CD Review: A SOUND OF THUNDER soundtrack

A SOUND OF THUNDER soundtrack | ©2015 Dragon's Domain

You’d be hard pressed to hear Ray Bradbury when this wannabe epic showed the time-wave shock of what happens when errant dino-hunters from the future happen to step on a hapless butterfly. Certainly filmmaker Peter Hyams was used to bagging bigger cinematic game when he took on the project for cash-strapped Franchise Pictures. But if the company’s fall made the real havoc here into the unrealized ambition of effects that seemed like a chicken in Jurassic Park, that didn’t stop Hyams from delivering an unexpectedly entertaining, and at times quite suspenseful film, the vision of what it’s production should have …Read On »



BATTLEFIELD: HARDLINE soundtrack | ©2015 E.A.R.S.

As you play the “episodes” of BATTLEFIELD: HARDLINE that take a straight-shooting cop from the pride of the force to a vigilante looking to take the force down, you might feel like you’ve been drop-kicked into an R-rated version of CSI: MIAMI or more likely old-school MIAMI VICE given the thrumming rock soundtrack by Paul Leonard-Morgan. Having impressed with his energetic, often electricity-fueled scores for such rapid-fire films as LIMITLESS, THE NUMBERS STATION and DREDD, Morgan goes for a rawer, rock guitar guitar groove that not only brings to mind Jan Hammer, but also such late 80s Tangerine Dream scores …Read On »


CD Review: CHUCK soundtrack

CHUCK soundtrack | ©2015 Varese Sarabande Records

With geeks inheriting the television earth, it was only natural that a computer nerd named CHUCK would get his own cult NBC show, where he proved himself to be a more-than capable super-spy over the course of 91 episodes and five seasons. That’s quite a lot of time to make a musical impression with his ceaseless, CIA-embedded skills. But darn if composer Tim Jones’ brain didn’t stop cooking as he came up with one clever stylistic touch after the other, the best of which have now been collected to create a very strong musical impression on this titular CD. Of …Read On »


CD Review: DEBUG soundtrack

DEBUG soundtrack | ©2015 Lakeshore Records

While he’s impressed with the jet-fueled thrills of RED SKY and the massively symphonic historical scope of WALKING WITH THE ENEMY, some of Timothy Williams most blazing work has appeared under the company of Tyler Bates’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, a score that he also conducted. It’s a sci-fi energy that puts Jones in particularly good solo stead to head into space with a bunch of juvenile delinquent hackers, who discover a particularly devilish mainframe who doesn’t want to be deleted in DEBUG. Though it might not have GUARDIANS‘ budget, filmmaker David Hewlett (most familiar as an actor in the …Read On »


CD Review: THE DEVIL’S HAND soundtrack

THE DEVIL'S HAND soundtrack | ©2015 Movie Score Media

There’s nothing creepier than black-garbed, bible quoting religious cultists dwelling in the rural hinterlands, as the genre of pseudo-Amish horror has proven with such brethren as DEADLY BLESSING and infinite entries of the CHILDREN OF THE CORN series. But when you’ve got an assortment of string and percussion instruments ripping your spinal chord out with the finesse of a rusty wood chipper, then that congregant’s screaming, shivering voice achieves a whole other level of musical fright. On that note, Anton Sanko’s score for  THE DEVIL’S HAND can be welcomed as the most insidious member of a musical congregation that includes …Read On »


CD Review: STILL ALICE soundtrack

STILL ALICE soundtrack | ©2015 Nettwerk Records

A professor losing her smarts to early onset Alzheimer’s has not only inspired a Golden Globe-winning performance from actress Julianne Moore, but also a similarly delicate, and painfully beautiful score from Ilan Eshkeri – whose score here captures the musical memory of his female-centered chamber work for last year’s THE INVISIBLE WOMAN. Where that character was dealing with lovelorn anguish, the subtly dissonant violins and delicate piano that inflect Alice’s struggle are about holding onto cherished life itself. Where a less-indie approach would’ve likely meant bringing on far bigger heartstrings, the intimacy of Eshkeri’s work is perhaps even more emotional …Read On »



NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB soundtrack | ©2015 Varese Sarabande Records

When looking for Hollywood scores filled with unabashedly glittering themes and melody, you might as well feel like visiting a museum. However, Alan Silvestri thankfully remains anything but a fossil in this practice. As a composer who’s been applying this relatively ancient orchestral approach since the long-lost days of BACK TO THE FUTURE, Silvestri has remained vibrant in conveying a child-like sense of magic and adventure when its come to fantastical wish fulfillment, no more so than in his continuing trips to this Fox family franchise, of which SECRET OF THE TOMB threatens to be the last admission. If so, …Read On »


CD Review: A FAR OFF PLACE soundtrack

A FAR OFF PLACE soundtrack | ©2015 Intrada Records

Way before she trekked the Pacific trail, Reese Witherspoon braved 2,000 miles of the Kalahari desert in this surprisingly perilous 1993 adventure film from the family-friendly likes of Disney, who were certainly showing surprising bite at the time with the such movies as WHITE FANG. Having released that double score (along with a bunch of worthy soundtracks from other unlikely Disney pictures), Intrada dips again into the well they first dug for PLACE at the time of its release, now coming up with 75 minutes to fully show off James Horner’s relatively unsung, strikingly epic score. Even though he ventured …Read On »


CD Review: FALLING IN LOVE soundtrack

FALLING IN LOVE soundtrack | ©2015 Kritzerland Records

Movie jazz has always seemed to find a home in Manhattan, and few composers awash in the spirit of an unsleeping city of a thousand stories have embodied those rhythms with the distinctive, thematic flair of Dave Grusin. Given a trademark NYC sound most often comprised of mellow electric percussion, reflective piano and wistful strings, Grusin has heard the city as both a place of danger (THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR), gilded society (BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES) and eccentric criminal intent (THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE). But more often than not, it’s the vibes of beautiful, soft romance in scores …Read On »


CD Review: ETHEL soundtrack

ETHEL soundtrack | ©2015 Perseverance Records

Having started off with some fairly wacky narrative films like STREETS OF RAGE and way more artistic indie efforts like AMY’S ORGASM, Miriam Cutler has essentially become one of the queens of documentary scoring to the rhythmic tunes of LOST IN LA MANCHA, ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT and the Emmy-nominated THE DESERT OF FORBIDDEN ART. Yet with so many works, Cutler remains truthfully under-represented on CD, a fact that Perseverance’s release of her score for the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary ETHEL does a charming, and ultimately moving bit to remedy. Reteaming with GHOSTS OF ABU GHARIB director Rory Kennedy for a very …Read On »

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