Tag Archive | Michael Giacchino

Super 8 – Review

All week I have been hearing people complain that Super 8 is too much like Goonies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and Jaws. I can see the similarities in style, but I don’t know why people are complaining, because the last time I checked those movies were fucking awesome and so is Super 8.

JJ Abrams writes and directs his third film and I’m glad it’s not another television adaptation, in fact, i am glad it’s not an adaptation at all. Of the ten movies I have seen this year, this is only the third that wasn’t a sequel or adaptation. Even though the style of Super 8 may feel rooted in the movies of Steven Spielberg’s heyday, the story is completely original. Besides, this movie is not made for the kids who grew up with Spielberg’s films, it’s made for kids who grew up with CG animated  dance numbers. By making this movie about kids, it challenges todays youth to go out an make their own adventures as opposed to sitting around and playing video games all day. This movie kind of acts like a propaganda film for future filmmakers. Obviously Spielberg’s films inspired JJ Abrams and I think that he wants to educate the youth of today about those great films of the past. What made those Spielberg movies so great was that did not just  cater to the kids or the adults. They were family films. You know, for the whole family.

If I were a parent, I would love to take my child to see Super 8, because if my kid liked it, it would open the door for me to introduce them to Close Encounters, ET and Jaws. The fact that this movie is based in 1979 is a brilliant move to get kids to get used to that era, so that anyone can get their kids to transition to some of those classics. I also like that by putting the movie in 1979 it takes the cell phones and video games out of the kids hands.

Other than all of that, I have to say that I really enjoyed the story as well. I thought that the movie was really fun, suspenseful, dramatic and thrilling! Not to mention that there was a lot of heart. It was a little ham-handed, but you have to remember that the main audience for this movie should be families and all members of the family should be able to understand the themes presented. Any of the themes that are a bit too much for the youngsters to understand will allow for some great in depth conversations on the ride home that the parents wont feel like idiots discussing, like can Chihuahuas really dance?

I thought all the performances from the kids were great, I liked that the grownups felt like real people, but i really loved the score by Michael Giacchino. I am fairly certain that he can do no wrong. I loved that his score has the same wonder and heart that John William’s scores had in those early Spielberg movies.

Super 8 is a great film and a wonderful love letter to the films of my youth.

★ ★ ★ ★½

Green Lantern Composer Wishlist *UPDATE*


In one year from today, The Green Lantern will hit the big screen. I am a life-long GL fan as well as a film music buff. I will be pretty happy with whoever the production gets to compose the picture, with the exception of one person.

Until they decide who will be giving Hal Jordan his theme, here is a list of composers who i would like to see take a crack at this cosmic adventure.

click the images to hear examples

John Powell

John Powell is fairly new on the scene. Some of his best known works have been for the Bourne trilogy as well as a bunch of cg family films for Dreamworks and FOX. He hasn’t really had a big action adventure score that would be on scale to Green Lantern, with the exception of X-Men The Last Stand, which is an absolutely brilliant score. I think his mix of orchestra with contemporary electronics could really make for some interesting sounds, especially with the off planet adventures.


David Arnold

David Arnold is probably best known for his work on the James Bond films from Tomorrow Never Dies through Quantum of Solace. He had worked with Green Lantern director Martin Campbell on the 007 film Casino Royale. David Arnold’s scores to Stargate, Godzilla, Last of the Dogmen and Independence Day all have a great epic feel that is required for such a big story like The Green Lantern. His strong themes would definitely be an asset to establishing the character of Hal Jordan.


James Newton Howard (RUMORED)

Nobody does classic sounding adventure like James Newton Howard. His recent score for King Kong was both adventurous and beautiful, which would be perfect for Green Lantern. It would be great to hear Howard pull out some grand adventure, while showing of the vulnerability of Hal Jordan taking the weight of the world on his shoulders. I think that Howard would do a great job of showing that Americana side to the Test Pilot lifestyle. It helps that James Newton Howard composed portions of the Dark Knight and Batman Begins, but i fear that WB would also invite Hans Zimmer to score the picture.


John Williams

It has been a while since John Williams has created a new theme for a franchise. I think that it is time for him to move past Harry Potter and create incredibly recognizable themes for Green Lantern. If Warner Brothers really wants to make Green Lantern a huge successful franchise they should consider getting this guy to take on the project. Williams is the personification of Americana. I think this story line would really allow Williams to get back into his roots of Jaws and Superman.


Michael Giacchino

There is nothing that Michael Giacchino can’t do. From his Barry-esque score to The Incredibles, to his adventurous spirit in LOST and Star Trek. I honestly can’t think of anyone else who can pull all facets of this film together like Giacchino. He will compose strong recognizable themes that is what this film needs to establish itself as a franchise.

The End

I cannot believe that it has only been three days since the finale of LOST had aired. It feels like a lifetime ago when Jack “let go” and was able to move on. For the last couple of days i have been doing a lot of thinking about the finale and the more i think about it, the more i loved it.

While i sat and watched the finale i was loving every minute of it. I loved the action, mythology and adventure. I loved every single reunion. But the whole time I had this suspicion that things were too good to be true and whatever was going to happen at the end was going to be tough to swallow. I was right.

The scene with Jack and his father was incredibly jarring, but I have thought about it and I have come to the realization that it was supposed to be. As a man of science, Jack had to take a leap of faith and accept that he was dead and had to move on. It was very challenging to Jack as it was me. If i were in his shoes i would have the same reaction, but i would have to accept the fact that i don’t make the rules. Even though i don’t believe in an afterlife, i have to accept that there is a greater power that i can’t control. In the world of LOST, the writers make the rules and it is up to the characters, as well as the audience to deal with it.

I am sure that it is tough for the audience to accept this outcome, but wether we agree with it or not, there is nothing we can do to change the fact that we are not in control of the show, or our own destiny. We all have hopes and dreams of what the future has in store for us, but we don’t have the ability to write it ourselves. We have to be content with what we have and who we have to share it with.

Leading up to the finale, people kept talking about “the answers”. Were we going to get all the answers? Can the producers give us all the answers? Much like life, we do not get the all the answers. We have to figure things out ourself , take what we have been given and use those to make our lives complete. Lost is a puzzle as is life. We may not get everything we want, but we can take what we are given and make the best of it. If Lost gave me every little answer all wrapped up in a tiny bow, it would insult my intelligence. There is a saying, “Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and i eat for a lifetime”. Why would i want Lost to give me all the answers? Lost has made me think for the last six seasons. It is my favorite show of all time and i didn’t want it to end. With this finale, it gave me the ability to think about it forever as opposed to telling me how this all ends. Lost is not over. It still lives on in my mind. I am still trying to piece together the puzzle. I find that the answers that i create for myself are much better than the answers that could have been told to me.

The end does not matter. We all wonder about death, but what Lost showed me is that it is not about waiting for the inevitable. It’s all about enjoying what little time you have on your own island and sharing that time with the ones you love.

The Best Night of My Life

A while back, Stevi and I were invited by Beth and Jorge to be their guests to The Lost Symphony at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus. The event was to celebrate the show LOST and the music of academy award winning composer Michael Giacchino. As you may know, i am a huge fan of film music, have been my whole life, but more importantly i have been a fan of Michael Giacchino since 1999’s Medal of Honor. The fact that this was a film score event as well as a LOST even, this was definitely two worlds that i admire greatly coming together for the most perfect night ever.

Me and Stevi met up with Justin and Kathy and headed to Royce Hall. When we showed up, we picked up our tickets as well as our VIP wristband (pictured above). As you can see, the ticket was a boarding pass and the wristband had the hieroglyphics from the Swan Station’s countdown clock. As soon as i got these items, i got incredibly excited. This was more than just a mere concert, this was in fact going to be a celebration.

As we walked into the hall I was immediately recognized by Jo Opinionated. Talk about awesome!! As we walked down to the front of the hall i noticed that some of the seats that were surrounding us had place cards on them. The place cards had the name and the photo the person who would be sitting in the seats. Directly behind me was the place card for Malcolm David Kelley, Daniel Roebuck and Daniel Dae Kim . Yes, that is correct, i had a closer seat than at least three of the cast members of LOST. The show was about to begin so i sat down. Unfortunately, my pants pocket got snagged on the arm of the chair and ripped the seam in my pants. DAMMIT. Oh well, my jacket covered it up.

So Damon and Carlton came out and introduced the cast members in attendance. It was a pretty crazy list: Daniel Dae Kim, Josh Holloway, Jorge Garcia, Michael Emerson, Henry Ian Cusick, Harold Perrineau, Nestor Corbonell, Ian Somerhalder, Malcolm David Kelley, Daniel Roebuck, William Mapother, Rebecca Mader, L. Scott Caldwell, Sonya Walger, Titus Welliver, Lance Reddick, Francois Chau, Kim DickensSterling Beaumon and Jeremy Davies.

After the cast left the stage, Damon and Carlton introduced Michael Giacchino and the performance started. I am so glad that Beth was kind enough to give me a tissue prior to the show, because i knew i was going to get misty-eyed at one point or another and i was right. The performance was beautiful and moving. In between cues, various cast members read messages from a bottle, from survivors of the island who’s stories had yet to be told.

The music was played over still images from the show’s 6 season run. Giacchino conducted the orchestra as they played many of the key themes from the show. One of my favorite pieces was the “Jacob Theme” played along side “Locke’s Theme”. It was a great piece! At the end of the show, they played “Parting Worlds“, with a montage of footage from the highs and lows of the LOST story all leading to the footage of Michael, Walt, Jin and Sawyer leaving the island on the raft. It was pretty moving.

After a long standing ovation, Giacchino came back out in a Dharma Initiative jumpsuit that said ‘Conductor’ on the back. He then performed his theme for the Academy Award winning score to Pixar’s “Up”. Of course I had to break out my tissue yet again.

The concert had concluded and even though it was already an incredible night, it was far from over. The producers came out and brought up some members of the production team, including writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (LOST, TRON: Legacy). Edward and Adam introduced the penultimate episode of the series, “What They Died For”, an episode that was premiered, in its entirety,  for the audience in attendance.

There is not much that i can say about the episode, other than the fact that it was chock full of LOST goodness! There are so many twists and turns, it made my head spin. This episode also had my favorite scene of the entire season. The scene was so badass and amazing, i could not wait to see what would happen next. When you watch it, you will know which scene i am talking about. The sounds system was loud, the audience reaction was amazing and the episode brought the house down!!

The night was already so amazing. I thought that I would never come down from cloud 9, but the funny thing is, the night was only half way over!

After the end of the episode, we all immediately stood up and were escorted into the back stage area. After we walked past the security employees, we walked out onto a rooftop patio and were greeted by a full bar and all the creative forces behind LOST. I felt like Charlie Bucket walking into the Chocolate Room in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I am sure my eyes were as big as saucers!

As a fan of the show, i felt like i didn’t deserve to be at this event. Everyone from Damon and Carlton to Brad Bird (d. The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) were in attendance, not to mention all of the cast members mentioned above. It was incredibly surreal.

My favorite encounter was meeting Edward Kitsis. I got his attention and waved him over to me. He obliged. I let him know that i was kicking myself big time for not wearing my 89 Forever pin. His eyes lit up! I told him about going to San Francisco for the day just to see the “Alan Bradley” speech. His eyes lit up again as he told me the story of being in a hotel room that night with Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan, going over his script for that event. Stevi was standing with me while we talked and i let Edward know that she was not a fan of the original. He did not take offense and told her that he hoped TRON Legacy wouldn’t make her as sleepy. It was so amazing!

I met so many cool people. I had such a blast hanging out with Justin, Kathy and Stevi the whole night. We were all geeking out pretty hard and the drinking only made it more difficult to hide our excitement.

I cannot thank Jorge and Beth enough for allowing us to be a part of such an amazing event! I will remember this night for the rest of my life!!


LOST Symphony

Over the last couple of days a lot of people have brought THIS to my attention:

LOST LIVE: The Final Celebration

Oscar® winning composer Michael Giacchino will conduct a live orchestral performance, featuring the iconic music of “LOST,” at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles, CA on Thursday, May 13, to celebrate the upcoming series finale. The concert will also feature appearances by LOST cast members, including Nestor Carbonell, Michael Emerson, and Jorge Garcia. In addition, a special preview of the penultimate episode will be screened immediately after the concert.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, April 23rd at 10 a.m. on uclalive.org and ticketmaster.com.

Click here for tickets and more information

I would like to thank everyone for sending this my way. I am excited to go to the event and if you happen to be there, send me a message and we can meet up and chat about LOST.

Top 10 Favorite Film Composers!

It dawned on me that i have not really posted anything about one of my main passions. Film Music! I have been a big fan of film music ever since i was about five years old, when my mom refused to allow me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark. I really wanted to see the movie based on the commercials and i would draw pictures of Indiana Jones fighting snakes with his whip. Of course it just looked like Indy fighting a bunch of whips with his snake. My mom felt bad that i couldn’t go see the movie, so she bought me the cassette tape of Raiders. Since then i have been listening to film scores! Over the last 27 years i have come to love a lot of composers. Here is my Top 10!

1. – Danny Elfman
2. – James Newton Howard
3. – Bernard Herrmann
4. – John Powell
5. – John Williams
6. – Michael Giacchino
7. – John Barry
8. – David Arnold
9. – Basil Poledouris
10.- Jerry Goldsmith

So there you have it!