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Sunday, March 05, 2006

I think I've composed this score before....

Last night I watched about half of the movie A Beautiful Mind, which was on ABC. It was OK, I thought, although it probably doesn't say anything great about the film that once the kid was in bed and The Wife and I were by ourselves, I felt no need to stick with the movie. We ended up watching something else.

But I couldn't help noticing James Horner's score to A Beautiful Mind, and I came to a decision whilst hearing that score: I'm pretty much done with James Horner.

I've been one to cut the guy more slack than many film music fans, but I've reached my limit with this one and its Sneakers-like sound. I've realized that all Horner has to offer is new melodies each time out, but treated in the exact same way. Horner has not introduced a single new idea into his sound world in over a decade.

I hate it when a once-admired artist stops evolving. John Williams still tries new things. He gets derided for it a lot, but I liken his experiments with new sounds to athletes who note the moves they've never seen before by other athletes and incorporate them into their own sounds. Horner never does this, at all. All he has left is his standard bag of tricks, and the tricks just don't interest me anymore.

Horner is still comparatively young and could have twenty years of filmscoring ahead of him. Maybe he'll wake up and start doing exciting things again -- but for now, his one remarkable quality is his ability to give producers safe, bland scores.

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