Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Wanderer May 11, 2009

To be honest, upon listening through the score a few more times, I've concluded it's a pretty lean and healthy representation of Trek's overall musical spectrum.  Yes, there are some notable cues missing (there was this one wonderfully angelic variation of the new main theme that I would've loved to have), but the CD does space out and hit the crucial music beats well enough.

That doesn't surprise me, actually. Most Giacchino albums are good representations of their scores... or at least excellent listening experiences. Take Speed Racer, which is just half of the two hour score but the missing hour is mostly just comedic music and mickey-mousing.

(Although I do enjoy that cue right before "Casa Cristo.")

Wanderer May 12, 2009

Alright, saw "Star Trek."

I thought it was a lot of fun. Not perfect by any means, though. The movie is so quickly paced that a lot of details get passed by. And certain characters suffer, like Eric Bana's Nero (underwritten). I wasn't thrilled with Chekov either. Underwritten *and* too broad. Of the main cast, only Kirk and Spock come across as fully formed characters. The rest simply don't have enough to do.

Still, where it matters, the film delivered. The production values were sky-high, with effective visuals, sets and music. Aside from a slightly sluggish mid-half (on the ice planet), I was never bored.

Angela, as you pointed out, we pretty much got everything on the CD worth having. There's a few extra renditions of Nero's theme that I would have liked and that cool action track when Kirk and Sulu practice their sword fighting but that's about it. I think the main theme works better in the film, where it's more spread out. I did notice a lot of music edits in the film and one cue that plays in full in the middle of another ("Does it Still McFly" in "Nero Death Experience"). "Nice to Meld You" isn't in the film at all.

Angela May 12, 2009

Wanderer wrote:

Of the main cast, only Kirk and Spock come across as fully formed characters. The rest simply don't have enough to do.

Of course, Kirk and Spock are the heart of the film, but I don't agree with your sentiment about the rest.  As said, I thought they all had key, pivotal moments that really allowed the group dynamic to shine through.  From...... McCoy's smuggling of Kirk on board the Enterprise, Uhura's distress signal notice, Sulu's sword fight, Chekov nailing the proper coordinations for the beam rescues, and Scotty's quick thinking for escaping the black hole toward the end.  Just a boatload of memorable sequences, really.

"Nice To Meld You" wasn't in the film?  Really?  I guess I didn't take notice on that one, but there was definitely some type of accompanying music during that whole flashback memory sequence.

Wanderer May 12, 2009

Of course, Kirk and Spock are the heart of the film, but I don't agree with your sentiment about the rest.  As said, I thought they all had key, pivotal moments that really allowed the group dynamic to shine through.  From...... McCoy's smuggling of Kirk on board the Enterprise, Uhura's distress signal notice, Sulu's sword fight, Chekov nailing the proper coordinations for the beam rescues, and Scotty's quick thinking for escaping the black hole toward the end.  Just a boatload of memorable sequences, really.

I don't think there was really enough time to them to form as a crew. The film was focused on other things (and was very fast-paced). But I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel where there will be less origin baggage and more kicking ass baggage! wink

"Nice To Meld You" wasn't in the film?  Really?  I guess I didn't take notice on that one, but there was definitely some type of accompanying music during that whole flashback memory sequence.

During the first half of the flashback, there was mostly sound effects and a little choir for emphasis. I think they brought in "Nice To Meld You" for the last thirty seconds but I can't remember exactly.

Angela May 12, 2009

Wanderer, have you heard the score to Angels & Demons yet?  It's inherently more energetic when compared to The Da Vinci Code; if Code is the moodier side of this series, then A&D is most certainly the action side.  There's probably going to be quite a few detractors who won't buy into Zimmer's greater reliance on synths here, but it does work admittedly well for the propelling chord progressions and intensely fast choir bursts he's got going.  The counterpoint is Bell's gorgeous violin performances that gives the quieter songs a beautifully organic texture.

My favorite tracks so far are the opening "160 Bpm", the action-packed Black Smoke, and the lovely Election By Adoration.  "503" is a particularly excellent rendition of Chevaliers de Sangreal.

At the very least, the music has now percolated my interest in wanting to see the movie. :)

Wanderer May 12, 2009

Angela wrote:

Wanderer, have you heard the score to Angels & Demons yet?  It's inherently more energetic when compared to The Da Vinci Code; if Code is the moodier side of this series, then A&D is most certainly the action side.  There's probably going to be quite a few detractors who won't buy into Zimmer's greater reliance on synths here, but it does work admittedly well for the propelling chord progressions and intensely fast choir bursts he's got going.  The counterpoint is Bell's gorgeous violin performances that gives the quieter songs a beautifully organic texture.

My favorite tracks so far are the opening "160 Bpm", the action-packed Black Smoke, and the lovely Election By Adoration.  "503" is a particularly excellent rendition of Chevaliers de Sangreal.

At the very least, the music has now percolated my interest in wanting to see the movie. smile

I have heard Angels and Demons. I especially enjoy "160 BPM" and "Science and Religion"

I do think the album is a little long. 45 minutes would be about right and "Star Trek" could take the 55 minutes. Still hoping for some expanded releases. wink

I saw "the Da Vinci Code" a few weeks ago and found it really boring. I mean REALLY boring. The final scene with "Chevaliers de Sangreal" in the background was easily the best part of the movie and I'm pleased Zimmer has recycled it (with expansion) in the sequel.

Ashley Winchester May 23, 2009

Saw Terminator Salvation earlier tonight (well, late yesterday) and I have conflicting feelings about it much like I did T3 (but for different reasons).

The only real compliment I can pay to the movie is that Christian Bale works as John Connor a lot more than I thought he would; he looks like what the actor who played him in T3 would look like with +15 years on him in such a brutal environment.

Angela May 25, 2009

Saw Terminator Salvation myself last night, and while it certainly doesn't touch upon the greatness of the first two films, I found it vastly more gratifying than T3.  Again, I've settled into the fact that I can accept this as a 'What If' entry, and at last, we get an episode that showcases, head-on, the future war.

And shit, boy, what a war.  The action sequences on display here are explosively off the charts, and the stunt work and choreography is terrific.  It may be considered superfluous for anyone to judge a movie's merits by its kinetics and special effects alone, but I feel Salvation should be the exception to the rule; PG-13 or not, I dare any film this year to match T4's no holds barred adrenaline-soaked action.  The use of sound effects is mindblowing, too.  Really sells the movie's atmosphere.

The story itself is serviceable for what it is, but it does very little in advancing the Terminator storyline.  Bale's Connor is a bit too cold, detached, and loud to make me care for him all that much -- which makes Sam Worthington the one to root for.  And Worthington is quite excellent as Marcus Wright; it's his story, by and large, and there's a nice bit of closure for his arc by the end.  Yelchin was decent as Reese, even though he's pretty much out of the picture for most of the last half.  (And I simply can't shake him out of his Chekov Trek role now.)  I found myself liking the little mute girl, Star, the best. ;) 

Oh, and no go for the inclusion of the Terminator Main Theme.  The opening five-note motif makes an appearance twice, maybe thrice, but the main melody was nowhere to be heard.

Jay May 26, 2009

I finally managed to see Star Trek. I'm soooo late to this party, I realise.

As a fan of classic Star Trek, this film had a lot of work to do to win me over, simply even to justify its existence. And, mostly, it did. It's a great sci-fi action movie with (thankfully) plenty of humour.

The main characters work great together. They really managed to put together a varied group of characters who played off each other well, even when some were just given pretty small roles. The small roles weren't a problem for me - after all, there are a lot of characters, a limited running time and many seem to forget that the main characters of the original show were Kirk, Spock and McCoy and the rest were supporting characters.

They weren't the Trek characters I know. In many ways, it wasn't Star Trek as I know it. Well, except for Karl Urban as McCoy.

But I don't think it would have been any better a film had they all tried to be exactly like the originals. As a new group of characters, these guys worked.

As others have mentioned, Nero was the problem here. Their main adversary was weak, underwritten and yet still managed to have his paper-thin back story chew up two lengthy exposition sequences. His story was weak and how it was told was even weaker. He wanted to kill Spock for failing to stop something that would have happened anyway had he not tried. Didn't quite add up.

That, for me,  dragged the film a step down from 'fantastic' because the result was that huge events that should have had weight just didn't because I didn't care a damn for or about the villain.

Aside from Nero, there were a huge bunch of contrivances we were asked to look past but none of which spoiled the movie for me. Though it did take me out of it at once point as I wondered why a black hole managed to suck in not one but two ships through time completely unscathed and yet seemingly destroys everything else in the movie.

Not a dealbreaker.

Overall, a very enjoyable movie and a new start to a universe which, let's face it, had been kicked to the ground and stomped all over. Star Trek was completely dead.

It is now very much alive.

Shoe May 26, 2009

Angela wrote:

Saw Terminator Salvation myself last night, and while it certainly doesn't touch upon the greatness of the first two films, I found it vastly more gratifying than T3.  Again, I've settled into the fact that I can accept this as a 'What If' entry, and at last, we get an episode that showcases, head-on, the future war.

No offense Angela, but i'm hesitant to heed your movie recommendations after being burned by your endless praise for SPEED RACER last year.

( :

Angela May 26, 2009

Shoe wrote:

No offense Angela, but i'm hesitant to heed your movie recommendations after being burned by your endless praise for SPEED RACER last year.

I'd argue, but I think I'll just let my newly-acquired toy do the talking for me:

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/3107/angiephaser.jpg

What do you say, folks?  Does Shoe deserve STUN or KILL?

James O May 26, 2009

At least a definite heavy Stun.  I saw Terminator Salvation too over the weekend, and I pretty much have the same opinion as Angela about it.  So Shoe gets the phaser!  heh

Ashley Winchester May 26, 2009

Shoe wrote:
Angela wrote:

Saw Terminator Salvation myself last night, and while it certainly doesn't touch upon the greatness of the first two films, I found it vastly more gratifying than T3.  Again, I've settled into the fact that I can accept this as a 'What If' entry, and at last, we get an episode that showcases, head-on, the future war.

No offense Angela, but i'm hesitant to heed your movie recommendations after being burned by your endless praise for SPEED RACER last year.

To be honest, and the more I think about it, I'd take T3 over Salvation at this point. Might even forgo even buying Salvation on DVD when it comes out. It's not that bad but it feels pretty disposable even though events alluded to in T1~3 come to bear.

Shoe May 26, 2009

Angela wrote:

What do you say, folks?  Does Shoe deserve STUN or KILL?

Just make it quick and as painless as possible.

Wanderer May 26, 2009

I vote for kill, just because no one else has yet. wink

(And I want that phaser toy.)

Ashley Winchester May 26, 2009

Wanderer wrote:

I vote for kill, just because no one else has yet. wink

(And I want that phaser toy.)

You saying "phaser" reminds me of Star Ocean: The Second Story.

"Burn!" "Burn!" with the "Sword of Light"

Wanderer May 30, 2009

Just got back from seeing Up. I just wish that the audience members were better behaved. Several kids wouldn't stop talking the entire time and every other minute, their mother would whisper "HUSH!" loudly. Very distracting.

As for the movie, it was very enjoyable. Not up there with my favorite Pixar movies but I laughed many times and even welled up at two separate occasions. Oddly, I found the animals more lovable than the humans. I never especially cared for Carl and Russell but I would have gladly taken Dug and Kevin home with me. Go figure. wink

As expected, Giacchino's score is excellent. "Carl Goes Up" and the big action finale ("Memories Can Weigh You Down" to "Seizing the Spirit of Adventure") are especially great in context (and out of it). Aside from a few renditions of Russell's theme and two or three very short action cues, everything is on the album.

James O May 31, 2009

I saw "Drag Me To Hell" today, gotta say it was a pretty good horror flick.  I was not left wanting for more it satisfied me as a movie.  It probably could have done without Justin Long (they probably just used him for the star power of his name to help market it).

Angela May 31, 2009

In a rare case of total concurrence, I agree completely with your assessment of Up, Wanderer.  Right down to my own environment-based distraction, mine involving a reserved birthday party of young children in the front making an awful row.   

Up was a good movie -- good, but not great, and for me, not quite ranking with the best that Pixar has to offer.  I did like Carl; I loved the 'life and marriage' montage of he and Ellie at the beginning, and that emotional resonance does hold strong throughout.  Russell was a potentially interesting character study, but I dunno.... his child-like naivete at times came off as being more annoying than endearing.  The payoff for his story arc wasn't as well executed as I'd hoped, either.  Dug and Kevin clearly stole the show, as well as the Muntz' trio of hunting dogs.  A lot of great isms stay with you, too; cross your heart, the Cone of Shame, and "Squirrel!!" all readily come to mind. :)

As for the music, it's befitting, but taking its time growing on me.  At least, it's hasn't been as 'grab-me' affecting as Star Trek or even Ratatouille.  The main theme is an enjoyable affair, and yes, "Memories Can Weigh You Down" and "Seizing the Spirit of Adventure" are the big highlights of the soundtrack.  And one simply can't say no to a nice, lengthy Giacchino End Credits suite. :)

Did your theater show the Pixar short "Partly Cloudy", Wanderer?  I got short-changed on it, for some odd reason, but at least they made up for it by showing the Toy Story 3 teaser.  ^_^

James O wrote:

I saw "Drag Me To Hell" today, gotta say it was a pretty good horror flick.  I was not left wanting for more it satisfied me as a movie.  It probably could have done without Justin Long (they probably just used him for the star power of his name to help market it).

I've definitely gotten curious about Drag Me To Hell.  It's been getting terrific reviews, and it's good to see Raimi returning to form in the horror genre.  Looks like a scary, spooky blast.

XLord007 May 31, 2009

Saw Up today.  Liked it quite a bit, but Ratatouille is still my favorite Pixar film.  Although I've only seen four 2009 films so far, Up was clearly the best of the four (the others were Watchman, Star Trek, and Angels & Demons).

Angela May 31, 2009

XLord007 wrote:

Although I've only seen four 2009 films so far, Up was clearly the best of the four (the others were Watchman, Star Trek, and Angels & Demons).

Right now, Coraline is taking the top lead as my favorite film of 2009.  Seriously, was I the only one who bothered to see it?  No matter, you'll get the opportunity again when it sees its home release on July 21st.

In terms of repeated viewings, though, Star Trek comes out on top.  I've seen it thrice so far.

Wanderer May 31, 2009

As for the music, it's befitting, but taking its time growing on me.  At least, it's hasn't been as 'grab-me' affecting as Star Trek or even Ratatouille.  The main theme is an enjoyable affair, and yes, "Memories Can Weigh You Down" and "Seizing the Spirit of Adventure" are the big highlights of the soundtrack.  And one simply can't say no to a nice, lengthy Giacchino End Credits suite. smile

I think in a lot of ways, it works better on disc. Giacchino really slams the waltzy Carl/Elle theme into your brain in the movie. The other two themes are definitely there but they're often used in subtler ways. Let it grow on you. It took me many listens to appreciate how intricate Star Trek really is.

Looking forward to Land of the Lost. This has been a great year for Giacchino.

Did your theater show the Pixar short "Partly Cloudy", Wanderer?  I got short-changed on it, for some odd reason, but at least they made up for it by showing the Toy Story 3 teaser.  ^_^

Yup, saw the short. It was cute. Of the three Pixar shorts that I clearly remember, I'd stick it in the middle (best to worst: Presto, Partly Cloudy, Lifted).

Angela Jun 13, 2009 (edited Jun 13, 2009)

Angela wrote:

Other films of mild interest include Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen....

Confession time: This weekend was the first time I had seen the first Transformers film.  My capsule review: Patently awful for the first half, over-the-top "AWESOME" for the second.  In other words, it's a Bay flick.

There's no denying that Transformers is a gorgeously shot film from frame one, and though obviously CG-heavy, there are enough practical elements, settings, and explosions to give the choreographed action an exciting edge. (The film looks and sounds positively staggering on Blu-ray, by the way. If nothing else, I'm glad I waited this long so that I could experience the film on said format.)  The Autobot-Decepticon confrontation sequences toward the second half is bigger than huge, well shot, and lavished with some seriously slick special effects.  This is essentially what you've come to see, and it doesn't disappoint on that front.

But the first half's character development was so eye-rollingly awful, so vapid, shallow, and forced, that it threatened to kill the entire movie for me.  If I was sort of tired of LeBeouf before, I am now outright exhausted of him.  His "No, no, no, no, no!" has got to be one of the most irritating cinematic taglines ever, and as a whole, he wades into hyper-obnoxious territory here.  Don't get me wrong, he hams it up with well enough intentions, but Witwicky borders so heavily on aggravating, that the two personas are just kind of melding for me at this point.  Fox's Mikaela is insipid to the point that you feel there's little sense of having her there for about nine-tenths of the film.  Despite that, though, I do give credit to the fact that all of the characters introduced, supporting ones included, have something interesting to do by the second half -- and that includes Sam and Mikaela, the ragtag group of Qatar soldiers, hackers Maggie and Glen, and Turturro's excellently-smug Agent Simmons.

The excessive use of pop culture references and blatant product placement is sort of jarring, too.  I can hang with a Camero and Solstice, sure, since they are character-driven - but when you throw in eBay, Visa, Nokia, a Xbox 360, Mountain Dew, Sandisk, and Dance Dance Revolution into the pot, it all does become a bit much.  Also, did Optimus Prime seriously say, "My bad"?

Jablonsky's score is serviceable but hardly memorable.  It's all rote textbook RCP, and nowhere as thematically tight as his more recent Gears of War 2.  I'm hoping he's matured up to this point to weave a more structured soundtrack for the sequel.

So, now that I'm caught up, I'm officially ready for Revenge of The Fallen.  If they can improve character development, expand and better pace the fight sequences, and just make the tone of the film tougher and grittier (all things they're taking into consideration, apparently) then I think it could seriously blow minds.  We'll see soon enough.

Carl Jun 13, 2009

No big deal, hollywood can wait till WE decide we want to watch a flick. 
Besides, you're not alone.  I just watched Transformers 1 for the first time maybe 2 weeks ago as well. 

Same basic thoughts, the boy-meets-girl relationship was seriously forced, as Bumblebee wouldn't have given a rats ass if they were together or not.

It should have been Bumblebee saying "forget that ho, hurry up and get the glasses/map and get this shit going" rather than Prime being the one who's in a rush.

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