Sunday, June 26, 2011

Same Music Bad or Good Depending

When early trailers for 'Ironclad' rolled out most people liked the look of the medieval sword-slashing battle epic and it got good comments.

Sure. Why not like it? Looks like fun.

Then, when a later trailer came out featuring a throbbing rock soundtrack everyone hated the music and thought the movie might just suck.

Okay, that one's good too. The rock adds energy. I like it.

Comments ranged from concerned to negative.

Weird. Myself, I didn't even notice. Who cares what kind of music plays over a 13th century battle with swords, arrows, and trebuchets? Besides, do they expect lutes plucking and panflutes tooting? Who'd want to hear that? 'Ironclad' isn't a period drama that happens to include battle sequences, it's an action-thriller with hard-core combat scenes that takes place in the 13th century. What difference does it make that it's set before The Rolling Stones landed? Rock covers a battle sequence nicely, even one set in merry old England.

When the first 'Cowboys & Aliens' trailer hit everyone, as expected, loved it.

Sure. Why not like it? Looks like fun. Back in April, though, we got this, which isn't subtle about the rock intro:

The anachronistic soundtrack was hardly noticed. In fact, the only comment I was able to find was positive. Movieline said:

The vibe in this trailer is energetic, fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek, even - and if the rollicking music heard here is any indication of the final film, Cowboys & Aliens could have a very mainstream-friendly, Pirates of the Caribbean-type appeal.

Now, we get a new trailer with music that, if anything, is even more throbbing, hard hitting. Still no protests. Is it that rock music in a medieval battle scene is more grating, or just seems more wrong, than the same type music in a western because one takes place in the 13th century, like 700 or 800 years before the advent of rock and the other takes place in the 1700s and early 1800s, which was just a few years ago by comparison? (Sure, that makes sense). Just how is one more anachronistic than the other? Or, is it that we understand Jon Favreau loves hard-rocking soundtracks, and this is the guy that gave us all that 'Iron Man' goodness, so nobody says anything for fear of disturbing the Favreau-ness of it all?

It's a funny thing. I remember 'A Knight's Tale' got ripped for using a rock soundtrack and that's a medieval setting as well. Go figure.


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