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Quartet has announced their final batch of soundtrack releases for 2019: the first CD release of Ron Goodwin's score for THOSE DARING YOUNG MEN IN THEIR JAUNTY JALOPIES (also known as Monte Carlo or Bust!), a two-disc set featuring both an expanded version of the original LP selection (in stereo) as well as the full score in mono; an expanded, 50th anniversary edition of Quincy Jones' score for the heist comedy THE ITALIAN JOB; a two-disc remastered edition of Jerry Goldsmith's wonderful THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, featuring the original film score cues, alternates, and the original LP sequencing; a re-release of their 3-disc edition of Henry Mancini's SANTA CLAUS; a remastered re-release of Ennio Morricone's score for Pedro Almodovar's Atame, known in the U.S. as TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN!; and an 11-disc boxed set, PEDRO ALMODOVAR & ALBERTO IGLESIAS: FILM MUSIC COLLECTION, featuring remastered (but not expanded) versions of all the films the director/composer team has made together, from The Flower of My Secret to Pain and Glory.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is expected to announce shortlists for the nominations in several categories next week, including Original Score and Original Song. Starting last year, the Academy stopped publicizing the lists of all eligible scores and songs, but according to a Jon Burlingame article in Variety, some high profile scores were not included on the list. Nathan Johnson's Knives Out was omitted due to "an administrative mixup," while Pinar Toprak's Captain Marvel was not submitted by its studio. Max Richter's Ad Astra was also not submitted, since he and fellow composer Lorne Balfe did not personally collaborate on the final score.

Scores which were apparently declared ineligible due to the preponderance of non-original music include James Newton Howard's A Hidden Life (as with any Malick film, there were apparently concert pieces tracked in to supplement the original score), Robbie Robertson's The Irishman (which featured only a small amount of score plus a substantial amount of Scorsese-style period music) and Bryce Dessner's The Two Popes (which prominently features ABBA and Beatles songs along with the score).


The Hollywood Foreign Press Assocation has announced this year's Golden Globe nominations, including the following film music categories:

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE - MOTION PICTURE

JOKER - Hildur Guonadottir
LITTLE WOMEN - Alexandre Desplat
MARRIAGE STORY - Randy Newman
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN - Daniel Pemberton
1917 - Thomas Newman

BEST ORIGINAL SONG - MOTION PICTURE

"Beautiful Ghosts" - Cats - Taylor Swift, Andrew Lloyd Webber
"I'm Gonna Love Me Again" - Rocketman - Elton John, Bernie Taupin
"Into the Unknown" - Frozen II - Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez
"Spirit" - The Lion King - Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Timothy McKenzie, Ilya Salmanzadeh
"Stand Up" - Harriet - Joshuah Bryan Campbell, Cynthia Erivo 


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Animal Among Us - Alexander Taylor - Notefornote
Disaster Movie Soundtrack Collection
 - John Williams - La-La Land
Gail Kubik: Scenes for Orchestra etc
. - Gail Kubik - Kritzerland  
Killing Eve - David Holmes, Keefus Ciancia - Heavenly Recordings (import)
The Last Metro/The Woman Next Door/Confidentially Yours
 - Georges Delerue - Music Box 
Little Women - Alexandre Desplat - Sony (import)
Marriage Story
 - Randy Newman - Lakeshore
Star Trek: Voyager vol. 2
 - Paul Baillargeon, David Bell, Jay Chattaway, Dennis McCarthy - La-La Land  


IN THEATERS TODAY

Anton - Patrick Cannell, Miroslav Skorik
Black Christmas - Will Blair, Brooke Blair
Bombshell - Theodore Shapiro
Cunningham - Volker Bertelmann
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan - Gabriel Yared
The Disappearance of My Mother - Aaron Cupples
Finding Julia - Milos Jeziorski
Float Like a Butterfly - Stephen Warbeck
Hell on the Border - Sid De La Cruz
A Hidden Life - James Newton Howard - Score CD on Decca
Jumanji: The Next Level - Henry Jackman
Line of Descent - Mario Grigorov
Midnight Family - Los Shajatos
Mob Town - Lionel Cohen
Rabid - Claude Foisy
Richard Jewell - Arturo Sandoval
Seberg - Jed Kurzel
6 Underground - Lorne Balfe
Uncut Gems - Daniel Lopatin - Score CD on Warp
What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael - Rick Baitz


COMING SOON

December 20
The Karate Kid: The 35th Anniversary
 - Bill Conti - La-La Land 
Madame White Snake
 - Ikuma Dan - Cinema-Kan (import)
Matthias & Maxime - Jean-Michel Blais - Mercury
Nevada Smith: The Paramount Westerns Collection - Daniele Amfitheatrof, Johnny Douglas, Paul Dunlap, Alfred Newman, David Raksin, Nelson Riddle, Walter Scharf, Harry Sukman, Franz Waxman, Roy Webb, Victor Young - La-La Land  
1917 - Thomas Newman - Sony (import)
The Song of Names 
- Howard Shore - Decca 
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
 - John Williams - Disney
Stargate: 25th Anniversary Expanded
 - David Arnold - La-La Land 
December 27
War in Space
 - Toshiaki Tsushima - Cinema-Kan (import)
January 10
The Addams Family - Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna - Lakeshore
January 17
Bliss - Steve Moore - Relapse (import)
Go Fish - George Streicher - Notefornote  
His Dark Materials - Lorne Balfe - Silva
January 24
Anne with an E
- Amin Bhatia, Ari Posner - Varese Sarabande
I Lost My Body - Dan Levy - Lakeshore
February 21
At Eternity's Gate - Tatiana Lisovskaya - Filmtrax (import)
Date Unknown
Adios
 - Zeltia Montes - Quartet
Alien 2 Sulla Terra 
- Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis - Beat
Big Bad Mama II
 - Chuck Cirino - Dragon's Domain
Cari Mostri del Mare
 - Carlo Savina - Kronos
Gege Bellavita
 - Riz Ortolani - Digitmovies
The Great Train Robbery
- Jerry Goldsmith - Quartet
I Fratelli Corsi
 - Angelo Francesco Lavagnino - Kronos
I Ladri Della Notte 
- Ennio Morricone - Beat
Il Disordine
 - Mario Nascimbene - Kronos
Il Segno Del Coyote
 - Francesco DeMasi - Beat
The Italian Job: 50th Anniversary Expanded Edition
- Quincy Jones - Quartet
Jesus de Nazaret
 - Alejandro Karo - Kronos
Legado en los Huesos
 - Fernando Velazquez - Quartet
Lilly's Bewitched Christmas
 - Anne-Kathrin Dern - Kronos
Lucio Fulci's Gates of Hell Trilogy
 - Fabio Frizzi, Walter Rizzati - Beat
Musiche Da Film Ennio Morricone
 - Ennio Morricone - Universal (import)
Noah Land
 - Leon Gurvitch - Kronos
The Paul Chihara Collection, vol. 3
 - Paul Chihara - Dragon's Domain
Pedro Almodovar and Alberto Iglesias: Film Music Collection
- Alberto Iglesias - Quartet
Santa Claus [re-release]
- Henry Mancini - Quartet
Sette Contro La Morte
 - Carlo Rustichelli - Saimel
Seven Worlds, One Planet
 - Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea - Silva
Ta La Land: City of Fear - Tomas Luchoro - Quartet
Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies
- Ron Goodwin - Quartet
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
- Ennio Morricone - Quartet
Un Dramma Borghese
 - Riz Ortolani - Digitmovies 


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

December 13 - Teo Usuelli born (1920)
December 13 - Reijiro Koroku born (1949)
December 13 - David Raksin begins recording his score to The Reformer and the Redhead (1949) 
December 13 - Dimitri Tiomkin begins recording his score for Land of the Pharaohs (1954)
December 13 - Harry Gregson-Williams born (1961)
December 13 - Adam Fields born (1965)
December 13 - Alexander Courage records his score for the Lost in Space episode "The Girl from the Green Dimension" (1966)
December 13 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Psycho II (1982)
December 13 - Rene Cloerec died (1995)
December 13 - Miles Goodman begins recording his score for Dunston Checks In (1995)
December 14 - John Du Prez born (1946)
December 14 - John Lurie born (1952)
December 14 - Alfred Newman begins recording his score for Hell and High Water (1953)
December 14 - Fred Karlin begins recording his score for Ravagers (1978)
December 14 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Defector" (1989)
December 14 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Shattered” (2000)
December 15 - Gone With the Wind has its world premiere in Atlanta (1939)
December 15 - The Man with the Golden Arm opens in New York (1955)
December 15 - Alan Ari Lazar born (1967)
December 15 - Ennio Morricone begins recording his score for Days of Heaven (1977)
December 16 - Lud Gluskin born (1898)
December 16 - Noel Coward born (1889)
December 16 - Camille Saint-Saens died (1921)
December 16 - Marco Frisina born (1954)
December 16 - Adam Gorgoni born (1963)
December 16 - Recording sessions begin for Cyril Mockridge’s score for Donovan’s Reef (1963)
December 16 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for In Harm's Way (1964)
December 16 - Robert Prince records his score for The New Adventures of Wonder Woman episode “The Deadly Toys” (1977)
December 16 - Richard Band records his score for Terrorvision (1985)
December 16 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his unused Timeline score (2002)
December 16 - Paul Baillargeon records his score for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Chosen Realm” (2003)
December 16 - Freddie Perren died (2004)
December 17 - Leo Erdody born (1888)
December 17 - Craig Safan born (1948)
December 17 - Winfried Zillig died (1963)
December 17 - Lalo Schifrin begins recording his score for Rhino! (1963)
December 17 - Don Ellis died (1978)
December 17 - John Debney records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Pegasus” (1993)
December 18 - Joel Hirschhorn born (1937)
December 18 - Jean Musy born (1947)
December 18 - Maurice Jarre begins recording his score for The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark (1979)
December 18 - Out of Africa opens in New York and Los Angeles (1985)
December 18 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Datalore" (1987)
December 19 - Paul Dessau born (1894)
December 19 - Robert B. Sherman born (1925)
December 19 - Galt MacDermot born (1928)
December 19 - Herbert Stothart begins recording his score for Northwest Passage (1939)
December 19 - The Thief of Bagdad premieres in London (1940)
December 19 - Recording sessions begin for Frederick Hollander’s score for The Bride Wore Boots (1946)
December 19 - Walter Murphy born (1952)
December 19 - Fred Karlin begins recording his score to The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1973)
December 19 - Elmer Bernstein begins recording his score for Going Ape (1980)
December 19 - Michel Magne died (1984)
December 19 - Roger Webb died (2002)

DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

BLACK PANTHER - Ludwig Goransson

"On the other hand, it means that 'Black Panther' has to deal with the house style. To a certain extent, Coogler is able to overcome the blandness that comes with the territory, leaning on the specificity of Wakandan culture to overcome some of these movies’ usual weaknesses. The ecstatic costumes and lush cinematography are both impressive, but the film’s music is the real miracle here. A far cry from the profoundly generic slop that’s been used to score the previous Marvel stuff, Ludwig Göransson delivers a singular piece of work. Weaving South African and Senegalese drumming into the base of his compositions, Göransson creates a prickly, percussive sound that rumbles with anxiety and power. And then, just to rub it in, the film tops that off with a handful of original tracks from Kendrick Lamar and his pals. 'Infinity War' might have hundreds of superheroes, but it won’t have that."
 
David Ehrlich, IndieWire 
 
"But when 'Black Panther' works, it’s thrillingly alive, whether it’s the dazzling colors of the vivid costumes by Ruth E. Carter ('Selma') -- in Wakanda, the Basotho blankets emit force-fields -- or the eclectic and vibrant music choices; the score by Ludwig Göransson ('Creed') vacillates smoothly between European strings and African percussion and woodwinds, while the songs put Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd side by side with South African performers like Babes Wodumo and Sjava."
 
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

"Comics have never needed realism to create complicated character arcs or social commentary, and perhaps the reason 'Black Panther' feels so much like an actual Marvel comic is that it expresses its ideas with unapologetically clashing color. It has armored rhinos, Ruritanian power struggles, wacky inventions (e.g., nanobot shoes), sprinkles of Jules Verne and James Bond, characters who can’t stop striking cool poses with bladed weapons, and a secondary villain who spends most of his screen time cackling at his own dastardliness -- the one-armed vibranium trafficker Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), an uncommonly fun bad guy in an age of humorless Steppenwolfs and Ronan The Accusers. Which is to say that parts of Black Panther are cartoonishly awesome, bolstered by the brass fanfare of Ludwig Göransson’s score, which inevitably recalls the music from Coogler’s beloved 'Rocky.' (Kendrick Lamar’s selection of original songs is nothing to sneeze at either.)"
 
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The Onion AV Club 
 
DEN OF THIEVES - Cliff Martinez

"Gudegast, who wrote and directed, proves himself primarily competent in the latter capacity, outfitting his ever-familiar milieu with flashes of freshly understated technique. Even though he’s working with a marquee composer in Cliff Martinez (who has done striking work for Nicolas Winding Refn and Steven Soderbergh), Gudegast allows an impressive amount of material to play out with an utter minimum of musical accompaniment. When the Outlaws return to their lair after the disastrous doughnut-shop number, you might reasonably expect a barrage of yelling or the propulsive screeching of strings; instead, the soundtrack focuses simply on hushed undressing: the crunch of removed Velcro, the shuffling of hoisted-off undershirts. The shoot-outs -- including the startling climactic one, a very Heat-ish last-man-standing scenario in a sea of stalled highway traffic -- also are sonically modest, as well as briskly, urgently paced. (One of the credited editors, Joel Cox, is Clint Eastwood’s stalwart cutter.) There’s also efficient crosscutting between the law enforcers and the law breakers -- the blurred lines between the two hardly being a novel idea, but the here-then-there rhythms at least enliven the hard-to-follow exposition."
 
Danny King, The Village Voice 
 
"Hints of Gutegand’s storytelling ineptitude abound amidst an otherwise well-made picture, with Cliff Martinez phoning in his expected synth-heavy score, making sure Gerard Butler gets at least one scene staring into the middle distance against a gorgeous ambient interlude, while the action scenes (of which there are surprisingly few, the middle hour of this thing a restless slog) scream with bullet-pinging intensity. Which is to say: Gutegand can map out a compelling set piece, determined to locate an audience’s perspective viscerally within an otherwise confusing spatial plane, and the film’s final sequence of mass murder, in which everyone whom you expect to dies does, makes coherent visual sense, a feat of daring given the muddled nature of everything else about 'Den of Thieves.'"
 
Dom Sinacola, Paste Magazine 
 
"Its first-time director, Christian Gudegast, isn’t above blatantly copying Mann-isms: the attention to guns and industrial tools, the snaking tunnels and highways, the ocean views, the synth score. But the film is rougher, pulpier, pettier, more low-rent; Merrimen and Big Nick are former football stars from rival high schools, and the connection between the two is more of a locker room pissing contest than an existential bond. (This actually ends up exaggerating the homoeroticism of the cop-robber relationship.)"
 
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The Onion AV Club 
 
DOUBLE LOVER [L'AMANT DOUBLE] - Philippe Rombi
 
"That’s when 'L’Amant Double' switches gears and goes to full-on berserker mode, so divulging anything else from the plot would be taking away half the fun. Not knowing what’s going to happen next is one of the film’s greatest advantages; Ozon creates wrought tension in the atmosphere as the unreliable and fragile Chloe seems to be reacting more than acting to situations. Spiraling down the rabbit hole, our Alice is seen through a cracked looking glass throughout most of the film. The mirror is the primary visual motif here, often magnifying and duplicating Chloe in a visual language that immediately recalls De Palma’s affinity for playing with reflection. Adding to the unhinged atmosphere is Vacth’s unrefined and seductive performance; she never seems calm and truly at peace, as if something from within is looking to rip out of her skin at any given moment. Philippe Rombi’s sinister score metamorphoses 'L’Amant Double' into a horror film somewhere around the middle mark, once the danger gets closer to the front door, and our suspicions of Chloe’s depersonalized state continue to rise while the laughs continue to pile up."

Nikola Grozdanovic, The Playlist 

"Though 'Double Lover' has a slight oneiric quality from the start, it grows increasingly delirious, the plot threads knotting in convoluted patterns and the overall mood more and more ridiculous. Chloé is sent to another therapist, who looks exactly like Paul and claims to be his brother, though Paul maintains he has no brother. Nothing is as it seems, yet everything is so obvious. Ozon loves to zoom toward characters’ faces as they stare off into the ether, flummoxed or contemplative. The score is all trepid strings making typical thriller sounds, and in calmer moments daydreamy synths hum."
 
Greg Cwiz, Slant Magazine
 
"By turns gently emotional and aggressively nerve-jangling, Philippe Rombi's score swerves and shifts almost as much as the storyline. It's the perfect accompaniment for a film that's made with serious craftsmanship but never takes itself seriously." 

Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter 

GAME NIGHT - Cliff Martinez

"'Game Night' is a winner, plain and simple. Brisk and engaging (and surprisingly powered by a score from Cliff Martinez that’s expectedly great), this is a comedy that’s worth rolling the dice on."
 
Will Ashton, The Playlist 
 
"No Fincher fanatic would confuse any of this for a shrewd imitation, but they’ll still recognize the ways that directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein ('Vacation') nod to that revered perfectionist: with a 'Fight Club' reference here, a 'Gone Girl' unreliable-narrator gag there, and a sickly, slickly fluorescent visual palette throughout. Honestly, even the film’s less overt, specific approximations of Fincher’s craftsmanship -- a car chase; a game of keep-away with a Fabergé egg that plays out in a single shot -- are more than welcome, as they result in the rare American comedy that’s directed with a little pizazz, or even directed at all. Propelled by a sinewy Cliff Martinez thriller score, Game Night doesn’t have nearly enough fun with the discrepancy between what its characters think is going on and what’s really going on; twistiness aside, it’s more 'Date Night' than 'The Game.' Still, this tame but fitfully funny goof on suspense cinema at least assembles an agreeable guest list -- from McAdams, beamingly charming even when her character is fishing a bullet out of her husband’s arm, to a hysterically deadpan Jesse Plemons, playing the awkward, heartbroken cop who lives next door. As with any real game night, the company is more important than the game."
 
A.A. Dowd, The Onion AV Club 

"One conspicuously fine contribution is Cliff Martinez’s propulsive electronic score, which makes the movie sound much hipper than it is."
 
Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter 

GOLDEN EXITS - Keegan DeWitt
 
"'Golden Exits' has an autumnal, lived-in quality that’s somewhat of a departure from the flamboyant hostility of Perry’s 'Listen Up Philip' and 'Queen of Earth.' The film’s cinematographer, Sean Price Williams, informs the images with prismatic softness, emphasizing the poetry of, say, a woman’s hair as it’s caught by the sunlight and framed by a kitchen window on a spring morning. The film is an explosion of earthy colors that communicate a sense of enchanted vagueness and lost-ness, and it doesn’t quite seem to be playing out in real time. This melancholic, nostalgic aesthetic is heightened by Keegan DeWitt’s spare score, and by Robert Greene’s diaphanous editing, which blends arguments, flirtations, and recriminations together, underscoring their similarities and affirming both the constrictions and comforts of repetition -- of the sameness from which Nick claims to derive freedom."
 
Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine 

"Perry moves this ensemble of miserable windbags through a cycle of baggy conversation, protracted speeches, and establishing shots of New York scored to a downbeat tinkle of piano. If this is a film about getting caught in a rut, he’s at least found a way to convey that idea structurally and stylistically, though that doesn’t make the repetitiveness any easier to bear. A ravenous New York cinephile who once manned the counter at Kim’s, the now-closed East Village rental hotspot, Perry has a video clerk’s appreciation for sacred cows: Cassavetes, Polanski, Wes Anderson. He’s modeled 'Golden Exits' on the depressive 1970s familial-and-marital-strife classics of Bergman—or perhaps more accurately, on the Woody Allen version of the same, which took the Swedish director’s cries and whispers and funneled them through a neurotically New York sensibility. But if Perry’s last film, the throwback psychodrama 'Queen Of Earth,' used Bergman worship as a jumping off point for its own genre games, 'Golden Exits' is just a tin-eared imitation: Interiors remade as a stilted exercise."
 
A.A. Dowd, The Onion AV Club 
 
"Perry ('Queen of Earth') sets his scenes from two marriages to Keegan DeWitt’s elegiac piano score, solemnly watching as people get dressed in their pristinely empty brownstones, or sit glumly at their cramped and messy desks. Every ordinary action they take, every unrealistic and carefully chosen word they say, is treated with great portent. Sean Price Williams ('Good Time') is equally meticulous in his cinematography; Brooklyn is shot so precisely that it becomes its own player."
 
Elizabeth Weitzman, The Wrap
 
"'Golden Exits' looks gorgeous, shot on film by gifted cinematographer Sean Price Williams. But it lacks any kind of narrative momentum, and quickly falls into a deadening pattern: a scene of muted conflict, a few insert shots of New York, and repeat, all underscored by nearly wall-to-wall wistful symphonic music. The movie then craters in its final half-hour, as character after character delivers long speeches about their lives and beliefs that sound like the expository pages of a novel read aloud."
 
Noel Murray, The Playlist 
 
"In a film that falls on the chilly side in its view of human behavior, it’s Perry’s textured, jazzy craftsmanship that warms things up. The title, otherwise unexplained, is reflected in the gilded, languorous spring light that brightens multiple scenes in 'Golden Exits,' permeating the tactile, fuzzy surface of Sean Price Williams’ lovely 16mm lensing. The initially melodious, lightly melancholy piano runs of Keegan DeWitt’s wonderful score, meanwhile, may put some viewers in mind of vintage Woody Allen. Yet it soon becomes clear that Eric Rohmer -- that cinematic conversation artist so beloved of American independents from Allen to Noah Baumbach -- is more of a spiritual presence in a film that wears its calm intellectualism without diffident apology. Sober but not without optimism, the tone here falls somewhere on the spectrum between the half-jaunty black comedy of Perry’s 'Listen Up Philip' and the brittle intensity of his 'Queen of Earth.'"
 
Guy Lodge, Variety 
 
"Alex Ross Perry writes films with a great many words in them, and 'Golden Exits' is no exception. However, in this, his fifth feature, the words have very little to do with what’s really going on between the emotionally fraught characters. Instead, the unstated angst, desire, suspicion, frustration and emotional turmoil is almost entirely expressed by Keegan DeWitt’s extraordinary musical score, which runs like an underground river through this elegant and supremely expressive gem of a film. Given its lack of incident and mostly grumpy and/or off-putting characters, this will not be the pic that expands Perry’s small audience. But it is something close to superb. As you wait patiently -- or perhaps you don’t -- for something to actually happen, it slowly dawns that, as is often true in books but not in films, what’s really happening lies not in physical action but in the clogged but still beating hearts of all the characters. And it’s left to DeWitt’s brilliant score to expose all this. You barely notice the music at first, so discreetly is it layered onto the soundtrack. But it’s there, almost constantly, quietly roiling and churning, ebbing and flowing in an exceptionally beautiful way that becomes more noticeable with time but never distracts or calls attention to itself. It’s hard to think of another recent example of a strictly instrumental score that was so intrinsically linked to the artistic essence of a film."
 
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter 
 
GOOD GIRLS GET HIGH - Jay Israelson
 
"Augmenting the narrative drive, cinematographer Benjamin Rutkowski bathes the protagonists’ world in saturated colors. Sam’s sanctuaries, such as her bedroom and family ice-cream shop, are color-coded in welcoming teals and yellows. Danielle surrounds herself with light pastels. Composer Jay Israelson provides a warm ’80s-inspired synth score that would’ve suited Hughes himself."
 
Courtney Howard, Variety 
 
MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE - John Paesano
 
"The thing about zombies is that they’re hard to kill. Sure, you shoot ‘em in the head and that’s supposed to do the trick. But when they’re rushing and gnashing and flailing at you -- as modern-day zombies tend to do -- it can be hard to concentrate and get a good shot. This is especially true when they’re coming at you en masse across a desolate wasteland, the kind you find in so many movies based on Young Adult novels. Such is the sensation of watching 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure,' the third and final film in the series based on James Dashner’s novels. It just… won’t … end. For better and for worse, it’s an overwhelming experience. And just when you think it’s over, there’s another coda, and then another. The music will swell to a crescendo, signaling our need to experience peak emotions and planned catharsis, and then there are more loose ends to be tied up, more overly explanatory narration to endure."
 
Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com 
 
"For those who have been paying attention and have any emotional investment, 'The Death Cure' brings back some surprise characters, offers redemption to some (if not all) of the villains and winds up with an emotional coda that pays tribute to the brothers- and sisters-in-arms lost along the way. And we know it’s emotional because the score by John Paesano ('The Star') keeps whipping us in the face with tear-jerking semaphore flags."
 
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
 
MOM AND DAD - Mr. Bill

"Taylor, one half of the defunct writing-directing duo affectionately referred to as Neveldine & Taylor, generally specializes in speed-freak action movies, like the 'Crank' series and the 'Ghost Rider' sequel, the latter of which also featured a juicily unhinged Cage. Regardless of genre and separated from his creative partner, Taylor continues to push a stuttering, excessively caffeinated style: flash cuts, extreme angles, an ironic ’70s-throwback credits sequence, an electronic soundtrack that alternates a 'Dawn Of The Dead' synth throb with the kind of abrasive dubstep that would surely infuriate a few actual moms and dads in the audience. If Taylor had any intention of making an effective horror movie, his assaultively garish approach basically jettisoned the possibility, because Mountain Dew commercials aren’t scary. (There’s one amusingly unnerving image, to be fair: fledgling fathers crowded around the glass of the hospital’s newborn observation room, something more sinister than pride in their dead stare.)"
 
A.A. Dowd, The Onion AV Club 
 
"The stars don’t disappoint, either. Blair effectively hollows out her eyes so that her Kendall goes from concerned guardian to had-it-up-to-here psycho with a certain relish. Cage, of course, is an old hand at unhinged, and even if Taylor occasionally lets his penchant for flashy angles, warped-percussion music cues, and whiplash editing step on his star’s zero-to-sixty process, he has obvious respect for the outré beastliness that is unfiltered Cage."
 
Robert Abele, The Wrap 
 
"This idea Taylor sublimates through a Romero-esque aesthetic, at least at first, his opening credits beautifully retro, promising some sort of deliciously ’70s-like mixture of pulpy shock and genre schlock. As soon as the music of Mr. Bill -- just…c’mon, what a goddamn stupid name -- pipes up, a mélange of Fatboy Slim pastiche and IDM-powered techno blandness, Taylor’s abandoned all posturing and settled into the familiar style he pioneered with Neveldine, relishing in suffocatingly quick edits and a baseball-bat-to-the-face visual language. It’s something of a small miracle that an Oscar-caliber actor like Cage has so naturally aged into such a weird kind of cult filmmaking, but he’s gone HAM so much hammier before. Look only to 'Ghost Rider 2' to witness Cage operating on an entirely different plane from the rest of humanity regarding whatever it means to 'act' in a 'big budget' 'movie.'"
 
Dom Sinacola, Paste Magazine 
 
"Couching its social critiques -- of shallow materialism, casual racism and other privileged woes -- in breakneck action and merciless splatstick, 'Mom & Dad' is a gas. Taylor and his terrific tech/design collaborators avoid wearing out the joke with just enough spry variation in tone and pace, alleviating the frequently frenetic content with stretches of ironic lyricism and even poignancy. (Credit for that should be fully shared with d.p. Daniel Pearl, editors Rose Corr and Fernando Villena, composer Mr. Bill and music supervisor Ryan Gaines, all of whom knock it out of the park.)"
 
Dennis Harvey, Variety 
 
12 STRONG - Lorne Balfe
 
"But Danish commercial director Nicolai Fuglsig, making his feature filmmaking debut, draws on his previous experience as a photojournalist to bring a sense of gritty realism to the action rather than sweeping sentimentality. The vibrant sound design also plays a crucial role in immersing us, as does a score that increasingly cranks up the tension."
 
Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com 

"And so, '12 Strong' begins with a montage of terror attacks set to gloomy drone music, which attempts to soothe the audience’s potential pangs of conscience by reminding us that Osama bin-Laden started this thing."
 
Keith Watson, Slant Magazine 

WINCHESTER - Peter Spierig
 
"Into this eccentric abode is sent San Francisco psychiatrist Eric Price, played by the potato-esque Jason Clarke. He’s been commissioned to assess Ms. Winchester’s mental state as the board of the rifle company seeks to wrest back control. Price’s recreational addiction to laudanum begins to seem like a very bad idea when he starts seeing ghosts in the mirror, every glance underlined by loud jump-scare music (composed by Peter Spierig), every doorway concealing a possible 'Boo!' moment. Yes, even the door to the cellar; no cliché left unturned in this one."
 
Jason Solomons, The Wrap

THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A.

Screenings of older films, at the following L.A. movie theaters: AMPASAlamo DrafthouseAmerican Cinematheque: AeroAmerican Cinematheque: EgyptianArclightArena Cinelounge, LaemmleNew Beverly, Nuart, UCLA and Vista.  

December 13
BEING THERE (Johnny Mandel) [Vista]
BROKEN BUTTERFLY [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
FRIDAY THE 13TH (Harry Manfredini) [Nuart]
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING (Harry Manfredini), FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: JASON LIVES (Harry Manfredini), FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD (Harry Manfredini, Fred Mollin), FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (Fred Mollin) [Alamo Drafthouse]
THE INVISIBLE MAN [New Beverly]
THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE (Roque Banos), THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (Michael Kamen) [Cinematheque: Aero]
RESERVOIR DOGS [New Beverly]

December 14
BEING JOHN MALKOVICH (Carter Burwell), THREE KINGS (Carter Burwell) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
A CHRISTMAS STORY (Carl Zittrer, Paul Zaza) [New Beverly]
CORALINE (Bruno Coulais), MISSING LINK (Carter Burwell) [Alamo Drafthouse]
DON'T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS (Des Dolan) [New Beverly]
ED WOOD (Howard Shore) [Cinematheque: Aero]
EVIL UNDER THE SUN (Cole Porter, John Lanchbery) [Alamo Drafthouse]
MISERY (Marc Shaiman) [Vista]

December 15
A CHRISTMAS STORY (Carl Zittrer, Paul Zaza) [New Beverly]
ELF (John Debney) [UCLA]
THE LAST OF SHEILA (Billy Goldenberg) [Alamo Drafthouse]
LOVE ACTUALLY (Craig Armstrong) [Alamo Drafthouse]
PATERSON (Jim Jarmusch, Carter Logan, Squrl) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
PRIMAL FEAR (James Newton Howard) [Cinematheque: Aero]

December 16
BAD SANTA (David Kitay) [New Beverly]
BRAZIL (Michael Kamen) [Arclight Hollywood]
ELF (John Debney) [Arclight Culver City]
FANNY AND ALEXANDER (Daniel Bell) [New Beverly]
LOVE ACTUALLY (Craig Armstrong) [Arclight Sherman Oaks]
MOON (Clint Mansell) [Alamo Drafthouse]

December 17
BLACK CHRISTMAS (Carl Zittrer), SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (Perry Botkin) [New Beverly]
ELF (John Debney) [Alamo Drafthouse]
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Dimitri Tiomkin) [Arclight Hollywood]
KRAMPUS (Douglas Pipes) [Alamo Drafthouse]
SCROOGED (Danny Elfman) [Arclight Santa Monica]
THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (Leigh Harline) [Cinematheque: Aero]

December 18
THE BISHOP'S WIFE (Hugo Friedhofer) [New Beverly]
DIE HARD (Michael Kamen) [Cinemathque: Aero]
GRAND ILLUSION (Joseph Kosma) [Vista]
NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION (Angelo Badalamenti), SCROOGED (Danny Elfman) [New Beverly]
ROBOT JOX (Frederic Talgorn) [Alamo Drafthouse]
SCROOGED (Danny Elfman) [Alamo Drafthouse]

December 19
BRAZIL (Michael Kamen), THINGS TO COME (Arthur Bliss) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Dimitri Tiomkin), MEET JOHN DOE (Dimitri Tiomkin) [New Beverly]

December 20
BEETLEJUICE (Danny Elfman) [Nuart]
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Dimitri Tiomkin) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
RESERVOIR DOGS [New Beverly]
THE THIN MAN (William Axt), MR. SOFT TOUCH (Heinz Roemheld) [Cinematheque: Aero]
THE THING (Ennio Morricone) [New Beverly]

December 21
BACKFIRE (Daniele Amfitheatrof) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
CHRISTMAS EVIL (Don Christensen, Joel Harris, Julia Heyward) [New Beverly]
THE EXORCIST III (Barry DeVorzon) [Cinematheque: Aero]
EYES WIDE SHUT (Jocelyn Pook) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (Paul Williams, Miles Goodman) [New Beverly]
WHITE CHRISTMAS (Irving Berlin, Joseph J. Lilley), THE HOLLY AND THE IVY (Malcolm Arnold) [Cinematheque: Aero]

December 22
THE APARTMENT (Adolph Deutsch), TANGERINE [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
ELF (John Debney) [Cinematheque: Aero]
THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (Paul Williams, Miles Goodman) [New Beverly] 


THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY

Heard: Aida (John), The Little Minister (Steiner), Sherlock: Series Four (Arnold, Price), Birdman of Alcatraz (Bernstein)

Read: Gideon's Staff, by J.J. Marric (aka John Creasey)

Seen: On Dangerous Ground; Nightfall; Stupid Young Heart; A Million Little Pieces; Queen & Slim; The Aeronauts; Apollo 11; Cunningham; In Fabric

Watched: Another Thin Man; Maniac ("The Lake of the Clouds," "Utangatta," "Option C")

I recently saw On Dangerous Ground in 35mm at the New Beverly (I had only seen it once before, decades ago, on television) and it confirmed my belief that Bernard Herrmann was and is the greatest film composer who ever lived. As part of his extraordinary musical and cinematic gifts he had the ability to score a remarkable variety of genres (remember that 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Psycho were only two years apart) while maintaining a distinctive musical voice. He wrote my two picks for The Greatest Score Of All Time (Vertigo and Psycho), and also wrote two of the most beautiful scores ever composed (Vertigo and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir). 

What really seals the deal for me is that I can't think of any other Golden Age composer whose music feels less dated today -- as demonstrated by the way his music is still effective even in modern films like Cape Fear, Psycho, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood. The acclaim for his work has only grown steadily greater in the 45 years since his death, and it's hard to think of another film composer of his time about whom that can be said (wonderful as his peers were -- if Herrmann had never existed, Korngold, Newman, Rozsa or Waxman could each easily fill the bill as Greatest).

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Comments (7):Log in or register to post your own comments
Totally agree about Herrmann being the only Golden Age composer whose music doesn't seem to date. Not sure if that says anything about the quality of the music, but it is really interesting.

I think the reason Herrmann's music isn't "dated" by contemporary standards is due to the repetitive minimalism of his style, which makes it not stand out as "corny" or "old-fashioned" in the current era of film music where every score has the same simplistic chugga-chugga string ostinato repeating endlessly. Other Golden Age composers like Steiner, Rozsa, Newman and the like tended to write long-line, melodic themes, and while Herrmann was certainly capable of writing in that style as well, his obsessive, repeating two and three-note motifs that play through scenes rather than mold themselves to specific character or visual beats looked forward to composers like Philip Glass, and wouldn't sound that out-of-place even in a modern blockbuster.

You might easily be right -- his proto-minimalism could definitely be a factor.

I remember a review of Einstein on the Beach that said that calling it an opera by Philip Glass instead of one by (director) Robert Wilson would be like calling Citizen Kane a film by Bernard Herrmann instead of by Orson Welles - except, the critic pointed out, that Herrmann was a far more inventive composer than Glass.

To tag on to this, much the same could be said about the ostinato driven and minimalist scores of Akira Ifukube. His original 1954 Godzilla music sounded fresh and exciting even in last year's Godzilla King of the Monsters.

Ifukube's stuff is also loaded with parallel fifths in the harmonies, which is of course the stuff that rock and roll and modern pop music are made of. That could play into it too.

Truth be told, even a lot of Rozsa's scores had that kind of obsessively repeating "cellular" structure, particularly in the tenser passages. His noir scores from the 40's have that same kind of Herrmann-style terseness that still play well today. Granted, he could also write some of the most beautiful, long-form music imaginable.

I agree entirely on Herrmann being the greatest composer for film ever, and the 'non-datedness' of his music.

However, I would posit Rozsa's BEN-HUR as the greatest score ever.

Coincidentally, I was listening to the Tadlow Ben-Hur last night and thinking about what an absolutely fantastic composer Miklos Rozsa was. (Of course, it's pretty much impossible to listen to Ben-Hur and not think about how remarkable Rozsa was and is).

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