|4.||The Computer Room||1:54|
|10.||Max Breaks Loose||2:21|
|11.||Andie is Stranded||4:08|
|12.||Max Finds Courage||3:53|
| ||49:04| Submit your review
Not, as you might have thought, a film about gay astronauts, but a kids movie about precocious kids that attend one of NASA's annual summer training events and are accidentally launched into space. In order to dispel worries that NASA could accidentally launch a rocket by mistake, the launch occurs thanks to an entirely fictitious robot. Unfortunately, it was scheduled to be released around the same time that the Challenger disaster and, despite having its release pushed back by several months, sank without trace. That the accident that then occurs later in the film is strikingly similar to the Challenger accident is even more chilling. It was a pretty lousy film anyway and is only known today for John Williams' somewhat average, but very hard to find score.
I'm guessing that the involvement of Kate Capshaw, who was the somewhat annoying female sidekick in Temple of Doom, led to Williams being involved in this project as by 1986, the composer could really pick and choose his projects (and probably still can). The Main Title introduces the main theme, which is a pleasing, broad horn melody that sounds like a slow movement from one of his Olympic fanfares. There is also a perky trumpet fanfare that appears most prominently in the titular concert arrangement of the main themes halfway through. Indeed, the rhythmic central section is almost identical to his striking Liberty Fanfare. One of the more unusual versions of the theme is pop arrangement in Training Montage, which has a drum kit backing that seems to have escaped from Queen's, Another One Bites the Dust. John Williams and modern musical styles rarely mix and this is one of his least successful attempts.
There are some lovely, twinkling cues for the orbital scenes, which is ideal in this instance as this is space the beautiful, not space the battleground, unlike some of his more famous scores for outer space epics. Of course, if being shot into space by mistake weren't enough, something goes wrong and so there are some more dramatic cues; the oddly titled White Sands is a decent suspense cue, but Max Breaks Loose and Andie is Stranded up the stakes with terse strings and discordant brass. However, neither really gets going and don't generate a great deal of excitement and only a modicum of tension. It just feels like noodling around before the expectedly jubilant Re-Entry (just as well it's not about gay astronauts, really) and the perky Home Again. If it weren't for it rarity, Spacecamp would probably be considered a minor entry in the Williams canon. The music isn't helped by the surprisingly tinny sound, with the brass feeling particularly pinched. It certainly isn't worth paying over the odds for, but entertaining enough to be worth a listen at least once.
Long overdue first U.S. CD release of brilliant, exuberant John Williams soundtrack from Harry Winer young astronaut tale with Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, (very young) Joaquin Phoenix. John Williams brings incredible sense of wonder, exhilaration to outer space saga with melodies both awe-inspiring, exciting. Highlights are many: rich, expressive opening theme, rousing action sequences during space flight, powerhouse fortissimo finish to 'Home Again', others. Special spotlight goes to 'SpaceCamp' cue, heard in film as the end credits: here composer launches brilliant orchestral display with fanfares, rhythms, resounding statement of main theme - all in single cue that clearly inspired future fanfares for Olympics, various Americana events. Wow! This is top drawer Williams! Intrada presents original album (a then generous 48 minutes) in stereo direct from RCA album masters now vaulted by Sony. Descriptive notes by Michael Matessino plus original LP cover art complete the package. John Williams conducts. Intrada Special Collection release limited to 3000 copies!
Other releases of SpaceCamp (1986):