Yearly Archives: 2012

One reviewer called Cloud Atlas a mess. The film is anything but. There is some argument to be made that, being 6 movies in 1, you don’t get enough time with each character. But there are big laughs in the film (something the reviewers don’t seem to be mentioning), great action, big-picture themes, and the whole effort has a sense of fun. Cloud Atlas is why people make and watch movies. Will it profit? I hope so. But it’s arty (this ain’t no Avengers). Reviewers are polarized but everyone I’ve talked to who saw it loved it.

Writers is light, and will likely appeal like Crazy Stupid Love. I don’t happen to like the title (it seems insular). Romances among a divorced couple and their two kids. Impressive for a debut director. A couple of song choices maybe intruded on the drama (nothing wrong with the songs, just the singers’ performances drew too much attention to themselves IMHO), but the original score was tasteful. Loved the Thanksgiving turkey recipe in the film.

GDR-in-the-1980s prison drama Shores of Hope is Shawshank Redemption meets The Lives of Others. There is one scene in particular that amusingly pays homage to SR (“do you love your wife?”).
A lot of this movie is executed very well, and I bet this film is going to be very good for the lead actor Alexander Fehling, who had a small part in Inglourious Basterds. I was engaged, but wanted to feel more at the end than I did.

Posted 5 years ago by John Piscitello
The trend in the past year or so has been towards more synth-driven trailers. The Carmina Burana trend has long played out (though you still hear that a lot for network TV shows). Now it’s about unusual ear candy.

In a way we’ve come full circle. Synths were really in during the disco era. They’re primitive, but this 1979 Alien trailer isn’t that far off from what’s going on in the Prometheus trailer.

Posted 5 years ago by John Piscitello
I like the Game of Thrones theme a lot – it’s plenty memorable, dramatic without being melodramatic, and balances darkness and light just right for the series. Stellar theme.

However the orchestration is perhaps a touch dull (I’ve never felt like it’s a great range for that cello we hear)….but add a few squeaky toys to the mix and you’ve got it!

Posted 5 years ago by John Piscitello
I kind of liked this list of horror scores. One thing about horror is this: the budgets of these films are generally low. And there are a number of horror films from the 80s and early 90s on this list that have synthy scores. I think that synthy sound worked for a time (when they were still new and strange), but no longer (now they sound outdated and strange).

Posted 5 years ago by John Piscitello
I was digging around YouTube and came across this. (a) The director decided not to reuse any themes from the Goldsmith score from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. That’s not really explained. And (b) the director wanted a “seafaring” sound. So yes, the score sounds very British, and closing your eyes you can almost hear it working well in “Master and Commander” (though the Horner theme is perhaps a bit too heroic for that).

Posted 5 years ago by John Piscitello
I’ve always liked them. The song works great with the ukelele, but I wonder what it would sound like with a full-blown pop production.

Posted 5 years ago by John Piscitello

My question is, who’s the guy on trombone?

Posted 5 years ago by John Piscitello

From a site called Vidivodo.com, which I sure hope has the rights to play this:

Posted 5 years ago by John Piscitello

I can’t get enough of it when Peter sings John Williams on Family Guy. I wonder what it cost them to  license the track.  Embedding is disabled, so listen here. (is this is a great example of a combat ostinato…)

Posted 5 years ago by John Piscitello
I’m in the process of putting cues form every film I’ve ever done onto my web site. These cues will go all the way back to…gasp!…2008. Which is at the start of that 10,000 hours film music journey I mentioned in the previous post.

A friend asked “is that really a good idea”? You’d assume film composers get better as they go along, and should only show their best and most recent stuff. Presenting the old stuff with the new is for directors to really get to know me.

Many of the great composers had the core of their style established early on. Even when John Williams was “Johnny Williams”, doing TV in the 60s, you could hear seeds of “his” sound we all know from his films. Something in the brass writing was bold, like he’s working hard to get a big sound from small TV ensembles.

Here is another example of a composer across many years…Danny Elfman from 1985 and 2008…do these clips, from films at the opposite ends of the spectrum, sound like the same composer’s voice?

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, 1985:

Standard Operating Procedure, 2008:

Posted 5 years ago by John Piscitello