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10,000 B.C. by Harald Kloser
and Thomas Wander

10,000 B.C.

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10,000 B.C. (Soundtrack) by Harald Kloser and Thomas Wander

10,000 B.C.
Composed by Harald Kloser
& Thomas Wander
Decca Records (2007)

Rating: 5/10

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Listen to this soundclip o 10,000 B.C.Speech (354 kb)

Listen to this soundclip o 10,000 B.C.Mannak Hunt (353 kb)

Listen to this soundclip o 10,000 B.C.

The End (361 kb)


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The score here isn't dreadful. Like the film, it is formulaic, but isn't offensive enough to force you into pushing the "stop" button after one or two tracks.

Mannak Depression
Review by Christopher Coleman

Seeing the name "EMMERICH" tied to a film generally brings me some measure of dread. With the exception of THE PATRIOT this dread usually turns out to be pretty well founded and the trailers for his most recent project 10,000 B.C. evoked no different response from me. It came as little surprise to see the name of HARALD KLOSER tied to the film ... given their relatively successful pairing for THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. So now, with 10,000 B.C., Roland Emmerich and crew turn from the topic of civilization's end to its beginnings.

With a bit of an uneasy grin, I have to say that 10,000 B.C. wasn't as dreadful as I had given it room to be, but it was still far from anything people will be talking about nine months from now...or even nine weeks. As it has been described elsewhere - 10,000 B.C. is an odd mashup of APOCLYPTO and ICE AGE, only nowhere as intense or intentionally humorous as either of those two films. The film has even managed to drum up some racial controversies and perhaps that is what will keep anyone discussing the film for those nine weeks.  The simplified story of a persecuted people, a prophesied savior, and a destined-love form the backbone of a story which goes on to incorporate shades of so many other previous films that no one review could recount them all. Originally, the marketing of 10,000 B.C. left some to wonder if there was any dialogue at all in the film a la the classic, QUEST FOR FIRE. Unfortunately, indeed there was dialogue and it sadly matched the overall flatness of the film. As disappointing as the the movie may have been, there is always a possible silver-lining for the film music community, which is the film's score. The question is, "Are Harald Kloser and Thomas Wander able to rescue 10,000 B.C. from the lethal fangs of poor writing, acting and inconsistent CGI?"

The score for 10,000 B.C. can be broken down fairly succinctly. The lowest common denominator are the percussive elements. Since we are set in such a "primitive" age where tribes of men walk among the pre-historic beasties such as mammoths (or "mannaks" in the film), sabre-toothed cats and Terror birds (yes...that's their name and they were once real, just not in the year 10000 B.C.) of course it is to be expected that countless percussive instruments would undergird the score. They are most evident in the action/suspense cues such as "Mannak Hunt" (5), "Night of the Tiger" (8), and "He Was My Father" (15). The longest track, at 3:22, and the most engaging of all the action pieces is "Terror Birds" (10), where KLOSER and WANDER seem to finally let all of their musical-beasties out of their cages.  Not exclusive to this track, but accompanying the ever present and varied percussive elements, the duo utilize bold, brass accents, strings and woodwinds with varying degrees of effectiveness.  The end result is, with the exception of track 10, a body of action music that is average at best.

In terms of thematic development, KLOSER and WANDER do deliver a small-handful of memorable themes. While these themes successfully convey the intended emotions, they also bring to mind the source of their inspiration - KING ARTHUR by HANS ZIMMER. D'Leh's, the hero's, theme is a confident and determined piece that is meant to inspire and bring hope and as the prophesied-deliverer of his tribe, what else would you ask for? This theme is introduced in track 3, "Speech" and is rationed out for use in some of the film's high points. 10,000 B.C.'s love theme is also inspired by KING ARTHUR. The "Tell Me Now" theme from Zimmer's overly-berated, sorely-underappreciated score from the 2004 film, serves as skeleton for the love theme here. Just as they do in KING ARTHUR, the heroic and love themes are easily woven together and play nicely as a master-theme for the film.  Like "Terror Birds," credit must be given to the composers for delivering at least one noteworthy and original theme. For the film's love interest and damsel-in-distress, Evolet, the composers deliver a very serene, but likeable theme lead on flute and backed by strings (see tracks 4, 20).  Kloser and Wander's themes do work well enough in the film, but it's always going to count against the composer if, while whistling their themes, you seamlessly transition into the theme from another project by a different composer altogether.

So what can one say about 10,000 B.C.? It has been torn to pieces by the critics, but, as bad as it was, it could have been much worse. I had prepared myself for a full frontal attack on both the film and score, but, in all honesty, I cannot sink my sabre-toothed-keyboard into either...at least not as deeply as I thought I would. Does HARALD KLOSER and THOMAS WANDER's score provide something for score-hounds to hang their headphones on? For some, the answer will be "yes." The score here isn't dreadful. Like the film, it is formulaic, but isn't offensive enough to force you into pushing the "stop" button after one or two tracks. Despite being tinged by familiarity, I was surprised to find myself enjoying sporadic thematic moments. Yes, there are times when you're wondering if you are listening to Zimmer's work from KING ARTHUR, PRINCE OF EGYPT, or even MADAGASCAR. Those who found offense in those original scores will likely be doubly-offended here.  If Kloser and Wander had been just a bit more creative, the rating here would have been slightly higher, but as it is 10,000 B.C. only garners a 5.

Rating: 5/10

 

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Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Opening 2:43  **
2 Mount of the Gods 1:56  ***
3 Speech 3:01  ***
4 Evolet 2:43  ***
5 Mannak Hunt 2:07  ***
6 Celebration 1:28  **
7 I Was Not Brave 1:47  ***
8 Night of the Tiger 1:37  ***
9 Lead Them 2:27  ***
10 Terror Birds 3:22  ***
11 Wounded Hunter 1:50  ***
12 Food 1:59  **
13 Goodbyes 1:13  **
14 Sea of Sand 2:41  ***
15 Wise Man 1:40  **
16 He Was My Father 1:05  ***
17 Mark of the Hunter 2:45  ***
18 Free the Mannaks 1:47  ***
19 Not A God 2:35  ***
20 You Came For Me 2:06  ***
21 The End 3:18  ****
22 10,000 B.C./ End Credits 2:55  ****
  Total Running Time (approx) 49 minutes  

 

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