Soundtrack Review: Indiana Jones IV (Or How Ben Burtt Screwed John Williams)
Do you mean to tell me that there was actually a soundtrack to this shitpile? Ben Burtt made sure you never heard it in theaters.
AVAILABLE AT AMAZON FOR $8.99AVAILABLE AT PLAY FOR £8.95 Music composed by: JOHN WILLIAMS Film composer JOHN WILLIAMS is a modern day Beethoven. He is Mozart. He is Tchaikovsky. When he sits down to compose a score for your movie, you get the fuck out of his way and let him make cinematic magic. George "Shithead" Lucas used to understand this, long, long ago when he used to make movies for reasonable humanoids above the age of fetus. Unfortunately, his devolution into a simpering infant has affected more than his sense of shot composition, storytelling, and characterization - i.e. every skill necessary for any reasonable filmmaker. No, it has also caused Lucas to forget the valuable contribution of a movie's score to its overall effect on audiences. This is odd, considering that it was Lucas (along with STEVEN SPIELBERG) who reinvigorated the use of musical cues in modern film, and at the same time introducing the world to the genius of Williams. Imagine STAR WARS without that riveting, martial theme. Imagine the Cantina sequence without the delightful musical accompaniment. Imagine Darth Vader's entrance in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK without the powerful IMPERIAL MARCH. Imagine the asteroid chase in that film without the whirling, swirling music to which the asteroids dance. Imagine Vader's redemption at the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI without that haunting chorus. Imagine that same film without "Yub Yub" at the end. Lucas would like you to imagine it for some unknown reason. He made three prequels to the original trilogy that worked overtime trying to push Williams' music into the background, overlaying magnificent Williams original compositions with fart noises and odd, distracting sounds. Much of the blame can be laid at the feet of sound designer Ben Burtt. Burtt, who came to prominence with his brilliant work on the original STAR WARS trilogy, steadily grew in importance and power within Lucasfilm and Skywalker Ranch. Over the years, he moved from the sound department to editing, working with ever-increasing intimacy with Lucas and influencing his decision-making. Arguments over sound versus music that Burtt lost during the final mixes of the original trilogy he now began to win. So it was that, in the prequels, we began to see a shift in emphasis from musical score to sound effects. For instance, it was Burtt's idea (admitted on the extras of the DVD) to remove all of Williams' score from the asteroid chase in ATTACK OF THE CLONES, opting instead for sound effects. At the suggestion, Lucas should have punched Burtt in the cock, but instead he rolled over and showed his belly like a stupid bitch. And now we have this steaming pile of horseshit publicly known as INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. I saw it. I fucking loathed it. And frankly, I barely remember hearing a score in the movie. This is because Ben Burtt appears in the credits as sound designer. And once again, it's clear that he was whispering into Georgie's ear and convincing everyone in the sound booth to turn down and mask Williams' score in order to highlight his ridiculous collection of noises. At the suggestion, Spielberg should have punched Burtt in the cock, but ... well, we all know how that turned out. I have no idea why Burtt has this much power over a film, but he has officially fucked four major motion pictures with his choices. NOTE TO BURTT - stick to recording farts, and leave the filmmaking to professionals. I am so pissed about this because Williams actually wrote a halfway-decent score for this lousy chunk of cancer. RAIDERS MARCH - You know every bar, and it's brilliant. CALL OF THE CRYSTAL - A fairly mysterious track, appropriate for possibly the worst mystery in the history of film. THE ADVENTURES OF MUTT - The music is far superior to the character. I can't believe Williams was forced to write music for someone idiotically named Mutt. I hate the RAIDERS cue in here, subtly reinforcing the ridiculous notion that Mutt is anywhere near the hero Indy is. IRINA'S THEME - Very slightly Russian-sounding, although, like the character, kinda thin. THE SNAKE PIT - Jaunty and fun, with just the right brushes of strings. THE SPELL OF THE SKULL - A fairly derivative track, full of typical mysteriousness. I hate being reminded of that damn skull. JOURNEY TO AKATOR - A typical RAIDERS traveling motif, punctuated by a Mexican-like interlude. Peculiar. A WHIRL THROUGH ACADEME - Chase theme, decently done but not outstanding. RETURN - Brooding and bland. THE JUNGLE CHASE - Far better than the CGI bullshit in this inferior chase scene. Too good for this movie. ORELLANA'S CRADLE - Filler. Actually reminiscent of some EMPIRE cues, which wouldn't surprise me considering the referential, self-congratulatory nature of this "movie." GRAVE ROBBERS - Awesome track, very wild. Too good for the sequence yet again. HIDDEN CITY AND CITY OF GOLD - Yawn. Builds nicely, though. SECRET DOORS AND SCORPIONS - Starts of boring and typical, but then rises to a suitably creepy crescendo. OXLEY'S DILEMMA - The less mentioned about him, the better. ANTS! - Most interesting track here, it perfectly captures the idea that the film completely fails to deliver with more CGI nonsense. Fuck, what a waste! TEMPLE RUINS AND THE SECRET REVEALED - Much more dramatic than anything in the film, including the part for which this was written. THE DEPARTURE - A repeat of the motif from the previous cue ... but then it almost embarrassingly slips into a CLOSE ENCOUNTERS meets ET climax that is too dramatic and obvious for the images onscreen. Spielberg really dropped it here, because nothing visually matches the wonder Williams is attempting. FINALE - A recap, nicely done. Builds almost like a STAR WARS ending theme. OVERALL Williams deserves better than this. His music is better than the film, yet it was completely masked and smothered by Burtt and Lucas. If I was Williams, I would walk away from these idiots before they could ruin my legacy in the same manner that they have ruined their own. BUY IT? You can't go wrong with Williams, but just remember: any money spent on this disc goes into the Lucas vaults and continues his reign of terror.