Prometheus (Marc Streitenfeld)

Final Musings: There is much to like in Prometheus. The orchestrations are top-notch, the atmospheric qualities are commendable and the sense of wonder is well conceived. Streitenfeld gives us a score that works quite well in context. But it ultimately ends up being a score that’s rather forgettable by the end. The lack of experience on the composer’s part shows in the music. And when an assistant composer’s contribution –only minutes in length – overshadows the entirety of your work, you know you haven’t quite nailed the assignment.

To say there were great expectations for Ridley Scott’s long awaited return to the science fiction genre is quite the understatement. Oddly enough, the director has only made two forays into this side of film, those being Alien and Blade Runner. Yet the British filmmaker is responsible for singlehandedly revolutionizing the genre as we know it. Alien is universally known for being amongst the finest of science fiction with its masterful degree of craftsmanship rarely seen in today’s films. And after a seemingly endless chain of ridiculous sequels and crossover films, fans were eager to see the esteemed director set the franchise back in shape with his quasi-prequel, Prometheus. What audiences ended up receiving however was a visually stunning piece of work filled with big ideas but ultimately bogged down by absurd character flaws and plot holes. While there is great potential with the film, Promethleus ultimately ends up being the “love it or hate it” film of the year.

The Alien franchise has always been very diverse when it came to its musical sensibilities. From the challenging eerie tones of Jerry Goldsmith’s work for the original Alien to the snare-ripping action of James Horner’s contributions to James Cameron’s sequel Aliens to the dense avant-garde techniques of Goldenthal’s work for the final entry of the trilogy, Alien 3, each approach never really bore any resemblance to each other, despite their individual merits. Signed on to score the latest entry of the series is Scott’s most recent collaborator, composer Marc Streitenfeld. The young composer worked under Zimmer’s massive production company for many years before being sought out by Scott for 2006’s A Good Year to replace his previous collaborator, veteran Hans Zimmer himself. Streitenfeld has had the privilege of scoring every Ridley Scott production since. Now considering the modern blockbuster scoring methodology that Zimmer’s clones have so clearly established, one would expect a film like Prometheus to be scored with the awful sound design concepts of Jablonsky’s intellectually devoid score for Battleship in mind. But listeners will be surprised to hear Streitenfeld offer a more organic and intelligent alternative. Read the rest of this entry »