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Jurassic Park III
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, Orchestrated, and Produced by:

Original Themes and Consultation by:
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Decca Records
(July 10th, 2001)
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Regular U.S. release.
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Decorative Nonsense
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you're a casual fan of the franchise for whom the smaller technical details of the adaptation of old ideas with the new aren't a scientific affair.

Avoid it... if you're bothered by some of the liberties in tempo and structural rearrangement that Don Davis applies to John Williams' famous original ideas for the franchise.
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WRITTEN 6/28/01, REVISED 12/28/08
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Jurassic Park III: (Don Davis) Universal Pictures hit a new low in franchise milking with Jurassic Park III, a concept that had, by its first two scripts, already come to an end in terms of viability. The entire previous crew stepped aside, despite Steven Spielberg's continuing role as executive producer, and the haphazard script (which did not involve any new input from author Michael Chrichton) was reportedly not even finished by the time shooting began. The concept had devolved into the most basic of its monster flick roots, leaving only two-dimensional formula interactions between humans and dinosaurs as enticement for audiences. Everything about Jurassic Park III was disappointing, from the poorly chosen cast to the pointless storyline that has no sense of style. Even the special effects of the dinosaurs themselves had become substandard. It's no surprise, therefore, that composer John Williams graciously removed himself from the franchise at this juncture. Eight years after Williams' dynamic and memorably thematic score for the original Jurassic Park stunned audiences with its sweeping majesty, even this musical identity was beginning to show its age. Unfortunately, the film presented an opportunity for Universal to do what had occurred with the later Superman sequels (simply rehashing the original themes with inadequate new material thrown in for just a pinch of originality), and the same process was followed for the music for Jurassic Park III. Despite an abundance of rumors that James Horner would take the job because of his previous association with the new crew, Williams specifically recommended Don Davis for the job, and Davis received the assignment. With the Superman sequel process well in mind, it was figured that subsequent Jurassic Park productions would not function without the themes of the original film, so Williams stepped in as a consultant for Davis, providing detailed notation on how to adapt his original themes into new situations. For Davis, meanwhile, Jurassic Park III represented his second major break in three years, still riding the success of his postmodern score for The Matrix. Unlike that score, however, Davis turns to a fully harmonic and predictable orchestral mode of composition for Jurassic Park III.

If Davis were to be sure of one thing, it would be that nobody could complain about the lack of thematic integration in this sequel score. He recognized early on that his music would be very heavily scrutinized by both film and score fans who, inevitably, would compare his work to that of the beloved maestro. When Williams visited the studio to consult with Davis about how to tackle certain scenes, the younger composer took a look at Williams' original concepts and realized that he was dealing with an incredibly complex task. The first two Jurassic Park scores had included some of the most complex orchestral integration of Williams' career, and even a mere interpretation of that material would constitute an enormous challenge. In the end, though, the most impressive aspect of Davis' work is the careful interpretation of the two main Jurassic Park themes into Jurassic Park III, not to mention the statement of three or so subthemes of Williams' in addition to an entirely new wholesome theme to represent the new family of characters. The only theme left out in the cold is Williams' title identity for Jurassic Park: The Lost World, which is somewhat strange given the location connections between the sequel stories. Fans of Davis had, in the late 1990's, compared his larger, harmonic orchestral style to that of Williams, and so loyal is Davis to Williams' general concepts in Jurassic Park III that even a measure of Williams' theme for The Towering Inferno makes a brief appearance near the start of "Tiny Pecking Pteranodons." The only problem with this equation, awkwardly, is that Davis spends so much time either emulating Williams outright in this score or inserting the previous themes into his own material that he neglects the opportunity to provide the work with a personality of its own. In an age when sequels to blockbusters rarely include the classic themes of the original film (take the dissatisfaction over the Batman or Harry Potter series, for instance), it is a great blessing to hear Williams' work stated in a significant portion of Jurassic Park III. But still, like Ken Thorne's Superman sequel scores, there's a nagging feeling that there is no new life in this music with which to refresh the series. Like the other elements of the production, it sounds tired.

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Average: 3.21 Stars
***** 537 5 Stars
**** 562 4 Stars
*** 633 3 Stars
** 431 2 Stars
* 335 1 Stars
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Nicholas Spreitzer - May 3, 2007, at 2:32 p.m.
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jenny - July 14, 2005, at 10:30 p.m.
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JP3 Soundtrack
Juan Manuel - December 12, 2003, at 11:36 a.m.
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length of the album   Expand >>
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JP4 info   Expand >>
Marina - June 3, 2003, at 5:29 p.m.
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Newest: June 8, 2003, at 10:31 p.m. by
shawn murphy
A good score
Mark - 224 - May 12, 2003, at 7:22 a.m.
1 comment  (1949 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 54:25
• 1. Isla Sorna Sailing Situation (4:23)
• 2. The Dinosaur Fly-By (2:15)
• 3. Cooper's Last Stand (2:01)
• 4. The Raptor Room (2:35)
• 5. Raptor Repartee (3:06)
• 6. Tree People (2:04)
• 7. Pteranodon Habitat (3:04)
• 8. Tiny Pecking Pteranodons (3:38)
• 9. Billy Oblivion (2:51)
• 10. Brachiosaurus on the bank (2:07)
• 11. Nash Calling (3:38)
• 12. Bone Man Ben (7:20)
• 13. Frenzy Fuselage (4:01)
• 14. Clash of Extinction (1:42)
• 15. The Hat Returns/End Credits (5:10)
• 16. Big Hat, No Cattle - performed by Randy Newman (4:24)

Notes Icon
The insert includes extensive credits and artwork, but no extra information about the score or film. The product is an Enchanced CD with numerous extra features as a CD-ROM for your computer. Included in these extra features is a short, textual interview with Don Davis.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 Jurassic Park III are Copyright © 2001, Decca Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/28/01 and last updated 12/28/08.
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