Damien F

Michael Giacchino's Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

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9 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

 

Thank your lucky stars. The dialogue in that movie would make your ears bleed.

Do you bleed?

 

:)

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http://www.filmtracks.com/scoreboard/forum.cgi?read=48695

 

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I just completed my second (third if you count in the film) listen of this score and I think there's something pretty glaring all the reviews I've been reading are missing...especially given people's love of ranting about lack of thematic continuity in the MCU.

 

Giacchino's theme for Spidey has been described by most reviews as 'catchy', sometimes 'jazzy', sometimes 'sprightly' - most everyone agrees it fits the character pretty well. But no one seems to be giving credit to just how clever Giacchino was in writing it the way he did...and it all flows from the original Silvestri Avengers theme.

 

If you had to summarize the film in one sentence, it would probably be: 'Spider-Man spends his days trying to impress Tony Stark so he can become an Avenger'. Spidey's theme, therefore, should reflect this core element - and it does so brilliantly.

 

[warning, music nerd talk ahead]

 

Silvestri's Avenger's theme (the part that is quoted in other scores anyway) has two primary phrases - the first phrase, after a couple of repeated notes, consists of a perfect 5th interval jump followed by a quick step down, then a descending perfect 4th back to the root. This makes the theme feel very heroic (a perfect 5th leap is standard hero music - thanks Superman!) and the jump back down to the root makes the theme feel very solid and very strong.

 

Spidey's theme's first phrase also starts with a perfect 5th jump - and it ends with a descending perfect 4th. But instead of a quick step down in between, it does a skittish little turn up to the minor 6th scale degree and then jumps down a perfect 4th. But because of that little turn, the perfect 4th jump doesn't land Spidey on the firm, confident root...it lands the theme on the minor 3rd.

 

It's as if the theme started out just like an Avenger and tried really hard, but somewhere along the way things got messed up (hello minor key) and didn't turn out quite as heroic. Sound like any character you know? big grin

 

The second phrase of the Avenger's theme does the perfect 5th jump again, but this time heroically steps UP to the major 6th, then down a major third to land on the perfect 4th scale degree - an even more heroic feel than the first phrase.

 

Spidey's theme's second phrase is almost an exact quote of the Avengers theme second phrase. It does the perfect 5th leap up, does the skittish little turn, but this time turns around to the major 6th and them jumps down the major 3rd to the perfect 4th...just like the Avengers.

 

We know enough about Michael Giacchino and his writing style to know that none of this is an accident. The thematic construction of Spidey's theme is amazingly clever and an awesome way to salvage some thematic continuity in the MCU which, up 'til now, has been pretty abysmal in that department.

 

Think that's cool? How about the Vulture's theme:

 

Most reviews I've read have either said the Vulture's theme is 'appropriately menacing' or 'sounds like Giacchino's Star Trek bad guy theme blah blah something-or-other'. Those might be true, but I think there's something more important we're missing:

 

This time the Avenger's theme gets referenced not by note intervals, but by rhythm. The Vulture's short motif almost perfectly mimics the Avengers theme rhythm while twisting the intervals into a menacing minor theme. It's a great fit for a villain who is taking the heroic acts of the Avengers and twisting them into weapons of crime and destruction.

 

So there you go. If any of you get a chance to interview Giacchino in the near future, you can check my math here, but I don't think I'm too far off. tongue

 

I'm continually impressed by Giacchino's ability to construct and utilize thematic writing in cool, clever, and satisfying ways...

 

...now if we would just stop close-mic-ing the entire freaking orchestra so his scores would sound more epic... 8)

 

-Brendan, music nerd

 

Discuss!

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So I finally saw the film last night!

 

I already loved this score, and I think I'll love it even more now that I know what all the music is written for

 

I didn't notice any unreleased highlights when watching the film at all; The album absolutely covers all the major thematic ideas for sure.  There was maybe a couple variations of the Vulture theme that were more subdued and menacing than the big blasty ones on the CD but thats all I noticed. 

 

I don't think there really is too much more score in the film than is on the album; A lot of big sequences are scored with pop songs instead of score cues, and many sequences play with no music at all too.

 

I think there is some music on the album that isn't in the film too, or maybe Giacchino actually did some creative edits / cue combos for listening experience.  Like the vulture them at the end of the first track isn't in that spot in the film

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I haven't listened to this once since mid-July.  Same for DOTPOTA and Book of Henry.

 

Maybe me and Gia just need a little time apart.  I'll really reckon with his 2017 output later.

 

I'm glad you enjoy it though Jay, definitely makes it the first one I'll revisit, despite my initial indifferent reaction.

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I like his Spidey theme and dig some of the action tracks (An Old Van Rundown, Monumental Meltdown) but I have a problem with his Vulture theme (it gets really tiring by the end of the album). His Iron Man theme is pretty weak, too.

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Have you seen the film?  There would be no reason to have a big, long-lined Iron Man theme in this score.  The short little fanfare he wrote for him is perfect for the film.

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Just now, Jay said:

Have you seen the film?

 

Yes, I have.

 

Just now, Jay said:

There would be no reason to have a big, long-lined Iron Man theme in this score.  The short little fanfare he wrote for him is perfect for the film.

 

It has nothing with the theme being short. I just find it weak, regardless of its length.

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40 minutes ago, Jay said:

So I finally saw the film last night!

 

I notice a cycle for a lot of these film threads.


They're quite popular in the weeks and days leading up to a big film's release and while the film is in theatres. Then they taper off a bit and pop back up just about the time the film hits the torrents. :)

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1 minute ago, Bilbo Skywalker said:

Lousy friends. 

 

Those are your friends, Irishman.

 

And the answer to your question is yes, if you fight for me, you get to kill the English.

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How does it compare to Spider-Man 2? I really like that one.

 

It seems like the Spidey pendulum has shifted similarly to the Batman series and everyone now hates the Tobey ones since Homecoming came out. However, 2 was a pretty beloved funny book movie since it was released. What happened? I guess we have to wait a few years and everyone will admit they love it again.

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Well this is a thread for Giacchino's score, not the movie itself.


Are you asking how the score compares or the film?

If the film, they're so completely different, there isn't much to compare

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Just listened.  I feel the same way about it now as I did in the theaters a few months ago.  Giacchino's main theme isn't super memorable, but it has some interesting permutations (jazzy versions, and the end credits aren't too shabby).  I think the score hangs together well as a whole, and the action music (and utilizing little bits of Iron Man/Avengers themes) work great. But I do wish that the main theme were a little...brighter?  Bolder?  Not sure.  Something to make it stand out from the pack of MCU themes a little more.

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Yeah, I think that's it.  And I have no problem with Tyler's work in general, and in his Iron Man/Avengers work specifically, but I was hoping/expecting more from Giacchino on this one I guess.

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The problem I had with the score after watching the film for the second time the other day is that the mix is too low in the film, much of the music is lost under sfx and just being dialed down! It's frustrating. I think Monumental Meltdown is the only cue that was allowed to shine because it wasn't mixed so miserably low!

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