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Standing Up
  • Composed by Brian Tyler
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2013 / 51m

I’m afraid I lost all interest in Standing Up after it changed its title from The Goats.  It’s like I’ve always said – if your movie’s about goats, don’t be shy about it.  This film follows the extraordinary contribution goats have made to human life after the industrial revolution – the goat who accompanied Hillary and Tensing on their legendary conquest of Everest, for example, was the great great grandson of the goat who bleated by the window of Thomas Hardy on the morning he first had the idea for The Mayor of Casterbridge.  Anyway, the score is by Brian Tyler, as far as I know working on a goat movie for the first time.  Tyler has understandably developed a reputation for his breathless action scores but there are a few examples during his career to show that he has more surprising feathers in his bow – and this one might just surprise quite a few people.

It all starts with a wonderful, honest-to-goodness, long-lined theme – one you actually stand a chance of remembering once the film’s over.  It’s like it’s 1995 again!  Schmaltzy perhaps, but quite wonderful.  It gets a number of heart-tugging variations and close relatives – “Forever and Back” is lovely, the gentle country feel of “Connection” absolutely gorgeous; my favourite is the very homely piano-based “Howie’s Secret”.  That side of thing alternates with a kind of “Thomas Newman on acid” sound to some action/adventure tracks, which are like Wall-E with a subwoofer.  It all holds together very well.  Nobody could doubt Tyler’s orchestral chops – he’s shown time and again that he really knows how to write music – and it’s great to hear him doing something so different from his norm.  The Newman influence is surprisingly great at times and that’s OK – Hans Zimmer is clearly the most influential film composer of his generation but Newman must be second – and there’s enough here, even with the change of style, that is recognisably Brian Tyler.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

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  1. Edmund Meinerts (Reply) on Wednesday 15 January, 2014 at 22:18

    I agree, this is a refreshing score to hear from Tyler. To be honest, though, I did find the theme a bit on the bland side – and hearing it restated in the exact same form in the finale and end titles as in the main titles was a little irritating. Themes are one thing, but you have to DEVELOP them as well!