Meet Dave/Debney

July 19, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lately, it seems like Eddie Murphy is on a downword spiral for the worst picture of the year. His last film Norbit qualified for 2007 and Meet Dave is certainly a candidate for 2008. But then Brian Robbins who directed both films and showed a nice profit on Norbit likely has this whole thing figured out a lot better than this reviewer. This time Dave (E. Murphy) is the captain of a miniature spaceship of aliens trying to save their planet. There goal is to try and find this baseball-sized device on Earth which will save their planet. The film also stars Elizabeth Banks and Gabrielle Union. Maybe this reviewer is too far removed from the target market to even think that this is nothing more than a mediocre comedy. However, if the first weekend is any indication of how it will fare at the box-office, it will lose money so maybe there is a little wisdom in my thoughts. Murphy is certainly a capable actor with an outstanding performance in Dreamgirls, released in 2006. Perhaps this is just something to do to get a nice paycheck between voice jobs in the Shrek series? One thing for sure at least at this time in his career: he manages to stay extremely busy.

John “Generic” Debney can always be counted on by producer/directors to write material that will fit the plot and not add to or take away from the film, with exactly the right kind of music necessary. This film is no exception. One could very easily produce a series of commercials in a wide genre using the cues produced for this score. “Orb Arrives on Earth” and “Dave’s System Check” have that all too familiar Star Trek, Star Wars, space sound. The orb motif is repeated in “Blast Off and Return” after a loud ear squeaking beginning, as well as on “Mini Dave Apologizes” and “Saved by the Bus.” In fact it was necessary for me to give this soundtrack more than one listen before I picked up on the fact that the motif was featured on more than one track. It is there but extremely difficult to pick it out! “Gina Runs Into Dave” is a swingy little dance number with some nice baritone sax, a laughing trumpet, and bright upbeat string work but no melody. “Whipping Eggs” is a cartoon like little number, cute enough but really brief. With the soundtrack logging in at only 42 minutes for 27 tracks most of them are quite short. Romance is in the air on “Gina’s Painting”, “Dave’s True Feelings”, and a “Kiss in the Park.” They feature what else but a soft elegant piano with strings. Yawn. More comic book hero music can also be heard in “The Battle Begins”, “I am Dave Ming Chang”, and “Saving Earth.” “I’m in Charge” is a landscape military charge.

There is nothing wrong with this score. People who are fond of the film, John Debney, or Eddie Murphy will likely enjoy the music as well. However, if your a fan of film music you’ll likely find little appeal to the landscape score that Debney wrote for this film. This music could have been used as part of a NASA tourist tour for the elevator that goes up and down the rocket. Or it could be background material for any number of retail stores or restaurants. All through the first listen I kept waiting for something exciting to happen and nothing happened except a yawn or two. Stick your neck out next time John and take a chance!

Main Titles rating is **

 

Track listing

1. Orb Arrives on Earth (01:33)

 

2. Dave Comes to Earth (01:41)

 

3. Gina Runs into Dave (01:22)

 

4. Dave’s System Check (02:22)

 

5. Addressing the Crew (01:01)

 

6. Drunken Man in Alley (01:41)

 

7. Whipping Eggs (01:13)

 

8. A Kiss in the Park (00:56)

 

9. Welcome to Old Navy (01:55)

 

10. Deli Robbers (01:53)

 

11. Gina’s Painting (01:24)

 

12. Urban Camping with Dave (01:32)

 

13. Dave to the Rescue (01:19)

 

14. Standoff (01:01)

 

15. I’m in Charge Now (01:19)

 

16. Evil Dave Blasts Police Station (01:22)

 

17. Reinforcements Arrive (00:49)

 

18. Never Argue with a Female (01:11)

 

19. Betrayal / Mini Dave No. 3 (02:56)

 

20. Saved by the Bugs / Dave’s True Feelings (01:33)

 

21. Hailing a Cab (00:44)

 

22. The Battle Begins (02:10)

 

23. I Am Dave Ming Chang (02:05)

 

24. Saving Earth (01:22)

 

25. Power Shutdown (01:24)

 

26. Mini Dave Apologizes (02:56)

 

27. Blast off and Return (02:12)

 

Total Duration: 00:42:56

 

Varese Sarabande # is 302 066 906 2

 

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