CD Review: JOHN WICK soundtrack

JOHN WICK soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

Any Russian mobster who watched THE MATRIX would know better than to mess with Keanu Reeves. Fortunately as THE EQUALIZER reboot recently proved, these enduring villains du jour don’t seem to watch a whole bunch of familiar former hit-man movies. And their latest f-up of killing a bad ass’ puppy gives DEVILS REJECTS Tyler Bates, BEYOND THE MAT‘s Joel J. Richard and an assist by Dyland Eiland (i.e. the DJ known as Castle Vania) carte blanche to get some rocking payback. Starting off with some slow-burn ambience to get across “John Wicks” retired killer street cred, Bates, Richard and Eiland […]Read On »

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CD Review: OUIJA and JESSABELLE soundtracks

OUIJA soundtrack | ©2014 Back Lot Music

Anton Sanko has certainly come a long way in scoring horror films since the days of “Strangeland,” employing the off-kilter vibe of such dramatic indie scores as SCOTLAND, PA., LIFE IN FLIGHT and RABBIT HOLE to the far weirder likes of LAST WINTER and an episode a piece for FEAR ITSELF and MASTERS OF HORROR. In the process, Sanko has impressed by evolving from cool, sampled quirk to fully commanding darkly emotional orchestral forces for THE POSSESSION and THE DEVIL’S HAND, a talent that only becomes more uncannily formidable with the ghostly assaults of OUIJA and JESSABELLE. While the first […]Read On »

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CD Review: REAR WINDOW soundtrack

REAR WINDOW soundtrack | ©2014 Movie Score Media

In a particularly striking case of turning fate’s rotten apples into ironic oranges, quadriplegic actor Christopher Reeve went with his immobilizing accident to gain the opportunity of bring true realism to the part of the paralyzed, voyeuristic hero – whom unlike the broken-legged James Stewart of the Hitchcock original – isn’t going to be getting out of his wheelchairl. Beyond Reeve get an Emmy nomination for his performance here, the TV remake’s second Emmy recognition would deservedly go to composer David Shire. With such memorably tense scores to his credit as THE CONVERSATION and ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, Shire approached […]Read On »

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CD Review: SEE NO EVIL soundtrack

SEE NO EVIL soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

Where Henry Mancini got to play blind woman’s bluff with Audrey Hepburn in WAIT UNTIL DARK with creeping restraint, composer Elmer Bernstein got to scare the already-gone sight out of Mia Farrow with way more symphonic lavishness in this 1971 thriller from BOSTON STRANGLER director Richard Fleischer, who opened up the basic girl-in-peril idea from a Manhattan apartment to an English home and its surrounding countryside – where nearly all of the occupants have gone lights out thanks to a cowboy-boot wearing killer. Where Bernstein was best known for intimate Hollywood dramas or period epics, the composer was equally adept […]Read On »

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CD Review: WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD soundtrack

WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

From “The Doom Generation” to SPLENDOR and KABOOM! Greg Araki’s films are Technicolor, sexed-up acid trips, full of bad behavior that can range from the hilarious to the disturbing – but never without empathy for his misfit characters. Two composers to particularly to get that vibe are Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd, who first teamed to give a beautiful, translucent synth-rock vibe to the surreal UFO imagery that hid two young men’s awful truth behind Araki’s MYSTERIOUS SKIN. Now the filmmaker sends another teen on a hallucinatory vision question to find the WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, a caged bird […]Read On »

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CD Review: ST. VINCENT soundtrack

ST. VINCENT soundtrack | ©2014 Sony Classical Records

MARLEY AND ME composer Theodore Shapiro has always had a thing for the comedic underdog in such scores as DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY and ONCE CHANCE, all while creating clearly distinct musical characters for these seeming losers, whether it be wacky percussion, dream-like melody or operatic triumph. But he’s likely never gotten a true, cantankerous schlub like Bill Murray’s boozing Vietnam vet who seems to be anything but ST. VINCENT. Yet like all of his previous life-losers, Shapiro finds a heart of gold underneath them with his catchy, rhythmic approach. The trick here […]Read On »

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CD Review: 21 and 22 JUMP STREET soundtracks

22 and 21 JUMP STREET soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

Far from signaling film scoring Devo-lution, ex-cult rocker Mark Mothersbaugh has consistently proven himself as one of Hollywood’s most wackily animated composers, loading his work with hip retro samples, wacky rhythms and knowingly bombastic strings. It’s a child-like glee that’s often having fun with his assignments while satirizing them at the same time, an ironic, adrenalin sense of fun that most recently hit it awesomely big for filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller with THE LEGO MOVIE, a road of unabashed energy that began in CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. But Mothersbaugh’s most hilariously satiric work for the duo […]Read On »

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CD Review: TEST soundtrack

TEST soundtrack | ©2014 Movie Score Media

A gay dancer in early 1985 San Francisco deals with relationships and the beginning of the AIDS pandemic in this well-reviewed drama that not only throws back to an era that marked the end of sexual innocence, but also a musical time that marked the highpoint of a specific movie scoring synth sound best embodied by the likes of Tangerine Dream. And for many fans of that progressive German group, the decade also marked a high point with the propulsive sheen of scores that embodied the stylish LA gloss of HEARTBREAKERS and MIRACLE MILE. Welsh composer Ceiri Torjussen (BIG-ASS SPIDER) […]Read On »

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CD Review: LE PROFESSIONNEL and LE MARGINAL soundtracks

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 »

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CD Review: THE CASE AGAINST 8 and THE WEDDING DATE: THE RECEPTION EDITION soundtracks

THE WEDDING DATE: THE RECEPTION EDITION soundtrack | ©2014 Buysoundtrax

Now best known for putting propulsive arrows in the Green ARROW‘s quiver, Blake Neely seeks musical justice in a far more subdued, but equally powerful manner when it comes to overturning America’s legal prejudice against gay marriage. Marking another dramatically effective documentary score after chronicling The Challenger’s MISSION OF HOPE, Neely once again conveys a poignant, human face on landmark events. His CASE AGAINST 8 takes on an ethereal, subtly Americana tone as heard for rhythmic beds of guitars, piano, strings and poignantly sampled atmospheres. This score isn’t about winning the fight against voter and government-mandated prejudice with fist-waving, but […]Read On »

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