Music

CD Review: JOHN WICK soundtrack

JOHN WICK soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

Any Russian mobster who watched THE MATRIX would know better than to mess with Keanu Reeves. Fortunately as THE EQUALIZER reboot recently proved, these enduring villains du jour don’t seem to watch a whole bunch of familiar former hit-man movies. And their latest f-up of killing a bad ass’ puppy gives DEVILS REJECTS Tyler Bates, BEYOND THE MAT‘s Joel J. Richard and an assist by Dyland Eiland (i.e. the DJ known as Castle Vania) carte blanche to get some rocking payback. Starting off with some slow-burn ambience to get across “John Wicks” retired killer street cred, Bates, Richard and Eiland …Read On »

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CD Review: ANONYMOUS REJECTED FILM SCORE soundtrack

ANONYMOUS REJECTED FILM SCORE soundtrack | ©2014 Taped Noise

Many composers have re-purposed scores that either were tossed because they simply were too smart for the movie they were intended for, frankly didn’t work with the picture or became the victim of studio politics that shelved the scores for spite. But whatever the reason the music didn’t see the official light of day, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of release on its own, whether it’s John Corigliano turning EDGE OF DARKNESS into “Music from the Edge” (on Perseverance), Jerry Goldsmith transforming the main electronic melody from his blackballed ALIEN NATION way down to earth as the jazz love …Read On »

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CD Review: THE DOLL SQUAD and JUVENILE JIVE soundtracks

JUVENILE JIVE soundtrack | ©2014 Monstrous Movie Music

After starting out with Grade-A re-performances for the energetic scores that graced such wonderful B- genre features as THE DEADLY MANTIS and DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, David Schechter’s label Monstrous Movie Music has segued to releasing the actual soundtracks for even loonier sci-fi movies like KRONOS and MISSILE TO THE MOON, with some decidedly non-creature filled detours into westerns and prestige Ernest Gold scores in the bargain But for all of their sporadic and increasingly eccentric titles so far (whose latest batch includes a herd of deliriously scored oaters with THE GATLING GUN and a “Western Medley” collection), it’s a …Read On »

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CD Review: OUIJA and JESSABELLE soundtracks

OUIJA soundtrack | ©2014 Back Lot Music

Anton Sanko has certainly come a long way in scoring horror films since the days of “Strangeland,” employing the off-kilter vibe of such dramatic indie scores as SCOTLAND, PA., LIFE IN FLIGHT and RABBIT HOLE to the far weirder likes of LAST WINTER and an episode a piece for FEAR ITSELF and MASTERS OF HORROR. In the process, Sanko has impressed by evolving from cool, sampled quirk to fully commanding darkly emotional orchestral forces for THE POSSESSION and THE DEVIL’S HAND, a talent that only becomes more uncannily formidable with the ghostly assaults of OUIJA and JESSABELLE. While the first …Read On »

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CD Review: THE KNICK soundtrack

THE KNICK soundtrack | ©2014 MIlan Records

Where prolific filmmaker Steven Soderbergh has gone to Thomas Newman for the trippy ambience of SIDE EFFECTS, and David Holmes for the jazz groove of the OCEANS trilogy, Cliff Martinez continues to prove a reliable, experimental constant since director and composer made their indie bones on 1989s SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE. Both have considerably broadened their repertoire from that ambient hip-hop score which redefined the look and sound of alternative cinema, their collaborations ranging from the enraged crime percussion of THE LIMEY to the modernistic orchestral score of SOLARIS and the retro-virus suspense of CONTAGION. But whatever approach he’s taken, …Read On »

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CD Review: REAR WINDOW soundtrack

REAR WINDOW soundtrack | ©2014 Movie Score Media

In a particularly striking case of turning fate’s rotten apples into ironic oranges, quadriplegic actor Christopher Reeve went with his immobilizing accident to gain the opportunity of bring true realism to the part of the paralyzed, voyeuristic hero – whom unlike the broken-legged James Stewart of the Hitchcock original – isn’t going to be getting out of his wheelchairl. Beyond Reeve get an Emmy nomination for his performance here, the TV remake’s second Emmy recognition would deservedly go to composer David Shire. With such memorably tense scores to his credit as THE CONVERSATION and ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, Shire approached …Read On »

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CD Review: SEE NO EVIL soundtrack

SEE NO EVIL soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

Where Henry Mancini got to play blind woman’s bluff with Audrey Hepburn in WAIT UNTIL DARK with creeping restraint, composer Elmer Bernstein got to scare the already-gone sight out of Mia Farrow with way more symphonic lavishness in this 1971 thriller from BOSTON STRANGLER director Richard Fleischer, who opened up the basic girl-in-peril idea from a Manhattan apartment to an English home and its surrounding countryside – where nearly all of the occupants have gone lights out thanks to a cowboy-boot wearing killer. Where Bernstein was best known for intimate Hollywood dramas or period epics, the composer was equally adept …Read On »

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CD Review: WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD soundtrack

WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

From “The Doom Generation” to SPLENDOR and KABOOM! Greg Araki’s films are Technicolor, sexed-up acid trips, full of bad behavior that can range from the hilarious to the disturbing – but never without empathy for his misfit characters. Two composers to particularly to get that vibe are Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd, who first teamed to give a beautiful, translucent synth-rock vibe to the surreal UFO imagery that hid two young men’s awful truth behind Araki’s MYSTERIOUS SKIN. Now the filmmaker sends another teen on a hallucinatory vision question to find the WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, a caged bird …Read On »

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CD Review: ST. VINCENT soundtrack

ST. VINCENT soundtrack | ©2014 Sony Classical Records

MARLEY AND ME composer Theodore Shapiro has always had a thing for the comedic underdog in such scores as DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY and ONCE CHANCE, all while creating clearly distinct musical characters for these seeming losers, whether it be wacky percussion, dream-like melody or operatic triumph. But he’s likely never gotten a true, cantankerous schlub like Bill Murray’s boozing Vietnam vet who seems to be anything but ST. VINCENT. Yet like all of his previous life-losers, Shapiro finds a heart of gold underneath them with his catchy, rhythmic approach. The trick here …Read On »

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CD Review: 21 and 22 JUMP STREET soundtracks

22 and 21 JUMP STREET soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

Far from signaling film scoring Devo-lution, ex-cult rocker Mark Mothersbaugh has consistently proven himself as one of Hollywood’s most wackily animated composers, loading his work with hip retro samples, wacky rhythms and knowingly bombastic strings. It’s a child-like glee that’s often having fun with his assignments while satirizing them at the same time, an ironic, adrenalin sense of fun that most recently hit it awesomely big for filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller with THE LEGO MOVIE, a road of unabashed energy that began in CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. But Mothersbaugh’s most hilariously satiric work for the duo …Read On »

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