X-Men: Days of Future Past (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
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X-Men: Days of Future Past Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Music by John Ottman Starring Academy Award® Winners & Nominees Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Ellen Page and Ian McKellen About the Music Composer/editor/director and California native John Ottman's passion for music and film began at a young age in San Jose. Years spent making short films in his parent's garage eventually lead the young auteur to USC, where he graduated from the university's prestigious School of Cinema-Television. It was there where he met future collaborator Bryan Singer, with whom he would go on to compose the music for and edit The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, X-Men 2, and Superman Returns. He has also scored films for other directors including Ben Stiller's Cable Guy, Joel Silver's Gothika, John Badham's Incognito, and Shane Black s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang as well as edited, composed and directed the film Urban Legends: Final Cut. About the Movie The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from the past, X-Men: First Class, in order to change a major historical event and fight in an epic battle that could save our future. Directed by Bryan Singer, X-Men: Days of Future Past features an all-star cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, Ellen Page, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Peter Dinklage and James McAvoy. The movie opens in over 2,000 theaters nationwide on May 23, 2014. x-menmovies.com sonymasterworks.com
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X-Men Days Of Future Past may seem like a deceivingly quiet score at first, but there it is a very finely tuned machine building towards the climax. Ottman gives Xavier a wonderful theme that exudes warmth and turmoil in a quiet repressed fashion with a tragic tinge. It may draw comparisons to Hans Zimmer’s overly temped “Time”, but rest easy knowing Ottman doesn’t cut to temp scores as he edits completely clean. The score takes its time in building character and emotion. Xavier’s theme gets some variations and becomes the central motif of this film. The first half of this score is very poignant and touching. It introduces us slowly to some intriguing melodies and textures clearly building towards something. A few action bursts come, but it’s not until “Time’s Up” do we seriously see Ottman’s action chops come into play. He also of course touches back to his own themes from X2 including expansions of character motifs. The entire final act is full of emotional weight and grandiose action moments that fill the air. The orchestral approach with the slightest touch of electronics make the score something wonderful. Ottman wraps up the narrative in a wonderful conclusion that utilizes Xavier’s theme for a satisfying resolution.
John Ottman has successfully created an emotionally memorable journey back into the X-Men universe. The score is filled with organic emotions that build slowly throughout the narrative. Nothing is rushed, but nothing is boring either. You become instantly invested in what’s at stake. The action sequences bring heft and weight, but never in a clumsy manner. The construction of the score is elegant and fluid yet it can still shake you. Ottman delivers a large epically scoped score that never collapses under its own weight. The whole experience is a fantastically woven journey of character moments, action bombast and elegant emotions.
This particular score by Ottman seems to be very....quiet. There is a lot of "soul searching" music here. Tracks like "Hope" (3), "I Found Them" (4), "He Lost Everything" (7), "How Was She" (9), "All Those Voices" (10), "Contacting Raven" (12), "Rules of Time" (13), "Join Me" (17), and "Do What You Were Made For" (18) are the slow thought provoking pieces that really do sound quite nice. My favorite of these is "Hope", track 3. Some of the action music starts rather subdued as well but eventually builds to what I imagine as some pretty incredible fight scenes. "Paris Pandemonium" really starts to pick up with some awesome rhythms and percussion but dies really quickly into mystery/horror music. No fault of Ottman...he has to compose the music the way the film tells the story.
We have some very James Bond sounding espionage music here too. "Pentagon Plan" and "Springing Erik" are two that remind me of something from an episode of Leverage. I haven't seen the movie...but I am sure that it works for the film very well.
This is a very quiet soundtrack in my opinion, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It can be very sad and slightly depressing at times...but then musically we hear that hint of hope. I think this captures the essence of the X-Men very well. They are a different kind of superhero. They are cool...but boy do they have problems...and I'm not talking about "I forgot my homework...or Does Mary Jane like me" stuff. They are shunned, hated, hunted, and got some pretty screwed up personal issues. They need this music. I think you can have more enjoyment and appreciation for it when you take it into context. The standout track for me, as I said, is track 3 entitled "Hope". It really captures this well and should be an X-Men anthem. It's simple rhythmic bass with single piano notes typed out is amazing.
This isn't music to daydream that you are one of the X-Men. It's music that gives you a hint of what it is like to live as one.