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For those who missed my column on the topic earlier this week (it seems like only yesterday!), or who don't read the Message Board, or entertainment news in general, here again are this year's Oscar nominations for the music categories:

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
 
AMERICAN FICTION - Laura Karpman
INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY - John Williams
KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON - Robbie Robertson
OPPENHEIMER - Ludwig Göransson 
POOR THINGS - Jerskin Fendrix
 
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
 
THE FIRE INSIDE - Flamin' Hot -  Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
I'M JUST KEN - Barbie - Music and Lyric by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt
IT NEVER WENT AWAY - American Symphony - Music and Lyric by Jon Batiste and Dan Wilson
WAHZHAZHE (A SONG FOR MY PEOPLE) - Killers of the Flower Moon - Music and Lyric by Scott George
WHAT WAS I MADE FOR? - Barbie - Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell 

CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Cutthroat Island
 - John Debney - Quartet 
Hic et Nunc
 - Pascal Gaigne - Quartet
IN THEATERS TODAY

American Star - Remate
The Breaking Ice - Kin Leonn
Maya - Michelangelo Sosnowitz
Miller's Girl - Elyssa Samsel 
Sometimes I Think About Dying - Dabney Morris
The Sweet East - Paul Grimstad 


COMING SOON

February 16
L'alba dell'uomo
- Piero Piccioni - Beat 
Coming Soon
Alexei Aigui - Film Music Collection
 - Alexei Aigui - Music Box
Les B.O. Introuvables Vol. 7
 - Sam Bernett, Jean Bouchety, Jean Musy, Dominique Perrier, Karl-Heinz Shafter - Music Box 
Octopussy
 - John Barry - La-La Land
Scusi, ma lei le paga le tasse?/Come rubammo la bomba atomica
- Lallo Gori - Beat 


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

January 26 - Hugo Riesenfeld born (1879)
January 26 - Stephane Grappelli born (1908)
January 26 - Ken Thorne born (1924)
January 26 - Marc Fredericks born (1927)
January 26 - Alfred Newman begins recording his score for Take Care of My Little Girl (1951)
January 26 - Christopher L. Stone born (1952)
January 26 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score for All the Brothers Were Valiant (1953)
January 26 - Elmer Bernstein begins recording his score for The Miracle (1959)
January 26 - George Bassman records his score for Ride the High Country (1962)
January 26 - Wendy Melvoin born (1964)
January 26 - Victoria Kelly born (1973)
January 26 - Recording sessions begin for Jerry Goldsmith’s score for Damnation Alley (1977)
January 26 - Gustavo Dudamel born (1981)
January 26 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "A Matter of Honor" (1989)
January 26 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Q-Less” (1993)
January 26 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Far Beyond the Stars” (1998)
January 26 - Bruce Broughton begins recording his score for Mickey Donald Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004) 
January 26 - Michel Legrand died (2019)
January 27 - Jerome Kern born (1885)
January 27 - Alaric Jans born (1949)
January 27 - Mike Patton born (1968)
January 27 - David Shire begins recording his score for All the President's Men (1976)
January 27 - Leonard Rosenman begins recording his score for The Car (1977)
January 27 - Craig Safan records his scores for the Twilight Zone episodes “To See the Invisible Man” and “Tooth and Consequences” (1986)
January 27 - Arthur Kempel records his score for the Twilight Zone episode “The Elevator” (1986)
January 27 - Norman McLaren died (1987)
January 27 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Phage” (1995)
January 28 - Karl Hajos born (1889)
January 28 - Paul Misraki born (1908)
January 28 - John Tavener born (1944)
January 28 - Burkhard Dallwitz born (1959)
January 28 - Lalo Schifrin records his score for Once a Thief (1965)
January 28 - Lalo Schifrin records his score for the Mission: Impossible pilot (1966)
January 28 - Bruce Broughton records his score for Trail Mix-Up (1993)
January 28 - Giancarlo Bigazzi died (2012)
January 28 - John Cacavas died (2014)
January 29 - Leslie Bricusse born (1931)
January 29 - Leith Stevens begins recording his score for The Atomic City (1952)
January 29 - Victor Young begins recording his score for Forever Female (1953)
January 29 - Alfred Newman begins recording his score to A Man Called Peter (1955)
January 29 - David Robbins born (1955)
January 29 - Joseph Mullendore records his score for the Lost in Space episode "Space Beauty" (1968)
January 29 - Georges Van Parys died (1971)
January 29 - Henry Mancini begins recording his score for Condorman (1981)
January 29 - Panu Aaltio born (1982)
January 29 - Rogier Van Otterloo died (1988)
January 29 - Don Davis records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Face of the Enemy” (1993)
January 29 - Berto Pisano died (2002)
January 29 - Rod McKuen died (2015)
January 30 - Morton Stevens born (1929)
January 30 - Franz Waxman records his score for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939)
January 30 - Recording sessions begin for Frederick Hollander’s score for The Affairs of Susan (1945)
January 30 - Phil Collins born (1951)
January 30 - Steve Bartek born (1952)
January 30 - Recording sessions begin for Lyn Murray’s score for On the Threshold of Space (1956)
January 30 - George Duning begins recording his score to Toys in the Attic (1963)
January 30 - George Duning begins recording his score for the pilot movie for Then Came Bronson (1969)
January 30 - Robert Folk begins recording his score for Police Academy (1984)
January 30 - Jean Constantin died (1997)
January 30 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Rise” (1997)
January 30 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for U.S. Marshals (1998)
January 30 - Manuel Balboa died (2004)
January 30 - John Barry died (2011)
January 30 - William Motzing died (2014)
January 31 - Benjamin Frankel born (1906)
January 31 - Hans Posegga born (1917)
January 31 - Nicholas Carras born (1922)
January 31 - Al De Lory born (1930)
January 31 - Philip Glass born (1937)
January 31 - Andrew Lockington born (1974)
January 31 - Andy Garfield born (1974)
January 31 - John Cacavas begins recording his score for Airport ’77 (1977)
January 31 - Yasushi Akutagawa died (1989)
February 1 - Rick Wilkins born (1937) 
February 1 - Herbert Stothart died (1949)
February 1 - Karl Hajos died (1950)
February 1 - Miklos Rozsa records his score for The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
February 1 - Lyn Murray begins recording his score for To Catch a Thief (1955)
February 1 - Alexander Courage records his score for the Lost in Space episode "The Cave of the Wizards" (1967)
February 1 - Barry Gray begins recording his score for Thunderbird 6 (1968)
February 1 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "A Matter of Perspective" (1990)
February 1 - Alan Silvestri begins recording his score for The Perez Family (1995)
February 1 - Bruce Broughton begins recording his score for Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996)
February 1 - Howard Shore begins recording his score for The Score (2001)

DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

ALL OF US STRANGERS - Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch 

"That’s one theory, at least, in a movie where potential explanations are at once abundant and utterly beside the point. The conceptual ambiguity of 'All of Us Strangers' -- has Adam popped into a neighboring dimension or simply become trapped in the sorrowful recesses of his own memory? -- conjures an atmosphere that is by turns spooky, playful, urgent and haunting. The premise may appear ludicrous on the surface, but Haigh’s filmmaking, somehow loose and fleet but also unerringly precise, grounds even the most farfetched conceit in an unswerving emotional logic. Adam’s childhood home (remarkably, the same house in which Haigh himself grew up) is a maze of personal mysteries: old clothes, faded photographs and other relics of a palpable yet irretrievable past. The melancholy ambience of Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch’s synth score, the saturated hues and delicate underlighting of Jamie D. Ramsay’s cinematography and, above all, the faultless conviction of the performances compel not just our attention but our awestruck belief."
 
Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times 

"Working with a new team of collaborators (key among them DP Jamie Ramsay and composer Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, both veterans of last year’s 'Living'), Haigh strikes a dreamy liminal tone. 'All of Us Strangers' opens with Adam’s face reflected in his apartment window, a haunting motif that continues till the end. Channeling a certain A24-like vibe, the film shares the memory-puzzle aspect of 'Aftersun' in particular, so it’s fitting that Haigh cast Mescal, who played the narrator’s father in that film. The entire journey is not based in logic so much as a kind of emotional intuition, and as such, no two viewers will experience it the same way. What strikes some as manipulative will crack open others, as the film offers a kind of connection that’s all too rare, and maybe even impossible."
 
Peter Debruge, Variety 
 
"Around the same time, Adam starts taking the train to the outer South London suburbs where he grew up, near Croyden, the blurred world outside the carriage windows subtly hinting at a shift to another dimension. As Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch’s pensive electronic score hums and chimes, Adam walks by his childhood home and then wanders off into a park, where a man around the same age appears through the trees indicating to follow him."
 
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter 
 
AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM - Rupert Gregson-Williams

"There’s more to it, and many additional characters are introduced along the way, but that’s the bones writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick has to put meat on --  and put meat on them he does. Johnson-McGoldrick previously collaborated with Wan on the first 'Aquaman' and also 'The Conjuring 2' and 'The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,' and here the two worlds collide as the pair lean into horror and monsters. It never gets too dark or intense, but it is executed in a way that adds an edge for older, accustomed viewers while offering a nice genre gateway for some younger fans who want to explore darker themes. Coupled with Rupert Gregson-Williams’s pacey, vibrant, and engaging score, it’s PG-13 a romp that licks along from set piece to set piece, which is basically what 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' is. The good thing is that it’s not trying to be anything different, and the focus is on thrills rather than taking itself too seriously, even when it dips its toes into the pool of deep and meaningful."
 
Simon Thompson, The Playlist
 
"Much like the original, 'The Lost Kingdom' boasts a gleeful exuberance, whether through Bill Brzeski’s eye-popping production design or in Rupert Gregson-Williams’ knowingly overdramatic score. There is a boyish zeal to Wan’s filmmaking, which is not afraid to embrace the goofy or the playful. References to 'Star Wars' and 1980s buddy-cop films abound -- in this sequel, Wilson takes over for Heard as Momoa’s verbal sparring partner -- and the scary creatures, elaborate ships, and more-is-more approach to large-scale action sequences all suggest a director who wants the story to feel like the product of unbridled imagination."
 
Tim Grierson, Screen Daily 
 
"From Rupert Gregson-Williams’ bellicose score to Don Burgess’ smeary and unreal 3D visuals, 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom''s aesthetics are gaudy and gross, and they overwhelm all, especially the cast’s turns. When Momoa casually blows the foam off a just-opened can of Guinness, it proves to be the sole authentic moment in the entire film; otherwise, he’s rendered a banally stout do-gooder with only fleeting traces of the giddy dudebro energy that originally made his Aquaman a refreshing counterbalance to the DCEU’s grimdark seriousness. Personality is sorely lacking throughout, with Abdul-Mateen II scowling perfunctorily, Heard consigned to the periphery, and Dolph Lundgren wearing a goofy suit of armor and bellowing blandly. More embarrassing still, as Aquaman and Orm’s mom Atlanna, Nicole Kidman lends her likeness to a digital avatar that performs her big badass feats. When allowed to actually act, she counsels her kids to look out for each other because, you know, family."
 
Nick Schager, The Daily Beast 

"I can recall a handful of impressively trippy shots, scenes filmed from angles that remind you that these heroes and villains are duking it out underwater. But for the most part Wan sticks to the video-game aesthetic of his first film. Rupert Gregson-Williams returns as composer and his score encourages audiences to feel emotions the story doesn’t actually inspire. Even the actors seem worn out by the ridiculousness of this sequel."
 
Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter 

MIGRATION - John Powell
 
"Fortunately, though, while the broad strokes can be seen from outer space, 'Migration' doesn’t always feel like what we expect from shiny wide-release products. There is plenty of loud scoring and slapstick in the many chase sequences. But it’s nowhere near the frenetic assault on the senses of, say, 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie.'"
 
Michael Ordona, Los Angeles Times 
 
REBEL MOON: PART ONE - THE CHILD OF FIRE - Tom Holkenborg
 
"At least 'Rebel Moon' does Netflix subscribers the courtesy of revealing how bad it is from the moment it begins. Choral wails over the studio logos give way to a dreadnought emerging from a vagina-shaped portal in deep space as Anthony Hopkins’ one-off narration lectures us ad nauseam about an evil Motherworld that’s trying to colonize the galaxy and wipe out every last rebel who might be hiding in its furthest reaches. In no universe should a story this trite require so long to set up, be so hard to follow, or involve so many nonsense words."
 
David Ehrlich, IndieWire
 
"The best that can be said about Snyder is that he’s at least capable of a kind of manic brouhaha that’s not unbecoming in this kind of genre filmmaking. Despite the lack of character or emotion in his films, he certainly can be one of the best filmmakers at capturing the pure excess of a piece of lurid fantasy art, or the distinct flair of a Frank Miller drawing. But in 'Child of Fire,' the results couldn’t even be called stylish. The CGI seems to degenerate as the running time goes on. The production and costume design had this 'Dune 'agnostic bumping that film up half a star on Letterboxd. And Tom Holkenborg’s score sounds like Space Enya."
 
Kyle Wilson, Polygon 

THE TEACHERS' LOUNGE - Marvin Miller

"It’s probably best to think of the film as a parable of sorts, one where an everyday institution is presented realistically, with correct procedural details, but also stands in for a larger system or set of ideals, like the jury room in 'Twelve Angry Men' or the ship in a mutiny story. The film handles national, racial and class resentments as subtly as it handles everything else. They're factors in everything that happens (Carla, being Polish, comes in for a bit of 'other-ization' herself). But we aren’t sure about the specifics because so much happens out of our (and Carla’s) sight. The directing, cinematography (by Judith Kaufmann) and editing (by Gesa Jäger) are exceptional. Every choice is assertive and precise but rarely seems labored. Simplicity is key. A lot of the movie consists of steady handheld shots of people talking, walking, and moving through the frame, often without music, although composer Marvin Miller's dissonant, unnerving strings sometimes rise up and seem to swirl around Carla and jab at her."
 
Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com 

"There’s a propulsive energy to how cinematographer Judith Kaufmann shoots Benesch walking with purpose through the school’s ample halls. That pep in her step, however, is always paired with Marvin Miller’s barbed score, alerting us to trouble brewing. Video evidence of the real culprit’s identity indirectly affects Oskar (Leonard Stettnisch), a quiet, math-inclined boy in Ms. Nowak’s class and a staff member’s son."
 
Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times 
 
"A morass of cynicism, treachery, misguided actions and the calamity they beget, 'The Teachers’ Lounge' is a film designed to dissuade anyone from wanting to teach in an elementary school. Germany’s shortlisted entry for this year’s Best International Feature Academy Award, director Ilker Çatak’s latest is a moral drama pitched at the register of a thriller, highlighted by a Marvin Miller score of plucking strings that mirror the rapid-heartrate angst of its protagonist and amplify the suspense of her plight, almost all of which plays out within the confines of its educational setting. Raising tricky questions about trust, honesty, and manipulation with mounting dread and panic, it boasts some of the nerve-wracking anxiety of 'Uncut Gems' and the keenness of last year’s standout 'Playground,' even if it doesn't eventually pull off its delicate tightrope act. Benesch’s fraught eyes and alternately relaxed and cagey comportment capture Nowak’s mixture of confidence and alarm as events begin spiraling out of control. 'The Teachers’ Lounge' engagingly mires itself in its pressure-cooker environment, with Judith Kaufmann’s verité-esque handheld cinematography and Miller’s fretful orchestral themes amplifying its urgency. At every turn, Nowak is beset by forces that view her as a (if not the) cause of this dawning calamity, or at least an impediment to a solution, and Çatak and Johannes Duncker’s script smartly saddles her with some responsibility for her situation. Nowak is an altruist who’s trying to play by the reasonable rules, and in the case of Oskar, to support a young kid who hasn’t asked for the mess in which he finds himself. Yet her unwillingness to follow through on what she’s begun, to hold to her convictions and defend herself, to be wholly candid about her behavior, or to grasp that she can’t be equally aligned with everyone all at once, also reveals a holier-than-thou foolishness that compounds her circumstances."
 
Nick Schager, The Daily Beast 
 
"But while Thomas and Vanessa gleefully turn their heat-seeking sights on Ms. Kuhn, Carla would happily undo the chain reaction she inadvertently fueled. Marvin Miller’s excellent score accentuates the creeping sense of dread and the emotional unraveling, the notes’ discordancy jabbing like overworked nerves. A disastrous parent-teacher conference prompts a panic attack for Carla, but even on a good day she’s facing a group of feisty 12-year-olds. Some haven’t the slightest remorse when they’re caught cheating (Vincent Stachowiak) or skipping class (Padmé Hamdemir, Lisa Marie Trense), and some clamor for test results to be posted in order to enshrine the academic pecking order -- and their own success."
 
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
 
WONKA - Joby Talbot (score), Neil Hannon (songs)

"Chalamet makes a terrific Wonka, possessed of a creditable singing voice (Neil Hannon’s original songs are a joy) and a complete lack of concern about looking silly. There’s innately something simultaneously innocent and slightly haunted about Chalamet, which proves the ideal combination here."
 
Olly Richards, Time Out 
 
"It takes only moments into the film, when star Timothée Chalamet first opens his mouth to sing, to discover Wonka’s two fatal errors: The songs are not good, and the guy singing them is even worse. Then again, even a Broadway veteran would struggle to do much with the material. The original songs by Neil Hannon of Irish indie popsters the Divine Comedy, with lyrics by King and Farnaby, bear titles -- 'A Hatful of Dreams,' 'A World of Your Own,' 'For a Moment' -- that anticipate their forgetfulness. There are bright spots: The film’s baddies, a chocolate cartel led by Paterson Joseph’s Arthur Slugworth, vaudeville their way through the spunky 'Sweet Tooth.' In the blessed relief between songs, the plot takes some sweetly daffy turns, and the supporting cast is stocked with reliable comic hands. Still, we end where we began -- with Chalamet weakly warbling -- only the exit music is 'Pure Imagination,' first sung so memorably by the original Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder, in 1971. It’s borrowed magic."
 
Kimberley Jones, The Austin Chronicle 
 
"As Willy puts it in one of the half-dozen original songs that The Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon contributed to 'Wonka' (all of them light and fun and stickier than toffee), 'There’s chocolate, and there’s chocolate,' and even King’s least transcendent fantasia clearly falls into the latter category. Indeed, several of its most obvious shortcomings only add to the fake-it-till-you-make-it charm of a movie that often plays like a feature-length version of the 'Rain on the Roof' number from 'Paddington 2.' The rest of the people stuck in Scrubitt’s basement are even more cramped, though King’s unparalleled eye for casting shines through all the same. As the erstwhile leader of the laundry brigade, 'Downton Abbey' actor Jim Carter does a fine job of capturing the special flavor of King’s sweetness, while Natasha Rothwell, Rich Fulcher, and Rakhee Thakrar achieve a splendid harmony of the damned while singing along to the film’s most insidiously catchy earworm, 'Scrub Scrub.' The fun of that number -- further enhanced by its clever but unfussy choreography -- bleeds through the movie around it because of how beautifully Joby Talbot incorporates the music into his score. That seamlessness helps transform the movie’s Leavesden soundstages into a massive snow globe that comes to life whenever King gives it a hard shake; it’s no coincidence that 'Wonka' peaks with a massive second-act sequence that spreads its attention across the entire city, and invites us to focus our attention more on the fondant-like beauty of Nathan Cowley’s set design or the immaculately piped trimmings of Lindy Hemming’s costumes than on any particular characters."
 
David Ehrlich, IndieWire 

"Although 'Wonka' is ostensibly a musical, it ditches its song-and-dance formula during its second half -- a move that speaks to the endeavor’s overriding clumsiness, if mercifully spares us more of Neil Hannon’s generic Broadway melodies."
 
Nick Schager, The Daily Beast 

"The ever-present three-note discord of 'Pure Imagination' haunts Joby Talbot’s score, while Lindy Hemming’s Wonka costume is beholden to the industry wisdom that characters wear the same clothes throughout their lives. And if you think Noodle is actually going to stay a broke orphan unaffiliated with the legacy characters, I’ve got a magical chocolate factory in London to sell you. Throughout Wonka’s journey towards literacy and factory ownership (every child’s dream, to be sure), he sings about hope, family and home. None of these numbers from Neil Hannon are memorably affecting or funny, but range from saccharine to brain-glidingly forgettable. It doesn’t help that for every song that’s staged with inviting playfulness (like one where London’s people find themselves in a musical), there’s one that leans on randomness pulled from 'The Mighty Boosh''s pile of rejected ideas (like an extended musical scene spent milking a CG giraffe, which inspires flashbacks to another of 'Wonka''s atonal peers, 'Dolittle')."
 
Jacob Oller, Paste Magazine
 
"All the while, this is a full-blown musical, with charming if not always memorable original songs by Neil Hannon, and big production numbers. Just like Willy’s new friends, you’re swept up by his optimism, as well as the delicate touches King brings to every scenario. He creates the world so completely that you’re invested in a detail as minute as the love lives of minor characters. Still, Chalamet’s sweet-faced Willy takes center stage."
 
Esther Zuckerman, Vox.com 

"Chung-hoon Chung’s cinematography is scrumdiddlyumptious, coming alive in musical numbers like the bombastic Broadway-bound 'You’ve Never Had Chocolate Like This,' the transportive 'A World of Our Own' and the colorful 'Sweet Tooth.' Though perhaps not as instantaneously catchy as the original’s tunes, Neil Hannon’s compositions are connective, propelling character drive to the fore -- Chalamet and Lane’s waltz-y duet 'For A Moment' being a prime example. Nathan Crowley’s production design is sprawling and spellbinding, enhanced by VFX magicians augmenting its immersive qualities. Lindy Hemming’s costume designs are tangibly textured with evocative detailing, like the Chief’s uniform mimicking Violet’s blue belted suit and Wonka’s worn-down chocolate colored hat and velvety violet coat recalling Wilder’s Wonka garb."
 
Courtney Howard, The Onion AV Club 

"Indeed, nearly everything in 'Wonka' is served up with an intoxicating effervescence, from Neil Hannon’s original songs to Nathan Crowley’s lavish production design to Linda Hemmings’s costumes. King again proves himself a masterful engineer of imaginary worlds, and it’s the meticulous attention to detail that makes 'Wonka' so captivating, full as it is of little visual gags and character designs, like Prodnose’s Hitleresque hair or the business card for 'Elastipants' that the trio gives to Michael-Key’s police officer so that he can conceal his future chocolate-induced weight gain, that are amusing even when they don’t call attention to themselves."
 
Derek Smith, Slant Magazine 

"'Wonka' is also another entry in one of the year’s suddenly popular genres, the business drama. (The cohort includes 'Air,' 'BlackBerry,' 'Dumb Money,' 'Flamin’ Hot,' and, by far the best of them, 'Ferrari.') It’s 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' minus Charlie; it’s the story of how Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) got his factory. It’s also a musical, with pleasant but largely forgettable new songs by Neil Hannon, plus a couple of songs borrowed from the 1971 film adaptation of Dahl’s book -- above all, the famous 'Oompa Loompa' strut. One of Hannon’s songs involves comedically forced rhymes on which Willy relies in order to appear charming; that song seems to reveal, like a Freudian slip, the story’s contrivances. 'Wonka' plays like a series of dramatically forced connections that depend not merely on absurd coincidences but, above all, on the elision of the principal subject of any business-based movie and the very core of the whimsical and wondrous confectionary creations with which Willy makes his name and fame: work.
 
Richard Brody, The New Yorker
 
"There are songs in 'Wonka,' but outside of the revival of 'Pure Imagination,' none of them strike a chord. There’s also a plot involving sabotaged chocolates, a secret conspiracy and an elaborate heist, but it doesn’t seem like we’re really supposed to care. We’re just supposed to consume."
 
William Bibbiani, The Wrap 
 
"In addition to 'Pure Imagination,' another of Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley’s songs from the 1971 movie, 'Oompa Loompa,' resurfaces via Grant, with a reprise over the end credits that wraps up loose plot strands. The serviceable new numbers are by Neil Hannon, frontman of The Divine Comedy, though there’s little of the sophisticated lyrical wit of the Northern Irish orchestral pop band’s best work. The catchiest of the new songs is 'A World of Your Own,' nicely sung by Chalamet. Lindy Hemming’s eccentric costumes, like the sets, are awash in color; Chung-hoon Chung’s cinematography is suitably lively; and the playful score by one-time Divine Comedy arranger and keyboardist Joby Talbert is smoothly integrated with the songs. Early social media reactions to the film, including from respected critics, have been mostly enthusiastic. But the very fussy chocolate wrapper left my sweet tooth untantalized."
 
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter 

THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A.

Screenings of older films in Los Angeles-area theaters. 

January 26
CHRISTINE (John Carpenter, Alan Howarth) [Alamo Drafthouse]
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (John Williams) [Vidiots]
DOGFIGHT (Mason Daring) [Los Feliz 3]
A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (Ennio Morricone) [Nuart]
FRANCES HA [Vidiots]
GHOST WORLD (David Kitay) [New Beverly]
HOUSEHOLD SAINTS (Stephen Endelman) [Los Feliz 3]
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Michael Galasso, Shigeru Umebayashi) [New Beverly]
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS [New Beverly]
THE MATRIX (Don Davis) [Alamo Drafthouse]
SAN ANDREAS (Andrew Lockington) [Academy Museum]
A SCANNER DARKLY (Graham Reynolds) [Vidiots]
SORCERER (Tangerine Dream) [Alamo Drafthouse]
WINGS OF DESIRE (Jurgen Knieper) [Aero]

January 27
ASHFALL (Jun-seok Bang) [Academy Museum]
E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (John Williams) [New Beverly]
FISH TANK [Vidiots]
HOOP DREAMS (Ben Sidran) [Academy Museum]
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Michael Galasso, Shigeru Umebayashi) [New Beverly]
LE GRAND AMOUR (Claude Stieremans) [Los Feliz 3]
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (Lorne Balfe) [Academy Museum]
THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Fred Katz) [Los Feliz 3]
MAHJONG [Egyptian]
THE MATRIX (Don Davis) [Alamo Drafthouse]
PEEPING TOM (Brian Easdale) [Egyptian]
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (Richard O'Brien, Richard Hartley) [Nuart] 
SORCERER (Tangerine Dream) [Alamo Drafthouse] 
STOP MAKING SENSE [Alamo Drafthouse]
THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY (Gabriel Yared) [Alamo Drafthouse]
TOMBOY (Para One) [Vidiots]
TRAINSPOTTING [New Beverly]
TRUE LOVE [Los Feliz 3]
THE VIRGIN SUICIDES (Air) [Vidiots]

January 28
ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU (Takeshi Kobayashi) [BrainDead Studios]
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (Hugo Friedhofer) [UCLA/Hammer]
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (Gustavo Santaolalla) [Academy Museum]
CLUELESS (David Kitay) [Alamo Drafthouse]
DRUGSTORE COWBOY (Elliot Goldenthal) [Vidiots]
E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (John Williams) [New Beverly] 
THE GRADUATE (Dave Grusin) [Aero]
HOUSEHOLD SAINTS (Stephen Endelman) [Los Feliz 3]
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Michael Galasso, Shigeru Umebayashi) [New Beverly] 
MIDNIGHT (Frederick Hollander) [Los Feliz 3]
PADDINGTON 2 (Dario Marianelli) [UCLA/Hammer]
PRETTY WOMAN (James Newton Howard) [Los Feliz 3]
THE SWARM (Jerry Goldsmith) [Academy Museum]
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (John DuPrez) [Vidiots]
TO DIE FOR (Danny Elfman) [Vidiots]
TOUCH OF EVIL (Henry Mancini) [Egyptian]
YI YI (Kai-Li Peng) [Egyptian]

January 29
B.A.P.S. (Stanley Clarke), BOOTY CALL (Robert Folk) [New Beverly]
JAWBREAKER (Stephen Endelman) [Alamo Drafthouse]
STONE COLD DEAD (Paul Zaza) [Los Feliz 3]

January 30
AMARCORD (Nino Rota) [Landmark Pasadena]
CHRISTINE (John Carpenter, Alan Howarth) [Alamo Drafthouse]
HOUSEHOLD SAINTS (Stephen Endelman) [Los Feliz 3]
THE LITTLE FOXES (Meredith Willson), JEZEBEL (Max Steiner) [New Beverly]
THAT DAY, ON THE BEACH (Min-Yi Lin) [Los Feliz 3]

January 31
FISH TANK [Academy Museum]
LIGHTNING OVER WATER (Ronee Blakley) [Los Feliz 3]
THE LITTLE FOXES (Meredith Wilsson), JEZEBEL (Max Steiner) [New Beverly]

February 1
DREAMGIRLS (Henry Krieger, Stephen Trask) [New Beverly]

February 2
DREAMGIRLS (Henry Krieger, Stephen Trask) [New Beverly] 
ESKIMO, LAUGHING BOY (Herbert Stothart) [UCLA/Hammer]
FINAL DESTINATION 2 (Shirley Walker) [Vidiots]
GROUNDHOG DAY (George Fenton) [Vidiots]
HIGHLANDER II: THE QUICKENING (Stewart Copeland) [Alamo Drafthouse]
THE MATRIX (Don Davis) [New Beverly]
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Andrew Lloyd Webber) [Alamo Drafthouse]
PULP FICTION [New Beverly]
RE-ANIMATOR (Richard Band) [Egyptian]
SAMBIZANGA [Academy Museum]
WALL-E (Thomas Newman) [Vidiots]

February 3
ALTERED STATES (John Corigliano), THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM (Stanislas Syrewicz) [New Beverly]
BABE (Nigel Westlake) [New Beverly]
CAMILLE (Herbert Stothart), ANNA CHRISTIE [UCLA/Hammer]
COHERENCE (Krystin Ohrn Dyrud) [Alamo Drafthouse]
ERASERHEAD (Peter Ivers) [Vidiots]
MALCOLM X (Terence Blanchard) [Alamo Drafthouse]
THE NAVIGATOR [Los Feliz 3]
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Andrew Lloyd Webber) [Alamo Drafthouse]
THE PINK PANTHER (Henry Mancini) [Academy Musuem]
THE TERRORIZERS (Xiaoliang Weng) [Los Feliz 3]
THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT'S A RESURRECTION (Yu Miyashita) [Academy Museum]
WHITE CHICKS [New Beverly]

February 4
ALTERED STATES (John Corigliano), THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM [New Beverly]
BABE (Nigel Westlake) [New Beverly] 
THE BIRDS (Remi Gassman, Oskar Sala, Bernard Herrmann) [Vidiots]
MALCOLM X (Terence Blanchard) [Academy Museum]
MAN ON THE MOON (R.E.M.) [Alamo Drafthouse]
MASSACRE [UCLA/Hammer]
NOTTING HILL (Trevor Jones) [Alamo Drafthouse]
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Andrew Lloyd Webber) [Alamo Drafthouse] 
THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE (Steve Belfer, Gregor Narholz) [Vidiots]


THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY

Heard:
The Company of Wolves (Fenton); Damn Yankees (Adler/Ross); A Streetcar Named Desire (North); Mona Lisa/Castaway (Kamen/Myers/Zimmer); Misunderstood (Sarde); Viva Zapata! (North); Sneakers (Horner); The Wild One (Stevens); Devotion (Dancy); We're No Angels (Fenton)

Read: Marnie, by Winston Graham

Seen: The Day After Tomorrow; House Party [1990]; The Little Mermaid [1989]; I.S.S.; Deep Impact; The Beekeeper; Mean Girls [2024]; Buena Vista Social Club; Eye of the Cat; Games [1967]

Watched: Hanging by a Thread Part 2; The Knick ("Whiplash"); Sealab 2021 ("Vacation"); Beyond the Poseidon Adventure*


*I recently bought Shout Factory's BluRay boxed-set Irwin Allen: Master of Disaster, partly because it included the extended cuts of Beyond the Poseidon Adventure and When Time Ran Out along with the theatrical versions. The Blu-Ray cover and menu claimed that these extended cuts would be in "standard definition," which I feel was rather an understatement (overstatement?) as the longer Beyond the Poseidon Adventure turned out to be mastered from a panscanned VHS tape, which I think counts as "substandard definition" at the very least. (I haven't yet watched either version of When Time Ran Out, but I'm assuming that extended cut transfer is along the same lines). Boo! On the other hand, the three TV movies in the set that I've watched so far looked great, though the 1979 two-parter Hanging by a Thread must qualify as whatever the polar opposite of "Peak TV" is.

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