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Mercury Rising
(1998)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Varèse Sarabande
(April 21st, 1998)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... only if you are well aware of John Barry's tendency to write stagnant, romantically pleasant music for nearly all of his 90's scores, regardless of its inappropriateness for the individual films.

Avoid it... if you expect either suspense music as varied as that heard in Barry's The Specialist, or any of Carter Burwell's replacement action music.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #830
WRITTEN 4/24/98, REVISED 7/22/07
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Barry
Barry
Mercury Rising: (John Barry) Among a large group of failed thrillers released in the first half of 1998, Mercury Rising is a conspiracy film supported only by its own unique premise. To test its best new encryption codes, a shadowy American communications agency (NSA) places a crossword puzzle featuring the code in a magazine aimed at geeks and, to their surprise, the code is broken by a young autistic boy. The government, in its infinite gratitude, dispatches assassins to eliminate the boy and his family. Right on cue, FBI agent Bruce Willis shows up to save the boy and lead him on a predictable and somewhat boring chase through the rest of the film. Paper thin character development is in order, with Mercury Rising existing really to show Willis playing the kind of underdog character that suited him best in the 1990's. The production was not a success, and one of the elements of the film that sent the producers and studio into a panic was John Barry's score. By the late 1990's, Barry's career was finishing on a distinctly sour note. With his music failing to adapt and flourish in new assignments (and a sense that he was simply repeating the same tired style of his 80's scores for whatever reason), Barry was suffering from a much slower demand for his services than just five years prior. Many of his scores in the late 1990's would be questioned or rejected by his employers, leaving one of the era's most popular and prolific composers with no remaining future. Mercury Rising would be one of Barry's final scores, and parts of it were, not surprisingly, rejected. As post-production of the film reached a close, the studio hired Carter Burwell to ghostwrite six action cues where Barry's music had failed to muster any energy. Being a Barry fan in his youth, the experience was difficult for Burwell, though he made a concerted effort to write music that used some of the standard instrumentation and rhythmic devices that have defined Barry's career, thus easing the overall flow of the music in the film. The studio had made it clear, however, that if Burwell turned the offer down, they were determined to seek out another composer to replace Barry.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
538 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.86 Stars
***** 81 5 Stars
**** 88 4 Stars
*** 142 3 Stars
** 129 2 Stars
* 98 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Mercury Rising Score
Paul H - November 9, 2012, at 11:31 a.m.
1 comment  (675 views)
Alternative review
Joep - September 1, 2006, at 3:01 a.m.
1 comment  (1802 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 34:07
• 1. The Story Begins... (3:01)
• 2. Simon's Theme (3:07)
• 3. The Puzzle (1:34)
• 4. Barrell Kills Parent (1:59)
• 5. Looking for Simon (2:20)
• 6. Meeting with Kudrow (3:39)
• 7. The Train Search - Art & Simon (3:09)
• 8. Simon is Going Home (1:56)
• 9. Rooftop Arrival (2:07)
• 10. Simon on the Edge - Death of Kudrow (3:33)
• 11. I'm a Friend of Simon's (2:08)
• 12. The Story Ends... (5:12)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes no extra information about the score or film. An online clip of one cue from the Burwell score has been long posted on the website of one of the orchestrators for the replacement material.
Copyright © 1998-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Mercury Rising are Copyright © 1998, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 4/24/98 and last updated 7/22/07.
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