I love film music. I own many, many soundtracks, some of which are to movies I've never seen and have no intention of seeing, but I own them because I'm familiar with the composer and can bet that it's going to be good music.
Some of my favorite film composers:
Elmer Bernstein (To Kill a Mockingbird, The Age of Innocence)
Alexandre Desplat (The Painted Veil, The Ghost Writer, The Queen)
Patrick Doyle (Sense and Sensibility, Much Ado About Nothing, Gosford Park)
James Newton Howard (All of M. Night Shyamalan's movies, King Kong, The Dark Knight)
In fact, if you ever want to do something nice for me, buy me a good soundtrack for my collection :)
It's amazing what a good score can do for a movie. And what makes a score "good" (for me) is music that was clearly recorded with a live orchestra (that's the only way James Newton Howard does it) and it tells a story along with the writing. It doesn't intrude on or distract from the scene, but it enhances it. If the score is good, it's something you'll want to listen to over and over again, independent of the movie it was written for.
You know how some movies are re-released with additional scenes or they're digitally remastered or a studio recolored an old black and white film? People pay money to go back to the theatre and see these movies again with their "upgrades." What I'm wondering is if people would go back and see a movie if it was re-scored. Because I'm telling you, there are some good movies out there that did not budget for an original score -- at least a good one.
Let me give you some examples of a couple movies I love that deserve better music:
1) The Princess Bride (by Mark Knopfler)
Some if it's OK and suited to the Fairy Tale aspect of the story, but the synthesizer drives me nuts, especially toward the end of the movie.
2) A Few Good Men (by Mark Shaiman)
First of all, I looked it up and the CD only has 10 tracks, so Shaiman didn't write a whole lot for this movie. And the music seems really dated. I don't know if it's the composer's fault or 1992's fault. There's this one scene in particular where the music makes me roll my eyes. It's where Tom Cruise goes after Demi Moore who stormed out and started walking in the rain. He tries to convince her to get in the car and then this stupid music comes out of nowhere. It's forced and it's ridiculous.
I'm not sure how expensive it would be, or if it would be worth it to re-release movies with better music, but I would buy a ticket.
Here are some examples of some of my favorite film scores:
(FYI, my favorite track from The Village is this one)
I love that Patrick Doyle wrote a piano piece for this movie. And he uses it as an actual piano piece but it also adds to the mood and the story.
Last but not least, the music that accompanies the opening credits to my favorite movie. Not only is the music beautiful, everything about this movie is beautiful. I wish I could find the actual opening credits, but I can't.
Anyone else have favorite film scores you'd recommend (I have about 25)? Or movies with terrible ones that you'd like to see re-scored?
Oh, and if you want a CD of selections from all my favorite movie soundtracks, I have a playlist I can burn for you.