Download Film Junk Podcast for Sept. 9, 2007

3:10 to YumaWelcome to another edition of the Film Junk Podcast. This week Sean is in England and Greg is enjoying the Toronto International Film Festival, so Jay is joined by none other than Darth Nameless (aka ‘the man with no name’, aka ‘nobody’) for a blood boiling, skin crawling, heart stopping, watermelon smashing edition of the Film Junk podcast. This week Jay gives his review of 3:10 to Yuma, Darth Nameless defends Star Trek 5 and we give some in depth discussion of the portrayal of action/violence in films. Also listen for our regular segments, including top 5 westerns and Jerry Goldsmith vs. John William! HOW EXCITING. So sit back, take off your shirt, call up your Mother and tell her you love her.

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  • The Man With No Name

    No comments at all from anybody!

    Sheesh. Now I’ve even lost Henrik as my only fan.

    Guess I won’t be invited back to co-host. Back to washing dishes for a living.

  • I knew you were in it for the fame and glory.

  • TheSnowLeopard

    It was a bit of a loose episode.

    As a fan of film score music I was disappointed with your versus segment. Actually, it kinda sucked.

  • Although I take some responsibility, i point the finger at THE MAN WITH NO NAME who suggested the John Williams vs. Jerry Goldsmith debate just before we began recording, insisting that Goldsmith was the man to beat, only to leave me hanging out to dry on air. THANKS DARTH NAMELESS.

  • The Man With No Name

    TheSnowLeopard, I’d be interested to hear your opinions concerning John Williams vs. Jerry Goldsmith. Or anyone else’s opinions, too. I think JW vs JG is a good versus topic, although, yes, Jay and I weren’t the right people to discuss it.

    To go along with a Western theme, we should have discussed Ennio Morricone vs Elmer Bernstein. (For those unaware, Bernstein did the Magnificent Seven score. Do I need to say what Morricone is known for?) But again, the versus segment would have still sucked because Jay and I can’t discuss music at all beyond saying I like that and I don’t like that.

    So our versus segment didn’t kinda suck, it sucked dust devils! I disappointed myself.

  • Bunyip

    I thought this episode was hilarious. Darth Hapless is the perfect straight man for Jay. Even the bathroom break was comedy gold. I have to say it’s also the first time I’ve heard anyone defend Star Trek 5 – I still think it’s a bag of shit, but props for putting it out there.

  • TheSnowLeopard

    yeah…that bathroom break was pretty funny. Unscripted silent comedy at its best!

    I think JW vs.JG is a good idea, and Elmer Vs. Ennio would have been even better because it would link with the discussion about Westerns.

    I’m not a music expert either, so making a choice based on what you like or don’t like is fine, but a little more research and preparation would have made the segment more interesting.

    I find John Williams the more consistent composer over the last 50 years, both in terms of quality and style, and he has written more scores to my favourite movies (Star Wars, CE3K, E.T., A.I., etc). Jerry is more versatile and innovative, highlighted by scores like The Omen, Planet of The Apes, The Russia House and his electronic scores of the Eighties.

    I own 54 JW scores and 48 JG scores, which only shows how much I like both of them. But I would give the nod to John Williams.

  • I think it’s pretty hard to top Williams. It’s not even a matter of quality over quantity…it’s simply the fact that he’s responsible for so many important themes.

    I do think your point about Goldsmith being the more innovative of the two is valid however.

    Personally, I really enjoy Carter Burwell, Bernard Hermann…I really love James Newton Howard’s Shyamalan scores (especially Signs and Lady in the Water) and of course…John Carpenter!!

  • Bunyip:

    I’ve been trying to convince Darth Hapless to do a regular podcast in which the two of us discuss things that drive us nuts. Needless to say, we disagree on MANY things, so it would be some lively discussion. He has yet to commit, but maybe your comment will help give him some motivation.

    Thanks for listening!

  • The Man With No Name

    I was the straight man? I thought I was supposed to be the wacky quipster.

    I should have started riffing while Jay was out to the loo, but I thought Jay would edit out my solo moment in the spotlight, so I just sat there sipping my tea and marvelling at Jay’s headquarters. Too bad the show wasn’t live. BTW, Jay was gone for a very long time. I think he edited the long silence into a short silence. I thought he was going to edit the whole thing out. Who knew he was going to go Andy Kaufmanesque?

    As for Star Trek V, I realize I spent most of my time excusing the movie’s shortcomings rather than praising the movie’s accomplishments. There’s a small coterie who do appreciate the merits of the film. One small detail that doesn’t really elevate the film, but that I find touching and relevant for Kirk’s hero mythology within Star Trek is Kirk’s statement to his two best friends after falling off the mountain that he knew he wouldn’t die then, because he knew he would always die alone. And sure enough, in Generations, Kirk ends up dying without Spock and McCoy around.

    I agree that we needed to do some research and preparation for that versus segment. Did I not say that, Jay? So don’t lay the lameness of the versus segment on my ineptitude, Jay, because you know, brilliance takes time! At least for me it does. Hell, it takes me hours to write these reasoned and coherent comments.

    As for a podcast discussing what drives us nuts, this is Film Junk! Stay on the topic, Jay! I much prefer to let my fists do the talking. But you can’t podcast that. Oh, wait. You did podcast a bathroom break. But I don’t think it would be wise to try mining comedy gold too often in that vein. Hey, a double entendre, that was.

    Boy, I’m sure running off with the finger. (I type with only my index finger.)

  • No fear Darth Nameless, I’m still with you. I just don’t have unlimited access to internet and stuff, so sometimes I am late. Still a fan! I think your name is Jerry or Gerry though, because I remember Sean mentioning somebody of that name liking Curse of the Golden Flower. I’m onto you.

    Why don’t you think I like The Final Frontier? Actually I never saw it, I never saw any of the original cast movies. I felt like I would want to watch the series first, and I never got hooked on it enough to dish out the money to get it. I have seen the Next Gen movies though and I actually don’t mind them, except for Nemesis (John Logan, I’m giving you cancer with my mind). Insurrection is my favourite, it has the feel of Star Trek way more than the other two. Generations was kind of boring and I never really got into the Kirk death. First Contact is fine I guess, but I didn’t think it worked as an action movie (saw it before I got really into the series) and afterwards I didn’t feel it really got into the interesting things. It has some moments that I’m just in love with though (“Plenty of letters left in the alphabet”). So ranking them would go:

    First Contact
    Almost any other movie

    Independence Day is more of a Star Trek movie than Nemesis. Insurrection is an honest attempt to make something that has a point though. Even though it’s fucked up by some of the subpar action scenes (awesome effects by Jim Rygiel though) I can still appreciate the sentiment. I don’t get why people hate it SO much… That scene where time slows down with the hummingbird and stuff… That’s good shit and to use a cliché – it’s a new image and that in and of itself is worth some recognition.

    I think John Williams writes fine, serviceable music, but in no way does it compare to the Hermann scores or even the more modern stuff where Danny Elfman and Newton Howard would be the highlights. The main thing about Williams is that his music seems to be unaffected by the movies. He can write an 8-bar theme that people can whistle, but fucking Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman… It’s all the same stuff. Completely interchangeable. Compare that to something like what Elfman did with Batman and Spider-Man, movies that are VERY similar, and there’s no way you can switch the themes. John Williams just puts a theme on the movie and thats that. Look at Harry Potter. I respect him as a musician, but not so much as a film musician. I’m not really a fan of Jerry Goldsmith, nothing he did ever stood out to me.

    Good over-the-top action = Starship Troopers. The Children of Men scene was good. Too bad they ruined it by having the characters crack jokes in the middle of it. I think both Bullet-Time and Shaky-Cam and whatever other camera conventions that have trendy names can be used effectively in the right hands. I’m sure Paul Greengrass could do something with Bullet-Time that would be interesting and good as well. Shit directors make shit action, no matter what the technique.

    Mmm Clockwork Orange. Awesome stunts. I was reminded of that as I was watching Death Proof. Don’t forget the assault on Jack Rippers base in Dr. Strangelove though. One of the coolest (and most influential, I mean Steven Spielberg pretty much owes his military honor medal to the sequence) action sequences ever made!

    When Legend becomes fact, I think it means when people start believing the legend as fact, print the original legend to remind people it was never fact. Make sense? I think it’s a smart quote if that’s what it means.

  • TheSnowLeopard

    John Williams writes “fine, serviceable music”??
    His music for Star Wars, Indiana Jones & Superman is “interchangeable” ???????

    I’m sorry, but that is simply not a credible opinion.

  • “I’m not a music expert”

    “that is simply not a credible opinion.”

    Whatever man.

  • TheSnowLeopard

    If you’re inferring those two statements are contradictory, you’re wrong. They are both true.

  • The Man With No Name

    Henrik, Jay has accused me of making outlandish statements, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to side with TheSnowLeopard concerning your comments about John Williams’ music.

    But since I’m not a music expert, I guess my opinion isn’t credible as well.

    So are there any music experts out there that will support the opinion of TheSnowLeopard and myself? Not that John Williams needs defending, but it would be nice to hear an authority explain what makes Williams’ music so outstanding.

    Though, Henrik, you did make me think that it would be a fun exercise to interchange some musical pieces between the three aforementioned movies. I’m imagining the Superman fanfare playing over the scene where Indy outruns a boulder. And Indy’s theme playing over Superman’s rescue of Lois Lane falling from the helicopter. And the Imperial March playing over the moments before the ark is opened by the Nazis in Raiders. Now I’m thinking about the 60s series Lost in Space theme (that Williams composed) playing over the credits of Star Wars. Oh, that doesn’t work.

  • TheSnowLeopard

    Henrik’s opinion lacks credibility not becuase he isn’t a music expert, but because during his tirade against JW he made statements that were patently untrue. Someone had to call him to account. If ever there was a composer whose themes are indelibly linked with the movies they were written for, it is JW. That is what makes them so famous. I don’t understand where his hostility to JW comes from, given that his comments about Goldsmith are so restrained in comparison they barely register.

  • Because he doesn’t like Steven Spielberg and everyone else does.

  • Henrik

    Actually one of the reasons I’m not big on Spielberg is the fact that he keeps using John Williams. Even though my favourite score of his (and of all time) is Jurassic Park… I don’t know. His music works better as a cd than as a score, you can completely lift the music out of the movie and not feel like you’re missing anything. A good score to me works with the images, not beside them. When you write something specific for a scene, you have to work with the visual side of the movie and create a symbiotic piece of music that will elevate the scene, and not necessarily be a great piece on its own, which I think is what John Williams is making. Hummable themes that seem more ‘inspired by’ the movies than actually a part of them.

  • Henrik

    ONE of my favourites of all time. Definitely not no. 1.

  • The Man With No Name

    IMO, Henrik brings up a valid point of debate where some people think that film music should support the visuals and others think that film music should be memorable on its own. And then I suppose some people will say that both qualities are important.

    I can see where Henrik feels that John Williams’ music is overpowering the visuals and draws attention to itself.

    On the Superman DVD commentaries, I recall Richard Donner saying how he thought the Superman fanfare was so powerful because you could imagine the melody singing out the word Superman in your head.

    BTW, thx to Henrik and TheSnowLeopard for their interpretations of the legend quotation. Both interpretations make sense.