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Aisle Seat 4-11: April Horrors
Posted By Andy Dursin 4/10/2017 - 9:00 PM
One of the ’80s better horror-comedy hybrids was HOUSE (**½, 93 mins., 1986, R; Arrow), producer-director Sean S. Cunningham’s goofy haunted house thriller that met with solid box-office returns and even a few critical kudos when it was released in February 1986. Arrow Video has produced a lavish Blu-Ray set housing the high-def debut of “House” in the format, along with a massive 148-page accompanying book and the strange but fun sequel “House II: The Second Story.”
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Film Score Friday 4/7/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 4/6/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest release from Intrada is an expanded version of Richard Band's score for 1986's H.P. Lovecraft adaptation FROM BEYOND, director Stuart Gordon's follow-up to his classic Re-Animator.


The latest batch of CDs announced by Quartet includes an expanded version of the only full score Stephen Sondheim composed for the screen, the 1974 French biopic STAVISKY, directed by Alain Resnais and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo as the swindler Alexandre Stavisky, adding 20 minutes of Sondheim score to the previous LP/CD releases. (Along with a handful of original film songs, Sondheim wrote the love theme for Warren Beatty's Reds.)


La-La Land has announced that part of their slate of April releases will be the first release of the original score tracks from Elmer Bernstein's THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER, restored from the original mono music stems and due next week. 

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Aisle Seat 4-4: Wanderers, Twilight Time, April New Releases
Posted By Andy Dursin 4/3/2017 - 9:00 PM
There were a handful of gang-related pictures made in the late ‘70s, from Walter Hill’s “The Warriors” to George Romero’s “Knightriders,” but the film that’s proven to be the most durable – even though it received the least exposure at the time – was Philip Kaufman’s superb, atmospheric THE WANDERERS (****, 117/123 mins., R). This 1979 effort from director Kaufman (“The Right Stuff”) isn’t just head and shoulders above its similarly-themed cinematic counterparts, but multiple viewings confirm it’s one of the finest films of its decade altogether.
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Film Score Friday 3/31/17
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/30/2017 - 9:00 PM
Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.


Kritzerland's latest release is the first-ever CD of the score for the 1967 science-fiction comedy ROCKET TO THE MOON (aka Those Fantastic Flying Fools), starring Burl Ives and Terry-Thomas and loosely inspired by the books of Jules Verne. The score was composed by John Scott (back when he was billed as Patrick John Scott), and was originally released in England on an LP so rare that even I, who have been collecting soundtracks for more than 40 years, didn't even know of its existence until a few weeks ago.


This weekend I was listening to the soundtrack LP for writer-director S. Craig Zahler's terrific horror Western BONE TOMAHAWK, with its score composed by Jeff Herriott and Zahler himself. It's been nearly a year and a half since I saw the film, and it's low-key, somber music wasn't especially fresh in my memory, so it wasn't until the end title song played that I realized I was playing the album at the wrong speed -- because nowhere on the album label, the cover, the inserts, or even the sticker on the plastic wrap, did it mention that the album was meant to be played at 45 rpm (nor is it mentioned on the label's website, or on the album's Amazon listing). That's the kind of information that's handy to know when you put an album on the turntable.

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Aisle Seat 3-28: Spring Arrival Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/27/2017 - 9:00 PM
The New World Pictures vaults have opened up and B-movie fans have not one but two choice offerings thanks to Kino Lorber’s Studio Classics line this month, including the memorable Tatum O’Neal/Irene Cara team-up CERTAIN FURY (87 mins., 1985, R) and Sybil Danning’s oddball exploitation pic THEY’RE PLAYING WITH FIRE (96 mins., 1984, R). I remember seeing “Certain Fury” listed on a handful of “Worst of 1985″ lists, but was too young to actually sit through it. Decades later, all of us have that opportunity thanks to Kino Lorber’s Blu-Ray and this insane exploitation picture – directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal (dad to Jake and Maggie) – does not disappoint.
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Film Score Friday 3/24/17
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/23/2017 - 9:00 PM
The latest CD from Intrada pairs two previously unreleased scores by two-time Oscar winner Leonard Rosenman -- the Satanic car chase thriller RACE WITH THE DEVIL, and the groundbreaking gay drama MAKING LOVE.


Tadlow's new recording of cues and suites from Jerry Goldsmith's Emmy-nominated music for the 60s TV anthology series THRILLER is now available to pre-order.


The latest release from Kritzerland features the Oscar-nominated music from the first feature film based on Charles Schulz' Peanuts comic strip, A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN. The film incorporated Vince Guaraldi's beloved original themes from the TV specials as well as original songs by Rod McKuen and underscore by John Scott Trotter, and all three men were nominated for Music (Original Song Score), along with lyricists Bill Melendez and Al Shean. Multiple LPs of the film's music were released at the time, including one that also featured other McKuen themes and which was recently released on CD by Varese Sarabande. This Kritzerland release is the first-ever release of the complete score and songs recorded for the film.

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The March Issue of FSMO Is Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 3/21/2017 - 2:00 AM
The March edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. In this month’s cover story, MICHAEL ABELS takes us behind his score to Jordan Peele’s surprise horror sensation GET OUT. Also this month, HENRY JACKMAN monkeys around with KONG: SKULL ISLAND; MARCO BELTRAMI returns to the X-Men-verse to score HUGH JACKMAN’S LOGAN; an interview with PATRICK JONSSON about composing for the Oscar-winning documentary short THE WHITE HELMETS; a TOP 10 list of favorite BASEBALL FILM SCORES; Cary Wong’s Academy Awards post-mortem; a Score Restore of THE HEIRESS by AARON COPLAND; a new Hitchcockian Gold Rush discusses DIMITRI TIOMKIN and SHADOW OF A DOUBT; more embedded audio clips, and more.


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Aisle Seat 3-21: A KONG-Sized March Rundown
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/20/2017 - 9:00 PM
When you get right down it, for a pop-culture icon like King Kong, it’s surprising that the Big Ape hasn’t had a whole lot of cinematic success. Sure, the 1933 RKO original is an all-time masterwork, but you can’t say the same about its hastily produced sequel “Son of Kong,” its decent – if not somewhat overlooked – 1976 Dino DeLaurentiis remake, or that version’s own, terrible follow-up “King Kong Lives.” A pair of ‘60s Toho productions brought Kong to Japan – including a silly skirmish with Godzilla – and the best you can say about them is that they’re at least more fun than Peter Jackson’s self-indulgent 2005 remake of the original, which was both miscast and painfully overlong.
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Film Score Friday 3/17/17
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/16/2017 - 9:00 PM
Intrada plans to release one new CD next week.


Varese Sarabande has announced the latest releases in their limited edition CD Club series, which can be ordered now and should already be shipping.

The romantic drama STANLEY & IRIS, starring Jane Fonda and Robert De Niro, was the final film directed by the great Martin Ritt (Hud, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Sounder), and featured one of John Williams's most underrated scores. Varese originally released a CD with 29 minutes of Williams' lovely score at the time of the film's 1990 release, but their new Deluxe Edition not only adds additional cues but also includes the first-ever release of Williams' 20-minute score for Ritt's 1972 romantic comedy-drama PETE 'N' TILLIE, which starred Walter Matthau and Carol Burnett and earned Oscar nominations for Julius J. Epstein's screenplay and Geraldine Page's supporting performance. (When I was 11 years old, this was my favorite movie -- I don't know if it was because it was partly shot in my home town, or because I subconsciously identified with Burnett's character, somehow realizing I would grow up to become a wisecracking redheaded spinster).

In the 1990s, it seemed like half the action films being produced could be described as "Die Hard on a...", and after Steven Seagal had his biggest hit with the "Die Hard on a battleship" Under Siege (which earned two Oscar nominations and led to director Andrew Davis and co-star Tommy Lee Jones reteaming for The Fugitive the following year), it was only to be expected that "the cook from Under Siege" (as the sequel's trailer described Seagal's character) should return for the "Die Hard on a train" sequel UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY. Geoff Murphy (Utu, Young Guns II) was the director this time, and the supporting cast included acclaimed stage monologuist Eric Bogosian as the villain and a 16-year-old Katherine Heigl as Seagal's daughter. The rousing score was composed by the great Basil Poledouris, and while Varese's previous Under Siege 2 release was from the era when score CDs were habitually only 30 minutes long for financial reasons, their Deluxe Edition expands Poledouris' score to a whopping 75 minutes.

Their third CD Club release is an Encore Edition re-release of their out-of-print CD of THE BLACK CAULDRON, the Disney-produced animated fantasy with a symphonic score by Elmer Bernstein, for which he re-recorded 32 minutes of his score for the Varese LP/CD (the original Bernstein score tracks were released decades later by Intrada).

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Aisle Seat 3-14: Shout's Pre-Spring Blu-Ray Fling
Posted By Andy Dursin 3/13/2017 - 9:00 PM
In the annals of misguided, terrible sequels, ROBOCOP 2 (*½, 117 mins., 1990, R) stands out in a crowded pack. Hastily produced to lessen the financial burdens of fading Orion Pictures, haphazardly constructed with a script that was overhauled daily by a comic book scribe who had never written a film before, and directed by a Hollywood veteran who apparently recognized its problems (but wasn’t the film’s first choice), “Robocop 2″ made modest cash in the Summer of 1990 but still failed completely to fulfill its two goals – keeping Orion afloat and maintaining Robocop as a viable box-office presence of his own.
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Today in Film Score History:
September 23
Bernard Herrmann records his score for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “The Life Work of Juan Diaz” (1964)
Clifford Vaughan born (1893)
Craig Safan records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "The Main Attraction" (1985)
Dave Grusin begins recording his score to The Yakuza (1974)
David Raksin begins recording his score for The Magnificent Yankee (1950)
Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Homecoming” (1993)
Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Shockwave, Part II” (2004)
Gino Paoli born (1934)
Jerry Fielding records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “The Cardinal” (1968)
Lionel Newman begins recording his score for North to Alaska (1960)
Malcolm Arnold died (2006)
Richard Hazard records his first Mission: Impossible score, for “Commandante” (1969)
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