January 6th, 2009

Eric

Film Score: Best of 2008


Last month we voted on our favorite movies. This week, our favorite film scores of 2008 movies! Once again I've compiled only the list of scores I have, so feel free to check "other" and let me know what you thought was the best, and why - I'm always looking for more great scores to listen to.

Picking favorites is especially difficult when it comes to scores, not because they're as varied as the movies they represent, but moreso because I get to spend a lot more time with them than the movies themselves. And while I enjoyed the originality of John Powell's Hancock and Ramin Djawadi's Iron Man I found myself listening mostly to Michael Giacchino's exciting score to Speed Racer and the surprisingly innovative The Dark Knight from collaborators Hans Zimmer and James Newton-Howard. It was a late entry though, which stole me away from the rest, Carter Burwell's Twilight.

I'd posted earlier about this score and how it managed to get so much of my attention, but it didn't dawn on me until the other night while I was listening to the lush orchestrations of Nature Finds A Way that I realized I shouldn't much care for the score to Twilight as it is a fairly low-key presentation with few instruments. I'm not that keen on a solo spanish guitar leading the charge, but in this case, for reasons I still have yet to resolve, it works for me.

Two pieces of music were recorded with about 24 players - "Bella's Lullaby" and "Showdown in the Ballet Studio," and the rest were done with a core ensemble of 4 strings, 3 woodwinds, piano, harp, bass, guitar and percussion. ~ Carter Burwell

This score also wasn't even close to being an immediate favorite, possibly for the reasons listed above, nor was seeing the film and finally being able to match cues with scenes in context, though I did order the album after I'd seen the movie (mostly to replace my 192kbps copy once I'd heard it in the theater). No, this was a score which grew on me, after numerous listens. So if you don't care for it right away, I understand completely. But I was eventually taken by it, which is why it gets my vote for favorite score of a 2008 film.


arter Burwell at the console during the recording of Twilight, September 2008 at Air Lyndhurst Studios in London
Carter Burwell at the console during the recording of Twilight,
September 2008 at Air Lyndhurst Studios in London


And without further ado:
Poll #1326228 2008 Film Scores

Best Film Score for 2008 Movies

10,000 BC (Harald Kloser & Thomas Wander)
0(0.0%)
Changling (Clint Eastwood)
0(0.0%)
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Harry Gregson-Williams)
0(0.0%)
The Clone Wars (Kevin Kiner)
1(10.0%)
The Dark Knight (Hans Zimmer & James Newton-Howard)
1(10.0%)
Hancock (John Powell)
0(0.0%)
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (Danny Elfman)
1(10.0%)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (John Williams)
0(0.0%)
The Incredible Hulk (Craig Armstrong)
1(10.0%)
Iron Man (Ramin Djawadi)
1(10.0%)
Max Payne (Marco Beltrami & Buck Sanders)
1(10.0%)
The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor (Randy Edelman)
0(0.0%)
Quantum of Solace (David Arnold)
0(0.0%)
Rambo (Brian Tyler)
0(0.0%)
Rest Stop: Don't Look Back (Bear McCreary) (V)
0(0.0%)

Poll #1326229 2008 Film Scores, Continued

Best Film Score for 2008 Movies, Continued

SG-1: The Ark of Truth (Joel Goldsmith) (V)
0(0.0%)
Speed Racer (Michael Giacchino)
1(12.5%)
The Spiderwick Chronicles (James Horner)
0(0.0%)
Twilight (Carter Burwell)
1(12.5%)
Valkyrie (John Ottman)
1(12.5%)
WALL-E (Thomas Newman)
1(12.5%)
The X-Files: I Want to Believe (Mark Snow)
0(0.0%)
Another you don't have listed here, I'll tell you about it in the comments!
0(0.0%)
What's a...score?
0(0.0%)
I don't listen to film scores, ever.
2(25.0%)
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Eric

MacBook Wheel


Steve Jobs gave his very last Key Note today in California, and the everpresent mindless throng of Apple enthusiasts were not disappointed, for today, the face of computing will forever be changed with the introduction of the MacBook Wheel, Apple's boldest move since the Macintosh:




Monopolizing on the wheel technology found in almost every line of their popular iPod series, Apple expects to hit one out of the ballpark with their reinvention of the laptop. First the Air, then the unibody construction, and now the Wheel. All I can think about is how pissed off I am because I sat through a year of typing class banging away on those old IBM Selectric typewriters in a classroom full of girls.





Though it was his last Key Note, Steve Jobs discussed in some detail how he fully expects the MacBook Wheel to be the precursor for change in their faltering OSX Server market as well, stating, "I never really realized how nuch I hated keybroads untill I saw this thing." With this latest tool, Apple is hoping to open the door to Enterprise-sized data centers and start carving out market share away from HP, Sun, and IBM on midrange back-end servers.



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