Movie Review: WINTER’S TALE

WINTERS TALE poster

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint Writer: Akiva Goldsman, based on the novel by Mark Halprin Director: Akiva Goldsman Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: February 14, 2014 Even since Mark Halprin’s novel WINTER’S TALE was published in 1983, people have been trying to adapt it for the screen. Now it’s 2014 and writer/director/producer Akiva Goldsman has made a movie from the book. If the film is any indication, we can see why it’s taken so long, because the results are at best problematic, albeit beautiful to look …Read On »

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CD Review: HOURS soundtrack

HOURS soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

Having made his breakthrough score with the innovative Britain prison bust-out of THE ESCAPIST, Englishman Benjamin Wallfisch makes a notable return to confined spaces with his desperate musical HOURS. What makes his score particularly intriguing, and effective, is that said penitentiary is actually a post-Katrina hospital in New Orleans, where Paul Walker’s bereft husband find himself virtually chained to the respirator keeping his newborn son alive. Music is also vital in keeping company for virtual one-character dramas of this sort, and Wallfisch does a powerful job of ticking down one man’s emotionally draining journey, all while keeping soundtrack interest very …Read On »

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CD Review: MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM soundtrack

MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM soundtrack | ©2013 Decca Records

After his terrific work on EMPEROR, composer Alex Heffes continues on a historical roll, now turning his focus from a colonized post WW2 Japan to the Afrikaaner police state that was only overturned in fairly recent history by Nelson Mandela, with no small amount of support from his wife Winnie. Heffes hears his LONG WALK TO FREEDOM with a mighty, upraised musical fist, his score tone indebted to both the longtime symphonic approach of historical epics, as well as the pulsing samples of contemporary thrillers. The impassioned, orchestral march and tender emotion of this oppressed power couple are given a …Read On »

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CD Review: LAST VEGAS soundtrack

LAST VEGAS soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

Where he was once known for musical Devo-lution, Mark Mothersbaugh has evolved into one of Hollywood’s most versatile composers, showing a colorful, chameleon-like range from SAFE‘s slam-bang urban action to the cartoon energy of CLOUDY WITH A CHANCEMEATBALLS and RUSHMORE‘s Baroque irony. Now given a trip to the Neon City with a bunch of very much breathing codgers, Mothersbaugh adapts quite nicely to the fender Rhodes organ funk that inflects just about every movie score to feature over-the-hill gangs from STAND UP GUYS  to THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE and any number of “Oceans” sequels. But then again, what better style …Read On »

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CD Review: DAYS OF THUNDER Soundtrack (Limited 3,000 Edition)

DAYS OF THUNDER soundtrack | ©2013 La La Land Records

For his first story credit, Tom Cruise had the nifty idea of placing his TOP GUN team into the rock-fueled world of NASCAR, from pedal-to-the-metal mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer to director Tony Scott. But even if composer Harold Faltermeyer was missing from the below-the-line pit crew, his energetic Krautrock level of synth-groove propulsion would be more than juiced up by another German-to-Hollywood action émigré named Hans Zimmer. Having recently gone from the English arthouse likes of DARK OBSESSION and PAPERHOUSE to LA’s go-to African guy with A WORLD APART and the Cruise-starring RAIN MAN, Zimmer was now making a fast break …Read On »

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CD Review: DA VINCI’s DEMONS soundtrack

DA VINCI'S DEMONS soundtrack | ©2013 Sparks & Shadows

It’s no easy task having to score the smartest creator who’s ever walked on our planet. But given an endlessly prolific bounty of inventive TV soundtracks for the genre likes of BATTLESTAR  GALACTICA, THE WALKING DEAD and DEFIANCE,  the energy of Bear McCreary is a match well met for Leonardo Da Vinci. And we’re certainly not talking about an old guy with a beard here, but a robustly sexual scientific adventurer making a Wild West West impression on Renaissance-era Italy, courtesy of David Goyer’s imaginative historical reboot. Obviously, playing it straight with 14th century instruments isn’t going to do the …Read On »

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CD Review: THOR: THE DARK WORLD soundtrack

THOR: THE DARK WORLD soundtrack | ©2013 Intrada Records

Back in the comic book day, The House of Ideas teamed The Thing with a guest superhero star of the month for Marvel-Two-in-One. That series’ consistent match-up of four-color brawn has now been musically equaled in the space of one year by Brian Tyler, who follows up his entry into Marvel’s cinematic universe for IRON MAN 3 with even more powerfully potent results in THOR: THE DARK WORLD. But while it might not necessarily be an even match comparing a playboy in a souped-up suit of armor with an alien-Norse demigod, the evil elf-sponsored end of the universe versus an …Read On »

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CD Review: PET SEMATARY soundtrack (2,000 Limited Edition)

PET SEMETARY soundtrack | ©2013 La La Land Records

There are certain horror films and soundtracks that transgress barriers by blending art and shock, a la PSCYHO and THE EXORCIST. Then there are some that just plain old scare the shit out of us with the yuck factor of seeing a sweet near-toddler rip the throat out of Fred Gwynne to the accompaniment of children’s lullabye voices. Such is the unnerving, brilliantly distasteful power of Mary Lambert’s PET SEMATARY and the dawning of a composer who’d re-write the book on experimental scoring in Hollywood for Stephen King’s most unnervingly sadistic film adaptation, with a screenplay by King himself no …Read On »

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CD Review: LUTHER: SONGS AND SCORE FROM SERIES 1, 2 & 3 soundtrack

LUTHER: SONGS AND SCORE FROM SERIES 1, 2 & 3 soundtrack | ©2013 Silva Screen Records

Silva Screen seemingly has a lock when it comes to the BBC with it TV collections of Time Lords and all of God’s documentary creatures. But when it comes to take-no-prisoners charisma, Detective Chief Inspector John LUTHER has been the charm, not only in the gripping hands of Idris Elba, but its soundtrack that mixes eclectic tune choices with powerful underscore suspense, both suspects at last rounded up here for a terrifically assembled compilation of the songs and score that helped Luther track down serial killers and robbers across three seasons. So far, the biggest exposure that American audiences have …Read On »

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CD Review: ED WOOD and JIMMY P. soundtracks

ED WOOD and JIMMY P. soundtracks | ©2013 Howe Records

When it comes to Howard Shore this holiday season, it’s going to be all about THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG. But if you’re on a quest to hear the composer’s more esoteric, but equally rewarding work, than you’ll find his Howe Records label offering a treasure trove of Shore’s past, and present scores, including COSMOPOLIS‘ trance limo ride to hell, the charming, Oscar-nominated imagination in HUGO‘s Parisian train station and the ticking clock of the worst AFTER HOURS in an NYC shlep’s life. Now Shore’s versatility sounds off with two new Howe releases, one dealing with a psychologically wounded Native American …Read On »

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