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Aisle Seat 2-25: Tess, Nebraska, Gravity
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/24/2014 - 9:00 PM
One of director Roman Polanski’s most satisfying and lyrical films, TESS (***½, 171 mins., 1979, PG) has been brilliantly restored in a gorgeous Criterion Collection Blu-Ray/DVD edition available February 25th.
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Film Score Friday 2/21/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/20/2014 - 9:00 PM
Next week La-La Land will release an expanded, two-disc version of Don Davis' score for THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, the final film in the Matrix trilogy, and a remastered two-disc edition of one of Jerry Goldsmith's earliest classic scores, for the 1966 World War I flying drama THE BLUE MAX.

Danny Elfman's Oscar-nominated score for 1997's GOOD WILL HUNTING will receive its first commercial CD release (it had only been released previously as a song soundtrack with a few score cues, and as a rare For Your Consideration Oscar promo) courtesy of Music Box Records, including cues not featured on the FYC CD as well as several compositions by the late Elliott Smith including his Oscar-nominated "Miss Misery."

The label will also be releasing a CD with two scores for French thrillers composed by Serge Franklin -- HOLD UP and DERNIER ETE A TANGER.

On April 1, Varese Sarabande will release the soundtrack to the A&E TV series BATES MOTEL, with Freddie Highmore as the young Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga as his mother, in the years before she spent her days in that rocking chair in the cellar. The music is composed by Chris Bacon (Source Code, Space Chimps).

Most of the reviews of George Clooney's World War II drama THE MONUMENTS MEN have commented (not always favorably -- see Did They Mention the Music, below; the key word is apparently "jaunty") on Alexandre Desplat's old-fashioned score, but few have mentioned that Desplat himself makes an appearance in the film. But this is not the usual composer-conducting-the-orchestra cameo (like John Barry in The Living Daylights or Lalo Schfirin in Red Dragon) -- Desplat has five short scenes with Matt Damon, as a helpful member of the French resistance, including comedic and dramatic moments. So the real surprise in the film for Desplat fans is that he can act! In English!

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Next FSM ONLINE Issue Now Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 2/17/2014 - 9:00 PM
The February edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. In this issue, the cover story is an interview with DAVID ARNOLD and MICHAEL PRICE about their ongoing work on the highly regarded SHERLOCK series for the BBC. Also in this issue are an interview with ALEXANDRE DESPLAT on his tuneful score for George Clooney’s MONUMENTS MEN; a detailed analysis of JOHN WILLIAMS’ latest Oscar-nominated score, THE BOOK THIEF; WONG’S TURN discusses a certain BRUCE BROUGHTON issue; the final installment of our GEORGE FENTON live video series; MURRAY GOLD discusses the DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary; RICHARD HARWOOD on his new CD of solo cello music written by film composers; an anti-Valentine’s EAR OF THE MONTH; a SCHWARZENEGGER-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.
Your friends at FSM ONLINE

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Aisle Seat 2-18: Shout! Factory, Rocky, Warner Archives
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/17/2014 - 9:00 PM
Highlighting Shout! Factory’s slate of winter releases is Sam Raimi’s first studio film, DARKMAN (***, 96 mins., 1990, R) – an entertaining comic-book hybrid of “Batman” and “Phantom of the Opera,” as light as a feather but bursting with cinematic energy.
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Film Score Friday 2/14/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/13/2014 - 9:00 PM
In honor of the 85th anniversary of Jerry Goldsmith's birth, the Varese Sarabande CD Club is releasing one the composer's few remaning "Holy Grail" unreleased scores - director John Huston's twisty 1963 mystery THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER, starring George C. Scott, Kirk Douglas and a roster of top-stars in prosthetic makeup-laden cameos (in a kind of forerunner to Cloud Atlas - both films even feature the explosion of a passenger jet) including Tony Curtis, Burt Lanaster, Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra (Video Watchdog's March 2004 issue had a memorable interview with actor Jan Merlin, who revealed just how little those big name stars actually appeared in the Bud Westmore/John Chambers makeups in Adrian Messenger). On a personal note, this was one of the first Goldsmith scores to become a favorite of mine, and I've wanted a soundtrack release since roughly 1977, so for me this is a true soundtrack Holy Grail.

The latest limited edition CD from the label features the score for the period fantasy THE ADVENTURER: THE CURSE OF THE MIDAS BOX, starring Aneurin Barnard, Michael Sheen, Lena Headey and Sam Neill, which received a limited theatrical release earlier this year. The score was composed by Fernando Velazquez (The Impossible, Mama, The Orphanage) and the CD is limited to 1000 units. Both discs are expected to begin shipping the week of February 24th, but as per last December's CD Club releases, Varese has announced that shoppers will be charged for the full amount within days of their order even if the discs do not ship until weeks later.

Next week's new releases from Intrada are the first-ever release of Maurice Jarre's score for the 1988 drama DISTANT THUNDER, with John Lithgow as a traumatized Vietnam War vet and Ralph Macchio as his estranged son, and a box-set featuring the music from six LPs Elmer Bernstein recorded for the Ava label in the 1960s -- BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL, THE CARETAKERS, THE CARPETBAGGERS, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, WALK ON THE WILD SIDE and MOVIE & TV THEMES COMPOSED AND CONDUCTED BY ELMER BERNSTEIN.

GNP Crescendo is releasing an expanded version of Dennis McCarthy's score for Star Trek: The Next Generation's premiere episode, ENCOUNTER AT FARPOINT, paired with McCarthy's previously unreleased score for the first season episode THE ARSENAL OF FREEDOM.

On Thursday, February 27th at UCLA's Royce Hall, the Academy will present an OSCAR CONCERT featuring an 80-piece orchestra performing suites from the five nominated scores -- The Book Thief, Gravity, Her, Philomena and Saving Mr. Banks, currently planned to be conducted by their composers -- plus performances of the four nominated songs.

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Aisle Seat 2-11: Winter Olympics Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/10/2014 - 9:00 PM
Robert Redford’s performance as a sailor on a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean anchors – no pun intended – ALL IS LOST (**½, 106 mins., 2013, PG-13; Lionsgate), writer-director J.C. Chandor’s epic tale of survival.
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Film Score Friday 2/7/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/6/2014 - 9:00 PM
Varese Sarabande plans to announce a new CD Club release this coming Monday. They also plan to release a new CD in their Limited Edition series.

On February 18, the label will be releasing the LP tracks to the light-jazz soundtrack to Burt Reynolds' 1981 cop thriller SHARKY'S MACHINE, as well as the song albums from two Clint Eastwood films from the era, ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN and HONKYTONK MAN. On March 11 they will release Rachel Portman's score for THE RIGHT KIND OF WRONG.

Next week La-La Land plans to release an expanded edition of John Carpenter and Shirley Walker's score for the 1996 sequel ESCAPE FROM L.A., and a new edition of one of Basil Poledouris' greatest scores, for Paul Verhoeven's underrated medieval adventure FLESH + BLOOD (featuring the same tracks as the out-of-print Intrada release). They will also be selling Bear McCreary's score for the fantasy comedy KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM from his Sparks & Shadows label.

Alexandre Desplat's Oscar-nominated score for Best Picture nominee PHILOMENA will finally receive a commercial CD release from February 25 on Decca, leaving Her as the only nominated score from this year to not receive a soundtrack release (the plausible theory is that Arcade Fire doesn't want it competing for sales with their latest album). Her is one of a handful of movies in Oscar history to receive nominations for Picture, Song and Scoring, and one of the few not to receive a soundtrack release (it took nearly five decades for a Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing soundtrack to be released). At the bottom of this column is a list of the films nominated in all three categories.

Quartet has announced four new, upcoming releases -- the first-ever release of Cliff Eiedelman's score for the 1991 comedy DELIRIOUS, starring John Candy as a TV writer who finds himself living in his own soap opera; Pierre Adenot's music for the new French version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, from director Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf, Silent Hill); a re-release of Ennio Morricone's score for the romantic drama A TIME OF DESTINY, starring William Hurt, Timothy Hutton and Melissa Leo; and Anton Garcia Abril's score for the 1974 Spanish comedy FIN DE SEMANA AL DESNUDO.

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Aisle Seat 2-4: Death Wish, About Time, Last Vegas
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/3/2014 - 9:00 PM
Celebrating its 40th anniversary with its first Blu-Ray release, the original DEATH WISH (***, 93 mins., 1974, R; Warner) became a box-office smash back in the summer of ‘74 and generated one of the most popular roles for its 50-year-old star Charles Bronson.
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Film Score Friday 1/31/14
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 1/30/2014 - 9:00 PM
Next week's new CDs from Intrada are the first-ever release of Bill Conti's score for the 1991 football comedy NECESSARY ROUGHNESS, and a new release of Laurence Rosenthal's score for the 1979 sci-fi disaster epic METEOR, teaming Sean Connery and Natalie Wood.

The latest release from Kritzerland is a remastered edition of the Biblical epic DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS, the sequel to The Robe, for which Franz Waxman composed the score incorporating material from Alfred Newman's classic Robe score.

Buysoundtrax has announced two upcoming CDs -- THE RUNNER STUMBLES, featuring Ernest Gold's score for director Stanley Kramer's final film, a period drama about an ill-fated romance between a priest (Dick Van Dyke) and a nun (Kathleen Quinlan), previously released only as a composer promo LP; and a disc featuring re-recordings of two scores for "true" alien stories -- Elliot Goldenthal's ROSWELL and Eric Clapton's COMMUNION.

On March 4, Varese Sarabande will release the soundtrack to the sci-fi thriller AFTER THE DARK (aka The Philosophers), featuring the score by Nicholas O'Toole and Jonathan Davis (Queen of the Damned), as well as additional cues by Glen Phillips from the band Toad the Wet Sprocket.

In a surprising development, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that they are rescinding the nomination for the title song for the period drama ALONE YET NOT ALONE, music by Bruce Broughton and lyric by Dennis Spiegel.

According to the press release, "The decision was prompted by the discovery that Broughton, a former Governor and current Music Branch executive committee member, had emailed members of the branch to make them aware of his submission during the nominations voting period. 'No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage,' said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President. The Board determined that Broughton’s actions were inconsistent with the Academy’s promotional regulations, which provide, among other terms, that 'it is the Academy's goal to ensure that the Awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner. If any campaign activity is determined by the Board of Governors to work in opposition to that goal, whether or not anticipated by these regulations, the Board of Governors may take any corrective actions or assess any penalties that in its discretion it deems necessary to protect the reputation and integrity of the awards process.'”

The announcement also made clear that a fifth song will not be added to fill out the category, leaving only the four remaining songs. 

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Aisle Seat 1-28: January Chiller Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 1/27/2014 - 9:00 PM
A pair of British colonial adventures, a wild take on Shakespeare’s first tragedy and an oddball 3-D rarity comprise Twilight Time’s January Blu-Ray roster.
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Today in Film Score History:
October 21
Brian Banks born (1955)
David Newman begins recording his score for Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1987)
Gianni Ferrio died (2013)
Jerry Goldsmith records his replacement score for Seven Days in May (1963)
John W. Morgan born (1946)
Joseph Mullendore born (1914)
Lyle Workman born (1957)
Malcolm Arnold born (1921)
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