Tag Archives: theodore shapiro



In these days of film music being purveyed by varying methods and also via different musical mediums such as samples, or synthetics as well as symphonic and acoustic, I get a little frustrated that certain composers who are so talented get overlooked, Theodore Shapiro is one such uber talented composer arranger, his inventive music has graced many a movie in recent years and he has also worked on a multitude of genres. With each project his musical prowess in my opinion has grown and he is a composer who I think is capable of anything no matter what genre of film, whatever the scenarios are etc. BOMBSHELL is probably one of his most inventive scores, and one that I will say here and now I enjoyed immensely. I love the way in which the composer creates atmospheres and layers of moods via his use of both upbeat percussion and female voices that are underlined and supported by strings and infectious sounding backing tracks. Certainly one to check out and add to the collection, the same can be said for LAST CHRISTMAS although its billed as having a soundtrack by Wham and George Michael, the actual score is by Shapiro, it’s a subtle and light work, which contains lots of melancholy and is overflowing with touching and emotive interludes, these may not be memorable but are definitely entertaining and work well in the movie and away from it.


Listening to the score is in my opinion a carefree and uncomplicated task, the music washes over you, and just gives pleasure. Shapiro, is a talented composer and an artist that really needs to be recognised more fully for his accomplishments in the field of film scoring. I for one loved his CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS and also liked the film (probably a bit too much, but that’s another story). His score was a parody of everything that was remotely comic book hero, but it also had to it a lushness and a commanding aura, containing great themes, that were rich and vibrantly affecting. It was a kind of SUPERMAN, meets BATMAN meets a glitzy show tune. Very entertaining.



But then there is his dark and atmospheric score for DESTROYER, tense and sinister, but at the same time beautifully emotive. Plus, one of my favourites by the composer, A SIMPLE FAVOR, which contains some inventive compositions and equally quirky orchestrations. So, Shapiro, is in effect a consummate and Chameleon like composer, providing so many styles and differing sounds for each of his projects.


His score for the GHOSTBUSTERS re-boot is a score that is filled with a sound and style that is highly charged and contains some sublime musical moments. Especially in cues such as THE GARRET ATTACK, in which the composer utilises choir alongside rasping brass and pounding percussion. Shapiro is in my opinion an unsung hero of film music, and I hope in 2020 this will change.

So back to one of his recent scores BOMBSHELL, It is a soundtrack that has to it a very appealing sound and also a style that is highly original, the composers combination of voices and instrumental pieces is stunning and is wonderfully affective, there is to this work a simplicity but at the same time a more complex persona that lingers in the background, the attractive, entertaining, inventive and quirky orchestrations too shine throughout the scores running time. Shapiro, inventing, experimenting and establishing his own musical fingerprint and placing it firmly upon the movie. I love the freshness and the vitality of the score with its expressive energy and melodic content. The track PROBLEMS WITH WOMEN is particularly entertaining, the composer making use of percussive elements to create an up-tempo background to which he adds a near comedic sound which is purveyed by pizzicato.


But for me it is the use of human voice or at least sounds made by it within the score, again simple but so affective, saxophone too features that punctuates and embellishes on several cues. This is a score that is highly recommended, it has to it the E factor, E standing for Entertaining.




DUN DUN DAHHHHHHH its CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS, no not me, the movie, although hang on maybe if I, ummm well maybe not,,,,. Faster than a speeding train, braver than anything you can think of and sillier than most things, that is CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS, BUT, what a fantastic movie, a laugh a minute it is great. If you are feeling fed up or just grumpy go watch this film it has such a wonderful formula and presence about it which if bottled would I think be a brilliant tonic to cheer everyone everywhere up. The music for this animated feature of epic proportions is the work of the talented composer Theodore Shapiro, I cannot give this score praise enough as it is not only bubbly, energetic, robust and melancholy, but is also filled to the rafters with so much thematic material that is fast paced and just so entertaining, without a doubt the music lends much to the movie and the composers timing with the musical full stops, commas and exclamation marks is uncanny and excellent. I also love the way in which the composer at times parodies the superhero sound that we seem to get served up in the serious movies of this type, not that I am saying CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS is not serious, of course it is, he is a superhero of the highest calibre and should be treated with the utmost respect. The score obviously contains its fair share of the lighter and more comedic sounds and trademarks, but it also has about it a more serious, yes serious sound, which works very well indeed within the context of the movie, adding drama, pathos and touches of slapstick if that is something that can be done musically. I must say I cannot recommend this enough, it’s just a non-stop rollercoaster ride of musical mayhem and magnificence that is overflowing with Bold Brass, stirring strings, rumbling percussion all of which combine to create a score that is faultlessly timed to hit the punchlines and accompany the action throughout, but it is such a great bit of fun too.



The composer utilising Symphonic and synthetic, with the added presence of choir, which underlines the magnitude and importance of this great superhero. There is even a slice of the HALLELUJAH CHORUS utilized within the score, but not as we know it, well it is but it’s got something to do with Poopy-pants so enough said, Theodore Shapiro, is I think one of the most inventive and talented composers around at the moment, he seems to be able to turn his hand and his talents to any genre of film and is able to fashion music to suit any situation and scenario, GHOSTBUSTERS is a prime example, it is another score that is dramatic but also epic sounding in places and like CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS verges upon the operatic in certain areas, an animated movie with a score that is big, brassy and filled with a gigantic musical persona and did I mention there are kazoos too. Now who in their right mind can resist this, I am just off to the chest of draws to find the underpants and cape, DUN DUN DAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! (and I leave you with that image). Seriously folks go get this score now.



The original GHOSTBUSTERS was without a doubt a popular movie, indeed nowadays it has something of a cult following, as does its soundtrack both the songs and the score by the late great Elmer Bernstein. So when reviewing the score for the new GHOSTBUSTERS movie I decided to try at least not to make any comparisons between the two scores. Essentially a comedy movie the new GHOSTBUSTERS also has its fair share of scary moments and jumps and jolts, it also contains a highly polished and atmospheric score by composer Theodore Shapiro, we all as film music collectors are aware of the ample talents of this composer, his soundtracks have entertained us over the past few years when he worked on such movies as THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, SPY, MARLEY AND ME, ST VINCENT, DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY and his particularly inventive score for TRUMBO etc etc, but I have to say with GHOSTBUSTERS the composer has certainly pulled out all of the stops and thrown into the ring a soundtrack that is wonderfully thematic as well as being dynamic, dramatic and highly imposing.


The composers brooding and sometimes dark and menacing compositions have about them an apprehensive aura but at the same time we have here a score that is filled with broad and expansive musical moments which at times verge on the epic when Shapiro enlists the aid of choir. The opening cue THE ALDRIDGE MANSION is a tense and foreboding piece in which strings and faraway sounding horns combine and build slowly to create an uneasy and imposing mood which verges upon but never really achieves its crescendo, but still achieves the desired effect of planting the listener firmly upon the edge of their seat. Track number two THE GARRET ATTACK after a brief introduction is a more upbeat and certainly more powerful cue, thundering percussion, and fearsome “Omen-like” choral performances push the track along at pace with strings, brass and dark sounding piano present to assist. Track number three, NEVER INVITED is a mix of action and respite, in my opinion the composer has created an old skool score which certainly works for me, brimming with strong and vibrant themes, dark and powerful cues that are enhanced and complimented by a handful of what can be categorised as lilting and melodious nuances which at times raise their heads bringing a welcomed tranquil atmosphere to a more or less non stop full throttle score. I personally was impressed by the composers approach for the movie, as I say basically a comedy with a few dark undertones and Shapiro’s music reflects this but leans more towards the dramatic and foreboding. It is overflowing with inventive and richly dark compositions that take ones breath away and at times make you jump out of your skin, this is a score to add to your collection as soon as possible. It looks like the movie is set for box office success and maybe who knows a sequel, if this does happen don’t call the GHOSTBUSTERS call Theodore Shapiro. Go Buy it now…….