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  • librarian_curseComposed by Joseph LoDuca
  • La-La Land Records LLLCD 1084 / 2009 / 56:48

Produced by Dean Devlin and directed by Jonathan frakes, Curse of the Judas Chalice is the third film in The Librarian series.  Like the previous two, the music is provided by Joseph LoDuca, and has been released by La-La Land Records.I haven’t seen any of them myself, but ER‘s Noah Wyle plays the librarian in question, who seems to be some sort of Indiana Jones type.  Musically, LoDuca is half-way between John Williams’s music for Indy and Jerry Goldsmith’s more cartoonish King Solomon’s Mines; though his main theme is (unsurprisingly) not in the same league as either of those.  It’s a little on the wrong side of the cheesy line (though if the show is a kind of parody, that would explain it) but harmless enough. 

Perhaps “harmless enough” is a good way of describing the score as a whole, in fact.  It’s good-natured, old-fashioned fun, but there isn’t much substance to it.  Track titles like “The Russians are Coming”, “Simone to the Rescue” and “Vlad is Back” tell you as much about the music as any words I could write.  It’s got some surprising bits of jazz, even a James Bond parody, and things play together reasonably well; unfortunately, when LoDuca really needs to come into his own (with the swashbuckling action music), it all sounds a bit thin.  The album’s best bit is LoDuca’s original song “Simone’s Song”, belted out with gusto by Stana Katic.  Overall, it doesn’t help that the liner notes lead one to expect a masterpiece (Devlin says the score has “exceeded all his previous masterpieces” and that LoDuca is “the best of the best”; Frakes says working with him was as rewarding as working with Jerry Goldsmith) – I’m sure the words are meant sincerely, but they’re not entirely helpful.  It would be churlish to be too critical of this bright, breezy, enthusiastic music; but it’s hard to imagine what circumstances might lead someone to pick this album off the shelf ahead of the Williams and Goldsmith scores which inspired it. ***

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  1. Alex Cope (Reply) on Thursday 22 October, 2009 at 15:44

    I watched half of this movie and found it awfully flat. It reminded me of a Sci-Fi Channel Original, trying so hard to seem like major Hollywood fare when there was obviously a modest budget. As for the score, it felt the same way – but at least there were actual themes at play, so I appreciated that. Jonathan Frakes has a cameo in the movie where he plays a trombone on a New Orleans street as Noah Wyle walks by, then gives this sly smile to the camera, and I remember thinking, “What are you smiling about? You’re not doing this score any favors!”