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Saturday, June 26, 2021

John Ottman and Superman Returns

John Williams created one of the greatest film scores of all times when he composed Superman (1978). I've listened to Williams' iconic music for the Man of Steel for decades now, and from the first track to the last, it never fails to give me chills. 

However, I must say that I enjoy John Ottman's Superman Returns soundtrack almost as much. While Ottman draws heavily on Williams' themes, he also contributes a good deal of original music, and the best of his work captures the bittersweet melancholy of the film. Superman Returns is far from a perfect film, but Ottman helped some of the story's most important moments land successfully. This track, "How Could You Leave Us?," beautifully expresses the wonder of a flying alien contrasted with his own personal heartbreak and the anguish people felt when Superman left Earth in search of surviving Kryptonians. 

It's too bad that WB saw Superman Returns as a failure. I would have loved to see Ottman score another Superman film, perhaps one not tied quite so heavily to the Donner films, and it would have been great to see Brandon Routh return as the character, too, hopefully with a better story for whatever villain they might have chosen. 

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