Great Scores to Bad Movies

This doesn’t always happen. Mostly a score to a bad movie is “okay” if not just as bad. There are times, thank goodness, when a score is better than the film it’s in. As a result some of these scores are woefully underrated. To be considered, the film had to bomb both with critics and at the box office. Critical hits that bombed and cult classics will not be featured (sorry, Mask of the Phantasm). Most of these scores are available for your listening pleasure online.

Gods of Egypt (Marco Beltrami)– I took a chance on this one day and was stunned. This score sounds like it should belong in another movie. When I hear this I don’t get the vibe of one of the worst action movies of 2016. Instead I get the vibes of a score that deserves a better movie than it got. Worth a listen!

The Last Airbender (James Newton Howard)– The only episode of the Avatar TV show I watched was the series finale and I loved it. I’ve never watched the movie (for obvious reasons). However, I do listen to this score from time to time. James Newton Howard’s one of the better composers working today and he proved it again here.

Batman and Robin (Elliot Goldenthal)– Quite possibly the only redeeming thing about this movie. Yes, it’s that good. Read my full review (“Score Review: Batman Forever/Batman and Robin”) for more.

Star Trek: Nemesis (Jerry Goldsmith)– Jerry’s last Star Trek score before his death had a lot going for it. It’s darker tone and use of percussion and synth help set it apart from previous works. While not as good as, say, First Contact, Nemesis is still a worthwhile addition.

Jaws: The Revenge (Michael Small)– The one and only redeeming thing about this movie (developing a pattern here), Small adds some good melodies while keeping Williams’ iconic sound intact. It sounds just like you’d want a Jaws score to. Shame it’s attached to one of the worst movies ever made!

The Fly II (Christopher Young)– Unlike the bomb of a movie it was scored to, this score screams great horror. It mixes soft, quiet melodies with percussion and orchestrations similar to Goldsmith’s Alien. Unsettling and creepy, Christopher Young outdid himself with this work.

The Cat in the Hat (David Newman)– While not particularly original or innovative, David Newman’s work on this train wreck of an adaptation is the only memorable thing about it. The theme is a jaunty little riff and the remaining score is faithful to its source material. If only the movie followed the same ideas.

Dinosaur/Atlantis: The Lost Empire/Treasure Planet (James Newton Howard)– Three of Disney Animation’s more disliked movies have the same composer attached. Yeah, this is cheating on my part. Newton Howard’s music on all three is full of rich traditional scoring and beautiful themes, Dinosaur especially. Although they might sound alike back-to-back his scores are worth a listen.

The Emoji Movie (Patrick Doyle)– Who thought anything from this movie would turn out good? My first reaction upon seeing Doyle wrote the music was total shock. Upon listening to it I was shocked again. I expected some standard, by-the-numbers music with nothing distinctive. Doyle instead wrote a unique little score that’s worth checking out.


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