CD Review: FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD soundtrack

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD soundtrack | ©2015 Sony Classical Music

The beautiful, slow-moving string melodies of English composer Craig Armstrong have made him a favorite when it comes to the many shades of romance. And while he’s had his share of cheerful, kiss-filled endings with LOVE, ACTUALLY and FEVER PITCH, most often it’s his poignant talent for melody that has ripped romance asunder, most often in the company of Baz Luhrmann for MOULIN ROUGE! and THE GREAT GATSBY, Armstrong’s beautiful melancholy couldn’t be better suited than for this latest cinematic trip to Thomas Hardy’s countryside with FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, the story of a woman torn asunder between an …Read On »

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CD Review: STORMY WEATHER soundtrack

STORMY WEATHER soundtrack | ©2015 Kritzerland

After their terrific release of Patrick Williams’ Italian-flavored underscore for BREAKING AWAY that coincided with Twilight Time’s blu ray movie edition, Kritzerland once again works in conjunction with the label to put out a truly historical, two-CD of one of mainstream Hollywood’s few forays into black entertainment. But beyond the song made eternal by Lena Horne for this 1943 20th Century Fox production, STORMY WEATHER also stands as one of the great American songbook scores when it came to showing black culture’s big splash on the nation’s music songbook. Done in the all-star cavalcade style made popular from the advent …Read On »

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CD Review: QUEENIE and TO KILL A PRIEST (1,000 edition)

QUEENIE soundtrack | ©2015 Intrada Records

Georges Delerue wrote an astonish 18 scores alone from 1987-88. Two reality-based scores from that time now show his versatility, first making an emotionally empowering Indian passage to Hollywood, and then movingly martyring a leader doomed against totalitarian odds. Even given his French birthright, few composers had a naturally feminine quality to their work like Delerue, whose string, violin and flute empathy embodies an ersatz Merle Oberon (in the exotic form of Mia Sara) in his score for QUEENIE, one of those passion-filled TV miniseries of yore involving a woman climbing her way to the top through beauty and bedroom, …Read On »

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Movie Review: POLTERGEIST

POLTERGEIST (2015) | ©2015 20th Century Fox/MGM

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Saxon Charbino, Kyle Catlett, Kennedi Clements, Jane Adams, Jared Harris, Susan Heyward, Nicholas Braun Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire, story by Steven Spielberg Director: Gil Kenan Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Release Date: May 22, 2015 In 1982, POLTERGEIST was largely deemed to be scary as hell. A haunted house tale with extra oomph, it incited everything front nightmares to (in especially impressionable viewers) strange TV viewing habits. The film spawned two sequels, a non sequitur TV series, and now, thirty-three years later, it has an official remake. Despite the fact that POLTERGEIST hardly needs a …Read On »

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TV REVIEW: GAME OF THRONES – Season 5 – “The House of Black and White”

Maisie Williams in GAME OF THRONES - Season 5 - "The House of Black and White" | ©2016 HBO/Macall B. Polay

Stars: Peter Dinklage, Nicolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Aiden Gillen, Stephen Dillane, Liam Cunningham, Carice van Houten, John Bradley, Sophie Turner, Hannah Murray, Conleth Hill, Gwendoline Christie, Jerome Flynn, Michiel Huisman, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jacob Anderson, Daniel Portman, Tom Wlaschiha, Reece Noi Writers: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, series created by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” Director: Michael Slovis Network: HBO, Sundays @ 9 PM Airdate: April 17, 2015 As usual, GAME OF THRONES delivers with “The House of Black and White” being no different. …Read On »

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CD Review: INHERENT VICE soundtrack

INHERENT VICE soundtrack | ©2014 Nonesuch Records

For much of his filmmaking career, Paul Thomas Anderson had used composer Jon Brion to convey his provocative cinematic approach, from the insane percussive assault of PUNCH DRUNK LOVE to the frog-raining, imposing orchestral thunderstorms of MAGNOLIA. In relatively recent years, Thomas has moved onto Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood to accompany his swings between transfixing brilliance and unbearable pretention, often within the same films. If anything, Greenwood’s music has tended to be even more innovatively insane than Brion’s, ranging between abstract modernism and hypnotic melody to capture the addled minds of kingpins, whether it was an oil baron’s very bad attitude …Read On »

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Movie Review: TIME LAPSE

TIME LAPSE movie poster | ©2015 XLerator Media

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Danielle Panabaker, Matt O’Leary, George Finn, Amin Joseph, Jason Spisak, Sharon Maughan, David Figlioli Writers: Bradley King & BP Cooper Director: Bradley King Distributor: XLerator Media Release Date: theatrical & VOD, May 15, 2015 While not quite up there with 2004’s low-budget mind-bending time-travel thriller PRIMER, TIME LAPSE is a smart, pretty tight story that uses narrative invention and a single sci-fi element in lieu of production money. Directed by Bradley King, who co-wrote the clever screenplay with BP Cooper, TIME LAPSE introduces us to three roommates: would-be writer/current waitress Callie (Danielle Panabaker), artist and courtyard …Read On »

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CD Review: SHAFT soundtrack

SHAFT soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

Honkeys had their gun slinging, women-bedding superhero named James Bond for years until a 1971 sex machine named John Shaft showed that a black private dick could be just as bad-ass, especially when it came to an urban action-funk groove that got Isaac Hayes an Oscar winning song and nominated score. So perhaps it was a little ironic that a “white bloke from Luton” who’d been busy scoring 007 would land the music gig for John Singleton’s 2000 reboot, giving Sam Jackson a tailor-made vehicle to cement him as a big screen mofo. But even given Arnold’s urban pedigree that …Read On »

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TV Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS – Season 20 – Week 10 – Season Finale – Willis & Chmerkovskiy take the gold!

Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy win DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 20 | ©2015 ABC/Adam Taylor

Stars: Noah Galloway, Riker Lynch, Rumer Willis Network: ABC Original Telecast: May 19th, 2015 Yippee Ki…yah! Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy take the golden mirror ball trophy on DANCING WITH THE STARS season 20! What a night! What a competition! What a season! Willis and Chmerkovskiy consistently stayed at the top or close to the top of the leader board throughout the entire season, proving themselves again and again as the couple to reckon with come the finals. They scored three perfect scores on their last three dances and won the hearts of all the fans as Willis was portrayed …Read On »

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TV Review: DANCING WITH THE STARS – Season 20 – Week 10 – Season Finale – Freestyle Perfection!

Allison Holker and Riker Lynch in DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 20 - Week 10 - Season Finale | ©2015 ABC/Adam Taylor

Stars: Noah Galloway, Riker Lynch, Rumer Willis Network: ABC, airs Mondays Original Telecast: May 18th, 2015 Another sensational night on DANCING WITH THE STARS as three couples perfect their Freestyle dances it’s a tight race to the finish. Rumer Willis & Val, Chmerkovskiy, Riker Lynch & Allison Holker and Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess all received a flawless 40 for their Freestyles after all three recreated another one of their dances from the season. Willis & Chmerkovskiy and Lynch & Holker also received perfect scores for their redos while Galloway & Burgess earned just 32 points for their do-over dance. …Read On »

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