The role of music in a war film is especially complicated, and often the best idea, like war itself, is too refrain altogether from using it. There are far better ways to achieve both cinematic and Nationalist goals. Unfortunately, the vast majority of war flicks are utterly ruined by the soaring patriotic themes they employ. Their bloated orchestrations goosestep all over the action and the story, if there is any.
(“The Pacific” will premiere on HBO in 2010)
An exception to this was the brilliant HBO series, “Band of Brothers,” which triumphed both because of it’s great characters and it’s flawless action steeped in realism and awesome sound design. The music was used sparingly, and usually not at all during the immersive fire-fights. Michael Kamen’s score was really well done (if maybe slightly derivative of John Williams’ “Saving Private Ryan” score), especially the series theme song, and when music was employed with a delicate touch, it was quite good.
I’ve been looking forward to the follow-up series, “The Pacific,” since at least 2005 when it was announced (maybe earlier?). Executive producers Steven Spielberg, and Tom Hanks team up again for what must be a winner. It must be! Blake Neely, who was a conductor on “Band of Brothers” is credited as composer along with Geoff Zanelli. Both have some questionable ties to a certain “Pirate” film franchise, and the trailer music doesn’t bode well, but trailer music rarely does.