Music: Basil Poledouris, a tribute
I got so caught up in the whole law school thing that I didn't even realize Basil Poledouris passed away last month. It wasn't plastered all over the news like Steve Irwin's death, mostly because Poledouris had a low profile and was already 61 when he died. Very few composers have had as much impact on the modern film score, though.
His breakout work was the score for "Conan the Barbarian," still one of the best motion picture scores ever. While Arnold's screen presence might have been the visual anchor, Poledouris' score was arguably just as important to the film's success. Listening to it today, the score is not as leitmotif-heavy as a John Williams, but it definitely merges some of Poledouris' early experiences in the church with the vocabulary of Hollywood.
Many, many scores followed, including the scores to the Verhoeven films "Robocop" and "Starship Troopers." "Robocop" is a classic movie marred by a bunch of crappy sequels, but its driving, stirring industrial score evokes both Murphy's cybernetic form and Detroit itself. As for "Starship Troopers," like any Heinlein fan, I hated how Verhoeven gutted and reversed the book's message, but I had to admit, the score was pretty good.
Basil Poledouris, 1945 - 2006