Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Monday, September 14, 2009


Composer of the Austin Powers and Mortal Kombat scores George S. Clinton's latest assignment is for writer/director Mike Judge's comedy Extract, which stars Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis and Ben Affleck. The plot concerns a flower-extract plant owner with a heap of personal and professional problems.
The composer's publicists, Costa Communications, kindly sent me a promotional disc of his music for the film, which is written for a small ensemble including guitar, mandolin, cello, pedal steel and percussion, supplemented by a chamber size string orchestra and, to add to the quirkiness, the sounds of people playing actual extract bottles. Highlights include an interesting theme for plucked strings and mandolin representing Bateman's character on the move, introduced in "Joel Rushes Home," and further propulsive, yet quirky music for "Brian Tells Joel About G.M." "Sweatpants" is largely laid-back and loungy, with "Castration" introducing something of a warped fairground waltz. Appropriately spaced-out sounds accompany "Horse Tranquilizer," and "Brad's Theme" introduces something of a sneaky, tango-like melody. "Parole Meeting" features a Southern-styled guitar solo, whilst "Getting Stoned" offers a taste of the mysterious East, complete with cliched Sitar; the longest cue, "Apartment Stoned," expanding on this. "Joel Realizes Cindy's a Crook" presents a slow variation on Joel's theme; and a poignant piano solo accompanies "Suzy Breaks It Off With Brad," and the curiously titled "Johnny Horse Cock;" whilst "The Breakup" offers something of a halting comic promenade, an alternative take on which features sad solo cello. By complete contrast, "The Breakup Part 2" is a jaunty country-styled instrumental, featuring pedal steel and guitars, and there's more country to be found in "Not Selling." A purposeful march emerges from "Nathan Dies Part 2," with "Pizza Sticks" offering a breezy, whistled melody.
As is often the case with comedy scores, many of the cues are very brief (hence 43 of them on the37-minute disc), which makes for a fragmented listening experience away from the film and the unlikelihood of an album release, so you'll probably have to go see the film to experience the score which, after all, is as it should be. It's already playing in select theatres in the States, but there's no news of a UK release date as yet.


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