FourScore,  Movies/Entertainment

FourScore Match-Up #1: “A Rock and a Hard Place”

Hello World, Marc Here:

Well, here we are with our very first FourScore! As I find film scores sometimes more thrilling and memorable than the film itself, I wanted to call attention to some of my favorites, then weigh them all out to find which is the superior effort. I’ve also included my favorite tracks for you to check out and finally decided the winner, because, “There can be only one”. But please, don’t just take my word for it; feel free to chime in and let me know which one you think is the best. So without further ado, I present Go,See,Talk’s inaugural FourScore…


The Rock – The name Hans Zimmer is synonymous with action and he creates scores that are more adrenaline fueled than the action on-screen. The themes in The Rock are fun and high energy all the way. This score was my first introduction to Zimmer’s work and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. A mild reliance on electronic instruments here, it was a product of the eclectic 90’s and parts of it do sound experimental. Still, it kept up with Bay’s 100MPH pace and culminated with a score that fit so perfectly to Nic Cage’s drive away ending.

(Favorite Tracks: The Chase and Ft. Walton, KS)


The Rocketeer – One of the most thrilling, exciting and fun films I’d ever seen as a kid. However the idea of a rocketpack is nothing compared to how masterful and intricate a score James Horner crafted. Known for being repetitious to a near boring level, his work here pulled out all the stops in a score I had a hard time believing was his. Playful, invigorating and the score really inserts you into the action on-screen. In a way few films are able, the Horner’s work here has the ability to make anyone feel like a kid again. Powerful brass and mighty action…it’s film alchemy if you ask me.

(Favorite Tracks: Main Title/Take Off and Neville Sinclair’s House)


RockyBill Conti is known to create inspirational scores that are so very tailored to the action and events on-screen. Nothing is overdone and his style seems not just a perfect fit, but like he was fated to score that picture. Tender moments between the awkward Rocky and reserved Adrian are keyed softly on the soft piano. But as you would expect with any hero, the brass champions scenes like the Rocky’s iconic training montage. Also, in a nice move by Conti, as Rocky improves, so does the score, going from underwhelming and exhausted to robust and vigorous.

(Favorite Tracks: The Final Bell, where the inclusion of the boxing bell in the score is a nice touch, and of course Gonna Fy Now)


RocknRolla – As with all Guy Ritchie films, RocknRolla is mostly punctuated with some upbeat and high energy songs but lacking in a real score. That said, I feel the music was decent – nothing spectacular but it gets the job done. RocknRolla takes itself far less serious than those above and so does the score. Not above throwing in those typical ominous tones during foreboding scenes Steve Isles plays it safe but has some fun. Even when the most threatening bad guy is Tom Wilkinson (in a much less intimidating heavy role than Batman Begins) it’s playful. The score is not available but if you have movie, checkout the scene where Gerard Butler’s character One Two first meets Thandie Newton’s Stella. It’s perhaps the best music in the film although it is very short. Not bad, but I wonder how Clint Mansell would have handled this movie…


FourScore Ruling:

As a Walt Disney film, you wouldn’t expect this much realistic and stylized danger and excitement. Yet the whole thing plays as a kid’s movie for grown-ups. However the addition of James Horner’s score gives it all a very adult feel, almost equal to what John Williams did with Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s dynamic as it is energetic and about as much fun as flying around with our own Cirrus X-3 rocket pack. Horner really captures and highlights the mystique and adventure you’d expect to get in a film involving spies, action heroes and pre-WWII nostalgia. Also, it’s the finest work he’s done by a long shot.

Yeah, Horner’s score makes you feel a lot like this…


  • rtm

    Woo hoo, your first Fourscore! Cool that you managed to find four films with the word ‘Rock’ in them, three of them I like very much! I don’t dislike Rocky, I just don’t like boxing in general. I’ll take a listen to some of these again, but Rocknrolla is still fresh in my mind, it is great indeed!

    P.S. Major points for picking two movies with two of my fave actors of all time in them (I’m sure you know which ones they are) 🙂

    • MarcC

      That for the enthusiasm Ruth! Yes, this time the FourScore had names in common, next time it’ll be a certain location, and then who knows. I don’t have a system yet, and I’m still making it all up as I go:P BTW, the next one drops in about 2 weeks.

      • rtm

        Awesome idea to have various common theme for each FourScore post, looking forward to your future ones.

  • Steve

    I was just observing over the weekend how possibly the greatest weakness in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood was its score. Totally lacking in “destiny”… whatever that means. Marc Streitenfeld didn’t have the chops, this movie needed John Powell or James Newton Howard.

    BTW – I’m a huge Rocketeer fan too. Great post, super clever, and something that I’m totally gonna have to steal…

    • MarcC

      It was rather underwhelming. Maybe it paralleled Robin’s “not quite legendary status”…or maybe I’m digging to deep.

      Glad to find another fan of the Rocketeer. You join the ranks of the other die hard fans which brings our total to 3. You, me and Ruth:)