Score Season #48
Below are more soundtrack poems of recent and archival releases.
The Black Prince (George Kallis, 2017) ** An intelligent, sparkling talent has appeared on the horizon: George Kallis. He’s the composer behind Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, The Last Warrior and Cliffs of Freedom which received glowing reviews from yours truly. However, for every triumph there’s the inevitable misstep, an occasion where not all elements align properly. As a key example, The Black Prince lacks the momentous declarative voice found in Kallis’ other projects.
This one you can safely cull.
Its impact was rather dull.
Even Lara Croft
Would not approve of music so soft.
So The Black Prince
Simply made me wince.
Sugar sweet to a fault
I had to call a halt.
I bear no great malice
Towards George Kallis.
The best can falter
As a tornado passes through Gibraltar.
GoldenEye (Eric Serra, 1995) ** Time to rhyme:
Eric Serra mocks
John Barry's building blocks.
Forgetting the song by Tina Turner
Guess he’s a slow learner.
A disco frenzy, haphazard beat
where enemies and allies meet.
This leads to much dithering
Like his confidence was withering.
Before the gruel,
“The GoldenEye Overture” was cool.
Emotion from “The Severnaya Suite”
didn’t feel like a cheat.
Not as bad as it gets
I have known safer bets,
Yet GoldenEye was below par
And lost that all important star.
Mister Moses (John Barry, 1965) *
Barely a whisper.
Awaken dear Casper.
Lost in the bush
amidst impending crush.
I share scant predilection
for music lacking direction.
Perhaps it was the cheque
which inspired such drek.
Whatever the cause
a slight bruise.
The line between craft and pride
Music must choose a side.
Mister Moses was a canard
Insulting one on the promenade.
Where's the theme swelling?
Such details make it telling.
A tiny drum roll might send it to perdition.
Mr. Barry, where's the magical, golden edition.
It was light and pleasant
Ever so hesitant.
Nothing to Lose (Robert Folk, 1997) **
Left somewhat queasy
as Nothing to Lose felt so easy.
When allowed to coast
Music ripe for the roast.
Undemanding, casual and diverting
to refrain from anything disconcerting.
Wavelength holds little variety
That being the least impropriety.
The film I love without question
Of which the score barely made a suggestion.
It was cut clean.
The effect rather green.
Please check out Robert Folk
A talent with imagination to stoke.
Nothing to Lose might not pass
Yet Trapped in Paradise made better brass.
Free from the illicit,
it was worth a visit.
Joy the film still makes
Despite music slamming the brakes.
The Passion of the Christ (John Debney, 2004) ****
Tell the porter
We won't be carrying extra water.
Where seconds made grace,
Twenty more minutes shattered the pace.
Original album was fine
knowing where to draw the line.
Emotional focus ended up blurred
Any consistency slurred.
Music lost the throttle
like a drunk with the broken bottle.
It was tempting to say three
As a rating certainly.
Yet the good stuff held firm
for a second term.
Much could be knit and picked
Yet integrity might end up nicked.
So the number four
will be the final score.
Good things come from faith
and not playing it safe.
Skyfall (Thomas Newman, 2012) ***
This James Bond imitation
was hit by the obvious limitation:
Thomas Newman was miscast, out of touch
Yet I enjoyed his score very much.
Skyfall was one of only two
Oscar nominated James Bond films... why so few?
Embracing what's current
Spy material only 10% percent.
"Quartermaster" could be trimmed
because my enthusiasm dimmed.
Skyfall was hardly A View to a Kill
nor Octopussy, what a thrill!
Even "Adrenaline" failed to match
Music befitting an escape hatch.
It was dry and ominous
For the most part... anonymous.
Whether in struggle or poverty
One must strive for quality.
Some moments were grand
Others simply irritating and bland.
Swashbuckler (John Addison, 1976) ****
Beyond the law
Take a trip with Robert Shaw.
Sounds like a vacation
more than an evacuation.
By the brush of an elephant's tusk
Music lifts the heart at dusk.
An adventure I'll be repeating
Goodness knows the great ones are depleting.
Unlike actorly beard
it was safely reared.
Of the greatest and the redeemless
One felt seamless.
Swashbuckler made the hoop
in one fell swoop.
Only a taskmaster
could avoid such disaster.
Perhaps a riddle
might snap the fiddle.
The final word was loot
Jewels and merriment to boot.
Torpedo Bay (Carlo Rustichelli, 1963) ***
As a tidal wave
Natural forces against the brave.
Torpedo Bay marched long and heavy
To enjoy, we must guarantee the levy.
Carlo Rustichelli was that rare eagle
Uncompromising as a beagle.
He could strike you in the gut
Or leave you feeling cut.
Fortune favours frugality
Especially when destined for immortality.
Perfect? By no means
Always a desire to replace jeans.
Defying wall to wall
And the need to reinstall.
Torpedo Bay made it feel
Romantic and somehow… unreal.
More of a tribute
To listeners and those who contribute.
I was elated
because Torpedo Bay wasn’t overrated.
When Strangers Meet (Carlo Savina, 1964) ***
Music this openly bright, deep and sad
Cannot be considered bad.
Carlo Savina like an old pro
Put on quite a show!
Tuned to that swing time beat
Melodies and rhythm, quite a feat.
I could sense something surreal
A tempting surrender, the timeless ordeal.
Of church and sin
Manners adopted by your kin.
Music to express emotion
Regardless of relative motion.
Pale alley cat shuffle
The score doesn’t muffle.
A gesture like humanly breath
To offset untimely death.
Resurrect the closest fear
As the strike echoes near.
The flute a token of malice
Or merely a godlike chalice?
SCORE OF THE MOMENT
The Little Minister (Max Steiner, 1934) ***** Poem for a hidden gem:
Tracking down a great score
From the year nineteen thirty-four.
As difficult as mining for gold.
Warmth in shelter from the cold.
Lost, found and then a sigh
What comes from desert high?
Verily the mountain was climbed
And the record timed.
Then again Max Steiner
Proved no ordinary miner.
He dug and extracted truth
Not all emotion could be uncouth.
A calming spring in the soul
That was the goal.
The work which a lifetime inherits
Deepening knowledge, priceless merits.
Heart meltingly gorgeous
A symbol for the courageous.
The Little Minister overcame toil
Making steps so royal.
In love I felt
Like the winner of a black belt.
For those melancholy hordes,
Steiner promised enlightened chords