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Film Score Friday 3/6/15
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/5/2015 - 9:00 PM
The latest two CDs from Intrada feature previously unreleased scores which will be a particular treat for fans of action-packed genre films of the 1970s.

Steven Spielberg first truly began to make a name for himself with the 1971 TV movie DUEL, adapted by the great Richard Matheson from his own short story. Dennis Weaver (in a memorable performance far different from his signature McCloud role) plays a businessman whose drive across the desert becomes a nightmare when a faceless truck driver seems determined to run him off the road. From this simple premise came one of the greatest of all made-for-TV movies and a shining example of the "ABC Movie of the Week," a series which brought us such classics as The Night Stalker and Trilogy of Terror (like Duel, both written by Matheson). Two-time Emmy winner Billy Goldenberg, who had previously worked with Spielberg on the Night Gallery pilot and the classic Name of the Game episode "LA 2017," wrote the unnerving score, much of which was dropped from the final cut and is being heard here for the first time.

The commercial and critical success of Duel led to an entire subgenre of thrillers about people being menaced by vehicles and drivers -- and sometimes vehicles without drivers, like the 1974 ABC Movie of the Week Killdozer. Following the gargantuan success of Jaws, which inspired a whole new flood of monster movies, and The Exorcist, which put demonic horror on the map, this subgenre had a memorable bigscreen entry in THE CAR, with James Brolin (you know -- Josh's dad) as a small town sheriff who finds an unexpected menace in a driverless car of seemingly Satanic origin. The film was directed by Elliot Silverstein (Cat Ballou, A Man Called Horse), and the exciting score was composed by Leonard Rosenman, fresh from his back-to-back Oscars for Barry Lyndon and Bound for Glory (Rosenman had also recently scored the chase-horror film Race with the Devil, suggesting he was in danger of being typecast for demonic car pursuits).


La-La Land has announced three upcoming releases for March. On March 10 they will present a new release of one of Jerry Goldsmith's scariest scores, for director Richard Attenborough's 1978 film version of William Goldman's novel MAGIC, starring Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Ed Lauter and Burgess Meredith, as well as the first-ever release of the score for director John Irvin's first feature, the gripping 1981 film version of Frederic Forsyth's novel THE DOGS OF WAR. Christopher Walken starred in Dogs as a mercenary whose visit to an African nation quickly goes south, leading to a violent takeover. The score was composed by the eclectic Geoffrey Burgon, whose resume encompassed everything from religious music to the scores for Monty Python's LIfe of Brian and Brideshead Revisited. Burgon had previously worked with Irvin on the acclaimed miniseries version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and they would later reteam for such projects as Turtle Diary and the Patrick Bergin/Uma Thurman version of Robin Hood. On March 24, La-La Land will release a two-disc edition of the 1954 epic THE EGYPTIAN, whose score was a historic collaboration between two of the all-time greats, Alfred Newman and Bernard Herrmann.


Varese Sarabande will release Hans Zimmer's score for Neill Blomkamp's just-released science-fiction action film CHAPPIE on March 17. They are also expected to release a CD of Tim Jones' music for the long-running spy action-comedy TV series CHUCK on April 7, though it has not yet been announced on their site. Amazon also lists a planned Varese soundtrack for Aaron Sorkin's TV series The Newsroom, but there is no word on which seasons or composers woud be represented on the disc -- Thomas Newman wrote the main theme, with Alex Wurman, Johnny Klimek and Jeff Beal each scoring a season of episodes.


A new label, Dragon's Domain, is presenting A SOUND OF THUNDER as their inaugural soundtrack release. Genre fave Peter Hyams (Capricorn One, Outland, 2010) directed this adaptation (filmed in 2002, released in 2005) of Ray Bradbury's classic short story about the perils of time travel. The eclectic cast included Sir Ben Kingsley, indie stalwart Ed Burns, Catherine McCormack and future Selma star David Oyelowo (he wasn't nominated for Sound of Thunder either), and the score was composed by Nick Glennie-Smith (The Rock, The Man in the Iron Mask).

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Aisle Seat 3-3: Twilight Time, Shout, Warner Archive
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/2/2015 - 9:00 PM
One of the most beautifully shot films of its era, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (***½, 171 mins., 1967) is a leisurely, yet richly told, adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel that follows Bathsheba Everdene, a feisty young woman (Julie Christie) who inherits her uncle’s farm and subsequently navigates between a trio of suitors in rural, southwest England.
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Film Score Friday 2/27/15
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/26/2015 - 9:00 PM
Last Sunday, Alexandre Desplat managed to complete an Oscar-Grammy-BAFTA trifecta by winning the Original Score Academy Award for Wes Anderson's THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.  As Desplat paid touching tribute to his wife in his acceptance speech, an unfortunately placed cameraman seemed to have a better angle on Hans Zimmer than on Mme. Desplat. After the win, fans of eight-time nominee Desplat were heard to exclaim "Finally!", while twelve-time nominated composer Thomas Newman (not nominated this year) remarked "Ummmmm..." and the brilliant cinematographer Roger Deakins (who "lost" for the twelfth time that night with the Desplat-scored Unbroken) said "Hello???!!!"

As expected, songwriters John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn, better known as performers John Legend and Common, won for SELMA's original song "Glory." They also had arguably the most eloquent acceptance speech(es) of the evening, though I found Imitation Game screenwriter Graham Moore's to be the most moving (and almost managing to wipe away the bad taste of the studio's obnoxious "HONOR THE MAN. HONOR THE FILM" billboards seen around L.A. for the last few weeks).

It was a well-designed telecast for film music fans -- though nominees in several of the crafts categories (even visually oriented ones like Production Design and Visual Effects) were represented by stylized graphics rather than film clips, each film was announced with a snippet of score, so while viewers didn't see any actual film clips of the nominated visual effects from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, they were treated to a brief but recognizable piece of Michael Giacchino's music.

A little bit of film music trivia -- the elaborate "Everything Is Awesome" production number from the nominated Lego Movie song featured a brief appearance by score composer Mark Mothersbaugh, who of course used to score all of Wes Anderson's movies until, well, Alexandre Desplat.


Quartet has announced two upcoming CDs featuring expanded re-releases of Hollywood scores from the 1990s -- Alan Silvestri's mambo-infused score from the 1991 comedy SOAPDISH, starring Sally Field, Kevin Kline and Robert Downey Jr.; and James Newton Howard's score for the 1994 romantic drama INTERSECTION, directed by Mark Rydell and starring Richard Gere, Sharon Stone and Lolita Davidovich (a remake of the French film Les choses de la vie, scored by Philippe Sarde).


Intrada plans to release two new CDs next week


The latest release from Kritzerland is a hugely expanded, two-disc soundtrack to the all-black 1943 movie musical STORMY WEATHER, starring Lena Horne and featuring a remarkable cast of supporting performers including Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers. It will feature the complete soundtrack on Dics One and bonus cues on Disc Two.

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Aisle Seat 2-24: Olive, Big Hero 6, Watership Down
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/23/2015 - 9:00 PM
Lifted by one of Bill Murray’s more memorable and believable performances, Theodore Melfi’s ST. VINCENT (***½, 103 mins., 2014, PG-13; Anchor Bay) might be formulaic, but its earnest and warmhearted story makes it a refreshing change of pace for viewers disappointed with the likes of Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” and other, recent assaults on the senses coming out of Hollywood.
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Film Score Friday 2/20/15
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/19/2015 - 9:00 PM
Intrada announced three new soundtrack releases this week, all consisting of previously unreleased score tracks from films from three different eras -- a two-disc edition of Dimitri Tiomkin's score for Howard Hawks' beloved 1959 Western RIO BRAVO, starring John Wayne, Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson; the score to Disney's popular '70s sci-fi adventure ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN, by Oscar winner Johnny Mandel (The Sandpiper, Being There, Point Blank); and Joel McNeely's score for Disney's animated Peter Pan spinoff TINKER BELL AND THE GREAT FAIRY RESCUE.
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February Issue of FSM Online Is Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 2/18/2015 - 2:00 AM
The February edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. For this month’s cover story, Kyle Renick met up with Academy Award-nominee Jóhann Jóhannsson in New York City to talk about THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. Also this issue, Cary Wong measures up the Oscar contenders in Wong’s Turn; MATTHEW MARGESON goes undercover with Henry Jackman for KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE; the conclusion of Gold Rush’s comprehensive look at the life and music of ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD; JASON GRAVES scores the alternate-reality adventure game THE ORDER: 1886; an interview with author STEPHEN C. MEYER about his book, EPIC SOUND: MUSIC IN POSTWAR HOLLYWOOD BIBLICAL FILMS; a biblical Score Restore uncovers and extended ALFRED NEWMAN cue from DAVID AND BATHSHEBA; the second half of John Cockshaw’s artistic interpretation of LORD OF THE RINGS, inspired by the scores of HOWARD SHORE; the producers of SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY chat about their work on the upcoming documentary; a new column, THE NOIR FILES, explores the dark world of film-noir music; an audio commentary and review of the new album of CHRISTOPHER GUNNING’s 2003 score to POLLYANNA; Soundtrack Obscurities offers some forgotten gems to fend off winter cabin fever; more embedded audio clips, and more.

Subscribers, you’ll get notification by email shortly. Or, just go here to log in. For those who want to join FSM ONLINE, go here, click on the “Subscribe” link and follow the instructions. And email us if you have any questions.

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Aisle Seat 2-17: February Blizzard Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/16/2015 - 9:00 PM
Just before Roger Ebert passed away, I was emailed by one of his assistants, who had watched a video I uploaded on Youtube of one of Siskel & Ebert’s “Holiday Gift Guides.” These annual shows – wherein the critics stepped outside the balcony to review home theater equipment, tech gadgets and the occasional video games – were among the tapes I had saved recording Gene and Roger’s show growing up, and her email enabled me to get in contact with the ailing Pulitzer Prize-winning author before his death.
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Film Score Friday 2/13/15
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/12/2015 - 9:00 PM
Varese Sarabande has announced that on March 17 they will be releasing the U.S. edition of the two-disc soundtrack CD of Michael Giacchino's score to the Wachowskis' sci-fi epic JUPITER ASCENDING (Sony has just released the soundtrack in Europe).


Alexandre Desplat has won BAFTA's Film/Original Music award for his score for THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL. Desplat's Grand Budapest also won the Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. John Williams won Best Instrumental Composition for the cue THE BOOK THIEF from the film of the same name. FROZEN won Grammys for Best Song Written for Visual Media and Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. 

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Film Score Friday 2/6/15
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/5/2015 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced two new CDs which are being released this week.

The third and so far final sequel to Jaws was released in the summer of 1987, four years after the guilty pleasure that is Jaws 3-D. Inspired possibly by the commercial and critical success of the female-driven Aliens in 1986, JAWS THE REVENGE saw Lorraine Gary reprising her role from the first two Jaws films as Ellen Brody, who travels to the Bahamas after a personal tragedy only to find that tragedy has followed her in the form of a vengeance-minded shark. TV and film veteran Joseph Sargent, whose filmography includes such classics as Colossus: The Forbin Project and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, was the director, and the score was composed by the maestro of cinematic paranoia, Michael Small. A soundtrack LP was announced at the time of the film's release but never materialized; a composer promo CD featuring only 28 minutes of music (presumably the planned LP sequencing) was released over a decade ago, so Intrada's Jaws the Revenge is the first commercial release of the score, featuring Small's score in its entirety including unusued cues and alternates. The booklet features a discussion of the score by Doug Fake as well as more than you'd ever want to know about the film's inevitably troubled production history (has making a Jaws film ever gone smoothly?), courtesy of me.

Intrada is also releasing the score for the second of Walt Disney Studios' ongoing series of animated Peter Pan spinoffs, TINKER BELL AND THE LOST TREASURE, scored, as were the other Tinker Bell films, by Joel McNeely.


La-La Land has announced their planned schedule of February CD releases.

Next week they will release a CD featuring Henry Jackman's scores for the two comedies directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, THE INTERVIEW and THIS IS THE END; the score for director Matthew Vaughn's brand-new spy action comedy KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong and Michael Caine, with a score by Vaughn's regular composer, Henry Jackman, and Matthew Margeson; and their long-anticipated, two-disc release of Andrew Powell's oddly beloved pop-symphonic score for director Richard Donner's lavish romantic-fantasy-swashbuckler LADYHAWKE, starring Matthew Broderick, Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer.

On February 24 they are currently planning to release Frederik Wiedmann's score for writer-director Paul Schrader's spy thriller DYING OF THE LIGHT, starring Nicolas Cage and Anton Yelchin, as well as a re-release of their expanded edition of John Wiliams' 1941.


Varese Sarabande has entirely redesigned their website, and on their new site they have announced the March 17 soundtrack release of the Oscar-nominated documentary VIRUNGA, featuring its score by Patrick Jonsson, who has worked in the music department for several recent Patrick Doyle scores. For those who assumed that J. Ralph scored every Oscar nominated documentary (Man on Wire, The Cove, Hell and Back Again, Chasing Ice, Finding Vivian Maier), fear not -- Mr. Ralph composed Virunga's main and end title song, "We Will Not Go" (the Varese site does not yet list whether the song will be included on the CD).

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Aisle Seat 2-3: Twilight Time, Olive Winter Releases
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/2/2015 - 9:00 PM
Tom Holland’s FRIGHT NIGHT (***½, 106 mins., R, 1985) was released at the tail end of summer 1985 and became an instant sleeper hit. Not just a silly “teen vampire flick,” “Fright Night” captivated many critics who appreciated the film’s characters and sense of humor, along with its salute to old-fashioned horror, particularly at a time when slasher films had become all the rage. With Richard Edlund’s special effects giving the film a modern sensibility, the film bridged the gap between the old and the new, and remains a viewer favorite in the genre nearly 30 years after its original release.
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Film Score Monthly Online
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