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The latest CD from Kritzerland, due early next year, is an expanded version of the 1958 remake of Cecil B. DeMille's 1938 swashbuckler THE BUCCANEER (a rare swashbuckler actually set in the United States), the only feature directed by Anthony Quinn, which reunited several of The Ten Commandments' star players -- Yul Brynner (as Jean Lafitte), Charlton Heston (as Andrew Jackson), DeMille himself (his final production before his death in 1959) and composer Elmer Bernstein. Bernstein's score was released on LP and later on CD courtesy of Varese Sarabande, but the Kritzerland CD, limited to 1000 units, features the score in its entirety for the first time. 


In not-really-film-music-related news, the Academy has announced the shortlist of nine films from which the five nominees for this year's Foreign Language Feature Oscar will be chosen. The films (and their composers) are:

THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN (Bjorn Eriksson) - Belgium
AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER - Bosnia and Herzegovina
THE GRANDMASTER (Shigeru Umebayashi, Nathaniel Mechaly) - Hong Kong
THE GREAT BEAUTY (Lele Marchitelli) - Italy
THE HUNT (Nikolaj Egelund) - Denmark
THE MISSING PICTURE (Marc Marder) - Cambodia
THE NOTEBOOK - Hungary
OMAR - Palestine
TWO LIVES (Christoph Kaiser, Julian Maas) - Germany


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Aglaja 
- Zbigniew Preisner - Quartet
Delitto A Porta Romano
 - Franco Micallizzi - Digitmovies
47 Ronin
 - Ilan Eshkeri - Varese Sarabande
Free Birds - Dominic Lewis - Sony (import)
La Lunga Spiaggia Fredda
 - Stelvio Cipriani - Digitmovies
The Little Wizard
 - Mark Timon Barcelo, Miguel Cordeiro - MovieScore Media/Kronos
The Mongols 
- Mario Nascimbene - Digitmovies
Out of the Furnace - Dickon Hinchliffe - Sony (import)
A Secret/Menachem & Fred 
- Zbigniew Preisner - Quartet
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Theodore Shapiro - Sony (import)


IN THEATERS TODAY

August: Osage County - Gustavo Santaolalla - Soundtrack CD with three Santaolalla cues due Jan. 7 on Sony
47 Ronin - Ilan Eshkeri - Score CD on Varese Sarabande
Grudge Match - Trevor Rabin
The Invisible Woman - Ilan Eshkeri
Labor Day - Rolfe Kent
Lone Survivor - Explosions in the Sky, Steve Jablonsky
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Theodore Shapiro - Score CD on Sony (import)
The Wolf of Wall Street - Executive Music Producer: Robbie Robertson - Song CD due Jan. 7 on Virgin


COMING SOON

December 31
Kill Your Darlings - Nico Muhly - Sony (import)
January 7
The Abyss: The Deluxe Edition
 - Alan Silvestri - Varese Sarabande CD Club
Brass Target 
- Laurence Rosenthal - Varese Sarabande CD Club
Runaway: The Deluxe Edition
 - Jerry Goldsmith - Varese Sarabande CD Club
Star Trek Nemesis: The Deluxe Edition
 - Jerry Goldsmith - Varese Sarabande CD Club
Suspect
 - Michael Kamen - Varese Sarabande CD Club
Vibes
 - James Horner - Varese Sarabande CD Clue
January 14
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - Patrick Doyle - Varese Sarabande
Oldboy 
- Roque Banos - Varese Sarabande
Ride Along - Christopher Lennertz - Varese Sarabande
January 21
I, Frankenstein - Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil - Lakeshore
Person of Interest: Season Two - Ramin Djawadi - Varese Sarabande
Date Unknown
Anton 
- Daniel Tjernberg, Mikael Tjernberg - Intermezzo
The Best of Silent Hill
 - Akira Yamaoka - Perseverance
The Buccaneer - Elmer Bernstein - Kritzerland
A Christmas Carol/A Child Is Born
 - Bernard Herrmann - Kritzerland
Colpo Di Mano 
- Stelvio Cipriani - GDM
Death Played the Flute
 - Daniele Patucchi - GDM
Die Spionin
 - Nic Raine - MovieScore Media/Kronos
The Doll Squad - Nicholas Carras - Monstrous Movie Music
Firefly: Music for Solo Piano
 - Greg Edmonson - Buysoundtrax
John Wayne at Fox - The Westerns
 - Elmer Bernstein, Hugo Montenegro, Lionel Newman - Kritzerland
Ladyhawke - Andrew Powell - La-La Land
Legends of Chima
 - Anthony Lledo - MovieScore Media/Kronos
Libera, Amore Mio!
 - Ennio Morricone - GDM
Music on Hold
 - Guillermo Guareschi - Howlin' Wolf
Omaggio a Donaggio
 - Pino Donaggio - MovieScore Media/Kronos
Patrick - Pino Donaggio - Quartet
Sabrina/We're No Angels
 - Frederick Hollander - Kritzerland
Sherlock: Series Three
 - David Arnold, Michael Price - Silva
Silent Night
 - Kevin Riepl - Howlin' Wolf
Thief 
- Tangerine Dream - Perseverance
Three Days (of Hamlet) 
- Jonathan Beard - Buysoundtrax


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

December 27 - Oscar Levant born (1906)
December 27 - John Williams begins recording his score to The Empire Strikes Back (1979)
December 28 - Mischa Spoliansky born (1898)
December 28 - Captain Blood released in theaters (1935)
December 28 - Spellbound released in theaters (1945)
December 28 - Recording sessions begin for Bronislau Kaper's score to Invitation (1952)
December 28 - Richard Band born (1958)
December 28 - Alex North begins recording his score to All Fall Down (1961)
December 28 - Max Steiner died (1971)
December 28 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Loud as a Whisper" (1988)
December 28 - Milton Rosen died (1994)
December 28 - Michel Michelet died (1995)
December 29 - Ron Goodwin begins recording his score for Submarine X-1 (1967)
December 29 - George Duning's score for the Star Trek episode "Return to Tomorrow" is recorded (1967)
December 30 - Dmitri Kabalevsky born (1904)
December 30 - Paul Bowles born (1910)
December 30 - Ray Cook born (1936)
December 30 - Michael Nesmith born (1942)
December 30 - Richard Rodgers died (1979)
December 31 - Frank Skinner born (1897)
December 31 - Gil Melle born (1935)
December 31 - Anthony Hopkins born (1937)
December 31 - Andy Summers born (1942)
December 31 - Duel in the Sun premieres in Los Angeles (1946)
January 1 - Buddy Baker born (1918)
January 1 - David Broekman died (1958)
January 1 - David Buttolph died (1983)
January 1 - Hagood Hardy died (1997)
January 2 - Christopher Lennertz born (1972)


DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY - Stanley Clarke

"About midway through 'The Best Man Holiday,' though, it runs into trouble: instead of riffing on 'The Big Chill' like the first film, it instead takes its inspiration from 'Steel Magnolias.' The perfectly calibrated ratio between comedy and drama gets thrown out of order, with every character crying (dramatically) at least twice, sharing long-winded dialogue about the nature of god and faith, and even more hurt feelings than the first film (amazingly). It's all a bit overblown, especially when every painful revelation is accompanied by Stanley Clarke's insanely low rent score that fluctuates between jazzy '70s porn riffs and the active chirpiness of an overactive videogame."

Drew Taylor, The Playlist

BLACK NATIVITY - Raphael Saadiq, Laura Karpman

"Still, 'Black Nativity' is a musical too, and on that front there are gifts aplenty. Hudson's voice lifts the proceedings every time she sings. A soulful Mary J. Blige, as an earthbound angel, contributes in kind. Jacob Latimore, a rising young talent, makes his rendition of 'Motherless Child' haunting. Indeed, Raphael Saadiq and Laura Karpman's original score is one of the movie's best features.

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

"At first blush, 'Black Nativity' looks like it will boldly enmesh gritty urban realism and the lush, theatrical values of classic Hollywood pageants, with an imaginative production number set to a song called 'Coldest Town' and, following that, a potentially soaring ensemble version of 'Motherless Child' set on a Greyhound Bus. Unfortunately, that set piece doesn’t hit its promised heights, and for much of its running time, 'Black Nativity' succumbs to starchy pacing, structural awkwardness and original songs (written by Raphael Saadiq and Laura Karpman) that don’t hold a candle to the traditional spirituals. Despite those early glimmers of ambition, during the second half of 'Black Nativity' Lemmons seems far more preoccupied with guiding her many plotlines and characters into a cathartic convergence, which winds up being less convincing than schematic and schmaltzy."

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

"The story takes a back seat to the film’s all-important lessons, but the music, sung expressively by most of the cast, is consistently moving."

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

"Cultural history, however, takes a backseat to family history when it comes to the film’s musical scenes, which bridge time and space: A boy who misses his mom gets to commune and duet with her onscreen; a Bethlehem manger winds up in the middle of Times Square, and a pregnant homeless teen (Grace Gibson) comes to represent both the Virgin Mary and Langston’s own mother in her youth; Mary J. Blige shows up as a platinum-haired angel; Nas shows up as a street corner Isaiah. The music runs the range from gospel to jazz to hip-hop, and the numbers reflect the film’s eclecticism. As such, not all of these scenes work: There’s a particularly weird one featuring Blige that feels like an uninspired attempt to create a music video, with characters mostly standing around and looking awkward while she sings. Maybe that’s part of the design, too. There’s a theatricality to 'Black Nativity,' particularly in its later scenes, that might be off-putting in an ordinary context. 'What kind of parents are you?' Langston asks his grandparents. 'We’re the broken-hearted kind,' his grandmother (Angela Bassett) replies, with a bitter smile. Characters proclaim, bluster, and sing in ways that don’t always feel natural. But here, it feels right: Hughes’s play is founded on the very pretext of theatricality, on the changing nature of an audience’s relation to the spectacle unfolding onstage. To try to play that down would be a mistake. Perhaps the most remarkable scene in Lemmons’s film occurs near the end, in the wake of the Nativity, when a big, broad family confrontation plays out sans singing or even incidental music. It’s initially off-putting, but as it unfolds, as the actors hurl accusations at one another and delve into their pasts, and as the congregation begins to respond as if this were the actual service, you start to get into it. The very lack of music begins to feel musical in itself."

Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

"The musical score, which consists of many spiritual and holiday standards as well as some winning new songs by Raphael Saadiq and Laura Karpman, bolsters the movie."

Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter

DELIVERY MAN  - Jon Brion

"Elsewhere, the four scenes of [Cobie] Smulders arguing with [Vince] Vaughn do her no favors, but she at least infuses a recognizable fear of parental responsibility into them. The comedic weight then falls to [Chris] Pratt and the Jon Brion score, and thankfully each element comes close to saving the film. The 'Five-Year Engagement' and “Moneyball” actor is immensely reliable in a sidekick role at this point -- so attuned is his timing and empathetic manner -- and as a hapless lawyer out of his element here he steals the show away from Vaughn with regularity. And although Brion uses his trademark Optigan keyboards for more of a conventional feel this time, his score does effectively to punch up key moments -- like a long hospital hallway walk as David is admonished by a nurse for Kristen’s drug history, alongside Kristen who does the same for David’s suggestion that she go to rehab."

Charlie Schmlidin, The Playlist

"The above descriptions do no justice to how strange a movie 'Delivery Man' is. An example: After Dave brings one daughter (Britt Robertson), a junkie, to the hospital following an overdose, he has to decide between signing her out (which is what she wants) and signing her up for rehab (which is what a kindly doctor wants). It’s a tense, serious little scene, as Dave walks back and forth between the doctor and the daughter, torn about the first actual parental decision of his life -- except that director Ken Scott overlays some jaunty dunk-dunk-dunkdunkdunk music over the scene, which throws us. Wait, you find yourself asking, is this supposed to be funny?"

Bilge Ebiri, Vulture 

"Vaughn is strangely subdued in the role, which would normally be a blessing. But with very little scripted humor, a force-of-nature performance was the best chance to save the film. Most of the humor is based on David's constant stress. The jokes often miss, and all we have left is that harried tension. There are other times when the comic and dramatic momentum is left to the musical score, a blend of pianos and strings seemingly mixed extra loud so audiences never forget how they're supposed to feel."

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

"In one scene, he frets over whether to check a heroin-addicted daughter into rehab. The doctor says she'll relapse and die. The girl promises she won't. It's a tough moment, not that you'd know it from the sitcom music. The oboist seems to think overdoses are hilarious."

Amy Nicholson, L.A. Weekly

OLDBOY - Roque Banos

"Like Park's version, 'Oldboy' tells of a drunken, abusive lout named Joe Doucette (Josh Brolin) who's imprisoned for a long time by a mysterious jailer. He gets clean in prison, then escapes to learn the identity of his tormentor and punish him. Like Park's version, this one's a reptilian brain film, all violence and sex and fear and revenge and crying and screaming. The lighting is dark but the colors are supersaturated, especially in scenes with a lot of blood, neon, or wet pavement. The camera goes much lower or much higher than you expect it to, and peers at the characters from disorienting angles. Bruce Hornsby contributes a score in a Bernard Herrmann vein, an instrumental chorus to the modern urban version of a Greek tragedy."

Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

(Despite what Mr. Seitz' review would indicate, the final score for Oldboy was actually written by Roque Banos. Bruce Hornsby was the first of three composers on the project -- possibly he scored the rumored three-hour earlier cut of the film -- but in the final film only a handful of his cues remain, particularly the cello pieces performed by the Brolin character's daughter.)

"Lee unfurls the plot like a Hitchcockian mystery; even the music and camera work tips the cap to the master of suspense."

Brent McKnight, Paste Magazine

SAVING MR. BANKS - Thomas Newman

"[Director John Lee] Hancock, who cut his own directorial teeth at the studio (on the inspirational baseball drama 'The Rookie' and the underrated 'The Alamo') is sometimes a bit too on-the-nose with his parallel storytelling, too heavy with Thomas Newman’s bouncy score, and too eager to pluck at our heartstrings (at which he nevertheless succeeds)."

Scott Foundas, Variety

"As well as the outstanding performances by the leads and supporting cast, sturdy craft contributions from all departments add polish, while the use of what looks like the real Disney Burbank facility adds veracity. (The Australian locales, however, are far less convincing-looking.) The picture gets an extra lift from the extensive use of the cracking original songs written by the Sherman Brothers for 'Mary Poppins,' which mesh nicely with Thomas Newman's newly composed score. They're inventively woven into the story and used for dramatic counterpoint, making this on one level a musical in itself, but with borrowed songs. Presumably, the producers of 'Saving Mr. Banks' had no trouble clearing the rights."

Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter


THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A.

Screenings of older films, at the following L.A. movie theaters: AMPASAmerican Cinematheque: AeroAmerican Cinematheque: EgyptianLACMANew Beverly, NuartSilent Movie Theater and UCLA.

December 27
DEAD ALIVE (Peter Dasent) [Silent Movie Theater]
DON JON (Nathan Johnson), MAGIC MIKE [New Beverly]
MY MAN GODFREY, MY SISTER EILEEN [Cinematheque: Aero]
NORTH BY NORTHWEST (Bernard Herrmann) [Nuart]
VERTIGO (Bernard Herrmann) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

December 28
DON JON (Nathan Johnson), MAGIC MIKE [New Beverly]
END OF DAYS (John Debney) [New Beverly]
HIS GIRL FRIDAY, THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR (Robert Emmett Dolan) [Cinematheque: Aero]
THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (John Williams) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

December 29
BALL OF FIRE (Alfred Newman), BLUEBEARD'S EIGHTH WIFE (Werner Heyman, Frederick Hollander) [Cinematheque: Aero]
THE GODFATHER (Nino Rota), THE GODFATHER PART II (Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola) [New Beverly]
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (Maurice Jarre) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

December 30
THE GODFATHER (Nino Rota), THE GODFATHER PART II (Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola) [New Beverly]

December 31
It's New Year's Eve - do you really want to spend the evening with the kind of people who would see a movie on New Year's Eve? (also, there seems to be nothing playing at the revival houses tonight. Can't imagine why.)

January 1
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (Herbert Stothart), A DAY AT THE RACES [Cinematheque: Aero]

January 2
WHO DONE IT? (Frank Skinner), CRAZY HOUSE [Cinematheque: Aero]

January 3
BLUE VELVET (Angelo Badalamenti) [Silent Movie Theater]
THE BLUES BROTHERS (Richard Hazard, Ira Newborn; "God Music" by Elmer Bernstein) [Nuart]
LET US LIVE (Karol Rathaus), EAST OF FIFTH AVENUE [UCLA]
RAGING BULL, ROCKY (Bill Conti) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (Leonard Rosenman) [Cinematheque: Aero]

January 4
BACK TO THE FUTURE (Alan Silvestri), BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II (Alan Silvestri), BACK TO THE FUTURE PART III (Alan Silvestri) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
8 1/2 (Nino Rota) [Cinematheque: Aero]
THE NIGHT MAYOR, WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND [UCLA]

January 5
THE GODFATHER PART II (Nino Rota, Carmine Coppola) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

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