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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:

BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) - Antonio Sanchez
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - Alexandre Desplat
INTERSTELLAR - Hans Zimmer
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING - Johann Johannsson
UNDER THE SKIN - Mica Levi


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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Film Score Friday 12/19/14
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/18/2014 - 9:00 PM
Quartet has announced three expanded score CDs expected to be released by the end of the month -- a two-disc version of Jerry Goldsmith's rousing orchestral score for the 1985 remake of KING SOLOMON'S MINES (featuring a remastered version of the complete score as well as the original selection of cues from the LP); a two-disc expanded version of Ennio Morricone's SAHARA, with both the complete score and the original album tracks; and an expanded version of Henry Mancini's terrific score for director Blake Edwards' fourth Peter Sellers/Inspector Clouseau film, THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN, featuring the Oscar nominated song "Come to Me." (The rumor is that another original song from the score, "Until You Love Me," sung in drag by a butler character, was actually voiced by Mrs. Edwards herself, Julie Andrews).


Varese Sarabande will release John Frizzell's score for the English-language remake of the thriller Loft, now titled THE LOFT (the original was scored by Wolfram De Marco, with a CD release from MovieScore Media), on January 20.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced their lists of the 114 original scores and 79 original songs eligible for nomination for the music Oscar nominations (see full lists at the bottom of this column). Presumably because of the prominent use of classical pieces in the film, Antonio Sanchez' much-talked about drum score for Birdman was not ultimately eligible. Alexandre Desplat has five scores on the list, and Christophe Beck and Marco Beltrami each have four. The lengthy eligible song list includes numbers from such obscure films as Garnet's Gold, Girl on a Bicycle, The Hornet's Nest, Hot Guns with Guns, Life Inside Out, Life of an Actress: The Musical, Occupy the Farm, The One I Wrote for You, A Small Section of the World, Special, Under the Electric Sky, and Work Weather Wife, as well as several films you've actually heard of. 

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Film Score Friday 12/12/14
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/11/2014 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced two new releases this week: a greatly expanded version of James Horner's score for the 1993 adventure film A FAR OFF PLACE (one of ten Horner-scored films released in theaters that year) starring Reese Witherspoon and Ethan Embry (back when he was Ethan Randall); and the first-ever release Georges Delerue's score for the 1987 TV miniseries QUEENIE, based on Nicholas Korda's novel inspired by the life of actress Merle Oberon, starring Mia Sara, Joss Ackland, Claire Bloom, Kirk Douglas, Joel Grey, Sarah Miles and Topol.


The latest release from Kritzerland is a remastered version of one of the all-time classic science-fiction scores -- Bernard Herrmann's Oscar-shortlisted score for director Robert Wise's 1951 classic THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL.


This year's Grammy nominations have been announced, including the following film music-related categories:

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Film Score Friday 12/5/14
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/4/2014 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced a historic new CD this week -- the first-ever release of the original score tracks to the 1954 Best Picture winner ON THE WATERFRONT. Waterfront's Oscar-nominated music was the only feature film score composed by Broadway and classical great Leonard Bernstein, and though his concert suite of the score has been oft-recorded over the decades, this is the first true soundtrack release, including previously unheard cues. They are also re-releasing their CD featuring the LP tracks of John Williams' rousing score for the 1986 juvenile adventure SPACECAMP.


Most of you readers are probably more than aware of La-La Land's latest batch of "Black Friday" releases, which are all beginning to ship this week, but for those who aren't they are... the first-ever release of David Arnold's thrilling and funky score for the 2000 reboot of SHAFT, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Christian Bale, Jeffrey Wright and Toni Collette (too bad they couldn't get any good actors), with Richard Roundtree reprising his role from the original films and TV series; a four-disc set of music from the red-headed stepchild of the Star Trek franchise, the prequel series ENTERPRISE (later retitled Star Trek: Enterprise), with one disc of music by Dennis McCarthy, one by Jay Chattaway, and two more of various composers from the series including such familiar names as John Frizzell, Mark McKenzie and Brian Tyler; a two-disc expanded version of John Debney's Oscar-nominated score for director Mel Gibson's surprise blockbuster hit THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST; an expanded version of Danny Elfman's score for BIG TOP PEE-WEE; and a four-disc set reprising the label's expanded editions of Eflman's BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS, with small improvements made from their previous edition of the first Batman.


Varese Sarabande has announced their latest batch of limited edition CD club releases -- a two-disc Deluxe Edition of Alan Silvestri's exciting score for PREDATOR 2; an expanded Deluxe Edition of John Barry's score for Francis Ford Coppola's 1986 time travel romance PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED (the previous Varese release of Peggy Sue featured only a handful of Barry cues plus period songs); Victor Young's Oscar-nominated score for the 1943 version of FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS (previously released on CD by Stanyan); and a re-release (already sold out at most sites) of their earlier CD Club disc pairing one of Miklos Rozsa's great final scores, for Billy Wilder's less-than-great FEDORA, with his guitar music for CRISIS.


In the coolest film music news of the week, it was announced that Thomas Newman will score his second James Bond film, 2015's SPECTRE, directed by Sam Mendes and starring the current Bond regulars (Craig, Whishaw, Fiennes, Harris, Kinnear) plus Christoph Waltz, Monica Belucci, Lea Seydoux, David Bautista and Sherlock's Andrew Scott.

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Film Score Friday 11/28/14
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/27/2014 - 9:00 PM
La-La Land was scheduled to announce its latest slate of "Black Friday" releases at midnight. There should be updated information on these much-anticipated soundtrack CDs on our Message Board.


I am on vacation this week, which is why updates on CD releases and local screenings may be a bit sketchy, to say the least.

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Film Score Friday 11/21/14
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/20/2014 - 9:00 PM
Intrada is releasing two new CDs this week, featuring three scores by two composers.

The critical and commercial success of The Ipcress File, director Sidney J. Furie's 1965 film version of the first in Len Deighton's series about an unnamed spy (dubbed "Harry Palmer" for the films), led to two feature sequels based on Deighton's novels, with Michael Caine returning to play Palmer (for politeness sake, we can ignore the two miserable cable movies that later featured Caine as in the role). Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger, Evil Under the Sun) directed the second and hugely underrated Palmer film, FUNERAL IN BERLIN, which featured one of the most wonderfully complicated plots ever to grace a thriller and brought back some key personnel from Ipcress, including actor Guy Doleman, cinematographer Otto Heller and the master himself, production designer Ken Adam. One newcomer to the series was composer Konrad Elfers, whose lively, droll score is in somewhat in the vein of Dominic Frontiere's The Stunt Man. Intrada's CD, with liner notes by Jeff Bond, features the score tracks featured on the original LP plus a handful of previously unreleased cues including the film's opening.

Three-time Oscar winner Maurice Jarre is represented by a CD pairing two previously unreleased scores from wildly different films -- his music for director Richard Fleischer's controversial plantation drama MANDINGO, including the song "Born in This Time," co-written by Jarre and performed by Muddy Waters; and his brief score for Neil Simon's comedy PLAZA SUITE, with Walter Matthau in multiple roles.


The latest re-recording by Prometheus/Tadlow, due on November 25, is the first commercial release of John Barry's score for the 1978 film of Harold Robbins' novel THE BETSY. Daniel Petrie directed the all-star cast including Laurence Olivier, Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Lesley Anne Down, Katharine Ross, and the stars of Petrie's Barry-scored TV hit Eleanor and Franklin, Jane Alexander and Edward Herrmann. Despite the impressive cast, the film is no lost classic, but Barry remarkably managed to stay awake through the scoring process and contributed a typically melodic and varied work, a welcome addition the expanding Prometheus/Tadlow repertoire of new recordings.


Varese Sarabande plans to announce their latest batch of CD Club releases on December 1.


La-La Land currently plans to announce five new CD releases on November 28, aka "Black Friday" -- two individual CDs, one two-disc set, and two four-disc sets (whew!).

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