Author Archives: Film Music Central

About Film Music Central

I'm a 29 year old graduate student and I've had a lifelong obsession with film music, cartoon music, just about any kind of music!

My Thoughts On: Attack on Titan (season 2)

*note: fairly major spoilers follow for season 2 of Attack on Titan

attack-on-titan-231741jpg

Considering how good the first season of Attack on Titan was, it blew my mind when I discovered that the second season was even better. While season 2 is only half the length with 12 episodes, it certainly doesn’t lack for drama.

Season two picks up where season one left off and focuses almost exclusively on a mysterious Titan incursion inside Wall Rose (the second of three walls keeping humanity safe). In the process of putting down this incursion, some mind-boggling truths are uncovered about the nature of Titans. Even more shockingly, multiple humans are revealed to be hiding Titan forms. The biggest shock of all is that the attack on Shiganshina, which set the entire plot of the series into motion, was orchestrated by two Scouts who have been friends with Eren for several years! This revelation comes out of nowhere and completely cemented my love for this series (like many, I enjoy an excellent plot twist).

attack-on-titan-season-2-at-90349-pm-220655-1280x0

Additionally, the massive Beast Titan is introduced to the story and quite honestly he looks terrifying. Unlike the other Titans we’ve seen up until this point, the Beast Titan (befitting his name), has the appearance of an ape. What’s more, he can talk like a regular person and can command regular Titans (with terrifying effect). Speaking of Titans, there’s a bit of focus on Eren learning to control his own Titan abilities, including several false starts when his attempts to summon his Titan form don’t work. But above all else in season 2, I have to praise the final battle against the Armored Titan, the Colossal Titan and a third Titan whose introduction was so well done I don’t want to spoil it (but it completely shocked me). This fight sequence builds on all the Titan battles we’ve seen up until now and raises the intensity by 100. The action, combined with the music, makes the entire sequence riveting. You can feel the raw emotion as Mikasa engages the Titans, swearing to kill them for what they’ve done. You can also feel the pain as some characters are forced to make extremely difficult decisions. There’s also an epic Titan moment that calls back to the very first episode of the series.

As I said at the beginning, season two of Attack on Titan is even better than the first. I highly recommend this series for anyone who enjoys anime. The first half of season 3 is currently streaming on Hulu (sub only), with the second half expected to arrive later this month. Let me know what you think of season two of Attack on Titan in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts On: Attack on Titan (season 1)

Film/TV Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Advertisements

My Thoughts On: Attack on Titan (season 1)

*note: some spoilers for Attack on Titan follow

maxresdefault

I first tried to watch Attack on Titan several years ago and I admit I was initially not into the series at all. The unnatural appearance of the Titans freaked me out so much that after the third or fourth episode (I don’t remember which), I put the series away and proceeded to ignore it. The concept of humanity being hemmed in on all sides by bloodthirsty giants really scared me, it’s almost like a zombie apocalypse only the zombies are giants. Fast forward to this year and I decided to give the series another shot and I am so glad I did. Attack on Titan is an amazing series that is admittedly full of violence but also contains a lot of intrigue and plot twists that keep you guessing as to what is really going on.

The initial premise of Attack on Titan is that over 100 years ago, humanity was overwhelmed by the sudden emergence of the Titans, a strange race of giants that love to eat humans. The surviving humans sequestered themselves behind a series of walls and maintained an uneasy status quo until a Colossal Titan breaks through the first wall at the beginning of the series, setting the story into motion. The story follows Eren Yeager as he sets out on his journey in life after the first Titan attack destroys life as he knows it. Apart from Eren, my favorite character is Mikasa Ackerman, I really love watching her fly around the battlefield, a graceful but deadly figure. Another important character (and one I somewhat identify with) is Armin, who initially seems like the last person who should be fighting Titans, but he cares for his friends so much that he does what he can do protect them.

Attack-on-Titan.jpg

One of the strengths of the first season is its stunning animation. The fight sequences between the soldiers and the Titans are just beautiful. Even though characters are literally flying across the screen, there’s no issue in following the action. The Titans, particularly the Colossal Titan, the Armored Titan, and the Female Titan are animated in spectacular detail. Unlike the regular Titans, these special Titans are better proportioned and look more realistic (relatively speaking). One of the biggest twists in this season involves the nature of these special Titans. The revelation that some humans can transform into Titans, in my opinion, completely sets the story on its head. It was initially established that Titans were a completely separate race, but if some humans can become Titans…how do you know who the “enemy” is? It’s a complex question and it leads you to go back over the entire season and re-evaluate everything you think you know.

Another detail I ended up liking about this season is that nobody is safe. You can spend several episodes getting to know a character only to find out they were killed during a battle with a Titan or worse, eaten. Some series suffer because a certain set of characters are protected by “plot armor” meaning they’ll never be in real danger because the story can’t go on without them, but that is definitely not the case with this story. One detail that still bothers me is the graphic nature of some of these deaths. You see and hear a lot of grisly stuff, blood, screams of pain, it can be a little overwhelming at times.

By the end of season 1, I was completely hooked on the series. I’m glad I gave Attack on Titan another chance and I highly recommend it. Attack on Titan is currently available on Hulu and Netflix. Let me know what you think about the series in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts On: Attack on Titan (season 2)

Film/TV Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Soundtrack Review: Krypton (season 1)

Krypton Cover

The soundtrack for season 1 of Krypton is now available, having been released on March 8th to coincide with the season 2 premiere. The LP will release on Red/Orange Galaxy vinyl on April 13th for Record Store Day. The album features one of the hottest developing talents within the composing world for TV, Film and Games, Pinar Toprak (Captain Marvel, Justice League).

Toprak’s music for Syfy’s Superman prequel, Krypton, follows her score on the Fortnite video game; the most widely played new game in 2018. An average of 8.3 million people were playing Fortnite concurrently in November alone. After her incredible contributions of additional music to DC’s Justice League, Pinar Toprak was chosen to compose the highly anticipated Marvel movie, Captain Marvel. The first female composer to score a major comic book movie, Toprak continues to prove herself as majestic as the superheroes her music exalts.

The score itself is beautiful and I highly recommend picking it up. Toprak balances a line between science-fiction edginess and orchestral heights. More and more often television series have scores that are equal to film scores and this shows here in the score for Krypton. I particularly liked the tracks “Seeing Kandor for the First Time” and “Welcome to the Fortress.”

Centuries before Truth, Justice and the American Way, the grandfather of Superman, Seg-El, must redeem his family’s honor in DC and SyFy hit television series KRYPTON. With a cosmic evil reaching through time to destroy the House of El before the rise of its heroic scion, can the forbearer of steel prevent the destruction of much more than just his family or is more than just the planet doomed. KRYPTON is executive produced by David S. Goyer (MAN OF STEEL, BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE and THE DARK KNIGHT trilogy).

Track listing:

1. Seeing Kandor For The First Time (00:50)
2. The Death Of Val El (1:34)
3. Bar Fight (2:41)
4. Welcome To The Fortress (2:18)
5. Your Grandson’s Cape (3:41)
6. Brainiac’s Peeking Through Rhom (2:26)
7. Kem Sweet Talks Ona (1:35)
8. Street People (1:15)
9. Seg Escapes (1:23)
10. Ona Says A Prayer (2:48)
11. Seg In The Wastelands (00:39)
12. Lyta Meditates* (1:13)
13. A Test Of Sibling* (2:12)
14. Let The Trial Begin* (4:34)
15. Meant To Save Superman (00:44)
16. Jayna Shoots The Voice (1:43)
17. Dev Awakes (00:45)
18. Sigil Means Hope (1:45)
19. Bye Bye Brainiac* (7:43)

Let me know what you think of Krypton (and it’s soundtrack) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Brian Tyler scoring Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

1-8

Based on the bestselling novel by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians was one of the best romantic comedy films of 2018. The film follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick Young to attend his best friend’s wedding and discovers Nick comes from an immensely wealthy family. The score for this film was composed by Brian Tyler to accompany a soundtrack full of songs that mostly speak about money (which is a major theme of the movie).

This behind-the-scenes video shows Brian Tyler in the midst of a scoring session for the film. As I’ve said many times, it’s always fun to watch the composer at work, and Tyler is a particular favorite to watch, as you can always tell he’s completely into his work. The pieces covered in this video are “Text Ting Swing” and “Love Theme from Crazy Rich Asians.” I enjoyed listening to both of them, they each feature Brian Tyler’s signature flair and actually made me want to listen to more of the soundtrack.

I hope you enjoyed this brief, behind-the-scenes look at the scoring of Crazy Rich Asians. Let me know what you think about it in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Brian Tyler “Alien vs. Predator: Requiem” scoring session (2007)

Brian Tyler scoring Partition (2007)

Brian Tyler talks War (2007)

Brian Tyler talks Rambo (2008)

Brian Tyler “Law Abiding Citizen” scoring sessions (2009)

Brian Tyler “Dragonball Evolution” scoring session (2009)

Brian Tyler talks The Expendables (2010) 

Brian Tyler talks Fast Five (2011)

Brian Tyler “Battle: Los Angeles” (2011) scoring session

Brian Tyler scoring session for Iron Man 3 (2013)

Brian Tyler “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014) scoring session

Brian Tyler conducting and scoring Now You See Me 2 (2016)

Brian Tyler “Power Rangers” scoring session (2017)

Brian Tyler conducts The Mummy (2017)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Dumbo “Pink Elephants on Parade” (1941)

dumbo-pink-elephants-1108x0-c-default.jpg

“Pink Elephants on Parade” might possibly be one of the most psychedelic and mind-twisting pieces of animation that early Disney ever produced. The song comes after Dumbo has been forced to become a circus clown and is still deeply depressed over being separated from his mother. The well-meaning Timothy Q. Mouse takes Dumbo to get a drink of water to help him feel better, not realizing that a bottle of champagne has been added to the watering trough. As a result, both Dumbo and Timothy quickly become intoxicated (remember, this is 1941, different time, different standards) and begin seeing things, particularly strange pink elephants that quickly take over the screen. The song “Pink Elephants On Parade” comments on how unnatural it is to see pink elephants and what a disturbing sight it is. The song’s purpose is to 1) lighten the mood after all of the terrible things that have happened to Dumbo and 2) transition the story to the eventual discovery that Dumbo can fly.

Look out! Look out!
Pink elephants on parade.
Here they come!
Hippety hoppety.

They’re here, and there.
Pink elephants ev’rywhere!

Look out! Look out!
They’re walking around the bed.
On their head!
Clippety cloppety.

Arrayed in braid.
Pink elephants on parade!

What’ll I do? What’ll I do?
What an unusual view!

I could stand the sight of worms
And look at microscopic germs
But technicolor pachyderms
Is really too much for me!

I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things
are quaint
But seeing things you know that ain’t
Can certainly give you an awful fright!
What a sight!

Chase ’em away!
Chase ’em away!
I’m afraid need your aid
Pink elephants on parade!

Hey hey hey

Pink elephants!
Pink elephants!
Pink elephants….

Once the elephants take over, Dumbo and Timothy disappear from the song and are not seen again until the elephants fade away. Until then, the screen is full of multi-colored elephants twisting and turning into different shapes. I know some people have commented on finding this scene scary or even a little disturbing, but I don’t personally remember being scared, if anything I thought it was funny. That being said, the song does contain some very surreal animation; for example a snake becomes an elephant dancer, which transforms into a ball, which becomes a floating eye (definitely not something you see every day). Also, if some of the footage looks familiar, it’s because part of it was recycled for “Heffalumps and Woozles” from Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968).

Let me know what you think about “Pink Elephants on Parade” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Dumbo “Look Out For Mr. Stork” (1941)

Dumbo “Song of the Roustabouts” (1941)

Dumbo “When I See an Elephant Fly” (1941)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Dumbo “Look Out For Mr. Stork” (1941)

hqdefault.jpg

The original Dumbo film was released in 1941 and followed the adventures of the titular baby elephant, who for some reason was born with enormous ears. The story begins the night before the circus is due to leave for the next town, but before the train leaves the storks arrive to deliver a plethora of babies to all of the circus animals. This is the scene for “Look Out For Mr. Stork.” The premise of this song is that the stork delivers babies to everyone, rich or poor, whether you want it or not (that’s actually a little disturbing if you think about it, imagine if these baby animals were sent to parents that didn’t want them!)

Look out for Mr. Stork
That persevering chap
He’ll come along and drop
A bundle in your lap
You may be poor or rich
It doesn’t matter which
Millionaires, they get theirs
Like the butcher and the baker
So look out for Mr. Stork
And let me tell you, friend
Don’t try to get away
He’ll find you in the end
He’ll spot you out in China or he’ll fly to County Cork
So you better look out for Mr. Stork

Look out for Mr. Stork
He’s got you on his list
And when he comes around
It’s useless to resist
Remember those quintuplets and the woman in the shoe
Maybe he’s got his eye on you

Well, almost all of the circus animals receive babies. While newborn babies are sent to their parents left and right, Mrs. Jumbo, one of the elephants, doesn’t receive a baby that she is clearly expecting (not to worry, he arrives the next morning, that particular stork was running late). However, knowing in hindsight that Mrs. Jumbo will get her baby doesn’t change the fact that seeing her be disappointed again and again is very heartbreaking to watch. This is yet another example of how good early Disney was with incorporating some really sad material into their animated films.

Despite the sadness of Mrs. Jumbo, it is fun to watch all the baby animals arrive. One of my favorite moments is when the litter of tiger cubs come crawling out and wake up their mother. Though, as a child, part of me always wondered what the circus staff would make of all the babies the next day.

Let me know what you think about “Look Out For Mr. Stork” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Dumbo “Song of the Roustabouts” (1941)

Dumbo “Pink Elephants on Parade” (1941)

Dumbo “When I See an Elephant Fly” (1941)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Brother Bear “Great Spirits” (2003)

Great_Spirits.png

Brother Bear is another example of a Disney animated film that has slowly but surely been forgotten. The 44th animated feature produced by Disney, Brother Bear was one of the last traditionally animated films produced by the company until The Princess and the Frog (2009), as the company was transitioning to computer animated features during this time. Like Tarzan (1999), Brother Bear features a Phil Collins musical soundtrack.

Set at the end of the last Ice Age, Brother Bear follows three Inuit brothers, Sitka, Denahi, and Kenai as they go about their lives in their village. The film particularly focuses on Kenai, who is receiving his totem that he must fulfill in order to become a man. While Sitka receives the eagle of guidance, and Denahi the wolf of wisdom, Kenai receives the bear of love (much to his embarrassment) and ends up going on a long journey to learn the meaning of his totem.

The story begins with “Great Spirits,”  a song that feels very similar to “Steady As the Beating Drum” in Pocahontas. The lyrics, like many Disney songs, contain the lesson that Kenai will have to learn, that “we are all the same, brothers to each other.”

When the earth was young
And the air was sweet
And the mountains kissed the sky
In the far beyond, with its many paths
Man and nature lived side by side

In this wilderness of danger and beauty
Lived three brothers, bonded by love
Their hearts full of joy
They ask now for guidance
Reaching out to the skies up above

Great Spirits of all who lived before
Take our hands and lead us
Fill our hearts and souls with all you know
Show us that in your eyes
We are all the same
Brothers to each other
In this world we remain truly brothers all the same

Give us wisdom to pass to each other
Give us strength so we understand
That the things we do
The choices we make
Give direction to all life’s plan

To look in wonder at all we’ve been given
In a world that’s not always as it seems
Every corner we turn
Only leads to another
A journey ends
But another begins

Great Spirits of all who lived before
Take our hands and lead us
Fill our hearts and souls with all you know
Show us that in your eyes
We are all the same
Brothers to each other
In this world we remain truly brothers all the same

The post-Ice Age world is beautifully animated, with gorgeous landscapes and subtle reminders that this isn’t quite the world we’re familiar with (views of the receding glaciers, Kenai riding a mammoth). It’s a shame this film doesn’t get more attention because it really is beautiful and “Great Spirits” is a wonderful song.

Let me know what you think about “Great Spirits” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook