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Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes Soundtrack (Danny Elfman) - CD cover
Composer: Danny Elfman
Release date: 02/14/2012 (Film release: 2001)
Label: La-La Land Records (0826924119327)
Type: Movie
Format: CD
Reviewers (10.00/10)
Members (9.60/10) (5 votes)
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Limited edition: 3500 copies
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The Film Score
1. Main Titles (film version) (3:53)
2. Deep Space Launch / Space Station / Power Outage (2:36)
3. Thumbs Up / Trouble (5:57)
4. Pod Escape / New World / The Hunt (4:13)
5. Ape City (2:13)
6. A Look / Unloading /Thade's Inspection / Ari Watches / The Branding (3:44)
7. Ari Buys a Pet (1:24)
8. Leo Wants Out / Dental Exam (2:12)
9. Thade's Desire (1:35)
10. The Dirty Deed (1:54)
11. The Escape (3:39)
12. Trust / Escape (3:32)
13. In the Forest /Into the Pond / The Messenger (2:29)
14. Unused / Thade Gets His Way / Ari Connects (3:49)
15. The Story (3:00)
16. Scarecrow Stinger / The Camp / Raid (5:20)
17. Thade Goes Ape (2:42)
18. Calima (7:22)
19. The Army Approaches (3:03)
20. Thade's Tent (2:10)
21. Discovery (5:07)
22. Preparing for Battle (3:51)
The Film Score (cont'd)
1. The Charge (4:44)
2. The Final Confrontation Landing / Showdown (8:34)
3. The Aftermath / Thade's Suite (7:31)
4. Ape Suite #1 (4:59)
5. Ape Suite #2 (2:36)
6. Rule The Planet Remix (4:09)

Bonus Tracks
7. Thumbs Up / Trouble (alternate mix) (5:57)
8. New World / The Hunt (alternate mix) (3:20)
9. Dental Exam (alternate mix) (1:21)
10. The Dirty Deed (alternate mix) (1:54)
11. The Story (alternate mix) (2:59)
12. Preparing for Battle (alternate) (3:35)
13. The Final Confrontation (alternate mix) (7:14)
14. The Aftermath / Thade's Suite (unedited) (7:32)
15. Camp Raid (percussion only) (4:08)
16. Rule The Planet (overlay) (3:01)
17. Source Music Montage (Band Source, Trendy Source, Jazzy Source, Calliope Source, Rave Source) (2:54)
18. Dinner Source (1:40)
The 2001 Soundtrack Album
1. Main Titles (3:49)
2. Ape Suite #1 (3:52)
3. Deep Space Launch (4:35)
4. The Hunt (4:58)
5. Branding The Herd (0:48)
6. The Dirty Deed (2:27)
7. Escape From Ape City/The Legend (5:57)
8. Ape Suite #2 (2:42)
9. Old Flames (2:10)
10. Thade Goes Ape (2:37)
11. Preparing For Battle (3:26)
12. The Battle Begins (5:17)
13. The Return (7:18)
14. Main Title Deconstruction (4:22)
15. Rule The Planet Remix (Remix by Paul Oakenfold) (4:03)
Total duration: 212 minutes
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Review of John Mansell, submitted at , score: 10/10
PLANET OF THE APES (2001)
MUSIC BY DANNY ELFMAN.
LA LA LAND RECORDS (USA) LLLCD1193 (LTD EDITION).
RUNNING TIME 3 DISCS. 212 MINS 42 SECS.
RATING
REVIEW JOHN MANSELL © 2012Back in the 1960,s the original PLANET OF THE APES burst onto cinema screens and begun one of cinema’s most successful series of movies. As a young boy I remember taking an unofficial afternoon off of school to go see the first in the cycle and was immediately struck and intrigued by this original and exciting movie. What also attracted me even more was the haunting musical score by Jerry Goldsmith, I think it was probably this movie and its score that made me realize just how important music was in film, especially the hunt scene with the use of a rams horn on the soundtrack that heralded the arrival of apes on horseback with rifles chasing and riding down mute humans in a world that had been turned upside down by nuclear war. I followed the series but for me none of the sequels really hit the mark or made that much of impression upon me in the film or score departments, yes the scores were good and the movies for the most part were entertaining, but I felt after BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES the series kind of lost it’s way a little. So when I heard about plans to revive the series or even begin a new cycle of Ape films I was shall we say a little apprehensive. I felt a little better when I heard it was director Tim Burton who would helm the new version, and also even more settled when it was announced that Danny Elfman would score the movie. Burton injected darkness into the story, in fact although based around the same or similar storyline to that of the original version, this new movie was tougher, more hard hitting, darker, more menacing and in many ways more plausible or real. The musical score for me is one of Elfman’s most accomplished and polished works for cinema. He created an entire landscape of diverse percussive sounds and effects for the score and fuses these elements together to create the foundation for his innovative, quirky and ominous soundtrack. The composer straight away sets the scene and paints a threatening and frightening picture with his darkly rich and foreboding opening theme, THE MAIN TITLES (FILM VERSION) track 1 (disc 1). This is the pounding and relentless music that accompanies the impressive title sequence, it begins out in space but soon segues into close up’s of ape armour, clothing, headgear and weapons etc.

The music works incredibly well in the opening sequence and creates an atmosphere that is perfect and befitting. Percussion is the foundation as I have already said but Elfman builds on this and adds to it malevolent sounding brass and low strings, combining these with electronic effects and an overall sound that can only now be associated with this composer as in brass rising and falling and being punctuated by percussion, and driving strings. The theme builds and intensifies growing in urgency and tension, the composer masterfully creating a perfect accompaniment to the images and establishing a powerful and imposing musical foothold on the proceedings. Having always loved Goldsmiths’s HUNT music in the original I was curious as to what director Burton would do and more importantly what Elfman would conjure up for the hunt scene in the new version, if indeed there was a hunt sequence, I am glad to say there was and Burton acquitted himself well and so did Elfman, Track 4,(disc 1) POD ESCAPE/NEW WORLD/THE HUNT, is an urgent and frenzied composition from the offset, central character Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) attempts to break out of his escape pod after it has crash landed in a dense jungle and is sinking in a pond. Elfman provides this sequence with suitably frantic music, high brass’s and equally furious sounding strings commence proceedings, but these are short lived and a lull seems to fall on the composition, but this quiet interlude is also short lived and soon we hear the underlying apes theme emerging from the depths of the cue, brass builds and gains momentum, ferocity and tempo. Manic sounding percussive components rule the day and establish a fearful and threatening background underlining and punctuating the at times blaring and forceful sounding brass. Elfman setting in place a unstoppable force of instrumentation that seems to force its way forward giving no quarter to anyone or anything. Track 22,(disc 1) PREPARING FOR BATTLE, is also a composition that is full to overflowing with tension, and is real edge of the seat material, the sequence appears close to the movies conclusion, Thade the ape leader portrayed marvellously by actor Tim Roth, has massed his army ready to attack the humans, his aim is to wipe them out completely. He sends the first wave of simian warriors into battle and they launch a terrifying charge at their foe accompanied by Elfman,s equally fearful, terrorizing and powerful music, the attack is quelled by Davidson as he unleashes the full blast of a space crafts blaster upon the advancing apes, killing many and stunning others.
Elfman utilizes growling brass and martial sounding percussion interweaved with strings to add a sense of urgency, he builds the tension well with his amalgamation of percussive sounds and effects that dominate the cue and are bolstered by brass and gain energy to become a frenzied almost chaotic sounding combination of elements, but work effectively within the context of the movie and create an atmosphere of nervousness and dread. This release from LA LA LAND RECORDS is for me a dream come true it, contains the entire film score on two discs, which include a number of alternate cues and bonus tracks plus there are a handful of source music cues. Then there is also included on a third disc the 2001 soundtrack album, the set has a total running time of 212 minutes and 42 seconds. It is beautifully presented and packaged with great art work and graphics plus wonderful liner notes from Jeff Bond. This has to be at the top of any collectors list to purchase.

Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: 50 to 1, Il Mercenario, Divergent

Review of Joe Aliberti, submitted at , score: 10/10
Love Tim Burton though I do, there's no getting around the fact that his 2001 rendition of PLANET OF THE APES is, in a word, abysmal. Sure, it has its few good points- Rick Baker's excellent ape makeup (which I think looks more convincing than the CGI work in the recent RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES); Colleen Atwood's fantastic costumes (I love the ape armor); and an enjoyably over-the-top performance from Tim Roth as the film's sneering and snarling simian baddie, Thade. I also love the posters that were used in the marketing campaign, with its nice use of steel blue that gives the film an otherworldly feeling. But, there's no denying that the script is horrendous and its execution even more so, a crass action film with a miscast Mark Wahlberg in the lead role (and the less said about that ending, the better). Worst of all is that the film is devoid of a personality (something even lesser Burton offerings like ALICE IN WONDERLAND and DARK SHADOWS have), with the end result resembling something an inept journeyman would make, not an imaginative maverick.

Fortunately, one element of the film that has a personality and an imagination is the score written by frequent Burton collaborator and fellow maverick Danny Elfman. It should be noted that this is the score that defined Elfman's densely orchestrated action sound for the 2000's, with his heavy use of ethnic percussion and electronics, charging strings, exotic woodwinds, and thick muscular brass in the vein of Bernard Herrmann. Although that specific sound started a year earlier with PROOF OF LIFE (and in various bits in his mid-to-late '90s scores), this is the score where that wonderful mélange matured and worked its way into Elfman's subsequent action-packed scores for the decade.

And action-packed is exactly what this score is! Starting with the rollicking 'Main Titles', Elfman sets the tone for the adventure at hand, introducing the militaristic ape march with clanking percussion and brass, which is then heard throughout the score, both subtly and not-so-subtly (its use in 'Ape City' is pretty intimidating). That aforementioned 'action sound' is woven into tracks like 'The Hunt', 'The Escape', 'The Camp/Raid' and 'Preparing For Battle', giving their corresponding scenes the proper thrust. Thade himself gets a brass motif full of seething anger, heard in 'The Dirty Deed', 'Thade Gets His Way' and 'The Army Approaches', but best heard in 'Thade Goes Ape' as it nicely goes hand-in-hand with the ape march.

The score isn't all action, though. There is a 'love theme' of sorts for Helena Bonham Carter's character Ari, played on strings and woodwinds, heard in tracks like 'A Look', 'Ari Connects' and all throughout the rest of the score at various turns. Its most interesting uses are when her theme and Thade's play off each other, first in 'Thade's Desire' highlighting his undying love for her and later in 'Thade's Tent', in which that love turns sour and he spurns her. In addition, tracks such as 'The Story' and 'Calima' are appropriately mysterious and reflect key turning points in the film.

That being said, this is still an action-packed score, and the first three tracks on second disc are nothing but. 'The Charge' is an excellently chaotic action cue for the barbaric battle between humans and simians, with Thade's motif in full force here and with some steel percussion giving it a menacing effect. 'The Final Confrontation/Landing/Showdown' continues that chaotic action, with 'The Aftermath/Thade's Suite' serving as a great finale and both tracks use the three aforementioned themes in lots of inspired ways. Following it are two 'ape suites', Paul Oakenfold's 'Rule the Planet Remix', a host of alternate mixes and two source cues. I like the 'Source Music Montage' in particular as it serves as a brilliant way of describing musically the topsy-turvy world Wahlberg has entered, both visually and psychologically. Some might find this score to be too harsh and brutal to listen to, but I personally love it and I think action score fans no doubt will, too. I don't compare this to what Jerry Goldsmith wrote for the 1968 original since, although both films are fundamentally similar, they are different movies overall in terms of narrative and tone (and intelligence), therefore requiring different musical approaches. This score is Elfman in pure action form and he rules this planet.

The album from La-La Land Records is as good of a release as a score like this can get. While I can't say that I like this album any more than the 2001 Sony Classical release (which is included on a separate third disc for some reason), what I can say is that what's presented here is a pretty comprehensive album that no Elfman fan should miss (particularly fans of his action music from the past decade). The liner notes are well written, as they describe both the film's development and what went into the creation of its score. In addition, the notes describe how each of the tracks play into corresponding scenes in the film and offers interesting analyses of the themes and how they are woven in. Hopefully, if this release is any indication, there will be expanded releases of Elfman's two SPIDER-MAN scores in the future, since those scores have a lot of excellent unreleased material that I think would make for great albums (come to think of it, I wouldn't mind an expanded release of HULK, either). But, if you are unsure about buying this album due to its price, then I say stick with the other release, as it is a good summary of the score (even though some of the music was written exclusively for that product). Whatever iteration you wind up getting, you'll still get a dynamic action score littered with an abundance of creativity and an awesome score for an awful film.

Read other recent reviews by Joe Aliberti: Promised Land, Images, The Shadow

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