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I think they've moved on from him personally, and as I've said above, I hope that is the case.
With the accolades showered on Newman (whether warranted or not is a different matter) for SF, and the fact that the OST sold more than any of Arnold's work (as will probably be the case with SP as well), going back to Arnold will likely be seen as regressive at this stage. The only way I see Arnold returning is if DC stays (which is still up in the air). If it's a new actor, it's probably a new composer as well for a new Bond sound.
Arnold was better before he got Bond imho. His best work was done in the mid 90's.
Pemberton 's music for the now sadly cancelled The Game definitely showed promise.
David Holmes is another who could do something different but also full of melody and exciting.
Both Pemberton and Desplat so far shone with their more moody scores, the only exception being Desplat´s Godzilla score, which I admit is a good one. However in the moody department, Newman himself excells. It´s the action parts that are problematic, if at all.
Zimmer can only dream of getting together such a good score. While I can´t remember any clear theme melody, the theme that recurrs with the appearance of the Winter Soldier is one of the best noises ever put into a film. Granted, it resembles things Zimmer would do, but Zimmer doesn´t know sensitivity, whereas Jackman does.
Iglesias is a good call, TTSS has to one of my favourite films of this decade and his score was very classy, it seems we are on the same page and Desplat scores have touch of Barry while having his own distinctive flavour.
I still think Holmes is a missed opportunity though, he does a great job with the Bond theme on his superb Lets Get Killed album and his Oceans scores show he could more than make something memorable and stirring.
It just doesn't sound like Bond music to me, It sounds like you could put it in any action movie. It just feels vanilla when it should be more.
The Imitation Game, Godzilla and Grand Budapest Hotel are all just great.
I love his work on Moonrise Kingdom and Argo as well. And don't forget the final two Harry Potter movies!
I just think he might be too expensive for EON at this point, I hope not though.
I really want him to do a Bond score!
As far as I am concerned: Newman composed "SPECTRE" as well. Be patient and wait for October 23rd for the full score. And then it would also be interesting to hear which of the two Newman scores you like more: "Skyfall" or "SPECTRE".
Well I must admit I was thinking more in terms of melody. Not sure how I feel about "noise" being used in any major way for a Bond score (that approach reminds me more of a Terminator or Bourne film perhaps). I prefer a more classical/timeless approach with thematic motifs. Bond is classy and has it's own musical pallette/sound which differentiates it from standard fare (twanging guitars, lush strings, muted wah-wah brass, haunting woodwind, echoing chromatics - usually set to some lovely minor-seventh chords). Most modern action films all have similar scores - they all sounds like generic trailer music, the end result is often rather overbearing! It would be nice to think that Bond shouldn't have to travel down this route.
I actually prefer some of his work on Shaken and Stirred because it was about taking something old and updating it in a way that's more contemporary. If Arnold had let go of Barry and try to find his own shtick, I might have more respect for what he did. I love what Serra did. I don't care for the Madonna song but I love that she decided not to play it safe but do something ballsy with electoclash. But I understand that Bond fans are very conservative about the series with traditions. I like to shake things up. They could have hired an old Q type but instead went with a whole new character that made the dynamic of the Q scenes more fresh.
Newman disappointed me quite a lot with Skyfall. Although there are some good moments, nothing in Skyfall's score associates with James Bond. It could go on any other action movie.
In that regard, for me, Newman is a failure and should have been replaced, but of course with the billion dollars causing the Academy to feel the need to nominate Skyfall such arguments get suffocated.
I have watched all Bond movies this year and am doing my second Bondathon right now.
After each film I go to my iTunes library and pick out the best moments of each film and give a five star rating, so my intelligent Bond playlist picks it up.
Skyfall is the only movie that has only one track in that playlist, that's the Grand Bazaar Istanbul track.
I think that's EXACTLY the reason why I loved Newman's score for "Skyfall" so much. Newman explicitly avoided going down the typical Bond music formula again. Like the actual film, he re-invented the music for the Bond franchise completely. Obviously, many typical Bond fans were very much disappointed by that. Not me. Newman gave me a score.....that doesn't go into "John Barry-copy-paste-mode". Instead he's doing his own stuff for the film.
And I think THAT'S the real reason Newman got an Academy Award nomination. Similar to how Marvin Hamlisch got an Academy Award nomination for "TSWLM". He isn't playing it safe. Nor does he show his own insecurity by listening to all those Bond fans who demand a lot for a score.....too much really.
If you want to have a more 'typical Bond film', a more formularic action epic, then I think the "Mission: Impossible"-franchise is very much the best no? And I do see in here that there were quite a few Bond fans who got the balls to say that they like the current "Mission: Impossible"-franchise more than the current Bond franchise :-). Nothing wrong with that though ;-).
Fact is I love the current Bond franchise. And I love creative artists -directors, actors, and in this case composers- who have the balls to mostly ignore all those forum-geeks....me included :-).
You know, some people call me a weirdo who lacks any kind of objective criticism about the current state of the Craig films. Fact is: I LOVE, I ADORE what Mendes and Cambell did to the Bond films with Daniel Craig. And November 6th I will witness another chapter to this Craig-era that I love tremendously.
I agree with so much of this. I think Arnold's strongest score was for a film where he did(could) not use established Bond music, Casino Royale.
I actually, strangely agree with you on Madonna as well. It was a ballsy move. It's not my favourite by any means, but I admire her courage. I'll take her title song any day over what we're getting for SP. I agree on Crowe vs. KD Lang as well (Lang's track sounds like inferior pastiche while Crowe's sounds fresh, although vocally Lang is much better).
When I heard Shanghai Drive in the theatre, I was blown away. It's a very bold track, which captures the modernity of the city at night beautifully. The track is unlike anything we've heard in a Bond film before, and yet it fits just right.
I actually prefer Serra's score (for the most part) to a lot of Arnold's Bond work (apart from parts of TND, QoS & CR). It has a distinct, thematic flavour which suits that film, especially the Russian chanting throwback element, while still sounding quite fresh.
For me, David Arnold has provided us with the worst scores in the franchise's history, because they are not distinctive, they lack thematic resonance (apart from perhaps CR & TND, which were at least somewhat internally consistent) and they are not memorable. His action scoring was just jumbled noise to me - although QoS/CR was a big improvement.
When I watch any 'one off' Bond composer's film (including Conti) I hear innovative & memorable daring (even if I may not like it) while still staying true to Bondian qualities. I didn't hear as much of that with Newman (it was a little monotonous apart from a few tracks like Shanghai Drive, New Digs, Severine & The Chimera) but hopefully he can bring us more of his own spin in SP. From the two tracks we've heard, it looks like he will do just that, and firmly put his creative stamp on the Bond legacy.
I love the Kingsman score. It could absolutely work as a Bond score. If EON ever gave Henry Jackman a call, I'd be all for it.
As for Thomas Newman, the criticism I have read on the forums is mostly fair. Within the context of the film itself, his work is close to brilliant. Skyfall's mood is so heavily supported by his work it has become impossible to imagine it with more memorable or bombastic themes. The downside of his style is that the themes are not frequently recurring and difficult to hum. For all of the Newman defenders, particularly @Gustav_Graves, you have to understand that it is the territory of the genre to expect themes to resonate in the mind of the audience outside of the context of the film. This is where his work is weak. It doesn't take away from the brilliance of his music within in the film itself, but it does leave something to be desired.
If, not when @Mansfield.
If that were to happen, I certainly hope you're right, because I can't tolerate any more of his Barry fanboy attempts, and actually, you're incorrect on QoS: It featured one of the most Barry'esque homage tracks in the entire pantheon in the form of 'Night at the Opera'. The only difference is this time, after 4 previous kicks at the can, he got it right, and delivered something which was comparable to the master he was emulating. It is, by most accounts, one of his best tracks, and certainly the most memorable piece from QoS.
You are right, but Night at the Opera is one track. Look at the cue from Inside Man and No Good About Goodbye that appear in like more than 5 tracks, not to mention the renewal of the Vesper theme in tracks associated with Mathis. He had an appreciable amount of homage to Barry while also proving that his own work is worth its chops (since the Craig era). I wasn't a fan of many of his techno sounds from The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day.
I agree with you that his QoS score is very good, and probably his best work, along with CR.
For me, Arnold delivered two all time low & unmemorable scores in TWINE & DAD. His TND score, while distinctive, featured too much Bond theme without appropriately finessing and blending / incorporating it into the associated score, which all the other composers (including Kamen) have done. Arnold's action scoring to me on many an occasion sounds like a 'blunt instrument'. A 'hammer' rather than a 'scalpel'. I rarely hear the finessed melodies that Barry brought to the table, and which other notable composers are doing at present. He improved, definitely, but there are far more appropriate composers out there who can deliver a magnificent Bond score worthy of the quality we now have in the franchise.
Newman is the opposite. He sounds too 'delicate' on many occasions. He needs to incorporate more brass and melody in his action scores, and I hope he's done that this time. He is Mendes' man, true, but I respect that he is doing what he can....this is not his natural area. He is very talented, and I can see sparks of brilliance in his work (Donna Lucia is an incredible track imho) but overall he is not an 'action' composer.
I'm the only one?
I think that's a very fair point. Because of Newman's relationship with Mendes his music always strongly supports the visuals seen on screen and I think Arnold would not have done it justice.
Conversely, Newman wouldn't have handled CR and especially QOS as well as Arnold did.
As with everything, it's all relative.
I also think the "Barry homage" criticisms of Arnold are vastly blown out of proportion. He most likely will return at some stage, too - he has a good relationship with EON still.
As this is probably going to be Newman's last Bond score am very much looking to hearing what he comes up with. So far, his strengths lie in the slower tracks (I was quite disappointed with "Backfire" like a lot of people) but we have a lot left to hear.
I agree with you in this respect @Gustav_Graves:
Yes, Newman did re-invent the music to suit his preferred approach. He brought something new to the table. However, I don't think he is the only one to do that. I personally think all the other 'one-off' composers did that very well. All of them put their own creative stamp on their work.
Arnold didn't do that as much to my ears. I don't think I'm alone in that opinion, but surely many disagree.
I hear Bond in Newman's action tracks (Grand Bazaar, Deep Water). It's faint, but it's there. I also thought it was pretty disrespectful for whoever said Newman's score could be put into just any action flick. There is a level of class and mood that just would not allow that to be better in any other collaboration than with Mendes in Bond. It's the subtlety of his themes and cues that make them so unmemorable outside of the film. I can hum part of Deep Water outside of the film, but that's about it. The lack of oomph means there are very few strands that can actually grip us.
Sorry if I am distracting the discussion about Spectre soundtrack. I am not listening to the previews of the tracks because I don't want to go into the theater with an attachment or lack thereof to any track. If his work is reflective of his efforts in Skyfall, I will be totally content. Here is a thought to consider: Skyfall is an introspective film and has tracks that are appropriate to that story. Spectre is indicating to be more over the top, so I think there will at least be a few more big sounds in the score.