School For Scoundrels
Director: Todd Phillips
No score soundtrack released.
Music clip, 3'07" (2.14Mb) [End credits music]
Two ways of seeing this film: slightly uncomfortable comedy about the eternal underdog being taught in all the wrong ways how to get ahead in life and get the girl, but having to outdo his teacher and learn lessons in honesty and self-controll in the end to achieve the right balance of self-confidence. Pits the puppy-runt charm of Jon Heder with the suave devilry of Billy Bob Thornton, with some able comic relief from Michael Clarke Duncan and Ben Stiller. The other way to look at it is a naff and unfunny film featuring a sleep-walking Thornton, guest star Stiller, and some bloke trying to get laid - a travesty remake of Robert Hamer's minor classic creative adaptation Stephen Potter's 'One upmanship' and 'Lifemanship' books starring British comedy-acting triumvirate Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas and Alastair Sim. Phillips might want you to believe he is making a wicked and slightly rude slapstick comedy come moral fable but he pulls every punch in both the fun and the darker side of the narrative (either would have done fine) and builds up barely any pacing or tension in a plot that is utterly without surprises. All the more obvious when Ben Stiller raises the quality just by virtue of flashing eyes and bad wig.
One of Beck's marvelously economical scores. His main theme is a slightly goofy, slightly unsettling theme/harmony double-act. The harmony pulls at first into a lydian mode sharpened 4th while the melody delves into the minor. The three first notes are used as the film's calling card and reappear constantly in different guises depending on the mood and action of the scene. There are occasional orchestral moments, but the personable nature of the protagonist is normally complimented by acoustic guitar, and introspective by Beckian piano 'voice'. Effective, not a classic, just very very good practice.
Degrees of Beck:
None found (yet).
Full music credits
Score composed and produced by Christophe Beck
Score recorded and mixed by Casey Stone
Additional recording by Chris Fogel
Orchestra conducted by Joseph Pollard White
Orchestrations by Adam Blau [also 'score coordinator]
Orchestra recorded at Studio X, Seattle, WA
Score mixed at Firehouse Recording Studio, Pasadena, CA
Music editor: Fernand Bos
Music coordinator: Jim Dunbar