Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.
La-La Land has announced their planned slate of releases for August. On August 14th, they will release a two-disc set of Lorne Balfe's score for the just-released blockbuster sequel MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT, and the first soundtrack release of Henry Mancini's score for the 1979 comedy remake of THE PRISONER OF ZENDA starring Peter Sellers, the second in La-La Land's new "Universal Heritage Collection" partnership.
On August 28th, they will release an expanded version of John Williams' Oscar-nominated score for Steven Spielberg's 1998 WWII epic SAVING PRIVATE RYAN; a CD of Ramin Djawadi's music for the new Amazon TV series JACK RYAN, with John Krasinski playing the Tom Clancy analyst-turned-field-agent character previously played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine; and a two-disc LP of John Williams' classic score for E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL.
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
Mission: Impossible 1988 - Lalo Schifrin, Ron Jones - La-La Land
Skyscraper - Steve Jablonsky - Milan
IN THEATERS TODAY
The Children Act - Stephen Warbeck
Christopher Robin - Geoff Zanelli, Jon Brion
The Darkest Minds - Benjamin Wallfisch - Score CD due Aug. 24 on Milan
Never Goin' Back - Sarah Jaff
Nico, 1988 - Gatto Ciliegia contro il Grande Freddo - Soundtrack LP on 42 (import)
The Spy Who Dumped Me - Tyler Bates
Desperado Outpost/Westward Desperado - Masaru Sato - Cinema-Kan (import)
Into the Badlands: Season 2 - Trevor Yulie - Varese Sarabande
James Horner: The Classics - James Horner - Sony
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies - Jared Faber - WaterTower
Mission: Impossible - Fallout - Lorne Balfe - La-La Land
The Prisoner of Zenda - Henry Mancini - La-La Land
Slender Man - Ramin Djawadi, Brandon Campbell - Sony
The Darkest Minds - Benjamin Wallfisch - Milan
Hurricane - Nino Rota - Varese Sarabande
Legion: Season 2 - Jeff Russo - Lakeshore
Westworld: Season 2 - Ramin Djawadi - WaterTower
Giuda Uccide Il Venderi - Nico Fidenco - Kronos
Here We Go Again, Rubinot - Andrew Powell - Kronos
Jack Ryan - Ramin Djawadi - La-La Land
Kin - Mogwai - Rock Action (import)
Le Stagioni Del Nostro Amore/Padre di Famiglia - Carlo Rustichelli - Saimel
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote - Roque Banos - Saimel
M'esperaras? - Arnau Bataller - Saimel
Q - The Winged Serpent - Robert O. Ragland - Kronos
Saving Private Ryan - John Williams - La-La Land
Sounder - Taj Mahal - Varese Sarabande
Doctor Who: The Five Doctors - Peter Howell - Silva
Accident Man - Sean Murray - Dragon's Domain
Advise and Consent - Jerry Fielding - Kritzerland
Not Afraid, Not Afraid - Gabriel Yared - Caldera
The Return of Swamp Thing - Chuck Cirino - Dragon's Domain
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
August 3 - Louis Gruenberg born (1884)
August 3 - David Buttolph born (1902)
August 3 - Robert Emmett Dolan born (1906)
August 3 - Ira Newborn begins recording his score for The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
August 3 - Alfred Schnittke died (1998)
August 3 - Warren Barker died (2006)
August 4 - Bernardo Segall born (1911)
August 4 - David Raksin born (1912)
August 4 - Egisto Macchi born (1928)
August 4 - Recording sessions begin for The Prisoner of Zenda
remake, with Conrad Salinger
adapting Alfred Newman
's original score (1952)
August 4 - Nathan Johnson born (1976)
August 4 - Michael Small begins recording his score for Firstborn (1984)
August 4 - Egisto Macchi died (1992)
August 5 - Christopher Gunning born (1944)
August 5 - Adolph Deutsch
begins recording his score for The Matchmaker
August 5 - Abigail Mead born as Vivian Kubrick (1960)
August 5 - Cyril Morin born (1962)
August 5 - Alexander Courage
's music for the Star Trek
episode "The Enterprise Incident" is recorded (1968)
August 5 - Robert Prince
records his first Mission: Impossible
score, for the episode “Homecoming” (1970)
August 5 - Stuart Hancock born (1975)
August 5 - Fred Karger died (1979)
August 5 - Henry Mancini
begins recording his score for Mommie Dearest
August 5 - Henry Mancini begins recording his score for Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)
August 5 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his unused score for Gladiator (1991)
August 6 - Oliver Wallace born (1887)
August 6 - Cyril J. Mockridge born (1896)
August 6 - Jack Elliott born (1927)
August 6 - Andre Previn
begins recording his score to The Outriders
August 6 - Alex North
begins recording his score to Pony Soldier
August 6 - Soren Hyldgaard born (1962)
August 6 - Robert Prince
records his final Mission: Impossible
score, for the episode “Mindbend” (1971)
August 6 - David Newman begins recording his score to The Brave Little Toaster (1986)
August 6 - Larry Adler died (2001)
August 6 - Christopher Dedrick died (2010)
August 6 - Marvin Hamlisch died (2012)
August 7 - Alfred Newman
begins recording his adaptations of Jerome Kern songs for Centennial Summer
August 7 - Recording sessions begin for Bronislau Kaper
's score for Her Twelve Men
August 7 - Walter Scharf
records his score for The Wild Wild West
episode “The Night of the Assassin” (1967)
August 7 - Joseph Kosma died (1969)
August 7 - Jerry Fielding begins recording his score to The Mechanic (1972)
August 7 - Roy Budd died (1993)
August 7 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Deep Rising (1997)
August 7 - Jay Chattaway
records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager
episode “Scorpion, Part II” (1997)
August 8 - Victor Young born (1900)
August 8 - Benny Carter born (1907)
August 8 - Arthur Morton born (1908)
August 8 - Axel Stordahl born (1913)
August 8 - Basil Kirchin born (1927)
August 8 - Nathan Wang born (1956)
August 8 - Stefano Mainetti born (1957)
August 8 - Louis Levy died (1957)
August 8 - Fred Steiner
records his score for the Lost in Space
episode "The Space Primevals" (1967)
August 8 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score to Capricorn One (1977)
August 9 - Alexander Courage
records his score for the Lost in Space
episode "Wild Adventure" (1966)
August 9 - Leith Stevens
records his score for the Lost in Space
episode "Blast Off into Space" (1966)
August 9 - George Duning
's score for the Star Trek
episode "And the Children Shall Lead" is recorded (1968)
August 9 - Dmitri Shostakovich died (1975)
August 9 - Andre Hossein died (1983)
August 9 - Peter Matz died (2002)
August 9 - David Raksin died (2004)
August 9 - Tony Mottola died (2004)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
THE BFG - John Williams
"It’s almost odd that it should have taken this long to blend the sensibilities of Steven Spielberg and Roald Dahl, two storytellers who speak to children in a poignant and honest way, but better late than never. We finally have this mash-up with the director’s adaptation of Dahl’s 'The BFG,' and it’s a charming, delightful picture that carries echoes of Disney’s 'Fantasia' as it swirls around a dreamscape set to John Williams’ enchanting score. While it does run a bit long and may not captivate younger viewers with shorter attention spans, it still manages to be a treat for the senses and a joy to behold."
Matt Goldberg, Collider
"Subsequently, 'The BFG,' with its unhurried pace and confident direction, feels much more at ease with itself than the vast majority of kids films, but it’s also a widescreen expansion of Spielberg’s worst instincts. Backed by the expansive John Williams string surges and winsome choir, the film constantly pushes forth a sense of spectacle but rarely feels like it’s earning it. Even potentially new visual conceptions -- like a dreaming tree around which colorful whispering sprites whiz -- feel strangely tired and detached from the main storyline."
Michael Snydel, Paste Magazine
"After making back-to-back historical period dramas ('Lincoln,' 'Bridge Of Spies'), Spielberg returns to the land of family movies for 'The BFG,' although in temperament this is closer to the child-friendly exploits of 'The Adventures Of Tintin' than the more somber, consciously old-fashioned tone of 'War Horse.' Benefiting from one of longtime composer John Williams’ most moving scores in recent years, the director seeks to create a magical realm in which the plucky Sophie and the good-hearted, lumbering BFG find in each other a fellow outcast craving a connection."
Tim Grierson, Screen International
"'The BFG' never quite nails author Dahl’s sense of danger -- even in their first scene, you don’t think he’ll actually eat her -- though there’s plenty of his cheerful weirdness, complimented by a John Williams score whose general too much-ness is, for once, just as it should be. The script is by the late Melissa Mathison, her first credited collaboration with Spielberg since 'E.T.', which means this film is bound for comparisons to that earlier tale of the bond between a child and an out-of-this-world companion. It’s comes up short by that metric, unsurprisingly, but it says something about what’s already been dismissed as 'middling Spielberg' that such an effort still tops the best of most mainstream moviemakers, few of whom will ever find images as indelible as these. They are like the BFG’s dreams, fireflies chased gently through the night."
Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
"Most scenes in 'The BFG' take their time unfolding. Many consist of Sophie and the BFG talking as real friends might. Some are scored with John Williams' default 'Isn't this a marvelous adventure?' music, which slightly dulls their sense of wonder, but others are so quiet that you can hear insects whirring and the wind moving through the grass. During action scenes, Spielberg doesn't hammer your eyeballs with fast cuts to keep you interested; he stages a lot of the conversations in long takes and keeps the camera far back, the better to allow you to appreciate the way the characters move through the frame, how they carry themselves, what they do with their hands. Close-ups are doled out sparingly, to amplify emotional moments or deliver the punchlines to comic ones, as when the giant eats a meal prepared by humans and Spielberg cuts to a shot of the utensils they've provided: a sword, a pitchfork and a shovel."
Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
"Far too long at 117 minutes, 'The BFG' finds Spielberg pressing too hard for wonderment at times, particularly when he's dealing with the giant's passion for catching and concocting dreams like fireflies in primary color. With John Williams' score ladling on the sentiment like glaze on a Christmas ham, the film loses some of the deftness necessary for a story this slight. With so few twists and turns in the narrative -- orphan meets giant, orphan befriends giant, orphan and giant appeal to the Queen to fight mean giants -- there's nothing gained in gumming up the works."
Scott Tobias, NPR
"This one begins with some familiar tensions. The young orphan Sophie (Ruby Barnhill, a dead ringer for the ’90s child star Mara Wilson) tip-toes through her boarding house late at night, simultaneously fending off nightmares and taking care of the responsibilities of other adults, like locking doors and shouting at the local drunks to go to bed. Shortly after, the subsequent silence and dazzling moonlight of the 'witching hour' is quickly disrupted by the nightly peregrinations of the BFG. She spots him from a balcony, then he scoops her up in a larval bedsheet and whisks her away to Giant Country. Spielberg and his stalwart cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski, film her abduction in a combination of grand landscape views and obscured POV shots from within Sophie’s cocoon. The girl’s fright is counterbalanced by the awesomeness of her captor, gracefully and grandly galumphing across plains and rivers to the twinkly swell of a John Williams score."
Christopher Gray, Slant Magazine
"'The BFG''s screenplay was written by Melissa Mathison, who also wrote 'E.T.' Despite the inevitable comparisons, the two films have little in common. What made 'E.T.' so vivid was not just the bond between a child and a being from another realm. It was 'E.T.''s suburban-American setting. My view is that Spielberg does better when there’s some tension between his magically fluid technique and an essentially realistic, textured world. 'The BFG' doesn’t have that grounding, and in the film’s middle section, when Sophie and the giant fly around collecting dreams and whatnot and composer John Williams goes heavy on the airy-fairy flutes, I started to get a bit woozy-snoozy."
David Edelstein, New York
TAKE ME - Heather McIntosh
"At Sophie’s insistence, the BFG takes the girl along on a dream-gathering expedition, hopping through a magical pool to Dream Country, an upside-down world where 'phizzwizards' -- literally, the stuff that dreams are made of -- circle the branches of a giant tree like Apple’s mesmerizing 'Flurry' screensaver. Together, girl and giant chase these phosphorescent blurs around like so many elusive butterflies. Aesthetically speaking, it’s a downright hypnotic sequence, giving longtime Spielberg collaborator John Williams the richest moment to heighten via a fully orchestral score that manages to enchant without relying so heavily as usual on a simple recurring musical theme."
Peter Debruge, Variety
BURDEN - Andrew Bird, Roger Goula
"Burden’s career was well-documented (the ’70s being the pioneer era for video art), with much archival material made good use of here. Though some will be attracted by whimsical folk-pop musician Andrew Bird’s contributions to the soundtrack, more distinctive are a few oldies, including one great David Bowie cut ('Joe the Lion') that was among several rock songs directly inspired by the subject."
Dennis Harvey, Variety
FOLK HERO & FUNNY GUY - Adam Ezra
"The songs, written by Adam Ezra, are performed excellently by Russell and Hagner -- it would be great to see either of these two sing again soon. Russell in particular surprises with his musical talents, effortlessly inhabiting the role of the hard-living barefoot bard who always has another wild tale about life on the road."
Katie Walsh, The Playlist
"'Folk Hero & Funny Guy' coasts on an amiable indie charm that might be palatable to some but will likely induce eye rolls and throat gags in others. There are the obligatory cameos from beloved actors we know and love, like Melanie Lynskey, Michael Ian Black, and David Cross, who all do good work. There’s the bright visual aesthetic that feels almost blinding at times. Russell and Hanger both sell the hell out of their music, courtesy of Adam Ezra, but it’s nevertheless largely bland and unmemorable. The best thing that can be said about 'Folk Hero & Funny Guy' is that Grace does right by his female characters, especially for such a male-dominated film, in that it provides them enough self-awareness and agency to walk away from or call out the more devastating flaws in both Paul and Jason. Oddly enough, it’s those flaws, as well as the basic indications of human friendship, that needed to be developed more for 'Folk Hero & Funny Guy' to really take off."
Vikram Murthi, RogerEbert.com
"The movie is most assured when casually exposing the ways in which men assess their self-worth. For both Paul and Jason, that process entails not only evaluating their own professional and romantic fortunes, but also the fortunes of each other, to whom they invariably compare themselves. Grace’s visuals are functional at best, and Adam Ezra’s original songs are forgettable. Complemented by strong supporting turns from the perky Hagner and the commanding Lynskey, however, Karpovsky (insecure, yet persistent) and Russell (genial, yet cocky and entitled) are charming enough to carry the film as it segues from cheery to gloomy to cautiously optimistic."
Nick Schager, Variety
"Like a comedic, low-stakes play on David Fincher’s 'The Game,' 'Take Me' features plenty of plot twists, shifting power dynamics, and an overriding mystery about who’s really in control. If the screenplay features few surprises (the final twist is particularly predictable), it nevertheless maintains the pace and strikes a fairly tricky balance between gritty thriller and madcap farce. Healy’s direction is straightforward and unflashy, leaning a bit too heavily on Heather McIntosh’s mock-jaunty score to maintain an air of ironic breeziness but managing to ground the film’s zany premise in a sense of reality."
Keith Watson, Slant Magazine
"Healy’s direction is similarly to the point, its unassuming compositions and curt edits enhancing the proceedings’ droll brusqueness. Heather McIntosh’s bouncy score is laced with darker tones, thereby providing suitable musical accompaniment for a tale that dive-bombs into that hazy gray area between terror and comedy. By ordeal’s end, its harried characters may not know which way is up, but 'Take Me' maintains throughout a firm grip on its farcical absurdity."
Nick Schager, Variety
THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A.
Screenings of older films, at the following L.A. movie theaters: AMPAS, American Cinematheque: Aero, American Cinematheque: Egyptian, Arclight, LACMA, Laemmle, New Beverly, Nuart and UCLA.
AIRPLANE! (Elmer Bernstein) [Cinematheque: Aero]
DIE, MOMMIE, DIE! (Dennis McCarthy) [UCLA]
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3 (Harry Manfredini), FRANKENSTEIN'S BLOODY TERROR (Angel Arteaga) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
GREASE 2 (Louis St. Louis, Michael Gibson) [Nuart]
AUNTIE MAME (Bronislau Kaper) [Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts]
JAWS 3-D (Alan Parker), DEEP BLUE SEA (Trevor Rabin) [Cinematheque: Aero]
STARCHASER: THE LEGEND OF ORIN (Andrew Belling) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
TROUBLE IN PARADISE, ANGEL [UCLA]
WANDA (Dave Mullaney) [Cinematheque: Aero]
THE BIG LEBOWSKI (Carter Burwell) [Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts]
SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE (Elmer Bernstein) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (Alex North) [Cinematheque: Aero]
METALSTORM: THE DESTRUCTION OF JARED-SYN (Richard Band), ROTTWEILER (Stephen Heller) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE CALL OF THE CUMBERLANDS [LACMA]
A BOY AND HIS DOG (Tim McIntire, Jaime Mendoza-Nava) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE MAZE (Marlin Skiles), CEASE FIRE (Dimitri Tiomkin) [Cinematheque: Aero]
ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE (John Barry) [Laemmle NoHo]
GHOST IN THE SHELL (Kenji Kawai) [Nuart]
HOUSE OF WAX (David Buttolph), THE MAD MAGICIAN (Emil Newman, Arthur Lange) [Cinematheque: Aero]
THE ROOM (Mladen Milicevic) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
SWEET CHARITY (Cy Coleman, Joseph Gershenson) [UCLA]
WANDA (Dave Mullaney) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
BLACK PANTHER (Ludwig Goransson) [Cinematheque: Aero]
HEAVEN CAN WAIT (Alfred Newman), DESIGN FOR LIVING [UCLA]
MAN IN THE DARK (Ross DiMaggio), INFERNO (Paul Sawtell) [Cinemathque: Aero]
WANDA (Dave Mullaney) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
CABARET (John Kander, Ralph Burns) [UCLA]
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON [Cinematheque: Aero]
DIAL M FOR MURDER (Dimitri Tiomkin) [Cinematheque: Aero]
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (Carmen Dragon), THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (Dimitri Tiomkin) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
OLD YELLER (Oliver Wallace) [UCLA]
WANDA (Dave Mullaney) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
One of the most heartening developments at this year's box-office has been the surprisingly healthy grosses ($1,283,820) for the Christopher Nolan-driven 70mm re-release of 2001: A Space Odyssey. In Los Angeles it played at the Arclight Hollywood as well as its adjacent Cinerama Dome. I skipped the Dome screenings -- much as I love the building as a historic space, I find that curved screen only useful for actual three-strip Cinerama films; I've been able to see This Is Cinerama, How the West Was Won and The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm there in that format. I saw 2001 twice during this run, once at the Arclight and once at an Academy public screening introduced by Nolan himself.
I first saw the film in its original release when I was seven years old, and as you might expect, my memories of that experience are vague, to say the least. It can be a difficult film to grasp as an adult -- as a child, who had seen very few films in the theater, it was probably just a really chilly, creepy light show.
Still, in some way, it was a film I always responded to -- maybe because I quickly became a fan of more mainstream filmed sci-fi entertainment, like Star Trek, Planet of the Apes and The Andromeda Strain -- and in the pre-home-video era, popular films like 2001 would get major theatrical re-releases, so I was able to see it multiple times in the 1970s and it remained a favorite.
Though Kubrick is one of my all-time favorite directors I'm a always little ambivalent about him, possibly because I instinctively react against those auteurists who feel that every film by a master director is inherently perfect, and there have always been aspects of Kubrick I don't respond to, particularly some of his use of tracked-in music and the acting style in some of the later films.
That said, I think this year's viewing of 2001 made me love it even more than I had in the past. Even though the unused 2001 score is probably my favorite of all of Alex North's works, Kubrick's use of classical pieces for the film's final score is pretty much perfect, especially the Adagio from Khachaturian's Gayane ballet suite (Cameron and Horner certainly appreciated its effectiveness when they made Aliens). Every section of the film is full of wonders to appreciate -- among the many marvels of the Dawn of Man sequence are the flawless use of front projection for the scenic backdrops, John Alcott's cinematography (probably the most convincing interiors-as-exteriors in cinema history), and Stuart Freeborn's extraordinary makeups for the ape-men.
This time what I think I loved the most was its truly unusual storytelling style, and just not the film's elliptical narrative structure. It's a film about arguably the most momentous discovery in human history, yet almost the entire story is told with casual conversations and bureaucratic chatter. In only one scene does anyone come close to raising their voice -- Dave Bowman (Dullea) understandably gets a little peeved when HAL locks him out of the Discovery but calms down pretty quickly -- but otherwise there is no melodrama, no grandstanding, no self-righteous speeches about the greater meanings of things, and the most crucial bit of exposition comes in a simple, seven-sentence video message from Heywood Floyd (William Sylvester) near the end of the movie ("It's origin and purpose are still a total mystery").
I know there are many revolutionary things about Kubrick's approach to 2001, but it is this one -- with the amazingly naturalistic and perpetually underappreciated acting by the cast -- that I especially marvelled at in my latest viewings.
The special effects are pretty good too.