What’s with the horns, Horner?

I finally got to see Avatar today (I clearly fail at being a film journalist because I waited for so many weeks. Please don’t tell anybody).

I wasn’t quite as impressed as I thought I would be; obviously the FX are impressive and it’s utterly beautiful in places, and I loved the Na’vi very much. But there wasn’t a single surprise in the entire film – I’d seen everything before, whether in a fantasy novel, a computer game or a less well-budgeted movie. It was derivative and bland, but somehow those three hours still sped by and I enjoyed myself, so I’ll forgive it its sins. And I suppose what I should remember is that there are generations of younger people who won’t have seen any of it before, so I should just pretend it’s fresh and go away and feel old all by myself.

And anyway, I heard a Wilhelm Scream at one point. It gets points for that.

One thing that seriously annoyed me, however, was James Horner’s score. While the vast majority of it was as competent and evocative as you’d expect from a man who’s been composing music for some of Hollywood’s greatest films for four decades, every now and then I’d hear a refrain from Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, coupled with a frighteningly similar piece of music from Aliens, or, indeed, any number of the many, many films Horner’s soundtracked which contain bits he’s plagiarised from himself.

Please, James, hear this plea: you’re great, you really are, BUT PLEASE STOP USING THOSE BLOODY HORNS PLAYING THOSE SAME BLOODY NOTES.  We’re onto you. Just write something new, okay?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “What’s with the horns, Horner?

  1. Lerxst

    Bah, humbug! Don’t be so kind on the drivel. It was pap! Cameron hasn’t directed a decent film since True Lies. 🙂

  2. Ruud V

    I don’t know Lerxst. “Piranha 2: flying killers” was quite mind-blowing and thought-provoking as well….

    Avatar’s story was indeed quite recognisable. Evil greedy Europeans exploit country at the cost of natives who are living on a goldmine, and Dance’s with wolves saves the day. Instead of Portugese and Amazon Indians or Dutch explorers and Indonesians, we get humans and Smur, er
    Na’vi….
    I thought that the characters could have been a bit more original. I mean, company-guy and army-boss were very cliché, I thought.
    And we saw many things coming wáááy beforehand. It was a bit

    But visually the film is quite overwhelming. We saw it at a very early 9.30 showing (had to do with the babysit), and we were quite entertained with all the scope and spectacle. I might see it again in a few weeks, if only for the hardware.
    Because let’s face it: If there is one thing Cameron does best, is giving us scifi hardware. I love the helicopters (pilot-babe included) and gunships.
    They almost replaced the APC and dropships from Aliens for me.
    Almost….

    Avatar entertained it’s millionth Dutch visitor this week. This means that an ave rage of about 1 in every 16 Dutch saw it…

    Horner did the soundtrack? Can’t really remember, so it didn’t make much of an impact on me.
    I love what he did for “The wrath of Khan” though…..

    My fave Cameron film? In the end it would be a toss-up between “Aliens” and “the Abyss”….

  3. Lerxst

    Ah, but ‘Flying Killers’ (or ‘The Spawning’) came out in 1981 so my point stands!

    Though I was very careful to say ‘directed’, as I do also rather like ‘Strange Days’ .

  4. Ruud V

    …..Angela Basset being all tough and kicking asses. What’s not to like…?!

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