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Film Score Friday 2/27/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 2/26/2015 - 9:00 PM
Last Sunday, Alexandre Desplat managed to complete an Oscar-Grammy-BAFTA trifecta by winning the Original Score Academy Award for Wes Anderson's THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.  As Desplat paid touching tribute to his wife in his acceptance speech, an unfortunately placed cameraman seemed to have a better angle on Hans Zimmer than on Mme. Desplat. After the win, fans of eight-time nominee Desplat were heard to exclaim "Finally!", while twelve-time nominated composer Thomas Newman (not nominated this year) remarked "Ummmmm..." and the brilliant cinematographer Roger Deakins (who "lost" for the twelfth time that night with the Desplat-scored Unbroken) said "Hello???!!!"

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

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

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

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

Intrada plans to release two new CDs next week

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

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Film Score Friday 2/20/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 2/19/2015 - 9:00 PM
Intrada announced three new soundtrack releases this week, all consisting of previously unreleased score tracks from films from three different eras -- a two-disc edition of Dimitri Tiomkin's score for Howard Hawks' beloved 1959 Western RIO BRAVO, starring John Wayne, Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson; the score to Disney's popular '70s sci-fi adventure ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN, by Oscar winner Johnny Mandel (The Sandpiper, Being There, Point Blank); and Joel McNeely's score for Disney's animated Peter Pan spinoff TINKER BELL AND THE GREAT FAIRY RESCUE.
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Film Score Friday 2/13/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 2/12/2015 - 9:00 PM
Varese Sarabande has announced that on March 17 they will be releasing the U.S. edition of the two-disc soundtrack CD of Michael Giacchino's score to the Wachowskis' sci-fi epic JUPITER ASCENDING (Sony has just released the soundtrack in Europe).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Film Score Friday 1/30/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 1/29/2015 - 9:00 PM
Counterpoint has just released Sol Kaplan's score for the 1952 Australia-set adventure KANGAROO, starring Maureen O'Hara, Peter Lawford and Richard Boone, and directed by two-time Oscar winner Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front, Ocean's 11).

The latest release from Kritzerland is a two-disc set featuring two scores by composer Paul Glass (Lady in a Cage, Bunny Lake Is Missing) -- the little seen 1964 drama ETHAN, and the Oscar-nominated documentary short GEORGE GROSZ'S INTERREGNUM.

Quartet's slate of new releases includes the score to the 1969 race car film SAFARI 5000, scored by Oscar nominee Toshiro Mayuzumi (The Bible, Reflections in a Golden Eye); the first CD release of the LP tracks for Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis' score for KILLERFISH; and CHRISTOPHER SLASKI FILM WORKS, a collection of the composer's work including cues from such films as the Brothers Quay's The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes and Kevin Spacey's Bobby Darin biopic Beyond the Sea.

 Intrada plans to release two new CDs next week.

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Film Score Friday 1/23/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 1/22/2015 - 9:00 PM
Intrada announced two new CD releases this week, including three scores for two films, composed by three Oscar-winning composers.

Meryl Streep made a rare entry into the action adventure genre with 1994's thriller THE RIVER WILD, directed by Curtis Hanson (who would follow it up with the Oscar winners L.A. Confidential and Wonder Boys). The film's original score was composed by three-time Oscar winner Maurice Jarre, but very late in the game the filmmakers decided to replace the score completely and hire another A-lister, Jerry Goldsmith. MCA released around 30 minutes of Goldsmith's score on CD at the time of the film's release, but Intrada's two-disc River Wild features Goldsmith's complete hour-long score, plus 16 minutes of alternates, on Disc One, with Jarre's 50-minute unused score, plus 25 minutes of alternates, on Disc Two.

Music Box has confirmed that next month they will be releasing an expanded CD-set of one of the last great scores by one of the greatest of all film composers. When director Brian DePalma filmed Paul Schrader's script Deja Vu, the first of his feature length homages to Hichcock's Vertigo, it was only natural that he would hire his Sisters composer, Vertigo's own Bernard Herrmann. Released in 1976 as OBSESSION, the film featured Herrmann's penultimate score (he died hours after recording Taxi Driver at the end of 1975) but was his last film to receive a theatrical release. Though Herrmann had not received an Oscar nomination since Anna and the King of Siam in 1946, both of his posthumously released scores were nominated, and London released 39 minutes of highlights from Herrmann's romantic and overpoweringly emotional Obsession on LP, a sequencing which has since recieved at least two CD releases. Music Box's two-disc Obsession features a remastering from best available sources of Herrmann's complete score on Disc One, with the LP sequencing on Disc Two.

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Film Score Friday 1/16/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 1/15/2015 - 9:00 PM
On February 17, Varese Sarabande will release the soundtrack to THE BOY NEXT DOOR, the new psychological thriller starring Jennifer Lopez and directed by Rob Cohen. The film was scored by Cohen's usual composer Randy Edelman (Dragonheart, XXX) and Nathan Barr (Hostel, True Blood).

BAFTA has announced their latest nominations, including their Film: Original Music category:


Johann Johannsson won the Golden Globe for his original score to THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. John Legend and Common won for their song "Glory" from SELMA.

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Film Score Friday 1/9/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 1/8/2015 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced two new CD releases this week, both featuring scores from 1980s films directed by Nick Castle --- the 1984 science-fiction adventure THE LAST STARFIGHTER, with the first complete release of Craig Safan's popular score; and the 1986 fantasy THE BOY WHO COULD FLY, with a remastered version of Bruce Broughton's original score tracks (the Varese release was actually a re-recording).

Quartet has announced several upcoming CDs. Along with the previously announced soundtrack to Foreign Language Oscar short-listed WILD TALES, scored by Gustavo Santaolalla, they will release Pascal Gaigne's score to the new Finnish drama THEO'S HOUSE; Carlo Savina's score for 1974's L'ASSASSINO HA RISERVATO NOVE POTRONE (The Killer Reserved Nine Seats), a myster-thriller in the Ten Little Indians vein; and Lalli Gori's score for the 1976 thriller THE LEGEND OF THE WOLF WOMAN.

Music Box has announced two new CDs -- the soundtrack to director Francois Ozon's new film RICKY, scored by his regular collaborator, Philippe Rombi; and an expanded version of Gabriel Yared's score for director Philippe de Broca's 1990 fantasy 1001 NIGHTS.

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Film Score Friday 1/2/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 1/1/2015 - 9:00 PM
Happy New Year!

La-La Land has announced their current plans for January CD releases -- on January 13 they will release a two-disc set featuring music from the 1970s PLANET OF THE APES TV series (Intrada had previously released a long out-of-print CD of Lalo Schifrin's music for the series); on January 20 they will release the soundtrack to MORTDECAI, the brand-new caper comedy from director David Koepp, starring Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor and Paul Bettany, with music by Mark Ronson and Geoff Zanelli; and on January 27 they will release two scores for new direct-to-video sequels, JUSTICE LEAGUE THRONE OF ATLANTIS by Frederik Wiedmann and THE SCORPION KING 4: QUEST FOR POWER by Geoff Zanelli.

Intrada plans to release two new CDs next week.

Most of our Internet-savvy readers are probably already aware of this, but for anyone who wants to hear this year's 79 original songs eligible for an Oscar nomination, most (but not all) of them can be heard in their entirety on YouTube.

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Film Score Friday 12/26/14
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/25/2014 - 9:00 PM
The latest CD from Kritzerland is the first-ever release of the soundtrack to one of 1979's Best Picture nominees, the sleeper hit comedy drama BREAKING AWAY. Peter Yates (Bullitt, The Deep) directed the Oscar-winning screenplay by Steve Tesich, about a group of young "townies" in Bloomington, Indiana, who, at the urging of their Italy-obsessed friend, take part in Indiana University's "Little 500" bicycle race. The four leads were played by then-newcomers Dennis Christopher, Daniel Stern, Dennis Quaid and Jackie Earle Haley (at the time, Haley was the most recognizable actor of the group), and Patrick Williams earned his only Oscar nomination for his charming adaptation of classical pieces for the score. The Kritzerland CD features both Williams' adaptations and the unused original cues he composed for the film.

Due to the increasing time demands of my day job (yes, I have one, and I'm not giving it up), this year's CD Checklist and my compliation of Did They Mention the Music? highlights will not be posted until January. However, I am working on an expanded, and probably final, edition of my Top 40 Composer Countdown series, which should also begin next month.

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