Today is Composer John Williams 80th birthday. Over the years, he has had perhaps the most notable career of any composer working in film. Much of that marriage can be attributed to his frequent collaborations with Steven Spielberg as far back as Jaws. When you roll with Spielberg, you get noticed.
Williams is credited with some of the most legendary scores in film, including Home Alone, Superman, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and a whole mess of others it doesn’t really behoove me to list. Click here and see for yourself.
Yikes. This is a daunting list. Daunting in that 95% of these films are timeless classics, so it’s kind of hard to critique the guy too much. But if anyone can be blindly critical, I can.
Since I’m no student of film scores (I know what I like, but that’s about it), let’s keep this list confined to “overall bad movies that John Williams was unlucky to be a part of,” shall we?
So, here are the five worst films scored by John Williams.
As we will soon see, I guess the whole John Williams-Steve Spielberg relationship is “in for a penny, in for a pound.” Or “take the good with the bad,” or some other inane cliché that actually applies here. While Spielberg has used Williams in seemingly every feature he’s undertaken, that means that while Williams has gotten to bask in the glory of The Saving Private Ryans and the Munichs and the Jurassic Parks, he’s also along for the ride on the odd gratuitous project such as the fourth Indiana Jones installment.
This film demonstrated that Harrison Ford is indeed too old for this shit, and Shia LaBeouf is probably just too bad for this shit.
Spielberg: Hey, John! Steven here. Get cracking on the score for another Indiana Jones sequel.
Williams: Terrific. I’ll get started on it right away.
Spielberg: Great. We’re looking for a really catchy piece when the aliens show up.
Williams: Oh, f#ck me.
Not bad, just un-special in every way, save for the effects, War of the Worlds was an overblown production that seemed almost instantly forgettable. As for the music, unless it took the form of Tom Cruise as a negligent father, I haven’t the foggiest notion what it as about. Again, it was probably “alien music.” Thank God John Williams is great at chase music, because this movie was largely just that, except when it went into sap mode.
Again, this movie wasn’t terrible, but when virtually every other John Williams movie is enduring, it’s disappointing to come across even one that isn’t.