JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH movie poster | ©2020 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: LaKeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya, Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders, Algee Smith, Darnnell Britt-Gibson, Lil Rel Howery, Dominique Thorne, Martin Sheen, Robert Longstreet Writers: Will Berson & Shaka King, story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas Director: Shaka King Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: February 12, 2021 JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH concerns two real-life figures, 1960s Black activist Fred Hampton, and FBI informant William O’Neal. We’re in 1968 Chicago, with periodic interview sequences set later, in 1989. As depicted here (and as discernable in the historical record), Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya) […]Read On »


THE ACCOUNTANT: Composer Mark Isham plays a unique set of action skills – Interview

THE ACCOUNTANT composer Mark Isham | ©2016 Mark Isham

  One might expect composer Mark Isham to have had a tender musical upbringing that resulted in a soft-spoken composer who carried a powerfully blown trumpet. No doubt he was given some very different life choices than Chris – a highly functioning autistic youth with a natural gift for math and an equally big bullying target on his back, one that makes his military dad train Chris and brother in the killer skills that mature a budding genius into “The Accountant’s” cross between Rain Man and The Punisher. Certainly one of the crazier Hollywood films to give socially challenged characters […]Read On »


CD Review: ONCE UPON A TIME soundtrack

ONCE UPON A TIME soundtrack | ©2012 Intrada Records

ABC’s fractured fairy tale show couldn’t have asked for a better composer than Mark Isham to tread between fantasy land and the “real world” of Storybrooke. Now with ONCE UPON A TIME’s yarns looking like they’ll be flipping for a while on Rumplestiltskin’s wheel, Intrada compiles the best of Isham’s episodic enchantments for an album the show’s fans will appreciate, as well as those appreciative of his cinematic stories. And therein lies TIME‘s best spell at fully bringing together those two worlds with Isham’s lush, yet melodically delicate sound. For while he might not have scored this kind of live […]Read On »


CD Review: NOWHERE TO RUN soundtrack (3,000 edition)

NOWHERE TO RUN soundtrack | ©2012 Perseverance Records

Jean-Claude Van Damme would get one of his best starring roles in this successful, if now relatively unsung 1993 film that sees his ex-con step into Shane-like shoes (via motorcycle), taking on the evil mining barons out to murderously toss out attractive homesteader Rosanna Arquette and her kids. RUN‘s impressively subdued and intelligent handling can be squarely credited to director Robert Harmon, who wisely reteamed here with his HITCHER composer Mark Isham. Where the composer had handled that picture’s visceral atmosphere with ethereal, electronic tones, NOWHERE TO RUN saw Isham significantly beef up his approach with the weight of a […]Read On »


Exclusive Photos from THE LUCKY ONE Los Angeles Premiere

Zac Efron at the Los Angeles Premiere of THE LUCKY ONE | ©2012 Sue Schneider

Warner Bros. Pictures presented, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Di Novi Pictures production, a Scott Hicks film THE LUCKY ONE Los Angeles Premiere at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on April 16th. THE LUCKY ONE is based on a novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. Walking the “grass” carpet were the stars of the film, which included: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Riley Thomas Stewart, Jay R. Ferguson, Courtney J. Clark, Cole Jackson, Scott Hicks (Director), Nicholas Sparks (Author), Mark Isham (Composer) and Denise Di Novi (Di Novi Pictures). Joining the cast were guests, […]Read On »


CD Review: DOLPHIN TALE soundtrack

DOLPHIN TALE soundtrack | ©2011 Varese Sarabande Records

Mark Isham is one composer who knows his way around the animal kingdom, from capturing the joyous flapping of Canadian geese in FLY AWAY HOME to the victorious gait of a talking zebra in RACING STRIPES and the never-say-freeze spirit of EIGHT BELOW’s abandoned huskies. The fact that Isham’s very first score accompanied the plaintive howls of NEVER CRY WOLF, as heard by star Charles Martin Smith, makes it a welcome homecoming that the composer’s now swimming about the Smith-directed DOLPHIN TALE. While there are the playful cutes to be had at points, this TALE isn’t exactly bounding about like […]Read On »


CD review: WARRIOR soundtrack

WARRIOR soundtrack | ©2011 Lakeshore Records

Having scored the inspirational hockey drama MIRACLE and the downbeat cop conspiracy PRIDE AND GLORY for writer-director Gavin O’Connor, Mark Isham’s third step into the ring with the filmmaker combines both the grim and victorious. And the result is a musical WARRIOR that grabs you with surprising subtlety before delivering a knockout foot to the face (this is mixed martial arts after all). For a good while, Isham keeps his drama in a brooding key, full of the fighting brothers’ family resentments and recriminations. But emotion steadily rises to break through the orchestral ice, his heavy strings and brass steadily […]Read On »


CD Review: BREAKDOWN soundtrack (3,000 limited edition)

BREAKDOWN soundtrack | ©2011 La La Land Records

It’s not as if I could talk from the experience of being a film composer, let alone the skill to put two notes together in harmony. But from what I’ve witnessed, the job can be either one of the most elating, or soul-draining gigs on the creative planet. You either run in synch with the filmmaker as you give voice to their vision, or collide head-on when you don’t hear eye-to-eye. The latter’s a bumpy road that Hollywood euphemistically calls “artistic differences” – i.e. not giving a director (who can more often than not be a blistering tyrant) exactly what […]Read On »


Interview: THE CONSPIRATOR composer Mark Isham is the true Lincoln Lawyer

Composer Mark Isham

If there’s a filmmaker concerned with the American conscience, then it would be Robert Redford. Like another pop movie star-turned-director, many of Redford’s deliberately paced, and deeply dramatic films seek out the bonds of family, love of country, and the adherence to its supposed values- whether it be in the Montana fly fishing of A RIVER RUNS THOUGH IT, the subversion of the nation’s favorite QUIZ SHOW, and the tragedy of our Middle Eastern involvement that switches LIONS FOR LAMBS. These are the four pictures among Redford’s eight films (including THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR, THE HORSE WHISPERER, THE LEGEND OF […]Read On »


CD Review: THE MECHANIC soundtrack

THE MECHANIC soundtrack (2011) | ©2011 Mark Isham Music

While Mark Isham’s a jack-of-all-genres who has no problem with such musical niceties as THE COOLER’s dreamy jazz and MIRACLE’s orchestral inspiration, it always seems to be the high velocity likes of RUNNING SCARED, DON’T SAY A WORD and KISS THE GIRLS that draws some of his most enjoyably gnarly work. Now after putting new sound and fury into “remake” scores like THE GETAWAY and THE CRAZIES, Isham’s darker instincts return with newly fueled vengeance for this rebooted MECHANIC. So if you’re looking for the long-winding, psychologically troubling string lines that Jerry Fielding provided for the assassin team back in […]Read On »

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