Latest reviews of new albums:
The Interview / This Is The End
  • Composed by Henry Jackman
  • La-La Land Records / 2015 / 37m

The Interview: The film that nearly caused World War Three, it stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as a pair of tv presenters granted an interview with Kim Jong-un, then recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.  Henry Jackman’s grandiose score is a lot of fun, beginning with the ominous, brilliant processional “Kim Jong-un” – a straight-faced orchestral display of militaristic might.  Other highlights abound: “Operation Dung Beetle” is a great piece of suspenseful action; “East Meets West” a silly but amusing Korean song; “Guns N Girls” is a great combination of heavy metal and orchestra; “Skylark Discovers the Truth” is a lovely piano-solo variant on the theme from the first cue; “The Wrath of Kim” is a brilliant action cue.  In fact, every track – even the very short ones – have something to offer and this highly entertaining score is virtually as good as anything I’ve ever heard from Jackman.  In fact, there’s only one thing he’s ever done that’s better, in my books.  And that’s…

This Is The End: one year earlier, the same team was responsible for this extremely daft post-apocalyptic comedy, with various actors playing themselves and getting knocked off during the course of the film.  Jackman’s score is even briefer than The Interview (it takes up 14 minutes on this album) but is, amazingly, even more entertaining, with its grandiose orchestral/choral blend going into traditional Christopher Young horror music territory, the composer able to push things much further than you’d expect because it’s a comedy.  It’s essentially a short set of variations on the same idea, with only a couple of interludes into different territory, and that’s absolutely fine in a score of this length.  Great stuff.

Rating: **** | |

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  1. orion_mk3 (Reply) on Saturday 7 February, 2015 at 19:59

    I’m so glad we were able to see this; for a while it was off the release schedule and it seemed that Comrade Kim had succeeded in suppressing it!

  2. ANDRÉ - CAPE TOWN. (Reply) on Sunday 8 February, 2015 at 01:24

    What excites me about this album James, is the inclusion of ‘This is the End’. That film sees James Franco throwing a house-warming party for tinsel town’s young & privileged [the stars all play themselves] to show off his dazzling Hollywood Mansion. The orgiastic excesses are suddenly interrupted by the UNIVERSE ‘smiting’ Los Angeles in a grand, Apocalyptically, destructive maelstrom. And, a bunch of nice Jewish boys are now faced with a dilemma> are they worthy of any redemption after living secular & indulgent, hedonistic lifestyles? This comedy with philosophical overtones elicited, as you said, a JACKMAN score that includes a grandiose symphonic/choral finale that is stunning. ‘The Interview’ has just opened in Cape Town and I’m looking forward to hearing the score after your recommendation.