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Michael Giacchino's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)


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17 hours ago, Will said:

How do you guys think Giacchino's score was treated in the film?

 

Anyone notice tracking or other messy stuff? 

 

It's very interesting to consider how Giacchino scoring this so late in many ways could result in a more "old-fashioned" process, where you get a pretty final cut and write one version of the score (as opposed to, say, the TFA process).

 

Of course, though, Edwards still had plenty of time to chop the score to pieces if he wanted to, although I certainly didn't notice this. 

 

But at the very least you'd think Gia's process must have been much "smoother" than, say, JNH's on Fantastic Beasts, where he had to do dozens of rewrites for many cues. Here I assume it was much more of the "traditional" JW style -- although I assume there must have been a temp track, that being one big difference?

 

I heard a few sloppy edits but to me the most blaring issues were spotting, rhythm, and harmony related.  These are things JW excels at so the gap was noticeable.  I thought the melodies were good enough though the Imperial theme lacked a satisfying hook.  One thing MG does in his themes is he takes a phrase and repeats it in small sections (like two bar phrases) with a variation where JW has more long lines and phenomenal bridges.  Take Yoda's theme as an example.  It has a simple melody but with a long line and great bridge.  The simplicity of the theme makes it immediately recognizable but also flexible to dramatic transformations.   Also JW has grand scope (or dramatic structure...the themes aren't just repeated but they develop through the story) and we don't get that with MG.  He'll state a theme at the beginning, make it louder mid way, and very loud at the end.  That's not great development.  MG has lots of planing trumpets which is nice but the rhythm doesn't quite work.  For instance, take note of this brief passage:

Notice how the trumpets take the lead for 4 seconds then the horns respond with a variation in the harmony and rhythm.  First a dotted rhythm against off beat pedal trombones then triplets all within 4 seconds.  Very dynamic, thrilling, and unexpected shifts.  That is quintessential Star Wars and you hear elements of it in Rogue One but what sets the original apart is the variety.  The rhythm shifts, instrumentation is varied, and harmony is excellent meanwhile all of it has a exuberance of a thrill ride that is lacking in Rogue One.  Where are the Star Wars poly-chords that frequently accompany the evil doers plotting? :(  I again will say that MG did a respectable job given the challenges of his task.  It is hard not to be disappointed so I have to keep that in mind too.  For example, I'm still warming up to Zachary Quinto as spock because Leonard Nimoy IS Spock.  But I have to get over it. 

 

I don't think extra time would have changed much of MG's direction.  He did borrow elements of JW that meant something to him and the director. I am not an MG hater at all, I just believe no one would be able to score a non-JW Star Wars film without criticism. 

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Have you not seen the track list for his score to 'The Light Between Oceans?'   Music Composed by Alexandre Desplat   1. Letters 2. Tom 3. Jyn Erso takes flight 4. T

The idea that Giacchino is the successor to Williams is an inane one that I wish would stop being entertained. That's not a jab at Giacchino, I like him. He certainly has his moments. But to whimsical

Well, exactly. It's the same thing that started the "M. Night Shyamalan is the new Steven Spielberg" trend after The Sixth Sense. Eventually these guys either carve out their own identity or they fade

I think a collaboration between Alexandre Desplat would've been swell. both have weaknesses and strengths when it comes to a Star Wars film and them coming together would've made this score quite great indeed.

 

for example, Giacchino's incessant rhythmic repetition of a half-baked theme followed by random trumpet blasts in most of the action cues could've gone more like this with Desplat:

 

and Giacchino would've been able to keep it anchored to the Star Wars sound as I feel Deathly Hallows at times drifts into generic territory. this cue though is a really good example of Williams action music done right.

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I saw the film Thursday night and listened to the OST yesterday and today. I loved most of the movie (especially the last act) but thought the score was a letdown. I could hardly distinguish the themes from one another and still can't hum any of them. There were isolated moments of triumphant Star Ward sound, but more often the melodies seemed to crinkle at the ends like paper jammed in a copy machine. I think my exact words in the theater were, "It sounds like John Williams with ADD on laughing gas." Kudos to whoever just pointed out the tendency to repeat the hook of a theme with one altered note and call it a day.  The Krennic/Imperial material was serviceable but subpar, and the Whills theme just had me subconsciously filling in "Across the Stars" every time it played.  It doesn't matter that the melody goes elsewhere; the direction it goes is far less distinctive and long-lined than "Across the Stars," and the opening intervals and note durations are way too similar to something way too iconic to allow for any other interpretation, especially when you're distracted by the ongoing movie.

 

I grinned and then immediately grimaced when I heard the Hope theme over the title card, but I love it every time it comes up on the album. I think we'd all be praising it if it didn't appear there and were just a cheery optimistic motif derived from Luke's theme. But in that spot in a SW film, you could put the most incredible melody on earth and it still wouldn't feel right. It's as if they vacillated between having a crawl and not having one and decided at the eleventh hour to awkwardly split the difference.  

 

I absolutely agree that the OT themes were mostly well used but criminally underused. When the Yavin IV base appeared to the strains of the Hope theme, it felt unearned and wrong, as someone pointed out about the new Imperial music as well. The Rebel fanfare should have been all over this movie, and either the Imperial March or an expansion on the Episode IV Empire motif (a.k.a. the Stravinsky knockoff) should have been associated with the money shots of TIEs and ISDs.  We wouldn't have needed to hear it every five minutes, but doggone, there were some shots that ached for it, and stumbled without it.

 

Overall, a great effort in a tragically ironic, twice-cursed scenario for MG.  Write the score you've always dreamed of writing in less time than you've ever had before. If you had played me "Rogue One," "Hope," "Scrambling the Rebel Fleet," or "AT-ACT Assault" a year ago, I'd have been over the moon that this was what non-Williams Star Wars scoring sounded like. So as much as it failed to impress me in the theater, I have to admit there's some good stuff here, and I'm willing to give Gia another shot at a SW film somewhere down the line. But these themes, except for a few moments of Jyn's, ought to be killed off

 

as summarily as the characters they represent

.

 

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3 hours ago, DominicCobb said:

 

Alert alert! Just realized the Hope theme is a total Star Crash homage!

 

Anyway, I've been listening to the score and quite like it. Definitely doesn't outrank any of the proper JW SW scores but it's pretty solid. I kind of wish that Giacchino went further to distance himself from the classic SW sound (and the film in general to distance from the classic SW style), but its still a fun listen.

 

Jyn's theme is pretty solid and works pretty well throughout the score.

The Hope theme sounds kind of SW main title knock-offish at times but there are a few renditions that actually sound quite nice.

Guardians of the Whills theme is pretty cool and fits well with the characters.

I actually like the main Imperial theme, though I don't think it fits the tone of the film very well. Oddly enough an Imperial march imitation like this would have been a perfect addition to TFA for a general First Order theme (as the are of course an imitation of the Empire).

Krennic's theme on the other hand I think is very apt for the character. Both are quite catching too.

 

There seem to be a least a couple other motif/themes that I'm still processing out.

One would be what I would consider a "Death Star Plans" motif that you can hear at the beginning of "Star-Dust" and "The Master Switch." (which also sounds very John Barry to me)

Another one (and sort of the inverse) seems to be maybe a Dies Irae quote? At :40 in "Rebellions Are Built On Hope" and pretty sure there are other instances that I can't remember.

 

As for returning themes, oddly enough I thought there could have been far more. The lack of SW main theme was just fine (and its sole use, for

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 was fun). The Imperial march was used exactly the right amount. The Death Star motif got a couple plays which was a nice touch. The original Imperial theme also had some brief mentions, for which we should consider ourselves lucky, but, honestly, if Gia remembered it, he really should have just used it as the basis of the main Imperial theme and just worked off of that (I think its much more sinister than what he came up with at least, and the thematic continuity with ANH would have been great). The Force theme probably got a bit more play than it should have but whatever. However, and I will not forgive Gia for this, the Rebel fanfare was CRIMINALLY underused (not to mention I think at least a couple instances of it are missing from the soundtrack). 

 

The lack of the classic end credits fanfare on the OST is somewhat annoying. I know I don't have to hear it again, but the full listening experience isn't quite there when "Hope" ends with the swell and doesn't go into it. Guess I'll have to make an edit in the meantime. 

 

Also are we for certain the beginning and end of the credits are new recordings?

 

 

One of my favorite moments of the score and film. "Rogue One" at 1:41. Also just realized the perfectly placed Princess Leia's theme reference at 1:52.

 

Dies Irae quote is most likely a variation of Jyn's theme seeing as how it's essentially Dies Irae with minor modifications.

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http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/movies/Rogue-One-crashes-and-burns-with-its-own-self-importance.html?mobi=true

 

Gia's score get's mauled in this review near the end.

 

The film’s self-importance and absurd pretensions to epic status are most apparent in its insufferably bombastic – and very, very loud  – John Williamsesque score.

Drafted by experienced composer Michael Giacchino (Doctor Strange, Star Trek Beyond), the music uses famous passages from Williams’ sweeping Star Wars score. Here again, Rogue One overdoes it, cramming the grand orchestral score into every inch of the movie. The Zarathustra- and Valkyrie-size racket swells up during the most innocuous,  uneventful transitional sequences. A simple shot of a ship taking off becomes an occasion for over-the-top crescendos.

It’s an utterly mad and desperate misuse of music, as though the filmmakers felt they had to bully viewers into believing they were watching a masterpiece.

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The film was just not spotted very well, musically. 

 

I'm sure many will go on to blame critics for simply disliking "old-fashioned orchestral music", but keep in mind TFA got no such flack last year.

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24 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/movies/Rogue-One-crashes-and-burns-with-its-own-self-importance.html?mobi=true

 

Gia's score get's mauled in this review near the end.

 

The film’s self-importance and absurd pretensions to epic status are most apparent in its insufferably bombastic – and very, very loud  – John Williamsesque score.

Drafted by experienced composer Michael Giacchino (Doctor Strange, Star Trek Beyond), the music uses famous passages from Williams’ sweeping Star Wars score. Here again, Rogue One overdoes it, cramming the grand orchestral score into every inch of the movie. The Zarathustra- and Valkyrie-size racket swells up during the most innocuous,  uneventful transitional sequences. A simple shot of a ship taking off becomes an occasion for over-the-top crescendos.

It’s an utterly mad and desperate misuse of music, as though the filmmakers felt they had to bully viewers into believing they were watching a masterpiece.

This I can understand even though I disagree in parts. 

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1 hour ago, Daniel Clamp said:

"It’s an utterly mad and desperate misuse of music, as though the filmmakers felt they had to bully viewers into believing they were watching a masterpiece."

 

I think this is a self satisfied piece of critique and a gross exaggeration easily dismissed. Michael Giacchino simply over did it with the score, he tried too hard and any discipline he may have had beforehand quickly got lost in the haste to get finished on time. The director was, as it turned out, also under a lot of pressure to get it done asap. This score isn't smart enough to be a bully of anyone, that's ridiculous. 

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24 minutes ago, Quintus said:

 

I think this is a self satisfied piece of critique and a gross exaggeration easily dismissed. Michael Giacchino simply over did it with the score, he tried too hard and any discipline he may have had beforehand quickly got lost in the haste to get finished on time. The director was, as it turned out, also under a lot of pressure to get it done asap. This score isn't smart enough to be a bully of anyone, that's ridiculous. 

 

You didnt feel assaulted by the score's prominence is virtually every single scene? You didnt feel the need to shield yourself from it's constant and never ending presence throughout? You didnt recoil from it's tonal inconsistency?

 

Ok....

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Spoiler

The writing in the entire opening sequence was fantastic, I actually liked that Gia attempted to start small with his thematic ideas before building upon them -- usually he's not this subtle and just goes all-guns blazing from the get-go. Here, he was straining to develop his themes in a Williams-esque way. Oh yeah, and the music when Jyn's father dies and they all return to the ship was actually great I thought.

The latter was particularly enjoyable because it was actually followed by some bloody refreshing SILENCE in the scene afterwards. Seriously, the score is so obnoxiously omnipresent in the mix, at times you just want to scream for the brass section to tone it down for one cue. It's also maddening to think JW hasn't been treated this generously in a mix in decades.

 

The spotting was a huge failure in my eyes, because almost every scene feels overscored (the film needed at least 10 minutes less music). Clearly restraint was persona non grata on this one, which is a shame because the film was really crying out for some restraint in places, to make the endless action sequence of a third act more "earned" musically (and boy, does that third act go on and on and on and on -- seriously, my mum fell asleep it was so stretched out and convoluted).

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The start of 'Krennic's Aspirations,' from 0:00 - 0:22

 

 

Reminds me of the feeling of how Williams scored Anakin's tragic downfall.

 

3:30 - 

 

I can't remember if that moment right at the start of 'Krennic's Aspirations' had Vader in it. If it did, then it makes sense.

 

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2 hours ago, Blumenkohl said:

The problem with Giacchino's imperial theme is that it sounds...bumbling. 

 

Like LOL look at us oh we are such goofy evil villains! 

 

The Jabba the Hut Boom-boom of orchestration really ruins it. 

 

As I said before, it reminds me of the nazi material from The Last Crusade which has a much lighter tone than R1. That's why it sounds wrong to me.

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KK is absolutely correct on both accounts

 

The Oscar nominees will be 5 out of these 10 options

 

Justin Hurwitz - La La Land (is going to win)
Abel Korzeniowski - Nocturnal Animals

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - Patriots Day

Nicholas Britell - Moonlight

Dustin O'Halloran & Hauschka - Lion

Hans Zimmer & pals - Hidden Figures

Mica Levi - Jackie

Jeff Danna & Danna - Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Alexandre Desplat - Florence Foster Jenkins or The Light Between Oceans or American Pastoral

 

If any big budget picture gets in there, it would be Moana, The Jungle Book, or even The BFG before Rogue One

 

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23 minutes ago, Jay said:

Justin Hurwitz - La La Land (is going to win)
Abel Korzeniowski - Nocturnal Animals*

Nicholas Britell - Moonlight

Dustin O'Halloran & Hauschka - Lion

Mica Levi - Jackie

BFG - John Williams*

 

This will probably be the list of nominees, depending on whether or not they want to give Williams another courtesy nomination.

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do you mean "not get nominated"  instead of "got get nominated"?

 

 

Anyways, I don't think there's a chance BFG gets nominated this year, no.  The film bombed, it opened half a year ago, and Disney is not pushings its score on their website, choosing to push other scores instead.

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Plus the Oscars have been veering away from classicly orchestral noms and wins for years now.  Trent Reznor has a better chance of being nominated than Williams this year

 

Next year though, Williams could get a double-nom for Edgardo Mortara & Episode 8 (then lose to something most people here don't like)

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