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Aisle Seat 1-31: Trailers, Poltergeists & Other Horrors
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/30/2017 - 9:00 PM
Do you like trailers? Are you a fan of ‘80s horror? Can you occasionally hear the dulcet tones of Percy Rodriguez dancing about in the air? It’s early, sure, but I believe I’ve already seen my favorite Blu-Ray of 2017. It’s Garagehouse’s latest endeavor: TRAILER TRAUMA 3: ‘80s HORRORTHON, an outstanding anthology of over 250 trailers on two Blu-Ray platters, housing 4K-mastered original trailers for virtually every single genre exercise produced between 1980-89. Everything one could possibly imagine is contained in this spectacular release, both major studio exercises and low-budget affairs from a decade chock full of classics – cult and otherwise.
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Film Score Friday 1/27/17
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/26/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada presents two scores by one of America's most beloved composers -- Aaron Copland's classic score for the 1947 film version of John Steinbeck's THE RED PONY, and his Oscar winning score for William Wyler's classic 1949 film of Henry James' Washington Square, THE HEIRESS. Copland famously adapted cues from his Red Pony into a popular concert suite, and the Intrada release features some Red Pony cues that weren't included in Varese Sarabande's excellent LP release from the 1980s, while the Heiress selection features music not included in the final film, though the Heiress music is taken from more "archival" sounding sources.


For those who missed the earlier column on the topic (visible just below this one on the main page), here again are this year's nominations for Oscar's music categories:

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

JACKIE - Mica Levi
LA LA LAND - Justin Hurwitz
LION - Dustin O'Halloran, Hauschka
MOONLIGHT - Nicholas Britell
PASSENGERS - Thomas Newman

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

"AUDITION (THE FOOLS WHO DREAM)" - La La Land - Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
"CAN'T STOP THE FEELING" - Trolls - Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin, Karl Johan Schuster
"CITY OF STARS" - La La Land - Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
"THE EMPTY CHAIR" - Jim: The James Foley Story - Music and Lyric by J. Ralph, Sting
"HOW FAR I'LL GO" - Moana - Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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Oscar Nominations 2016
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/25/2017 - 11:00 AM
Early Tuesday morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for the 2016 Academy Awards, most importantly (for us) in the music categories:

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

JACKIE - Mica Levi
LA LA LAND - Justin Hurwitz
LION - Dustin O'Halloran, Hauschka
MOONLIGHT - Nicholas Britell
PASSENGERS - Thomas Newman

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

"AUDITION (THE FOOLS WHO DREAM)" - La La Land - Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
"CAN'T STOP THE FEELING" - Trolls - Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin, Karl Johan Schuster
"CITY OF STARS" - La La Land - Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
"THE EMPTY CHAIR" - Jim: The James Foley Story - Music and Lyric by J. Ralph, Sting
"HOW FAR I'LL GO" - Moana - Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

The biggest surprise among the scores is Passengers -- even though Newman is an Academy favorite (this is his fourteenth nomination), the film was not especially well regarded, and has only done decent boxoffice considering its budget and stellar cast. Newman of course still has yet to win, and he probably won't win for Passengers; his cousin Randy didn't even win until his fifteenth nomination. Personally, I'd expected the younger Newman to be nominated for Finding Dory instead, but that blockbuster hit was shut out entirely -- more on that later.

For those who feel the Academy's Music Branch isn't eager to recognize new composers, the other five nominated composers this year are such newcomers that, in comparison to Newman's 14 nominations, they may have only composed roughly 14 scores between them. (Okay, I looked them up and they've done more than that) La La Land seems the surefire winner of the bunch, especially since the "incidental" music gets much more focus in this film than it usually does in movie musicals.

The songs are a similarly unsurprising group. I thought that Timberlake's Trolls song might be omitted, despite all the hype, since it's so familar sounding that I didnt think it would stand out for music branch voters. "The Empty Chair" is the third nomination for J. Ralph (and the fourth for Sting), who, following his scoring of the thriller Lucky Number Slevin, has specialized in documentary scores and songs, previously receiving nominations for his songs "Before My Time" (Chasing Ice) and "Manta Ray" (Racing Extinction).

"City of Stars" seems the likely winner, especially since La La Land is likely to sweep and that's the song you walk out of the film humming (or, more likely, whistling).

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Aisle Seat 1-24: Twilight Time, New Peanuts & More
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/23/2017 - 9:00 PM
A pair of interesting, if commercially unsuccessful, Jane Fonda vehicles grace Twilight Time’s roster of limited-edition Blu-Ray releases this month, along with Stanley Donen’s memorable ‘60s road trip romance TWO FOR THE ROAD with Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn, plus a spectacular release for 3D enthusiasts.
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Film Score Friday 1/20/17
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/19/2017 - 9:00 PM
This week, as the second in their new We Hear You series, Varese Sarabande is releasing a limited edition "Enhanced Edition" CD of one their rarest and most in-demand LPs, REVENGE OF THE NINJA, with music composed, arranged and performed by Rob Walsh (Young Warriors, Necromancy).


Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.


Tomorrow, January 21st, at 1:00 p.m., composer Mark Mancina and director Jan de Bont will be at Creature Features in Burbank to discuss their collaboration on the 1996 hit TWISTER, with copies of La-La Land's new expanded CD release of the score on hand.

And the following day at 1:00 p.m., also at Creature Features, composer Rob Walsh and director Sam Firstenberg will have a Q&A moderated by Daniel Schweiger to promote Varese's new REVENGE OF THE NINJA CD.

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Aisle Seat 1-17: THE LOVE BOAT's Winter Cruise
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/16/2017 - 9:00 PM
The best way for me to explain my fondness for THE LOVE BOAT is to flashback to my review of Season 1 of the series on DVD. My freshman – and, as it turns out, only – year at Ithaca College in central New York was packed with memories. Road trips to Syracuse to meet “Recordman” (FSM’s resident LP expert Mike Murray), snow-filled weekends watching laserdiscs in the dorm, and many weekends hanging out with friends – including Paul MacLean, who basically saved me from a life of boredom single-handedly – were the good times.
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Film Score Friday 1/13/17
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/12/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada is the first ever score CD release of one of Michael Giacchino's first feature scores, the 2005 superhero comedy adventure SKY HIGH, starring Michael Angarano, Kelly Preston and Kurt Russell.


Music Box is releasing an expanded version of Georges Delerue's typically beautiful score for the 1988 period romance A SUMMER STORY, starring James Wilby and Imogen Stubbs.


This month, along with their previously announced expansion of Mark Mancina's Twister, La La Land plans to release the score for the documentary AN ACT OF LOVE, composed by animation veterans Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion and Kristopher Carter, and a two-disc expanded/remastered version of Trevor Jones' CLIFFHANGER.


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced this year's nomination for their film awards, including Original Music:

ARRIVAL - Jóhann Jóhannsson
JACKIE - Mica Levi
LA LA LAND - Justin Hurwitz
LION - Dustin O'Halloran, Hauschka
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS - Abel Korzeniowski

Justin Hurwitz and La La Land won the Golden Globes for original score and original song ("City of Stars," lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul).

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Aisle Seat 1-10: January Chiller Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/9/2017 - 9:00 PM
Ben Affleck’s tenure as Batman may have already hit something of a snag – with the star/director apparently unenthusiastic over helming the next standalone film starring the Dark Knight – but in 2016, he starred in a superior, comic-booky thriller that legitimately warrants its own sequel: THE ACCOUNTANT (***, 128 mins., 2016, R), which bows on Blu-Ray this week from Warner.
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Film Score Friday 1/6/17
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/5/2017 - 9:00 PM
Intrada plans to release one new CD next week. 
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Oscar Predictions and Other End of 2016 Lists
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/1/2017 - 9:00 PM
Predictions are in boldface, followed by those which I personally would nominate in italics. As with previous years' lists, for several categories I have NOT provided my own nominations, since frankly I know jack about costumes, sound and so forth. Films that I have listed as my own personal nominations yet which are not actually eligible in those categories are marked with an asterisk.
 

BEST PICTURE

(This year, there will be anywhere from five to ten Best Picture nominees, so I will rank them in order of likeliness -- my guess is that there will be eight.)

1. LA LA LAND
2. MOONLIGHT
3. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
4. ARRIVAL
5. SULLY
6. SILENCE
7. JACKIE
8. 
LOVING
9. FENCES
10. HELL OR HIGH WATER

1. CHRISTINE
2. ELLE
3. MOONLIGHT
4. PATERSON
5. THE HANDMAIDEN
6. LA LA LAND
7. 20TH CENTURY WOMEN
8. THE FOUNDER
9. KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
10. A MONSTER CALLS 

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