Ryan Amon
Elysium


4.5
superb

Review

by Acanthus USER (46 Reviews)
August 11th, 2013 | 37 replies


Release Date: 08/06/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Never before have I listened to a score after a film and been so moved that I immediately began to change my opinion of various scenes and moments post-viewing.

Though the sights, sounds, and directorial decisions surrounding Elysium may be at the core of the many discussions about the film, Ryan Amon's score proves to be one of the strongest highlights of the movie. Organic, and yet distinctly industrialized (though not necessarily in the genre sense of the word) it's an amazing companion to a film that often likes to overshadow the music with action sequences. While not readily apparent throughout the film, the few times Amon's score does end up being more prominent makes a clear difference in the impact of the scene; Elysium may be Amon's first score, but I sincerely hope it's not the last.

With a love of traditional orchestra mixed with various sounds from cultures around the globe, Elysium is far more than the average score. Though the first trailers use of the now somewhat iconic/loathed horn blast may seem a bit off putting and lead many to dismiss the soundtrack as just another generic scifi romp, this would be a severe oversight. Amon is extremely aware of the world director Niel Blomkamp has created, and fits the music accordingly. The sounds used evoke both a familiar and tribal feeling, one that becomes multicultural as well as somewhat alien as the film and score progress. Tracks like “Unathorized Entry” and “You Said You'd Do Anything” are both haunting and driving, the later featuring shamanic chanting and pounding drums accompanying its respective scene, creating an atmosphere of tension and even a feeling of ascension in the process.

Sounds from the Elysium's world are hinted at in the score as well, and in some cases what I had thought was the sound of a particular weapon in the film was really just a part from the score used masterfully to highlight the action. “A Political Sickness” is a prime example, with sounds from the attack shuttles engines stabbing away in the background as a mechanical whine is overlayed to accommodate the severity of the scenes violence. Traditional orchestral moments weave in and out, alluding to the battle between the villain and protagonist happening on screen and making the moment far more memorable in the process.

Ideally a score should highlight the film, and elicit feelings and memories the listener has associate with the movie. Amon's Elysium goes above and beyond this standard, pushing the film up on the shoulders of its strong movements and masterful arrangement. Never before have I listened to a score after a film and been so moved that I immediately began to change my opinion of various scenes and moments post-viewing. Blomkamp's choice to use a first time composer proved to be an amazing decision, Amon's professed love of travel and world culture shines through the score and melts into the films world, enhancing it. Elysium tops my list of best soundtrack this year, and I consider it a must listen to anyone who saw and had mixed feelings about the film.



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user ratings (3)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
August 11th 2013


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

God this score is awesome. I know the film has got a lot of criticism, but regardless feel that the
music brought everything up to a new level.

Replaced M83's Oblivion score as my favorite of the year, snippets/purchase link:

http://www.amazon.com/Elysium/dp/B00EALFIUW/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_mus?ie=UTF8&qid=1376243316&sr=8-
1&keywords=elysium+soundtrack

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
August 11th 2013


1733 Comments


Didn't like the movie, but I agree.

Acanthus
August 11th 2013


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I don't really care too much about the debate the film sparked, other than mentioning it to contrast the music I didn't want to really go into it.

MO
August 11th 2013


19086 Comments


sweet sup acanthus. how was the flick? I keep hearing mixed things

Acanthus
August 11th 2013


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Mixed about sums it up really, a lot of people went in with expectations that weren't met. District 9 did a better job at world building (obviously was less action-y as well), but the commentary is more overt/readily apparent this time around. The movie has fun technology and some good moments, but things feel a bit short/rushed and not a lot is ever delved into; I'm curious to see if there is a directors cut with longer scenes released.

I still liked it a lot though, and really enjoyed seeing Blomkamp back in the directors chair. His use of accents, locations, and the mix of high tech low life was great to see.

I'd recommend to go watch it if the tickets aren't too bad (paid $7.25 for mine).

cvlts
August 11th 2013


8987 Comments


was really glad the political aspects of the film were a lot more muted then expected. Iono, I for one loved the film

YoYoMancuso
August 11th 2013


11224 Comments


This review is brilliant. I really wanna see this movie.

climactic
August 11th 2013


20002 Comments


movie was pretty cool. ending got super bible-y though

Digging: Downfall of Gaia - Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay

Acanthus
August 11th 2013


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Yoyo - Thanks, I really felt inspired about this.

@climatic - meh, there's pros and cons to the ending but I don't think anyone really thought it would end any other way.

Calc
August 11th 2013


12377 Comments


there were two specific scenes in this movie where the cinematography floored me. its was like nothing i've ever seen before.

Acanthus
August 11th 2013


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It definitely had its moments, but I hated being around/aware of the hype of the film before being able to see it.

TrueBlood
August 11th 2013


1388 Comments


Great enticing summary.

climactic
August 11th 2013


20002 Comments


yeah the ending kinda had to be that way unless they planned on making a sequel (no). not that the religious element bugged me, it was just a little too obvious

i loved the cinematography too, i'm a sucker for awesome-looking space movies. the cgi was also sweet, i loved the fights with the droids and the shots spaceships entering elysium

Acanthus
August 11th 2013


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This year has been good for scifi so far period.

@True - It surprised me, this hadn't happened before this score

Gyromania
August 11th 2013


16114 Comments


great writeup. alex beebe will be pissed

cvlts
August 11th 2013


8987 Comments


pretty religious person myself and I didn't get any of that with the ending... makes sense now that you bring it up though

Gyromania
August 11th 2013


16114 Comments


this movie actually looked kinda terrible to me. might check it out though

cvlts
August 11th 2013


8987 Comments


I mean the story isn't nearly as politically charged as it was made out to be, it's actually fairly basic... cinematography is like 5/5 level though, Burial is used as background music, and Sharlto Copely better get an Oscar nomination one day

Gyromania
August 11th 2013


16114 Comments


yah it looks like more style than substance, which i can appreciate in some forms, i guess. movies
like these usually masquerade as politic savvy but end up being shallow and lame. i found a download
though so i'll give it a shot. pretty cool that burial was used in this

Acanthus
August 11th 2013


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

To be honest I didn't notice any of the non-score songs that much (can't even recall if they were in the film at all).



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