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Jurassic Park III

Track List:
  1. Isla Sorna Sailing Situation
  2. The Dinosaur Fly-By
  3. Cooper's Last Stand
  4. The Raptor Room
  5. Raptor Repartee
  6. Tree People
  7. Pteranodon
  8. Billy Oblivious
  9. Brachiosaurus On the Bank
  10. Nash Calling
  11. Bone Man Ben
  12. Frenzy Fuselage
  13. Clash of Extinction
  14. The Hat Returns/End Credits
  15. Big Hat, No Cattle (Randy Newman)

Total Time: (54:27)

Original Themes composed by:
John Williams

Score Composed by:
Don Davis

Orchestrated by:
Don Davis

Conducted by:
Don Davis

Don Davis' contribution to the aural Jurassic Park series may just be the single most entertaining yet... However, as a film score, I find that it may just be a little too noisy for its own good. Don Davis is an acknowleged master of wicked action scores, but I find that his music in this case, while good, just doesn't match up to the quality that John Williams has been responsible for.

Overall, as mentioned, Davis' work is highly entertaining. I am very impressed at how he uses Williams' themes and works them into the score in his own way with his own unique sound. Though there is more than a hint of what sounds like Davis trying to mimic Williams' style. Davis is nowhere good at it as, say, Michael Giacchino (I'm gonna get MG's score to the video game The Lost World soon), but his effort in this direction is impressive none-the-less.

Though Davis uses the original themes to the best of his ability, I kind of get the feeling that he uses them a bit too much. He does have a couple of his own new themes (which are excellent) to add to the whole thing, but they don't get the attention they deserve as he showers so much attention on Williams' themes. This may be Davis showing his grattitude for being hand-picked by Williams, but I think that Davis could have showed off his talents a little more. One of the themes that he composed is just about on par with those that Williams himself wrote, and I would have liked to have heard more of it.

As usual, Davis add witty names to the track titles. He did this in both The Matrix and House on Haunted Hill, whose track titles were remarked on by quite a few individuals. I even read in an interview somewhere with Davis (not the interview on the disc) that he spends almost as much time coming up with his track titles as he does composing the cues themselves, which I find quite humorous.

Everybody had a big complaint regarding that damn cardboard dinosaur display in The Lost World soundtrack, and there is something about the new CD release that has bugged score fans everywhere: The CD has an annoying enhancement which not only prevents a lot of the score from appearing on the disc, but runs automatically and contains little information about the score when place in your computer. There is an interview with Davis that is interesting, but it is only a short, written interview, not a video like it could have been. What video is there is just the stupid trailer for the movie. I haven't seen the film, and I seriously doubt that I'm going to (after The Lost World... *shudder*). Also, since there was less time was on the disc to begin with because of the enhancement, somebody decided to put a really stupid Randy Newman song on the end. Don't get me wrong, I like Randy Newman, but this song is just ridiculous, and there could have been more score in its place.

I certainly like Davis' big blockbuster score this summer, though it's probably the second weakest after Pearl Harbor in the big lineup (though I haven't heard Powell's Evolution yet, which I hear is actually good). For the most part I would recommend the other summer blockbuster scores out this summer, but Jurassic Park III is definitely a great score worthy of anyone's attention, and though it's got its flaws, I can easily recommend it. If it's just Davis you're looking for though, make sure to pick up House on Haunted Hill first. ;-)

Jurassic Park III is Copyright 2001 Decca Records. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.