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Blade Runner 2049

Discussion in 'Soundtracks Discussion' started by synthpunk, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. dgburns

    dgburns za

    Nov 4, 2012
    Have not seen the film. That said, and since I can't seem to keep my mouth shut here goes -

    -I'm sure the film is fantastic, and something I would enjoy. these are actually good times -being able to go to the cinema and see something like this. (and a film composer selling out arenas with a film music review show in 2017)

    -While the film has some original members, there's no doubt in my mind there might have been overtures to the original composer as well. Pure speculation on my part.

    -I'm of the thought that Vangelis ultimately wins here as there seems to me to be quite the revival in the original film + score. Wouldn't be surprised to see him back in LA LA land in the not to distant future. But with all this things with the big V, it'll be on his own time and circumstance.

    -the original film was not fast paced, so while some are critical of the same slow pace in the newer one, it's not out of franchise charactor. Ridley Scott is one ballsy producer, who has the juice to make his own story arcs. Very rare in Hwood. Love me some Ridley Scott.

    Like I said, good times.
    Vastman likes this.
  2. Mundano

    Mundano Senior Member

    Dec 8, 2015
    :2thumbs: Agreed totally EDIT: with all except of "huge amount of Music in the film", I think I only wanted to express myself quickly and was a little acid with the commentary. Apologizes
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
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  3. Ultra

    Ultra Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2016
    One of the problems of the original was pacing (at times, not always)... And some useless scenes while other scenes are completely missing...

    This one here doesn't necessarily have severe pacing issues, it just gets unnecessary lengthy at the end when they squeeze in Harry for zero reasons... It adds nothing but drag to an already very thin storyline
  4. Mundano

    Mundano Senior Member

    Dec 8, 2015
  5. Zhao Shen

    Zhao Shen StormSound

    Jul 8, 2014
    I think we agree - a soundtrack does have to do more to be great, and Blade Runner 2049's soundtrack is not truly great. What I'm saying though, is that there is that no one involved in the film cares how the score sounds out of context. The film's needs supercede that of musical greatness.

    Of course, it's always wonderful when a soundtrack goes above and beyond and is enjoyable to listen to on its own (my Spotify playlists are stuffed with such tracks), but ultimately that's a bonus that's only possible if the film allows. Don't know if you've seen the film yet, but I'm of the opinion that most things that might have sounded better out of context would have felt out of place.
    Vastman likes this.
  6. Darren Durann

    Darren Durann Senior Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    The image for this video for some reason got me thinking of much better music ;)

    Mundano likes this.
  7. Ultra

    Ultra Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2016
    fully disagree. Every movie greatly benefits from a deep score. Every movie.

    But especially this piece right here was screaming for a rich, theme driven score... many empty scenes, with beautiful but lifeless VFX that needed an emotional tone or anchor...

    if this movie had a score like the original one - not similar, as the movies are very different, but with the same kind of care and treatment - then this would have been a sci-fi milestone. There are other flaws when being nitpicky, but the score can overshadow/hide a lot of that... Star Wars is a great example...

    they massively dropped the ball on completely screwing up the score here. All other elements were in place or in the upper third... this is already an "achievement" nowadays for many of the big, idiotic studio pictures... they wasted potential here.

    and btw, Blade Runner 1982 made his money back... it took a long time and many cuts but they got it back... reason: because of the exceptional art design of the many depts... this one right here used Gosling to try to attract a younger crowd... looks like it didn't pull, and the score is a waste. put those two in place and even if the box office lacks, u will break even later... DVD, Blu-Ray HD, Blu-Ray UHD, etc
    Greg and Mundano like this.
  8. Replicant

    Replicant Senior Member

    Jul 16, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    I disagree completely.

    Those empty scenes didn't need score, especially in the Nevada desert. It's supposed to be empty; it doesn't need "rich themes" that would be cheesy as hell in this context and against the point the filmmakers were trying to make. That deafening "boom" may not have been interesting while K was walking around there, but it did suit the mood just fine.

    The original movie had more memorable music, sure, but not exactly by much. I've seen the movie so many times and aside from the end credits, the "love" theme, and that one vocal track...the music was more or less the same idea.

    Now, I do believe that it's possible for every score to have at least some melodic fragment that is memorable, but the 21st century favours "gritty", atmospheric, ultra-serious films for blockbusters; the romantic, swashbuckling adventures of yore are now the exception and not the rule.

    Not every film can or should sound like Star Wars; even if it is superior from a strictly musical standpoint. Movies like Blade Runner and the Dark Knight or TV shows like Battlestar Galactica would not have had the same impact with soaring strings, crazy woodwind runs, and triumphant brass.
  9. AdamKmusic

    AdamKmusic Senior Member

    Dec 30, 2016
    Well I thoroughly enjoyed it! Definitely a blu ray purchase!
    Vastman likes this.
  10. Ultra

    Ultra Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2016
    yeah, u misunderstood.

    (a) it's only "cheesy" if the score is cheesy... a deep and rich score - for a desert scene - can be very simplistic... like the opening of Alien from Goldsmith...

    (b) the original Blade Runner score only has one really good track for me (I stated this before) but the score and music as whole includes a lot of sound design and FX and fragments that do set the mood in every scene. Mission absolutely accomplished.

    (c) Star Wars was an example I gave how a insanely soapy story line can be drastically enhanced by a very sophisticated, deep and rich score. I did not say all movies should sound like SW. Would make no sense.

    BR2049 has ultimately a very thin script which would have greatly benefited from a deep and rich score - and by that I mean a superbly crafted score. Not "soaring strings" - that is not "rich" or "deep".

    Rich or deep is the level of atmosphere u create. Can be done by a single Glockenspiel.
    Mundano and Greg like this.
  11. givemenoughrope

    givemenoughrope Senior Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Well, why don't we all just re-score it when it comes out on DVD? By committee.
    Mundano and Greg like this.
  12. Greg

    Greg Senior Member

    Mar 16, 2012
    Los Angeles
    The empty scenes were exactly where score was needed the most. Maybe if K was just tracking down unpaid parking tickets then yeah the emptiness was good. However, K was searching for his soul obviously distraught with many churning emotions. I think the right composer could have nailed something fucking amazing. Johann is a god at being subliminal and not over the top or cheesy.
    Ultra likes this.
  13. givemenoughrope

    givemenoughrope Senior Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Theory of Everything is thee most syrup-y and sentimental score I've heard in a long long time. For it to come out in THIS decade makes it sound like a parody to me. (It's possible that I missed the point entirely and it was MEANT to sound that way?) It makes Desplat sound like Jerry Fielding. That said, it fit perfectly with that awful film, the same way I think a JJ score would really have fit with this rather drab and uninspired new Blade Runner.

    Johan would have had LESS music and what would be there would be painfully minimal. I don't understand the hemmnig and hawing over the difference between HZ and JJ in this context. They would both essentially deliver a score that functions in the same way as determined by the powers that be. And in fact, they are both very similar in that regard; minimalist composers with high production value. I think it's really funny that JJ gets all these accolades for being so different and original when his scores (at their best) function like a HZ score and his "original sound" is so obviously cribbed from Part, Gorecki and whatever else you see talked about in The Quietus or The Wire magazine, basically the high level hipster avant garde; but he sure acts like he owns these things in every interview. It's salesmanship. Hans on the other hand has really taken disparate styles of music and combined them in really interesting ways to create something that everyone else has basically copied to SOME degree (including JJ). I mean, like it or not, HZ IS modern film scoring for a reason. And I bet he will be in 5-10 years when this whole minimal, Icelandic, listening to paint dry muzak (which is really just a reaction to loud, cliched scores, but a baby/bathwater deal) is no longer in vogue at the cineplex.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  14. Mundano

    Mundano Senior Member

    Dec 8, 2015
    lol, i have thought about that, but I am so busy atm...
  15. Mundano

    Mundano Senior Member

    Dec 8, 2015


    Blade Runner 2049 (Speed review)
    [​IMG]Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

    Composers: Hans Zimmer/Benjamin Wallfisch

    Number of tracks: 24

    Total time: 93:45 (1 hour, 33 minutes and 45 seconds)


    Continuing in Hollywoods storied tradition of either remaking or creating a belated sequel to something from the 1980's comes Blade Runner 2049, a sequel to director Ridley Scott's 1982 Sci-Fi/Noir classic that has wallowed in development hell for over a decade. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario) and executive produced by Scott himself, the new film picks up thirty-five years after the events of the 1982 original and furthers that films mythos and storyline.

    Blade Runner 2049 follows a "blade runner" named K (Ryan Gosling) who is tasked with retiring (aka killing) old model Replicants (fully synthetic humans who are used as slaves). While on an assignment, K discovers a hidden secret that has the possibility to disrupt the delicate balance between new era Replicants and mankind. The young blade runner seeks out the assistance of an older agent, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who may hold the key to the mystery....

    Despite immense praise from film critics, audiences seemed to be mostly indifferent to Blade Runner 2049 with the film grossly underperforming at the box office. Granted, given the history of the original 1982 feature, this fate for the sequel should hardly be unexpected. Here's hoping the film, like its predecessor, will find its audience in home media in the following years.

    The score for 2049 has a storied history unto itself. Originally scheduled to be composed by Johann Johannsson (who had scored Villeneuve's prior two films), a last minute change only a month or so before the films release handed scoring duties over to Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. Even while Zimmer's name is proudly trumpeted on the credits and in various news articles, based on interviews with the two composers, it appears Wallfisch did most of compositional work on the film with Zimmer contributing and playing various synths on the finished recording. With that said, I'll mostly be referring to Wallfisch as the composer of Blade Runner 2049 for the remainder of the review.

    Review of the music:

    The approach to Blade Runner 2049 is very similar in places to Vangelis's 1982 score, maybe too loyal for some listeners. Wallfisch and Zimmer employ the highly distinctive tones of the Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer that was used throughout the original Blade Runner in a nice nod of continuity between the two scores. The most obvious thematic carryover in 2049 is the bittersweet theme heard in "Tears in the Rain" at the end of the first film, strongly hinted at here during "Rain" before finally getting a full reworked performance in "Tears in the Rain". Besides this, most of the other connective tissue to the first score is provided in simple tonalities thanks to the CS-80 sprinkled throughout the album including "2049", "Mesa", "Someone Lived This", "Joi", "All The Best Memories Are Hers" and "Blade Runner".

    Thematically, Wallfisch keeps things on the simply side with a general four-note motif that weaves in and out of the score (heard best in "Joi") along with a much darker theme for Replicant creator Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) presented in "Wallace", "Furnace" and "Her Eyes Were Green". A brief action ostinato is also heard during "Flight to the LAPD", "Pilot", "Sea Wall" and the beginning of "Blade Runner" that sounds not unlike a merging of Brad Fiedel's T-1000 theme from Terminator 2 with some of Zimmer's own percussive ideas from The Dark Knight. Unfortunately Blade Runner 2049 also features some nigh unlistenable sound design in the same general tone of the nightmare sequences of Batman v Superman as well. Mercifully contained primarily to "Hijack" and the second half of "Sea Wall", this material is easily the lowest point of the score and nicely ruins the overall ambient tone of the rest of the work.

    Special note should be made of the inclusion of a handful of songs on the album: two by Frank Sinatra ("Summer Wind", "One For My Baby (And One More for the Road)") and two by Elvis Presley ("Suspicious Minds", "Can't Help Falling in Love"). No doubt source songs for the film, their inclusion on the album is fine, though the placement is rather strange with "Summer Winds" appearing near the start of the album while the remaining three are clumped near the beginning of the climax. Again, probably positioned where they appear in-film, but still an odd choice the latter placements ruin the flow of the score. Also an end credits tune, "Almost Human" by Lauren Daigle, is included for those that like that sort of thing.

    Closing thoughts:

    To some extent the score to Blade Runner 2049 was destined to be a mixed bag from the onset. The combined elements of following a genuinely great synth score by Vangelis along with director Villeneuve's insistence on ambient textures above all else was going to be a hard enough challenge to overcome on its own. Add to that the last second replacement of composers along with Zimmer being mostly absent from the proceedings thanks to an active concert tour and one ends up with... Blade Runner 2049. While not a complete travesty, Wallfisch and Zimmer's work does suffer from several problems, many of which were unfortunately unavoidable.

    With the sequel score (and film) so locked within the world of the 1982 film, there leaves hardly any room for the new composers to experiment around. Unfortunately whenever Wallfisch does try to stray from the Vangelis sound as in "Hijack", "Sea Wall" or "Flight to the LAPD" the newer sounds and textures utterly clash with the surrounding "retro" soundscape. Likewise, the directors insistence on ambient textures means that most of the score merely drifts by without much of an impact.

    Despite all this, there is still enough of interest in Blade Runner 2049 to warrant a cautious recommendation for fans of ambient synth scores as well as more casual listeners. A very solid 45 to 50 minute playlist could be made from the nearly 94 minute commercial product, which would be the ideal presentation for this score. In the end, Blade Runner 2049 is mostly a musical disappointment that still has enough interesting material buried within to keep it from being a complete disaster. Too bad Zimmer wasn't able to fully immerse himself in this one....


    2 out of 5
    Posted 1 hour ago by Bennett Dobbins
    Labels: ben wallfisch composer blade runner 2049 soundtrack review blade runner new score blade runner soundtrackhans zimmer and benjamin wallfisch tears in the rain song
  16. givemenoughrope

    givemenoughrope Senior Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Also, I mean really, isn't this score and film just a target that can't be hit no matter what anyone does? HZ has had about 5-10 scores that rival Blade Runner to me. Trying to recreate something, modernize it and satisfy everyone seems impossible and unnecessary. I'm listening to it now and sounds great to me in spots.
  17. gsilbers

    gsilbers Part of Pulsesetter-Sounds.com

    i saw it on monday. i loved the movie! its all i have hoped. its my style of films.

    with that said, i don tknow what was going on with that score. im a big fan of synth based music and hans and to me most of this score sounded like just simple filter sweeps placed very loudly in the mix and a few rare misses - like that LFO - distorted synth. wtf was that?! i mean, it was on random places. like when he was eating a sandwich and the hookers come to talk to him. why the hell did that need music?! .. or THAT specific sound!? so odd.
    i have to say, that score kinda got my attention away from the movie. i saw the original a day before and the music is ok-ish for me. i know its a classic bla bla but tbh, its ok, not the best but it did create that cool atmosphere and sound for the movie. on 2049 seems it was made a little to fast maybe? and trying to copy that orginal and everyone forgot what was cool? :)
    i still enyoyed the movie and the music is prolly much much better than anything i coudl make. but man.. that LFO synth sound... so annoying and so out of place. 4.5 out of 5 just for that lfo synth :P
    Ultra likes this.
  18. Vastman

    Vastman we make the future

    Amen, brother...you said sooooo much...no need to repeat but well said!

    I'm 67 and lived all versions of the original...had the VHS, dvds... it is amazing for its time...BUT...it was both crude and inconsequential compared to this...and I think PDK would agree (I also have the complete works of Philip K. Dick and the 52 hour long Exegesis of PKD and have followed him since i was a child...quite sure he would smile & marvel at this film...)

    Aside from taking the issues of artificial lifeforms to a much deaper level, it portrays a much more insightful understanding of the future we humans are creating... abandoned coastal cities, massive seawalls to keep out the 100 ft ocean rise we've baked into our planetary future, the aftermath of emp, which is overdue via solar flares or some wack job like trump/Nkorea's version, and much more... As a lifelong futurist dealing with such issues I was just blown away...it took the comingling of AI/humans further and probed more deaply...the soundfield/score IS an integral part of the experience this film engendered and it consumed me...enveloped me in the experience.

    Only had a chance to see it once thus far (mom dying/little time) but this film is far deeper and relevant to future pathways...it deserves a dozen watches/listens...it is an AMAZING fusion of visuals and sound....i was for the most part transfixed in a wonderland of stimuli... and can't wait to sit in front of my 65in LG OLED and emerse myself for a few days...

    As to the soundtrack, I'm listening to it as as I type and i feel it is a wonderful comingling of stunning synth lines and searing/thundering sound fields emersed withinin an elaborate overall sound design... there is a huge amount of extremely powerful & lovely homage to vangellis throughout the movie and i don't get what all the fuss is about. WAY more powerful, emersing, and mindbending than I've seen/ heard in a looooong time! I view/listen to ever scifi ever made... the soundtrack also stands on its own... being a long term Google red customer, I've been listening to the soundtrack since coming home... it is VERY powerful and full of lines linking to V's original genius...some of the comments in this thread are just ludicrous...

    Each moment is a possibility... an endless stream of possibilities...and I'm quite pleased with the choices made here in this spellbinding creation. WHO among you has come close to be so pios and irreverent? What scores are more appropriate to their subject matter? Do i like the three hours of rain/thunder/music version, as a pure listen, better? Maybe... although here i am at 10 minutes into the movie score and I'm QUITE captivated. At 18 minutes in...OMF'nG! Did some of u really not see/listen? I'm sad for some of u... suprised at the names of some who've dismissed this as a failure...shit, 27 minutes in.... rapturous sounds evoking the origional...which could not have been created befor...have ANY of you listened to the score after seeing the movie? Homage to V is all over the place, in bits and pieces to majestic sweeping smears of Vness

    Lots of blather going on in this thread...like all the blather going on about the new Trek from luddites stuck in historical moments, wonderful moments to be sure, but to be so blinded....and crass...

    I've stood back and watched humans troll the planet all my life... funny to see it here! Actually, it's to be expected, I guess... small little egos screeching for attention! Narrow minded brain dead luddites with impaired perspectives! I'm thoroughly glad I had the opportunity to have my mind blown today...it will take several more visitations to absorb it all... to be one who can't comprehend... that is so sad...glad, oh soooo glad I'm not one of the "shallow"...oblivious to the searing of the soul from so many lines lashing outwards to vibrate and rock the moment.

    To those dismissing the powerful soundfield created to envelope the watchers...you should be so lucky to ever even get close to evoking such from your own mind/body/spirit&fingers...
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  19. NoamL

    NoamL Senior Member

    Jul 6, 2015
    Yet again a composer does a good last-minute score and can't catch a break from other composers! There were so many people slamming MG's Rogue One score too.
    jononotbono and AdamKmusic like this.
  20. AdamKmusic

    AdamKmusic Senior Member

    Dec 30, 2016
    Two composers. Well maybe one, from the FB live interview they did last week it sounds like Wallfisch did the majority of the work!

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