Friday, May 31, 2013

Quick Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness
Music composed by Michael Giacchino
Orchestrated by Tim Simonec, Brad Dechter, Norman Ludwin, Andrea Datzman, Cameron Patrick, Larry Kenton, Marshall Bowen, Susie Benchasil Seiter
Score conducted by Tim Simonec
Music recorded and mixed by Joel Iwataki
Music recorded and mixed at Newman Scoring Stage, 20th Century Fox
Album time: 44 minutes
Available on Varese Sarabande

After the success of Star Trek (2009), naturally Michael Giacchino returned as composer for director/friend J.J. Abrams.  This installment certain feels like a continuation where we left off with the last film.  This story jumps right back into the action of the first film, and its main musical material follows suit.

I am trying not to divulge any secrets of the film, but mainly comment on the score itself.  Among the themes that get reprises we get his main Star Trek theme, his theme for Spock, and a few references to the original series theme (by Alexander Courage/Gene Roddenberry).  The main new theme is for villain John Harrison, a theme which goes through a few transformations within the score.

The album begins with Logos/Pranking the Natives and a noble horn solo version of the main Trek theme. It crescendos and blends into an action cue. The strings and percussion play wildly and eventually the strings have a rising motif. The brass enter and play snippets of the secondary Trek theme. With Spock Drops, Kirk Jumps, we get a martial orchestral version of Spock's theme. This track is short, but with plenty of momentum in the low strings. A wordless choir enters for a moment as well. One of the album highlights is Sub Prime Directive. The rising B section of the theme appears (this always reminds me of music from Lost), and a heroic snippet of Alexander Courage's TV theme. A further recap of music from the last film appears - a bombastic version of the theme best heard in "Enterprising Young Men".

London Calling begins with a calming piano arpeggio, with Harrison's theme intertwined. The piano works nicely with and against what is on the screen. It gives the scene an almost relaxed, classical mood - something that is opposite of the rest of the album. Meld-merized is a slower moving track, building to the full rendition of Harrison's theme - this time with a sense of purpose and more percussion. The Kronos Wartet starts with another new sound, the vocal chanting of a new theme for the Klingon action sequence. The percussive and low brass heavy music is strong and again unlike anything from the last film (and not reminiscent of Goldsmith's familiar Klingon theme). Eventually the strings take off, with a fast repetitive passage before fading away.

With Brigadoom we get a mix of eerie, ethereal music and Harrison's theme, with hidden menace. The orchestra bursts in to match the film, before fading away.  The momentum picks up in Ship to Ship, which brings an ostinato and hints of the Star Trek theme intertwined with Harrison's theme.  Earthbound and Down is another percussive action cue, with the brass and strings adding the dissonance and tension.  Warp Core Values has more strong emotions and a Trek theme reference.  There are some great sentimental moments with the choir joining in and ends the track well.  Another stand out.  The emotional weight in the cue is similar to "Labor of Love" from the last film.   


That sentimental side is featured again in Buying the Space Farm.  More moving, this time with a simple piano solo.  Based on his experience with the show Lost, Giacchino can hit some great emotional notes with slow moving chords and a piano.  The action picks up with glissando strings to the finish. 

The San Fran Hustle is a big action cue, with a blend of Spock's theme in action form, the Star Trek theme and for those with good ears, a reference to Gerald Fried’s classic fight music seen in the original series episode "Amok Time", re-orchestrated with pounding percussion and blaring brass.  Kirk Enterprises features more of Spock's theme, a slower, noble rendition of the Trek theme, and a great version of Courage's TV theme.  This is slowly paced versions that other Trek films have benefited from.  Star Trek Main Theme is the end credits suite, fairly similar to the previous film, with a blaring Trek theme, re-orchestrated slightly. The notable changes include the great choir and added percussion into the B theme.  This grand concert suite is a real treat, of course incomplete without one last TV theme.  There are several possible bonus tracks, depending on where your album is from, The Growl being the US track.  Compared to the orchestral score, all these various tracks are skip-worthy.     

At 44 minutes, the relatively short album makes a nice highlight album of the film.  There is a slight sound difference with Joel Iwataki as recorder instead of the usual sound of Dan Wallin.  The new thematic material and fresh arrangements of the past themes work really well and blend nicely together.  Sadly, the concert suite of Harrison's theme (Ode to Harrison) didn't make it on the album.  When his new Trek theme appears in the film, it seems as familiar as Goldsmith's main Trek theme from the past films.  That stands as a compliment to J.J Abrams and Giacchino.  Even while the album is short, the film is full of music - and it echoes the film very nicely.  There are some darker moments, quieter moments and bolder/louder moments.  Just what to expect!     

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spotlight On: Marvel Cinematic Universe

The newest Spotlight On takes a look back at the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The connected films have finished Phase One with The Avengers, and many more films will be included into Phase Two (to be added later).  Full reviews appear on this site for starred films.

With a wide variety of directors and composers, the music for the following superhero films have a wide range.  

Iron Man (2008)
Music by Ramin Djawadi
Starting off the Marvel films with a bang, Djawadi brought a loud hard metal sound.  No really, clanging percussion and electric guitars run amok throughout the score.  (Just listen to: Driving With the Top Down, Vacation's Over, Arc Reaktor)  

The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Music by Craig Armstrong
Armstrong gives both Bruce Banner and Hulk themes, with plenty of underlaying thematic work.  We get bittersweet moments and plentiful action material.  And the original soundtrack is complete, pretty rare for scores.  (Just listen to: The Arctic, Hulk Theme, Bruce Goes Home, Harlem Brawl)

Iron Man 2 (2010)
Music by John Debney
Combining the rock sound from the original, with a more symphonic texture and an AC/DC influence took over the score.  Even guitarist Tom Morello added his riffs and loops into the score.  Debney provides clear motifs for Iron Man, Russian theme for villain Ivan Vanko, among others.  (Just listen to: Ivan's Metamorphosis, Monaco Drive, New Element/Particle Accelerator, I Am Iron Man)

Thor (2011)*
Music by Patrick Doyle
Doyle was an obvious choice given director Kenneth Branagh.  Doyle's string writing combines with the modern action scoring style.  A heroic theme appears for our heroes in Asgard and for Thor himself.  A big departure from the past Marvel scores, which fit the film well.  (Just listen to: Chasing the Storm, Sons of Odin, The Compound, Earth to Asgard)

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)*
Music by Alan Silvestri
Silvestri stepped in to score the action, which takes place during WWII.  We get tons of action material, and a heroic theme for the Captain himself.  A rousing score.  (Just listen to: Training the Supersoldier, Hydra Train, Captain America March) 

The Avengers (2012)*
Music by Alan Silvestri
Silvestri returned for the ensemble superhero film, with no real connections to past scores - besides his own previous installment.  Instead we get a rousing anthem, with a retro 80s action sensibility.  Also included is a new Eastern-sounding theme for Black Widow.  (Just listen to: Tunnel Chase, Helicarier, Assemble, I Got a Ride, The Avengers)

Iron Man 3 (2013)
Music by Brian Tyler
Action master Brian Tyler took the reigns of Iron Man with an action packed score.  A nice mix of strong driving percussion, traditional orchestral techniques and electronics.  Most prominently is a melodic theme for Iron Man, a real first in Iron Man films.  The hummable theme adds a lot to the score, making it the most enjoyable Iron Man score to hear.  (Just listen to: Iron Man 3, Stark, Heart and Iron, Can You Dig It)

Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Music by Brian Tyler
Providing strong themes for the main characters, and solid action material makes this score another great superhero score.  Bonus points for the Silvestri theme cameo.  (Just listen to: Thor: The Dark World, Lokasenna, Sword and Council, Legacy)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Music by Henry Jackman
Jackman provides an electronic thriller soundscape for this otherwise lackluster score.  Besides the direct quoting of Silvestri's theme, the Captain gets a new patriotic-sounding theme.  The Winter Soldier gets a brash electronic theme.  (Just listen to: The Smithsonian, Taking a Stand, Captain America)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Music by Tyler Bates
Utilizing a larger orchestra and some themes fitting the Marvel style, Bates treads familiar blockbuster territory, but adds in his own synth twist in the score in addition to strong themes.
(Just listen to: To The Stars, The Kyln Escape, Guardians United, A Nova Upgrade)

The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Music by Brian Tyler & Danny Elfman
To be continued...

Ant-Man (2015)
Music by Christophe Beck
To be continued...


Check out the others!
Spotlight On Series: Harry Potter, Batman, James Bond, Star Trek

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Scoring Stages: Paramount

Paramount Studios
Stage M

Located on the historic Paramount lot, the scoring stage originally opened in 1932.  Opening later than the other scoring stages in early Hollywood, Stage M was connected to Stage 10 in the Bing Crosby Building.  Until 1968 as the studio system died down, it is where the Paramount orchestra recorded.  With subsequent renovations and improvements, Glen-Glenn Sound took over the stage for many years until Record Plant Scoring took over in 1982.  Amid financial situations, the facility closed but reopened for more film scoring in 1992.  Along with films and television series, many Star Trek scores were recorded there.  Sadly, the stage closed in 2006 and all of the Bing Crosby Building (Stage 10, and assorted offices) were demolished in 2008 to house a new post-production facility.     

Scores recorded there include:

Sampson and Delilah (1949) - Victor Young
Sunset Boulevard (1950) - Franz Waxman
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) - Victor Young
The Ten Commandments (1956) - Elmer Bernstein
Wild is the Wind (1957) - Dimitri Tiomkin
Psycho (1960) - Bernard Herrmann
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) - Henry Mancini
Hatari! (1962) - Henry Mancini
Annie (1982) - Charles Strouse, Ralph Burns
48 Hrs. (1982) - James Horner
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) - James Horner
An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) - Jack Nitzsche
Flashdance (1983) - Giorgio Moroder
Terms of Endearment (1983) - Michael Gore
Police Academy (1984) - Robert Folk
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) - James Horner
Witness (1985) - Maurice Jarre
Out of Africa (1985) - John Barry
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) - Leonard Rosenman
Fatal Attraction (1987) - Maurice Jarre
Coming to America (1988) - Nile Rodgers
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) - Ira Newborn
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) - Jerry Goldsmith
Hunt For Red October (1990) - Basil Poledouris
Addams Family Values (1993) - Marc Shaiman
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994) - Ira Newborn
Nell (1994) - Mark Isham
Star Trek: Generations (1994) - Dennis McCarthy
Clueless (1995) - David Kitay
Star Trek: First Contact (1996) - Jerry Goldsmith
Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco (1996) - Bruce Broughton
Phenomenon (1996) - Thomas Newman
101 Dalmatians (1996) - Michael Kamen
The Relic (1997) - John Debney
Good Will Hunting (1997) - Danny Elfman
A Civil Action (1998) - Danny Elfman
The Horse Whisperer (1998) - Thomas Newman
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) - Jerry Goldsmith
Wild Things (1998) - George S. Clinton
Good Will Hunting (1998) - Danny Elfman
Frequency (2000) - Michael Kamen
Along Came a Spider (2001) - Normand Corbeil
Road to Perdition (2002) - Thomas Newman

Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) - Jerry Goldsmith
The Bourne Identity (2002) - John Powell
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) - David Arnold

The Core (2003) - Christopher Young
Sin (2003) - Michael Giacchino
Team America: World Police (2004) - Marc Shaiman (unused)
The Island (2005) - Steve Jablonsky
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) - John Powell
Little Children (2006) - Thomas Newman
Nacho Libre (2006) - Danny Elfman
Freedom Writers (2007) - Mark Isham
Wall-E (2008) - Thomas Newman

The Ten Commandments, Elmer Bernstein conducts


Dan Wallin, sound mixer at the Paramount booth

Alias television season 1 (Michael Giacchino), 2001

Wall-E (2008) composer and crew 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

John Debney: The Adaptable

John Debney was born in 1956 in California.  His father Louis Debney was a production coordinator and producer for Disney programs such as Zorro and Wonderful World of Color.  John began with guitar lessons at a young age and studied the Disney animated films his father would bring home to watch.  Eventually Debney found his way into rock bands.  For college, Debney received a degree in Music Composition from California Institute of Arts (Cal-Arts).  Shortly after graduation, Debney found himself in the copying department at Disney, and eventually arranging and re-scoring music for Disney World and Epcot.

It was television composer Mike Post that got Debney a start as a composer.  His work with Hanna-Barbera animated shows led him to work on Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo and Jetsons TV series and TV movies in the early 1980s.  He also wrote some additional music for Disney television programs around the same time.  In the mid-80s, he composed scores to the TV shows Fame, Police Academy: The Series and A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.  It was his animation work that led him to one of his beginning features, The Jetsons Movie (1990).  His work on the series The Young Riders gave Debney an Emmy nomination for Main Title Theme, and won an Emmy for the underscore of an episode in 1991.  Debney also provided the score to the ride Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris, which opened in 1992.

1993 was a big year for Debney, as he started getting more projects.  Among the TV movies, he scored two episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a few episodes of SeaQuest DSV (including an Emmy winning Main Title theme).  One of his first film successes (and first studio film) was the popular Disney Halloween film, Hocus Pocus (1993).  He started scoring more family-friendly fare such as White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf (1994), Little Giants (1994), Houseguest (1995) and one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

It was the box office bomb Cutthroat Island (1995) that brought Debney some attention from music lovers.  His swashbuckling score was reminiscent of the old Korngold scores of the 1930s, utilizing the London Symphony Orchestra.  This remains as one of the genre's best and one of Debney's best achievements.  His work on the series The Cape (1996) was honored with an Emmy nomination for Title Theme and winning for     the dramatic underscore to the pilot (shared with Louis Febre).  Debney continued to get film gigs, like Liar Liar (1997) with themes by James Newton Howard, and the horror films The Relic (1997) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997).  In the late 1990s, live action family oriented comedies continued, like Paulie (1998), My Favorite Martian (1999) with Danny Elfman, and Inspector Gadget (1999).  That same year, he switched styles for the apocalyptic film End of Days (1999).

In 2000, Debney reunited with Disney animation, this time for the feature-length The Emperor's New Groove (2000) which was quickly scored alongside songs by Sting.  Debney began a collaboration with director Robert Rodriguez as one of the composers in the hodge-podge score for Spy Kids (2001).  His style came in handy for such films as Cats & Dogs (2001) and the animated Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001).  Starting with director Garry Marshall, he scored the popular comedy The Princess Diaries (2001).  He ramped up even more films with the supernatural Dragonfly (2002), another film with Rodriguez Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002) and the larger than life The Scorpion King (2002).

2003 provided some more high profile films including the comedy Bruce Almighty (2003).  He began a collaboration with director Jon Favreau on the Christmas hit, Elf (2003).  Additionally he stepped in to Looney Tunes: Back In Action (2003) to finish a few cues for Jerry Goldsmith.  (None of his cues appeared on the soundtrack).  Debney composed a lot of scores in 2004, like Raising Helen (2004) and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) both with Garry Marshall, and additional cues into Spider-Man 2 (2004).  His most notable feature turned out to be The Passion of the Christ (2004).  The dark and dramatic score featured a large orchestra and orchestra, ethnic instruments and vocal solos.  The score led to Debney's first Oscar nomination.  He later transformed his popular score into The Passion of the Christ Symphony, which premiered in Rome with a huge orchestra and choir.  

Debney reconnected with many collaborators like Robert Rodriguez for The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005) and Sin City (2005), Jon Favreau for the adventure score Zathura (2005).  That same year he scored the lovely Dreamer (2005) and another Disney animated film, Chicken Little (2005).  In 2005, Debney became the youngest composer to recieve ASCAP's Henry Mancini Award.  Debney's versatile sound obviously fits with animated films, with the scores to Everyone's Hero (2006) and The Ant Bully (2006).  In 2007 he returned with director Tom Shadyac for Evan Almighty (2007), with Garry Marshall on Georgia Rule (2007) and yet again composed additional music for Spider-Man 3 (2007).  It was also the year Debney dabbled into scoring a video game - this being Lair (2007).  The score got tremendous reviews, a BAFTA nomination and remains a fan favorite.

Over the next few years, Debney continued with family friendly fare like Hotel for Dogs (2009), Aliens in the Attic (2009), Yogi Bear (2010), comedies like Meet Dave (2008), and Old Dogs (2009).  His dramatic score to The Stoning of Soraya M. (2008) is another powerful score along the lines of Passion of the Christ.  He reunited with Garry Marshall for the romantic comedy Valentine's Day (2010).  He returned to his action roots with Predators (2010) and for the Marvel film Iron Man 2 (2010), directed by friend Jon Favreau.  2011 saw the thriller Dream House (2011) and the Valentine's Day follow-up directed by Marshall - New Year's Eve (2011).  He scored the comedy The Three Stooges (2012), action thriller Alex Cross (2012) and returned to his TV roots with the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys (2012), which his score was nominated for an Emmy (shared with Tony Morales).  So far in 2013 he scored the thriller The Call (2013), and the Steve Jobs biopic, jOBS (2013) with many films most likely in the pipeline.

With scores appearing in just about every genre and subject, you've probably heard a John Debney score without even knowing it.  He has turned out many films a year since the beginning of his career.  He was even profiled in Variety as a "Billion Dollar Composer", scoring films that grossed billions.  In addition to conducting his own film scores, Debney conducted several re-recordings with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.  Debney's adaptability in genres and styles makes each score sound fresh and different.  Being able to go from animated comedies to action thrillers obviously is one of his best attributes and he can turn out a high quality score within a quick deadline.  And of course, even the goofiest (and lowest reviewed comedies) are taken seriously in their scores and feature great orchestral writing.  John Debney really has shown perseverance going from TV movies and series to high profile films throughout his career.  He has thrived with his collaborations with directors like Jon Favreau, Garry Marshall and Robert Rodriguez.  Debney continues to be one of the most sought-after composers in Hollywood today.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Scoring Stages: Warner Bros

Warner Bros. Studios
Eastwood Scoring Stage
Built in 1929, Warner Bros is one of the older and most used stages in Hollywood.  Its size makes it one of the best for large orchestras.  Once known as the Burbank Studios, it went under a renovation in 1999 and renamed for Clint Eastwood.  

Scores recorded here include:
Casablanca (1942) – Max Steiner
Days of Wine and Roses (1962) - Henry Mancini
The Wild Bunch (1969) - Jerry Fielding
Blazing Saddles (1974) – John Morris
King Kong (1976) – John Barry
The Swarm (1978) – Jerry Goldsmith
Big Wednesday (1978) – Basil Poledouris
The Black Hole (1979) – John Barry
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) - Jerry Fielding
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) – James Horner
Back to the Future (1985) – Alan Silvestri
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) – Craig Safan
Meet the Applegates (1990) – David Newman
Ghost (1990) – Maurice Jarre
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) - George S. Clinton
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) – Trevor Rabin
Cats & Dogs (2001) – John Debney
Chicago (2002) – Danny Elfman
Gothika (2003) – John Ottman
Final Destination 2 (2003) – Shirley Walker
The Big Bounce (2004) – George S. Clinton
National Treasure (2004) – Trevor Rabin
Million Dollar Baby (2004) – Clint Eastwood
Sky High (2005) – Michael Giacchino
Syriana (2005) – Alexandre Desplat
Annapolis (2006) – Brian Tyler
Ant Bully (2006) – John Debney
Firewall (2006) – Alexandre Desplat
The Reaping (2007) – John Frizzell
The Kingdom (2007) – Danny Elfman
Breach (2007) – Mychael Danna
The Bucket List (2008) – Marc Shaiman
Get Smart (2008) – Trevor Rabin
Body of Lies (2008) – Marc Streitenfeld
Changeling (2008) – Clint Eastwood
Standard Operating Procedure (2008) – Danny Elfman
Up (2009) – Michael Giacchino
Watchmen (2009) – Tyler Bates
Knight and Day (2010) – John Powell
Fast Five (2010) – Brian Tyler
Secretariat (2010) – Nick Glennie-Smith
Dear John (2010) – Deborah Lurie
Super 8 (2011) - Michael Giacchino
Cars 2 (2011) – Michael Giacchino
The Muppets (2011) - Christophe Beck
Hop (2011) - Christophe Beck
Identity Thief (2013) – Christoper Lennertz






Back to the Future
Caprica
Cars 2


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spotlight On: Star Trek


Previously on Spotlight On, I took a look back at the music of Harry Potter, Batman, and James Bond now it's time for Star Trek.


The Star Trek films have been a huge impact in the sci-fi genre, as well as the music that goes with each film.  The series has been going strong since the late 70s, and is one film series that has continually made films without extreme gaps of time in between.  

Naturally influenced by the television series, the scores have included composers Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Leonard Rosenman, Cliff Eidelman, Dennis McCarthy and Michael Giacchino.

So let's boldly go into each film's score in order.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Goldsmith's epic score is exactly what the Star Trek film debut needed (even requiring several reworkings.  The sweeping operatic score is often in the forefront of many long sequences.  Most notable is Goldsmith's rousing new Star Trek march theme.  Also notable for this score is the use of an overture and the Blaster Beam, an electronic instrument. 
(Just listen to: Ilia's Theme, Enterprise, End Title)  

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Music by James Horner
Trying for a different type of score (with no references to Goldsmith), Horner took over.  His first major breakout features a brass theme for Khan, and a motif for Spock.  Also notable is his first use of the 'danger motif', prevalent in Horner scores since.  (Just listen to: Main Titles, Spock, Epilogue/End Title)

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Music by James Horner
Horner returned and expanded his ‘Khan’ themes with a more emotional score.  Perhaps the most un-action score in the series, it still contains plenty of great moments.  (Just listen to: Klingons, The Mind Meld, Bird of Prey Decloaks)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Music by Leonard Rosenman
After Horner decided not to return, director/star Leonard Nimoy turned to Leonard Rosenman.  The resulting score is more mainstream than the past scores.  The theme of the film is far more heroic, and with plenty of lighthearted comedic score moments that don't mesh with the rest of the series.  (Just listen to: The Whaler, Hospital Chase, Home Again: End Credits)

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
With director/star William Shatner taking over, he brought Goldsmith back to the franchise.  He would return to past themes, namely his Trek march, and Klingon theme.  He would introduce more leitmotifs into this score, like for Sybok, the God theme and the Friendship theme.  The Friendship theme was also later used in the forthcoming Goldsmith scores.  (Just listen to: The Mountain, Open the Gates, An Angry God, Life is a Dream) 

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Music by Cliff Eidelman
Departing from the score formulas of the past scores, fresh-faced Cliff Eidelman won the director over with his electronic demos.  The score is darker than previous scores and is the first Trek score with a choir.  New themes for the Enterprise, Spock and the Klingons as well as the Peace theme.  (Just listen to: Overture, Clear all Moorings, The Battle for Peace)

Star Trek Generations (1994)
Music by Dennis McCarthy
Bridging the gap with the Original Series cast and the Next Generation was Next Generation composer Dennis McCarthy, who scored many episodes of the show, as well as Deep Space Nine.  Featured is a theme for the two captains meeting.  Overall, the score is restrained and doesn't break out of the television style McCarthy was used to.  (Just listen to: Overture, Out of Control/The Crash, Two Captains, Kirk Saves the Day, To Live Forever)

Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Bringing Goldsmith back to Trek was a welcome change after Generations. Because of scheduling issues, his son Joel composed additional music.  Goldsmith returns with more iterations of his Trek theme, and Klingon theme.  We get a beautiful First Contact theme and the Borg theme.  (Just listen to: Main Title/Locutus, Flight of the Phoenix, First Contact, End Credits)

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Once more, Goldsmith returned with more emotional music as well as action music with strong brass, timpani and electronics.  Not entirely memorable, but a good Goldsmith effort.  (Just listen to: Ba'Ku Village, New Sight, The Drones Attack)

Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Goldsmith returned for his last (and 5th Trek film).  Memorable moments include the dark theme for the Remans/Romulans and the dark motif for villain Shinzon.  The films come full circle with a welcome reprise of the Star Trek March.  (Just listen to: Remus, Ideals, A New Ending)

Star Trek (2009)
Music by Michael Giacchino
With director J.J. Abrams at the helm of the reboot, Michael Giacchino naturally followed.  Highlights of this popular score include older Spock's theme represented with an erhu, a Romulan villain motif, and a new heroic main theme.  Alexander Courage's television theme always appears in the beginning of the film, in this score it arrives as the crew assembles in the finale.  (Just listen to: Enterprising Young Men, Nero Death Experience, That New Car Smell, End Credits)    

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
Music by Michael Giacchino
Giacchino continued his main theme, as well as mentions of the Courage tv theme.  New themes include the delightful London Calling, violent choral chants for Klingon world, themes for villains Harrison and ship the Vengeance.  The score maintains the action, while changing the themes for the darker storyline.  (Just listen to: London Calling, The Kronos Wartet, The San Fran Hustle, Kirk Enterprises)     


Check out the others!