Streaming Now: Hans Zimmer: Live In Prague (2017) - Reviewed

When you think of Hans Zimmer, most of us conjure up the image of action stars slow motion running from an explosion, and slowly paced helicopters flying over a beautiful sunset: the kind of scores used to propel action scenes. Rarely do we remember that he’s done oh, so much more. Hans Zimmer is so oversaturated in the film world that he’s become an almost running joke. So, many of us see his name in the credits and we just know it’s going to be guitar and bass heavy. Hearing his work so often has desensitized us to what great works the man has done. This concert seeks to repair that damage.

The film is shot much like any concert: simple camera angles, much like you would see when you watch an opera on PBS, all function, no form. That’s not to say it’s not visually appealing, but it does lack any form of dazzle whatsoever. What makes this special is that it focuses on so much more than just Hans, it focuses on the people making his scores come alive.

From the moment the instruments strike up, the music is fantastic, pieces pulled from a wide variety of the movies he’s worked on, Rain Man, Lion King, and The Da Vinci Code. I could go on. But that would ruin so much of the fun. Honestly, I loved it. It brought back so many fond memories of movies I’ve loved over the years that it became a walk down film history lane. I often found myself blurting the names of the films out once I recognized the scores (A fun drinking game if you’re into that kind of thing!).

I do have some decent complaints. Unnecessary sexualization of the female musicians. The guys? All in suits or jeans and flannel. The women, very revealing dresses, camera angles moving over their bodies, focusing on parts that aren’t exactly necessary to the music. I find it odd when I’m watching a woman play a violin, yet I’m looking at her breasts. It’s tasteless pandering nonsense that I really wish we could get past. The sound when Hans is talking unfortunately is drowned out and becomes hard to understand, which is unfortunate, because hearing him talk about his inspiration, and his conversations with directors would be awesome. He’s worked with everyone and his music is so varied that those are the things we want to learn, but alas, you must work for it.

All of this combines to make a concert film I’m actually going to recommend, especially for us film geeks out there. There is a lot to get from it, and it might actually benefit from a couple of watches, so grab a drink, and a snack and enjoy a musical trip through the last 30 years of film.

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-Trevor West