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FILM SCORE FRIDAY 4/9/04

By Scott Bettencourt

Intrada has announced that the next CD in their Special Collection series will be Bruce Broughton's exciting score for Peter Hyams' 1990 remake of NARROW MARGIN, in which DA Gene Hackman tries to protect murder witness Anne Archer from killers on a train traveling across the Canadian wilderness. The album, to be released late next month, will feature over an hour of music and will include multiple versions of several of the film's cues, and will be limited to 1500 copies.


On May 18th, Capitol/EMI will release an expanded CD of Ennio Morricone's classic score to THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. The disc will be released the same day as MGM Home Video's new DVD release of the film, and the CD's contents are apparently the same as GDM's 2001 expanded Italian release.


John Van Tongeren has written the score for VAN HELSING: THE LONDON ASSIGNMENT, a project from Universal Animation that will be released on DVD in May to tie in with the studio's release of the feature Van Helsing.


The website BSO Spirit has a brand new interview with composer/orchestrator Mark McKenzie.


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

The Alamo - Carter Burwell - Hollywood
Hellboy - Marco Beltrami - Varese Sarabande
I'm Not Scared - Ezio Bosso - RCA


IN THEATERS TODAY

The Alamo - Carter Burwell - Score CD on Hollywood
Ella Enchanted - Shaun Davey - Song CD on Hollywood
The Girl Next Door - Paul Haslinger - Song CD on Lakeshore with 5 Haslinger cues
I'm Not Scared - Ezio Bosso - Score CD on RCA
Johnson Family Vacation - Richard Gibbs - Song CD on Def Jam
Shade - James Johnzen
The Whole Ten Yards - John Debney


COMING SOON

April 27
Godsend - Brian Tyler - Varese Sarabande
The Thorn Birds - Henry Mancini - Varese Sarabande
May 4
Van Helsing - Alan Silvestri - Decca
May 11
Last Tango in Paris - Gato Barbieri - Varese Sarabande
The Lion in Winter - Richard Hartley - Varese Sarabande
May 18
The Day After Tomorrow - Harald Kloser - Varese Sarabande
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Ennio Morricone - Capitol/EMI
Date Unknown
Basic Instinct (expanded) - Jerry Goldsmith - Prometheus
Battle Cry - Max Steiner - Screen Archives/BYU
The Best of Lone Wolf and Cub - Hideakira Sakurai, Kuuihiko Murai - La-La Land
The Brave Little Toaster - David Newman - Percepto
Dirty Harry - Lalo Schifrin - Aleph
Foxes of Harrow - David Buttolph - Screen Archives
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - John Williams - Warner Sunset
The Keys of the Kingdom - Alfred Newman - Screen Archives
Laws of Attraction - Edward Shearmur - La-La Land
Narrow Margin - Bruce Broughton - Intrada Special Collection
The Punisher - Carlo Siliotto - La-La Land
The Reluctant Astronaut - Vic Mizzy - Percepto
Son of Fury - Alfred Newman - Screen Archives
Stealing Time - Joey Newman - La-La Land
Timeline - Jerry Goldsmith - Varese Sarabande


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

April 9 - Toots Thielemans born (1922)
April 9 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording score to The Seventh Sin (1957)
April 9 - Arthur Benjamin died (1960)
April 9 - Henry Mancini wins song and score Oscars for Breakfast at Tiffany's (1962)
April 9 - Elmer Bernstein begins recording score to The Gypsy Moths (1969)
April 9 - Giorgio Moroder wins Oscar for Midnight Express score (1979)
April 9 - Bill Conti wins Oscar for The Right Stuff score; Michel Legrand wins for Yentl song score (1984)
April 10 - Claude Bolling born (1930)
April 10 - Shirley Walker born (1945)
April 10 - John Barry wins his first two Oscars for the score and song Born Free (1967)
April 10 - Elmer Bernstein wins only Oscar for, of all things, Thoroughly Modern Millie; Alfred Newman wins his final Oscar for Camelot music adaptation (1968)
April 10 - Michel Legrand wins first Oscar for Summer of 42 score; John Williams wins first Oscar for Fiddler on the Roof music adaptation; Isaac Hays wins only Oscar for song Theme From Shaft (1972)
April 10 - Nino Rota died (1979)
April 11 - John Williams wins fourth Oscar for E.T. score; Jack Nitzsche wins Oscar for Officer and a Gentleman song; Henry Mancini wins for Victor Victoria song score (1983)
April 11 - Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne, Cong Su win Oscars for Last Emperor score (1988)
April 12 - Ronald Stein born (1930)
April 12 - Hugo Friedhofer begins recording score to Soldier of Fortune (1955)
April 12 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording score to Lust For Life (1956)
April 13 - Vladimir Cosma born (1940)
April 13 - Bill Conti born (1942)
April 13 - John Addison wins his only Oscar for Tom Jones score (1964)
April 14 - Shorty Rogers born (1924)
April 14 - John Barry wins third Oscar for Lion in Winter score; Jerry Goldsmith, nominated for groundbreaking Planet of the Apes score, probably bitterly disappointed (1969)
April 14 - Georges Delerue wins his only Oscar for A Little Romance score; David Shire wins song Oscar for Norma Rae (1980)
April 15 - Michael Kamen born (1948)
April 15 - Lalo Schifrin begins recording his score to The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971)
April 15 - Francis Lai wins Oscar for Love Story; Jerry Goldsmith, nominated for Best Picture winner Patton, is again probably bitterly disappointed he didn't win (1971)
April 15 - John Greenwood died (1975)
April 15 - Arthur Morton died (2000)


DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

HELLBOY - Marco Beltrami

"Del Toro shows genuine empathy for comic book culture and conventions and enlists like-minded cohorts, notably production designer Stephen Scott, cinematographer Guillermo Navarro and composer Marco Beltrami, whose orchestral score lends dramatic weight to the action."

Richard Harrington, Washington Post

HOME ON THE RANGE - Alan Menken

"The rousing, Coplandesque score is by Alan Menken, who also composed the original country songs with lyricist Glenn Slater."

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly

"The songs, with overtones of 'Oklahoma!,' were composed by Disney stalwart Alan Menken and are performed by the likes of k.d. lang and Bonnie Raitt, but they are mostly unexceptional."

Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

"A wonderful score composed by Oscar winner Alan Menken ('The Little Mermaid,' 'Beauty and the Beast'), and performed by the likes of Bonnie Raitt and k.d. lang, helps round out the thin story line."

Jennifer Frey, Washington Post

"Brightly colored and cartoonish, 'Home on the Range' features six new songs by Alan Menken, the composer who gave us the music in 'The Little Mermaid,' 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'Aladdin,' 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame,' 'Hercules' and 'Pocahontas' (the lyrics this time are by Glenn Slater). Though sung by some first-rate talent, including k.d. lang, Tim McGraw and Bonnie Raitt, these tunes don't have the memorable catchiness of Menken's best work."

Christine Dolen, Miami Herald

"A suitable score by Oscar-winner Alan Menken ('Beauty & the Beast,' 'The Little Mermaid') and catchy lyrics by Glenn Slater certainly don't hurt this modestly enjoyable effort by Disney. Nor do its songs, sung by the likes of k.d. lang, Tim McGraw, Beu Sisters and Bonnie Raitt, who effortlessly lend their western twang. 'Home on the Range' relies less upon the legendary Disney animation than Menken's plush score and upon the oddly apt casting, which will keep adults as engrossed as kids."

Paula Nechak, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Character figures prominently in pic's funniest and most spectacular production number, 'Yodel-Adle-Eedle-Idle-Oo,' which plays like a rainbow-hued mix of Gene Autry, Busby Berkeley and animator Friz Freleng. Other standouts in Western-flavored song score by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater range from Texas swing of 'Little Patch of Heaven' (warbled by k.d. lang) to 'Will the Sun Shine Again,' plaintive ballad sweetly rendered by Bonnie Raitt. In contrast, 'Anytime You Need a Friend' is pop-rock ear candy that, in this context, sounds jarringly inappropriate."

Joe Leydon, Variety

THE UNITED STATES OF LELAND - Jeremy Inigk

"But aside from some scattered alternative-rock songs, the film's soundtrack mostly features the kind of droning acoustic/electric-guitar atmospherics that have become an American independent-film cliche."

Noel Murray, The Onion

"Wearing its earnestness and studied sensitivity on its sleeve with self-righteous conviction, Matthew Ryan Hoge's 'The United States of Leland' is as maudlin and monotone as the whiny alt-rock that drenches its overly articulated emotional disclosures."

David Rooney, Variety


ON THE MAN WHO ALMOST PLAYED HITCHCOCK AND CLOUSEAU

FROM: "Preston Neal Jones"

Thanks for the Peter Ustinov memorial. As far as the composers you listed are concerned, Peter the Great could be said to have had a collaboration with at least one of them, since he sang -- in suitably excruciating fashion, of course -- the songs Rozsa crafted to represent the Emperor's creations [in Quo Vadis].
 
As to his Oscar-winning role in SPARTACUS, it's been a long time since I've read DEAR ME, Ustinov's autobiography, so I wonder if he himself ever claimed to have written any or all of his lines in that brilliant Dalton Trumbo script. I do know that whoever wrote them he certainly deserved his award for the way he played them, often in sly, throw-away manner that was just priceless. (Catch the scene where he nervously escorts the Roman ladies around his "show-room" as they select which slaves will duel to the death.)
 
I was very glad to see that many obituaries quoted Ustinov's school report which declared, "He has great creativity, which must be curbed at all costs." My own favorite description of Ustinov might even have been penned by him; it appeared back in the sixties as the lead-off in an ad for one of Ustinov's books: "Peter Ustinov, as everybody knows, is Orson Welles, rolled into one."
 
Rolled into one-of-a-kind, I should think.

THE REJECTION THAT LAUNCHED A THOUSAND LETTERS
 
FROM: "Daniel Ball"
SUBJECT: RE: Nick Joy on Yared Getting Canned on Troy
 
I'd like to add to your addition that the creative forces behind Troy are weak ones.

I believe that if Petersen really did enjoy Yared's score, then he, as the director, should not have yielded his vision to that of the audience. Not to mention a test audience!

The medium of film has some real potential if artistic integrity is maintained and not sold out.

It annoys me how Hollywood really squanders its resources.

It's pretty much mastered the art of making an aesthetically-pleasing movie, but the movies of late have been lacking content because they've become formulaic, thanks to the marketing departments. Nobody takes risks by trusting the vision of the director. And most of the time if he is trusted, it's probably because he's been conditioned to make the kind of bland, ineffective crap that his money-grubbing bosses have told him to make.
 
I give my props to Peter Weir for keeping it original while still staying on Hollywood 's payroll.

Master and Commander is a great example of deviance-and defiance-for the big-budget studio film. When I saw it, I kept expecting it to play out like Pirates of the Caribbean, but instead, it was a "surprise" and became its own creature. I rested easy after a while, knowing the movie was in Weir's hands, because he wasn't resorting to predictable Hollywood filmmaking. He didn't seem to care if he connected with everyone in the theater or not and I'm glad he was given the freedom to do that. Now if more people would be like that!

Disclaimer: this is my opinion and the only reason I think these things are because I get out to see movies, not because I know anything about what goes on during board meetings over at WB or Universal. I live on the wrong side of the US to be getting in on that kind of action.

So if you feel like I've picked up a bad vibe on how things are run, feel free to correct me.

MailBag@filmscoremonthly.com


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