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Posted on Sat. Mar. 01, 2014 - 12:01 am EDT


Marinating TV column: Great film music adds thrills

It can even change a critic’s tune about a panned movie.


Music can make or break a movie.

Think back on some of the greatest action movies ever made. They have always had a thrilling soundtrack. Furthermore, it seems as if John Williams has had a hand in almost all of them.

He is the brilliant musical force behind dozens of films, from “Superman” and “Star Wars” to “E.T.” and “Jaws.” Man, I was afraid of cellos for years after that movie. And who doesn't get a thrill when Indiana Jones gets into his groove with that great theme music in the background?

About the only composers who can give Mr. Williams a run for his money in generating goose bumps are John Stafford Smith and Gioacchino Rossini.

You may not be familiar with those names, but you know their work. Smith wrote the tune to which a certain poem by Francis Scott Key was set. As for Rossini, in my opinion, he single-handedly saved one of 2013's most widely panned movies thanks to his rousing music.

Admittedly, the horrible reviews for “The Lone Ranger” scared me away for a long time. It wasn't until months later, when I found it in one of those red DVD vending machines, that I decided to take a chance.

It was definitely a different take on the story, and I understand why most people did not like it. But during the climactic last half-hour, when Tonto and his Kemo Sabe start to kick some butt, the opening chords of the “William Tell Overture” got my blood pumping.

Granted, Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp are no Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels, but when those familiar notes start playing, and Silver rears up ... be still, my heart!

If you are old enough to remember the old black-and-white TV series, do yourself a favor and give this newest incarnation a shot. It is not as bad as we were all led to believe.

Mike Marin is a cranky curmudgeon who, when he’s not yelling at kids to get off his lawn, likes to complain about the sad state of popular culture, especially as seen through a TV screen. His email address is This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.

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