Monday, March 1, 2010

Music Monday: Hans Zimmer!

Ok so I know I said that today was going to be movie score composers but then I realized that I couldn't boil it down to just ONE song or album. So I have decided to stagger out my favorite composers over the course of various Music Mondays, this week, my absolute most favvy fave (ok, just typing that hurt me) HANS ZIMMER.
Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see you come in. I was too busy making genre-defining, ear-bleedingly awesome music. My bad.

You may know Hans Zimmer by his music from films such as (deep breath) Twister, Driving Miss Daisy, Thelma and Louise, True Romance, Rain Man, The Lion King, Muppet Treasure Island, The Rock, The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Gladiator, Mission Impossible 2, The Ring, The Last Samurai, King Arthur, Batman Begins, Madagascar, The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, The Simpsons Movie, The Dark Knight and Sherlock Holmes.
Whew! ...Dayumn

Yeah, he's pretty much the man. And to think he got his start with these guys:

So, wiping that horror out of our minds, here are my top 5 favorite Hans Zimmer scores:

1. The Last Samurai. Used in trailers constantly since it was created, the score for the Last Samurai is pitch-perfect, varying from quiet contemplative moments to HOLY CRAP KEN WATANABE IS GOING TO SLICE YOU INTO PIECES. While Hans Zimmer, like John Williams or Danny Elfman, has a very distinctive style, I'd say this is his most unique album, an awesome fusion of Zimmer-ness and traditional Japanese influence. my favorite song: Spectres in The Fog

2. Batman Begins. In 2005, Batman was going to transform from campy, nipple-suited joke to dark and gritty bad-ass McGee. But to do it, the movie needed a new sound, something simultaneously brooding striking to set it apart from the ridiculous music in the Shumacher films. It needed...HANS ZIMMER! (and also James Newton-Howard, give credit where credit is due). As irritating as I find the word "nuanced" the score is just that, subtle and understated, even during the action scenes. It was pretty much the antithesis of the bombastic score from the last few Batman movies and that is a very good thing. Favorite song: Eptesicus (All the tracks are species of bat)

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. While Klaus Badelt did a great job with the first Pirates movie, Hans Zimmer took up the job in fine style for the second and third movies, the third being the better in my opinion. The movie itself is way too crowded with subplots and useless characters and kind of...not good, but the score is fantastic, incredibly epic and with themes that call back to the first movie without just recycling the music. In short, it is swashbuckle-tastic. Favorite song: Up Is Down

4. True Romance. One of the first of Quentin Tarantino's scripts to be made into a film, (he didn't direct it, but he used the money from it to make Reservoir Dogs). Anyway, it's a sweet movie about a guy, a girl and the crazy amount of evil gangster dudes they have to kill to be together. The music matches the general tone of the movie, light and bouncy despite the all the killings going on. Favorite song: The True Romance Main Theme, partially because I hear it all the time in commercials for wholesome family things and it makes me giggle

5. Sherlock Holmes. Zimmer's most recent score, it sounds like the musical love-child of Pirates of the Caribbean and The Dark Knight: lots of epicness and also crazy dissonant chords. It is moody in parts, but also lively as hell during the fight scenes. It has a strong central theme without being repetitive and overall is something unique and awesome. Favorite song: My Mind Rebels At Stagnation

And now it's rest-of-homework time! See you tomorrow for the Terribleness of Terrible Tuesday
"Trust me, if you're working on a $70 million movie and you're the last guy, you feel all that weight on your shoulders" -Hans Zimmer


  1. Gotta love The Zim. Been a fan of his since The Rock. Sherlock is his best score in ages, I reckon!

    Also, didn't know he was in The Buggles! Every day's a school day.

  2. I was so damn impressed with Sherlock Holmes! Unique and signature Zimmer. The Rock is also one of my fave movies and is due for a Sean Connery movie Sunday at some point.


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