Tuesday, 26 July 2016

ghostbusters soundtrack

i'm not going to explain what this movie is again, you can read my review or click here to read about why it's such a big deal. yes, i have dedicated three blog posts to this movie because it's that fucking important.

anyway, now you're all to to speed here's my review of the soundtrack.

theodore shapiro is a composer with an impressive list of credits. starting out with now legendary indie movies, like girlfight and wet hot american summer, he has moved on to score some of the biggest films of the last ten years, like tropic thunder, spy and zoolander 2. while he primarily composes for comedies he does have some more eclectic titles in his back-catalogue like trumbo (excellent film, btw) and jennifer's body. in many ways he's the perfect composer for a movie like ghostbusters with its mix of comedy, action and horror. it's a movie that needs a composer who can easily move between genres.

except shapiro doesn't really move between genres, and that's what makes this score so great. i love how serious the score is; how it really plays up the big epic moments and for the most part feels more like the score for a marvel movie than an action-comedy. listening to the score in isolation you would have no idea that this is the soundtrack to a comedy at all, and probably only a vague idea that there might be a horror element. what i love about this is that it's a choice. tonally, the film itself leans more towards the comedy side than the action or the horror, and yet shapiro excludes almost any hint that this is a comedy from the score. because to do so would undermine the story, and in turn would undermine the importance of this film. (read my two previous posts on this if you need to understand why it's important)

shapiro also does a nice job at incorporating the classic ghostbusters theme. in the film the original theme is played over the opening titles then faded out so quickly it's like they were almost embarrassed to embrace it. of course it returns later with a dubious, modernised cover version but it always feels a little box-ticking and forced. the way shapiro uses it is much more appropriate and he actually manages to make it sound kind of triumphant in tracks like 'battle of times square'. there are also some really standout tracks on the soundtrack, like 'behemoth' which has shades of verdi's requiem, and the suitably grand 'the fourth cataclysm'.

overall this is a bold, almost aggressively epic score that makes a very clear statement - this film needs to be taken seriously, which is perfect because that's exactly what the film is about.

the ghostbusters original motion picture score is available now digitally and on cd

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