Saturday, July 27, 2019

Score Sample: Spiderman: Far From Home (2019)

Back in 2013, I wrote about how Michael Giacchino is one of my favorite composers working today. He still hasn't lost that place on my list. I try to pick up each of his scores almost as soon as they come out, and his work tends to entertain and engage me each time. The exceptions may be his scores for the two Jurassic World films. Still haven't warmed up to those.

Giacchino was pulled into the world of superheroes early on with his amazing score to The Incredibles. That is still one of my favorite scores by the man, and the sequel score is a blast. It is little wonder that he was asked to score some of the Marvel films, including Doctor Strange and Spiderman: Homecoming.

For the later, Giacchino was stepping into some big shoes. Previous Spiderman films were scored by the likes of Danny Elfman, Christopher Young, James Horner and Hans Zimmer. Each creating memorable takes on the character. Giacchino didn't shrink back, but went for it, crafting a new theme for Spidey and really giving it a workout in the score. His music for the villainous Vulture was also pretty darn cool.

I think Giacchino pushed himself a little harder when it comes to Far From Home. The Spidey theme is back, and gets plenty of time to shine in this score. He also brings back the love theme from the previous score (which I'll admit isn't one of his strongest). But the new material for Mysterio is top notch. He works in some excellent electronics, gives Mysterio an almost heroic but intense theme. We get some great tracks on the score where the Spidey and Mysterio theme work together and then later in counterpoint - something you rarely hear these days, but was something classic composers like Goldsmith and Williams would do all the time. Best of all, the score is a lot of fun, full of action, thrills and excitement. I am actually hoping we get another Spiderman movie, just so I can hear Giacchino round out a trilogy of scores. Yeah that is a total film nerd thing to write.

So here is Giacchino's end credit suite from Spiderman: Far From Home given the humorous title Far From Home Suite Home. It kicks off with Spidey's heroic theme, moves into the love theme, and shifts into a new theme for Nick Fury (and possibly the SWORD organization).Then those synths kick in and you know Mysterio's theme comes out to play. It builds and builds until Spidey's theme puts a stop to it and that hurtles into the conclusion of the track. Enjoy!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Neon Genesis Evangelion on Netflix

Looking for something interesting to watch this summer? Well you could check out Neon Genesis Evangelion on Netflix. This is one of my favorite anime series, and has been cleaned up a bit for the release over to Netflix. Sure you've probably seen people complaining about the new dub, but you can watch the subtitled version just as easily.

Now, it has been nearly a decade since I revisited the series. But I pulled out my old Platinum edition DVDs and started watching the show again. Some things have held up pretty well, other times I'm seeing some of the seams where the limited budget was peaking through. The show was unique for its time, and these days so many shows have been inspired by it, that many of the fresh elements are tropes.

Still, the characters are handled well, the robot and monster design is unique as hell, and all the philosophical, psychological and religious explorations are still worth delving into. The show doesn't really dive into those elements until we reach the second half, but man does it get nuts. Netflix has also gotten the rights to the End of Evangelion which was the feature film that provided an alternate ending (or the correct ending if you listen to some folks) to the series.

All told, this show is worth watching, and after I finish my revisit I'll delve into a bit more on this blog.