John Carter (Michael Giacchino)

Final Musings: With John Carter, we have Giacchino showing off his different stylistic sides in a grand musical adventure. To hear all of the composers’ sounds that have become loved amongst many, evolved in such a way is a true treat for any film score collector. If you don’t like your themes obvious and overly optimistic, then this score might not be for you. But if you’re the kind of person who loves his/her adventure scores orchestrally dynamic, thematically rich and ethnically diverse, then this score will likely be a big wet kiss on the mouth from your own beautiful Martian princess.

Fresh off its publication in 1917, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars became an instant classic of science fiction literature. The reputable tale tells the story of a veteran of the American Civil War who gets transported to the planet of Mars in the midst of his search for gold. There, he associates himself with the various creatures and attempts to help a Martian princess solve the plight of her people. Despite the strange and perhaps silly nature of the plot, this book is arguably one of the most influential tales of early science fantasy literature. The revolutionary book gave birth to a new generation of science fiction and continues to inspire many iconic films today such as the ever popular Star Wars. The fact that nearly a century has gone by without a proper film adaption owes itself to the bizarre case of production lingo that dates as far back as 1931. Various attempts at a full feature film adaptation were taken on over the course of time (beginning with the notion of an animated film) but the dream was only fully realized with 2012’s John Carter. The film was however met with poor critical reception for it offered very little to audiences. Being a dull film with a plethora of silly moments, John Carter only had its respectable visual effects to lure viewers in. Unfortunately, many of the film’s strongest features offers little appeal if only for the fact that all of it has been done before with a far greater degree of mastery. Yet knowing mainstream audiences, the film will likely make enough cash to warrant a predictable sequel.

Perhaps the only redeeming feature of this film is Michael Giacchino’s long awaited score. The composer’s humble beginnings are very well known to the film score masses. Beginning with his fantastic scores for the successful Medal of Honor video games to full feature blockbuster film such as the recent Super 8 and eventually earning his first Oscar for Up, Giacchino has reached to such heights of popularity that he has been given daring (or rather, ridiculous) titles such as that of the “next John Williams”. 2011 was a surprisingly weak year for Michael Giacchino, but fans will likely be pleased to apprehend that he offers one his best scores with John Carter. Read the rest of this entry »