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Aisle Seat 12-1: December Arrival Edition
Posted By: Andy Dursin 11/30/2015 - 9:00 PM
The stylish, beautifully scored, and exceptionally well-photographed adaptation of Peter Straub’s sensational novel GHOST STORY (***, 110 mins., 1981, R; Shout Factory) manages to capture just enough of the essence of Straub’s novel to make it a recommended view. An instant bestseller, Straub’s book was quickly gobbled up, prior to its publication by Universal Pictures, hoping to turn the property into the next high-class studio genre exercise like “The Exorcist” or “The Omen.” The result was a flawed but entertaining adaptation of its source, which works best if you distance yourself from Straub’s novel and accept it as a standalone cinematic tale of the supernatural, presented by a peerless cast and crew.
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Film Score Friday 11/27/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/26/2015 - 9:00 PM
La-La Land is announcing their latest group of "Black Friday" releases today. They are currently planned to include four 2-disc sets and one single-disc release, and will be available to order beginning next Tuesday at noon.

I am currently on vacation, so if any important film music news has broken in the last few days, I will rely on you to tell each other, perhaps through the Message Board to the right of this column.

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Film Score Friday 11/20/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/19/2015 - 9:00 PM
This week's release from Intrada is a deluxe, two-disc edition of one of the most popular films and film scores of all time -- Steven Spielberg's superlative entertainment JAWS, whose John Williams score is one of the undying classics of movie music and helped to make its composer a household name. The score has received several CD incarnations -- a release of the original LP tracks, a complete release of the score tracks, and a Varese re-recording of the complete score. The Intrada edition includes the original LP tracks, a remastered version of the complete score tracks (including the unused cue for a major character's death), 15 minutes of previously unreleased alternates and several source tracks. The liner notes recounting the film's famously difficult production history were written by me.

The latest LP to CD release in Varese Sarabande's limited edition subscription series is SISTER SISTER, the 1988 psychological thriller starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Eric Stoltz and Judith Ivey. The film was the feature directing debut of Bill Condon, the Oscar-winning screenwriter whose eclectic directing resume includes Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, Gods and Monsters, Kinsey, Dreamgirls, the final two Twilight films, The Fifth Estate, Mr. Holmes and the upcoming live-action remake of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The music was composed by Richard Einhorn, whose other scores include Shock Waves and Dead of Winter, though he's best known as a concert composer whose works include Voices of Light, composed to be performed to screenings of The Passion of Joan of Arc.

As part of their 1985 tribute, the label is releasing their recent re-recording 1985 AT THE MOVIES as a stand-alone CD on December 4. And continuing that theme, their latest CD Club releases are a re-release of Elmer Bernstein's wonderful SPIES LIKE US score, and a disc of highlights from Bill Conti's epic NORTH AND SOUTH, previously released as a four-disc set.

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Film Score Friday 11/13/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/12/2015 - 9:00 PM
For those who would like some strong hints as to what Intrada's release next week will be, go to this link

On November 20, Varese Sarabande will release XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS - 20TH ANNIVERSARY ANTHOLOGY, a limited edition boxed-set containing the seven CDs the label previously released of Joseph LoDuca's music for the popular fantasy adventure TV series, including new liner notes and a flag (yes, a flag). The label also plans to announce their new CD Club releases this coming Monday but warns "no grails or Deluxe Editions." 

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Film Score Friday 11/6/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/5/2015 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada, expected to begin shipping next week, is a two-disc edition for 1978's blockbuster summer hit JAWS 2. When the original Jaws broke box-office records in the summer of 1975, a sequel was inevitable, and even more inevitable was that John Williams -- whose score earned him a second Oscar and whose shark theme instantly became one of the most famous musical motifs in movie history -- would return to score it. MCA released the soundtrack on LP when the film came out, and Varese Sarabande later released the same tracks on CD. The Intrada Jaws 2 is a two-disc set featuring both the original LP sequencing as well as the complete score; the liner notes, which tell of the film's complicated production history that included a change in director and certain cast members (Dana Elcar and Ricky Schroder -- originally cast as the younger Brody son -- were replaced), were written by me.

La-La Land has announced their scheduled slate of film music releases for November. 

This week they are releasing a limited edition of the score to the just-released horror comedy SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, with music by Matthew Margeson (Skyline, Kick-Ass 2, Kingman: The Secret Service).

They are also currently making available autographed copies of two Bear McCreary CDs released on his Sparks & Shadows label -- DA VINCI'S DEMONS SEASON 2 and DA VINCI'S DEMONS SEASON 3, and releasing their very first LP, featuring Carmen Dragon's score to Don Siegel's classic original version of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (La-La Land's recent CD of that score was its first soundtrack release ever).

On November 17 they will present the first-ever release of the music from AIRPLANE II: THE SEQUEL, scored by Richard Hazard and including tracked-in music from Elmer Bernstein's original Airplane score; and the previously announced release of Craig Armstrong's score to the new revisionist horror thriller VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN, with James McAvoy as the doctor and Daniel Radclfife as Igor.

Quartet is releasing the soundtrack to writer-producer-director Guillermo del Toro's just-released, gorgeously crafted Gothic romance (with ghosts) CRIMSON PEAK. The score was composed by Fernando Velazquez (The Impossible, Devil); this is the first time del Toro has worked with Velazquez as a director, but Velazquez scored the del Toro-produced horror hits Mama and The Orphanage.

Music Box has announced two new releases: a CD pairing Georges Delerue's music for two films from writer-director Christopher Frank, JOSEPHA, starring Miou-Miou (the French actress with the best name ever) and FEMMES DE PERSONNE, starring Marthe Keller and Jean-Louis Trintingnant, the latter score featuring previously unreleased cues; and an expanded version of the 1989 miniseries remake of A TALE OF TWO CITIES, starring James Wilby (Maurice, Howards End) as Sydney Carton, with Xavier Deluc, Serena Gordon, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Anna Massey and John Mills, with music by Serge Franklin.

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Film Score Friday 10/30/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 10/29/2015 - 9:00 PM
Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.

Am I the only one who didn't know that Lorne Balfe's score for TERMINATOR: GENISYS had been released on CD earlier this year by CD Baby and is available at both Amazon and eBay? I only discovered this when I picked up a used copy of the score at a local store with a different cover, from "Paramount Records."

I don't know why the soundtrack release was kept such a virtual secret, but on the other hand this is a film whose poster credit block had room for "Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions Present a Skydance Production" but no room for the names Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke or Jai Courtney (of course, anyone who's seen A Good Day to Die Hard will understand how you might not want to mention Jai Courtney, though the remarkable, soul-crushing terribleness of Good Day is hardly his fault).

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Film Score Friday 10/23/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 10/22/2015 - 9:00 PM
On November 20, Varese Sarabande plans to release the soundtrack to CAROL, the criticially acclaimed adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's "The Price of Salt," starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. The film reunites director Todd Haynes with composer Carter Burwell, who scored Haines' Velvet Goldmine and Mildred Pierce. Based on festival reviews the film is considered a major Oscar contender, so it would be nice if it earned Burwell his first nomination, especially as he's already scored one Best Picture winner and five other Best Picture nominees. 
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Film Score Friday 10/16/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 10/15/2015 - 9:00 PM
Intrada announced three new CDs this week -- a new edition of Jerry Goldsmith's rousing score for director Otto Preminger's underrated World War II epic IN HARM'S WAY, featuring both the original LP version as well as a remastered version of the same cues plus a previously unreleased score cue and two new source cues; an expanded, two-disc version of Alan Silvestri's action-packed BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II, with the complete score on Disc One and alternate cues on Disc Two; and a one-disc re-release of Silvestri's original BACK TO THE FUTURE, featuring the complete score the film but not including the many alternate cues featured in Intrada's previous two-disc release of the score (the two Back to the Future CDs may be pre-ordered now and will ship the week after next).

Varese Sarabande announced three new limited edition CD Club releases this week which are expected to ship the week after next -- an expanded Deluxe Edition of Jerry Goldsmith's score for the 1995 action thriller CHAIN REACTION, starring Keanu Reeves and Oscar winners Rachel Weisz and Morgan Freeman; a straight re-release of James Horner's score for the little seen 1986 drama WHERE THE RIVER RUNS BLACK; and, fittingly enough given Intrada's new releases, an expanded, two-disc Deluxe Edition release of Alan Silvestri's lovely, Western-themed BACK TO THE FUTURE PART III, with the full score on Disc One and alternates and source cue on Disc Two.

This month's release in Varese Sarabande's LP-to-CD subscription series is Maurice Jarre's score for the TV docudrama ENOLA GAY, with Billy Crystal as one of the crew of the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima

Quartet has announced two new, expanded, multi-disc re-releases of hit thrillers from the 1990s -- a two-disc edition of Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar-nominated score for director Paul Verhoeven's stylish erotic mystery BASIC INSTINCT, featuring the complete score, the original soundtrack sequencing, and alternate cues; and a three-disc set of KISS THE GIRLS, the serial killer mystery starring Morgan Freeman as James Patterson's popular character Alex Cross (Freeman reprised the role in Along Came a Spider, which featured one of Jerry Goldsmith's final scores, and Tyler Perry starred in the 2012 reboot Alex Cross, scored by John Debney) -- the new release will feature not only the Mark Isham cues featured in the original Milan soundtrack release but also Isham's complete score as well as Carter Burwell's unused score.

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Film Score Friday 10/9/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 10/8/2015 - 9:00 PM
Intrada plans to anounce at least one new CD next week.
Varese Sarabande plans to announce three new CD Club releases next week.

Bruce Broughton joins Creature Features' cast & crew reunion screening of THE MONSTER SQUAD at Downtown L.A.'s 1,600 seat Theatre at the Ace Hotel to help celebrate the release of La-La Land Records' newly expanded soundtrack.  Broughton will be joined by actors Stephen Macht, Andre Gower, Ryan Lambert, Ashley Bank, cinematographer Bradford May and make-up FX artists Alec Gillis & Tom Woodruff.  Tickets are available here.
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Film Score Friday 10/2/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 10/1/2015 - 9:00 PM
The first release in Intrada's new series of soundtrack LPs presents Richard Band's orchestral score for the 1986 horror fantasy TROLL, released on 180 gram Audiophile vinyl with a deluxe gatefold presentation and custom cover art.
La-La Land has announced their current slate of October releases. On October 6 they will release their previously announced 12-disc boxed set of music from the original LOST IN SPACE TV series, a new release of Bruce Broughton's wonderful score for THE MONSTER SQUAD, and TIME'S UP, featuring music compsed by Michael McCuistion for the observatory at L.A.'s Griffith Park. On October 20 they will release two 2-disc sets of Blake Neely's music for hit superhero TV series, ARROW: SEASON 3 and THE FLASH: SEASON 1, and a CD pairing two horror scores by Richard Band, PUPPET MASTER: AXIS RISING and THE EVIL CLERGYMAN.  
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Today in Film Score History:
December 2
Aaron Copland died (1990)
Artie Butler born (1942)
Eddie Sauter born (1914)
Francois-Eudes Chanfrault born (1974)
Gerald Fried's score to the Star Trek episode "Shore Leave" is recorded (1966)
Harry Sukman born (1912)
John Williams begins recording his score for Midway (1975)
Michael Whalen born (1965)
Milton Delugg born (1918)
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