Oscar Thoughts and Capsule Reviews…

I meant to write part of this post long ago…like the day after the Oscars, but life happened.  I’m getting deeper and deeper into that bottomless pit known as a dissertation and it is slowly taking over my life.  But before we get to some quick score reviews, I thought I’d try to wrap a bow on the whole Oscar thing.

Continue reading “Oscar Thoughts and Capsule Reviews…”

2011 Academy Awards for Best Original Score Nominations…

…And once again there is at least one head scratcher among them.  But before we get to that, let’s review my original fearless predictions for the nominations:  Alice in Wonderland (Danny Elfman), Inception (Hans Zimmer), The King’s Speech (Alexandre Desplat), 127 Hours (A.R. Rahman), and The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross).  And I’m happy to report that I picked four of the five correct, with only Alice not being nominated and, for some reason, John Powell’s How to Train Your Dragon being given a nomination. Continue reading “2011 Academy Awards for Best Original Score Nominations…”

It’s Awards Season

The Academy announced their nominees this week, so now seems the time to wrap up the major awards and nominations for best score…and give you my (not so) bold Oscar prediction.

Golden Globes:  The nominess for “Best Original Score” were: Marvin Hamlisch – The Informant!, James Horner – Avatar, Abel Korzeniowski – A Single Man, Carter Burwell and Karen O – Where The Wild Things Are, and the eventual winner, Michael Giacchino for Up.

Grammys:  The Grammys don’t have a “best original score” catagory, but what the equivilant is “Best Score Soundtrack Album.”  This year, the nominees were: Alexandre Desplat – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Nicholas Hooper – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (yeah, I know, really?), Danny Elfman – Milk, Michael Giacchino for Star Trek but winning the catagory for Up.

The Academy Awards:  Just a reminder, my prediciton for the nominees were: Moon (Clint Mansell), Up, AvatarSherlock Holmes (Hans Zimmer), and Coco Before Chanel (Desplat).  For my first time guessing, I think 3 out of 5 isn’t bad becuase I got Up, Avatar, and Sherlock Holmes, but missed with Desplat’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and Marco Beltrami/Beck Sanders for The Hurt Locker, neither of which I have seen the film or heard the score.

So let’s do some analysis and make some predictions.  First, the Grammy nominees seem weird since two of the scores came out in 2008, but the eligability period for them was Oct. 1, 2008 to Aug. 31, 2009, hence no Avatar, but even if it had been eligable for this year’s Grammy, I’m guessing it wouldn’t have won becuase it seems like 2009 will be the year of Giacchino.  While I think his Star Trek score was somewhat better that Up, I can understand why the Pixar score is the one to be nominated.  Though seriously, if Jerry can be nominated for Star Trek: The Motion Picture why can’t Giacchino be nominated for Star Trek?

And may I also lament the complete lack of love for Moon?  I still feel it was 2009’s best score, but Sony Pictures but no effort in promoting the score or film come award season!  The film should have been nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor (Sam Rockwell), along with Best Original Score.  Seriously, District 9 gets nominated in the newly expanded Best Picture, but Moon gets shut out.  Don’t get me wrong, District 9 was a pretty good movie, but if you’re going to nominate a sci-fi film for Best Picture of 2009, it should have been Moon.

Anyway, the signs all seem to be pointing towards Up winning for Best Original Score, which I really don’t have any major problems with.  I feel Giacchino is one of the best young composers working in Hollywood, and it’ll be nice to see him win. 

So I’ve got $5 on Up to win Best Score.  Who’s your horse?

Rant: An Open Letter to the Emmy Committee

Note:  I usually try, in this blog, to refrain from overtly opinionated statements.  I do say what I like or dislike, but I do usually try and back up said statements.  In this case, though, I cannot silently stand aside.  A few weeks ago, the Emmy nominations were announced and once again, Bear McCreary’s work on Battlestar Galactica was not among those recognized in the music category.  Now, I don’t really put much stock in award shows and the like, but I do usually pay attention, at least, to those things nominated.

Some have said that the lack of BSG nominations is because the committee is wary of Sci-Fi/Fantasy shows (much like the Oscars), but that doesn’t make sense, really.  A look at past nominations in music, especially, yield many examples of Sci-Fi/Fantasy: the Star Trek series (Next Generation, et al) have many nominations, so did Xena, and Lost has also been tapped multiple times (not to mention Quantum Leap, SeaQuest, X-Files, the Stargate franchise, and Shirley Walker’s Space: Above and Beyond score).  So obviously it’s not the genre or even the network (witness Stargate), so honestly, I might just have to chalk it up to ignorance or…well ignorance is the nicest way to put it.  Because, in all honestly, with the exception of maybe Lost, BSG is the best scored show on television (was rather since it just wrapped up).

I have already wrote extensively on BSG, and you know that I feel that it is a score that transcends the normal catagory of “background music,” and is just as intergral part of the show quality as any actor, writer, or director.  It is a score of a quality higher than most I hear on television or even some films.  I don’t have much experience with the other nominees, but I’ll venture a comment on what I do know.

Alf Clausen – The Simpsons: I’ve always loved the integration of music into The Simpsons, and I was kind of disappointed that Clausen didn’t score the film, but I understand the decision.  That being said, Clausen’s musical genius lies in his adaptation of existing material and making it fit into the world of the show.  A very different function than McCreary’s score, so there isn’t really much comparing.

Sean Callery – 24: I’ve seen most of this series, but not this past season except for the movie Redemption, which I thought had a decent, if ultimately empty, score.  It did its job well, but much like the series itself, it is fun and exciting and tense while watching, but leaves one feeling empty afterwards.

Robert Duncan (Castle), Gabriel Yared (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency), and Mark Snow (Ghost Whisperer):  I’ve never seen these shows, and I’ve never even heard Robert Duncan’s music. I’m familar with Yared’s work, but not very well, and I know Snow’s work on X-Files, but I’ve never seen Ghost Whisperer.  This being as it is, I’d rather not comment on them.

Joseph LoDuca – Legend of the Seeker: This is the one that really sparked my ire initally.  I actually, at that point, had yet to see this series, but I just recetly become acquainted with LoDuca’s work on TNT’s Librarian movies (you know, those somewhat fun, but blately an Indiana Jones ripoff starring Noah Wyle?).  And while watching them I couldn’t help but every few minutes hearing the score going off into a cue from David Arnold’s Stargate score (not surprising since the films were also produced by Dean Devlin).  I then set out and listened to a few Seeker episodes on Hulu and was less than impressed.  At times it sounded like Battlestar, other times Stargate SG-1, but lacking the depth of McCreary’s work on BSG.

Granted, the first season score of BSG was still a work in progress, but the heights that the just released Season 4 score achived (especially the finale “Daybreak”) are leaps and bounds above anything I have heard out of most any television program.  It is simply a crime that the score wasn’t nominated, espcially considering past nominations.  Sci-Fi or otherwise, McCreary’s work on Battlestar Galactica deserves to get the official recognition, not just the adulation of critics and fans who seem to know what the Emmy committee is glaringly blind to.