CD Review: THE ARK AND THE DELUGE soundtrack

THE ARK AND THE DELUGE soundtrack | ©2016 Music Box Records

Few film genres allow composers to write tone poems in the guise of scores like nature documentaries, their music getting to chronicle the grace, joy and life or death struggles of the planet in all of its infinite musical equivocations of the life force. Gabriel Yared set out to sea to in 1993 to sumptuously chronicle the glorious ballet between ocean and air. Hearing this glorious wash of melodic impressionism, you’re reminded that this Oscar-winning Lebanese composer just might be film scoring’s answer to France’s Claude Debussy, his DELUGE a cross between the flowing, romantic strings of “La Mer” as crossed […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD soundtrack

THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD soundtrack | ©2016 La La Land Records

Before he became the go-to TV superhero scorer for DC with the likes of ARROW, THE FLASH and SUPERGIRL, Blake Neely was spending much of his scoring time during the first decade of the new millennium in the company of sweet romantic dramas like FIRST DAUGHTER, THE WEDDING DATE and STARTER FOR 10. One of his most delightful scores before he put on his cape was playing the amazing, jazzy mentalist tricks of 2008’s THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD. Director Sean McGinly based John Malkovich’s rage-prone mental illusionist on his own stint with The Amazing Kreskin, putting himself in the personage of Colin Hanks’ personal […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE INVITATION soundtrack

THE INVITATION soundtrack | ©2016 Lakeshore Records

A truly versatile composer when not superbly cranking out comedy scores like SPY, ZOOLANDER 2 and the forthcoming GHOSTBUSTERS reboot, Theodore Shapiro has shown an inventive affinity for typewriter-clicking drama with TRUMBO and creepily ethereal horror when ogling JENNIFER’S BODY. But it’s with THE INVITATION that Shapiro proves like never before just how unfunny he can be upon entering a suicide cult’s dinner party, as staged by JENNIFER director Karyn Kusma. Given a bloody desert as served by hosts straight out Heaven’s Gate, Shapiro’s weapon of choice is a single, overdubbed violin to further ratchet the tension. Where string playing of this sort is usually […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE SAINT soundtrack

THE SAINT soundtrack | ©2016 Music Box Records

The do-gooding bon vivant Simon Templar has been reincarnated in radio, television and film, as played by George Sanders, Roger Moore and Val Kilmer. However, his grooviest halo is heard by Music Box’s positively heavenly 3-CD release of the jazz-disco heroics that accompanied Simon Dutton over a series of TV movies in 1989. But listening to the swaggering saxes, punchy brass and romantically lush strings of Serge Franklin, you’d think you were back in 1981 spy dancing with Moore to the glitterball action of Bill Conti’s FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (if not doing the Euro-nightclub twist on the moon to Derek […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE CAIRO DECLARATION soundtrack

THE CAIRO DECLARATION soundtrack | ©2016 Movie Score Media

Nothing seems to inspire glorious feelings for The Motherland like a flag-waving symphonic score, its citizens’ devotion embodied in majestically swirling melody. But then, you don’t have to open your Little Red Book to appreciate the stirring patriotism that westerner Chad Cannon, along with Chinese composer into THE CAIRO DECLARATION, creating the most sumptuous music to accompany a historical event most listeners on this side of the Atlantic have never heard of. The 1943 meeting between FDR, Churchill and soon-to-be overthrown Chinese ruler Chiang Kai-shek decided the who’d get Japan’s occupied territories once Tojo went down in flames – with the […]Read On »

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THE JUNGLE BOOK soundtrack – CD Review

THE JUNGLE BOOK soundtrack | ©2016 Walt Disney Records

With his father Louis Debney playing his part in the birth of Disney animation, it was only natural that his musically talented son John would get his start at the studio on his way to turning its beloved 1967 toon into an astonishing example of live action flesh and CGI fur. You can certainly hear the love tonight in Debney’s epic valentine to his alma mater, as well as the inimitable tunes of its greatest songsmiths The Sherman Brothers by reading THE JUNGLE BOOK as it scales new heights for the composer. Debney has done an impressive job segueing from Mickey […]Read On »

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CD Reviews: 3:10 TO YUMA and THE GUNMAN soundtracks

3:10 TO YUMA soundtrack | ©2015 La La Land Records

With the NRA-approved likes of TERMINATOR 3, LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD and MESRINE: PUBLIC ENEMY #1, Marco Beltrami has shown his certain set of skills when it comes to using firearms, at least musically when it comes to a soft-spoken composer whose scores often make particularly loud bangs – no more so then with a fully loaded re-issue of his ode to spaghetti westerns, or his recent score that effectively turns the similarly circumspect Sean Penn into a weapon-blazing action hero. When hearing how Beltrami created a unique, and gnarly sound for James Mangold’s mighty good 2007 reboot of […]Read On »

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CD Review: GOING APE! soundtrack

GOING APE! soundtrack | ©2015 Intrada Records

 Though he’d never stopped scoring dramatic subjects like THE GREAT SANTINI and ZULU DAWN (not to mention SATURN 3‘s  hulking robot), the 1980s proved to be a three ring circus that proclaimed Elmer Bernstein as a king of comedy. He was certainly on a roll after the hijinks of ANIMAL HOUSE, MEATBALLS and AIRPLANE! scores that famously played their screwball humor “straight.” But definitely not so with the monkeyshines of 1981′s GOING APE!, which teamed TV’s TAXI stars Tony Danza and Danny DeVito with three mugging orangutans. While definitely not the most sophisticated comedy that Bernstein would ever score, the […]Read On »

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CD Review: SOAPDISH (1,000 edition) soundtrack

SOAPDISH soundtrack | ©2015 Quartet Records

Having cut his very early musical chops traveling with a neighborhood Cuban band, it was destiny itself that Alan Silvestri would get to mix that island’s boisterous rhythms with a very American brand of hilariously bombastic orchestral drama for this all-star 1991 send-up. But then again, Silvestri did start his major scoring career with the adventurous Latin beat of ROMANCING THE STONE before playing the deliciously melodramatic cat fight of DEATH BECOMES HER, all of which made him a perfect over-actor to accompany SOAPDISH with this winning plethora of snappy mambo energy and exuberant orchestrations for a cult comedy score […]Read On »

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CD Review: A SOUND OF THUNDER soundtrack

A SOUND OF THUNDER soundtrack | ©2015 Dragon's Domain

You’d be hard pressed to hear Ray Bradbury when this wannabe epic showed the time-wave shock of what happens when errant dino-hunters from the future happen to step on a hapless butterfly. Certainly filmmaker Peter Hyams was used to bagging bigger cinematic game when he took on the project for cash-strapped Franchise Pictures. But if the company’s fall made the real havoc here into the unrealized ambition of effects that seemed like a chicken in Jurassic Park, that didn’t stop Hyams from delivering an unexpectedly entertaining, and at times quite suspenseful film, the vision of what it’s production should have […]Read On »

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