Intrada has announced two CDs -- Mark Mothersbaugh's score for the just-released animated sequel THE CROODS: A NEW AGE, and (shipping next week) a three-disc, remastered edition of Jerry Goldsmith's stirring score for the 1982 Korean War epic INCHON, featuring the original soundtrack sequencing, the expanded sequencing featured on the 2006 score assembly, and a new seqencing of the complete score plus alternates.
CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK
The Croods: A New Age - Mark Mothersbaugh - Intrada
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - Branford Marsalis - Milan
News of the World - James Newton Howard - Backlot
Total Recall [re-release] - Jerry Goldsmith - Quartet
Un Sceriffo Extraterrestre...Poco Extra e Molto Terrestre - Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis - Digitmovies
IN THEATERS TODAY
Monster Hunter, the latest videogame adaption from star Milla Jovovich and director Paul W.S. Anderson, with a score by Paul Haslinger, is opening...somewhere.
Inchon - Jerry Goldsmith - Intrada Special Collection
Film Music 1976-2020 - Brian Eno - Astralwerks
Rams - Brian Eno - Universal
No Time to Die - Hans Zimmer - Decca
Civilta Del Mediterraneo - Bruno Nicolai - Kronos
Gaza Mon Amour - Andre Matthias - Kronos
The Gerald Fried Collection Vol. 1 - Gerald Fried - Dragon's Domain
The Golden Age of Science Fiction Vol. 1 - Marlin Skiles, Leith Stevens - Dragon's Domain
John Williams in Vienna [CD/BluRay] - John Williams - Deutsche Grammophon
L'Uomo Europo - Francesco DeMasi - Kronos
Patrick - Brian May - Dragon's Domain
The Shepherd - Arthur Valentin Grosz - Kronos
Sostiene Pereira - Ennio Morricone - Caldera
T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous - William Ross - Dragon's Domain
The Twentieth Century - George Antheil, Paul Creston, Gail Kubik, Darius Milhaud, Harold Shapero - Kritzerland
Viking Women and the Sea Serpent - Albert Glasser - Kronos
Wonder Woman 1984 [CD-R] - Hans Zimmer - WaterTower
THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY
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 - Duane Tatro’s score for The Invaders episode “Counter-Attack” is recorded (1967)
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 - David Bell records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Past Tense, Part II” (1994)
December 19 - Roger Webb died (2002)
December 20 - Aaron Copland begins recording his score to The Heiress (1948)
December 20 - Cyril Mockridge records his score for the Lost in Space episode "The Questing Beast" (1966)
December 20 - Alex North begins recording his score to The Devil's Brigade (1967)
December 20 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Planet of the Apes (1967)
December 20 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for The Red Pony (1972)
December 20 - Ned Washington died (1976)
December 20 - Jerry Goldsmith records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Boo!" (1985)
December 20 - Richard Hazard died (2000)
December 20 - David Bell records his score for the Enterprise episode “Dawn” (2002)
December 20 - Arlon Ober died (2004)
December 21 - Derek Scott born (1921)
December 21 - Franco Micalizzi born (1939)
December 21 - Frank Zappa born (1940)
December 21 - Recording sessions begin for Miklos Rozsa’s score to The Man in Half Moon Street (1943)
December 21 - David Michael Frank born (1948)
December 21 - Matthieu Chabrol born (1956)
December 21 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score for Something of Value (1956)
December 21 - Eric Coates died (1957)
December 21 - Goldfinger opens in New York (1964)
December 21 - Thunderball opens in New York (1965)
December 21 - Frank Cordell begins recording his score to Mosquito Squadron (1968)
December 21 - Barry DeVorzon begins recording his score for The Warriors (1978)
December 21 - Waldemar Kazanecki died (1991)
December 21 - Dominic Frontiere died (2017)
December 22 - Alfi Kabiljo born (1935)
December 22 - Guido De Angelis born (1944)
December 22 - Michael Bacon born (1949)
December 22 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score to Tribute to a Bad Man (1955)
December 22 - Dominic Frontiere records his score for The Invaders episode “The Experiment” (1966)
December 22 - Fred Steiner's scores for the Star Trek episodes "By Any Other Name" and "The Omega Glory" are recorded (1967)
December 22 - Gordon Zahler died (1975)
December 22 - James Horner begins recording his score for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1988)
December 22 - Joe Strummer died (2002)
December 23 - Georg Haentzschel born (1907)
December 23 - Ross Edwards born (1943)
December 23 - Daniele Amfitheatrof begins recording his score for Devil's Doorway (1949)
December 23 - Elmer Bernstein begins recording his replacement score to Saddle the Wind (1957)
December 23 - The 7th Voyage of Sinbad opens in New York (1958)
December 23 - Corey Allen Jackson born (1968)
December 23 - Walter Greene died (1983)
December 23 - Devonte Hynes born (1985)
December 23 - Georges Delerue begins recording his score for Sin of Innocence (1985)
December 23 - Jeff Alexander died (1989)
December 24 - Franz Waxman born (1906)
December 24 - Carlo Rustichelli born (1916)
December 24 - Mike Curb born (1944)
December 24 - Recording sessions begin for Hugo Friedhofer’s score for Bride of Vengeance (1948)
December 24 - Ray Colcord born (1949)
December 24 - Richard LaSalle records his score for the Land of the Giants episode “The Secret City of Limbo” (1969)
December 24 - Bernard Herrmann begins recording his score for It’s Alive (1973)
December 24 - Bernard Herrmann died (1975)
December 24 - Alec Wilder died (1980)
December 24 - Richard Rodney Bennett died (2012)
DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?
THE BAY OF SILENCE - John Swihart
"Kurylenko plays Rosalind, a French beauty in love with Bang’s Will. After some outdoor rumpy-pumpy, Will proposes to Rosalind. Fast-forward eight months, we discover not only a pregnant Rosalind but her twin daughters as well. We’re also introduced to Milton (Cox), a shady looking maid of Eastern European descent and later, Candy (Shalisha James-Davis), the nanny who will take care of baby Amadeo after he’s born prematurely. Amadeo’s early arrival occurs after Rosalind suffers an accidental fall from a balcony. In the hospital, Rosalind is convinced that her Caesarian resulted in two babies, one of whom died or had been taken away. 'Why did you let them take my baby?' she accuses Will as mysterious, 'something sinister is afoot' music plays."
Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com
THE GRIZZLIES - Garth Stevenson
"Cinematographer Jim Denault and de Pencier, making her feature-length directing debut, bring artistic panache to a locale audiences don’t often see. The grey overcast skies provide a good sense of mood, instilling this portrait with a crisp, somber shading. There’s electricity in the training montage, utilizing wide shots of the team in the harsh snow choreographed in sync with the driving drums and chants of the soundtrack. They also echo 'Rocky II's' charming chicken chase sequence as the team races against Maggie the dog."
Courtney Howard, Variety
HIS HOUSE - Roque Banos
"He displays a solid grasp of craft, too, providing the level of dimness required for a horror movie with plenty of shadow play, while still keeping his main players lit well enough to showcase their features (and horrified expressions). It seems like a simple task, but cinema has a history of poorly lighting its dark-skinned subjects to the point of campfire uncanniness. Cinematographer Jo Willems wonderfully composes evening scenes so that the eye is drawn exactly where it needs to go, and neutral colors and blues further emphasize the language of warmth and coldness depending on the region. On the downside, composer Roque Baños’ score, while surely solid on its own, competes with the film’s most tender moments to the point of distraction -- a confusing choice for a movie whose actors prove more than capable of investing the audience in the emotional plight of the characters. (Speaking in both Dinka and English, Dìrísù and Mosaku expertly oscillate between subtlety and hysteria.) In the end, 'His House' is an intimate tale that externalizes an inner battle of wills within two traumatized people determined to start anew. Sure, there are bumps in the night -- good ones. The scares are well-constructed because Weekes does the work of establishing dread, keeping the pace tight with a 93-minute runtime, and applying the jump-scares in a few unexpected places, yielding some surprises even for the seasoned horror fan. But setting aside the banging in the walls, the odd substances, and the jarring sightings, what we’re really watching is a couple of people who have had a rough go of it and are barely hanging on. Although their grief is specific, Bol and Rial are also stand-ins for all asylum seekers who’ve lost someone on their journey to peace and safety -- and for those still burdened by the expectation of playing the 'good,' docile, indebted immigrant. Weekes interweaves the survivor’s guilt of harrowing immigration stories with an anxiety and a guilt specifically rooted in the Black, British, and African experience. Wonky score aside, he’s twisted the time-honored haunted house yarn into something unique and surreal."
Anya Stanley, The Onion AV Club
LET HIM GO - Michael Giacchino
"Composer Michael Giacchino -- usually associated with superheroes, animation and larger-than-life spy adventure -- provides just the right scoring to this material, gently accompanying the flat terrain at some points while amping up the tension at others. And if 'Big Eden' made Montana look friendly and hospitable, director of photography Guy Godfree ('Plus One') gives us sprawling vistas and shadowy sunsets that always seem to hide an undercurrent of menace beneath the natural splendor."
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
"It’s a theme that Manville cottons to in a delightful way, her performance risking a cartoonish tinge to help bridge the gap between the movie this is, and the movie it wants to be. 'Let Him Go' aspires to feel like a born-again Western -- and thoroughly understands what that entails on an intellectual level -- but Bezucha isn’t always able to wrap his mind around how they work. He’s right to be focused on the fact that Margaret and George are in over their heads, but even after sh*t hits the fan and the story embraces certain genre conventions, it’s still told with a slack touch far too casual for its underlying fatalism. You can see that in the haphazard framing of the various family confrontations, and hear it in the way that Michael Giacchino’s score cuts lame violin spirals into scenes that have no clear shape."
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
"About three years later, the Blackledges watch as their son's widow Lorna (Kayli Carter) marries Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain) in a Town Hall ceremony whose chilliness seems apt. They love their grandson Jimmy, but seem never to have truly bonded with Lorna, and have no cause for faith in the man who'll now be caring for her. We're not very surprised (though Michael Giacchino's score is) when Margaret accidentally witnesses Donnie hitting both Lorna and the child on the street one day. Before she can decide how to address the situation, though, the newlyweds have moved out of town with no forwarding address."
John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
MADE IN ITALY - Alex Belcher
"But in no time, jaunty music accompanies their journey into the sunny Italian countryside. As they loosen up and get reacquainted with each other, Robert reveals himself as gruff and randy, while Jack is sweet and romantic. The extremely watered-down shtick Neeson and Richardson are stuck doing is vaguely reminiscent of (and inferior to) the fun friction Sean Connery and Harrison Ford perfected in 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.' 'I don’t think I know how to grieve,' Jack says, his brow furrowed, Richardson’s go-to device. But when the eventual breakthrough comes for both father and son -- when they finally hug and cry and release years of pent-up despair -- there’s enough inherent emotion in that moment that D’Arcy didn’t have to smother it with a dramatic score and needless edits. This scene in particular highlights that while Richardson may have a fine screen presence, he’s not nearly up to Neeson’s level of technique and experience, and the disparity is distracting. Then again, Richardson doesn’t have a lot to work with because there’s not much to his character."
Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com
"In his debut outing as a feature filmmaker, actor James D'Arcy ('Hitchcock,' 'Dunkirk') doesn't hide his admiration for the setting's picture-postcard light and small-village conviviality. Mainly, though, he's concerned with the tug of emotion that the place provokes for his central characters. Chirpy songs on the soundtrack set an upbeat mood, but the score by Alex Belcher often pulses at a lower frequency -- one that the narrative can only gesture toward, falling within familiar lines in ways that are far too tidy."
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
THE PALE DOOR - Alex Cuervo
"On a comprehensive level, an overall scarcity of focus sinks 'The Pale Door,' a flaw that includes Alex Cuervo’s score, which forcibly inserts emotion when silence is needed, and the unfocused plot -- a story that eventually forsakes all narrative integrity for scare-centric set-pieces. The ideas presented are interesting but remain drastically underdeveloped due to the film’s emphasis on genre. A film like 'The Pale Door' knows exactly what it is, as does its target audience, but its efforts to rise above traditionality further showcases its glaring setbacks."
Jordan Christian, The Playlist
"As a B-horror movie, 'The Pale Door' holds its own. As a Western, however, the film struggles. Missing from the movies are the sweeping landscapes we associate with the genre. This may be a necessary tradeoff on the part of the production team, but there is still something maddening about watching a Western comprised entirely of medium shots. Even more frustrating is the soundtrack. More than any other mode of filmmaking, Westerns open the door for iconic and adventuresome scoring. 'The Pale Door' is Exhibit A on how hard a film has to work to make up for a shapeless soundtrack."
Matthew Monagle, The Austin Chronicle
PROJECT POWER - Joseph Trapanese
"The '8 Mile' thread of Robin's ambitions as a spoken-word artist is a little undernourished, but her freestyling complements the pounding techno pulse of Joseph Trapanese's score and the soundtrack's liberal sprinkling of hip-hop and R&B. Robin's lyrics are written (and performed in the catchy end-credits song) by rising-star rapper Chika, who makes an amusing appearance as her high-school classmate."
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
SPINSTER - Daniel Ledwell
"One does occasionally wish the filmmaking in 'Spinster' were as singular as its star or as crisp as its defining character arc. Save for one wittily nightmarish composition, in which DP Stéphanie Weber Biron’s low-angle camera allows a swelling camping mattress to swamp Gaby’s comparatively deflated figure in the frame, the film is shot and cut with bright, clean, get-the-job-done proficiency, while Daniel Ledwell’s score strays into whimsy that doesn’t especially suit these straight-talking proceedings. What’s most conventional about Dorfman’s film does, however, serve to highlight what’s quietly, breezily subversive about it: 'Spinster' won’t change the world, but like its put-upon title character, it won’t change itself for the world either."
Guy Lodge, Variety
SPREE - James Ferraro
"Under the pleasant and paradoxically cheerful blips and bloops of James Ferraro’s electro score, 'Spree' adheres to a found-footage ethos by which all the action is recorded and spliced together from Kurt’s dash cams or people’s iPhones or CCTV cameras. The visual cacophony accurately mimics the cluttered, picture-in-picture, split-screen, scrolling-comment-bar aesthetic of our extremely online lives -- exactly the kind of shallow, scattershot, attention-annihilating maximalism that many of us come to the cinema in the hopes of escaping."
Jessica Kiang, Variety
SPUTNIK - Oleg Karpachev
"'You have 90% access to the facility,' says the ferociously icy army officer in charge (Fedor Bondarchuk). What the military is getting up to in the remaining 10% turns out to be horrifying. Scarier than the alien in fact, which is the big letdown of the film, a generic part-reptilian part-arachnid model that drips slime as it scutters and pounces. Which might be the point that Abramenko is making – that the remorseless cruelty of human beings, with all their moral murk and compromise, is more to be feared than the alien. He has made a smart and satisfying movie, although the crashy-bashy deafening score is so loud you can probably hear it in space."
Cath Clarke, The Guardian
"Often, you get a heartening sense that the filmmakers might have different fish to fry here. But the film’s political ambitions around critiquing bureaucratic control don’t coalesce. For starters, we never feel sure about how the authorities plan on harnessing the power of the extraterrestrial creature once it’s separated from the human body it occupies, or what exactly they plan to do with it. In the midst of various dark cat-and-mouse sequences deafeningly scored with Hans Zimmer-esque bombast, an underdeveloped outside world and a slapdash backstory revealed about Akinshina, the era-specific secrets and motivations of the film’s tarnished heroes and single-minded antiheroes feel all too broad and pedestrian. The script also takes half-baked stabs at ideas around class and toxic masculinity, but these thematic efforts don’t really go anywhere either."
Tomris Laffly, Variety
THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY
Heard: Notre Dame de Paris (Jarre), Charlie's Angels (Tyler), Buone Notizie (Morricone), Hellboy (Wallfisch), Home (Balfe/Stargate), Far and Away (Williams), The Wrong Man (Herrmann), Terminator: Dark Fate (Holkenborg), Conan the Destroyer (Poledouris), The King and I (Rodgers), Symphony No. 2/Suite Algerienne/Phaeton (Saint-Saens), Star Trek: Voyager Collection Vol. 2 (various), The Kick Inside (Bush), Bombshell (Shapiro), Letters from Iwo Jima (Eastwood/Stevens), Dark Waters (Zarvos), The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (Jarre), Windows (Morricone), Air Force One (Goldsmith/McNeely), The Film Music of Gerard Schurmann (Schurmann), RoboCop 2 (Rosenman), Wiliamsburg: The Story of a Patriot (Herrmann), Rooster Cogburn (Rosenthal), The Miklos Rozsa Collection: Music for Guitar (Rozsa), The King (Britell), Wonderful Town (Bernstein), Invisible Life (Schiefer), The Firebird (Stravinsky), Just Mercy (West), Uh-Oh (Byrne)
Read: Cop Killer, by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
Seen: Not to suggest that going to movies is the only thing I've been missing in 2020. I miss riding the commuter train from my brother's house in Menlo Park up to San Francisco. I miss killing time at my favorite Peet's Coffee in San Francisco's Marina district. The list is endless. I miss a lot of things, to quote the score from Into the Woods. Looking forward to 2021. I think. If I had known what 2020 would be like at the start of the year, all I could do would be to see every movie I could, and I pretty much did that anyway. So happy I caught up on all the new movies before the shutdown (which as I mention incessantly, never ended, theater-wise, in Los Angeles), and especially that I was finally able to see The Last of Sheila in a theater -- in 35mm!.
Watched: 30 Rock ("Believe in the Stars"); The Tin Star; Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea ("The Village of Guilt"); Torchy Blane in Panama; Star Trek: Discovery ("Brother"); Westworld ("Journey into Night"); Allez Oop! ; What We Do in the Shadows ("Pilot"); The Thing with Two Heads; The Wild Wild West ("The Night of the Dancing Death"); The Woman in Green; Star Trek: Discovery ("New Eden")