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Aisle Seat 2-17: February Blizzard Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/16/2015 - 9:00 PM
Just before Roger Ebert passed away, I was emailed by one of his assistants, who had watched a video I uploaded on Youtube of one of Siskel & Ebert’s “Holiday Gift Guides.” These annual shows – wherein the critics stepped outside the balcony to review home theater equipment, tech gadgets and the occasional video games – were among the tapes I had saved recording Gene and Roger’s show growing up, and her email enabled me to get in contact with the ailing Pulitzer Prize-winning author before his death.
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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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Aisle Seat 2-3: Twilight Time, Olive Winter Releases
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/2/2015 - 9:00 PM
Tom Holland’s FRIGHT NIGHT (***½, 106 mins., R, 1985) was released at the tail end of summer 1985 and became an instant sleeper hit. Not just a silly “teen vampire flick,” “Fright Night” captivated many critics who appreciated the film’s characters and sense of humor, along with its salute to old-fashioned horror, particularly at a time when slasher films had become all the rage. With Richard Edlund’s special effects giving the film a modern sensibility, the film bridged the gap between the old and the new, and remains a viewer favorite in the genre nearly 30 years after its original release.
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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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Aisle Seat 1-27: Jean De Florette, Manon of the Spring, The Judge
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/26/2015 - 9:00 PM
Not just one of the great French imports of the 1980s but a glistening cinematic accomplishment that possesses a timeless quality, Claude Berri’s adaptations of Marcel Pagnol’s JEAN DE FLORETTE and MANON OF THE SPRING (****, 123 mins./113 mins., 1986, PG) have at last arrived in a beautiful Blu-Ray double feature this week from Shout Factory.
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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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Aisle Seat 1-20: Winter Chill Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/19/2015 - 9:00 PM
Last year’s passing of Mike Nichols adds a bittersweet component to Fox’s Blu-Ray release of one of his most satisfying films, WORKING GIRL (***½, 113 mins., 1988, R). This splendidly performed late ‘80s comedy launched Melanie Griffith’s career thanks to her Oscar-nominated turn as Tess McGill, a Staten Island secretary trying to work her way up Wall Street.
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January FSM ONLINE Is Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 1/19/2015 - 2:00 AM
The January edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. In this issue, enjoy our many annual YEAR IN REVIEW features, with contributions from Kyle Renick, Jon & Al Kaplan, Tim Burden, Cary Wong, Saul Pincus and Gergely Hubai. Also in this issue, NICK URATA and JASON LAROCCA discuss their work on PADDINGTON; CRAIG SAFAN revisits THE LAST STARFIGHTER; ILAN ESHKERI scores STILL ALICE; JOHN LUNN returns to DOWNTON ABBEY for its fifth season; GEOFF ZANELLI goes rogue with MORTDECAI; the second part of Gold Rush's in-depth look at ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD; more embedded audio clips, score reviews and more.
 
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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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