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Aisle Seat 12-16: Holiday Buyer's Guide Part 2
Posted By Andy Dursin 12/15/2014 - 9:00 PM
Norman Lear’s groundbreaking sitcom THE JEFFERSONS (1975-85, Complete Series DVD, Shout!) remains a classic TV comedy. After premiering in January 1975, CBS brought “The Jeffersons” back in the fall of that same year, running it on Saturday nights before shifting it to Mondays in January of ’76. While the show took some time finding its audience (CBS kept shuffling it around the schedule during its first few seasons), “The Jeffersons” continued to keep the laughs on coming as it further settled in, developed its ensemble cast and premise of an African-American drycleaner named George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley) whose success enabled him to “move on up” to a deluxe apartment on Manhattan’s East Side.
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Film Score Friday 12/12/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/11/2014 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced two new releases this week: a greatly expanded version of James Horner's score for the 1993 adventure film A FAR OFF PLACE (one of ten Horner-scored films released in theaters that year) starring Reese Witherspoon and Ethan Embry (back when he was Ethan Randall); and the first-ever release Georges Delerue's score for the 1987 TV miniseries QUEENIE, based on Nicholas Korda's novel inspired by the life of actress Merle Oberon, starring Mia Sara, Joss Ackland, Claire Bloom, Kirk Douglas, Joel Grey, Sarah Miles and Topol.

The latest release from Kritzerland is a remastered version of one of the all-time classic science-fiction scores -- Bernard Herrmann's Oscar-shortlisted score for director Robert Wise's 1951 classic THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.

This year's Grammy nominations have been announced, including the following film music-related categories:

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Aisle Seat 12-9: A Cinerama Spectacular
Posted By Andy Dursin 12/8/2014 - 9:00 PM
Some of the most exciting home video restorations of recent years has been the work of David Strohmaier on the original Cinerama features produced for the groundbreaking widescreen format in the 1950s. Flicker Alley released three of the restorations on Blu-Ray and DVD – “This is Cinerama,” “Cinerama Holiday” and “South Seas Adventure” – with additional work undertaken on “Windjammer,” which was shot using a similar, three-camera process known as “Cinemiracle.” Now Mr. Strohmaier is back with three more spectacular Blu-Ray releases, including two of the remaining Cinerama travelogues produced and hosted by Lowell Thomas.
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Film Score Friday 12/5/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 12/4/2014 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced a historic new CD this week -- the first-ever release of the original score tracks to the 1954 Best Picture winner ON THE WATERFRONT. Waterfront's Oscar-nominated music was the only feature film score composed by Broadway and classical great Leonard Bernstein, and though his concert suite of the score has been oft-recorded over the decades, this is the first true soundtrack release, including previously unheard cues. They are also re-releasing their CD featuring the LP tracks of John Williams' rousing score for the 1986 juvenile adventure SPACECAMP.

Most of you readers are probably more than aware of La-La Land's latest batch of "Black Friday" releases, which are all beginning to ship this week, but for those who aren't they are... the first-ever release of David Arnold's thrilling and funky score for the 2000 reboot of SHAFT, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Christian Bale, Jeffrey Wright and Toni Collette (too bad they couldn't get any good actors), with Richard Roundtree reprising his role from the original films and TV series; a four-disc set of music from the red-headed stepchild of the Star Trek franchise, the prequel series ENTERPRISE (later retitled Star Trek: Enterprise), with one disc of music by Dennis McCarthy, one by Jay Chattaway, and two more of various composers from the series including such familiar names as John Frizzell, Mark McKenzie and Brian Tyler; a two-disc expanded version of John Debney's Oscar-nominated score for director Mel Gibson's surprise blockbuster hit THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST; an expanded version of Danny Elfman's score for BIG TOP PEE-WEE; and a four-disc set reprising the label's expanded editions of Eflman's BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS, with small improvements made from their previous edition of the first Batman.

Varese Sarabande has announced their latest batch of limited edition CD club releases -- a two-disc Deluxe Edition of Alan Silvestri's exciting score for PREDATOR 2; an expanded Deluxe Edition of John Barry's score for Francis Ford Coppola's 1986 time travel romance PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED (the previous Varese release of Peggy Sue featured only a handful of Barry cues plus period songs); Victor Young's Oscar-nominated score for the 1943 version of FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS (previously released on CD by Stanyan); and a re-release (already sold out at most sites) of their earlier CD Club disc pairing one of Miklos Rozsa's great final scores, for Billy Wilder's less-than-great FEDORA, with his guitar music for CRISIS.

In the coolest film music news of the week, it was announced that Thomas Newman will score his second James Bond film, 2015's SPECTRE, directed by Sam Mendes and starring the current Bond regulars (Craig, Whishaw, Fiennes, Harris, Kinnear) plus Christoph Waltz, Monica Belucci, Lea Seydoux, David Bautista and Sherlock's Andrew Scott.

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Aisle Seat 12-2: Holiday Buyer's Guide Part 1
Posted By Andy Dursin 12/1/2014 - 9:00 PM
Throughout the busy holiday season I’ll be running a special Aisle Seat highlighting a number of new home video titles that would make for solid gift giving for the movie buff in your life. With Christmas less than a month away, let’s get right to it!
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The Magic & Majesty of Alexandre Desplat
Posted By Tim Burden 11/30/2014 - 9:00 PM

One of the perks of working in the cinema industry is the opportunity to hear multiple new film scores each week. Some good, some bad, some inaudible. Girl with a Pearl Earring was the first time I heard Alexandre Desplat's music and, like many others, I was suitably impressed and looked forward to hearing more from this composer.

Desplat's output didn't disappoint and he continues to deliver the best that music has to offer for film. It is well time

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Film Score Friday 11/28/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 11/27/2014 - 9:00 PM
La-La Land was scheduled to announce its latest slate of "Black Friday" releases at midnight. There should be updated information on these much-anticipated soundtrack CDs on our Message Board.

I am on vacation this week, which is why updates on CD releases and local screenings may be a bit sketchy, to say the least.

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Aisle Seat 11-25: A Thanksgiving Feast
Posted By Andy Dursin 11/24/2014 - 9:00 PM
Not to be confused with the controversial, more exploitive “Silent Night, Deadly Night,” writer-director Lewis Jackson’s YOU BETTER WATCH OUT — also known as the pulpier titled CHRISTMAS EVIL – has been issued on DVD a few times over the years, but never more satisfyingly than Vinegar Syndrome’s new Blu-Ray edition (***, 1980, 95 mins., R).
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FSM Catalog—Low Quantities Report, Part 12, CD Vol. 15 (2012)
Posted By Lukas Kendall 11/23/2014 - 9:00 PM
By barely popular demand, I will wrap up my reminiscences of producing the CDs in the Film Score Monthly catalog. Go here for the previous installment, which has links to the earlier ones.

I am not including sales and pressing numbers because I don’t even know what they are. I put off writing this column because, in all honesty, I was so burnt out that many of my memories are not happy ones. I never got tired of the music, but the administrative duties of running a boutique label—negotiating contracts, proofing packages, maintaining financing, finding new titles to release—did me in.

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Film Score Friday 11/21/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 11/20/2014 - 9:00 PM
Intrada is releasing two new CDs this week, featuring three scores by two composers.

The critical and commercial success of The Ipcress File, director Sidney J. Furie's 1965 film version of the first in Len Deighton's series about an unnamed spy (dubbed "Harry Palmer" for the films), led to two feature sequels based on Deighton's novels, with Michael Caine returning to play Palmer (for politeness sake, we can ignore the two miserable cable movies that later featured Caine as in the role). Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger, Evil Under the Sun) directed the second and hugely underrated Palmer film, FUNERAL IN BERLIN, which featured one of the most wonderfully complicated plots ever to grace a thriller and brought back some key personnel from Ipcress, including actor Guy Doleman, cinematographer Otto Heller and the master himself, production designer Ken Adam. One newcomer to the series was composer Konrad Elfers, whose lively, droll score is in somewhat in the vein of Dominic Frontiere's The Stunt Man. Intrada's CD, with liner notes by Jeff Bond, features the score tracks featured on the original LP plus a handful of previously unreleased cues including the film's opening.

Three-time Oscar winner Maurice Jarre is represented by a CD pairing two previously unreleased scores from wildly different films -- his music for director Richard Fleischer's controversial plantation drama MANDINGO, including the song "Born in This Time," co-written by Jarre and performed by Muddy Waters; and his brief score for Neil Simon's comedy PLAZA SUITE, with Walter Matthau in multiple roles.

The latest re-recording by Prometheus/Tadlow, due on November 25, is the first commercial release of John Barry's score for the 1978 film of Harold Robbins' novel THE BETSY. Daniel Petrie directed the all-star cast including Laurence Olivier, Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Lesley Anne Down, Katharine Ross, and the stars of Petrie's Barry-scored TV hit Eleanor and Franklin, Jane Alexander and Edward Herrmann. Despite the impressive cast, the film is no lost classic, but Barry remarkably managed to stay awake through the scoring process and contributed a typically melodic and varied work, a welcome addition the expanding Prometheus/Tadlow repertoire of new recordings.

Varese Sarabande plans to announce their latest batch of CD Club releases on December 1.

La-La Land currently plans to announce five new CD releases on November 28, aka "Black Friday" -- two individual CDs, one two-disc set, and two four-disc sets (whew!).

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Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Datalore" (1987)
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