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Film Score Friday 11/8/13
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 11/7/2013 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced four new CDs to be released next week. Along with the previously announced release of Brian Tyler's score for the blockbuster superhero sequel THOR: THE DARK WORLD, there are three holiday-themed scores, all by top composers.
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Aisle Seat 11-5: The Right Stuff, My Name is Nobody, Way Way Back
Posted By Andy Dursin 11/4/2013 - 9:00 PM
Vintage TV fans looking for the perfect gift this holiday season (and I suppose since we’re now into November, it’s proper for me to discuss it) should direct their attention to Starvista and Timelife’s lavish THE DEAN MARTIN CELEBRITY ROASTS: COMPLETE COLLECTION, a 25-disc DVD set featuring over 40 hours of nostalgic comedy with an amazing all-star cast.
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The 2013/2014 Top Forty Composer Countdown, Part One
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 11/4/2013 - 9:00 PM

Yes, I know, when this column first appeared, it was titled simply "The 2013 Top Forty Composer Countdown, Part One." But once I realized that there was no way I'd finish all ten or so installments of the this column by the end of the year, and that it was equally unlikely that I'd get around to continuing the series by the end of 2014...oh, you get the point.


2011 RANKING: Not ranked
AGE: 45
  The Social Network
ONGOING FILMMAKER RELATIONSHIPS:  David Fincher, The Hughes Brothers
BACKGROUND:  Music programmer and producer, collaborator with Nine Inch Nails, TV composer
FAN FAVORITES: The Social Network
TYPECAST IN:  Thrillers
1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo--102 (U.S. gross in millions)
2. The Social Network--96 
3. The Book of Eli--94
4.  Broken City--19  

Atticus Ross and his frequent film music partner Trent Reznor followed up their Oscar-winning score for The Social Network with another high-profile film from director David Fincher, the stylish English-language remake of the Swedish hit The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The film was a reasonable success in U.S. theaters though probably didn’t gross high enough to inaugurate the desired franchise, and while Ross and Reznor were not among the film’s several Oscar nominees, the duo did manage to snag a Grammy for their soundtrack (the score’s commercial release was actually a three-disc set that favored their original approach to the score instead of the final film versions of the cues).  The multi-story drama Days of Grace featured contributions from several composers, including Ross and his frequent collaborators Leopold Ross and Claudia Sarne (as well as Shigeru Umebayashi and Nick Cave & Warren Ellis) but never received a wide release, though the score is available on CD.  Ross was at one point the composer assigned to the period martial arts fantasy 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves, but that troubled production (filmed in 2011) is finally due to reach theaters this Christmas with an Ilan Eshkeri score. Ross’s one feature released this year (co-composed with Sarne & Ross) was the political noir Broken City, but despite the presence of A-listers Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe the film made little impression at the box-office. It is not known yet if Ross and Reznor will be scoring Fincher’s highly anticipated film of the bestseller Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Tyler Perry(!).

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Film Score Friday 11/1/13
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 10/31/2013 - 9:00 PM
La-La Land has announced two new CDs for next week, both featuring previously unreleased scores by A-list composers -- Hans Zimmer's score for the 1990 race car drama DAYS OF THUNDER, directed by the late Tony Scott and starring Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Cary Elwes, Randy Quaid, Michael Rooker, John C. Reilly and Robert Duvall; and RESTLESS, the 2011 romantic drama directed by Gus Van Sant, one of the final films shot by the great Harris Savides, starring Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper with music by Danny Elfman, the fifth of six films he's scored for the director. 
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Aisle Seat 10-29: Halloween Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 10/28/2013 - 9:00 PM
It’s been a tremendous season for horrorphiles with a full harvest of Blu-Ray releases coming in all shapes and sizes for Halloween (be sure to check the site archives for more spine-tingling reviews of recent releases). Not to be outdone by more contemporary chillers, Criterion has released a pair of Golden Age releases including THE UNINVITED (99 mins., 1944), one of the earliest on-screen supernatural thrillers and a film that still manages to captivate the viewer some seventy years since its original release.
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Film Score Friday 10/25/13
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 10/24/2013 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced next week's two new CDs, both expanded releases of hit scores by top composers.

THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, the first of novelist Tom Clancy's "techno-thrillers" about CIA analyst Jack Ryan, was given an ideal film adaptation in 1990, with Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin leading a superb cast under the direction of John McTiernan working at the top of his game. The beloved Basil Poledouris had his greatest box-office success with the film, with a score mixing orchestra and electronics and featuring one of his most memorable themes, the "Hymnn to Red October." The original MCA CD featured only 30 minutes of music, while the Intrada CD features the complete score. The liner notes detail the history of the film's making as well as the creation of the score, featuring quotes from the late composer along with material from contemporary interviews with music mixer Tim Boyle and Poledouris's agent, Richard Kraft.

Director Ron Howard followed up his romantic comedy hit Splash with the surprise sci-fi smash COCOON, which earned Oscars for its visual effects and for Don Ameche's charming supporting performance. The warm symphonic score, incorporating original Big Band-style music, was composed by James Horner, the first of seven films he would score for Howard (including Oscar-nominated scores for Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind), and while Intrada is the third label to release Cocoon on CD, this is the first release to expand the score beyond the original LP tracks.

On November 12, Intrada will release the score for the latest Marvel 3D superhero adventure, THOR: THE DARK WORLD, with Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgard and Anthony Hopkins reprising their roles from the 2011 hit. Carter Burwell was orginally announced to score the film, but the final composer on the project is Brian Tyler, who is having the best year of his career so far with 2013's top grosser, Iron Man Three, as well as the sleeper hit Now You See Me.

The latest CD announced by Kritzerland, already sold out from the label, pairs two previously unreleased scores by jazz legend Dave Grusin. Warren Beatty made his directorial debut with his 1978 remake of the fantasy classic Here Comes Mr. Jordan, HEAVEN CAN WAIT. Beatty co-wrote, co-directed (with Buck Henry) and starred as a football player who dies before his time and is returned to Earth in the body of a wealthy man, only to meet the woman of his dreams (Julie Christie). The film was Beatty's biggest box-office success and earned multiple Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Jack Warden) and Supporting Actress (Dyan Cannon), winning for its Art Direction. Grusin received his very first Oscar nomination for his charming but very brief score. The CD will also include unused cues from Grusin's score, and paired with Heaven is another romantic charmer from the composer, the 1984 period drama RACING WITH THE MOON, written by Steve Kloves (The Fabulous Baker Boys, seven Harry Potter films), directed by Richard Benjamin, and starring Sean Penn, Elizabeth McGovern and Nicolas Cage.

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Film Score Friday 10/18/13
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 10/17/2013 - 9:00 PM
Next week, along with their previously announced CD of Richard Marvin's music from the supernatural mystery series GRIMM, La-La Land will be releasing an expanded edition of Elliot Goldenthal's first score for a studio film, the hit 1989 film version of Stephen King's PET SEMATARY, featuring 30 minutes of music not featured on Varese Sarabande's original release. The label will also make available a limited number of signed copies of the 2-disc set of Bear McCreary's music for DA VINCI'S DEMONS, featuring his Emmy-winning theme.

Music Box has announced a new version of John Williams' charming score for the 1967 caper comedy FITZWILLY, featuring both the original LP re-recording (previously released by the Varese Sarabande CD Club) as well as the original score tracks from archival tapes.

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Next FSM ONLINE Issue Now Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 10/16/2013 - 9:00 PM
The spooky October edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. In this issue, the cover story is an analysis of DANNY ELFMAN’S classic THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, looking back on the film’s 20th Anniversary. Also in this issue are an interview with CARTER BURWELL on THE FIFTH ESTATE, the latest film to feature Benedict Cumberbatch, and dishes on his THOR: THE DARK WORLD experience; Tim Burden's behind-the-scenes report from the JAMES HORNER event in HOLLYWOOD IN VIENNA; STEVEN PRICE on his score to Alfonso Cuarón’s outerspace smash GRAVITY; a chat with MARCO BELTRAMI on CARRIE, post-production delays, and re-cutting SNOWPIERCER; CARL THIEL tackles MACHETE KILLS; a look at the composers behind the emerging platform of web series; a hybrid-themed TORN PAGES; a WILLIAM SMITH-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.

And don't forget that FSM Online can now be downloaded as an ePUB and a PDF!

Your Friends at FSM ONLINE 

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Aisle Seat 10-15: CONJURING A Frightful Blu-Ray
Posted By Andy Dursin 10/14/2013 - 9:00 PM
Gut wrenching, beautifully filmed and perfectly paced, THE CONJURING (***½, 112 mins., R; Warner) isn’t just one of the best supernatural chillers of recent years – it truly deserves a place next to “The Exorcist,” “The Innocents” and “Poltergeist” as one of the more memorable cinematic excursions into the paranormal ever produced. That may sound like high praise, but walking out of director James Wan’s stunning thriller, I was hard pressed to think of other horror movies that have captivated me from start to end as much as this one did.
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Film Score Friday 10/11/13
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 10/10/2013 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has announced next week's two new soundtrack releases -- the first-ever release of Oscar winner Harry Sukman's Emmy-nominated score for director Tobe Hooper's 1979 miniseries version of Stephen King's classic SALEM'S LOT, a true Holy Grail for genre music fans, and a collection of music from the first season of TV's BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY.

Buysoundtrax has announced two new releases -- the first-ever release of Carl Davis' symphonic score for the 1990 sci-fi horror film ROGER CORMAN'S FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND, starring John Hurt, Raul Julia, Bridget Fonda, Jason Patric and Michael Hutchence, and an expanded release of Alan Howarth's score for HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS.

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Today in Film Score History:
April 21
Eddie Sauter died (1981)
Franz Waxman begins recording his score to The Story of Ruth (1960)
Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score to Wild Rovers (1971)
Mundell Lowe born (1922)
Steve Dorff born (1949)
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