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Film Score: Best of 2008

Posted on 2009.01.06 at 06:27
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: True Blood Soundtrack, Season One

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

Poll #1326229 2008 Film Scores, Continued

Best Film Score for 2008 Movies, Continued

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


This Is Me, Ten Sticks
lehah at 2009-01-06 13:00 (UTC) (Link)
Speed Racer, by a wide margin. Followed by Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of Internet Faggotry Backlash Jungle Asshole-Eating
ehowton at 2009-01-06 13:22 (UTC) (Link)
Both of which raise goosebumps upon my flesh.
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2009-01-06 14:19 (UTC) (Link)
I agree about Speed Racer. I am so in love with the music that I want to write it dubious love poetry in sparkly pink pen, then have depraved sex with it.

Well, either that or play it really loudly at 3am and annoy my neighbours. Both options have their appeal.
ehowton at 2009-01-06 17:06 (UTC) (Link)
And all this time I thought I was the only one who enjoyed the score. You win.
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2009-01-06 17:40 (UTC) (Link)
What do I win? A cookie? Strippers? Böglyft?
ehowton at 2009-01-06 18:05 (UTC) (Link)

Sorry mate, wrong hardware. Flush-mount plumbing need not apply.
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2009-01-06 18:10 (UTC) (Link)
No, no, I just want to watch! Get a handle on it, as it were. Kind of like buying your favourite show on DVD, only with more, um, interactivity.
ehowton at 2009-01-06 19:21 (UTC) (Link)
That's it, I'm canceling all future parties in Anna, Texas. I will not host a Böglyft get-together.
Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2009-01-06 19:58 (UTC) (Link)
Lars and Olaf will be SO disappointed.
wardlejew at 2009-01-06 17:47 (UTC) (Link)
I haven't listened to the score on its own, but Star Wars: The Clone Wars was cool when I watched the movie. I really liked the fresh take at the beginning of the movie. Of course The Dark Knight is my favorite of the year so far. I wonder if that makes me a stupid person?
ehowton at 2009-01-06 18:03 (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely not. TDK was a huge surprise.
David Alexander McDonald (Steven E. McDonald)
wyldemusick at 2009-01-06 22:25 (UTC) (Link)
I was surprised that I liked the Speed Racer score so much, as I normally find Giacchino even less interesting than Zimmer. He did some nice things with the Speed Racer theme, though.

Thomas Newman: Little Children. I'm extremely fond of Newman.
ehowton at 2009-01-07 01:54 (UTC) (Link)
Giacchino won me over with The Incredibles, I had Speed Racer on heavy rotation when it was released, and now I'm chomping at the bit to see what he'll do with the new Star Trek. I'm literally shivering with anticipation.
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