August 18th, 2006



I was about two minutes into the title sequence of Ultraviolet when I told my wife, "I already love this score - it could make the movie." Well, it didn't. But boy was I shocked to see that it was written by Klaus Badelt! Now, I'm not going to go so far as to say I despise the man, but up to this point I've pretty much felt he was milktoast, and his association with Hans Zimmer further intensifies this feeling.

However...Zimmer's been growing on me here and there, and I know exactly why. I'm a classical music lover. But there's no 'new' classical music. All the composers are dead. Sure I haven't heard everything, but it becomes rote after 20+ years. Filmscore music on the otherhand, comes out all the time. New stuff. So years ago I bought the soundtrack to Broken Arrow. I think that was my first Zimmer score. Mostly bland, but some good strong recurring themes. I like that in a soundtrack. I heard Broken Arrow in Scream 2 and couldn't believe my ears. Turns out the director liked it so much as the temp track, he included it. Greatly enjoyed Gladiator, but only because it reminded me so strongly of Holst and Wagner.

Fast forward to the mess of scores he's put out lately, and they all seem bland to me again. Some soundtracks are marvelous as standalone scores. You can listen to them day and night without ever having seen the film. They're just fantastic. But what I've noticed with me & Zimmer, is that I usually hate a score of his until I have seen the movie. Then all of a sudden it becomes exciting! I first noticed this with Batman Begins, and more recently with Pirates of the Caribbean II. I'm unsure if its entirely an emotional response of the film triggered by the music, or that its just the score in context. Either way, I'm now a big fan of Pirates.

Now - I've only heard the score once; during the film. But I want it. And cannot find it. Now this doesn't mean I'm going to go all weak-kneed over my other Badelt scores, but I certainly want to give this one another listen!

Which reminds me (and I know I'm opening myself up for ridicule here) but the Ultraviolet score was very reminiscent of Eric Serra's The Fifth Element IMHO - being everything I wish Serra's score would be, but wasn't. I know, I know, Milla Jovovich...what can I say?
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    Pirates of the Caribbean I & II Soundtrack
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