Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

Take a Video Tour of the STAR TOURS Music with Michael Giacchino!

Greetings! ScoreKeeper here with a peek inside the scoring sessions for the new STAR TOURS motion simulator attraction currently opening at Tokyo Disneyland, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. Michael Giacchino arranged John Williams' music in some traditional and very non-traditional ways. Enjoy!

Thanks to for the heads up.


If you're on Twitter look me up...


Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • June 27, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST


    by lookylookymoontard

  • June 27, 2011, 3:55 p.m. CST

    2nd? Also I love Giacchino's star trek score

    by OandA

    Giacchino is awesome. even though his stuff is starting to sound like lost.

  • June 27, 2011, 3:56 p.m. CST

    not bad

    by Squinty CGI Flynn

    his score for Star Trek was fucking terrible but he's done great work for television and animated movies.

  • June 27, 2011, 4:07 p.m. CST


    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    Can't wait to experience this attraction!

  • June 27, 2011, 4:14 p.m. CST

    It seems the coolest thing to be Mike G.

    by Kamaji

    Think of it: You get to score for Disney AND Pixar, as well as JJ Abrams.

  • June 27, 2011, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Cool story, Scorekeeper! Cool clip!

    by The Reluctant Austinite

  • June 27, 2011, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Love Giacchino but the orchestra is too small here.

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

    Williams' incredible music unfortunately doesn't translate to smaller piece orchestras as well as other composers, and I think that's because when Williams conducts, he conducts a very large piece orchestra which causes the instruments to all mesh together so that it's very hard to target a individual instrument or specific sound. Sonically it is very powerful and emotional. Give Giacchino an 80 + piece orchestra and I think he could nearly replicate a Williams composition.

  • June 27, 2011, 4:29 p.m. CST

    I state this without malice or pleasure:

    by Tera Sanders

    I did a Google search for "Why are men so gay for Star Wars?" And guess what? I got zero results. Zero! The best that I can figure is: the only people who would be using the word gay in that fashion are the probably already Star Wars fans so they certainly wouldn't be asking why everyone is so gay for it. So maybe someone here can help me. I repeat: Why are men so gay for Star Wars?

  • June 27, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Notice that...

    by WeylandYutani

    They only used compositions based on the original trilogy? Other than Williams' Duel of the Fates track, I really think that Star Wars music works best as a series of leitmotifs that are instantly recognizable. There was far less of that in the prequel films.

  • June 27, 2011, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Star Wars is shit

    by Tommy Rye

    And I'm serious! It's true, and everybody on the planet agrees. Even Conan O Brien. He agrees with me all the time. Even on Tuesday afternoon of last week when we ran barefoot through the morning dew on the grass. Star Wars is more shit than Will Ferrell and Star Trek and that episode of Scrubs with Christopher Plummer.

  • June 27, 2011, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Giacchino should be Williams' successor.

    by Greg Lewis

    As much as I hate to think of it. Johnny Williams isn't going to be around forever. He's going to be 80 this year, I believe. Giacchino has proven himself up to the task of being Spielberg's new go-to guy when JW retires.

  • June 27, 2011, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Giacchino's Trek score should have been Green Lantern

    by Drath

    It was wonderful for something NEW, but Star Trek already had classic tunes that should have been more prominent in the new film. Green Lantern on the other hand needed a better theme. It could only have helped the film. James Newton Howard has become a lost cause for me, his scores are white noise. His best work for me is still Unbreakable. All of this just depresses me that John Williams seems to have retired and is probably not going to make many many more themes. The Harry Potter guys are assholes for not using his music more in the new movies--which have SHIT for movie scores BTW.

  • June 27, 2011, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Because that's a stupid fucking expression, terasanders

    by Mugato5150

    And apparently no one even on Google is lame enough to use such a dumbass expression.

  • June 27, 2011, 5:40 p.m. CST

    A guy named

    by Mel

  • June 27, 2011, 5:40 p.m. CST

    A guy named "supes3358" says Star Wars is shit

    by Mel

    Do I need to get into how retarded you are, Mr Hipster?

  • June 27, 2011, 5:48 p.m. CST

    this is awesome -

    by talby

    i really dig how he remixed/remashed the classic themes, just in the first few measures. go figure that disney already had him test out doing new space mountain themes - really good ones, if still oldbies miss the classic older que themes. (find and download 'em online!) i'm curious what portion of the que/ride has the "john mayer guitar" treatment - odd, but interesting update. gl's digital reconstructions of the originals notwithstanding... -this- is fun. i had some of "ANH" come on itunes awhile ago, and it had been ages since i'd listened to it bare like that - it was good, but somehow - "antiquated." i hate to use that word for it, but it was interesting how i felt reapproaching the music (checking back listings, it was "The Hologram/Binary Sunset" - about as classic as they come).

  • June 27, 2011, 6:05 p.m. CST

    I'm OK with a smaller orchestra

    by Nem_Wan

    Even though the London Symphony Orchestra did all the films, the soundtrack of the original Episode IV has many more intimate moments where you hear solos and duets. Williams got increasingly "epic" with each score, adding chorus and generally getting louder. Scaling back would be refreshing.

  • June 27, 2011, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Yeah go ahead spastic

    by Tommy Rye

    I'm entitled to my opinion and I beliee Star Wars is shit and I'm sure Mel Gibson would call you the c word.

  • June 27, 2011, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Yo Ho Ho!

    by Tommy Rye

    waa waa waa. Crybaby bitch! Cry!

  • June 27, 2011, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Giacchino has no voice as an artist in his own right.

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    I was initially a big fan and believer in the promise of Giacchino, but that ship has long sailed. "Lost" sounds like wannabe Thomas Newman mixed with Jerry Goldsmith's "Planet Of The Apes". "Incredibles" is John Barry. "M:I-3" is Lalo Schifrin (as was Alias). "Ratatouille" is Carl Stalling meets Henry Mancini by way of Georges Delerue. "Cloverfield" is Akira Ifukube. "Star Trek" is Goldsmith-lite. "Up" is straght-up plagiarism of Alberto Iglesias' "Sex & Lucia" for which Giacchino was rewarded with an Oscar! "Let Me In" was just totally inept, I guess Giacchino should have found another composer to copy for that one. "Super 8" is trying and failing at the wonderment of John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith's Amblin efforts. Now he's dowing Williams' warmed over for Disney's "Star Tours"?! I implore Andrew Stanton with all my being to go back to Thomas Newman for "John Carter (Of Mars)", while there's still time! Giacchino just doesn't have any originality. Thomas Newman would make a sci-fi epic the likes of which have never been heard before!

  • June 27, 2011, 7:45 p.m. CST


    by talby

    you have probably grown too old and need to watch the recent south park "cynicism" a few times in a row to try to get a point... grow old long enough, and you will see - and resent - the influences you grew up with in the younger ones. if you did enough musical archeology on john williams, and others of his era you like, you would find that many of =his= soundtracks are "completely dirivative/ripped-off" from holst and others - jfk, especially comes to mind; i cannot remember the composer's name, but one night listening to classical npr, i swore i was listening to the jfk soundtrack - but it turned out to be something 50-100 years ago. well, that's what i would say if you were "pro john williams" past the point of seeing reality reasonably. do you have a better list of modern composers to pay attention to?

  • June 27, 2011, 8:20 p.m. CST

    drath - You obviously didn't listen to Last Airbender

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    That was last year best score. My favorite James Newton Howard score is probably Wyatt Earp.

  • June 27, 2011, 8:55 p.m. CST

    talby - You bet I have a list of better modern composers!

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    Thomas Newman Ennio Morricone Hans Zimmer James Newton Howard JOHN WILLIAMS David Arnold John Debney Alan Silvestri Mark Mancina James Horner Edward Shearmur Bruce Broughton Cliff Eidelman Randy Newman Rachel Portman Trevor Jones Marco Beltrami Graeme Revell Elliot Goldenthal Danny Elfman Randy Edelman Howard Shore Carter Burwell John Powell Mark Isham Michael Nyman Harry Gregson-Williams Pino Donaggio Ryuichi Sakamoto Javier Navarerette Dario Marianelli Alexandre Desplat Stephen Warbeck Tan Dun Mychael Danna Patrick Doyle Shigeru Umebayashi Bruno Coulais Roque Baños Nick Cave & Warren Ellis Trevor Morris Geoff Zanelli Brian Tyler John Ottman Christopher Young Clint Mansell Cliff Martinez John Murphy Marcelo Zarvos Eric Serra Barrington Pheloung Johnny Greenwood Aaron Zigman Andrea Guerra Atticus Ross Tomandandy Craig Armstrong Steve Jablonski Klaus Badelt Nick Glennie-Smith Trevor Rabin Mark Mothersbaugh Bear McCreary Guy Farely David Newman Blake Neely How's that for a primer?

  • June 27, 2011, 9:08 p.m. CST

    talby - Holst and Wagner are pretty much the foundation

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    for film music composition. EVERYONE steals from them. But what I'm saying is Giacchino has no voice of his own at all, even his sort of signature minimalist piano thing wishes with all its might it was Thomas Newman! Say what you will of Horner or Zimmer, but they have a very discernable style, they've devolpes there own little motifs that distiguish them. Giacchino doesn't even attempt to set himself apart or innovate, whereas all the other composers I listed have there own niches from which they do innovate. Maybe Giacchino will start picking it up on the creative side and make a fool out of me. That'd be quite fine, I welcome being proved wrong. I really want to believe again, I do.

  • June 27, 2011, 9:08 p.m. CST

    that's great!

    by talby

    i've got a lot on your list, =and= i like mg's stuff. sorry if that's beneath you. i am reticent to admit liking randy newman too, but only like his non-vocal/lyrical tunes. his use of orchestration is great on the early pixar catalog. clint i am a fan of, but find that friends find him in the "phillip glass" category and not too friendly for regular play. some people debate danny elfman's status, in a lot the same way you question mg. listen to some of the sprightlier glenn gould stuff - you'll hear a helluva lot of danny elfman. otherwise i find it amazing that you are so offended that conhugeco disney would choose to use and stick with mg. he's got the pace and talent for a lot of modern entertainment.

  • June 27, 2011, 9:53 p.m. CST


    by Nasty In The Pasty

    FUCK YES!!!

  • June 27, 2011, 9:55 p.m. CST

    James Horner (!) is better than Giacchino?

    by Laserbrain

    Somebody be trollin'...

  • June 27, 2011, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Giacchino has a VERY distinctive style

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    I remember a few years ago watching a movie over a friend's house when there was this low synth "boom" thing on the soundtrack, and someone behind me whispered "Lost...!", to which I chuckled and did my best impersonation of the show's tradmark sliding trombone "WaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!", which got a round of laughs from everyone. The Lost music is ICONIC.

  • June 27, 2011, 10:14 p.m. CST

    talby - I'm not offended at Disney's choice nor do I find MG beneath me.

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    I'm simply stating that I'm disappointed with the trajectory he's chosen to take his career down. Because I did initially have such high hopes for him. I still regard him as a major talent in search of an authentic voice, that's all.

  • June 27, 2011, 10:29 p.m. CST

    composedlaserbrain - Horner has at least 20 absolute classics.

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    Braveheart, Glory, Apollo 13, Legends Of The Fall, Sneakers, A Beautiful Mind, Field Of Dreams, Wrath Of Khan, The Rocketeer, 48 Hours, Commando, Cocoon, Willow, The Land Before Time, Patriot Games, The Spitfire Grill, The Mask Of Zorro, Courage Under Fire, Titanic, Aliens, Avatar, The New World, Apocalypto... Those movies "sound" like James Horner! Giacchino has done what... one... Maybe "Lost"? Horner is absolutely more accomplished than Giacchino. And yes I'm well aware of Horner's penchant for borrowing and self cannibalisation, but he's still a major talent and has done some unquestionably great work and has developed his own unique signature music phrases. I find it very telling that all the promotion for Super 8 was hung around Horners score for Cocoon rather than Giacchino's uninspired original score.

  • Not Giacchino.

  • June 27, 2011, 10:33 p.m. CST

    nasty in the pasty - The score for up came out 8 years before the movie.

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    It's called Sex & Lucia by Alberto Iglesias. Here, check it out for yourself: (remove spaces if needed)

  • June 27, 2011, 10:41 p.m. CST

    talby - God, Randy Newman has some some truely great work

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    Check out The Natural, Pleasantville, Maverick, Awakenings, Ragtime, Avalon, Seabiscuit, James And The Giant Peach, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 1, 2 & 3. And the guys an absolute genius songwriter and lyricist.

  • June 27, 2011, 10:49 p.m. CST

    I furthermore have it on good authority that Giacchino uses additional composers

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    but unlike Hans Zimmer, whom is constantly actively being a true mentor to his guys and giving them credit so they can recieve residuals and parlay their work into a solo career, Giacchino quietly neglects to give any additional credits. The guy actually uses ghost writers!

  • June 27, 2011, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Listen to Medal of Honor, Underground, Frontline, and Airborne

    by Ben_Richards_Bomb_Collar

    Then go kick yourself in the ass for saying Giacchino doesn't have his own sound. The only bad thing about Giacchino is that one of his earliest works (the original Medal of Honor) is probably his best and will be hard to outdo.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Lost is NOT derivative of Goldsmith nor Newman!

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

    Admittedly I haven't heard much of the POTA soundtrack but if I remember correctly it used a lot of horns. I fail to see how the Lost soundtrack -- which is easily the best television soundtrack I've ever heard -- rips off from that just because of a certain predilection towards brass. Newman? I don't see that one at all. I agree however with your assessment of Wyatt Earp as a terrific soundtrack, and one of JNH's best. I also think Signs is brilliant as well. Some of those composers you mentioned... Hans Zimmer? He may have a "voice" but it's a very overbearing and unoriginal one for the most part. Thankfully the makers of Batman were smart enough to throw in JNH so we didn't get a percussion heavy soundtrack without any leitmotifs. I'm a fan of James Horner but he's a huge self-plagiarist. Some of his themes seem so alike that they're only a few notes apart from each other. His best stuff was in the 80's to mid 90's, in my opinion.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:41 a.m. CST

    James Horner

    by The Bear

    You're all right that James Horner constantly steals from himself. My favorite James Horner "thief" moment is the nearly two whole uninterrupted MINUTES that he takes, note-for-note from "Star Trek II" -- and puts at the end of "Cocoon." You can even hear it on the soundtracks. Amazing balls to take that much music and use it over again in a completely different movie, note-for-note!! I guess, since both movies are Paramount, he didn't feel like anyone would sue.

  • June 28, 2011, 1:22 a.m. CST

    So if Giacchino can take over the torch for John Williams

    by HapaPapa72

    Or at least carry it a little bit....can't some director forcibly take the reins from George Lucas and give us all new prequels AND Episode 7,8, and 9(recast if you have to!)...?

  • June 28, 2011, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Giacchino scores make me cry

    by PvtTOUCH

    I'm not ashamed to admit that. When someone died on lost (Charlie drowning for example) that shit was fucking sad man. Or when captain kirk's dad died in star trek and it transitions to the rousing title card. That was awesome stuff. Even speed racer when he's crossing the finish line at the end I was high as fuck and I still cried. My point is- whether you think he's ripping off other composers or honoring the greats that influenced him, Giacchino does a fantastic job of musically conveying the emotion portrayed on screen.

  • June 28, 2011, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Also, Hans Zimmer, who i like, phoned it in on POTC4

    by PvtTOUCH

    That score was NOT better than any of giacchino's stuff.

  • June 28, 2011, 2:34 a.m. CST

    John Williams is rolling in his grave

    by Gorgomel

  • June 28, 2011, 2:35 a.m. CST

    what will happen to the original Star Tour?

    by Gorgomel

    I enjoy the old show so much. I don't want it to be replaced with some GCI shit fest like in the prequels

  • June 28, 2011, 3:40 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Right on, those composers on your list are all superior to Giacchino, nice job!

  • June 28, 2011, 3:46 a.m. CST

    How is Giacchino the heir to Williams??

    by kwisatzhaderach

    The moment Giacchino writes anything as memorable or beautiful as the Star Wars main theme, the Yoda theme, the Imperial March, the Luke and Leia theme, the Superman main title, the Raiders March, the E.T. theme, the Parade of the Slave Children from Temple of Doom, the Empire of the Sun theme and the entire score to Hook then give me a call. Not to mention Schindler's List, A.I., Jurassic Park, JFK etc etc etc.

  • June 28, 2011, 3:48 a.m. CST

    sierratangofoxtrotuniform is right

    by kwisatzhaderach

    The orchestra is way too small, so Giacchino's efforts come across as shallow and nowhere near 'epic' enough. A bit like JJ Abram's films.

  • June 28, 2011, 4:19 a.m. CST


    by jerseycajun

    Don't know if this applies, but sometimes having a style seems to make the composer sound like an echo chamber in which he's the only one making sound. I appreciate Giacchino for his versatility, and unpredictability. Say what you will for his influences, the end results stay with the audience after the movie is over. I compare it to a highly skilled chef who knows how to make established classical dishes from all over the world only reinterpreted and repurposed. He's young, and there's plenty of time for him to create his own version of a 'signature dish'. It doesn't take away from what he's accomplished so far, much of which I already own and listen to frequently. I checked your link regarding the "Up" score, but as far as I can discern, the only notable similarity is in a single four-note sequence, after which, the two pieces diverge significantly. If this is the standard for plagiarism, then the standards must have become much looser since the last time I checked. Play them back to back there's no confusing which is which. The Star Trek score sounds nothing like Goldsmith. It's far more bombastic and the tone it sets is equally separable from Goldsmith. I'm not familiar with all of the citations you make towards his "Ratatouille", but all art ends up being new combinations of pre-existing work in some way shape or form, and pulling them together in ways that feel natural is an art unto itself. I know almost nobody saw it, but his Land of the Lost work is also well done.

  • June 28, 2011, 8:09 a.m. CST


    by sapno_krei

  • June 28, 2011, 8:14 a.m. CST

    MG's score to LOST...

    by sapno_krei

    ...features enough great memorable themes to make a soundtrack geek cry. And it's just a TV show! I hope Giacchino gets a movie trilogy of his own to really flex his muscles on. Star Trek? The Avengers?

  • His score for LET ME IN was also good. He can be good and original sounding, depending on the material in question. But that's probably true for any talented music score composer who is in demand and has to come up with original musical cues for several projects.

  • June 28, 2011, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Horner owns this guy.

    by UltraTron

    Commando score. The analogue loop on commando had to be strung around the entire studio through soundstages and the cafeteria. That shit only gets done by a young upstart. This guy reeks of playing it safe.

  • But Horner never stole from the Gayane Ballet Suite (2001) for ALIENS? Williams never pilfered Ligeti or Alban Berg for his action and suspense sequences? Roque Banos never lifted Bernard Hermann wholesale for The Machinist? If "originality" is your first prerequisite for greatness then you may as well shove those guys down the bottom of the list beneath Zimmer and Eric Serra too.

  • June 28, 2011, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Star Tours 2 Review....

    by Jobacca

    The music is indeed awesome,and thats a good thing because the line was never less than 75 minutes long. The pre-show queue is not as changed as I expected,although the new droids were funny-they should have added a few more. The actual ride itself was awesome...somehow they even made pod-racing look cool. My only complaint was its way too short-75 minutes in line for a 4 and 1/2 minute ride? Boo on that shit. Also,despite the 57 different variations,I got the same shit except for once I went to Hoth and once I went to Tatooine-although I did get to see the Yoda and Leia holograms,which were both cool.

  • June 28, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Roque Banos - check him out

    by SmokingRobot

    Spanish composer, did an AMAZING score for 'The Machinist'. It's my single all time favorite soundtrack.

  • June 28, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST

    sierratangofoxtrotuniform - Lost IS derivative of Goldsmith & Newman!

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    First off I really like Giacchino's work on "Lost" a lot. I do think it's the most original he's been and the thing that made me take genuine favor of him. "Lost" will likely be Giacchino's lasting lagacy. Deservedly so. It's my personal favorite television score as well, but still I must admit even as much as I love that music, just like all of Giacchino's film work, it's strongly reminiscent of other composer's work. First, the minimalist piano thing: Lost - Win One For The Reaper [] Lost - Locke'd Out Again [] Lost - Life And Death [] Lost - Parting Words [] reminiscent of Thomas Newman: The Horse Whisper - There Was Snow (Opening) [] Meet Joe Black - Death and Taxes [] Road To Perdition - The Farm [] Road To Perdition - Road to Perdition [] ...or Alan Silvestri Forrest Gump - They're Sending Me to Vietnam [] Forrest Gump - The Wedding Guest [] Contact - Really Confused Contact - I Believe Her [] Contact - End Credits [] could probably find some Randy Edelman & Howard Shore in that as well. A lot of the percussion and strings...: Lost - World's Worst Beach Party [] Lost - Run Away! Run Away! [] Lost - Getting Ethan [] Lost - Monsters Are Such Innnteresting People [] ...are straight out of the playbook from Jerry Goldsmith's avant garde score for Planet Of The Apes: POTA - Searchers [] POTA - The Hunt [] POTA - No Escape [] POTA - Trial As far as Hans Zimmer goes, he can't help it that his style has saturated everthing. He is a constant innovator. Every modern popular composer has stolen from Zimmer, even John Williams (Revenge Of The Sith stole from Thin Red Line)! If Zimmer is derivitive of anyone it's that he builds a theme layer by layer like Ennio Morricone and his electronic forebearers are Harold Faltermyer and Vangelis. But Hans Zimmer has created THE sound the has permeated modern film composition and although his clones and proteges have have varying degrees of success, Zimmer has always pushed himself into new territory. I think the guy's a genius. Everybody knows Zimmer is the boss on Batman, JNH will admit this quite freely. All the memorable themes in Nolan's Batman are written by Hans, that's just a fact. Agreed, Horner has slipped since his heyday. No doubt about it.

  • June 28, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST

    pvttouch - Agreed Pirates 4 score was as inspired as the film itself.

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    Which is to say it wasn't. Not at all.

  • June 28, 2011, 1:29 p.m. CST

    jerseycajun - My point isn't even that Giacchino is a theif.

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    It's just that he doesn't have a distinguishable voice as an artist. Many would refer to that as being a hack. I just want him to stop choosing to play in the style of another composer. Stop playing it so safe, push himself, experiment, dare to be audacious. Because that's were glory lay. Fortune favors the bold.

  • June 28, 2011, 1:41 p.m. CST

    laserbrain - I concede your point, I'm just tired of Giacchino being lauded

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    as the heir apparent and the second coming. I'm tired of him getting so many high profile project that other composers would be better suited for. He has not earned that kind of level of respect and admiration. Not thus far. There are so many better composers than him who don't get his chances, it really makes me frustrated to hear Giacchino squander it. Evertime I see he's scoring a movie now, I dread its tepid unoriginality. I want John Carter Of Mars to sound like nothing I've ever heard. I want it to just go crazy with ambition! Giacchino is too scared to point to the stands and just let it fly. Thatr's not to say I don't see potential and talent in Giacchino, but ultimately I smell fear.

  • June 28, 2011, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Giacchino definitely has a voice as an artist

    by smackfu

    I can always tell when I'm watching something he's scored. He has the same gift as Williams, Zimmer and Goldsmith - the ability to consistently create simple, memorable themes that stick with you. Randy Newman does not have this gift. He's a go-to guy if you want a standard sappy score, or a buddy song for a cartoon, but he doesn't have the same power as others to really drive a scene, to the point where it wouldn't be the same scene without him. Right now I can hum themes by Williams, Zimmer, Goldsmith and Giacchino. I can't say the same for Newman. All I can come up with are those bubbly piano songs. Giacchino deserves props for holding his own with that company, as well as being able to come up with a brand new, powerful Star Trek theme that feels right at home alongside Goldsmith's. In my opinion he belongs right beside John Williams, because they've both achieved something similar with Star Wars and Lost, respectively - they elevated the source material to a whole new level. You can often say someone wrote a great theme, or score, but you can't often say 'this show/movie literally owes a large portion of it's success to the composer'.

  • June 28, 2011, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Lay. The. Chop. Down.


    Too many novices talking about composers, music, soundtracks and the like, and not having enough knowledge about the damn subject to make a compelling argument. Must not get involved..............

  • June 28, 2011, 2:53 p.m. CST

    And genteel, you say Giacchino isn't bold...

    by smackfu

    The guy scored an intense space battle scene with a heart-wrenching love theme. Between that and Ben Burtt's willingness to forgo the standard 'pew pew boom boom sounds, and even cut to the silence of space amidst the battle, it was a very bold and memorable scene.

  • June 28, 2011, 2:53 p.m. CST

    what happened to the great composers?

    by Billy_D_Williams

    Where is the next Williams/Goldsmith/Kamen/Eflman? I haven't heard a really amazing distinctive score since the 90s. Everything today is just layer upon layer of recycled, generic symphony pop.

  • June 28, 2011, 4:39 p.m. CST

    smackfu - I can hum The Natural and Pleasantville easily.

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    If Giacchino wants me to be in awe of him then he beter damn well earn it, that's all. JJ Abrams is a bit of a composer in his own right and he's the one resposible for devising the mood of that space battel. But I'll give Giacchino credit, that was cool. And indeed if Giacchino does have a discernable style, that is it. He should do more of that type of thing and less aping other's style. I think his Trek score is kind of slieght compared to the grandeur of Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Leonard Rosenman and Cliff Eidelman (his "Undiscovered Country" is my personal favorite Trek score). I mean Giacchino's Trek score is good, I like it, I'd say it's better than Rosenthal's "Voyage Home". But the majesty of what had been established already in that series looms large and cast a long shadow that renders Giacchino's effort a bit minor by comparison. But I do like his music, I'm just not blown away by it. The funny thing is, Giacchino is known for being able to mimic other composer's style yet he failed miserably in my estimation to do so on the one project that really required it - the Amblin-esque throwback tribute "Super 8". That had none of the John Williams/Jerry Goldsmith magic that defined those late 70's-early 80's Amblin films. Once again, "Super 8" is not terrible, but it ought to have been better. I think the only scores that Giacchino did that actually did the film itself no favors was "Let Me In" and "Land Of The Lost". But nothing could save "Land Of The Lost" so I'm not going to put the blame for that on Giacchino. Those scores may sound quite good on their own but they don't compliment the picture properly. That, along with some shoddy CG, is the major inferiority that "Let Me In" has against "Let The Right One In". The difference is Johan Söderqvist understood how to play the mood of that story and Giacchino (who admits to have never been a fan of the genre) didn't. Giacchino's score is actively a detrimental liablity to the quality of that movie. And that's the meloncholy truth. Too many people here have their mouth agape over this guy, while other better composers go on in obscurity. I just want the hyperbole over Giacchino to calm down. Mine is not a sentiment of hatred but merely exhausted frustration, bafflement, disappoinment and dissolution.

  • June 28, 2011, 4:49 p.m. CST

    billy_d_williams - Unfortunately they're being overshadowed by Giacchino.

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    He's taking up all their potential jobs. Partially because Giacchino gets undue worship by the same culture that feeds this website. I'd like guys like Randy Edelman, Edward Shearmur, Elliot Goldenthal, Bruce Broughton, Cliff Eidelman, Mark Mancina, David Arnold, John Debney, Bruno Coulias, Trevor Jones, Rachel Portman, Javier Navarrete, John Frizzell, Graeme Revell, Marco Beltrami, and Douglas Pipes to get some of the bones being tossed Michael Giacchino's way.

  • June 28, 2011, 5:27 p.m. CST


    by jerseycajun

    What you're saying would have more weight if what Giacchino was producing was mediocre or horrible to listen to, but it isn't. It's like getting to eat really great traditional ethnic foods from all over the world. Been done before? Yeah, but you can make up for that in quality, and his music does that, at least for me it does, and I'm still a fan of Williams earlier work as well as several others on your list. Giacchino's music exudes enthusiasm, excitement, love and respect for the styles he's working in, and he's always been careful to match the style to the film he's scoring to. Maybe he's only making the equivalent of cheeseburgers, fries, tacos, and gyros but he's making a version of those worthy of being served at four-star restaurants, and to dismiss that achievement, I think is a disservice to the work. I appreciate ambition, but I appreciate quality before that.

  • June 28, 2011, 5:47 p.m. CST

    And the reason I believe he is able to get the work he does get...

    by jerseycajun

    is directly attributable to the versatility in being able to respond to the needs of a wide variety of types of films.

  • June 28, 2011, 6:21 p.m. CST

    jerseycajun - You're not wrong.

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    The problem I have is him being treated like he's the only girl in the world. It's not like I don't think there's a place for him, there definately is. I just don't think that place is at the head of the table. I don't dismiss Giacchino's talent, just the overwhelming hyperbole that follows him. Now, once again I have to take exception with "Let Me In". That music did not capture the style and mood needed for that story. The music for that film should evoke a strong since of alienation, loneliness, meloncholy and underlying dread and should evolve into a morose apprehensive tenderness. It should feel primal yet introverted. There is no place for jump scare tactics in that story. Long drawn out atmospheric notes and silences ought to have been paramount. Something much more along the lines of what you'd get from a Howard Shore, Elliot Goldenthal, Michael Nyman, John Murphy, Clint Mansell or Tomandandy. Giacchino's score was tonally wrong and ultimately a disservice to that picture. I'm actually a moderate Giacchino enthusiast. But lately I've become disseffected with the contrast between his output and his public acclaim. I'm by no means an iconoclast, but I've gotta call 'em like I see 'em. I'm kinda tired of talking about this now, it's been a joy but at this point I'm pretty sure I've explained my position ad nauseum.

  • June 28, 2011, 6:46 p.m. CST

    I understand what you're saying, genteel,

    by jerseycajun

    I guess I just don't see the point of getting upset. He is where he is because he appeals to fans of film scores in large numbers. We agree he's capable, we only disagree on how well-deserved the attention is, and that's not in either of our hands. It's like complaining about the weather. Nothing you can do about it, so as long as it's not actively trying to kill you at the moment, it's all good. Likewise, as long as the guy getting attention isn't obscenely horrible, it's not worth more than a shrug over.

  • June 28, 2011, 6:47 p.m. CST

    And on 'Let Me In'

    by jerseycajun

    I must confess I haven't seen it or sampled the score. One of the few of his I have missed.

  • June 29, 2011, 1:02 a.m. CST

    'Let Me In' is actually kinda great save for MG attempting to ruin it.

    by The_Genteel_Gentile

    And instead of just shooting real prople doing real things there's some unnecessary cg super vampire effects in a vain attempt to distance it from "Let The Right One In" a little I guess. Subtract those two faults away and we'd be looking at a minor masterpiece though. It's still worth a gander (with the sound turned off). But only way you'll understand is to watch and listen to the movie, the score album unto itself sounds perfectly fine. It's the clash when married to the picture that makes it a failure. I've shrugged plenty but at some point I want to shake people and plead with them to stop the insanity because it contributing to movies being less than they could be. His fan base is getting him more jobs than the actual caliber of his work would dictate. I'm not a snob but I am a serious film lover and a serious film score connoisseur. I selfishly want things to be great, and I want to see other artist get a chance at showing their greatness. But it becomes nearly impossible when half of all the projects that require grand music are being hogged by Michael Giacchino, to only serviceable results.

  • June 30, 2011, 2:25 a.m. CST

    I want everything I see to be great too...

    by jerseycajun

    I just find Giacchino to be great in a different way, like that four-star hamburger I mentioned. I can't begrudge that. Besides, I think film-makers assign their composers on their own tastes. I don't think fans have very much impact on that side of it. Frankly, there are greater tragedies in film production that can be mourned over, like Shayamalan's utter dismembering of a story with truly epic potential with "Airbender" last year. Now THAT's an example of something that's truly been squandered.

  • Until he can compose a memorable, hummable theme, he's no John Williams