Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Token Themes

Welcome a weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. I’m a hugely enthusiastic fan of film scores, and music is far too often an element of cinema that goes unrecognized. Therefore I present a platform for a look – or rather, a listen – to some fantastic film scores. I’ll be selecting a composer and one or more of their film scores for your listening pleasure, embedded from YouTube.

This week’s featured composer is Hans Zimmer. The West Germany native has been nominated for nine Oscars, winning once for the original score for the classic Disney film “The Lion King.” His resume is rather astounding, with plenty of memorable scores, at least four of which would rank as my favorites (I’ll put a number in parentheses to denote them, in no particular order). His most recent musical achievement is the tremendous score to “Inception” (#1), and I’ve selected the track “Dream Within a Dream” to best represent that film’s momentous music. In 2009, Zimmer tried something different with a very distinctive, eccentric score for “Sherlock Holmes.” His foreboding and mysterious music for “Frost/Nixon” worked centrally to enhance the plot of the film. The anthem for “The Dark Knight,” and its predecessor “Batman Begins,” was appropriately loud and stirring. Even if the film wasn’t wondrous, there’s no denying that the ending theme to “The Da Vinci Code” (#2), “Chevaliers de Sangreal,” is absolutely incredible, and there’s a reason it’s used so often in movie montages and trailers. His battle score for “King Arthur” was inarguably energetic and excitable. Two of his best works (#3 & #4) are over a decade old: “Gladiator” and “The Rock,” both of which evoke particularly moving emotions for the triumphant lead character of Maximus and the all-out action of the latter film. “The Lion King” might be better remembered for its bevy of original songs, but its score is equally powerful. His first Oscar-nominated soundtrack, “Rain Man,” is considerably different from his later work, but it’s a fun moody theme that works quite well for its quirky lead characters.

Inception (2010)

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Frost/Nixon (2008)

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

King Arthur (2004)

Gladiator (2000)

The Rock (1996)

The Lion King (1994)

Rain Man (1988)

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