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The latest release from Intrada is the fourth volume of Alan Silvestri's Emmy-winning music from the popular TV series COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY.


Next week, La-La Land plans to release a four-disc set of music from the beloved BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, dominated, not surprisingly, by cues from episode scores by the series most prolific composer, Christophe Beck, but also featuring cues by Shawn Clement & Sean Murphy, Robert Duncan, and Thomas Wanker (who now goes by Thomas Wander), as well as Carter Burwell's previously unreleased score for the 1992 feature (starring Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry, Donald Sutherland, Rutger Hauer and Paul Reubens) that inspired the series.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that as part of their "Oscar Week" public events celebrating several of the categories, they will hold an OSCAR CONCERT (the last one was four years ago, and included Alexandre Desplat, Thomas Newman and John Williams conducting selections from their nominated scores) on Wednesday, February 28 at Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. According to the press release:

Curated by composers and Academy Governors Michael Giacchino, Laura Karpman, and Charles Bernstein, the evening offers an insider’s look at film scoring across the decades, with select scores performed live by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by conductor Thomas Wilkins, and special guest Terence Blanchard (trumpet), with additional special guests to be announced. The Oscar Concert explores the history of film music through special arrangements of beloved scores by composers including Tan Dun, Quincy Jones, Mica Levi, Rachel Portman, A.R. Rahman, and many more, with accompanying film clips shown in HD on Walt Disney Concert Hall’s large screen. 
 
The evening opens with an introduction by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino and Oscar-winning director Pete Docter, who will explore the challenges and rewards of film scoring, utilizing music from the Oscar-winning film UP. Organized into vignettes, the program explores the emotions and excitement that film scores evoke, including the sound of home, the sound of the chase, the sound of fear, the sound of love, and the sound of courage. The evening closes with the world premiere of specially arranged suites from all five Original Score nominees.

The press release lists the full program as currently planned: 


Introduction
Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino and Oscar-winning director Pete Docter present a live demonstration of the scoring process. 
Musical selections from the Oscar-winning film UP
 
The Sound of Home:
Rachel Portman, Nicholas Nickleby
Nino Rota, Amarcord 
A. R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
 
The Sound of the Chase:
Dave Grusin, The Firm 
Lalo Schifrin, Bullitt 
Jerry Goldsmith, The Great Train Robbery
 
The Sound of Fear:
Mica Levi, Jackie
Quincy Jones, In Cold Blood
John Carpenter, Halloween
John Williams, The Witches of Eastwick
 
The Sound of Love
Erich Wolfgang Korngold, The Adventures of Robin Hood
Luis Bacalov, Il Postino 
Tan Dun, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
 
The Sound of Courage:
Terence Blanchard, Malcolm X
    Terence Blanchard, trumpet
Joe Hisaishi, Spirited Away
Alex North, Spartacus 
 
The Sound of the Future:
World premiere suites from this year’s nominated films for Original Score
Carter Burwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
John Williams, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk

CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Beauty and the Beast: Disney Legacy Edition - Alan Menken - Disney
Churchill 
- Lorne Balfe - Filmtrax
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, vol. 4 - Alan Silvestri - Intrada Special Collection
Deep
 - Fernando Velazquez - Quartet
A Fantastic Woman
 - Matthew Herbert - Milan
Hostiles 
- Max Richter - Deutsche Grammophon
La Peste
 - Julio De La Rosa - Quartet
The Lee Holdridge Collection vol. 1
 - Lee Holdridge - Dragon's Domain
The Leisure Seeker - Carlo Virzi - BMG (import)
Mark Felt - The Man Who Brought Down the White House 
- Daniel Pemberton - Filmtrax
Outlander: Season 3
 - Bear McCreary - Madison Gate
Phantom Thread
 - Jonny Greenwood - Nonesuch
Que Baje Dios, Y Lo Vea
 - Fernando Velazquez - Quartet
The Quest/The True Story of Eskimo Nell
 - Brian May - Dragon's Domain
Thi Mai Rumbo a Vietnam
 - Fernando Velazquez - Quartet


IN THEATERS TODAY

Basmati Blues - Steven Argila
Becks - Alyssa Robbins, Steve Salett
Bomb City - Coby Chick, Sheldon R. Chick
Entanglement - Andrew Harris
The Female Brain - Jeff Cardoni
Fifty Shades Freed - Danny Elfman - Score CD due Feb. 16 on Backlot
The 15:17 to Paris - Christian Jacob
Monster Family - Hendrik Schwarzer
Permission - Thomas Bartlett, Joan As Police Woman
Peter Rabbit - Dominic Lewis
The Ritual - Ben Lovett
Still/Born - Blitz//Berlin
When We First Met - Eric V. Hachikian

COMING SOON

February 16
Buffy, the Vampire Slayer - Christophe Beck, Carter Burwell, Shawn Clement, Robert Duncan, Sean Murray, Thomas Wander - La-La Land
The Commuter 
- Roque Banos - Varese Sarabande
Fifty Shades Freed
 - Danny Elfman - Backlot
Game Night - Cliff Martinez - WaterTower [CD-R]
February 23
Early Man - Harry Gregson-Williams, Tom Howe - Mercury (import)
Il Corsaro Nero
 - Gino Peguri - Digitmovies
L'Allenatore Nel Pallone
- Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis - Beat
Sono Un Fenomeno Paranormale 
- Piero Piccioni - Digitmovies
March 2
Charlotte's Web 
- Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman - Varese Sarabande
McMafia - Tom Hodge, Franz Kirmann - Decca (import)
March 9 
The Exorcist - Tyler Bates - Milan
March 23
The Alienist - Rupert Gregson-Williams - Lakeshore
A Wrinkle in Time - Ramin Djawadi - Disney
April 6
Howards End [U.S. release] - Nico Muhly - Milan 
Pacific Rim Uprising - Lorne Balfe - Milan
Date Unknown
Antonia
 - Jorge Aliaga - Rosetta
Francis Lai at Universal Pictures
- Francis Lai - Music Box
Ivan the Terrible
 - Sergei Prokofiev - Capriccio
Red de Libertad
 - Oscar Martin Leanizabarrutia - Rosetta
Revenge
- Rob - Music Box
Rings
 - Matthew Margeson - Rambling (import)
Salvatore - Questa e La Vita
 - Paolo Vivaldi - Kronos


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

February 9 - Jean Constantin born (1923)
February 9 - Barry Mann born (1939)
February 9 - Alfred Newman begins recording his score for The Counterfeit Traitor (1962)
February 9 - Gregory Tripi born (1975)
February 9 - Percy Faith died (1976)
February 9 - Jean-Claude Petit begins recording his score for The Return of the Musketeers (1989)
February 9 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “One Little Ship” (1998)
February 10 - Larry Adler born (1914)
February 10 - Gordon Zahler born (1926)
February 10 - Jerry Goldsmith born (1929)
February 10 - Billy Goldenberg born (1936)
February 10 - Nathan Van Cleave records his score for The Space Children (1958)
February 10 - Bruce Broughton records his score for the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “The Golden Man” (1981)
February 10 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “By Inferno’s Light” (1997)
February 11 - Recording sessions begin for Leigh Harline's score for The Desert Rats (1953)
February 11 - Bernard Herrmann records his score for the Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “Wally the Beard” (1964)
February 11 - Richard Markowitz records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “The Bunker” (1969)
February 11 - Mike Shinoda born (1977)
February 11 - Heinz Roemheld died (1985)
February 11 - Don Davis begins recording his score for The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
February 12 - Howard Blake born (1938)
February 12 - Bill Laswell born (1955)
February 12 - George Antheil died (1959)
February 12 - Benjamin Frankel died (1973)
February 12 - Lalo Schifrin begins recording his score for Sky Riders (1976)
February 12 - Bruce Broughton begins recording his score for The Rescue (1988)
February 12 - John Williams begins recording his score for A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
February 12 - George Aliceson Tipton died (2016)
February 13 - Lennie Hayton born (1908)
February 13 - Erik Nordgren born (1913)
February 13 - Fred Karger born (1916)
February 13 - Nino Oliviero born (1918)
February 13 - Gerald Fried born (1928)
February 13 - Peter Gabriel born (1950)
February 13 - W.G. Snuffy Walden born (1950)
February 13 - William Axt died (1959)
February 13 - Joseph Mullendore records his score for the Lost in Space episode "Junkyard in Space" (1968)
February 13 - Fred Myrow begins recording score to Soylent Green (1973)
February 13 - Jerry Fielding begins recording his score for Funeral Home (1980)
February 14 - Werner Heymann born (1886)
February 14 - Elliot Lawrence born (1925)
February 14 - Merl Saunders born (1934)
February 14 - Andre Previn begins recording his score for Challenge to Lassie (1949)
February 14 - Jocelyn Pook born (1960)
February 14 - David Holmes born (1969)
February 14 - Ken Thorne begins recording his score for Superman III (1983)
February 14 - Frederick Loewe died (1988)
February 14 - Piero Umiliani died (2001)
February 15 - Georges Auric born (1899)
February 15 - Harold Arlen born (1905)
February 15 - Miklos Rozsa records his replacement score for Crest of the Wave (1954)
February 15 - Stephen Edwards born (1972)
February 15 - Johnny Harris records his score for the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “Space Rockers” (1980)
February 15 - Pierre Bachelet died (2005)

DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

AMANDA KNOX - Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans

"So the doc-'Rashomon' approach works, as does the style -- inventive photography, sharp cutting, baroque score – even if we keep waiting for the filmmakers to blow our minds in a way they never quite do. 'Amanda Knox' isn’t a great true crime movie, but it’ll do ’till the next great one comes along."
 
Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
 
"But you wouldn’t know any of that if you took Netflix’s new Amanda Knox documentary as your only authority on the case. The production values are high. The music is ominous. But the villain here is not whoever killed Kercher. It’s whoever persecuted Knox, and kept her in jail for four years for a crime she did not commit. The documentary, in a somewhat confusing retelling of the facts, seems even somewhat unsure of who that is. The Italian prosecutor? The public? It presents the bad facts about each. It shows you the people screaming in Italian town squares, when Knox was ultimately acquitted, that she was a murderer. It presents you with the prosecutor who really, I think, should have been a novelist, so elegantly do the tendrils of his ridiculous imagination unfurl before us."
 
Michelle Dean, The New Republic

COME WHAT MAY - Ennio Morricone

"But director Christian Carion and his fellow screenwriters Andrew Bampfield and Laure Irrmann ask way too much of one’s suspension of belief, boldly kicking in the shins of any intermittent goodwill I felt toward the film. This is the occasional outcome of films of personal tribute such as this, a film dedicated to the director’s mother. She made the same journey his characters do, and while truth is often stranger than fiction, I doubt if the truth were as strange as this. Nor would it have been accompanied by a pretty Ennio Morricone score that expertly wields a lament-filled melody."
 
Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com
 
"Even an achingly beautiful Ennio Morricone score (too beautiful by half, truth be told) can’t spare us from the tedium of the villagers’ forced march. A bizarre subplot regarding a Snidely Whiplash-grade Nazi-propaganda filmmaker does little to advance the plot, but it does give Rhys something visually stunning to do. To be fair, there are moments of lyrical beauty scattered around like dead dray horses in wartime -- an air attack on the villagers’ ragtag column, a poetic sequence featuring dozens of Panzer tanks rolling like behemoths across a rippling French wheat field -- but 'Come What May' over-romanticizes the horrific, forced French exodus. There’s even a wine-besotted town drunk who stays behind to save his beloved cellar cache of rare vintages and ends up traveling with Percy and Hans. Trés Française! It’s all too much, and trop belle pour moi."
 
Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

"In moments of tender warmth, light seems to glow from within the refugees’ faces as Ennio Morricone’s score swells persuasively, and then for a laugh a goose will amble into the frame. It’s that kind of movie, pitting human decency against the forces of darkness, which in this case harry the tufted Nord-Pas-de-Calais countryside with Panzer tanks and Messerschmitt fighter planes. The goose cowers from the former and gapes at the latter, and audiences might be likewise confused: Carion doesn’t seem certain, in these sequences, whether we should be dazzled at his showmanship or scared at the might of the Reich.The rest of the time, Carion is pushily certain of what we’re supposed to feel, even at the expense of in-scene reality. When two characters who have been longing for each other are reunited, the director has one first spot the other’s feet, and then look up, slowly, over the rest of the person, only gradually realizing who it is. Why the other person, the one just posed there as the music crests, waits through all this rather than announce himself is one of those mysteries we must chalk up to Movie Magic."
 
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

"It’s 1939 and the Germans are at the border of Arras in director Christian Carion’s 'Come What May,' a wearisome historical drama that peddles dainty images and a melancholic score by Ennio Morricone in its depiction of the Nazis’ persecution of French citizens. The time period provides little more than an excuse to include shots of horses carrying carts of forlorn French people who are distraught by their present circumstances, but hopeful for a day when they can return to their quotidian affairs. Throughout, the filmmakers idealize oppression without interrogating its effects, placing victimized people within a painterly setting and sentimentalizing their devotion to national pride as a form of political resistance. Scores of individuals parade through the film’s rustic terrain, and Carion fails to convincingly humanize a single one of them. Persons like Suzanne (Alice Isaaz), who’s tasked with caring for young Max (Joshio Marlon) after his father is abducted during the night, simply wander about with a furrowed brow, her consternation the extent of her characterization. When Max screams for his stolen father during the night, Carion rotely overlays piano notes from Morricone’s lamentful score. The filmmaker isn’t interested in wedging his way into his characters with any rigor or depth, which gives 'Come What May' an incessantly hit-and-run feel, incapable of taking stock of the destruction its very premise claims to be compelled to explicate."
 
Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine
 
"Closing-credits photographs of WWII French refugees fleeing Nazi forces are the most poignant element of 'Come What May,' whose fictional saga about townsfolk forced to abandon their homes, and two disparate men’s attempts to reunite with them, is a respectable but dully melodramatic affair. Director Christian Carion’s first feature since 2009’s 'Farewell' is bolstered by a sweeping Ennio Morricone score, yet his narrative is too episodic, and his characters too one-dimensional, to carry the weight of grand historical tragedy, resulting in a picturesque, middle-of-the-road effort unlikely to entice anyone outside the art-house crowd.Hans leaves notes for his father on village blackboards to make sure he knows how to find him, Paul struggles to maintain authority over his nomadic caravan, and Hans and Percy join up with a wine-loving local (Laurent Gerra) and are forced to combat a duo of nosy Nazi scouts -- all events that are reasonably compelling in the moment but untethered to any meaningful commentary on heroism, sacrifice, altruism, nationalism, identity, or the plight of migrants (the last of which might have lent the action a contemporary timeliness). Although Diehl, Gourmet, and Rhys ably handle their roles, their characters’ one-trait-only construction leaves them with little to work with, thus putting the onus on Morricone’s lovely (if over-used) orchestral themes to imbue the material with depth of emotion."
 
Nick Schager, Variety

"With a budget of €15 million ($16 million), May has the slick, sun-dappled look of many a Euro period piece, using its setting to the fullest -- including enough picturesque vistas to make you want to move to northern France, Nazis or not. Along with Pierre Cottereau’s handsome visuals, a score by Ennio Morricone offers up comforting melodies, accompanying a movie that retreats way too often toward safe cinematic ground."
 
Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter

COMMAND AND CONTROL - Mark Adler
 
"Director Robert Kenner (adapting Eric Schlosser’s book) constructs a tense, scary tick-tock of a 1980 accident at an Arkansas facility housing a powerful nuclear warhead, but he doesn’t stop there; he uses the incident as the framing device to cue historical and scientific digressions on the nuclear age and its relatively unexamined danger not to our enemies, but our citizens. The implications of disturbances like this are downright terrifying, and Kenner captures that intensity via candid interviews, stylish reconstructions, and urgent music, creating a brisk, efficient exploration of a troubling moment in our history, with questions that are very much of this moment."
 
Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
 
CRIMINAL - Brian Tyler, Keith Power
 
"Visually, 'Criminal' sometimes apes the handheld verite-style of the Bourne movies, complete with high-tech rooms full of CIA analysts lit by the blue light of their computer screens, and hazy snippets of flashbacks in Jericho’s head. A droning, pulsing electronic score further underscores the aesthetic the filmmakers are after. But, perhaps appropriately, the best they can do with this pale imitation of a spy action-thriller is only nothing more than pale imitating at best."
 
Brent McKnight, Paste Magazine

"'Criminal' was written by Douglas Cook and David Weisberg, who scripted 'The Rock', a nutty 1996 Nicolas Cage vehicle. The director is Ariel Vromen, whose 'The Iceman' was a competent from-real-life 2013 drama that also involved mayhem and family values. But with its European locations, electro-thump score, and near-ceaseless violence, the movie plays like something tooled in French producer-scripter Luc Besson's factory for international action mashups."
 
Mark Jenkins, NPR

"Silly, far too convenient plot contrivances ensure that the history of Western civilization will continue when all is said and done. The ever-present electronic score wraps the proceedings in a cheaply melodramatic musical veil."
 
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

ELVIS & NIXON - Edward Shearmur
 
"The picture unpacks the bizarre circumstances surrounding the meeting -- Elvis’ conviction, at some point after watching 'Dr. Strangelove,' that his country needed him to fight the scourge of drugs; his sudden arrival at the White House to deliver a letter to the president at 6:30 a.m. -- with the funky spirit of a B picture from the period, with a brassy score and the frenzied pace of a parody."
 
Robert Levin, AM New York

"Nevertheless, I suspect the character won't fascinate anyone who isn't already an Elvis buff, because the movie's script (credited to three people) and direction (by Liza Johnson) treats the buildup to Elvis's White House visit as a series of sketch comedy-like moments that err on the side of cute and wacky. This is partly a pacing and structure issue, but it also comes from an evident failure of nerve. The film is by its nature a drawn-out, deadpan comedy, and in its quieter moments it absolutely nails that vibe, but the toodle-oodle faux-blues score (by Ed Shearmur) keeps chiming in, sometimes blaring in your ear, reassuring you that everyone onscreen is lovable and the whole story is just adorable as all get-out. "
 
Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

"All of that really happened, of course, and the famous photo of Tricky Dick shaking hands with a magnificently collared King might be a magnet on your refrigerator. Liza Johnson’s film, nudged along by ersatz 'Green Onions' funky riffing, is itself a sort of souvenir tchotchke, a product whose only clear goal is getting the two men in the room so we can giggle: at the president’s awkwardness and grievance-airing, at the singer’s polite bad manners, at the ways that the men connect, a little, by hating on the Beatles."
 
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
 
"Jerry is important to the story, but in trying to blow up that one photo, the canvas gets large enough that it rambles seemingly forever before we get to the event we want to see: Elvis and Nixon discussing their similarities and differences. When Elvis and Nixon do finally meet, and the obnoxious sitcom styled musical score no longer pulls us along with jangled promises of wackiness, the film slows, and the actors we want to see act against one another get to do just that."
 
Brian Formo, Collider

"Taking place just two months before Nixon’s notorious taping system was installed in the White House, 'Elvis & Nixon' can be construed as an ode to a more innocent time, when public figures still left a little something to the imagination. Johnson ('Hateship Loveship') certainly embraces a playful spirit with this frothy bit of make-believe -- from the porny guitar licks that open the film to the broad sight gags that push the action along, her film aspires to be nothing more than a breezy trip through time. Unfortunately, this milquetoast romp falls short of even that low bar. If everything that happened in the Oval Office was this forgettable, it’s no wonder why Nixon had recording devices planted there."
 
David Ehrlich, IndieWire

GIRL ASLEEP - Henry Covill
 
"Visually, aside from a few painful flubs (budget-related or not, they call attention to themselves because of how good the rest of the film looks), 'Girl Asleep' is exciting and often dazzling, and the score by Harry Covill, when working outside some of the more underwhelming songs on the soundtrack, is alluring (and probably under-used). But tonally, none of it really ever adds up. Elliot, who is as endearing as he is annoying, is such a caricature of a teenage boy that he only ever works in the comedic register, but the film asks for more than just laughs. The scenes in the forest are stark and verge on unnerving. Paired with the overall message of the film, which is almost painfully earnest, the wild oscillations become impossible not to notice -- in part because, while Myers and Whittet know how to frame a scene like Wes Anderson, they don’t yet know how to use that quirky attention to detail to build character and setting and tone."
 
Gary Garrison, The Playlist

THE GREASY STRANGLER - Andrew Hung

"You should have determined by now if 'The Greasy Strangler' is the kind of film you’d enjoy. If you like unflinching oddity and a heavy helping of twisted humor, 'The Greasy Strangler' delights with a high-saturated dose of WTF that will stick to your ribs long after the film is over, and not just because of the incredibly catchy score by Andrew Hung or the all-too-quotable one-liners. It’s richly explicit and deviously cheeky with just enough of a father-son narrative to provide a backbone for the surreal antics on display."
 
Haleigh Foutch, Collider
 
"In fact, the general professionalism and even elegance of 'The Greasy Strangler' might make it seem, to people who insist on their weirdness raw, a little contrived. Sometimes it undeniably tries too hard: Andrew Hung’s music, with its varispeed Chipmunks voices and Residents/Ariel Pink goofiness, somewhat forces the joke. Nevertheless, elegance there is: as witness the repeated flurries of fast cutting every time Big Ronnie sheds his body grease in visits to the car wash. It has auteur coherence too. Hosking’s website proves that he’s a man who stays true to his obsessions. 'The Greasy Strangler' has its own comic coherence: a style sustained throughout that’s best compared to a live-action cartoon. With a crew including DP Marten Tedin, production designer Jason Kisvarday, and costume designer Christina Blackaller, 'The Greasy Strangler' seems to have been drawn with a scratchy nib and colored in with big, bright, ugly felt pen."
 
Jonathan Romney, Film Comment

"And as the sexual competition between Ronnie and Brayden intensifies, the psychological cruelty ramps up. Ronnie’s preferred outfit for whisking ladies off their feet at the discotheque is a crotchless, crushed velvet jumpsuit, one that puts his enormous prosthetic on full display. Naturally, his overtly grotesque manner can’t lose. Janet disposes of the younger in favor of the elder, Ronnie responds to Brayden’s anguish with extended farts, Brayden develops a taste for murder himself, and the corpses pile up, all set to Andrew Hung’s dissonant electronic score, a squelching series of blurts, gurgles, and bleeps, somewhat like a children’s show theme with the batteries winding down."
 
Dave White, The Wrap

"Did I mention that Ronnie goes out at night covered in olive-colored grease and murders people while cartoonish neo-New-Wave-style synthesizer music blats out a beat? He goes on a tear, killing civilians, like the Indian tourist (Sam Dissanayake) whose only distinguishing characteristic is his tendency towards verbal diarrhea. Then he cleans himself in a car wash run by blind Big Paul (Gil Gex). And then he starts his day over with Brayden. Dialogue is often performed in a deliberately stilted manner, so a typical sentence like 'I've been making my own olive oil in my bedroom, extra virgin' inexplicably becomes four inter-related sentences."
 
Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com

"Andrew Hung from F*ck Buttons provides the electronic keyboard music which recalls the childlike melodies of Atom and His Package. That innocence is something that Elobar injects into his performance as Big Brayden and his strained relationship with his father. The two squabble and cackle from the start and what at first is perplexing becomes funnier the longer they go on at one another. When Brayden starts dating one of the tourists, Janet (Elizabeth De Razzo), his father feels an insatiable need to steal her away, leading to some lewd and often hilarious behaviour."
 
Katherine McLaughlin, The List

"There are a handful of unforgettable moments here: a hypnotic conversation revolving around the mispronunciation of the word 'potato', a glorious spotlit dance sequence, a strangely uplifting woodland climax. The costumes and decor are painstakingly precise, and the straight-faced performances can be funny. But however strange it gets, 'The Greasy Strangler' is rarely surprising. Once you lock into its repetitive pattern of deadpan dick jokes, cheapo gore, plinky-plonky keyboard tunes, drily delivered dialogue and lashings of grease, it quickly becomes tiresome. This is strictly for hipsters -- who’ll lap it up with a (greasy) spoon."
 
Tom Huddleston, Time Out London

"There’s an odd beauty in Hosking’s eye for staging scenes of mundane mayhem, placing his often pantsless actors in meticulously designed palettes -- Pepto pink, muted mustard -- and set to a warbling electronic Casio score, like an outsider Wes Anderson. In his ad and short film work Hosking racked up an impressive stable of curious unknowns, some of whom pop up again in 'The Greasy Strangler' (see: 'The Importance of Awards in Advertising: A Talk By M. Villivankk,' whose Sam Dissanayake turns up as a hilariously chatty Indian tourist)."
 
Jen Yamato, The Daily Beast
 
GREEN ROOM - Will Blair, Brooke Blair
 
"Production-wise, the project marks a step up as well. Lensed by Sean Porter, the cinematography maintains a claustrophobic dimension without seeming repetitive. The physical makeup and effects are inventive, allowing moments of gore that are unsettling while avoiding gratuitous extremes. The music is effectively moody, and even the graffiti and posters in the walls feel completely in keeping, while one can practically smell the sweat and feel the sticky walls of the dank venue."
 
Jason Gorber, IndieWire

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER'S WAR - James Newton Howard

"'Huntsman: Winter’s War' is indicative of a misconception that to take something originally meant for young people seriously is to treat it severely. To be sure, the pantheon of classic, un-sanitized fairy tales doesn’t lack for bloodshed, but this flagrantly superfluous sequel ignores the moral component of such stories in favor of decidedly blockbuster-scale violence. The carnage is all the more grisly when considered in the context of the film’s narrative, which exists largely to cross 'Snow White'with that most lucrative of contemporary fairy tales: Disney’s 'Frozen.' Kids will no doubt be excited to see a real-life Elsa in Freya (Emily Blunt), the ostensibly good sister of Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), but they may not be ready for the sight of the woman’s newborn baby burned to a cinder in the first five minutes of the film, or for Freya’s grief to manifest in the mass abduction and conscription of children into a brainwashed, merciless army. The extremity of this opening yields such horror that the remainder of 'Winter’s War' can never gel its nominally lighter fantasy with its grimmer moments. For example, an early montage of seized children being forced to train for battle is set to rousing orchestral music, which creates a jarring sense of triumph and valor to images of stolen children being brutally stripped of their innocence. This gives way to a time jump to reveal star draftees Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) in adulthood, where they’ve become Freya’s top huntsmen, as well as violators of her ban of love. A perfunctory dose of romance leads to an equally expected moment of horror, only for the action to leap forward to the aftermath of 'Snow White and the Huntsman' in time for a comic adventure to begin."
 
Jake Cole, Slant Magazine

THE JUNGLE BOOK - John Debney

"Murray is an irresistible sleazy hipster, an ursine Peter Venkman. The only problem is that he has one of the best songs in the Disney canon, the Sherman brothers’s 'The Bare Necessities,' and he doesn’t really … he isn’t quite … He can’t sing. So he wails in time -- he tries to do it bluesy -- and kills the great melody. I had to go home and listen to Phil Harris’s original from the ’67 cartoon to quench my thirst for the actual notes. The rest of the music is terrific. 'The Jungle Book' has a jazzy score by John Debney and a hilarious Marlon Brando-in-'Apocalypse Now' parody by Christopher Walken as the humongous orangutan-like ape King Louie. And there I would leave it except … Favreau has told the press that this 'Jungle Book 'is closer to Kipling’s original insofar as the animals are savage, and Shere Khan does get into it with Bagheera and even Baloo. Little kids might be shaken up. Some grown-ups, too. But this isn’t Kipling."
 
David Edelstein, Vulture

"The song breaks are a similarly cynical ploy. On paper, Murray and Walken singing 'The Bare Necessities' and 'I Wan’na Be Like You,' respectively, sounds intriguing. In execution, though, both sequences arrive like an unwanted Word from Our Sponsor interrupting Favreau’s feature presentation of Apocalyto: Mowgli’s Run. Murray and Walken’s dotting-old-man vocals might work with the seat-of-the-pants Dixieland with which Louis Prima and Phil Harris were supplied, but put up against John Debney’s blandly symphonic soundtrack cues, any weird nuances in their performances just come off as amateurisms."
 
Sam C. Mac, Slant Magazine
 
"But not all throwbacks thrive. The musical numbers could have sat it out. Composer John Depney’s [sic] comparatively pint-sized renditions of the originals may have worked in a breezier tone, but they feel misplaced under the weight of Favreau’s visual and emotional grandeur, especially King Louie’s (Christopher Walken) 'I Wanna Be Like You.' The numbers are meant to be gigantic in sound and in scope, but the overstuffed framing from inside Louie’s cave, which is so cozy he can hardly move, allows no breathing room for the sequence."
 
Melissa Weller, Paste Magazine

"Tackling his first feature-film role not only as the lead, but also as the only flesh-and-blood character on screen, young Sethi acquits himself well under what must have been challenging circumstances. His line readings don’t always fully pop, but he possesses a loose-limbed naturalness on camera, and perhaps most importantly for a film like this, he genuinely seems to be having fun. Voice work is excellent all around, from Nyong’o’s maternal warmth to Elba’s arrogant malevolence, and the late Garry Shandling has his moments as Ikki, the skittish porcupine. Composer John Debney offers a lush symphonic score, and the 3D work is impressive enough to justify the ticket price."
 
Andrew Barker, Variety

LONG WAY NORTH - Jonathan Morali
 
"The world that Chayé and his collaborators create has an immersive power, not only in an extraordinary blizzard scene, but in the eloquent play of sunlight, shadows and mist throughout the film. With its squawking seabirds, cracking ice floes and merciless winds, the sound design matches the vibrancy of the animation. Though the score is too sprightly at certain key moments, Chayé doesn’t retreat from the story’s darkness or contemplative notes. A climactic confrontation for Sacha has a breathtaking poetic boldness. You don’t have to be an animation buff to appreciate the chances this stirring saga takes."
 
Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
 
THE LOVERS AND THE DESPOT - Nathan Halpern

"However, you enjoy the film enormously in the moment. While no formal boundaries are being broken, Cannan and Adam give a real cinematic flair to the picture, mixing the inevitable talking heads (including some former spies, and Choi herself, still going strong at 89) with some impressive archival footage from across the DMZ, subtle reconstructions, and illustrative footage from Shin’s film and other Korean pictures from the period, cannily appropriated to help tell the story. There’s an excellent score, too, from one of our On The Rise composers Nathan Halpern ('Rich Hill,' 'One And Two')."
 
Oliver Lyttleton, IndieWire
 
"Constructing their film like a low-key suspense yarn (and unfortunately accompanied by a repetitive, ominous-styled synth score of the type often heard in the low-budget horror realm), directors Robert Cannan and Ross Adam set things up with a 1986 Washington, D.C., press conference, then flip back 30 years to paint a picture of the couple's prestigious stature, the hackneyed quality of many South Korean films at the time and the tense enmity between the two countries (Shin had been born and raised in an area now part of North Korea)."
 
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A.

Screenings of older films, at the following L.A. movie theaters: AMPASAmerican Cinematheque: AeroAmerican Cinematheque: EgyptianArclightLACMALaemmleNew BeverlyNuart and UCLA.

February 9
BRANDED TO KILL (Naozumi Yamamoto), BORN UNDER CROSSED STARS (Hajime Okumura) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
FRANCES HA [Cinematheque: Aero]
HAROLD AND MAUDE (Cat Stevens) [Nuart]
MILDRED PIERCE (Max Steiner), FLAMINGO ROAD (Max Steiner) [UCLA]

February 10
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (John Williams), INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (John Williams), INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (John Williams) [Cinematheque: Aero]
NINE TO FIVE (Charles Fox), SHE MARRIED HER BOSS [UCLA]
TOKYO DRIFTER (Hajime Kaburagi), THE FLOWERS AND THE ANGRY WAVES (Hajime Okumura) [Cinemathque: Egyptian]

February 11
EVERYTHING GOES WRONG (Keitaro Miho), FIGHTING DELINQUENTS (Seitaro Omori) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
SALESMAN [Cinematheque: Aero]

February 12
BEFORE SUNRISE [Arclight Hollywood]
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (Lennie Hayton) [Arclight Sherman Oaks]

February 13
DUNKIRK (Hans Zimmer), INTERSTELLAR (Hans Zimmer) [Cinematheque: Aero]
THE FIREMEN'S BALL (Karel Mares) [LACMA]
PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE (Jon Brion) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (Marc Shaiman) [Laemmle NoHo]
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (Marc Shaiman) [Laemmle Royal]
THE WAY WE WERE (Marvin Hamlisch) [Laemmle NoHo]
THE WAY WE WERE (Marvin Hamlisch) [Laemmle Royal]

February 14
BEFORE SUNSET [Arclight Hollywood]
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (Henry Mancini) [Arclight Sherman Oaks]
CASABLANCA (Max Steiner) [Cinematheque: Aero]
EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (Danny Elfman), TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE (Danny Elfman) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
LOVE ME DEADLY (Phil Moody) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
NECROMANTIK 2 (Hermann Kopp, Monika M., John Boy Walton) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE NOTEBOOK (Aaron Zigman) [Arclight Culver City]
SAY ANYTHING (Richard Gibbs, Anne Dudley) [Arclight Santa Monica]

February 15
FANTASTIC PLANET (Alain Goraguer) [Laemmle NoHo]
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (Joe Hisaishi), KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE (Joe Hisaishi) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
WAITING TO EXHALE (Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds), LADY SINGS THE BLUES (Michel Legrand) [Cinematheque: Aero]

February 16
BABY FACE (Leo F. Forbstein), WORKING GIRLS [UCLA]
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (Joe Hisaishi) [Cinematheque: Aero]
MIND GAME (Fayray, Seiichi Yamamoto) [Nuart]
MY BLOODY VALENTINE (Paul Zaza), A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE (Christopher Young - in person!) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

February 17
IVANSXTC (Matt Schultz, Elmo Webber) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (Joe Hisaishi) [Cinemathque: Aero]
NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (Joe Hisaishi), CASTLE IN THE SKY (Joe Hisaishi) [Cinematheque: Aero]
THE UNSUSPECTED (Franz Waxman), ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS (Leo F. Forbstein, Ray Heindorf) [UCLA]

February 18
SECRET ADMIRER (Jan Hammer), MYSTERY DATE (John DuPrez) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
SPIRITED AWAY (Joe Hisaishi) [Cinematheque: Aero]
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Comments (2):Log in or register to post your own comments
THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY is finally getting some Oscars recognition.

By the way: Tom Cruise does this, Tom Cruise does that ... on wires. No wires on Sean when he made his way across the top of a speeding train.

The score was actually shortlisted (along with Escape from Alcatraz, The Frisco Kid, Meteor and Time After Time), so it wasn't a one-hundred-percent snub.

But Connery on top of that train is one of my all-time favorite stunt sequences. Just jaw-dropping.

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