Soundtrack Reviews: A Quintet of Heroes

November 24, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Just uploaded is a quintet of soundtrack reviews more or less themed towards heroes – comic book, pulp, fantasy, novelish, and dumb.

Thomas Newman’s debut as a Bond composer with Skyfall [M] (Sony Classical) marks the first time in 5 years the franchise opened the door to a new musical voice. I liked David Arnold, but always felt his music couldn’t save the increasing awfulness of the Pierce Brosnan films (and if you think Die Another Day was a quality franchise entry, I call temporary insanity).

John Ottman got his chance to score a X-Men film with X2: X-Men United [M] after scheduling conflicts made it impossible to score the first of Bryan Singer’s franchise entries. La-La Land released a 2-disc edition of Ottman’s score, and it works even better in its epic length.

Less successful were a set of efforts that ended up just being one-offs. David Newman’s The Phantom [M] (also from LLL) was the best thing about this terrible attempt to ride the comic book hero wave in the late 80s / early 90s, whereas James Horner’s Krull [M] (LLL) spread over 2 CDs has aged better than expected; the orchestrations and writing are sharp, but there are bits & pieces of prior / later scores which will reinforce the stance of his critics’ that he’s been riffing off 3 original works for a long while.

The last score is Hans Zimmer’s Black Rain [M],aka the dumb hero film because it codifies all the stupidities inherent to the arrogant action films of the late 80s / early 90s which almost 2 decades later, kind of make them fun, given their inherent fromage factor. Also expanded by LLL, the 2-disc edition features what became the standard in action scoring, and it’s filled with bombastic synths & percussions in the best possible way.

Coming shortly: a review of Fritz Lang’s so-called Indian epics, recently screened at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (real prints!), more soundtrack reviews, a podcast, and smutty films.

Also note: This Tuesday, the Lightbox will feature are rare screening of Puppet on a Chain (1971) as part of their all-things spyish screenings, interpolated into their 007 retrospective. Based on the novel by Alistair MacLean. Dutch locations. Hideous life-size dolls. Music by Piero Piccioni. Hopefully a real print. Why not?



Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: FILM MUSIC

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply