Interview: Composer Jeff Rona dives deep to score PHANTOM

PHANTOM soundtrack | ©2013 Milan Records

Throughout the manly genre of “submarine” films from RUN SILENT RUN DEEP to GRAY LADY DOWN and DAS BOOT, the claustrophobic, gear-filled surroundings, depth-charge tension and constant life-or-death stakes have often yielded symphonic scores that sought to be as big as the ocean depths in conveying radar-pounding excitement and the psychological warfare between rival captains. Once again taking the Russian “enemy” perspective in the tradition of THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and K19: THE WIDOWMAKER, PHANTOM posits an escalating Cold War conflict that threatens to ignite a nuclear holocaust as an old salt Soviet captain Demi (Ed Harris) faces off […]Read On »

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Five Villains We Want to See in AVENGERS 2 and 3

Ultron | ©2012 Marvel Comics

We already know – SPOILERS! – Thanos is on the way in the next THE AVENGERS movie, but what other famous foes from Avengers stories of the past deserve a shot at big screen stardom? After all, heroes are only as good as the villains they face. We list a few here, but they’re only suggestions; and no, Count Nefaria is not on this list. Complain all you like in the comments about that glaring omission or the lack of Baron Zemo, but remember that this is just one list for our villainous THE AVENGERS 2 and 3 films; you […]Read On »

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Interview: THE AVENGERS star Cobie Smulders on playing Agent Maria Hill

Cobie Smulders at the World Premiere of MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS | ©2012 Sue Schneider

Cobie Smulders has long been hailed for her comedic prowess as Robin Sherbatsky on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, now gearing up for its eighth season on CBS. However, with writer/director Joss Whedon’s box-office superhero THE AVENGERS from Disney and Marvel, Smulders shows off her action star side as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill, running, sliding and shooting with the best of them. There are big differences in doing a weekly TV comedy series and a giant studio action feature film, Smulders notes. “It’s definitely a shift in schedule,” says Smulders. “I made it a point to do a lot of […]Read On »

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First Look Image of IRON MAN 3 and Robert Downey Jr.

First look behind the scenes photo of IRON MAN 3 | ©2012 Marvel Studios/Zade Rosenthal

On May 3, 2013, IRON MAN 3 hits theaters and the big question will be — how much has THE AVENGERS given that franchise an even bigger push into the boxoffice stratosphere? In the meantime, we can salivate over what director Shane Black has in store for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Iron Man, but in the interim, we have this first look photo behind-the-scenes as the film begins production in Wilmington, North Carolina. Check out the image below. Joining Downey for the third go-around is Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes and Jon […]Read On »

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Interview: THE AVENGERS composer Alan Silvestri makes the Avengers assemble

THE AVENGERS soundtrack | ©2012 Intrada Records

If you’re looking for a composer whose genre soundtracks seem to be printed in four colors as opposed to written with musical notes, then Alan Silvestri’s scores would be equivalent to the bright hues that compose comic book art. From the brawny militarism of PREDATOR, ERASER and JUDGE DREDD to the mythic exploits of THE MUMMY RETURNS, VAN HELSING and BEOWULF, Alan Silvestri’s talents have grown from the disco motorcycle beats of CHiPS to becoming the embodiment of do-gooding orchestral might. It’s music that captures any big kid’s dream of fighting cosmic evil, role-playing that’s accomplished with massive symphonic themes […]Read On »

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Interview: THE CABIN IN THE WOODS composer David Julyan tortures with the technicians

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS soundtrack | ©2012 Varese Sarabande Records

Did you ever hear the one about a bunch of horny kids heading out to a secluded, rustic getaway that will turn out to be anything but a vacation? Chances are you’re familiar with the now-hopelessly clichéd plots of horror pictures both brilliant and bad, the kind of movies whose characters always seem to be following some pre-ordained destiny of bad choices so they’ll fall into the blunt instruments, or jaws of redneck zombies, masked maniacs, werewolves, killer clowns and all of manner of Cthulu’s menagerie- of course to the strains of a relentlessly crashing orchestra. It’s exactly these well-worn […]Read On »

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Composer Interview: Dickon Hinchliffe goes RAMPART with new score

Dickon Hinchliffe | ©2011 Dickon Hinchliffe

Where once it was unthinkable for film music to be anything but symphonic, the last few decades have seen a surrealistic explosion of composers hailing from the rock-pop world, many of who have taken their roots way beyond a simple drum roll, or strum of an electric guitar to picture. Among an alt. score tribe whose sounds have ranged from hallucinatory washes of electronics to minimalistic percussion and uses of humans on instruments undreamed of, one rising avant garde-ist with an especially unique voice is Englishman Dickon Hinchliffe. Founding, and fronting the group Tindersticks, Hinchliffe’s often seedy, beautifully surrealistic sound […]Read On »

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Interview: STRAW DOGS composer Larry Groupe takes aim at the Peckinpah classic

Composer Larry Groupe | © 2011 Larry Groupe

We might primally root for him to take down a bunch of barbaric English yahoos. Yet as Sam Peckinpah’s violent parable STRAW DOGS more than pointed out in 1972, there’s little glory to be had by a seeming milquetoast in the middle of a home invasion. You could imagine the same reaction of a composer tasked with re-scoring the action that Jerry Fielding so memorably wrote for that iconic picture. But like the broken-spectacled mathematician who proves himself a he-man in the face of impossible odds, Larry Groupé weathers the potential brickbats, boiling oil and bullet to successfully score his […]Read On »

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Composer Interview: MICHAEL ANDREWS likes to score with the BAD TEACHER

Composer Michael Andrews | © 2011 Michael Andrews

BAD TEACHER | ©2011 Sony Pictures There’s nothing wrong with the wacka-wacka style of pizzicato comedy scoring to hit all of the talking animal orchestral shenanigans for the younger set. And though comedies for older folks might share many of those PG movies’ fondness for bathroom jokes, cute string hits just don’t cut it for potty-mouthed R-rated characters whose best idea for a bodily function is getting it on. And they do the nasty with guitar chords, funk rhythms and saucy pop-jazz, vibes that stand for much of the approach when it comes to scoring contemporary teen-adult comedies. However, when […]Read On »

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