Lost Soundtracks: Mark Isham’s Invincible mauled by 70’s Hard Rock

If you were among those who made Invincible the number one movie the last two weekends in a row, then you may have noticed, buried somewhere between the Jim Croce, Ted Nugent and Bachman Turner Overdrive, a subtle and moving score by Mark Isham. He has two main themes in the film. One is a powerful minor key piece of mood music with guitar that underscores a lot of the pensive moments in Invincible. The other is a slowly building orchestral work dominated by horns that plays during one of the Rocky homage sequences. In films like these, underscores are often buried in pop songs. And it’s even tougher with this one trudging through all the music I went out of my way to escape in the 1970s (sorry BTO fans). And now that the soundtrack album is out, you’d never know Isham had anything to do with it. Instead, the Invincible score is a 70’s rock anthology and the only mention of Isham is in the small print of acknowledgments. It’s hard enough getting good movie scores these days without having them disappear on the album like Paul Reubens’ acting career.
Here’s a few recent scores that weren’t buried:

The Illusionist by Philip Glass
Music From the Film the Illusionist
The minimalist pioneer makes a surprisingly moving, slightly atypical and almost period-piece exercise in turn of the century moods.

Battlestar Gallactica Season 2 by Bear McCreary
Season 2
An ambitious score for one of the best series on TV. McCreary mixes orchestra, world music elements and electronics in a score that’s high on mood and drama and short on cliche. No John Williams here. Listen for his Echoes interview on September 14.

Little Miss Sunshine by Mychael Danna and Devotchka
Little Miss Sunshine
This isn’t a film where you’d expect such a disarming score. Mychael Danna, a film veteran, teams up with a band called Devotchka for a score that mixes whimsy and pathos and a quirky charm.

Comment posted by
at 9/7/2006 5:47:44 PM

Enjoyed your reviews…I saw the Illusionist last weekend…Glass score almost put me to sleep but it got better
Isham score to THE BLABK DAHLIA came out this week
the website is actually my 3 day old blog.check it out
any feed back is welcome
Tom L.

Leave a Reply