Re: "Please Don't Turn Down my Music": The Iron Man 3 Composer Thread
Last night I finally had the opportunity to listen to Tyler's IM3 score. When I saw the film I didn't think much of the score b/c it really didn't leave much of an impression on me. My first impressions of the score on album was that it was decent overall. I don't think I'd rank it "the best MCU score" either.
Tracks that stood out for me were "Attack On 10880 Malibu Point", "Isolation", "New Beginnings", "The Mandarin", "Battle Finale", and "Can You Dig it".
I like the use of a choir in "Attack On 10880 Malibu Point". It gives the scene a sense of infernal doom. Which reflects on the hero's home and legacy being destroyed. And really emphasises the the fall of Tony Stark/IM .
The reason the short "Isolation" track stood out for me was b/c it plays the IM theme more sentimental, which gave the theme at least a little nuance.
I thought the use of sleigh bells in "New Beginnings" was clever and sort of underscores the Christmas season the film takes place during. The use of it makes sense b/c that moment is Stark's Christmas present to Pepper. The cue sort of gives me a grand finale feel, which was also appropriate in the film.
The use of "Dies Irae" in "The Mandarin" track was very skillful of Tyler and fits the facade that Mandarin's trying to bring the "Day of Wrath" to the U.S. It's adds a great deal of intimidation to the Mandarin character, which probably even adds more disappointment for those that hated the twist on the character.
And I just like the build up and use of the IM theme in "Battle Finale" adds a little bit of excitement in the scene. I know "Can You Dig It" is a highlight for some. and while I enjoyed it. It sort of felt out of place with the rest of the score, imo. It's also kind of repetitive but fun nonetheless.
The problems I have with the score are that it's too long and could've omitted 15 -20 minutes from the album. A lot of those cues probably work better with the film itself than on it's own. Also there were a lot of cues that felt like tension music, which is hard to get into for me. Especially if I can't remember what scene it was from. I've only seen it once four weeks ago, but I did remember a few moments from the album that was from the movie.
Another problem I had was with the main theme. Sure the theme was catchy, but I felt it was a little "generic". It felt like "here comes the hero theme!" In other words forced at times. I don't think it 100% represented IM like I know it did for some. I mean it's a step in the right direction, but I felt the theme needed to be bigger and more varied. It comes off too simple for me. This theme could probably fit any other superhero without any little impact. And that's my big problem with it. I just wish there was more to it. The theme doesn't have much nuance either. I hardly hear any diversity in it. It's played almost the same heroic and victorious way, imo.
A part of the theme also reminds me of David Arnold's theme/motif for 007 in CR and QOS, which distracts me from the Tyler's theme a little. The last part of the theme really felt like the typical hero themes of today for some reason as well. a few times the veers into Silvestri territory (especially The Avengers). In fact some cues veers into MV/RC territory, imho.
Now don't get me wrong it's a decent theme. I'll take it over Djawadi's and Debney's themes/scores any day. The former I found to be generic MV/RC rubbish and the latter to be just forgettable. So it isn't saying much to me that Tyler's IM3 is the best IM score, b/c the previous two scores weren't great to begin with, imho. I feel that Tyler's theme nails some part of the character just not the whole character. It's close but no cigar for me. This would've worked better as a starting point for IM1 and that way Tyler would develop it and take it in different areas for the sequels. I just think the theme could use a little more touching up but overall I thought the score was decent. Maybe it'll grow on me b/c this is my first impression of the score. And I do plan on giving it repeated listens. So my view could change over time.