Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Extraordinary Measures by Andrea Guerra (Review)

Extraordinary Measures is a film that looks like it should be a Saturday night movie on the Hallmark Channel. Yet somehow it stars Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford. Italian born composer Andrea Guerra did the score. I was first introduced to his work with some of the amazing stuff he composed for Hotel Rwanda alongside Rupert Gregson-Williams.

With Extraordinary Measures Guerra takes a non intrusive approach. Some of the music borders saccharine and cliche, but there are a few tracks that call back to that style I heard and loved in Hotel Rwanda. This is a piano and strings score that relies on the arrangements. He utilizes electronics occasionally more for percussion and to add some tension and conflict to the sound. Tracks like “Her Eyes”, “The Lake”, “Breakdown” and “On The Road” shine through though because they find a way to step apart from the formulaic material of the film.

The sugar coated part of the score is melodramatic and just rushes in forced emotions. Do not get put off by the first track, which is incredibly cheesy. There is heart and real emotion in this score. It just requires a little digging to get the sweet candy shell off. This score is an honest attempt at lightweight emotional scoring for a PG family drama. The music just never excels, and while there are some genuine cues of real emotion there is also some melodramatic stuff we have to cut through to get to it. Guerra is another recent foreign composer who is starting to get more work in Hollywood and I can't wait to hear more from him.

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