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Film Score Friday 12/15/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/14/2017 - 9:00 PM
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced this year's nominees for the Golden Globes, including the following film-music categories:

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE - MOTION PICTURE

DUNKIRK - Hans Zimmer
PHANTOM THREAD - Jonny Greenwood
THE POST - John Williams
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Alexandre Desplat
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI - Carter Burwell

BEST ORIGINAL SONG - MOTION PICTURE
 
“HOME” - Ferdinand - Music by Nick Jonas, Justin Tranter, Nick Monson; Lyrics by Nick Jonas, Justin Tranter
“MIGHTY RIVER” - Mudbound - Music by  Raphael Saadiq; Lyrics by Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq, Taura Stinson
“REMEMBER ME” - Coco - Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“THE STAR” - The Star - Music and Lyrics by Mariah Carey, Marc Shaiman
“THIS IS ME” - THE GREATEST SHOWMAN - Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
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Film Score Friday 12/8/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 12/7/2017 - 9:00 PM
Hot on the heels of La-La Land's impressive Black Friday quintet of new releases, Intrada has announced a pair of truly historic soundtrack releases this week.

The 1977 science-fiction adventure DAMNATION ALLEY is a perfect encapsulation of Jerry Goldsmith's talent for writing inspired scores for uninspired films. Jack Smight (Harper, The Illustrated Man) directed this loose adaptation of the novel by Roger Zelazny (whose Lord of Light was the basis for the script used in the real-life Argo caper), co-written, surprisingly enough, by the excellent screenwriter Alan Sharp (Night Moves, The Last Run, Ulzana's Raid, Rob Roy). George Peppard and Jan Michael Vincent play a pair of Air Force officers who survive World War Three inside a desert missile base, and proceed to travel across the irradiated America in a high-tech tank called the "Landmaster" (movie geeks like myself who lived in L.A. in the early '80s were always thrilled to spot the Landmaster in a lot just off the freeway north of the Hollywood Bowl), battling such menaces as freak storms and killer cockroaches, and picking up stray survivors (Euro-star Dominique Sanda and the then-teenage Jackie Earle Haley). The film was a box-office failure (rumor has long had it that certain 20th Century Fox execs were convinced that this film, not Star Wars, was destined to be the studio's sci-fi blockbuster for 1977), with visual effects that were far from state-of-the-art in the wake of Star Wars and many unintentionally hilarous moments, but is one of those indefensible films that manages to still be consisently entertaining and endlessly rewatchable 40 years later. But what makes the film most rewatchable is Goldsmith's thrilling score, an inventive mixture of rousing orchestral tracks and distinctively Goldsmithian synth overlays. Goldsmith's score was one of his few popular works to not receive a satisfactory release in the archival soundtrack boom of the last few decades -- because most of the synth parts were missing, the only release so far had been eight largely orchestral cues on Varese Sarabande's epic Jerry Goldsmith at 20th Century Fox boxed set. Intrada has since found the complete master session tapes from the orchestral recordings, including music not featured in the final film, and has engaged synthesizer artist Leigh Phillips to recreate the missing electronic parts, resulting in a soundtrack release that has been a forty-years-in-the-making, true Holy Grail for Goldsmith fans like myself.

Their other new release is a four-disc set featuring previously unreleased original score tracks from one of the all-time film music masters, two-time Oscar winner Franz Waxman. Disc One of CAPTAINS COURAGOUS: THE FRANZ WAXMAN COLLECTION features 43 minutes of music from the title film, which won Spencer Tracy the Best Actor Oscar, and 34 minutes from another Tracy vehicle, the 1941 remake of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which earned Waxman an Oscar nomination. Disc Two features the 1939 film of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (20 min.), the classic 1938 version of A Christmas Carol (34:06), and the first classic Tracy-Hepburn romantic comedy, Woman of the Year (14 min.). Disc Three features the 1959 Deborah Kerr comedy Count Your Blessings (48 min.), the 1936 Joan Crawford-Clark Gable romantic comedy Love on the Run (15 min.), and Fritz Lang's classic 1936 crime drama Fury (6 min.). Disc Four concludes the set with Alfred Hitchcock's 1941 romantic mystery Suspicion (18 min.), which earned Joan Fontaine a Best Actress Oscar and nominations for Best Picture and for Waxman's score, Tod Browning's 1936 horror film The Devil-Doll (19 min.), and the 1961 gangster biopic King of the Roaring 20's: The Story of Arnold Rothstein (37 min.). The set features liner notes by Frank DeWald as well as illustrations including scoring manuscripts and stills from the collection of the composer's son, John Waxman.


Quartet has also announced their final batch of 2017 soundtrack CD releases -- an expanded edition of Jerry Goldsmith's wonderful romantic jazz score for the Fred Schepisi-Tom Stoppard adaptation of John Le Carre's THE RUSSIA HOUSE; a two-disc expanded version of an international film and film-music classic, Nino Rota's score for Fellini's LA DOLCE VITA; a new re-recording of Fernando Velazquez's score for J.A. Bayona's memorable ghost story, THE ORPHANAGE; and a remastered, 50th anniversary edition of perhaps the greatest pop movie music ever written, Burt Bacharach's score for the 1967 comedy film version of Ian Fleming's CASINO ROYALE.

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Aisle Seat 12-5: Holiday Gift Guide
Posted By: Andy Dursin 12/4/2017 - 9:00 PM
It’s entirely likely that either you or a movie buff you know is ready to make the leap into the world of 4K this holiday season. Having spent the last year extensively researching the format and eventually jumping onboard (mostly because of the 4K UHD discs I’ve received for review), I have a few suggestions to keep in mind as visions of Ultra High Definition images dance around in your heads.
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Film Score Friday 12/1/17
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 11/30/2017 - 9:00 PM
La-La Land has announced their latest batch of "Black Friday" titles, now available to order, and even by the standards of La-La Land Black Fridays this is a "wow!" bunch -- the first-ever release of David Shire's unused score for Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-winning Vietnam epic APOCALYPSE NOW; a greatly expanded, two-disc edition of David Arnold's score for the final Pierce-Brosnan-as-James-Bond movie, DIE ANOTHER DAY (not, however, including Madonna's title song); an expanded, two-disc edition of one of John Williams' first masterpieces, Steven Spielberg's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND; a two-disc expanded version of the lavish 1967 musicalDOCTOR DOLITTLE, with both the Leslie Bricusse songs and the Oscar-nominated adaptation underscoring by Alexander Courage and Lionel Newman (Bricusse was nominated for the film's score and won for the song "Talk to the Animals); and last but not least, a four-disc set of James Horner's phenomenally popular, Oscar-winning score for TITANIC, with three discs of Horner music (though not Celine Dion's song) and one disc of source cues.

The label has also announced plans to release John Powell's for the new animated FERDINAND in a couple weeks. (Parental advisory -- my boss at my day-job said that his six-year-old daughter ran out screaming during one light-hearted slaughterhouse scene, so be warned.)


Intrada plans two new releases for next week, including one which, if the hints are any indication, means that my own last remaining "Holy Grail" soundtrack may finally be available. (Which doesn't mean there aren't still unreleased scores I'd love to own -- everything from the Columbo TV scores to a host of unused scores including Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Casey's Shadow, Distant Drums, Five Days One Summer, Frenzy, The Go-Between, Goodbye Lover, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, I Love Trouble, Interview with the Vampire, Kramer vs. Kramer, The New Centurions, A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, Peeper, The Reivers, A River Runs Through It, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, See No Evil and The 13th Warrrior.)

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Today in Film Score History:
December 16
Adam Gorgoni born (1963)
Camille Saint-Saens died (1921)
Freddie Perren died (2004)
Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for In Harm's Way (1964)
Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his unused Timeline score (2002)
Lud Gluskin born (1898)
Marco Frisina born (1954)
Noel Coward born (1889)
Recording sessions begin for Cyril Mockdridge’s score for Donovan’s Reef (1963)
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