Thursday, August 25, 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 James Newton Howard. The eight-time Oscar nominee is a California native and has been writing top-notch soundtracks for over two decades. Going chronologically backwards, his most notable contribution was the best part of the awful “The Last Airbender,” which boasts an epic prologue as its strongest bit. The fun, bouncy, cat-and-mouse score to “Duplicity” helped make that such an enjoyable ride, and the heartfelt, stirring soundtrack of “Defiance” made it an incredibly moving experience. I’ve always been a huge fan of the thrilling track “I’m Not The Guy You Kill” from “Michael Clayton,” and I also enjoyed the energetic score to the underseen, underappreciated Joseph Gordon-Levitt starrer “The Lookout.” The action drama “Blood Diamond” was terrific, and Howard’s soundtrack was a big part of what made it exciting and effective. The first track of Howard’s composition for “The Village” is gorgeous, and there’s little more triumphant than the “Flying” track from the 2003 remake of “Peter Pan.” Howard provided the scores for the two M. Night Shyamalan films that were actually really good, “Signs” and “The Sixth Sense,” and his creepy compositions were crucial to the terror and suspense in each film. Prior to that, he wrote the bubbly music for “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and composed the suite for the classic Harrison Ford thriller “The Fugitive.”

The Last Airbender (2010)

Duplicity (2009)

Defiance (2008)

Michael Clayton (2007)

The Lookout (2007)

Blood Diamond (2006)

The Village (2004)

Peter Pan (2003)

Signs (2002)

The Sixth Sense (1999)

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

The Fugitive (1993)

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