LE PROFESSIONEL soundtrack | ©2014 Music Box Records

Somehow, unlike the latter Jean Reno who’d play the Eric Serra scored PROFESSIONAL the original, ultimate French tough guy named Jean-Paul Belmondo never quite caught on as an English language star, despite his savoir faire with guns, girls and cigarettes – qualities he’d practice in abundance with 1981s LE PROFESSIONNEL and 1983s LE MARGINAL. But beyond their Gallic leading man, what would truly connect the first movie’s revenge-seeking agent and the second’s drug-busting commissioner were two uniformly superb scores by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, now remastered and given complete releases by France’s Music Box Records. Adept at every conceivable genre […]Read On »


CD Revew: The Best Score Runner-Ups and Composers to Watch for 2012

CHICO & RITA soundtrack | ©2012 Red General Catalogue

The Best Score Runner-Ups and Composer to Watch for 2012 ARBITRAGE (Cliff Martinez / Milan) As the composer who virtually created the ethereal indie sound with SEX LIES AND VIDEOTAPE, Cliff Martinez has always played psychological tension in offbeat, ethereally percussive ways. Here’s it’s a moody spider’s web of drones and percussion that’s closing in on a magnate’s gigantic F-up, rhythmic tension that’s all about the inner turmoil that clings to the antihero as he uses all of his charms to clean things up. Speaking with his soft, haunted confidence, Martinez’s Eno-ish washes of melodic textures always have a cold […]Read On »



THE UNTOUCHABLES: LIMITED EDITION soundtrack | ©2012 La La Land Records

Ennio Morricone has never been better then when composing for Sergio Leone’s epics of American gangster-ism, whether it was committed in dust busters for ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, or in the flashy 30s hood attire of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA. So it seemed only natural when the Italian maestro finally pulled a job for crime-obsessed director Brian De Palma, whose 1987 take on THE UNTOUCHABLES remains not only one of the best TV-to-film translations ever, but a picture where De Palma’s stylistic swagger was a perfect fit for Morricone’s, propelling him to made man status […]Read On »



DJANGO UNCHAINED poster | ©2012 The Weinstein Company

Rating: R Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christophe Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson Writer: Quentin Tarantino Director: Quentin Tarantino Distributor: Columbia Pictures/The Weinstein Company Release Date: Dec. 25, 2012 If you’re old enough to remember crazy indie ‘70s Westerns, or at least have seen them on video or at revival houses, you understand the kind of movie experience writer/director Quentin Tarantino is addressing with DJANGO UNCHAINED. As with everything Tarantino does, there’s a sense of film history/film commentary, as if a friend is sitting next to you saying, “Remember this movie? Remember this moment in this movie? Wouldn’t it […]Read On »



MORRICONE: UNCOVERED soundtrack | ©2012 Perseverance Records

Ennio Morricone has always been one of film music’s most intensely lyrical composers. Indefatigably writing one great theme after the other through over five decades and a few hundred scores. Morricone’s soulful, longing melodies have always come across like songs just waiting to happen, a feeling often reinforced by the wordlessly haunting, female vocals of Edda Dell’Orso. But when it’s come to doing an actual songbook based on Il Maestro’s work, Italian chanteuse Romina Arena has done a yeoman job of making Morricone her own, with a number of beautiful tunes that don’t play so much as film music set […]Read On »



EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC soundtrack | ©2011 Nathan Furst

Ennio Morricone has gotten some real humdingers to score in his more-than-prolific career, particularly when it comes to such crazy genre pictures as ORCA, HOLOCAUST 2000 and TREASURE OF THE FOUR CROWNS. Yet while these movies might be inadvertently hilarious, Morricone has always played the most ungodly material with a straight face, no more so than with EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC. One of this sequel’s many hilarious mistakes was turning its evil spirit into an African locust demon named Pazazu. Yet it’s this same tribal spirit that makes Ennio Morricone’s score for an otherwise woeful film so intriguing. With high-pitched […]Read On »


CD Review: FRANTIC soundtrack

FRANTIC soundtrack | ©2011 Film Score Monthly

American star Harrison Ford ventured to France in 1987 for Roman Polanski’s fish-out-of-water thriller, as it would’ve been a legal drama of a whole different kind for them to team the other way around. A vital player in uniting their suspense sensibilities of Hollywood and Europe was Ennio Morricone, then riding high with his Oscar-nominated score for THE UNTOUCHABLES. That soundtrack’s edgy jazz sensibility would get an even more sinister, and strenuous work out with Ford as he navigated the mean streets of Paris in search of his kidnapped wife- with Polanski’s own young amour Emanuelle Seigner as his punk-ish […]Read On »


CD Review: THE THING (1982) soundtrack

THE THING soundtrack | ©2011 Buysoundtrax Records

No, we’re not talking about a stillborn prequel here, but the one and only. Jack-of-all-trades filmmaker John Carpenter had served as a writer-director-composer on all of his films until his first studio production of THE THING. It was a bigger budget that allowed Carpenter to get his composing idol Ennio Morricone to provide the director with his first “real” orchestral score. That didn’t mean that Carpenter and his “in association” collaborator Alan Howarth wouldn’t give THE THING’s soundtrack more teeth by sweetening it with the icily sharp electronics that marked the auteur’s distinctive brand of horror. The result was a […]Read On »



Conan Soundtrack | © 2010 Tadlow Records

For baby boomer fantasy fans, there were never better days than the early 80’s when it came to seeing sweaty, near-naked barbarians hacking their way through the Hyborean Age with sex and gore to spare. But in a period that’s fondly remembered for the cheesy likes of ATOR THE INVINCIBLE, YOR, HAWK THE SLAYER and THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, one film truly took the genre seriously, with all the production polish to spare. And 28 years later, John Milius’ adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s CONAN THE BARBARIAN still remains the king of this genre, whose blood and thunder score by Basil Poledouris remains the one fantasy soundtrack to rule them all.

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