Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Short Music Review...

Transformers: The Score

Composer: Steve Jablonsky

Track listing:

1. Autobots
2. Decepticons
3. The AllSpark
4. Deciphering The Signal
5. Frenzy
6. Optimus
7. Bumblebee
8. Soccent Attack
9. Sam At The Lake
10. Scorponok
11. Cybertron
12. Arrival To Earth
13. Whitwicky
14. Downtown Battle
15. Sector 7
16. Bumblebee Captured
17. You're A Soldier Now
18. Sam On The Roof
19. Optimus Vs. Megatron
20. No Sacrifice, No Victory

I recently purchased the instrumental soundtrack to the recent live action Transformers movie and decided to share my thoughts.

In case you don't keep up with this stuff, there are two TF soundtracks to the recent movie. The first one (with a side shot of Optimus' face on it) is full of pop songs that are in the movie/inspired by the movie. This is the other one with strictly instrumental music on it (and it came out more recently too).

The tracks don't seem to follow any real order from the movie but that doesn't really impact the sound of the music. In short, the music is grand and orchestral. It befits an epic storyline full of action and excitement.

And yet... the music doesn't really stand out in my mind. It's not bad by any means--certainly, it's sufficient for any modern action epic. But it doesn't capture my imagination the way some soundtracks of the past have. The original TF movie soundtrack by Vin Dicola is far more distinctive as are soundtracks like James Horner's beautiful Star Trek scores, John William's Star Wars music and Chris Franke's Babylon 5 compositions.

All and all, a good effort. Not outstanding but still a solid release and worth checking out if you like instrumental soundtracks.

Friday, November 16, 2007

TF Comic Review...

Transformers Spotlight

Writer: Stuart Moore
Artist: Robby Musso

(covers by Guido Guidi and Robby Musso)

Synopsis: Ramjet is flying along on Earth when Skywarp shows up and the two talk. Ramjet tells him of his great scheme to take out Megatron and replace him as Decepticon Leader. Skywarp seems casually interested but warns him of the old Cybertronian saying; "Always bet on the Leader." Ramjet continues with his schemes (parallel to the Escalation storyline). He contacts a human facsimile he's created and asks if he got the missile launcher codes he ordered him to get. Later, he has his mini-constructicons make him a "Universal Cybertronic tracker". He goes back and gets the missile codes from his human facsimile and outlines his plans to overthrow Earth's society, develop an Energon substitute and take control of the planet and the Decepticons. Before he can act further, Megatron shows up behind him and beats on him while Ramjet heroically fights back by talking about how smart he is. Megatron defeats him (possibly ripping out his spark). Epilogue: Skywarp muses how no matter how great your plans are, how simple or complex, always bet on the Leader...

Comments: An interesting story that's a one-off with no real effect on the main direction of the story (unless Furman decides to incorporate it somehow later on). Ramjet's plans go nowhere ultimately but it was a good tale for what it was and this story expands upon Ramjet as a character, making him more then just a brute that likes to ram stuff in his plane mode. The story was written by Stuart Moore, who did the recent New Avengers/TF crossover for Marvel (I didn't read it). I liked Ramjet's distinctive head design a lot--it made his generic robot mode more interesting (his jet mode is identical to his old toy form. No modern changes). I found a typo in the story, when Ramjet thinks he can track "...the Autobots" anywhere but its supposed to say "...Autobots and Decepticons" because the sentence makes no sense as it appears (he's referring to watching where Megatron and Prime/the Autobots are). I liked most of the art except for the final page and Megatron's stupid looking smile, for no apparent reason (it adds an air of cheapness to an otherwise good story). I also wonder about the logic of allowing a "Universal Cybertronic tracker" in this continuity. A device that can track any TF anywhere in the Galaxy is too powerful and shouldn't exist because it's very existence makes the story susceptible to characters being able to use apparently casual technology to find any other character at any time in the story and makes for potentially lazy writing. Finally, I got the Guido cover because it was the only one the shop had (which is unusual. That store usually has plenty of both). For once, one of Guido's covers was not too impressive and the good cover (by Russo) wasn't available to me. I wish they'd just go to one cover period and be done with it.