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Film Score Friday 3/7/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/6/2014 - 9:00 PM
La-La Land has announced their new releases for March -- next week they will release an expanded version of one of Jerry Goldsmith's final scores, for the 2002 film version of Tom Clancy's THE SUM OF ALL FEARS, and a remastered version of Tangerine Dream's score for the low-budget 1983 science-fiction thriller WAVELENGTH; and two weeks later, they will release a newly expanded version of George Romero's 1982 classic CREEPSHOW, this time featuring both John Harrison's original music as well as library cues used in the film.

On April 15, Varese Sarabande will release the score CD for the new action movie NEED FOR SPEED (or as I like to call it, 2 Soon 4 Fast & Furious 7), starring unlikely action hero Aaron Paul (of Breaking Bad fame). The score was composed by Nathan Furst, who also scored Act of Valor for Need for Speed director Scott Waugh.

As most of you probably already know, Steven Price won the latest Original Score Oscar for GRAVITY, while Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez won for FROZEN's original song "Let It Go."

On Tuesday, March 18, the Academy will present ENNIO MORRICONE IN CONVERSATION WITH QUENTIN TARANTINO, live at the Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The event is currently sold out, but there will be a standby line in case seats become available at the last minute.

In other Academy news, last Thursday, at UCLA's Royce Hall, all of the 2013 Original Score nominees -- William Butler, Alexandre Desplat, Thomas Newman, Owen Pallett, Steven Price and John Williams -- took part in the Academy's first ever OSCAR CONCERT. Common hosted the event, which featured critic Elvis Mitchell discussing the scores with their composers, followed by lengthy suites performed by an expert orchestra of studio musicians -- Desplat, Newman and Williams conducted their own work, Pallett conducted the Butler/Pallett Her suite, and Oblivion's Joseph Trapanese conducted Price's Gravity. Vocal performances of the nominated songs included Cristin Milioti (DiCaprio's first wife in The Wolf of Wall Street) singing Her's "The Moon Song," Jill Scott singing "Happy" from Despicable Me 2, and lyricist Kristen Anderson-Lopez doing an extremely impressive rendition of her "Let It Go" from Frozen, accompanied on the piano by her husband/composer Robert Lopez. Though there were occasional moments of awkwardness -- a false start opening, Mitchell's repetitive questions, and too much of the hosts telling the audience what a wonderful evening it was -- it truly was a wonderful evening, and one can only hope the Academy will do it again. Next year would be nice. 

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Aisle Seat 3-4: Twilight Time, Warner Archives
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/3/2014 - 9:00 PM
With Woody Allen in the news lately – for all the wrong seasons – it might be hard for some to entirely divorce their personal feelings about the filmmaker’s off-screen life from his cinematic output. Yet, distanced from the tabloid stories, two of the writer/director’s pictures have arrived on Blu-Ray for the first time from Twilight Time: one showcasing his talents solely as an actor, the other a feature from the peak of his prolific cinematic output in the late ‘70s and ‘80s.
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Film Score Friday 2/28/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/27/2014 - 9:00 PM
Next week, Intrada will present the first commercial CD release of Cliff Eidelman's large-scale orchestral score for actor-director Robert Townsend's 1993 superhero comedy THE METEOR MAN.

The latest CD from Kritzerland pairs two previously unreleased Golden Age scores from 20th Century Fox -- Alfred Newman's score for the 1952 anthology film O. HENRY'S FULL HOUSE, with segments from top stars (Anne Baxter, Jeanne Crain, Charles Laughton, Marilyn Monroe, Richard Widmark) and directors (Henry Hathaway, Howard Hawks, Henry King, Henry Koster, Jean Negulesco), and Cyril J. Mockridge's score for the 1948 fantasy comedy THE LUCK OF THE IRISH, starring Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter and Cecil Kellaway (who is probably the only actor ever Oscar nominated for playing a leprechaun).

On April 22, Varese Sarabande will release the soundtrack to the second season of the acclaimed Netflix series HOUSE OF CARDS, featuring the music of Jeff Beal (Appaloosa, Blackfish, Rome), who deservedly received two Emmy nominations for his work on the show's first season.

Buysoundtrax has announced a two-disc set titled THE BASIL POLEDOURIS COLLECTION VOL. 1, featuring a remastered Flyers, an expanded A Whale for the Killing, the first release of his score for the documentary short Beyond Hawaii, his demo for the Misfits of Science theme, and new recordings of themes from Big Wednesday, The Blue Lagoon, Conan the Barbarian and It's My Party.

Chandos will be releasing a new album THE FILM MUSIC OF MIKLOS ROZSA, with Rumon Gamba conducting the BBC Philharmonic in new recordings of suites from Ben-Hur, Jungle Book, Sahara and The Thief of Bagdad.

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Marching into March: Film Music LIVE
Posted By Tim Burden 2/26/2014 - 9:00 PM

As we spring into March (see what I did there?) this weekend, there are a number of film music concerts all across the world that deserve your attention. Does this warrant a devoted blog post? Well, yes. Over the years i've noticed many film music enthusiasts write about their dream film music concert, wishing this or that to be performed. However, do these same people actually attend concerts? Orchestras are finding it harder and harder to afford putting film music concerts on these d

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Aisle Seat 2-25: Tess, Nebraska, Gravity
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/24/2014 - 9:00 PM
One of director Roman Polanski’s most satisfying and lyrical films, TESS (***½, 171 mins., 1979, PG) has been brilliantly restored in a gorgeous Criterion Collection Blu-Ray/DVD edition available February 25th.
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Film Score Friday 2/21/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/20/2014 - 9:00 PM
Next week La-La Land will release an expanded, two-disc version of Don Davis' score for THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, the final film in the Matrix trilogy, and a remastered two-disc edition of one of Jerry Goldsmith's earliest classic scores, for the 1966 World War I flying drama THE BLUE MAX.

Danny Elfman's Oscar-nominated score for 1997's GOOD WILL HUNTING will receive its first commercial CD release (it had only been released previously as a song soundtrack with a few score cues, and as a rare For Your Consideration Oscar promo) courtesy of Music Box Records, including cues not featured on the FYC CD as well as several compositions by the late Elliott Smith including his Oscar-nominated "Miss Misery."

The label will also be releasing a CD with two scores for French thrillers composed by Serge Franklin -- HOLD UP and DERNIER ETE A TANGER.

On April 1, Varese Sarabande will release the soundtrack to the A&E TV series BATES MOTEL, with Freddie Highmore as the young Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga as his mother, in the years before she spent her days in that rocking chair in the cellar. The music is composed by Chris Bacon (Source Code, Space Chimps).

Most of the reviews of George Clooney's World War II drama THE MONUMENTS MEN have commented (not always favorably -- see Did They Mention the Music, below; the key word is apparently "jaunty") on Alexandre Desplat's old-fashioned score, but few have mentioned that Desplat himself makes an appearance in the film. But this is not the usual composer-conducting-the-orchestra cameo (like John Barry in The Living Daylights or Lalo Schfirin in Red Dragon) -- Desplat has five short scenes with Matt Damon, as a helpful member of the French resistance, including comedic and dramatic moments. So the real surprise in the film for Desplat fans is that he can act! In English!

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Next FSM ONLINE Issue Now Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 2/17/2014 - 9:00 PM
The February edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. In this issue, the cover story is an interview with DAVID ARNOLD and MICHAEL PRICE about their ongoing work on the highly regarded SHERLOCK series for the BBC. Also in this issue are an interview with ALEXANDRE DESPLAT on his tuneful score for George Clooney’s MONUMENTS MEN; a detailed analysis of JOHN WILLIAMS’ latest Oscar-nominated score, THE BOOK THIEF; WONG’S TURN discusses a certain BRUCE BROUGHTON issue; the final installment of our GEORGE FENTON live video series; MURRAY GOLD discusses the DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary; RICHARD HARWOOD on his new CD of solo cello music written by film composers; an anti-Valentine’s EAR OF THE MONTH; a SCHWARZENEGGER-themed SOUNDTRACK OBSCURITIES; more embedded audio clips, and more.

Subscribers, you’ll get notification by email shortly. Or, just go here to log in. For those who want to join FSM ONLINE, go here, click on the “Subscribe” link and follow the instructions. And email us if you have any questions.
Your friends at FSM ONLINE

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Aisle Seat 2-18: Shout! Factory, Rocky, Warner Archives
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/17/2014 - 9:00 PM
Highlighting Shout! Factory’s slate of winter releases is Sam Raimi’s first studio film, DARKMAN (***, 96 mins., 1990, R) – an entertaining comic-book hybrid of “Batman” and “Phantom of the Opera,” as light as a feather but bursting with cinematic energy.
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Film Score Friday 2/14/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/13/2014 - 9:00 PM
In honor of the 85th anniversary of Jerry Goldsmith's birth, the Varese Sarabande CD Club is releasing one the composer's few remaning "Holy Grail" unreleased scores - director John Huston's twisty 1963 mystery THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER, starring George C. Scott, Kirk Douglas and a roster of top-stars in prosthetic makeup-laden cameos (in a kind of forerunner to Cloud Atlas - both films even feature the explosion of a passenger jet) including Tony Curtis, Burt Lanaster, Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra (Video Watchdog's March 2004 issue had a memorable interview with actor Jan Merlin, who revealed just how little those big name stars actually appeared in the Bud Westmore/John Chambers makeups in Adrian Messenger). On a personal note, this was one of the first Goldsmith scores to become a favorite of mine, and I've wanted a soundtrack release since roughly 1977, so for me this is a true soundtrack Holy Grail.

The latest limited edition CD from the label features the score for the period fantasy THE ADVENTURER: THE CURSE OF THE MIDAS BOX, starring Aneurin Barnard, Michael Sheen, Lena Headey and Sam Neill, which received a limited theatrical release earlier this year. The score was composed by Fernando Velazquez (The Impossible, Mama, The Orphanage) and the CD is limited to 1000 units. Both discs are expected to begin shipping the week of February 24th, but as per last December's CD Club releases, Varese has announced that shoppers will be charged for the full amount within days of their order even if the discs do not ship until weeks later.

Next week's new releases from Intrada are the first-ever release of Maurice Jarre's score for the 1988 drama DISTANT THUNDER, with John Lithgow as a traumatized Vietnam War vet and Ralph Macchio as his estranged son, and a box-set featuring the music from six LPs Elmer Bernstein recorded for the Ava label in the 1960s -- BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL, THE CARETAKERS, THE CARPETBAGGERS, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, WALK ON THE WILD SIDE and MOVIE & TV THEMES COMPOSED AND CONDUCTED BY ELMER BERNSTEIN.

GNP Crescendo is releasing an expanded version of Dennis McCarthy's score for Star Trek: The Next Generation's premiere episode, ENCOUNTER AT FARPOINT, paired with McCarthy's previously unreleased score for the first season episode THE ARSENAL OF FREEDOM.

On Thursday, February 27th at UCLA's Royce Hall, the Academy will present an OSCAR CONCERT featuring an 80-piece orchestra performing suites from the five nominated scores -- The Book Thief, Gravity, Her, Philomena and Saving Mr. Banks, currently planned to be conducted by their composers -- plus performances of the four nominated songs.

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Aisle Seat 2-11: Winter Olympics Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/10/2014 - 9:00 PM
Robert Redford’s performance as a sailor on a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean anchors – no pun intended – ALL IS LOST (**½, 106 mins., 2013, PG-13; Lionsgate), writer-director J.C. Chandor’s epic tale of survival.
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Jerry Fielding begins recording his score for The Killer Elite (1975)
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