Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Reasons Singerman Sucks #4,512: The Score

In going through all of the excruciating detail of just how bad Singerman actually was, one of the things that I think we haven't discussed much here is the movie score done by Singer cronie, John Ottman. Like his writing pals, Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty, Ottman is another one of "Singer's guys," who has been working with him since The Usual Suspects back in 1995. And just like Harris and Dougherty "borrowed" aspects of Donner's Superman in writing Singerman, Ottman based his score around John Williams' theme that we all know and love from that same film. Unfortunately for Ottman, the best parts of his score were the parts that were originally written in 1977 by the "Master of the Movie Score" John Williams. Everything Ottman did was derivative and unmemorable, with all the originality of the latest New Found Glory song.

Knowing that Singer is an absolute control freak, I'll probably put some of that blame on him as well. I'm sure Ottman was given some "guidance" to include Williams' theme. Now dont get us wrong, we LOVE the Williams' theme, but like the film itself, the score needed a fresh start. This movie with a completely new cast needed to stand on it's own in story, look, and feel. Tying it to the Donner films just reminded everyone of just how good those films were, and just how bad this one was by comparison. Singer did that in story, score, and even the look of the lead actor. You didn't see Christopher Nolan mandating that Hans Zimmer use Danny Elfman's theme from the Burton Batman films in Batman Begins did you? And guess what? Zimmer and James Newton Howard produced a memorable and moving score that stands on it's own.

I'll stick just as much blame on Ottman though. He doesn't exactly have a track record of writing moving scores. Looking at the guy's resume there's not a lot of memorable work there. I couldn't identify the first 2 X-Men film's scores if you played me the first 30 notes of them, and I've seen each of those films well over a half-dozen times. And did Fantastic Four even have a score?

Singer should've moved out of his personal, comfortable "circle of friends" and gone for the guy who's one of the best in business, Hans Zimmer. Zimmer's work recently has been fantastic, and his scores are all very triumphant and heroic. And guess what other films Zimmer's worked on? That's right, the Pirates of the Carribean films. I've heard those films are doing pretty well, but I could be mistaken. Zimmer also did the score for the TV show The Contender. Take a listen to it, the score is fantastic, and it's just for a boxing reality TV show. Imagine what he could've pumped out for a $260 million epic... How awesome and fitting would something like that have been for a true Superman film? Unfortunatley, like most other things with Singerman, we're left with "what if's."


Anonymous said...
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SM said...

I think very little of the issues with the movie are to do with the soundtrack. I don't know if I would like the militaristic machine Zimmer type music in a Superman film.

I think Ottman did well redeveloping the romantic themes for the movie.
Even if it had restarted with an origin story, I think the score he produced for this movie would have been fine for that. I can imagine using it as background music while re-reading Birthright or Man Of Steel.

I didn't enjoy the new villain music, but I thought the old villain music was not that good either.

I agree Ottman is not the most creative composer around, but I don't agree that it would have been necessary to throw out the old score music.

Anonymous said...

The score is incredibly tamed compared to the original. I guess he wanted to "wuss-ify" both the character AND theme song.

Anonymous said...

The score was underwhelming and unfit for a Superman film. . . Oh wait. . . It's Singerman. . .

Never mind, it's fine for a Superman "Chick Flick".