Author Archive

Orlando Gonzalez

A project manager in the making with a delight and taste for orchestral music, whether is fast-paced action or is slow gorgeous compositions I like them all. I have an extense soundtrack collection which I like to call the soundtrack of my life. From time to time I write music reviews and currently working on an independent blog where I discuss on my other passion -toy cars. Follow me at www.socialhotwheels.blogspot.mx.

Batman Returns by Danny Elfman

Out of season range but close enough to summer blockbusters Batman Returns evokes a time and an epoch were summer blockbusters were straightforward, CGI was just in diapers so movie directors focused on stories, sets and costumes before even thinking about explosions. As for the music Danny Elfman back in 1992 had made a splash with his scores for Batman and Beetlejuice gaining respect and a solid fan base within the soundtrack community. Back in the day his score for Batman Returns was one of the most awaited scores and without internet the way it is now there was a lot of expectation (me included). As most of the reviewers agree on this one, Batman Returns is a mixed bag that contains less of the elements that made the Batman score back in 1989 such a success but it takes forward the Batman mythos and expands upon it. Laced and composed around 3 themes the score interwoven the 3 main characters and motifs along with the movie progression showing us Elfman’s talent and wit to make the themes work well one with the other. Set in Christmas season the score begins with Birth of a Penguin which begins with an ominous organ and the brass registers the Batman notes in. Then the La la chorus that has been the staple for Elfman during his first years comes forward, the music is tragic and as intricate as it might sounds here is were the Penguin tragic theme comes to life. The second half of the track brings something more familiar, build upon strings and chorus the brass starts to make its apparition rendering some Batman notes, the theme takes a more martial tone with the percussion coming forth, it is here when the gong pauses everything and Elfman kicks in the Batman theme, with the orchestra playing it at a slower tempo but the moment in the movie theater that the main credits come forward it is something very epic (and I watched this one back in 1992.) Definitively the first highlight of the score bringing forward everything we loved about the main theme back in 1989, sadly full renditions like this within the score are very much restrained and the theme would make 3 more apparitions (counting the End Credits). Something quite sad considering how cool and powerful the theme is. Instead Elfman gives us little snippets here and there whenever Batman is on screen.

Everly by Bear McCreary

Everly by Bear McCrearyWith Everly by Bear McCreary is one of the most outstanding composers out there. His training comes from the late Elmer Bernstein ; as you might be aware Elmer was a master craftsman when it came to motifs and so his knowledge passed by. Bear McCreary had his chance scoring Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries along with Richard Gibbs. After BSG was picked up for a season Richard Gibbs stepped out (due to a professional choice) hence we got McCreary on board. The rest is history really, his talent and music has been evolving ever since and now almost 10 years since his inception in the composing world we have his newest cd, Everly.

For those of you who hasnt seen it yet, Everly is an action thriller that revolves around revenge, gangs, prostitutes and did I mention Salma Hayek? So the question that springs to my mind is, what about the score? As previously stated McCreary has evolved a lot since his last forray at the BSG world and the music while making some instruments connections everything you know about him is gone.

Furious 7 by Brian Tyler

fast and furious 7Boy! another year and another Fast and Furious film hit the theaters in March. This time around the score Furious 7 is once again penned by Brian Tyler who had to sit Fast Six since it was filmed in Spain (rumors which are very true by this point of time say that part of the contract filming in Spain stated that it was to be composed by a Spaniard national, come forward Lucas Vidal). Whatever the case for the previous film the music was so random that it hardly went noticed (no score released for this one).

Brian Tyler has made a name for himself , he is an orchestral powerhouse blending well with almost any kind of music style there is out there, sometimes he is a chameleon blending his orchestra with synthetic elements making his scores very close to Remote Control (with quality and actual music wit). Regarding his foray to the Fast and Furious franchise this would be his 4th score, scoring Tokyo Drift back in 2006 which introduced a fast pace string/guitar riff combo track, this as the foundations for his current theme. Next was Fast & Furious in 2009 which toyed with the idea, a little bit aimless but he added some more synths to the mix and the string section became more dynamic giving the score a more versatile approach.

The Interpreter by James Newton Howard

MI0000484441The Interpreter by James Newton Howard is a political thriller film about an UN employee discovering a plot to kill a president from an African country, yes even at that time they were taking shots out of Robert Mugabe (president of Zimbabwe) personality. Whatever the drama involved in this film, the music was composed by James Newton Howard whom had a very busy year scoring King Kong (that 5 weeks affair was not  a joke) and of course the high profile Batman Begins. I have to admit that The interpreter sounds like neither having its own voice and personality bringing the kinda of dull movie  into life.

Usually movies like this are hard to score, yes the first rule from a soundtrack is to be functional; meaning that needs to serve the plot and the characters. Newton Howard had the task of making this film set in the UN Headquarters in New York to be restrained and at the same time bring some flavor into it, using the characters as point of contact for his motifs and his music to develop.

Middle Men Original Soundtrack by Brian Tyler

Middle-Men Soundtrack Cover

Middle-Men Soundtrack Cover

The premise about Middle Men is very simple, a couple of guys get the idea of scanning pictures of nude females and post em in the internet, that my friends was a breakthrough in the way we perceive porn today, basically the mother of all porn and steaming was made out of this sad idea. The only concept they failed to attain was the business part and this is were Jack Harris (Luke Wilson), an entrepreneur gets involved making the concept of billing for it more appealing for costumers and owners alike. Of course in the meantime there’s a subplot about the Russian mob getting involved in the deal, a shady lawyer, a porn star and Jack´s family. This is Brian Tyler and director George Gallo first collaboration and I got to admit that for my money, it was a very productive one indeed.