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Film Score Friday 3/20/15
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/19/2015 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has released two new CDs this week, from two of the greatest film composers of all time -- an expanded and significantly remastered version of Jerry Goldsmith's score for the horror film WARLOCK (Intrada released the first edition of the soundtrack in 1989, but the collapse of New World Pictures meant that the film didn't reach L.A. theaters until 1991), and the first-ever release of Elmer Bernstein's score for the 1981 comedy GOING APE!, starring Danny DeVito and Tony Danza, and written and directed by Jeremy Joe Kronsberg (writer of Every Which Way But Loose).


On April 7, La-La Land will release a two-disc set of music from the popular animated series HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, composed by Shuki Levy, Haim Saban and Erika Lane.


The latest from Kritzerland is a new release of the original score tracks of Bernard Herrmann's music for the 1953 diving adventure BENEATH THE 12-MILE REEF, which was first released by Film Score Monthly and later, with improved sound, in Varese Sarabande's massive Bernard Herrmann at 20th Century Fox collection.


In the most surprising film music news in a very long time, it was just announced that due to minor health concerns, John Williams has had to back out of scoring Steven Spielberg's upcoming Cold War drama BRIDGE OF SPIES, and that Thomas Newman will take his place -- following Quincy Jones & company's work on The Color Purple, this will be only the second Spielberg feature that Williams did not score. However, Williams has been announced to score Spielberg's next film, an adaptation of Roald Dahl's THE BFG.  Also, the first of the stand-alone Star Wars spinoff films, STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE, will be scored by Alexandre Desplat (who worked with Rogue One director Gareth Edwards on Godzilla).

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Aisle Seat 3-17: Lady From Shanghai, Olive New Releases
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/16/2015 - 9:00 PM
While we finally dig out from the snow, ice, and multiple layers of winter grime that’s accumulated over New England since the middle of January, this month’s TV on DVD offerings include a variety of exciting new releases, highlighted by one of my favorite series of 2014: HBO’s SILICON VALLEY (228 mins.).
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Film Score Friday 3/13/15
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/12/2015 - 9:00 PM
Quartet has announced their upcoming batch of CDs -- this week they plan to release Randy Edelman's score for the family drama PONTIAC MOON, starring Ted Danson (a CD was originally announced in 1994 but was canceled when the film only ended up with a regional relaese), and a three-disc set of Marcello Giombini and Bruno Nicolai's music for THE SABATA TRILOGY (Sabata; Adios, Sabata; The Return of Sabata); on March 24 they will release a CD pairing Lalo Schifrin's previously unreleased scores for the creepy 1974 mystery MAN ON A SWING, starring Cliff Robertson and Joel Grey, and the cult classic 1967 spy comedy THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST, starring James Coburn and Godfrey Cambridge, and a CD pairing Henry Mancini's creepiest score, for the 1971 thriller THE NIGHT VISITOR  (which has perhaps the most eclectic and unexpected cast and crew of any horror film -- Max von Sydow, Liv Ullman, Trevor Howard and Death of a Salesman director Laslo Benedek), with his music for the forgotten romantic comedy SECOND THOUGHTS, starring Lucie Arnaz and Ken Howard; and on March 31 they will release JOURNAL D'UNE FEMME DE CHAMBRE, the latest version of Diary of a Chambermaid, scored by Bruno Coulais.


Intrada plans to release two new CDs next week.


Good news for diehard Jerome Moross fans -- on May 19, P.S. Classics will present the first-ever complete recording to the score for his 1954 Broadway musical THE GOLDEN APPLE, which Ken Mandelbaum's book Not Since Carrie proclaimed as the most undeservingly unsuccessful musical in Broadway history (the Original Cast LP and later CD featured only a selection of Moross's lengthy song score.  

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Aisle Seat 3-10: March Madness Edition!
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/9/2015 - 9:00 PM
The charming, engaging teen comedy THE SURE THING (***½, 95 mins., 1985, PG-13) from the winter of ’85 is still one of director Rob Reiner’s finest hours, and comes to Blu-Ray next week in another terrific Blu-Ray package from the fine folks at Shout! Factory.
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Film Score Friday 3/6/15
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/5/2015 - 9:00 PM
The latest two CDs from Intrada feature previously unreleased scores which will be a particular treat for fans of action-packed genre films of the 1970s.

Steven Spielberg first truly began to make a name for himself with the 1971 TV movie DUEL, adapted by the great Richard Matheson from his own short story. Dennis Weaver (in a memorable performance far different from his signature McCloud role) plays a businessman whose drive across the desert becomes a nightmare when a faceless truck driver seems determined to run him off the road. From this simple premise came one of the greatest of all made-for-TV movies and a shining example of the "ABC Movie of the Week," a series which brought us such classics as The Night Stalker and Trilogy of Terror (like Duel, both written by Matheson). Two-time Emmy winner Billy Goldenberg, who had previously worked with Spielberg on the Night Gallery pilot and the classic Name of the Game episode "LA 2017," wrote the unnerving score, much of which was dropped from the final cut and is being heard here for the first time.

The commercial and critical success of Duel led to an entire subgenre of thrillers about people being menaced by vehicles and drivers -- and sometimes vehicles without drivers, like the 1974 ABC Movie of the Week Killdozer. Following the gargantuan success of Jaws, which inspired a whole new flood of monster movies, and The Exorcist, which put demonic horror on the map, this subgenre had a memorable bigscreen entry in THE CAR, with James Brolin (you know -- Josh's dad) as a small town sheriff who finds an unexpected menace in a driverless car of seemingly Satanic origin. The film was directed by Elliot Silverstein (Cat Ballou, A Man Called Horse), and the exciting score was composed by Leonard Rosenman, fresh from his back-to-back Oscars for Barry Lyndon and Bound for Glory (Rosenman had also recently scored the chase-horror film Race with the Devil, suggesting he was in danger of being typecast for demonic car pursuits).


La-La Land has announced three upcoming releases for March. On March 10 they will present a new release of one of Jerry Goldsmith's scariest scores, for director Richard Attenborough's 1978 film version of William Goldman's novel MAGIC, starring Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Ed Lauter and Burgess Meredith, as well as the first-ever release of the score for director John Irvin's first feature, the gripping 1981 film version of Frederic Forsyth's novel THE DOGS OF WAR. Christopher Walken starred in Dogs as a mercenary whose visit to an African nation quickly goes south, leading to a violent takeover. The score was composed by the eclectic Geoffrey Burgon, whose resume encompassed everything from religious music to the scores for Monty Python's LIfe of Brian and Brideshead Revisited. Burgon had previously worked with Irvin on the acclaimed miniseries version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and they would later reteam for such projects as Turtle Diary and the Patrick Bergin/Uma Thurman version of Robin Hood. On March 24, La-La Land will release a two-disc edition of the 1954 epic THE EGYPTIAN, whose score was a historic collaboration between two of the all-time greats, Alfred Newman and Bernard Herrmann.


Varese Sarabande will release Hans Zimmer's score for Neill Blomkamp's just-released science-fiction action film CHAPPIE on March 17. They are also expected to release a CD of Tim Jones' music for the long-running spy action-comedy TV series CHUCK on April 7, though it has not yet been announced on their site. Amazon also lists a planned Varese soundtrack for Aaron Sorkin's TV series The Newsroom, but there is no word on which seasons or composers woud be represented on the disc -- Thomas Newman wrote the main theme, with Alex Wurman, Johnny Klimek and Jeff Beal each scoring a season of episodes.


A new label, Dragon's Domain, is presenting A SOUND OF THUNDER as their inaugural soundtrack release. Genre fave Peter Hyams (Capricorn One, Outland, 2010) directed this adaptation (filmed in 2002, released in 2005) of Ray Bradbury's classic short story about the perils of time travel. The eclectic cast included Sir Ben Kingsley, indie stalwart Ed Burns, Catherine McCormack and future Selma star David Oyelowo (he wasn't nominated for Sound of Thunder either), and the score was composed by Nick Glennie-Smith (The Rock, The Man in the Iron Mask).

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Aisle Seat 3-3: Twilight Time, Shout, Warner Archive
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/2/2015 - 9:00 PM
One of the most beautifully shot films of its era, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (***½, 171 mins., 1967) is a leisurely, yet richly told, adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel that follows Bathsheba Everdene, a feisty young woman (Julie Christie) who inherits her uncle’s farm and subsequently navigates between a trio of suitors in rural, southwest England.
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Film Score Friday 2/27/15
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/26/2015 - 9:00 PM
Last Sunday, Alexandre Desplat managed to complete an Oscar-Grammy-BAFTA trifecta by winning the Original Score Academy Award for Wes Anderson's THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.  As Desplat paid touching tribute to his wife in his acceptance speech, an unfortunately placed cameraman seemed to have a better angle on Hans Zimmer than on Mme. Desplat. After the win, fans of eight-time nominee Desplat were heard to exclaim "Finally!", while twelve-time nominated composer Thomas Newman (not nominated this year) remarked "Ummmmm..." and the brilliant cinematographer Roger Deakins (who "lost" for the twelfth time that night with the Desplat-scored Unbroken) said "Hello???!!!"

As expected, songwriters John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn, better known as performers John Legend and Common, won for SELMA's original song "Glory." They also had arguably the most eloquent acceptance speech(es) of the evening, though I found Imitation Game screenwriter Graham Moore's to be the most moving (and almost managing to wipe away the bad taste of the studio's obnoxious "HONOR THE MAN. HONOR THE FILM" billboards seen around L.A. for the last few weeks).

It was a well-designed telecast for film music fans -- though nominees in several of the crafts categories (even visually oriented ones like Production Design and Visual Effects) were represented by stylized graphics rather than film clips, each film was announced with a snippet of score, so while viewers didn't see any actual film clips of the nominated visual effects from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, they were treated to a brief but recognizable piece of Michael Giacchino's music.

A little bit of film music trivia -- the elaborate "Everything Is Awesome" production number from the nominated Lego Movie song featured a brief appearance by score composer Mark Mothersbaugh, who of course used to score all of Wes Anderson's movies until, well, Alexandre Desplat.


Quartet has announced two upcoming CDs featuring expanded re-releases of Hollywood scores from the 1990s -- Alan Silvestri's mambo-infused score from the 1991 comedy SOAPDISH, starring Sally Field, Kevin Kline and Robert Downey Jr.; and James Newton Howard's score for the 1994 romantic drama INTERSECTION, directed by Mark Rydell and starring Richard Gere, Sharon Stone and Lolita Davidovich (a remake of the French film Les choses de la vie, scored by Philippe Sarde).


Intrada plans to release two new CDs next week


The latest release from Kritzerland is a hugely expanded, two-disc soundtrack to the all-black 1943 movie musical STORMY WEATHER, starring Lena Horne and featuring a remarkable cast of supporting performers including Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers. It will feature the complete soundtrack on Dics One and bonus cues on Disc Two.

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Aisle Seat 2-24: Olive, Big Hero 6, Watership Down
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/23/2015 - 9:00 PM
Lifted by one of Bill Murray’s more memorable and believable performances, Theodore Melfi’s ST. VINCENT (***½, 103 mins., 2014, PG-13; Anchor Bay) might be formulaic, but its earnest and warmhearted story makes it a refreshing change of pace for viewers disappointed with the likes of Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” and other, recent assaults on the senses coming out of Hollywood.
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Film Score Friday 2/20/15
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/19/2015 - 9:00 PM
Intrada announced three new soundtrack releases this week, all consisting of previously unreleased score tracks from films from three different eras -- a two-disc edition of Dimitri Tiomkin's score for Howard Hawks' beloved 1959 Western RIO BRAVO, starring John Wayne, Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson; the score to Disney's popular '70s sci-fi adventure ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN, by Oscar winner Johnny Mandel (The Sandpiper, Being There, Point Blank); and Joel McNeely's score for Disney's animated Peter Pan spinoff TINKER BELL AND THE GREAT FAIRY RESCUE.
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February Issue of FSM Online Is Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 2/18/2015 - 2:00 AM
The February edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. For this month’s cover story, Kyle Renick met up with Academy Award-nominee Jóhann Jóhannsson in New York City to talk about THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. Also this issue, Cary Wong measures up the Oscar contenders in Wong’s Turn; MATTHEW MARGESON goes undercover with Henry Jackman for KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE; the conclusion of Gold Rush’s comprehensive look at the life and music of ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD; JASON GRAVES scores the alternate-reality adventure game THE ORDER: 1886; an interview with author STEPHEN C. MEYER about his book, EPIC SOUND: MUSIC IN POSTWAR HOLLYWOOD BIBLICAL FILMS; a biblical Score Restore uncovers and extended ALFRED NEWMAN cue from DAVID AND BATHSHEBA; the second half of John Cockshaw’s artistic interpretation of LORD OF THE RINGS, inspired by the scores of HOWARD SHORE; the producers of SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY chat about their work on the upcoming documentary; a new column, THE NOIR FILES, explores the dark world of film-noir music; an audio commentary and review of the new album of CHRISTOPHER GUNNING’s 2003 score to POLLYANNA; Soundtrack Obscurities offers some forgotten gems to fend off winter cabin fever; more embedded audio clips, and more.

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Today in Film Score History:
August 27
Bernard Herrmann records his score for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode "Nothing Ever Happens in Linvale" (1963)
Craig Safan begins recording his score for Remo Williams: the Adventure Begins (1985)
Dimitri Tiomkin begins recording his score to 36 Hours (1964)
Eric Coates born (1886)
John Williams begins recording his score for 1941 (1979)
Johnny Mandel records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "One for the Road" (1985)
Miles Goodman born (1949)
Sonny Sharrock born (1940)
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