Very disappointed Thomas Newman is doing the Spectre score

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  • blame_thatcherblame_thatcher Posts: 199MI6 Agent
    This is Newman's score for the big action climax of Spectre:

    Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh!
    Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh!
    Ping!
    Bong!
    [insert weird ambient noise here]
    Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh!
    Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh!
    Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh!
  • Roger Mo'Roger Mo' Posts: 33MI6 Agent
    Newman's score yet again was rubbish. No idea of how to create the right sense of tension with his music.
  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,962MI6 Agent
    edited November 2015
    SPOILER ALERT


    Newman's work for the Dance of the Dead opening sequence is evocative and good, but there's little to inspire after that; his music afterwards is too often bland and repetitive. I would have much preferred it if David Arnold had had the chance to score this one, building on the approach he'd taken in QOS.

    As a bonus from a continuity perspective, Arnold (if he'd been doing the score) might have given us a brief quotation from his own Vesper theme for the moment in L'Americain when it would have been appropriate; and perhaps he might have peppered the score, at strategic moments, with a three or four note SPECTRE signature (like the versions in FRWL and TB).

    The more I think about it, Arnold might even have been able to pull off an arrangement of John Barry's '007' action theme for the final boat/helicopter chase in London: a resurrection of the upbeat '007' theme after all these years would have offered a welcome shift in tone for the sequence, given that, by this point in the action, the higher stakes jeopardy is over - the villain's plan has been foiled - and it's now just a case of Bond pursuing his retreating nemesis. (In that regard, SP's Thames chase scene has a loose sort of structural parallel with the DAF BathoSub sequence, for which the '007' theme was used). Some arrangement of the '007' theme here, reinforcing the sense that it's now Bond who's taking the initiative, would certainly have helped out Christoph Waltz better than Newman's humdrum score does - since Waltz looks a little at a loss with what exactly to do in his performance while still in the helicopter and coming under Bond's fire.

    Arnold is at least a Bond/John Barry fan; Newman hardly seems to 'get it'. But my musings here are all a case of what might/could have been...
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  • Matt SMatt S Oh Cult Voodoo ShopPosts: 6,595MI6 Agent
    After seeing Spectre, the music worked (or didn't work) how I thought it would. The only tracks I liked before I saw the film were Donna Lucia and Madeline, and those worked very well. The music in Mexico was okay because it has a lot of the Bond theme vamp, and the ethnic music was appropriate. But pretty much everything else was bad. There was hardly an Bond sound after the PTS. The music is most very generic, and at times it sounds like music I'd expect from a television show and not a movie. Some of his cues sound really out of place, and some are very invasive and ruined the mood of a scene. Other cues weren't invasive enough, and a lot of the scenes needed some melody in the music to carry the scenes. The action at the end was particularly let down by boring, meaningless music. The instrumental of the main theme was fantastic in the film, but that's not Thomas Newman's theme. I could definitely do a better job scoring the film than Thomas Newman did. One of the best scenes in the film is the fight between Bond and Hinx because there's no music. Though when the music comes in at the end of the fight, it let me down. It should not have had any music at all, and all the classic Bond train fights do not have music. A number have scenes would have been better without music, but I don't blame Thomas Newman for that.

    And then there's the gunbarrel music. I liked the Bond theme vamp over the logos at the beginning, but then when the blaring fanfare comes in the screen is black. That just didn't work. The loud music cue needed something on screen (the dots) to balance what we're hearing. I don't know if that was Mendes' choice or Newman's. The end of the Bond theme after the vamp a la David Arnold didn't bother me as much.
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  • ToTheRightToTheRight Posts: 314MI6 Agent
    Just got back from the film and to me it was pretty much the same as the Skyfall score. This film in terms of music has no distinct identity of it's own. Could you imagine if Eric Serra's GE score was copy pasted onto Spectre instead? Or Michel Legrand's NSNA (actually I don't really mind that score so much...not being an official Bond film and all). I think for the next film it would be wise to replace Newman which I have a feeling will be the case.
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,985Quartermasters
    I thought the score was just fine, but understand that Newman's not popular here...he's part of the Mendes package, though, so if Sam goes, so will Tom ;)
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  • Gassy ManGassy Man USAPosts: 2,972MI6 Agent
    I agree with Loeff -- played absent of the film, the soundtrack seems unremarkable, but I thought it complemented the film much better than I predicted. I stand corrected and think now it works well, including the Sam Smith song.
  • MrZarebaMrZareba Krakow, PolandPosts: 1,775MI6 Agent
    I think the soundtrack has some strong points. It has been reused in a way Zimmer used the Batman themes for The Dark Knight Rises while adding some new cues in the same time. The best part of the soundtrack, unfortunately not available on the album, is the music playing during the torture scene/Blofed reveal. I swear that I had my eyes wide open for the whole thing and I felt very, very uncomfortable during the drilling part - also thanks to that scary music in the background. The Blofeld reveal in my opinion was absolutely marvelous - so that's one good change they made in the script.
  • perdoggperdogg Posts: 432MI6 Agent
    ToTheRight wrote:
    Just got back from the film and to me it was pretty much the same as the Skyfall score. This film in terms of music has no distinct identity of it's own. Could you imagine if Eric Serra's GE score was copy pasted onto Spectre instead? Or Michel Legrand's NSNA (actually I don't really mind that score so much...not being an official Bond film and all). I think for the next film it would be wise to replace Newman which I have a feeling will be the case.


    I agree. I wonder if they did that to cut cost.
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  • CarsonDyleCarsonDyle AustraliaPosts: 153MI6 Agent
    Christ! I thought it was just me. I love listening to Barrys old scores in the car on the way home and recollectecting the action in the movie. My dear departed father would describe Newmans efforts as "noise, completely bereft of any melody". I'm afraid I agree. Maybe its my advancing years. The CD to Spectre will join that of Skyfall in the collection but won't be listened to again.
  • 72897289 Beau DesertPosts: 1,691MI6 Agent
    For me this was the most disappointing Bond film I have ever seen. Newman's rehash of the Skyfall score is unforgivable and while watching the film seemed like a cheap way to save a time and money. Almost the whole film was uninspired dreck.
  • DutchJamesBondFanDutchJamesBondFan the NetherlandsPosts: 409MI6 Agent
    At first watch I didn't really mind, I and still don't think it's the worst thing of the movie, but it has wat too much in common with Skyfall. If Arnold did Skyfall and Spectre it should have been better I think. Just as in QoS, yes you can hear the Vesper theme, but in a very good way. Arnold made the 3 Brosnan and CR/QoS so much better. A shame they got rid of him because SP borrows way too much.
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  • chrisisallchrisisall Western Mass, USAPosts: 9,061MI6 Agent
    The score was pretty good IMO. Much better than the one for SF.
    Yeah, Arnold would have been my FIRST choice, but I think Newman did good work this time around.
    Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool.
    #1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.GF 4.GE 5.DN 6.FYEO 7.FRWL 8.TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT/QOS
  • General_OurumovGeneral_Ourumov United KingdomPosts: 861MI6 Agent
    I liked many aspects of the Skyfall score, and I think because SF and Spectre represent the climax to the story arc of the Craig films, the continuity in the score works on some levels.

    That said, there were certain moments - mentioned already - in Spectre where I too could hear little but percussion and it left me feeling that Newman was lacking inspiration.

    As an aside, I think his Oscar nomination for Skyfall was a bit of a joke. But then again, that's the Oscars for you - a bit of a joke.
  • Matt SMatt S Oh Cult Voodoo ShopPosts: 6,595MI6 Agent
    I'll post here what I posted in the reviews section.

    Thomas Newman's score is the worst thing about the film for me. It works in a few places, like the Day of the Dead music and the romantic music for Lucia and Madeline. The rest of it doesn't work at all for me. The film has a lot of broad (but beautiful) visuals that need proper music to give them meaning. Newman's repetitive rhythmic vamps attempt to provide a mood, but either the mood they provide throws me off or the mood isn't right because the music doesn't do enough to set the mood. The action scenes would also be improved if the music in them could vary the mood more. Because the music isn't developed, that makes what I see on screen seem less developed. For a tense seen, Newman will use one tense chord and repeat it. John Barry, on the other hand, would write a tense piece of music, with a tense chord progression, dynamic and melody to engage the viewer. Except for the few parts I mentioned above, I think Newman's score fails. John Barry was able to add more meaning to a poor film (High Road to China is a great example of this), but Newman's score really holds Spectre back when a good score could have brought out the best in what we see on screen. The finale especially needed some help from the music. Gassy Man explained "Where Spectre starts to break down is when the scenes try too hard to sustain one particular emotion for too long". He blames the writing and direction, but the score is also to blame. A good score could have picked up on nuances in the emotions and emphasised any changes in emotion. Newman's score doesn't vary the moods enough.

    The use of the Sam Smith song on the train is one of the best parts of the score, but that's no thanks to Newman. If Newman used the theme throughout the score to represent Madeline, it would have given more meaning to the film.
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  • Hold CommandHold Command LondonPosts: 366MI6 Agent
    I love much of Newman's work, Shawshank Redemption tracks such as 'Brooks was Here' are to me standalone masterpieces.

    However:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7mLjrqt88A

    Need I say more?!

    I do realise this part of the CR score was taken straight from John Barry's Out of Africa score, but it's simply divine!

    But what about action scenes you say?

    I say https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC13C7Uq5VA
  • heartbroken_mr_draxheartbroken_mr_drax New Zealand Posts: 2,073MI6 Agent
    Better work in this one than in SF, much more memorable, clear cues.

    But in saying that, I hope Arnold comes back and knocks it out of the park.
    1. TWINE 2. FYEO 3. MR 4. TLD 5. TSWLM 6. OHMSS 7. DN 8. OP 9. AVTAK 10. TMWTGG 11. QoS 12. GE 13. CR 14. TB 15. FRWL 16. TND 17. LTK 18. GF 19. SF 20. LaLD 21. YOLT 22. NTTD 23. DAD 24. DAF. 25. SP

    "Better make that two."
  • writingsonthewallwritingsonthewall SpainPosts: 417MI6 Agent
    Just one thing... after having watched the film itself, the rehash isn't as bothersome as I feared it would be. That being said, finding the first cut&paste in the PTS DID make me angry...

    And with subsequent listenings, the album itself grows on you. The subtle themes are more enjoyable, such as L'Américain or Secret Room. And Snow Plane and the portions of Backfire not self-swiped from SF are ok.

    But yes, let's either hire a new composer or bring Arnold back for the next one.
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  • Bondage007Bondage007 AustraliaPosts: 371MI6 Agent
    Definitely the worst Bond score, yes more than GE. Sounds like something from an American crime show (eg CSI) especially in the Denbeigh/London scenes.
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  • JarvioJarvio EnglandPosts: 4,234MI6 Agent
    I noticed the copy/pasting from SF straight away. And it was VERY distracting. It took 3 bloody years for this film to come out, so why have they been lazy and recycled from SF's score?

    Have any other bond films done this? (Recycled parts of the score from another bond film)

    When I first heard the music in the PTS when bond is sliding down the ruined building (and lands on that couch), I immediately thought to myself "That's Skyfall's score... what the hell?!"

    I know QOS has hints of Vesper's theme in it from CR.... but this was much more subtle and actually had meaning. SP recycling SF's score is pure laziness.
    1 - LALD, 2 - AVTAK, 3 - LTK, 4 - OP, 5 - NTTD, 6 - FYEO, 7 - SF, 8 - DN, 9 - DAF, 10 - TSWLM, 11 - OHMSS, 12 - TMWTGG, 13 - GE, 14 - MR, 15 - TLD, 16 - YOLT, 17 - GF, 18 - DAD, 19 - TWINE, 20 - SP, 21 - TND, 22 - FRWL, 23 - TB, 24 - CR, 25 - QOS

    1 - Moore, 2 - Dalton, 3 - Craig, 4 - Connery, 5 - Brosnan, 6 - Lazenby
  • Matt SMatt S Oh Cult Voodoo ShopPosts: 6,595MI6 Agent
    Jarvio wrote:
    Have any other bond films done this? (Recycled parts of the score from another bond film)

    Barry's Bond theme arrangement in AVTAK is very similar to the arrangement in OP, but there are subtle differences. Over the five times Barry uses 007, it's always arranged differently. Since the theme represents Bond, it's appropriate to return. If Newman's reoccurring pieces had a discernible theme and were arranged differently from one film to the next, I would be okay with that. But Newman's music comes across as situation specific the first time we hear it, which means it seems inappropriate used in other places. In Spectre,
    I don't like hearing the same sound from when Sciarra falls out of the helicopter again when Bond uses the ejector seat.
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  • JarvioJarvio EnglandPosts: 4,234MI6 Agent
    Matt S wrote:
    Barry's Bond theme arrangement in AVTAK is very similar to the arrangement in OP, but there are subtle differences.

    Similar maybe. But not the same. Unlike some of the SF/SP tunes.
    1 - LALD, 2 - AVTAK, 3 - LTK, 4 - OP, 5 - NTTD, 6 - FYEO, 7 - SF, 8 - DN, 9 - DAF, 10 - TSWLM, 11 - OHMSS, 12 - TMWTGG, 13 - GE, 14 - MR, 15 - TLD, 16 - YOLT, 17 - GF, 18 - DAD, 19 - TWINE, 20 - SP, 21 - TND, 22 - FRWL, 23 - TB, 24 - CR, 25 - QOS

    1 - Moore, 2 - Dalton, 3 - Craig, 4 - Connery, 5 - Brosnan, 6 - Lazenby
  • heartbroken_mr_draxheartbroken_mr_drax New Zealand Posts: 2,073MI6 Agent
    I don't agree. I think there's a marked difference between the soundtracks of SF/SP.

    It's no Barry or Arnold, but I think Newman has done a good job in this.
    1. TWINE 2. FYEO 3. MR 4. TLD 5. TSWLM 6. OHMSS 7. DN 8. OP 9. AVTAK 10. TMWTGG 11. QoS 12. GE 13. CR 14. TB 15. FRWL 16. TND 17. LTK 18. GF 19. SF 20. LaLD 21. YOLT 22. NTTD 23. DAD 24. DAF. 25. SP

    "Better make that two."
  • JarvioJarvio EnglandPosts: 4,234MI6 Agent
    I don't agree. I think there's a marked difference between the soundtracks of SF/SP.

    It's no Barry or Arnold, but I think Newman has done a good job in this.

    I'm referring to the SF tracks that are featured on SP - not the rest of the SP soundtrack
    1 - LALD, 2 - AVTAK, 3 - LTK, 4 - OP, 5 - NTTD, 6 - FYEO, 7 - SF, 8 - DN, 9 - DAF, 10 - TSWLM, 11 - OHMSS, 12 - TMWTGG, 13 - GE, 14 - MR, 15 - TLD, 16 - YOLT, 17 - GF, 18 - DAD, 19 - TWINE, 20 - SP, 21 - TND, 22 - FRWL, 23 - TB, 24 - CR, 25 - QOS

    1 - Moore, 2 - Dalton, 3 - Craig, 4 - Connery, 5 - Brosnan, 6 - Lazenby
  • Thunderbird 2Thunderbird 2 East of Cardiff, Wales.Posts: 2,749MI6 Agent
    edited November 2015
    Jarvio & Matt S, I agree with both of you.

    I saw the film for the second time today, and I was trying to pay attention to the music, and gave up. Every time I heard a "cut and paste" bit, it reminded of the bloody scenes they corresponded to in SF!! Most of which had no correlation to the SP scenes. = Utter Shambles.
    The second I switched off to the music, I could focus on everything else with much greater clarity. Which is a damned shame, as I know some of the score will have been acceptable.
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  • Bondage007Bondage007 AustraliaPosts: 371MI6 Agent
    Jarvio wrote:
    Have any other bond films done this? (Recycled parts of the score from another bond film).

    Yes but in much more subtle ways. Newman's attempt was like Barry putting "He's Dangerous" into TLD, very distracting. If it was a good cue like "007" it would be fine, but it's such an anonymous soundtrack
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  • blame_thatcherblame_thatcher Posts: 199MI6 Agent
    Newman's laziness with this score disgusted me.
  • i expect u2 diei expect u2 die LondonPosts: 583MI6 Agent
    Agreed. I've heard some say that they think the Spectre soundtrack is an improvement on Skyfall's. I don't see how this is possible when Newman has only composed around a quarter of a film's worth of new material. The rest is re-hashed.
  • ChriscoopChriscoop Belize Posts: 10,449MI6 Agent
    To be fair "both" Newmans scores do have some good pieces, tennyson from sf and eternal city from spectre inparticular for me. But I was mostly disappointed with SF' s soundtrack and spectres is just a 70% rework of that, David Arnold for me has the gravitas for bond, simply love the qos score
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