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The latest release from Intrada is a three-disc edition of one of Bruce Broughton's greatest scores -- YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES, with the complete film score featured on the first two discs, and Disc Three featuring alternates as well as the original LP sequencing.


La-La Land has announced their five hundredth release, a boxed set featuring the scores for arguably the most ambitious science-fiction franchise in cinema history -- the original PLANET OF THE APES series. Disc One features Jerry Goldsmith's brilliant, game-changing score for the 1968 Planet of the Apes, the original film tracks plus the 1968 LP sequencing; Disc Two features Leonard Rosenman's similarly offbeat score for Beneath the Planet of the Apes, both the original score cues and the tracks (including dialogue) from the 1970 soundtrack LP. Disc Three features Goldsmith's delightfully funky and exciting score for Escape from the Planet of the Apes. Disc Four features Conquest of the Planet of the Apes by composer and veteran session musician Tom Scott, with the full score in mono followed by the surviving stereo tracks. Disc Five concludes the set with Rosenman's rousing score for Battle for the Planet of the Apes. The set can be pre-ordered now and is expected to begin shipping at the end of this month.


The latest batch of releases from Quartet includes Mark Isham's previously unreleased score for the 2017 docudrama MEGAN LEAVEY, with Kate Mara as a young Marine who bonds with her combat dog (unlike this year's Isham-scored A Dog's Journey, recently released by Quartet, the dog does not narrate the film). Other new releases include SHORT CUTS 2018, which features music written for contemporary short films by a variety of composers, including Angelo Badalamenti, Joe Kraemer and Nicholas Pike.


The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced nominations for the Primetime Emmys, including the following music-related categories (see below):

OUTSTANDING MUSIC COMPOSITION FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR SPECIAL (ORIGINAL DRAMATIC SCORE)

CHERNOBYL: Please Remain Calm – Hildur Gudnadottir
ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA: Episode 5 – Edward Shearmur
TRUE DETECTIVE: The Final Country – T Bone Burnett, Keefus Ciancia
WHEN THEY SEE US: Part Two – Kris Bowers
 
OUTSTANDING MUSIC COMPOSITION FOR A SERIES (ORIGINAL DRAMATIC SCORE)
 
BARRY: What?! – David Wingo
THE HANDMAID’S TALE: The Word – Adam Taylor
THIS IS US: Songbird Road: Part One – Siddhartha Khosla
 
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MAIN TITLE THEME MUSIC
 
CASTLE ROCK – Thomas Newman
CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND – Rachel Bloom, Jack Dolgen, Adam Schlesinger
GOOD OMENS – David Arnold 
OUR PLANET – Steven Price
SUCCESSION – Nicholas Britell
 
OUTSTANDING MUSIC COMPOSITION FOR A DOCUMENTARY SERIES OR SPECIAL (ORIGINAL DRAMATIC SCORE)
 
FREE SOLO – Marco Beltrami, Brandon Roberts
GAME OF THRONES: THE LAST WATCH – Hannah Peel
HOSTILE PLANET: Oceans – Benjamin Wallfisch
LOVE, GILDA – Miriam Cutler
OUR PLANET: One Planet – Steven Price
RBG – Miriam Cutler
 
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MUSIC AND LYRICS
 
CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND: I Have to Get Out: “Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal” – Music by Adam Schlesinger and Rachel Bloom, Lyrics by Adam Schlesinger, Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen
DOCUMENTARY NOW!: Original Cast Album: Co-op: “Holiday Party (I Did a Little Cocaine Tonight)” – Music by Eli Bolin, Lyrics by John Mulaney and Seth Meyers
FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS: LIVE IN LONDON: “Father & Son” – Music and Lyrics by Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: Host: James McAvoy: “The Upper East Side” – Music by Eli Brueggemann, Lyrics by Bryan Tucker and Leslie Jones
SONG OF PARKLAND: “Beautiful Things Can Grow” – Music by Mark Sonnenblick, Lyrics by Ashley Paseltiner and Molly Reichard
72ND ANNUAL TONY AWARDS: “This One’s For You” – Music and Lyrics by Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban
 
OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION
 
ARETHA! A GRAMMY CELEBRATION FOR THE QUEEN OF SOUL – Rickey Minor
FOSSE/VERDON: Life Is a Cabaret – Alex Lacamoire
HOMECOMING: A FILM BY BEYONCE – Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Derek Dixie
THE OSCARS – Rickey Minor
Q85: A MUSICAL CELEBRATION FOR QUINCY JONES: Part 1 – Greg Phillinganes
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: Host: Adam Sandler – Lenny Pickett, Leon Pendarvis, Eli Brueggemann
 
OUTSTANDING MUSIC SUPERVISION
 
BETTER CALL SAUL: Something Stupid – Thomas Golubic
FOSSE/VERDON: Life Is a Cabaret – Steven Gizicki
THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL: We’re Going to the Catskills! – Robin Urdang, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino
QUINCY – Jasper Leak
RUSSIAN DOLL: Nothing in This World Is Easy – Brienne Rose

CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Alien Trespass - Louis Febre - Dragon's Domain
Child's Play - Bear McCreary - Sparks & Shadows 
Game of Thrones: Season 8 - Ramin Djawadi - WaterTower
The Great War of Archimedes
 - Naoki Sato - Rambling (import)
The Lion King
 - Hans Zimmer - Disney
The Scarlet Letter/The Electric Grandmother
 - John Morris - Dragon's Domain
The Secret Life of Pets 2
 - Alexandre Desplat - Backlot 
Young Sherlock Holmes
- Bruce Broughton - Intrada Special Collection


IN THEATERS TODAY

Above the Shadows - Kaki King
Bottom of the 9th - Stephen Endelman
Chain of Death - Arnau Bataller
David Crosby: Remember My Name - Marcus Eaton, Bill Laurance
Into the Ashes - James Curd
The Lion King - Hans Zimmer - Score and Song CD on Disney
Luz - Simon Waskow
The Price for Silence - Paul Carbonara
Purge of Kingdoms - Jeremy Rubolino
Ray & Liz - Music supervisor: Becca Gatrell 
Rojo - Vincent Van Warmerdam
Rosie - Stephen Rennicks
She's Just a Shadow - Bobby Johnston
Supervized - Ed Harcourt
Sword of Trust - Marc Maron

COMING SOON

July 26
Always at the Carlyle
 - Earl Rose - Rambling (import)
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind 
- Antonio Pinto - Rambling (import)
Halston - Stanley Clarke - Node
Horus: Prince of the Sun
 - Yoshio Mamia - Cinema-Kan (import)
Spheres - Kyle Dixon, Michael Stein - Invada
August 2
Planet of the Apes: Original Film Series Soundtrack Collection
- Jerry Goldsmith, Leonard Rosenman, Tom Scott - La-La Land
August 9
Amundsen
 - Johan Soderqvist - Perseverance
Yellowstone
 - Bill Conti - Buysoundtrax
August 16
The Durrells - Ruth Barrett, Jon Wygens - Abkco
Intolerance - Carl Davis - Carl Davis Collection
Succession
- Nicholas Britell - Milan
August 23
Chernobyl
 - Hildur Guonadottir - Deutsche Grammophon
October 4
Stranger Things 3 - Kyle Dixon, Michael Stein - Lakeshore
Date Unknown
The Accordionist's Son
- Fernando Velazquez - Quartet
Asterix: Le Secret de la Potion Magique
 - Philippe Rombi - Music Box
Conquistadores Adventum
- Carlos M. Jara, Daniel Rodrigo, Neonymus Jara - Quartet
Dementia/Piano Concerto
 - George Antheil, Ernest Gold - Kritzerland 
Evil Toons
 - Chuck Cirino - Dragon's Domain
The Jade Pendant
- Anne-Kathrin Dern - Quartet
La Ronde/La Chasse a L'Homme/A Coeur Joie
 - Michel Magne - Music Box
Megan Leavey
- Mark Isham - Quartet
Secret of the Titanic
 - Craig Safan - Dragon's Domain
Short Cuts 2018
- various - Quartet
The Story of O
 - Pierre Bachelet - Music Box
Unchained Melodies: Film Music of Alex North
 - Alex North - Kritzerland


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

July 19 - Paul Dunlap born (1919)
July 19 - Tim McIntire born (1944)
July 19 - Dominic Muldowney born (1952)
July 19 - Gerald Fried's score for the Star Trek episode "Amok Time" is recorded (1967)
July 19 - Gerald Fried's score for the Star Trek episode "The Paradise Syndrome" is recorded (1968)
July 19 - Ramin Djawadi born (1974)
July 19 - John Barry begins recording his score for Dances With Wolves (1990)
July 19 - Van Alexander died (2015)
July 20 - Since You Went Away released in theaters (1944)
July 20 - Franz Waxman begins recording his score for Elephant Walk (1953)
July 20 - Gail Kubik died (1984)
July 21 - Jerry Goldsmith died (2004)
July 22 - George Dreyfus born (1928)
July 22 - Alan Menken born (1949)
July 22 - Nigel Hess born (1953)
July 22 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Warning Shot (1966)
July 22 - Lalo Schifrin records his score for Mission: Impossible’s third season premiere, “The Heir Apparent” (1968)
July 22 - John Barry begins recording the orchestral score to King Kong (1976)
July 22 - Alan Silvestri begins recording his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Go to the Head of the Class" (1986)
July 23 - George Greeley born (1917)
July 23 - Bill Lee born (1928)
July 23 - L. Subramaniam born (1947)
July 23 - Recording sessions begin for Hugo Friedhofer’s score to The Blue Angel (1959)
July 23 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Rio Conchos (1964)
July 23 - Leith Stevens died (1970)
July 23 - Georges Auric died (1983)
July 23 - John Addison records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "The Greible" (1986)
July 23 - Hans J. Salter died (1994)
July 23 - Piero Piccioni died (2004)
July 24 - Robert Farnon born (1917)
July 24 - Wilfred Josephs born (1927)
July 24 - Marcello Giombini born (1928)
July 24 - Les Reed born (1935)
July 24 - High Noon opens in New York (1952)
July 24 - Alan Rawsthorne died (1971)
July 24 - Leo Shuken died (1976)
July 24 - Norman Dello Joio died (2008)
July 25 - Don Ellis born (1934)
July 25 - Denis King born (1939)
July 25 - Thurston Moore born (1958)
July 25 - Henry Mancini begins recording his score for Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
July 25 - Bruce Broughton records his unused adaptations of Bach for The Accidental Tourist (1988)

DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

ALIEN: COVENANT - Jed Kurzel

"At the same time, Scott isn’t holding back on his trademark visual grandiosity -- he reflects digital readouts across an astronaut’s helmet like nobody else, and the art department gives the seemingly welcome planet a palpable sense of doomed grandeur. The Covenant doesn’t have that resort-in-space flash that the ship in the recent 'Passengers' had, but that’s a fitting choice given that this voyage seems to be a more businesslike affair. (Jed Kurzel’s powerful score calls upon some of the series’ previous themes but emerges as its own unique creation.)"
 
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
 
"From the early moments of 'Covenant,' it’s obvious that Scott and his collaborators want this movie to feel like an 'Alien' film. Themes from original composer Jerry Goldsmith’s score surface early on, and the entire pacing of the film feels like a nod to what has come before. (One sequence toward the end of the film even plays like a seven-minute supercut of the original.) Meeting the crew of the Covenant only strengthens that connection. Characters like the pilot Tennessee (Danny McBride), and his no-nonsense wife, Faris (Amy Seimetz) are human and relatable, calling back to the 'truckers in space' vibe that made the original Alien such a novel break from sci-fi convention in the first place."
 
Bryan Bishop, The Verge
 
"Stylistically, the film is a thing of cool beauty, with superb effects and a lovely score. Creatively, it's a major reset on a level with the series' best."
 
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
- Jeff Beal

"Supposedly the Chesters got the idea to move to a farm because a dog they'd adopted, Todd, was so badly behaved that their landlord evicted them from their apartment. Not many of us can afford to just pick up and move on short notice to give a better home to a dog, much less to a 240+ acre farm that's been envisioned as a self-contained ecosystem experiment. Livestock, seed, labor and equipment are all expensive, and aside from a fleeting reference to 'some investors who saw this old way of farming as the future,' there are no details about how they made all this happen, only that they did. The adorable animated interludes; Jeff Beal's Aaron Copland-esque, Americana-saturated score; John Chester's 'And then I learned...' narration, and the many lyrical images of the Chesters and their employee backlit by honeyed sunlight, are all a bit much at times: more selling than telling."
 
Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
 
"At times, Chester overplays the dramatic nature of the material, with over-the-top music and a voiceover so inclined to offer poetic observations about every new twist that viewers never get the chance to think it through for themselves. Fortunately, many of his ideas are poignant enough to justify the intrusion, such as when he muses on 'the power of uncompromising idealism,' or, witnessing the stars at night, concludes that 'I spin inside that which I see.'"
 
Eric Kohn, IndieWire 

"While Apricot Lane Farm’s origin story is plenty compelling, there’s an often insurmountable gap between the film’s form and content. In short, John Chester, who directed 'The Biggest Little Farm' himself, doesn’t trust the audience to become invested in his story. Though John might best have utilized his folksy-preacher voiceover to explain specific farming processes, he mostly employs it to jab the audience in the ribs with faux-profound insights or to telegraph obvious plot beats. His background as a wildlife cinematographer is evident in the farm footage, which ranges from home-movie vérité to slickly traditional nature doc (complete with time-lapse sequences). But none of it has much impact because it’s so narratively streamlined: The imagery is little more than a visual aid to the Chesters’ story. The saccharine score all but spells out how the audience is supposed to feel every single step of the way, and the less said about the precious animated sequences in the first act the better."
 
Vikram Murthi, The Onion AV Club
 
"Directly benefiting from John Chester’s cinematography background, the otherwise casual, scrapbook-style documentary -- in which old home videos and hand-drawn animation fit nicely with Jeff Beal’s folksy string score -- boasts intervals of stunning, unexpectedly gorgeous wildlife footage: Drone-mounted cameras convey York’s incredible design, night vision exposes the sneaky critters who disrupt things after dark, high-frame-rate macrophotography captures each flap of a hummingbird’s wings while turning raindrops into a kind of Luftwaffe air raid for shell-shocked bugs, and so on."
 
Peter Debruge, Variety

"The overly sentimental score becomes an unnecessary booster shot for a film that naturally inspires by virtue of the participants’ industriousness and an optimism that refuses to be quelled."
 
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

CHARLIE SAYS - Keegan DeWitt
 
"Smith plays Manson as a wild-eyed cretin but with just enough of the hippie-singer dreamboat about him to make him credibly magnetic to a particular kind of 'flower child.' Does Manson believe his shtick, or is it just that -- shtick? Smith’s performance successfully blurs the line. It’s a shtick that hardens into an ethos and then a design for living. If we didn’t know where all this was going, we might enjoy the Manson girls’ exuberance. At times they recall Pamela Des Barres’s groupie collective the GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously). (Kayli Carter’s 'Squeaky' Fromme is especially radiant.) But the score, by Keegan DeWitt, wipes away even momentary doubts: This is a bad trip that’s about to get worse."
 
David Edelstein, New York 
 
"But that is only half of 'Charlie Says' -- and by far the more engaging and insightful half. For long swathes of the film, we are trapped in sun-dappled free-love flashback recollections of the halcyon period between Leslie’s arrival on the ranch where Manson (Matt Smith) had his base of operations, and the murders, roughly a year later. In DP Crille Forsberg’s golden-hued, lens-flarey nostalgic images, under Keegan DeWitt’s pleasant but unusually anonymous, modernizing score, the vacuously wide-eyed Leslie is taken under Katie’s wing, and befriends existing “Family” members including Squeaky Fromme (Kayli Carter) and Tex Watson (Chace Crawford). Almost instantaneously indoctrinated, she decides that Manson is the 'most beautiful person she’s ever met,' despite his increasingly deranged rantings about 'Helter Skelter' that get worse and more ferocious after an audition for music producer Terry Melcher (Bryan Adrian) fails to bring him a recording contract."
 
Jessica Kiang, Variety 
 
KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE - Ryan Blotnick
 
"Nothing seems off-limits, and while that occasionally results in flat-lining sequences -- one involving Ocasio-Cortez and her partner bickering about ice cream should have been snipped early on -- the overall effect is a positive one, taking its audience inside all the minutiae of a burgeoning political career. Stylistically, the film isn’t at all fussy: on-screen graphics are straightforward and informative, and Lears leaves the editorializing out of her introductory captions, though the film’s score often proves manipulative during the most unnecessary of times. Why pump up the drama with overbearing strings? This is as immediate and of-the-moment as things get these days without simply Periscoping the whole thing (or, in the case of the very engaged Ocasio-Cortez, Instagram-storying the whole thing) to a live audience. 'Knock Down the House' takes its viewers on the inside of a propulsive movement that’s changing by the moment, an energetic look inside history as its being made, even when the results aren’t always the ones that are so fervently hoped for."
 
Kate Erbland, IndieWire 

MY SON - Laurent Perez del Mar

"Along with Canet (who directed the far-better French thriller 'Tell No One'), key below-the-line contributors keep us in the game. Documentary-honed DP Eric Dumont’s handheld camera provides an almost constant sense of danger and uncertainty, while the darkly-textured score by Laurent Perez del Mar ('The Red Turtle') helps insure that tension remains high even as interest wanes."
 
Mark Keizer, Variety 
 
"To keep tensions high, Carion employs a low-key, highly visceral aesthetic that’s a far cry from his Oscar-nominated WWI drama 'Joyeux Noel' and his glossy WWII epic 'Come What May.' Working with DP Eric Dumont ('The Measure of a Man'), he makes excellent use of the snow-capped settings, with Julien driving back and forth along country roads that lead to sinister locations in the middle of nowhere. Sound design by Thomas Desjonqueres ('The Dancer') adds to the unsettling atmosphere, while the score by Laurent Perez del Mar ('The Red Turtle') winds up overplaying itself. Other performances are strong, with Laurent effective in her handful of emotive scenes and de Benoist memorable as a new boyfriend who gets the ass-whupping he deserves."
 
Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter 
 
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES - Geoff Zanelli
 
"Penned by Jeff Nathanson (with a story credit for franchise regular Terry Rossio), it must be a sweet paycheck writing something so stock and by-the-numbers. While it must have seemed like a great idea at the time, going from indies like the critically acclaimed 'Kon-Tiki' (and lesser acclaimed 'Bandidas') to the franchise heavens (and budgets) of Disney’s ‘Pirates,’ directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg suffer the indignity of losing their personality in a completely anonymous, big mainstream debut. Other than a big pay day and the ability to show off a blockbuster-capable calling card, it’s difficult to understand a meaningful motivation behind wanting to direct this movie. In the midst of all the galloping, carousing and general crazy hysteria of the movie, the score by Geoff Zanelli acts as a metaphor for the movie itself, working so hard to inspire feeling, but sounding like clanging desperation instead."
 
Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist 

"The philosophy is that what happens onscreen matters less than the fact that a lot is happening. The camera is always riding in on characters in an attempt to simulate momentum while the orchestra never lets up. Sample dialogue: 'Get him!' 'Get her!' 'Get him!' At its best, the film is a high-speed farce filled with Rube Goldberg–like contraptions that fling its heroes around the frame, as when a vertically revolving guillotine keeps bringing the blade within millimeters of Jack Sparrow’s neck. (Depp spends more time trussed up than the heroine of 'Fifty Shades of Grey.') But there’s no fluidity, no elegance. Jackie Chan once did this stuff for a fraction of the cost, admittedly paying low Chinese salaries, but also with vaulting acrobats and no computer effects. As different parties -- murderous phantoms, pompous redcoats, Sparrow plus the male and female ingénues -- converge on a mysterious island, you feel that you could leave anytime and not miss much. Well, much and nothing much."
 
David Edelstein, New York

TELL IT TO THE BEES - Claire M. Singer

"Some of the film’s lovelier assets include the work of cinematographer Bartosz Nalazek. He captures the luscious greenery of the English countryside, the ever-grey skies, the drab homes and muddy streets of the town. Even in the midst of chaos, there’s a sense of calm in the naturalistic scenery. Claire M. Singer’s score keeps the music flowing alongside the buzz of bees."
 
Monica Castillo, RogerEbert.com
 
UGLYDOLLS - Christopher Lennertz

"Among the many spontaneous musical outbursts, the track 'All Dolled Up,' when Moxy and crew opt for a makeover, stands out as perhaps the one that’s slightly more complex than the others, because its lyrics are much darker than the lively melody that scores them. Mandy sings about choosing your clothing not for you but for who you want to be, to hide your imperfections, to transform yourself and hide who you truly are. The climatic [sic] song 'Unbreakable,' a duet between Clarkson and Monáe, hopes to reach 'Let It Go' sing-along status but likely won’t. Still, it’s a sweet, if not very original, power ballad about not listening to the haters and knowing the person who you really are inside. Again, it’s nothing out of the ordinary, but the sparkling mirror dance the characters do is kind of charming."
 
Carlos Aguilar, The Wrap 
 
"Like the dolls themselves, the movie is supposed to be concerned with kindness, but its appreciation of individual differences is regrettably superficial and cookie-cutter. Even worse, the voice talent is cast more for singing than creating distinctive characterizations, and while the songs are well-produced and performed, they're forgettable because they hardly move the story along. The always-welcome Wanda Sykes is here oddly relegated to a one-note role as a 'can’t we just all stay home,' apron-clad, UglyDoll version of Betty Crocker."
 
Neil Minow, RogerEbert.com

"'UglyDolls' only has enough plot to extend across a short film, but it’s able to fill out into feature-length with the help of a half-dozen songs written by Christopher Lennertz and Glenn Slater. Oh yeah, it’s a musical. And true to form, these tunes are so anodyne and forgettable that your brain might not even clock when the characters begin singing them. Most of these sugary pop ditties sound like Kidz Bop covers of old Taylor Swift singles (or like major improvements on that new Taylor Swift single), and the visuals that accompany them are manic enough to ensure that even the youngest kids in the audience will be glued to the screen."
 
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
 
"Kelly Asbury’s 'UglyDolls' bursts out of the gate to the sounds of 'Couldn’t Be Better,' a sugary-sweet pop song about self-acceptance and body positivity. The denizens of Uglyville gleefully dance and sing the praises of their little slice of utopia: 'It’s a square-peg life in a round-hole town/But it all couldn’t be any sweeter/You may be upside-backwards and wrong-side-down/But it just couldn’t feel more completer.' The tune is certainly on message, but if all these characters’ lives are complete and they’ve already learned to love themselves despite their flaws, what journey is left for them to take?"
 
Derek Smith, Slant Magazine

WAKEFIELD - Aaron Zigman

"Swicord adapted her screenplay from a short story by E.L. Doctorow, and she never completely escapes that literary medium. Watching 'Wakefield' feels like listening to an audiobook but with images. Almost as soon as the film begins, Howard’s voice-over is piped in to over-explain the action. His internal monologue, which is relentless, lacks any subtlety, articulating points that are easily inferred. At one point, he muses, 'How far am I willing to let this go?' That question is at the heart of the entire endeavor; there is no need to say it out loud. All the while, Aaron Zigman’s heavy-handed score telegraphs ominousness that never manifests into something tangible."
 
Esther Zuckerman, The Onion AV Club
 
"In the beginning, Cranston barely opens his mouth, speaking only to place his order at a Grand Central Station coffee shop (where he breezes past producer Wendy Federman and cuts in front of Doctorow’s widow, Helen, both making cameos). It’s safe to assume that this commute -- from New York City to the suburbs, where he lives in a big home with detached two-story garage -- is the only alone time Wakefield gets during the week, the rest of it packed with office pressures and the commotion of family life at home. When his wife Diana (Garner) calls, he lets it go to voicemail, preferring to brood in silence. That will change soon enough, as Cranston’s narration, a case of misanthropy rendered eloquent in Swicord’s resonant retelling, becomes nearly as constant as 'The Notebook' composer Aaron Zigman’s score, which provides a phony snow-globe allure at odds with Wakefield’s sourpuss vision of his life."
 
Peter Debruge, Variety 
 
"What was an excellent short story has become something rather less satisfactory as a full-length feature film, but at least impressive for what an outstanding actor has brought to it. Garner and O’Mara, the two other actors to get a few words in edgewise, deliver solidly. Quite effective thematically at the outset, as it lyrically suggests trouble beneath smooth surface waters, Aaron Zigman’s music becomes very conventionally used later on, and other craft artisans have helped Swicord deliver a pro, if safely conventional, result."
 
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

WAR MACHINE - Nick Cave, Warren Ellis
 
"There is a lot about 'War Machine' that is equally cartoonish, from McMahon’s meetings with Afghan president Hamid Karzai (Ben Kingsley), whose attention appears to be largely focused on getting the Blu-ray player in his palace to work, to the mocking and occasionally distracting score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. But what is Michôd really aiming for? The tone of 'War Machine' is overwhelmingly smug ('Ah, America,' begins the voice-over narration by the film’s Hastings stand-in, played by Scoot McNairy), but the film is short on specific targets and its reading of the state of modern war is as dry as sand. His face balled up like a fist, McMahon is a caricature of American might who in no way resembles the real Stanley McChrystal (who looks and sounds more like Alan Ruck, cast here as one of McMahon’s political nemeses), but who has been clumsily inserted into several real-life public-relations fiascoes. Thus, 'War Machine' puts itself in a peculiar lose-lose scenario: It’s too hamstrung by facts to get within spitting distance of the sort of 'Strangelove'-ian satire of backroom political idiocy where McMahon and the movie’s version of Karzai truly belong, but also too clobbering, uncontrolled, and secluded from reality to pass muster as a parody of the actual events and personalities involved."
 
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, The Onion AV Club

THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A.

Screenings of older films, at the following L.A. movie theaters: AMPASAmerican Cinematheque: AeroAmerican Cinematheque: EgyptianArclightArena CineloungeLACMALaemmleNew Beverly, Nuart, UCLA and Vista

July 19
CLIMAX [Nuart]
THE CRANES ARE FLYING (M. Vaynberg), I AM CUBA (Carlos Farinas) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
DJANGO UNCHAINED [New Beverly]
GYPSY (Jule Styne, Frank Perkins), THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED (Kenyon Hopkins) [New Beverly]
JACKIE BROWN [Arclight Hollywood]
KILL BILL: VOL 1 (The RZA) [Arclight Hollywood]
PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (Paul Williams, George Aliceson Tipton) [Vista]
PULP FICTION [Arclight Hollywood]
RESERVOIR DOGS [Arclight Hollywood]
ROMAN HOLIDAY (Georges Auric), THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN (Victor Young) [UCLA]

July 20
ALL THAT JAZZ (Ralph Burns) [Vista]
DECISION BEFORE DAWN (Franz Waxman), BERLIN EXPRESS (Frederick Hollander) [UCLA]
GIRLS ABOUT TOWN, JEWEL ROBBERY (Leo F. Forbstein) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
GRINDHOUSE: DEATH PROOF [Arclight Hollywood]
GYPSY (Jule Styne, Frank Perkins), THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED (Kenyon Hopkins) [New Beverly]
HERBIE GOES TO MONTE CARLO (Frank DeVol) [New Beverly]
I LOVE YOU, ALICE B. TOKLAS (Elmer Bernstein) [New Beverly]
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS [Arclight Hollywood]
KILL BILL: VOL. 2 (The RZA, Robert Rodriguez) [Arclight Hollywood]
NETWORK (Elliot Lawrence) [Vista]
STALKER (Edward Artemyev) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

July 21
DJANGO UNCHAINED [Arclight Hollywood]
GLORY (James Horner) [Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts]
GODZILLA VS. GIGAN (Akira Ifukube) [Vista]
THE HATEFUL EIGHT (Ennio Morricone) [Arclight Hollywood]
HERBIE GOES TO MONTE CARLO (Frank DeVol) [New Beverly]
MARCH OF THE PENGUINS (Alex Wurman) [UCLA]
MARY JANE'S NOT A VIRGIN ANYMORE (Rama Kolesnikow) [UCLA]
RIDE THE WILD SURF (Stu Phillips), THUNDER ALLEY (Mike Curb) [New Beverly]

July 22
THE BASKETBALL DIARIES (Graeme Revell) [New Beverly]
COMMON THREADS: STORIES FROM THE QUILT (Bobby McFerrin) [AMPAS]
RIDE THE WILD SURF (Stu Phillips), THUNDER ALLEY (Mike Curb) [New Beverly]

July 23
C.C. & COMPANY (Lenny Stack), THE LOSERS (Stu Phillips), HOLLYWOOD MAN (D'Arneill Pershing) [New Beverly]

July 24
EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN (Mader) [Laemmle Royal]
EVEL KNIEVEL (Patrick Williams), JACK OF DIAMONDS (Bob Harris, Peter Thomas) [New Beverly]
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (John Barry) [New Beverly]

July 25
HIS GIRL FRIDAY (Morris Stoloff), CALL NORTHSIDE 777 (Alfred Newman) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE WICKER MAN (Paul Giovanni) [Laemmle NoHo]

July 26
SUPERMAN (John Williams), SUPERGIRL (Jerry Goldsmith) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
YOJIMBO (Masaru Sato) [Vista]

July 27
EMPIRE OF THE SUN (John Williams) [Vista]
FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER (Harry Manfredini) [Laemmle NoHo]
HERBIE: FULLY LOADED (Mark Mothersbaugh) [New Beverly]
HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (Von Dexter), THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (Dimitri Tiomkin), FREAKS, THEM! (Bronislau Kaper), THE HAUNTING (Humphrey Searle), CAT PEOPLE (Roy Webb) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

July 28
DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (Akira Ifukube) [Vista]
HERBIE: FULLY LOADED (Mark Mothersbaugh) [New Beverly]


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

Heard: Obsession (Herrmann), The Monkey King 2 (Young)

Read: Freaky Deaky, by Elmore Leonard

Seen: Stuber, Herbie Rides Again, Cat Ballou, The Chase, Crawl, The Art of Self-Defense, Gunman's Walk, They Came to Cordura

Watched: Lost in Space ("The Hungry Sea")

In the New Beverly's recent slate of films leading up to the imminent release of Once Upon a Time in...Hollywood, one of the films I was happiest to see on the big screen for the first time was a real obscurity, 1973's Wicked, Wicked. The film was written and directed by Richard L. Bare, whose eclectic resume includes the how-to book The Film Director as well as helming every episode of Green Acres, and the film was released in the short-lived (one film only!) process known as "Anamorphic Duo-Vision" -- basically, it was a widescreen film in which nearly every shot was a two-image split-screen, making it feel like something Brian DePalma might dream up (but mostly without, not surprisingly, his stylistic elegance).

Wicked, Wicked is one of those films which is hard to call genuinely good, but it's still an utter delight to watch (unless you have an inherent distaste for serial killer/slasher films, especially ones in which women are the victims). There's one particularly inventive use of the split screen, where a supporting character tells her glamorized view of her life story on one screen while the other screen shows the reality of her past as a low-rent stripper, untalented film extra, and killer of her abusive husband.

It's a truly strange movie, in which the most likeable character turns out to be the killer, the ostensible hero is rather a creep, and the score is actually the organ score for the Lon Chaney Phantom of the Opera, much of it performed onscreen by a female organist. Though Philip Springer receives the principal music credit, his contribution seems to be limited to source music, including the insufferably catchy song "Wicked, Wicked." You may argue that "Wicked, wicked/That's the ticket" is a lousy rhyme, but I don't think it's any worse than the ones heard in Rocketman.

Until I was 16 or so I was interested in acting but wisely moved away from the idea for far too many reasons to list, but one reason I'm happy that I never bothered to pursue it is that, with all the great actors in the world there are three in particular who work at such an unthinkably high level that it's hard to even imagine pursuing the same profession as them. 

Those three, for me, are Daniel Day-Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman (his loss is one that, like the death of Phil Hartman, I still can't quite wrap my head around), and it recently occurred to me that another thing they all have in common is multiple films for Paul Thomas Anderson.

(I mean no disrespect by not having any women on this short list -- clearly Blanchett and Streep's talents are unimpeachable, and of the younger generation, I am continually overwhelmed by Elisabeth Moss's film performances. I haven't seen her on The Handmaid's Tale since I tend not to enjoy films about oppresssion, so I can't imagine wanting to watch three TV seasons of it.)

Even besides those three extraordinary actors, it's a truly stunning list of top talents who've acted in Anderson's eight feature films, including Amy Adams, Don Cheadle, Paul Dano, Laura Dern, Luis Guzman, Philip Baker Hall, Ciaran Hinds, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Rami Malek, Lesley Manville, Alfred Molina, Julianne Moore, Kevin J. O'Connor, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jesse Plemons, John C. Reilly, Jason Robards, and Emily Watson. And even when the actors aren't inherently remarkable, he knows how to use them perfectly, such as Mark Wahlberg and Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights, and Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love.

I have to mention, it's still a minor pet peeve of mine that some critics referred to Tom Cruise's Oscar-nominated performance in Magnolia as "scene-stealing" -- when you cast a top movie star and give him only scenes where his character dominates the action, whether giving a speech, being interviewed about his life, or sobbing at his father's deathbed, that's pretty much the opposite of scene-stealing.

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