Movie PictureThis week: SCORES and SOUNDTRACKS06.19.02Coming at you a day early! (you can thank me later):

Is it just me (of course it's not), or has the age of stellar soundtracks and unforgettable scores fallen by the wayside? With the exceptions of John William's brilliant score for Attack of the Clones and the gorgeous, playful, and yet haunting at times score for Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by Howard Shore, there just haven't been scores worth noticing.

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And this is a sad, sad fact. People forget how utterly important a good score ot soundtrack is to a film. The theme from Superman? Classic. You here the first couple of notes and BAM!, you're transported right back to the film. Jaws. You hear those simple notes, and a chill runs down your spine, and the ocean just doesn't look like an appealing place anymore. Or how about the awe inspired by the Jurassic Park theme? A good score grabs the emotion behind the film, makes it more real, and allows the film to embed itself that much deeper into your soul.

So what do we get nowadays? Remember the score to Spider-Man? Of course you don't. Nobody does. Here you have one of the most beloved comic book heroes of ALL TIME, and they can't get a solid theme out of Danny Elfman? There was nothing to truly rally your emotions behind him. No heroic accompaniments to bring you back to those images of him swinging through the streets of New York, and that's a damn shame. What makes it even worse is how the film really works on every other level. The story was good, the acting was right on pitch, and Sam Raimi captured the essence of the comics at a level I didn't think was possible for a comic book film. But that damn score was one of the most forgettable in recent memory, and don't get me started on the soundtrack. With the exception of the single Hero, which was catchy, if just a little too radio friendly, this is one of the worst soundtracks to date. It was bland and uninspired.

Do you know what a poor score says to me? That the filmmakers couldn't decide on an emotional theme they wanted running throughout their film. Be it wonder, excitement, suspense, terror, passion