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Oz the Great and Powerful: Franco Good, Elfman Bad

Oz the Great and Powerful: Franco Good, Elfman Bad
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Danny Elfman needs to stop scoring movies. Immediately. I loved his work on the early Tim Burton films, but he went creatively bankrupt around 15 years ago, and all his scores sound exactly alike: the chorus, the trilling and flares, the screedle-dee-screedle-doo carny rhythms. The Danny Elfman Sound is as much of an aural movie cliché by now as “Bad to the Bone” or “Gimme Shelter.” It’s gone from great to monotonous to actively annoying, and it simply has to end. Oz the Great and Powerful, obnoxiously familiar soundtrack aside, is a pretty entertaining movie. Sam Raimi has a lot of fun playing with the limits of digital 3-D, tossing things directly into the camera and testing depth of field with his limitless digital canvas. James Franco plays a nicely sleazy small-time Kansas magician with big dreams—for a PG-rated Disney film, he’s about as smarmy as he possibly can be—who gets swept off to a land that is expecting him to be heroic. There, he encounters three witchy sisters (Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and, most delightfully, Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch) and gets swept into a power struggle that sends him all across Oz. Even though he’s awash in CGI most of the time, Franco holds the soul of the movie together capably, even as he interacts with winged monkeys and little girls made of china. Does The Wizard of Oz need a prequel? Definitely not. And Raimi would be the first to insist that he’s not going to match the original film’s impact. In fact, Oz is at its worst when it tries to ape directly from The Wizard of Oz, especially in the movie’s closing scenes. But it’s charming and sweet and funny and mostly amenable to the source material. If only the score weren’t such a warmed-over piece of shit. recommended

 

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1
So agree on Elfman's need to retire.
Posted by T-Kins on March 8, 2013 at 1:41 PM · Report this
2
spot on with the danny-hate. every time that "screedle-dee" hits my poor, elfman-exhausted ears, i weep inside. SHUT UP DANNY ELFMAN!!!
Posted by Adrian Ryan on March 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM · Report this
Dougsf 3
A 3rd that. I actually laughed during a movie recently when the score started telling me this was a dramatic moment. I had look up who did the score, and sure enough...
Posted by Dougsf on March 8, 2013 at 2:15 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 4
The best scores are barely noticeable. They add to the scene and don't distract. Elfman lost that talent a long time ago.
Posted by keshmeshi on March 8, 2013 at 3:03 PM · Report this
5
Oh okay, now I get what you mean by the screedle dee, screedle dee. It sounds almost too distinctive, his sound,in the movies he makes. I still think the spider man theme is great though.
Posted by arachnar on March 8, 2013 at 10:12 PM · Report this
6
Hey now! I liked the Spiderman soundtrack! I'd say 10 years bankrupt.
Posted by Zebbeni on March 9, 2013 at 10:14 PM · Report this
Claypatch 7
My Danny Elfman hate goes back waaay longer than when he started scoring films. "Back in the day" (as you kiddies say), he used to front the band Oingo Boingo, which, imho, put out some of the most annoying and non-original music around. Somehow he managed to vault this mediocre music career into a mediocre film career. Well, I guess it beats guns, drugs, and fucking in the streets....or does it?
Posted by Claypatch on March 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM · Report this
Frank Blethen's vodka distiller 8
Actually Elfman was doing scores to independent films about the time he was fronting Oingo Boingo.
Posted by Frank Blethen's vodka distiller on March 10, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 9
actually the worse wasn't elf man..although he was pretty awful.. but the worse was friction mariah carey during the credits.. mariahunclefriggincarey gets a song..the munchkins, who are self professed songsters, ( and makers of 'pretty clothes' ), get a short shoddy production number somewhere in the middle
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on March 12, 2013 at 7:07 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 10
'was frickin mariah carey'.. where's auto-correct when it really matters ?
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on March 13, 2013 at 12:28 AM · Report this
11
I agree that Elfman has put out some really BAD pieces together over the years but that's based on "THE MOVIE" not him. The reason I say this is because it's a movies PRESENCE that inspires a composer's work AND the director and producer giving him/her both TIME to produce an amazing soundtrack. I really miss movies like Darkman and Spiderman that allowed Elfman to really get into themes etc. John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith have even had just BLAH movies and a time limit to throw a score together and Goldsmith is a thematic and orchestral genius with film music even better than Williams in lots of cases EXCEPT themes ;) where Williams has mastered the creative realm of character theme. S A Storyteller Storyteller Studios (Independent Filmmaker)
Posted by sastoryteller on May 5, 2013 at 7:48 AM · Report this
12
Oingo Boingo unoriginal? You can't be serious... Have you not heard Good for Your Soul? The Forbidden Zone? Their early work was phenomenal and hardly unoriginal. The depth and meaning of their lyrics (Just Another Day, Insanity, Only a Lad, We Close Our Eyes, among others) can't be dismissed. They WERE the SoCal new wave of the early and mid-80's. They were also one of the best live acts I've ever seen. Oingo Boingo was a casualty of Batman...

Hate on the soundtracks all you want, Elfman and Depp are the only things carrying Tim Burton right now. Tim Burton movies have become just one bad ironic joke and quasi-dark fam-friendly cliche after another and now it's just sad. If you have a problem with Danny Elfman's work, blame Burton. I'm sure it's hard to write a good, original soundtrack around a bad movie that's already been made 6 times.
Posted by thegemini on January 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM · Report this

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