MUSIC BY MICHAEL GIACCHINO.
WALT DISNEY RECORDS.
RUNNING TIME 74 MINS 21 SECS.
REVIEW JOHN MANSELL.© 2012.
There has been much hype and also lots of anticipation surrounding this movie, and by the look of early trailers and previews it is a movie that will not disappoint. The musical score also has been eagerly awaited, composer Michael Giacchino
has in a relatively short period of time established himself as a respected and sought after purveyor of film scores. I know it sounds rather clichéd when I say that he as a composer is chameleon like because he has the ability to adapt and work on any type of genre and creates successful and memorable scores each and every time, but it is true. The award winning Maestro has been responsible for scoring many of the box office hits of the past five years, and has attracted the attention not only of his peers but also of critics and film music collectors alike. Giacchino has the ability to create large and luxurious scores and infuses these with a sound and style that is from the days of the golden and silver ages of film music, yet he also creates modern upbeat sound-scapes that are fresh, rhythmic and infectious. So what one would call an all rounder. The score for JOHN CARTER is a sweeping and anthem filled work, it contains exciting and suspense filled cues that are accompanied by high octane action tracks and melodious heroic sounding compositions which are bound together by the composers use of a unworldly sound which is created by strings, choir, solo voice and faraway sounding brass that is enhanced and embellished by subtle utilization of woodwind. The score also has its fair share of interesting percussive elements which add great depth and relay an atmosphere of tension and urgency to the proceedings. There is certainly no doubt that the composer gives more than a gentle nod in the direction of John Williams
within this expansive and lavishly constructed work, but in my opinion there is certainly reference to a certain Mr Goldsmith present too, as in track number three, GRAVITY OF THE SITUATUATION, which begins slowly and rather quietly with solo violin punctuated by pizzicato strings but soon whips into a short lived but enjoyable waltz like theme that is rich in melody and oozes charm and elegance.
Track five SAB THAN PURSUES THE PRINCESS is for me personally one of the scores highlights, Giacchino creating a tense and vibrant composition which is carried in the main by both urgent and lush sounding strings supported by booming percussion and further enhanced and augmented by brass which is both rasping and proud in its sound, it is a great piece which showcases and brings to life one of the central themes for the movie, plus it also demonstrates just how good the composer is at delivering hard nosed action cues, this is real high energy material which is near on relentless in its onslaught. Track eight, THE BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL, is also a cue worthy of note, this is a calmer sounding piece, the composer putting to good use solo voice and subtle choir alongside plaintive sounding strings, which increase in their volume and also their richness to create a bitter sweet sounding theme.
Giacchino, is for me one of the biggest talents in Hollywood at this time, simply because he is able to compliment and enhance so many differing genres with scores that work both on and off screen, he is in fact a film music collectors dream come true because his music does the job it was originally intended for, plus it has life, substance and an identity away from the movies. Giacchino is a composer that will be around for many years to come. JOHN CARTER is a score that you must own it is an essential purchase.
Go and buy this score, if you are already into Giacchino you will love it, if you are not yet familiar with his music this will be the start of a beautiful relationship.
Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: Vampire Lovers
, Mark of the Devil
, Who Can Kill a Child? / The House That Screamed