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Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Album Cover Art
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, and Co-Produced by:

Co-Orchestrated and Conducted by:
James Shearman

Co-Orchestrated by:
Bruce Fowler

Co-Produced by:
Maggie Rodford

Performed by:
The Hollywood Studio Symphony
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Varèse Sarabande
(August 16th, 2011)
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Regular U.S. release, initially delayed by two weeks.
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Decorative Nonsense
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you were impressed by Patrick Doyle's adaptation of the standard techniques of modern American blockbuster film scores into his lyrical sensibilities for Thor and desire an even more ambitious blend of the two for this primal showdown.

Avoid it... if you remain a staunch enthusiast of Doyle's 1990's style and cannot appreciate the intricacies of his many layers of activity when they are blended with heaps of exotic instrumentation, synthetic tones, and aggressive ostinato rhythms.
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WRITTEN 8/5/11
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iTunes (11.99)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: (Patrick Doyle) Ever since the initial adaptation of Pierre Boulle's 1963 novel to the big screen in the classic Planet of the Apes of 1968, the concept has generated enough interest to lure studios into seeking scripts that further explore that universe. In 1972, the fourth of five films in the original franchise series, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, featured an origin story that told of how the apes were initially thrust into battle against humanity, and the 2011 reboot of the franchise, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, follows a similar basic plotline. A San Francisco Bay Area facility seeking a cure for Alzheimer's Disease injects the chimpanzees with a compound that radically increases their intelligence, making them not only equal to humans in mental capabilities but also consequently causing them to revolt against the slave-like conditions in which they have been kept. The leader of the apes, Caesar, is caught in between his affections for the human scientists sympathetic to his cause and the plight of his species, eventually attempting to lead the group of enhanced, escaped primates to a natural environment against the will of the military forces of the humans. No doubt the plan by 20th Century Fox is to follow Rise of the Planet of the Apes with a series of sequels that develops the same general timeline as the early 1970's films in the franchise, and early positive reactions to their initial reboot entry will likely spur efforts in that regard. There was, of course, another "re-imagining" of the franchise by Tim Burton in 2001, and for that occasion, Danny Elfman provided music that was as brutally percussive as anything in his career and certainly more aggressive than the music for the prior five films. For the 2011 movie, Scottish veteran Patrick Doyle was hired by the relatively novice British director Rupert Wyatt for the task of scoring the picture, a intriguing choice but one that did not generate as much controversy as it could have due to Doyle's handling of the blockbuster Thor earlier in the same summer. Doyle, despite his popular music for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, had never been known prior to 2011 as a major action genre composer, typically associated instead with Kenneth Branagh's Shakespearean adaptations and other dramatic productions outside of the Hollywood spotlight. For Thor, his action mode was forced to evolve more than the primates in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and that trend continues in the latter film, merging American stylistic norms with his own highly melodic sensibilities.

Doyle's forced adaptation of modern American rhythmic models of score writing has yielded one of the most interesting storylines of 2011 in the film music realm. While some Doyle purists suffered an allergic reaction to Thor because they perceived too many influences from the methods of Hans Zimmer and his Remote Control soundtrack production house, the score still maintains a strong identity within Doyle's own stylistic domain. In several of its basic characteristics, the score for Rise of the Planet of the Apes is even more informed by conventional methodology, but Doyle pushes back even harder within that genre by stubbornly refusing to relinquish his own recognizable mannerisms. In a casual listening experience, one might say that Rise of the Planet of the Apes has very little of Doyle's trademark sound, but careful appreciation of the score reveals that it is not only a strong contender within the field of American blockbuster scores of this time, but also one with Doyle's sonic fingerprints all over its structures. The instrumentation goes in the direction of Elfman's score for the concept but stops well short of its relentless depth and force. The exotic percussion and vocals in Rise of the Planet of the Apes are understandably African in origin, the former treated as just one section of the larger ensemble (in terms of emphasis in the mix) and the latter often relegated to rhythmic chanting in the bass region. Doyle augments that very active but treble-friendly percussion work with a few notable solo accents that really highlight his intelligent approach to this score. The use of an ostrich egg ocarina to represent Caesar's origins and echoes of motherly love is a genuinely unique tactic, its tone residing halfway between an ethnic woodwind and female vocal. A series of grunted ape noises and clanging metallic effects meant to resemble the rattling of cages (a.k.a. "Klingons at mealtime") are applied as frequent pace-setters, and their placement in the mix highlights their tones rather allowing them to fade beneath the ensemble. Tastefully applied electronics are treated as an equal participant in the ensemble as well, contributing to the science fiction aspect of the lab's environment. The Los Angeles orchestra is not that robust in physical size (it's too bad the London Symphony Orchestra didn't sink their teeth into this one, especially with some of the string runs discussed later in this review), but that lack of overwhelming power is compensated for by a solid forward mix and performances conducted in such a way as to solicit outstanding emphasis from especially the string section. Like Alexandre Desplat, Doyle also treats woodwinds as percussion instruments as times.

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Average: 3.43 Stars
***** 156 5 Stars
**** 171 4 Stars
*** 166 3 Stars
** 90 2 Stars
* 58 1 Stars
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Alternative review at
Southall - August 12, 2013, at 2:39 p.m.
1 comment  (511 views)
"Holy crap, it's awesome!" or "Music With Balls"   Expand >>
Richard Kleiner - February 10, 2012, at 11:05 p.m.
2 comments  (993 views)
Newest: February 19, 2012, at 9:31 PeterK
Doyle's gone Desplat-like   Expand >>
PeterK - September 18, 2011, at 6:56 p.m.
2 comments  (1176 views)
Newest: September 9, 2014, at 1:35 Edmund Meinerts
Can't wait for an unquestionably 5 star score from Doyle   Expand >>
Gashoe13 - August 10, 2011, at 10:15 p.m.
2 comments  (1188 views)
Newest: August 22, 2011, at 3:30 Edmund Meinerts
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes   Expand >>
Craig Richard Lysy - August 10, 2011, at 10:50 a.m.
3 comments  (1722 views)
Newest: August 26, 2011, at 11:30 A true filmscoring fan

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 61:05
• 1. The Beginning (2:48)
• 2. Bright Eyes Escapes (3:38)
• 3. Lofty Swing (1:36)
• 4. Stealing the 112 (1:52)
• 5. Muir Woods (1:20)
• 6. Off You Go (2:17)
• 7. Who Am I? (2:21)
• 8. Caesar Protects Charles (3:58)
• 9. The Primate Facility (2:45)
• 10. Dodge Hoses Caesar (1:40)
• 11. Rocket Attacks Caesar (1:24)
• 12. Visiting Time (2:17)
• 13. 'Caesing' the Knife (2:04)
• 14. Buck is Released (1:52)
• 15. Charles Slips Away (1:16)
• 16. Cookies (1:14)
• 17. Inhaling the Virus (2:45)
• 18. Caesar's Says No (4:23)
• 19. Gen-Sys Freedom (4:57)
• 20. Zoo Breakout (2:41)
• 21. Golden Gate Bridge (5:21)
• 22. The Apes Attack (2:10)
• 23. Caesar and Buck (1:58)
• 24. Caesar's Home (2:40)

Notes Icon
The insert includes a detailed note from Doyle about the score.
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or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Rise of the Planet of the Apes are Copyright © 2011, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/5/11 (and not updated significantly since).
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