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The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D
Co-Composed by:
Robert Rodriguez
Graeme Revell
John Debney

Produced by:
Robert Townson

Varèse Sarabande

Release Date:
June 28th, 2005

Also See:
Sin City
Spy Kids 3-D
Spy Kids 2
Spy Kids

Audio Clips:
9. Train of Thought (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

16. Lavagirl's Sacrifice (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

20. Unplugged (0:28):
WMA (188K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

21. The Day Dreamer (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Regular U.S. release.


The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D
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Sales Rank: 276343

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Buy it... if you can wade through all the juvenile and underdeveloped music by Robert Rodriguez and Graeme Revell to get to several strong and occasionally beautiful interpretations of that same music by John Debney.

Avoid it... if ten minutes of that impressive Debney material isn't worth the mass of continuing disappointment coming from Rodriguez's themes and Revell's equally poor rendering of those themes.

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D: (Robert Rodriguez/Graeme Revell/John Debney) Director Robert Rodriguez has an important decision to make about his career. Is he going to continue producing gripping, mature pictures such as El Mariachi and Sin City? Or is he going to let his apparent fetish for video game-inspired kiddie adventures with wannabe rock star pre-teens destroy his career? These Spy Kids types of films really are becoming a borderline form of fetish for Rodriguez, and his methodology of producing them often results in an awkward situation regarding the music for the pictures. To label it plainly: Rodriguez is an equal-opportunity employer when it comes to his scores. It is easy to accept the premise that Rodriguez prefers to write the primary themes for his films but does not have the time or expertise to flesh them out to the levels necessary for the finished product. There's nothing wrong with getting some assistance for the score-writing duties, and Rodriguez proved with Sin City that the process can actually work to a film's benefit. Some critics have argued that the director's musical abilities are severely lacking, although that would be too simplistic and unfair an argument against Rodriguez. His themes are simplistic, true, but so are most themes that are badly rendered, and it is that rendering problem that plagues much of Rodriguez's music. But then there's Once a Time in Mexico, a more daring and far more authentic score written by Rodriguez alone. So at best, the entire situation is a soupy mess, compounded by Rodriguez's insistence in committee scoring that has included even Danny Elfman and Harry Gregson-Williams. Rodriguez's best move came when he garnered the support of John Debney for his second Spy Kids score; since then, it has been Debney's contributions to all of these Rodriguez films and scores that have easily overshadowed the music by other contributors.

The score for The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D has received a universal trashing from nearly every reputable soundtrack reviewer, and it's easy to understand why. The whole endeavor seems juvenile. There's no point. Reading Rodriguez's comments about each successive project becomes an even more head-scratching event. This time, there are film producer's daughters writing music for the film and Rodriguez's own personal theme for his son contained in other portions. At some point, you have to draw a line and recognize that "having fun" sometimes produces nothing more than a mess. And we won't even go into the technical issues involving the 3-D elements in the film. As for the score specifically, Rodriguez's themes for the two fantasy heroes are extremely simplistic and suffer from the kind of synthetic renderings that you would expect to hear from the furthermost amateur corners of experimentation with a sampler on an iMac. Rodriguez's material isn't horrible, but it is cliche, tired, and in desperate need of some instrumental depth. After the success of Sin City, Rodriguez brings in the ultimate "sport fun" buddy-pals to help him with certain sequences. Graeme Revell, the master of industrial sound design, employs his synthesizer to provide slightly beefed up versions of the same underdeveloped themes that Rodriguez introduced. Revell's job in providing action music for Mr. Electric is surprisingly lackluster, and he even seems to have expanded Rodriguez's theme for his own piano meanderings in The Fog later in the year. The least surprising part of this score is that you know immediately --without a doubt-- when John Debney's contribution starts. From the opening blast of rhythm in "Train of Thought," you're reminded that Debney's talents dwarf that of Rodriguez (understandably) and Revell (maybe he just isn't putting any real effort into these Rodriguez scores?).

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Debney's variant on Rodriguez's themes are amazingly different in their superior rendering, with a (still synthetic) instrumental depth sadly lacking in the rest of the score. The opening of "Train of Thought" is straight from the same vein as The Tuxedo, and while scores like that aren't considered among Debney's best, they still put The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D in perspective. The high string performances of Rodriguez's theme are vastly improved, and along with a choral mix, the cue is highly enjoyable. Similarly, Debney's cues are frustratingly enticing compared to the rest of the album, with "The Ice Princess" presenting some tingling beauty in its string performances. Debney's assistance on the two finale cues leads to some bravado of Scorpion King levels and simple choral melody that would appeal to any Danny Elfman fan. He even layers the two themes for the primary characters over each other in the kind of fashion that only a composer of Debney's experience would think to do for such a trashy project as this. Overall, even with some simply brilliant work by Debney to try to save this score (although it's doubtful he or Rodriguez would phrase it like that), it's difficult to recommend it. Rodriguez once again asks his child stars to sing rock songs for the film, and it seems that this idea hit the pinnacle with Sylvester Stallone and Alexa Vega in Spy Kids 3-D, for the songs in this film are complete trash by comparison. It doesn't help that the little superheroes simply can't sing. And the song written by the daughter of Dimension Films' head Bob Weinstein ("The Lala's") is insufferable. Perhaps this is all best summarized by the fact that Rodriguez's 7-year-old conjured the story. And his name is Racer Max. How does John Debney cope with all of this? His Papal blessing from the Vatican in 2005 was well deserved. Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Robert Rodriguez's Score and Songs: **
    Graeme Revell's Score: **
    John Debney's Score: ****
    Overall: **

Bias Check:For Graeme Revell reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.74 (in 19 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 2.72 (in 15,558 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

For John Debney reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.23 (in 49 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 2.97 (in 43,790 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 2.25 Stars
Smart Average: 2.46 Stars*
***** 15 
**** 19 
*** 29 
** 44 
* 68 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Alternate review of Sharkboy and Lavagirl a...
  Jonathan Broxton -- 1/11/06 (1:03 p.m.)
   Re: Credit Hog
  Brian Cornelius -- 12/31/05 (8:05 p.m.)
   Re: Credit Hog
  Brian Cornelius -- 12/31/05 (11:21 a.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings: Total Time: 43:26

• 1. The Shark Boy*/*** (3:47)
• 2. The Lava Girl* (1:28)
• 3. Max's Dream* (1:37)
• 4. Sharkboy and Lavagirl Return* (1:44)
• 5. Planet Drool* (2:12)
• 6. Mount Never Rest** (2:35)
• 7. Passage of Time*# (1:30)
• 8. Mr. Electric** (1:09)
• 9. Train of Thought*** (2:01)
• 10. Dream Dream Dream Dream (Dream Dream)* - performed by Taylor Lautner (1:54)
• 11. Stream of Consciousness*** (1:33)
• 12. Sea of Confusion*** (3:04)
• 13. The LaLa's*## (1:09)
• 14. The Ice Princess*/*** (2:51)
• 15. Sharkboy vs. Mr. Electric** (0:55)
• 16. Lavagirl's Sacrifice* (2:10)
• 17. The Light* (2:21)
• 18. Battle of the Dreamers*(1:21)
• 19. Mr. Electric on Earth** (1:15)
• 20. Unplugged*/*** (1:12)
• 21. The Day Dreamer*/*** (1:29)
• 22. Sharkboy and Lavagirl* - performed by Taylor Dooley (4:09)

* composed by Robert Rodriguez
** composed by Graeme Revell
*** composed by John Debney
*# composed by Robert Rodriguez and Carl Thiel
*## composed by Nicole Weinstein

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes a lengthy note from Robert Rodriguez about the score and film.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D are Copyright © 2005, Varèse Sarabande. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/3/05 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2005-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.