Bad movies with great soundtracks?

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by EricJ » January 11th, 2021, 8:53 pm

I know that Coppola wanted to give his Apocalypse Now sound genius his big break, but as director (which he never was again), Murch didn't seem to know how to direct "Family film" without tonally polarizing between Sappy Heart-tug and Deranged Nightmare Fodder posing as "exciting".
Give this movie to Joe Johnston, and we'd be watching a classic for years.

And the thought that we don't have that is so depressing, I'll post John Williams' song from "Yes, Giorgio", just to cheer up:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2iQlF4Cpn4

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by ShyViolet » January 11th, 2021, 9:18 pm

Phillipe Sarde’s score for the 1990 version of Lord of the Flies is utterly fantastic. And as relatively obscure as the (mostly mediocre) film is, the entire soundtrack is on iTunes...with tracks you can buy individually!! :)


On Oz...I saw the entire film at Radio City Music Hall when I was around seven and it completely traumatized me. But in recent years I’ve watched clips (and paid attention to the score) and can definitely understand why it’s regarded as a classic by so many.
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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by droosan » January 11th, 2021, 9:52 pm

Another Sarde score I admire is the somewhat infamous Pirates ..



.. and also on the subject of 'ill-received' pirate movies, there's John Debney's rollicking score for Cutthroat Island .. which (IMO) is packed with fantastic action-adventure motifs; enough to warrant a deluxe 2CD set, awhile back. :)


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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by ShyViolet » January 11th, 2021, 10:37 pm

Interesting on Sarde! :). I never really knew anything else about him. I’ll have to check his other stuff out.


Oh, here’s my favorite track from LOTF:

https://youtu.be/x575cPQY8ps
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I think so, Brain, but if we didn’t have ears, wouldn’t we sort of look like weasels?

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by Ben » January 12th, 2021, 6:14 am

Cutthroat is another one where the music definitely raises the film beyond its native "goodness"!

And, since we're in pirate territory, I'll throw out that it’s a shame Silvestri didn’t get to give us just as big and grandly old-fashioned piratey music for the Caribbean movies, especially as Zimmer had already had a bash with Muppet Treasure Island:

https://youtu.be/1g6uvMGPeZI

Lots of future Caribbean touches in there, but I do like his opening Muppet theme more than anything in the finished Pirates scores. This is apparently more along the lines of what Silvestri was going for, and just feels more traditional sea chantey and proper piratey!

https://youtu.be/GRgzQvIKynM

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by droosan » January 13th, 2021, 10:36 am

A more recent (well -- released within this century, anyway :lol: ) animated nautical adventure score that I'm fond of is Dreamworks' Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, composed by Harry Gregson Williams .. it's full of 'action-packed' cues which harken back to the Ray Harryhausen epics by which the film was largely inspired.



As I've said here before: I'm actually fond of Sinbad the movie itself, as well .. my main criticism is of its pat 'hero gets the girl' ending. But the animation, action setpieces, and characters -- especially the wispy 'shape-shifting' Eris -- were all top-notch entertainment, IMO. It's too bad this movie seems largely forgotten as just another early-DW 'tradigital' title.

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by Ben » January 13th, 2021, 10:50 am

And, as for this year (!)*, I'll throw out that if there’s one thing in the new Wonder Woman that makes the film fly (wink) better than it is, then it's Zimmer's (him again!) score, particularly in the last act. Not a score that I’d actively rush out and buy, but certainly one that raised and help to sell the bizarro events going on onscreen (and refreshingly without having to lean back on that already bizarro "whaa-ooh-whaa-whah" theme used in BvS and her first movie)!

*when most people were finally able to consume it.

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by Daniel » January 13th, 2021, 1:05 pm

EricJ wrote:There are no bad movies with Jeff Lynne/ELO soundtracks...None.
Hmm... nope, Xanadu is bad. Here's a few of my reasoning's:

Probably the main reason, the script. It's really bad. A mess. With reason, but that doesn't excuse. Characters are one dimensional, dialogue is cliché and corny. Olivia Newton-John is a great singer, but brings nothing to the role. And I say that as a fan. She's not a dancer so why try to make her compete with Gene Kelly. Michael Beck looks embarrassed for most of the film. No one really "acts", they more or less look at look at the camera knowing they're bound by contract to finish it. Gene Kelly is given little to do and the whole roller skating was pretty cheesy even by 1980s standards. The fact that "Magic", arguably the best song, is a throw away voice over shows little imagination. Musical numbers are not staged very well and shot at eye level missing larger groups of dancers. The whole concept should work as a musical fantasy but was executed by people who didn't know how to make a musical.

Given more thought I could go on. It certainly not without its charm, but good as the soundtrack is does not make up for its shortcomings.

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by Ben » January 13th, 2021, 3:51 pm

Xanadu is of partial interest for just two things: the Bluth-animated dry run for Thumbelina, which is available in full on YouTube for anyone that fascinated, and the fact that Gene Kelly reprises his role from 1944's Cover Girl, his first major movie, although kind of in name only, since he doesn’t otherwise resemble the same person. Had it turned out better it might have been a nice little nod, but there are enough inconsistencies to end up thinking that he may have the same name, but he ultimately isn’t the same guy.

The late 70s/early 80s "disco movies" are their own thing: you can’t say that they’re actually "bad", but just of their time. REALLY of their time! Probably my favorite guilty pleasure is Can't Stop The Music, which is about as cheesy as things get!

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by Daniel » January 13th, 2021, 4:39 pm

The Don Bluth segment is easily one of my favorite parts. So beautiful. Perfect match with the song.

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by EricJ » January 13th, 2021, 7:49 pm

Daniel wrote:
January 13th, 2021, 1:05 pm
Hmm... nope, Xanadu is bad. Here's a few of my reasoning's:
WARNING: Do not ever get into a detailed point-by-point debate with a Musehead, unless you're prepared for detailed debate. :mrgreen:

The one thing core fans concede is that Olivia and Michael probably got a DIFFERENT movie than the one they signed up for--Xanadu's script, like Indy/Crystal Skull's, was actually pieced together out of four wildly different storylines, and Scotch-taped together with musical numbers.
Each of the "money scenes" the different scripts brought ended up in the movie: In Movie 1, Olivia was going to be a rock roadie who inspires Michael's album-cover artist, which gave us Sonny's nutty sitcom co-workers and jerk boss who disappears halfway through the movie (and how he meets Olivia at an empty theater); Movie 2 was going to cash in on a short-lived "craze" for reviving swing-dancing (which is how we got an old 40's nightclub owner and the "Zoot-suiters meet New-Wavers" number); Movie 3 was going to be an homage to LA Art Deco (which is how the Pan-Pacific Auditorium and Hollywood Bowl got in the story), and by Movie 4, the Greek-mythology stuff was already in.

This may sound disorganized, until you look up the history of how MGM came up with "Singin' in the Rain" by Scotch-taping ideas for musical numbers together into a coherent story--Which IS, basically, the appeal of the movie: Once Xanadu cast Gene Kelly as Helpful Rich Nostalgia Expert from Movie 2, the idea of a "disco musical" (even though there is no actual disco music in it) suddenly became the delusion that they were now a "Salute to Old-Fashioned MGM musicals" for the disco era. Remember, this was 1980, the VHS classic-movies era hadn't happened yet, and we still had this naive idea about what "old 40's movies" looked like. (Qv. that scene where Olivia shows up in the gangster-movie parody.) The now jawdroppingly kitschy "All Over the World" number, today, almost plays like that "20's fashion-show" parody from Singin', and an initially grudging Gene seems to be in on the gag--In the scene where Kelly tap-dances through a giant pinball-machine room, I looked again, and yes, he was doing Fred Astaire's "Shine On Your Shoes" penny-arcade dance from "The Band Wagon". :lol:
Ben wrote:
January 13th, 2021, 3:51 pm
Xanadu is of partial interest for just two things: the Bluth-animated dry run for Thumbelina, which is available in full on YouTube for anyone that fascinated,
The late 70s/early 80s "disco movies" are their own thing: you can’t say that they’re actually "bad", but just of their time. REALLY of their time! Probably my favorite guilty pleasure is Can't Stop The Music, which is about as cheesy as things get!
Can't Stop is not only BAD-bad, it's the movie people always think they're going to see when they rent Xanadu--
And there's, sadly, a reason for that, that has dogged Xanadu's reputation for forty years now: Can't Stop opened a month after Xanadu, just in time for both movies to be giggle-assaulted by 1980's Death to Disco movement, just because one of them was on roller skates.
And not only that, but back in the pre-VHS era, it was common for movie distributors to send cheap one-week theatrical double-feature revivals to theaters over a slow weekend with nothing opening. Guess which "Hit soundtrack musicals" from the summer before would always be double-featured together. The very concept of the Golden Raspberries, in fact, was first founded by one wag who sat through said double-feature and proposed a debate about which movie was "worse". FTR, while Xanadu was nominated, it was Can't Stop that won the first Worst Picture Razzie of 1980, a trivia that you will find most people get WRONG. :(
In keeping with the thread, though, listening to bouncy Village People hits is the only good thing you can say about CSTM.

Oh, and since Xanadu was drastically reshuffled and almost a half-hour cut after a disastrous preview (wherever you see a "cool dissolve wipe", imagine missing scenes, esp. in the edited-highlights medley at the end), the Don Bluth musical number was replacing a scene of Beck conducting an "Imaginary orchestra" at the Hollywood Bowl, which explains why they're dating there for no reason.

(...Warned ya. :D )
Last edited by EricJ on January 13th, 2021, 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by Ben » January 13th, 2021, 8:14 pm

Oh, yeah...Can’t Stop is undoubtably BAD, but it’s a train wreck one can’t stop watching or occasionally returning to over the years, since seeing the Super 8 cutdown (remember them?) around the mid-80s!

Of course, the most plainly *bizarre* of them all is Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band...

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by droosan » January 14th, 2021, 12:28 am

An anime soundtrack which perhaps fits this category is Shin Kaitei Gunkan ("New Undersea Battleship") -- a DTV animated remake of the 1963 live-action japanese sci-fi film Kaitei Gunkan, which was released in western markets as Atragon .. hence, this 1990s remake was titled Super Atragon in its english dub.

The series was produced by the same creative team that was then remaking Giant Robo as a DTV anime (whose original live-action TV series was known in the west as "Jonny Sokko and His Flying Robot") .. and featured a similar approach of re-imagining/exaggerating the iconic flying submarine's design, with an eye toward the (then-modern) 'steampunk' aesthetic.

The first episode is actually quite excellent .. but in the second episode, the story -- which apparently had been originally planned to unfold across six episodes -- rockets through the entire remaining plot, and wraps everything up in the span of 50 minutes; at a breakneck pace, by comparison with episode 1. So it's not that it's 'bad', so much as it 'ran out of money'. :wink:

But the soundtrack -- composed by Masamichi Amano (who'd also scored the Giant Robo anime, and the Battle Royale live-action movie series) -- is absolutely amazing .. from the martial/nautical flourish of its main title ..



.. to its hauntingly beautiful love theme:


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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by Daniel » January 14th, 2021, 4:43 pm

Your first vid gives me Poké vibes:



Likely the same instruments. Or maybe it's just me. Boy does that ever give me nostalgia! Lovely pieces you've shared, Droo.

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Re: Bad movies with great soundtracks?

Post by ShyViolet » January 14th, 2021, 7:32 pm

Yeah, Sinbad had an absolutely AMAZING soundtrack! I had the CD that summer and listened to it over and over. My favorite track was the Sirens! :). Like the actual scene, it was frightening, seductive, and unforgettable.

If only the ENTIRE film had been that good...Best Animated Feature territory...at LEAST a nom. Even though it was “dying out” at the time, Sinbad with a truly epic story (and no Brad Pitt!) would have been such a shot in the arm to traditional (in this case, tradigital, as you said, Droo) animation. Who knows how the future would have played out.... :|
Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

I think so, Brain, but if we didn’t have ears, wouldn’t we sort of look like weasels?

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