TV Show "24" Original Musical Score CD

Composed by: Sean Callery

In 2001, 24 hit television screens and became quite the success, spawning seven further seasons detailing the badass yet unlucky career of CTU (counter-terrorist unit) agent Jack Bauer. Its real-time format within a 24-hour period helped create a suspenseful, surprise-laden experience, although after the first season the show gradually lost focus of the real-time aspect in favor of drama (imagine dealing with a stack of terrorist schemes and action scenes uninterrupted in just one day). The music by Sean Callery is an electronics and synthesizer-laden score that, despite its TV budget, contributed greatly to the suspense of the show and has some outstanding moments. It even garnered Callery several Emmy awards.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been many albums for the music of 24, for while it’s not a thematic powerhouse like Lost or Battlestar Galactica, the music is up there in TV scores and has its own set of themes and motifs, unlike many other spy/military shows. Thus the albums miss a lot of highlights for those who love the show and pay attention to its music. These compilations also don’t reveal the many themes and motifs as most that manage to get on album appear only as one-offs. However, they are good listens and the absence of vast highlights won’t bother those who aren’t big fans. The first album here collects highlights from the first three seasons, clocking in at less than an hour and heavily focusing on the first season, which is a little frustrating for me personally as a fan as I know that there were great moments in the next two seasons that would have been great to feature. Continue reading

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Randy Edelman, Anthony Pleeth, UK Chinese Music Ensemble, Frank ...

Composed by: Randy Edelman

The Mummy series was revisited by a new director, Rob Cohen, with serious changes. To spice things up the setting was shifted to late 40s China. The mummy is not an ancient Egyptian priest this time, but the Dragon Emperor himself played by Jet Li. It’s not a good film, somehow unable to balance its ridiculousness with charm like the first two entries. Jet Li is wasted (his character usually appears as a CGI model), a lot of the action scenes lack oomph, and the recasting of Evy’s character with another actress is distracting. The composer this time around was Randy Edelman. Would he fall short of his predecessors like other aspects of the film? His score does fall short of Goldsmith and Silvestri, but not as badly as the other elements of the film. One issue is that as usual his music is fleshed out with synthesizers, which clashes with the the other, more old-fashioned orchestral scores in the series.  That said, the music is still good, just not as off-the-wall great. Continue reading

The Mummy Returns

Composed by: Alan Silvestri

The Mummy proved to be a big hit, and a sequel was quickly rushed out. The first film was by no means a masterpiece, but it had a certain kind of magic that its successor lacks. It took more time setting up the story while the sequel quickly starts bombarding the viewer with action set pieces and a complex series of mystical items and revelations. The Mummy Returns sees Imhotep come back to life again, this time with a full complement of side villains to help out. One of the selling points was Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s first movie role. The pro wrestler since proved himself as a charismatic film star, but his first outing consisted of a flashback sequence and a ridiculously goofy CGI appearance as the monstrous Scorpion King (the CGI in this film is seriously horrible). Jerry Goldsmith was still alive at this point, but after his dislike of the first movie did not return. Alan Silvestri came in with his own entertaining take. Which composer did it better? Continue reading

The Mummy

The Mummy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Composed by: Jerry Goldsmith

In 1999 Universal Studios produced a remake of one of its horror monster classics. However, this Mummy is far from a horror flick. It’s instead a loud action-adventure film and the CGI is too poor to really induce any fear (though a couple scenes with the scarabs are definitely icky). While it strays from its creepier roots, The Mummy is rousing good fun and one of my favorite movies. Not sharing my opinion is Jerry Goldsmith, who loathed it. Thankfully, being the professional he was, he put his all into it and delivered a fantastic score. Continue reading