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Bolt

A movie directed by Byron Howard and Chris Williams

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What Sparta Sounds Like

  • Aug 18, 2007
Rating:
+3
Pros: Zesty, exotic, hard, perfect for the movie

Cons: Not as gripped as I thought I would be.

The Bottom Line: I thought I would be listening to this soundtrack over and over. Sad to say I was wrong.

Hans Zimmer with bite. That’s how I would describe this soundtrack. Tyler Bates, the composer, has a bit of Zimmer’s style, but throws in some spices, plenty of flair, and a lot of violence. You get 300 out of it. I enjoyed the movie immensely and remembered one specific piece that made me think, “This soundtrack could very well rule like a Spartan.” Thus, here we are now.

I considered going through each song, but because there are 25 of them and they are all fairly similar in style and tone (though some are more upbeat than others, a few more heartfelt; the necessary movie scene variety), and most are around 3 minutes or less, I’ve decided to forgo that little pleasure. The soundtrack doesn’t move me enough or have enough fantastic pieces in order to merit a play-by-play.

1.) To Victory – 2:34
2.) The Agoge – 2:24
3.) The Wolf – 2:10
4.) Returns a King – 2:24
5.) Submission – 2:40
6.) The Ephors – 1:59
7.) Cursed by Beauty – 1:41
8.) What Must a King Do? – 1:05
9.) Goodbye My Love – 3:22
10.) No Sleep Tonight – 2:33
11.) Tree of the Dead – 2:25
12.) The Hot Gates – 3:00
13.) Fight in the Shade – 3:17
14.) Come and Get Them – 2:05
15.) No Mercy – 2:23
16.) Immortals Battle – 1:53
17.) Fever Dream – 2:33
18.) Xerxes’ Tent – 3:20
19.) Tonight We Dine In Hell – 1:15
20.) The Council Chamber – 2:35
21.) Xerxes’ Final Offer – 2:39
22.) A God King Bleeds – 2:16
23.) Glory – 1:44
24.) Message for the Queen – 2:31
25.) Remember Us – 2:56

Bates uses a lot of unique styling here with the deepest male chorus I’ve heard since Conan the Barbarian (...holy crap I haven’t reviewed that yet?!). A lot of instruments you do not usually hear in an orchestra (um, ever) like to appear, plenty of goodies and sounds coming from the mixing computers too, I would surmise. It all works out nicely, and who doesn’t love a bit of hard, rollicking guitar when done the right way?

You’ll find a lot of percussion, specific bangs and clanks, tiny cymbals and deep strums to help evoke that older feeling, not to mention the lone female singer from time to time, reminiscent of Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator, which seemed to have set the bar for the Roman/Greek/Persian time period. Slower pieces use less instrumentation, focusing on a few low tones and often the vocalist in order to evoke that lonely or otherwise desperate feeling, such as “Goodbye My Love.”

The thing I found most surprising was just how forgettable these tracks can be. I honestly cannot figure out how that happens what with the style and how much I loved the movie, but even as fascinating as the music composition is, it fails to grab me in ways less complex songs have done. I can’t exactly say that Bates is trying to hard because the music works perfectly for the movie and it doesn’t quite reach that threshold of “too much” or “overdone.” It’s quite possible that much of the CD is based in tension than in the heat of battle, and despite the amount of fighting actually in the movie, a lot of the battle music is similar to each other.

Having said all that, there are a few tracks on this CD that do wake me out of my mellow mood (like when I’m absent-mindedly surfing the web) and I think, “Ooh, hey, what’s this?” and it turns out to be something from 300. “Goodbye My Love” and "Message for the Queen" are good examples of the unsaid things between Leonidas and his wife, “The Hot Gates” and “Fever Dream” have that guitar you wanted to hear again after seeing the movie, “Come and Get Them” is a favorite because of the clanging percussion and all that male chorus, and “Remember Us” is the one song that always makes me wonder, “Hey, what’s this?” because it never fails to catch my ear.

I give this CD 4 stars because it is indeed well-crafted (Tyler Bates does get a cookie despite failing to inspire me), and I can see a lot of people enjoying this CD much more than myself. For his first soundtrack for a movie that seriously rules, Bates has my full support and I do look forward to seeing what he is asked to do next.

NT

Even if the soundtrack doesn't get you, for God's sake, go see the movie!!

P.S. Xerxes is still a goa'uld

Recommended:
Yes

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More Bolt reviews
review by . October 22, 2009
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review by . July 23, 2009
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review by . June 20, 2009
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review by . January 30, 2009
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review by . April 28, 2009
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review by . April 01, 2009
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review by . February 10, 2009
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Nicole ()
Ranked #166
Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … more
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About this movie

Wiki

Boltis a funny animated film about a dog who thinks he has superpowers. It is also a movie about friendship, perseverance, and the power of believing in oneself. Everyone knows that superheroes on television are not real, but super-dog Bolt (John Travolta) is a canine star who has been carefully raised to believe that he really possesses superpowers. Bolt is completely devoted to his human co-star Penny (Miley Cyrus), so when Penny is captured by the evil Dr. Calico (Malcolm McDowell) in their latest television episode and then Bolt accidentally gets loose in the real world, Bolt sets off on a journey to save her. Bolt is confounded when his super powers are suddenly ineffective, but inspiration strikes and Bolt quickly discovers the mysterious, power-stealing effects of Styrofoam packing peanuts. An encounter with alley cat Mittens (Susie Essman) gives Bolt some eye-opening lessons about being a real dog in the real world, while star-struck, ball-enclosed hamster Rhino (Mark Walton) revels in the opportunity to serve as Bolt's sidekick in the quest to rescue Penny. The trio traverses the United States from waffle house to waffle house on a hysterical quest to find Penny and prove that the relationship between Penny and Bolt is real. In the end, Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino learn that everyone is special in their own way and they discover the true power of believing in oneself and one's friends. Select theaters showed Bolt in Real-D 3-D which features some nice effects, ...
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Tags

Movies, Comedy Movies, Comedy, Animated Movies, Animation, Kids, Children, Disney, Family, Animated, Adventure Movies, 3d, Cartoons & Animation, Abc Video, Feature Film Family, Animal Picture, Adventure Comedy

Details

Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
Release Date: March 24, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Chris Williams, Dan Fogelman
DVD Release Date: March 22, 2009
Runtime: 97 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
First to Review
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