in Batman Returns even though I've not long since heard Birth of a Penguin before it.

Anyway, it looks as if I'm going to have to get the Shazam cd and give it real try. I listened to the theme yesterday, and there were the glimmerings of recognition there so all is not lost. Maybe in taking longer to grow on me it will then have a more lasting effect, and in a few weeks time I'll be eating my words. Hey, I'll be happy to do so.

 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

I love being able to hum something in five notes!

I guess I'm just a thematic material kind of film music fan. I always prefer scores with larger passages of tuneful, melodic music. Sometimes composers of claim not to like the leitmotif method, but still manage to give scores with very memorable. Look at Herrmann. My introduction to film music really were his scores for the Harryhausen films, and they all have recurring thematic material. Certainly the Argo ends up having the Prelude as a theme, and the storm and sea stuff in Mysterious Island repeats the Prelude there too.

But the superhero genre to me seems to be the one most appropriate one for thematic scoring. The whole concept seems Wagnerian to me. I take the point about the Walker Superman theme. It is a little generic, and of course owes much to the John Williams classic. And during the time of this thread I got out the Jay Gruskin soundtrack for Lois and Clark, which despite liking it I always thought was REALLY generic, but since I put it on I've been humming the damn thing ever since! So I have to hold my hands up and admit I obviously want that instant recognition.

I do think, too, that the old fashioned opening title sequence makes for a better chance of substantial theme, and of course we get many Tim Burton films with just this. Plus I'm a sucker for the recurring piece with variations, so I love moments like The Cemetery in Batman Returns even though I've not long since heard Birth of a Penguin before it.

Anyway, it looks as if I'm going to have to get the Shazam cd and give it real try. I listened to the theme yesterday, and there were the glimmerings of recognition there so all is not lost. Maybe in taking longer to grow on me it will then have a more lasting effect, and in a few weeks time I'll be eating my words. Hey, I'll be happy to do so.


Fair enough Paul. I don't disagree either. One of my favourite modern heroic themes is Shapiro's Captain Underpants which does a fine job of being tuneful, evoking the classic hero themes but still feels new and fresh. Plus it's a fabulously orchestrated score performed by the London players. Also find Sky Captain by Shearmur to be very underrated and it could have easily been the new Superman theme in my mind. Superb score.

What I like about Wallfisch's efforts on Shazam is similar to enjoying the development section of a Beethoven symphony. Or Shostakovich. I enjoy hearing the skills required to bend and vary the main melodic material. It's almost like recitative rather than aria if we compare it to an opera. Now we all want and almost need that aria to give the listener a base with which to draw from when understanding where and how the composer is developing the material. If it's not strong or memorable enough, then it can slip into that busy, over-orchestrated fare that some lament. It also seems to be a challenge for orchestrators who transitioned to composers themselves. So much of their time was dedicated to the technical aspects of music and arranging so it's not surprising to hear great chops but perhaps not as much originality.

Regardless, I dig Shazam, more than I'd expected. Yeah, some of Wallfisch's harmonic choices frustrate me because they fall into convention, but you can bet that this is what his bosses wanted him to write. And this is something I bring up often here and everywhere else: composers are hired to write music for their employers and as such often compromise their own artistic integrity to get the job done. Those who don't or have been difficult aren't working in the Hollywood system as much or if at all, either by their own choice or simply because no one wants to hire them, regardless of what a superb composer they may be.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 17, 2019 - 3:50 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Saw this last night.
While there's enough to enjoy in it, overall, I wonder how much more superhero 'flying/zooming/punching/throwing things' I can take anymore.
Sooner or later, it just gets too 'old' to endure.
The best bits were the scenes in the school and foster home.
I can't wait for the studios and film makers to bring something new to the table, or just retire the superhero genre for a good while.
Wallfisch tried his best to supply a score that featured 'old fashioned values' (defined instruments, clearer orchestrations) but was hamstrung by todays shooting/editing techniques, which gave him virtually no chance to develop or play his theme fully until the tail end of the end credits.
I thought he might get his theme over the Main Titled comic-strip End Credits, but no, a seriously sh!t song stole that sequence.
Likewise, Queen's Don't Stop Me Now got the training montage over any development of the main theme frown

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 17, 2019 - 7:39 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

I have to go back to Man of Steel when my wife turned to me during that protracted extra last half hour of mayhem ( BEFORE which we all thought it had finished) and said "I think I've seen enough of these things now". 'These things' meaning superhero films. Only a few years before after Batman Begins finished she'd said she could have cheerfully watched it all over again, something she NEVER does.

Between the Reeve Superman films and the Nolan Batman trilogy (Although I personally missed in Nolan's films that extra razzmatazz we got in Tim Burton's and the more thematic music that went with it), we got more than just super powered heroes bashing each other for hours. There was humour, romance, the stuff of more balanced films. Maybe it's because showing the super feats was harder then, and other things were needed, and now we have all the cgi to make it all look seamless it's a case of overkill. So the music will reflect this, and be just as dull as what we're seeing.

Both Wonder Woman and now Shazam are a step away from total mayhem. Let's hope the trend continues. I didn't have the same problem with the action in Shazam as I haven't seen many superhero films since Man of Steel, including Justice League, so it seemed fairly well balanced to me.

 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2019 - 9:09 AM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=338455120142092

 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2019 - 9:37 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Be sure to save those cynical, world-weary opinions for those intelligence-insulting, nostalgia-exploiting Star Wars movies, boys.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2019 - 10:19 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

It's all nostalgia exploited entertainment these days Jim.
At least the Star Wars films (at the moment at least) keep things to roughly 1 film per year.
These comic book superhero things are almost averaging one a week now!!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 20, 2019 - 12:00 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

It's all nostalgia exploited entertainment these days Jim.
At least the Star Wars films (at the moment at least) keep things to roughly 1 film per year.
These comic book superhero things are almost averaging one a week now!!



So far this year we've seen:

Alita: Battle Angel
Captain Marvel
Hellboy
Shazam!

Still to come:

Avengers: Endgame
Brightburn
Dark Phoenix
Joker
Men in Black: International
The New Mutants
Spider-Man: Far From Home

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2019 - 6:29 PM   
 By:   RustyNail   (Member)

Has anybody who ordered this from Amazon received their copy yet or at least got a shipping notice?

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2019 - 6:45 PM   
 By:   Seajay4600   (Member)

Can't speak for Amazon but ordered mine from Intrada on Saturday and received shipping notice/tracking today. These Water Tower cds are tough to find.

 
 Posted:   May 14, 2019 - 5:24 AM   
 By:   ryanpaquet   (Member)

Ordered mine from Amazon.ca - happy it hasn't shipped yet because the price dropped. Estimated ship date for me is May 19. I pre-ordered because it took some effort to get the Aquaman CD.

 
 
 Posted:   May 15, 2019 - 2:26 AM   
 By:   Jordan.Tokuscope   (Member)

I received the CD yesterday (ordered from Amazon France). The CD is a pressed one.

 
 
 Posted:   May 15, 2019 - 3:31 AM   
 By:   MCurry29   (Member)

Received my copy yesterday. Fricking Brilliant Score from Benjamin Wallfisch. Love it- great Main Theme. Has he now surpassed Zimmer?- well- YES! Whatever, I don't own anything but Thin Red Line.

 
 
 Posted:   May 15, 2019 - 5:28 PM   
 By:   RustyNail   (Member)

My copy from Amazon arrived today, I wonder if this will be hard to find soon just like Aquaman.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 8:12 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

I finally caught the film last week in theatres and really enjoyed the film. Of course, the score was magnificent in every way, and did a beautiful job at heightening the action and events that unfolded in the movie. The mix was pretty impressive too as it was not hard to hear Wallfisch's intricate score.

I bought the music originally on iTunes but ended up ordering the CD from Amazon because I wanted to experience the full on best sound quality that this music deserves. And I was not disappointed! sounds awe inspiring in my Kia Forte with custom Focal sound system. Thunderous actually.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 8:42 AM   
 By:   ryanpaquet   (Member)

Mine arrived last night too - looking forward to giving it a spin.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 10:23 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Received my copy yesterday. Fricking Brilliant Score from Benjamin Wallfisch. Love it- great Main Theme. Has he now surpassed Zimmer?- well- YES! Whatever, I don't own anything but Thin Red Line.

He "surpassed Zimmer" long ago with his incredible Peter Pan theatrical score...still my favorite work of his, even though I do really like Shazam!



Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2019 - 8:14 AM   
 By:   Jubba   (Member)

Rewatched it a couple of times. Good movie. Better then other DCs

 
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