CD Review: UNDER THE SKIN soundtrack

UNDER THE SKIN soundtrack | ©2014 Milan Records

There are WTF scores. And then there are WTF scores, soundtracks that take an approach so utterly bizarre and unique that their composers don’t seem to have originated from this planet. On that note, someone had better do a major physical examination of Mica Levi, a seemingly come-from-nowhere musician – at least if you aren’t aware of her alternative career in Micachu and The Shapes. But given this young, classically trained artist’s stunning, and startling scoring debut, you just might assume her place of origin is another star system. For how else to describe the sound mass that’s likely what …Read On »

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Movie Review: ANNA

ANNA movie poster | ©2014 Vertical Entertainment

Rating: R Stars: Mark Strong, Taissa Farmiga, Brian Cox, Saskia Reeves, Richard Dillane, Indira Varma Writer: Guy Holmes, story by Guy Holmes & Martha Holmes Director: Jorge Dorado Distributor: Vertical Entertainment Release Date: June 6, 2014 Remote viewing, discussed in newsreel footage early in ANNA, is a real technique developed by the military. There’s some dispute as to how much, or whether, it actually works, but there is documentation that the armed forces used psychics to try to mentally “see” terrain, buildings and rooms far from their physical selves. In ANNA, this technique has been enhanced, so that there are …Read On »

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CD Review: SOLAR CRISIS soundtrack

SOLAR CRISIS soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

I may have been the only person to see this intended sci-fi epic on the big screen back in 1990, let alone enjoy the loony virtues of Alan Smithee’s (i.e. Richard Sarafian’s) voyage to bomb the sun, a mission pre-figuring SUNSHINE‘s by almost two decades. Powered with impressive effects by 2010′s Richard Edlund, this 50 million dollar Japanese-American co-production was filled with stars like Tim Matheson, Jack Palance, Peter Boyle and Charlton Heston (because you can never end the Earth without him). But perhaps the most impressive passenger aboard SOLAR CRISIS was Maurice Jarre, who’s catch-all style score was especially …Read On »

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Movie Review: EDGE OF TOMORROW

EDGE OF TOMORROW movie poster | ©2014 Warner Bros.

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Noah Taylor Writers: Christopher McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth, based on the novel ALL YOU NEED IS KILL by Hiroshi Sakurazaka Director: Doug Liman Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: June 6, 2014 What if the premise of GROUNDHOG DAY – a man who wakes up to live the same day over and over – were applied to a science-fiction war drama? One answer to that question is provided effectively and mostly engrossingly by EDGE OF TOMORROW, the film adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel ALL YOU NEED IS …Read On »

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CD Review: SHE-DEVIL soundtrack

SHE-DEVIL soundtrack | ©2014 Music Box Records

Before Howard Shore became the thunderous orchestral king of serial killers, fantasy epics and heavy duty drama, the Canadian composer (and former SNL music director) did indeed have a funny bone to his body early in his Hollywood career, as can be evidenced by AFTER HOURS, BIG and even MOVING.  Sure these scores might have been sandwiched between the Cronenbergian likes of THE BROOD and THE FLY, but humor has always provided Shore with some of his most purely enjoyable scores, especially when taking on the harlot-housefrau battle between Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr in 1989s SHE-DEVIL. DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN director …Read On »

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CD Review: LAIR soundtrack

LAIR soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

2007’s LAIR stands as a videogame that simultaneously allowed the booming industry to take off and crash to the ground. The big downdraft came from a “Sxixaxis” PS3 control system that was supposed to allow you fly giant lizards with the ease of a dragon rider from Pern. However, it ended up being so frustratingly faulty that thousands of users let fly their controllers towards their television screens (mine included). While players would have to wait for an analog update to truly enjoy the game’s graphic virtues, the one area that immediately met LAIR‘s grand ambitions, and then some, was …Read On »

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CD Review: THE RAILWAY MAN soundtrack

THE RAILWAY MAN soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

David Hirschfelder has long shown his talent for playing the sweep of historical drama from the darkly regal ELIZABETH to the epic saga of his homeland in AUSTRALIA. But he’s just as capable of hauntingly intimate, character-oriented scores, whether it’s solving the murder mystery behind THE WEIGHT OF WATER to helping a mentally drained pianist unlock the greatness within himself for SHINE. Hirschfelder’s abilities join like never before in tracking the path from atrocity to forgiveness with THE RAILWAY MAN, a devastatingly powerful, true-life film about a WW2 POW coming to terms with the atrocities visited on him and his …Read On »

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CD Review: ROSWELL and COMMUNION soundtracks

ROSWELL and COMMUNION soundtracks | ©2014 Buysoundtrax

After respectably re-performing John Carpenter and Ennio Morricone’s THE THING,  Buysoundtrax now breaks the ice on two lesser-known “true life” alien scores, one involving the human probing done on some accidental visitors to ROSWELL, then playing a writer’s metaphysical close encounter for COMMUNION. Yet despite the role-reversals, both scores are tried together by a lyrical approach steeped in mystery, and a sense for peaceful understanding, even if that might not be the government’s aim for the first 1994 Showtime movie, which continued composer Elliot Goldenthal’s streak of memorable genre scores following PET SEMETARY, ALIEN 3 and DEMOLITION MAN. While taking …Read On »

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TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 9 – “Do You Believe in Miracles?” – Season Finale

Mark Sheppard in SUPERNATURAL - Season 9 - "Do You Believe in Miracles?" | ©2014 The CW/Cate Cameron

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard, Curtis Armstrong, Tahmoh Penikett, Erica Carroll, Shayn Solberg Writer: Jeremy Carver, series created by Eric Kripke Director: Thomas J. Wright Network: The CW, Tuesdays @ 9 PM Original Airdate: May 20, 2014 SUPERNATURAL arguably hasn’t had a season finale quite as startling as Season 9’s “Do You Believe in Miracles?” since Castiel temporarily became a god and perhaps not since Sam (Jared Padalecki) got locked in Hell. Now, we should have seen this coming, but in all the chaos with trying to get Heaven out of the grasp of Metatron …Read On »

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CD Review: THE RUNNER STUMBLES soundtrack

THE RUNNER STUMBLES soundtrack | ©2014 Buysoundtrax

Funnily enough, the eleven film collaboration between Stanley Kramer and Ernest Gold will likely be most popularly remembered for their one-shot laugh fest IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD as opposed to the far more serious music that was otherwise conjured by the likes of THE DEFIANT ONES, ON THE BEACH and INHERIT THE WIND. But even among these sweepingly somber scores, the one film, and soundtrack that’s completely flown under the radar is Kramer’s 1979 swan song THE RUNNER STUMBLES, in which had the audacity to dramatically cast the ever-loveable Dick Van Dyke as a priest accused of …Read On »

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