The Sound of (horrible) Music

The way that some people are picky eaters, I’m a picky sci-fi fan. The way others might wrinkle their noses and pluck mushrooms from their casserole, I remove lots of things from my sci-fi buffet. I’d like to like it all. I really would. But I don’t. And I have a confession. I wish I could like Blade Runner. I really do. But I don’t like it and the reason why – tragically – has almost nothing to do with the story itself. I hate the music. While I appreciate the idea of replicants and the exploration of what-makes-us-human, I can’t get past the awful soundtrack. I’ve tried. It’s (to me) so, so, so awful that I don’t plan to ever attempt watching it again, unless it’s muted and I’m just reading the dialogue captions.

To a lesser extent, Ladyhawke suffers a similar problem. Its soundtrack isn’t so much horrible as it is badly paired with the film. (Why these films can’t be re-released with improved soundtracks is a mystery to me, although I’m willing to wager it has something to do with this being a personal problem.) At the other end of this spectrum are films like Red Planet. I sat through that five times in the theater before I realized I was only there for Graeme Revell’s music, whereupon I bought the soundtrack. Luckily, most shows fall in between, with serviceable music that neither undercuts nor outshines the story it’s partnered with. (And if some enterprising musician or video editor can home-brew a version of Blade Runner with any other music, or even none at all, let me know. But probably that’s against copyright, which is a shame.)

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