Michael Giacchino

Michael Giacchino

Coming up with song titles for a score or soundtrack can be a tricky business. The music for a film is usually released before the film itself to get audiences excited, but if the track listing reads like a spoiler list for what happens in the film, the music can end up being more upsetting than enticing. Other times the titles that make up a film score can be boring and forgettable (even if the music is not). However composer Michael Giacchino has taken a different approach by making his track titles stand out by giving them funny (even pun-y) titles.

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Abrams and Giacchino Star Trek Score

Whether or not you’re a fan of Star Trek Into Darkness, you should take a look at the latest SoundWorks Collection shorts on the music of the film. Michael Coleman visited the 20th Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage to document some of the recording of the Star Trek sequel’s score. While there he interviewed Tim Simonec, the conductor and orchestror, while also getting some footage of director J.J. Abrams and composer Michael Giacchino overlooking the sessions. Also named in the video is co-producer Michelle Rejwan as the orchestra plays “Happy Birthday” in her honor (at least I think it’s in her honor since the camera is turned toward her). Behind the scenes stuff like this is always neat, and here Simonec explains some of what’s different about the Into Darkness score compared to the previous Star Trek movie’s music. For one thing this has more synth less choir. I also just like watching all the professional musicians. It’s easy to forget about all that talent while watching a movie, especially when you wind up nitpicking at the writing and directing. While Giacchino’s compositions themselves may be criticized, there’s absolutely no digging at the people on the strings and horns and percussion. Their performance of the score is objectively perfect, as that job always has to be. Watch the brief video after the jump.

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commentary-startrek

The reboot of Star Trek in 2009 was a risky move for Paramount. However, it paid off, reinvigorating the franchise that had died with the poorly performing film Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002. J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek became one of the biggest hits of that summer and introduced a whole new generation to the classic franchise. Abrams was not a Star Trek fan before working on the film (and arguably even less of one after making the movie), but that didn’t stop him and his production team from making a solid science fiction update. Throughout the commentary with his writers and producers, recorded only a month after Star Trek came out in 2009, it’s clear that the Star Wars films had a greater impact on the production team’s childhood. Maybe the search for a Luke Skywalker in the character of James T. Kirk was what made the film work so well.

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Welcome back to Commentary Commentary, your weekly dish of directorial insight and/or, as indicated by last week’s column, shenanigans. This week we’re looking inside the mystery box with director Matt Reeves and uncovering what he has to say about our favorite recent monster movie, Cloverfield. Reeves did this commentary all by his lonesome, but something tells me J.J. Abrams was standing over him with a loaded gun lest Reeves divulge too much information. I’ll be listening intently for any Morse Code warnings or cries for help. Since this commentary track was laid down years ago, and since Matt Reeves has since directed Let Me In – more Morse Code messages. Hmmm – I have a feeling everything turned out okay. So here, in all of its Slusho wonder, is what I learned on the Matt Reeves commentary for Cloverfield. I wonder if there are going to be any Lost secrets. I hope there are Lost secrets. Or Star Trek 2. Okay, wishful thinking is over. Shutting up now.

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There’s nothing quite like returning to the old neighborhood to find that your childhood playground hasn’t been torn down. You run your hand along rope ladders deemed “unsafe” by modern standards, feel the crunch of pebbles beneath your feet that did more to cut than soften a fall, sit in the swing and think for a moment about jumping out at the highest point. Super 8 is the cinematic equivalent of unearthing a time capsule and finding everything inside is still impossibly shiny and new. It’s impossible to remove the film from its own nostalgia, except for its intended audience of children discovering this type of filmmaking for the first time (and maybe even seeing their first Amblin logo). That’s a pretty powerful thing. With everyone clamoring to tap a market of adults eager for their own past while simultaneously getting kids into seats, J.J. Abrams‘s latest is one of the few that actually succeeds.

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Lost

For many fans, closing the book on Lost once and for all has been a difficult task. Not only was it one of the most devoutly followed shows of all time — a series that showed us that the world of television could be delivered in a manner that felt cinematic, but existed over a longer period of time — but it was also one of the most intriguing and divisive shows in recent times. Our most recent memory of the J.J. Abrams championed show is just that — the great divide created by the big finale, dubbed appropriately “The End.” On May 23, 2010, it all came to an end. And with it came the answers to questions, some six years in the making, as well as more questions that have continued to plague the starving masses to this day. None of that hysteria will end with the release of the Complete Collection on Blu-ray. The questions remain. However, this week’s release of Lost in its entirety, complete with delicious goodies, is meant for a celebration. It’s time to look back at Lost from the beginning and celebrate one heck of a journey.

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This week’s Culture Warrior says that cinema is the ultimate form of art. And it has nothing to do with ‘Avatar.’ Seriously, it doesn’t.

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trek-list-header

I’ve had my chance to hoot and holler all over the place about the latest entry in the Star Trek franchise from director J.J. Abrams. But as you might expect, I’m not quite done yet.

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