Reviews

News: New AMERICAN IDOL judge Nicki Minaj says she’s not looking for a rap IDOL – TCA 2012

AMERICAN IDOL Season 12 judge Nicki Minaj | ©2012 Fox/Michael Becker

With AMERICAN IDOL adding new judges for Season 12 with diva Mariah Carey, country crooner Keith Urban and rap-pop princess Nicki Minaj, the show is going to be more eclectic than ever. At today’s Fox’s Winter TCA 2013 session, Minaj even discussed what being a judge on IDOL means to her and how serious she takes it. “Even up until the last day, before I had to sign the contract, I was still not a 100 percent sold,” says Minaj. “AMERICAN IDOL is so big, you can’t do this unless you commit fully. I realized I made a lot of […]Read On »

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CD Review: CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II soundtrack

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II soundtrack | ©2012 Activision

When so many kill-crazy videogame scores are basically comprised of rock guitars blasting over shock waves of electric percussion, it’s nice to have one mega-popular franchise offering far more than you’d expect from the usual musical campaign. Not that there’s any less of the shredding action stylings that have become as popular on consoles as theater screens. But it’s just how interesting Jack Wall makes the nearly 2 ½ hours of score offered on CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 2 that merits attention, especially when divorced from the game’s bazooka-level sound design. A hardened warrior of such weapon-packed games as […]Read On »

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CD Review: A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM soundtrack (1,000 expanded edition)

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (1,000 expanded edition) soundtrack | ©2012 Quartet Records

In the annals of musical comedy theater, few productions remain as joyfully historic as 1962’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM wherein WEST SIDE STORY composer / lyricist Stephen Sondheim and writers Burt Shevelove (“No No Nanette”) and Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H) drew from the farces of the ancient playwright Plautus for a toga-switching, cross-dressing, door-slamming farce that showed Romans did indeed have a sense of humor when not weren’t staging far-less funny fights in the Coliseum. Hilariously adapted for the screen in 1966 by Richard Lester, the king of such antic English films as HELP! and […]Read On »

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CD Revew: The Best Score Runner-Ups and Composers to Watch for 2012

CHICO & RITA soundtrack | ©2012 Red General Catalogue

The Best Score Runner-Ups and Composer to Watch for 2012 ARBITRAGE (Cliff Martinez / Milan) As the composer who virtually created the ethereal indie sound with SEX LIES AND VIDEOTAPE, Cliff Martinez has always played psychological tension in offbeat, ethereally percussive ways. Here’s it’s a moody spider’s web of drones and percussion that’s closing in on a magnate’s gigantic F-up, rhythmic tension that’s all about the inner turmoil that clings to the antihero as he uses all of his charms to clean things up. Speaking with his soft, haunted confidence, Martinez’s Eno-ish washes of melodic textures always have a cold […]Read On »

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CD Review: The Best Scores of 2012

CLOUD ATLAS soundtrack | ©2012 Water Tower Records

THE BEST SCORES OF 2012 BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin / Cinereach Music) An adolescent’s ability to turn a dangerous world into a place full of fantastical possibility provides the subtext for this strikingly fresh, Cajun-cum-magical realism score by director Benh Zeitlin and co-composer Dan Romer. “Beast’s” flooded island is a palpable, dangerously enchanted place in this jambalaya of music box bells, fiddles and plucked strings, strongly melodic storytelling that dances with local flavor while taking listeners to a truly new, mythic land where giant prehistoric pigs can come to life. In the their native […]Read On »

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CD Review: LOS ANGELES, 1937 (1,000 edition)

LOS ANGELES, 1937 soundtrack | ©2012 Perseverance Records

As Peter Best was to The Beatles, Phillip Lambro is to film scoring history, the musician who could have been a contender if only it was felt that he had the chops to accompany an iconic act. In Lambro’s case, that historically elusive prize was 1975’s CHINATOWN, whose soundtrack he’d labored on before director Roman Polanski and producer Robert Evans summarily tossed the score after a teen-filled test screening (a similar fate that happened to Gabriel Yared years later on “Troy”), leaving Jerry Goldsmith a scant ten days to whip out what’s arguably one of the greatest scores ever written […]Read On »

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CD Review: WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH HELEN soundtrack (1,000 edition)

WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN? soundtrack | ©2012 Quartet Records

By 1971, the question asked by most over-the-hill Hollywood starlets was “Whatever happened to?” or “What’s the matter?” as their onscreen romantic glamour was traded in for roles as homicidal harpies. In the latter query about WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH HELEN, it’s Debbie Reynolds’ dancing teacher who wants to know what the heck is up with her partner Shelly Winters when their dance school for Shirley Temple wannabes starts to hit the bloody skids. Devilish camp humor was a big part of the appeal of watching Grande Dames shrieking whilst holding blunt instruments, “hagsploitation” that marked the studio swan song […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: Edward Asner talks GRACE and his return to HAWAII FIVE-0

Ed Asner in HAWAII FIVE-0 - "Kalele" | ©2012 CBS/Norman Shapiro

Right now, Edward Asner is in the play GRACE at the Cort Theatre on Broadway. The show opened Oct. 4 and is closing this Sunday, Jan. 6. Asner will doubtless head into another acting gig. The seven-time Emmy winner, famous to TV viewers for playing Lou Grant on THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW and LOU GRANT, and beloved by filmgoers of all ages for voicing balloon-maker Carl in UP, took some time to talk about his play, his recent appearances on HAWAII FIVE-0 and what we all can do to make things a little better for each other. ASSIGNMENT X: […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: FRINGE star Seth Gabel talks ALLEGIANCE, his work on FRINGE and ARROW

Seth Gabel in ALLEGIENCE | ©2012 XLrator Media

In the film ALLEGIANCE, which opened theatrically last week in New York and this weekend in Los Angeles and Austin and is available on VOD, Seth Gabel stars as National Guard Lieutenant Danny Sefton. It’s 2003 and National Guard companies, much to their surprise (and often dismay), are being shipped to active combat in Iraq. Sefton has gotten himself reassigned so that he won’t have to ship out with the company, but when one of his men goes AWOL, he finds himself grappling with a huge moral crisis, to say nothing of physical danger. Florida-born Gabel spent several seasons on […]Read On »

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CD Review: HAWK THE SLAYER soundtrack (1,000 edition)

HAWK THE SLAYER soundtrack | ©2012 Buysoundtrax

There’s perhaps no finer smell of cult cheese then an 80s so-bad-it’s good sword and sorcery movie, a genre that Buysoundtrax seems to love above all other labels as they follow up THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER with this hilariously entertaining gem that started off that decade. But where Albert Pyun’s movie drew from the Hammer ranks by getting VAMPIRE CIRCUS‘ David Whitaker to compose a classically symphonic score, HAWK THE SLAYER director Terry Marcel had LUST FOR A VAMPIRE‘s Harry Robertson (who also produced the picture itself) melds disco with an orchestra for a score of immense guilty pleasures. […]Read On »

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