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Film Score Friday 6/29/18
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 6/28/2018 - 9:00 PM
The latest CD from Intrada, limited to 500 units, is the first-ever release of the score for the 1988 ensemble family drama ROCKET GIBRALTAR, starring Burt Lancaster, Suzy Amis, Patricia Clarkson, Francis Conroy, Sinead Cusack, John Glover, Bill Pullman, Kevin Spacey, and Macaulay Culkin in his film debut. The score was only one of two (so far) composed by Andrew Powell, best known for his cult favorite symphonic pop score for Richard Donner's Ladyhawke.

In some of the most promising film music news in recent memory, Universal has announced what Jon Burlingame's Variety article calls "a long-range plan to preserve and restore its unreleased movie music." Fortunately for collectors, this plan, officially titled the Universal Pictures Film Music Heritage Collection, involves releasing some of these preserved/restored scores on CD in partnership with La-La Land, beginning this week with a 3000-unit edition of Michel Colombier's offbeat, previously unavailable score to the excellent 1970 sci-fi thriller COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT. Other scores which are being preserved with a probable CD release in mind include The Prisoner of Zenda (Henry Mancini, and currently expected in August), Two Mules for Sister Sara (Ennio Morricone), Airport '77 (John Cacavas), The Concorde: Airport '79 (Lalo Schifrin), Fletch Lives (Harold Faltermeyer) and The Sentinel (Gil Melle). Mike Matessino will be producing the first albums in this series, and execs have mentioned the possibility that Universal's TV scores will also be included in this project. The label hopes to have three CDs in this series out by the end of the year, with approximately one every two months from then on. Though the current projects listed cover just the 1970s and 80s, the label also hopes to do scores from earlier and later decades as well. (at the end of this column, I have included a list* of most of the Universal feature scores from the 70s and 80s that have not received substantial commercial releases, to give you a sense of just some of the possible projects in the future -- though some of these films were only distributed by Universal, not produced by them, and thus might not be eligible).

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced their list of 928 actors, filmmakers and publicists who have been invited to join the Academy, including the following Music Branch invitees -- composers Jeff Beal, Lisa Coleman, Fil Eisler, Sharon Farber, Osvaldo Golijov, Sofia Gubaidulina, Hauschka, Mandy Hoffman, Yoko Kanno, Emilio Kauderer, Usha Khanna, Shena Khanwalkar Joseph Koo, Lee Byung-Woo, Lim Giong, Wendy Melvoin, Jason Moran, Trevor Morris, Dustin O’Halloran, Daniel Pemberton, Jeff Rona, Nitin Sawhney, Ilona Sekacz, Eric Serra, Gingger Shankar, Carlo Siliotto, Rob Simonsen and Nathan Wang; music editors Joe Bonn, Stephanie Lowry, Jen Monnar, Melissa Muik, Steven A. Saltzman and Jeanette Surga; and songwriters Carlinhos Brown, Ester Dean, Melissa Etheridge, Kendrick Lamar, Carlton Douglas “Chuck D” Ridenhour, Sufjan Stevens, and Ahmir Khalib “Questlove” Thompson.

I am currently on vacation, so if any additional film music news broke in the last few days, you will have to learn it from our Message Board, or from the deepest and dankest recesses of the Intertubes, but not from the "dark web," which we now know is a dangerous and scary place.

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Aisle Seat 6-26: Summer Arrival Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 6/25/2018 - 9:00 PM
On 4K UHD for the first time – a month ahead of the theatrical debut of its latest sequel — Paramount’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE series has at last generated a worthy home video release. Available in five separate 4K UHD combo packs, the Tom Cruise franchise finally hits its small-screen stride thanks to transfers that are markedly better than their prior Blu-Ray releases, which – while sufficient for the early days of high-def – were quickly outdated via their poor encoding and wildly inconsistent visual attributes.
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June Issue of FSM ONLINE Is Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 6/25/2018 - 2:00 AM

The jam-packed June edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. In this month’s cover story, the first part of Erik Heine’s JAMES NEWTON HOWARD BUYER’S GUIDE rates the composer’s work from the past decade. Also in this issue, CRAIG SAFAN discusses the mythological inspiration behind his latest solo album, SIRENS; the first half of Kyle Renick's extensive survey of music in the films of INGMAR BERGMAN; an interview with GERMAINE F

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Film Score Friday 6/22/18
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 6/21/2018 - 9:00 PM
Varese Sarabande has announced four new releases in their limited edition CD Club series, expected to begin shipping this week -- an expanded Deluxe Edition of one of John Williams' greatest early works, his rousing, Copland-esque score for the 1972 Western THE COWBOYS (the "alternate main title" included on the earlier Varese release has turned out to be Harry Sukman's unused main theme for the short-lived TV spinoff and is not included in this edition); an expanded Deluxe Edition of Jerry Goldsmith's lively score for director Joe Dante's 1998 sci-fi comedy adventure SMALL SOLDIERS; THE COMPLETE LONDON SESSIONS, a two-disc set featuring the Georges Delerue music re-recorded for Varese's out-of-print series of London Sessions discs (but not the original score cues which were also included on those discs); and an "Encore Edition" straight re-release of David Newman's score for the cult classic dark comedy HEATHERS.

Rob Simonson's score for the Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody comedy-drama TULLY will be released on vinyl in late July. A pleasant musical surprises in the film was a montage scored with a folksy new vocal version of the John Barry/Don Black classic "You Only Live Twice" performed by "Beulahbelle," who are actually actress Kaitlyn Dever (Justified, Short Term 12) and her sister Mady. The LP will feature two different versions of their "You Only Live Twice." 

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Film Score Friday 6/15/18
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 6/14/2018 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada, taken from the original Mainstream LP masters, pairs two scores from the mid-60s "Europspy" craze -- the 1965 sci-fi cult classic THE 10TH VICTIM, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress, and featuring a classic "futuristic jazz" score by Piero Piccioni (though 10th Victim is not technically a spy film, it is often programmed in '60s spy retrospectives, and was a marked influence on the Austin Powers films); and Georges Garvarentz' Barry-influenced score for the light-hearted spy thriller THAT MAN IN ISTANBUL, starring Horst Buchholz, Sylvia Koscina, Mario Adorf and Klaus Kinski. The disc features the original cover art from both LPs, as well as liner notes on both films by myself.

Those who tend to forget (or never even knew) that A-list composer Thomas Newman began his career mostly scoring comedies will get a nice refresher this month when La-La Land presents the first-ever soundtrack release of Newman's score for THE MAN WITH ONE RED SHOE, the 1985 Tom Hanks vehicle (back when Hanks starred mostly in goofy comedies) that remade the French hit The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe.

Varese Sarabande plans to release four new CD Club releases next week. 

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Aisle Seat 6-12: June Rundown Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 6/11/2018 - 9:00 PM
A reunion of “7th Voyage of Sinbad”’s star (Kerwin Mathews), villain (Torin Thatcher) and director (Nathan Juran), the 1962 fantasy JACK THE GIANT KILLER (94 mins., G) doesn’t offer the same kind of bravura stop-motion effects work as the earlier Ray Harryhausen favorite. However, this independent production from Edward Small that United Artists picked up for distribution still provides Saturday Matinee fun for movie buffs and fans of the era alike.
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Film Score Friday 6/8/18
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 6/7/2018 - 9:00 PM
Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.

La-La Land has announced their planned schedule of releases for this month. This week they are releasing an expanded version of James Horner's JACK THE BEAR, as well as the previously announced CRISIS ON EARTH-X. On June 19, they will release a two-disc set pairing remastered editions of Jerry Goldsmith's scores for the Westerns 100 RIFLES and RIO CONCHOS, as well as a probable second release to be announced soon.


Crisis on Earth-X - Blake Neely, Nathaniel Blume, Daniel Chan, Sherri Chung - La-La Land

Fellini's Casanova
 - Nino Rota - Music Box
Hereditary - Colin Stetson - Milan
Jack the Bear - James Horner - La-La Land
McQueen - Michael Nyman - Nyman (import)
7 Days in Entebbe - Rodrigo Amarante - Lakeshore
Star Trek: Discovery, Chapter 2 
- Jeff Russo - Lakeshore
The Yakuza Papers
 - Tokiashi Tsuishima - Cinema-Kan (import) 

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Aisle Seat 6-5: Jurassic June Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 6/4/2018 - 9:00 PM
It’s not a stretch to say that movies changed forever when JURASSIC PARK opened on June 11th, 1993. I remember attending the opening of Steven Spielberg’s much anticipated adaptation of the Michael Crichton best-seller, stoked by having already purchased John Williams’ soundtrack album a couple of weeks before and played it to death by the time I finally saw the picture. While certain aspects of the movie were a bit of a letdown (both then and now), there was no denying the “game changer” that the film’s historical use of CGI special effects signified.
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Film Score Friday 6/1/18
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 5/31/2018 - 9:00 PM
Less than six months after the unexpected release of Damnation Alley, Intrada presents another "Holy Grail" for score collectors, the first-ever release of the full original score for Ray Harryhausen's cult favorite 1969 "dinosaur Western" THE VALLEY OF GWANGI. Based on an idea by Harryhausen's mentor, the stop-motion pioneer Willis O'Brien, Gwangi told the story of cowboys in turn-of-the-century Mexico who discover a hidden valley where dinosaurs have survived. The film benefited both from Harryhausen's typically excellent effects (the sequence where the cowboys attempt to rope an Allosaurus is a particular highlight) and the rousing orchestral score of Jerome Moross. Moross is best remembered for his unforgettable, Oscar-nominated score for the epic 1958 Western The Big Country [not The Big Valley as I originally mistyped]  but his oeuvre encompassed a wide variety of works, including Otto Preminger's religious epic The Cardinal, Franklin J. Schaffner's medieval romance The War Lord, several concert pieces, and even an original stage musical The Golden Apple, which Ken Mandelbaum's book Not Since Carrie proclaimed as the finest musical to ever flop on Broadway. Gwangi was one of the last feature scores Moross recorded and one of many first-rate scores that Harryhausen's films inspired, and is a rousing orchestral work which combines the stirring Americana of The Big Country with exciting action material for the dinosaur setpieces. Gwangi's music had previously only been available in selected cues re-recorded as suites and the original score tapes were long rumored to be lost, but Intrada has managed to reassemble the complete score from various sources, including alternates and source cues (by Moross himself).

On Wednesday, June 20th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present THE SHERMAN BROTHERS: A HOLLYWOOD SONGBOOK, a live event paying tribute to the team that wrote the songs for Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and many others. Special guests that night will include Richard Sherman himself, as well as Michael Giacchino and Lesley Ann Warren. 

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Aisle Seat 5-28: Memorial Day Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 5/27/2018 - 9:00 PM
It’s a good week for catalog releases in 4K UHD. Roland Emmerich’s Revolutionary War adventure THE PATRIOT (***½, 164 mins., 2000, R; Sony) is newly available from Sony on 4K UHD, along with David Ayer’s WWII tank adventure FURY with Brad Pitt and action classics starring Bruce Willis and Keanu Reeves, respectively.
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Today in Film Score History:
December 18
Jean Musy born (1947)
Joel Hirschhorn born (1937)
Maurice Jarre begins recording his score for The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark (1979)
Out of Africa opens in New York and Los Angeles (1985)
Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Datalore" (1987)
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