Varese Sarabande (302 066 208 2)
Release Date: 2000
Conducted by Pete Anthony
|2.||The Hostage Game||3:04|
|3.||Plane to Catch||1:18|
|4.||Alice Breaks Down||2:12|
|5.||Bullet in the Head||2:23|
|Total Album Time:||30:00|
|by Dan Goldwasser
on January 6th, 2001
This past winter contained a Danny Elfman double-header. He wrote scores to The Family Man and Proof of Life - both of which came out around the holidays. While The Family Guy was a more sentimental Christmas-themed family film, Proof of Life is a gritty drama about an oil engineer (David Morse) who is kidnapped and ransomed in South America. The engineer's wife (Meg Ryan), along with the help of a Kidnap and Ransom expert (Russell Crowe) try to get him back. The score used a lot of percussion and synth with brass accents to provide the right atmosphere and tension needed for the film.
Beginning with the tense "Main Title", we get a sense of Elfman's choices for rhythm and color for this score. This track features a lot of percussion, some South American flutes, and plenty of brass hits in the dissonant style that Elfman has been using lately. "The Hostage Game" contains a more somber Spanish guitar, and an underlying synth bass pattern coming and going - it's more of a moody atmospheric cue than anything. Finally with "Plane to Catch" and "Alice Breaks Down", we get more of the string-based emotional music that Elfman does so well. It's not that long before the percussion comes in, but these cues are more thematic and tender than the harsher action cues.
"Bullet in the Head" is one of those harsher action cues - lots of suspense and brass swells, always containing that underlying synth bass rhythm. Towards the end of the cue, the tender theme pops back in though, to add a much-needed dose of humanity. "The Miscarriage" is another emotionally grounded piece, with plenty of somber strings. The next three tracks, though, sum up the entire climax of the film. "Escape", "The Rescue" and "The Finale" are mostly hard-hitting action with plenty of dissonance and percussion combined with synth effects. Add to that the orchestra doing what Elfman did in parts of Mission: Impossible, and you have a great 12-minutes. The middle portion of "The Rescue" is truly a powerful moment in the score. Most of "The Finale" is denouement and resolution, and the score ends on a rather upbeat note.
Running a scant 30-minutes long, some people might be upset with the length of this album. However, I feel that for the type of score that this was, and given the material, it's just fine as it is. Unless you're a die-hard Elfman enthusiast, I don't think you need to necessarily rush out and buy this score. The Elfman scores to get will be coming out later in 2001, with Spy Kids and Planet of the Apes. I would wait until then.
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