All posts under Michael Giacchino

Top 10 Film Scores of 2012

Top 10

One of the joys of compiling a year-end list is revisiting film scores that I may have forgotten. With so many scores released over the last 12 months, it’s easy for one or more to slip through the cracks. As usual, some scores that I was sure would make my list didn’t. By all rights, Nick Urata’s sweet and charming RUBY SPARKS would be included, as would Dan Romer and Behn Zeitlin’s Cajun-flavored BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. Danny Elfman had a busy year and his scores for FRANKENWEENIE and HITCHCOCK…

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9 Favorite Film Music Moments of 2012

John Carter

For this month’s “9 on the 9th” post, I wanted to focus on the smaller moments from this past year, those momentary thrills that can only be experienced by hearing film music in context of the film. While we all enjoy listening to film music on its own, I believe you have to hear it in its original context to truly understand the intent behind the music. This list does not necessarily represent the “best” scores of the year—I’ll give my take on that in a few weeks—and the scores…

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CD Review: John Carter


Disney has faced an uphill battle marketing its new film, JOHN CARTER. Based on Edgar Rice Burrough’s 1917 novel A Princess from Mars, the studio has endured negative press for months surrounding focus groups, changing titles, and the dilemma of how to present a sci-fi/fantasy film based on a century-old book that few people have even heard of, much less read. Forget all the pre-opening manhandling and online vitriol. JOHN CARTER is a thoroughly entertaining, if imperfect, film that should give genre fans plenty to enjoy, whether it’s eye candy leads Taylor…

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CD Review: Super 8


When a train derails releasing a dangerous, unseen presence in a small suburban town, a group of youngsters making an amateur film unwittingly capture the alien images on their Super 8 camera. The nuts and bolts of SUPER 8 aren’t particular fresh or original. Rolling elements from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, THE GOONIES and E.T. into one film was a bold move, given the affection felt by many fans towards these films. No matter how much director J. J. Abrams claims the film is an homage to the films of his childhood, having…

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CD Review: Cars 2


The original CARS in 2006 is widely considered one of the weaker Pixar efforts. Its box office performance did not nearly match its merchandising sales, with an estimated $5 billion in sales. After merchandising challenges like WALL-E and UP (grumpy old man action figure anyone?), it’s no surprise that the studio would revisit the film for an unnecessary sequel. The first film had the presence of Paul Newman and a small shred of emotional resonance with the potential collapse of small-town America. Those two pluses are gone in CARS 2‘s…

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Readers Poll – Top 10 Film Scores of 2010


Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote in this year’s readers survey. Over 200 people voted and over 1,600 votes were cast. While I expected certain scores to appear, it was interesting to watch the list form and morph over the voting period. Out of the 201 scores listed, 161 of them received at least one vote. While this list certainly doesn’t match mine (nor should it), there are a couple of overlaps, several scores that didn’t quite make my cut, and a couple that weren’t anywhere close. This…

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9 Favorite Science Fiction Film Scores, Vol. 1 – Space

Star Wars movie image Han, Chewie Luke

Like many boys who liked to read, my genre of choice during my teenage years was science fiction. And since one of my earliest memories of the outside world was the moon walk, it will come as no surprise that I was enthralled by tales of life in space, stories that were heavy on the scientific end of things. Planets were just there as jumping off points to get you back into space. The more time that was spent aboard ship in the inky dark, the better. And to this…

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Married Life


My buddy Tim got married a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t at the wedding and I’ve never even met Tim in person. Yet we’ve connected through Twitter, this blog, and our love of film music. You really can connect with people online, even when you haven’t physically met. I was as happy for Tim as I would be for any of my close friends. Because that is what he is…a close friend. My happiness for his happiness prompted me to revisit one of my favorite film scores from 2009,…

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Oscar 2009 – Some Final Thoughts


For those of us who thought THE HURT LOCKER a competently made yet rambling, dull, insignificant piece of filmmaking (like me), last night’s Academy Awards was an excruciating affair. And producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman (who, as director of HAIRSPRAY, should know better) should be ashamed at how they treated the music categories. A few weeks ago it was announced that the five nominated songs would not be performed live on this year’s telecast. Oscar has never known how to produce the songs properly. They’re usually a cross between…

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The Work of a Critic Is Easy?

Ratatouille - Anton Ego

When Pixar  announced that their entry into the already over-crowded litter of critter movies in 2007 was to be about a rat, to paraphrase Hermione Gingold in THE MUSIC MAN: “I was reticent. Oh, yes, I was reticent!” Even with Pixar’s credentials, how could they pull off a film about vermin? But RATATOUILLE served up a smorgasbord of sights and sounds, topped off by Michael Giacchino’s delicious score. That RATATOUILLE was the frontrunner for the Oscar for Animated Film was a given, and Giacchino’s score nomination was a well-earned surprise. But it was…

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