Newest Major Reviews:.This Month's Most Popular Reviews: Best-Selling Albums:
. 1. Beauty and the Beast
2. The Boss Baby
3. Logan
4. The Lego Batman Movie
5. Fifty Shades Darker
. . 1. Star Wars: Force Awakens
2. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
3. Titanic
4. Avatar
5. Nineteen Eighty-Four
6. Gladiator
7. Star Wars: A New Hope
8. Animal Farm
9. LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring
10. Harry Potter: Sorcerer's Stone
. . 1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2. Fantastic Beasts/Find Them
3. Willow
4. The Ghost and the Darkness
5. An American Tail
Filmtracks On Cue


On Cue for July, 2009:





7/30/09Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: (James Horner) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you're interested in hearing the roots of many of James Horner's great motifs and thematic styles in one of the best scores in the history of the "Star Trek" franchise and the science fiction genre at large.
Avoid it... if an abrasive and harsh performance tone and somewhat archival recording quality (especially on the 1991 album) and/or Horner's broad, sea-faring style seems out of place for you in this franchise.
Rating:*****   Read the entire review


7/29/09Runaway: (Jerry Goldsmith) - All New Review
Buy it... only if you desire to hear Jerry Goldsmith's first all-electronic score and are prepared for a badly dated and harshly grating rendering that firmly roots the work in its era.
Avoid it... if you expect the quality of Goldsmith's composition to compensate for the irritatingly raw electronic tones employed to give the film a futuristic edge.
Rating:*   Read the entire review


7/28/09I.Q.: (Jerry Goldsmith) - All New Review
Buy it... only if you're attempting to complete a Jerry Goldsmith collection, because as cute and affable as this comedy score is, there's not much substance outside of a high profile melodic adaptation and some catchy 50's-style rhythms.
Avoid it... if you cringe at the prospect of hearing Goldsmith rely upon "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" as the primary thematic identity for this film (and break no new ground in other parts).
Rating:***   Read the entire review


7/27/09Link: (Jerry Goldsmith) - All New Review
Buy it... only if you require the ultimate tool of derangement (a bizarre and unlikely stylistic blend of Gremlins and Hoosiers) with which to plunder the sanity of your dwelling partner or repel possible mates.
Avoid it... even if you consider yourself a faithful collector of Jerry Goldsmith's 1980's scores, because Link is a rare circumstance in which the composer nearly ruined an already suspect film with a totally inappropriate score.
Rating:*   Read the entire review


7/26/09Lionheart: (Jerry Goldsmith) - All New Review
Buy it... if you seek one of Jerry Goldsmith's most definitive action scores, a hidden gem of immense symphonic power that would inform many of the composer's best action works of the subsequent decade.
Avoid it... on the 1987 "Volume 2" album if your finances are tight, for the other two commercial releases offer the truly essential material and all of the pressings are long out of print and highly prized.
Rating:*****   Read the entire review


7/25/09Outland: (Jerry Goldsmith) - All New Review
Buy it... on its only album if you seek a minimally interesting distraction with one engaging finale cue prior to the far superior Capricorn One on the same product.
Avoid it... if you expect the score to be as entertaining as the film itself, for Jerry Goldsmith answers the plot's suspense with extremely harsh tones in the lowest registers and an troubled, ambiguous title theme.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


7/24/09Twilight Zone: The Movie: (Jerry Goldsmith) - All New Review
Buy it... if you seek twenty minutes of truly lovely Jerry Goldsmith material for light and airy melodic situations, a sound that betrays the reputation that this score has with some listeners because of its generally darker whole.
Avoid it... if you distinctly remember the chopping rhythms and ominous brass theme for the memorable airplane segment that concludes the film and expect to hear more than just a few minutes of that impressively harrowing material.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


7/23/09The Boys from Brazil: (Jerry Goldsmith) - All New Review
Buy it... if you are prepared for one of Jerry Goldsmith's most unique genre-defying efforts, a technical masterpiece that is more intelligent than most to have ever come from Hollywood.
Avoid it... if you prefer your listening experiences to be more consistently streamlined, in which case Capricorn One is a better packaging of the sinister half of The Boys from Brazil (and obviously absent the striking waltzes).
Rating:****   Read the entire review


7/22/09Inchon: (Jerry Goldsmith) - All New Review
Buy it... only if you consider yourself a staunch collector of Jerry Goldsmith's works, because while Inchon is a decent composition, its terrible recording nearly ruins the listening experience.
Avoid it... if you demand a truly vibrant and engaging representation of the war genre from an otherwise reliable Goldsmith, though the sound quality issues are mostly to blame for this score's ills.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


7/21/09Capricorn One: (Jerry Goldsmith) - All New Review
Buy it... on the 1993 GNP Crescendo album if you seek a fantastic rearrangement and re-recording by Jerry Goldsmith of this brutally propulsive score.
Avoid it... on that album if you prefer the sparse and harshly raw version of the score recorded by Goldsmith at MGM for the film itself, of which the 2005 Intrada Records album is a very loyal representation.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


7/20/09Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend: (Jerry Goldsmith) - All New Review
Buy it... if you are comfortable with Jerry Goldsmith's distinct merging of electronics and orchestra for the fantasy genre in the 1980's, because this dynamic score is very symbolic of that era for the composer.
Avoid it... if ten minutes of explosive and resounding action material for percussion and low brass is not enough to compensate for a score dominated by an overly cute and derivative synthetic theme for the fuzzy family side of the story.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


7/19/09Alien: (Jerry Goldsmith) - All New Review
Buy it... on the 2007 Intrada Records album if you seek a comprehensive examination of how Jerry Goldsmith intended for his challenging score to be placed in the film.
Avoid it... if you expect the listening experience to be pleasant, for outside of the ten or so minutes of Goldsmith's whimsically romantic title theme of mystery, the remainder of Alien is difficult to enjoy for purely entertainment purposes.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


7/18/09The 'Burbs: (Jerry Goldsmith) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you want to hear the very best that Jerry Goldsmith's comedy-writing talents had to offer.
Avoid it... if the search for and price of either of the score's strong but limited and sold out albums is not worth hearing a composer poke fun at himself and nearly every musical genre in the book.
Rating:*****   Read the entire review


7/17/09Not Without My Daughter: (Jerry Goldsmith) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... only if you are an avid collector of Jerry Goldsmith's works and appreciate even the less engaging and sparse variations of his light string, woodwind, and synthesizer tones.
Avoid it... if you require sustained performances of action rhythms or harmonic sensitivity in your Goldsmith music, or if you shared in the widely publicized political protests against the film.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


7/16/09Are you a Jerry Goldsmith fan?
If so, then stay tuned. Tomorrow, Filmtracks will begin to debut a long-overdue collection of reviews devoted to Jerry Goldsmith's fruitful period of production from the late 1970's to mid-1980's. Older coverage will be updated to reflect recent album re-issues and over twenty all-new reviews of Goldsmith scores will be featured in this On Cue section over the next several weeks. For more information on this and other upcoming coverage, read more...


7/15/09Species: (Christopher Young) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you appreciate Christopher Young's standard combination of wondrous, thematic beauty and jarring, stock horror techniques.
Avoid it... if you've heard a portion of the score's beautiful but chilly title theme on a compilation and expect the entire score to reflect that style of harmonic appeal.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


7/14/09Big Trouble in Little China: (John Carpenter/Alan Howarth) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you have an enduring taste for synthetic rock scores of the 1980's and revel in their inherently shameless cheesiness.
Avoid it... if you have no love at all for the body of musical work from John Carpenter during this period of time, for this score reflects the best and worst of his dated style.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


7/13/09Airplane!: (Elmer Bernstein) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on either the 2005 bootleg or the 2009 limited album if you seek an adequate survey of this humorous and popular Elmer Bernstein parody score in very strong sound quality.
Avoid it... on the original 1997 bootleg at all costs (due to atrocious sound quality) or if you expect, despite all logic in this case, to hear anything resembling a consistent listening experience through dozens of short, genre-defying cues.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


7/12/09Masters of the Universe: (Bill Conti) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you enjoy the bravado of any ambitious, large-scale variation on Gustav Holst's "The Planets" and John Williams' similar adaptations of the era.
Avoid it... if you hold the music from the original television show true to your heart, for Bill Conti ignores its established themes and offers a hopelessly optimistic score that fails to adequately address the emotional range of the concept.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


7/11/09Superman: (John Williams) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on both the 1998 Varèse Sarabande re-recording and the 2000 Rhino or 2008 FSM complete sets for superior presentations of one of John Williams' most memorable and classic scores.
Avoid it... on any of the releases of the original recording if you are deterred by the archival, analog sound quality that restricts the dynamic range of Williams' composition and varies from track to track.
Rating:*****   Read the entire review


7/10/09Farewell to the King: (Basil Poledouris) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you consider yourself any kind of Basil Poledouris collector, or if you enjoy John Barry's broad and lush romantic sensibilities of the 1980's.
Avoid it... if neither of Poledouris' scores for Conan the Barbarian nor Les Misérables holds any stylistic interest for you, for Farewell to the King resembles pieces of both works despite its exotic tones.
Rating:*****   Read the entire review


7/9/09Grey Gardens (TV): (Rachel Portman) - All New Review
Buy it... if your nostalgia for Rachel Portman's broad strokes of romance from the 1990's sends you searching for every new variation of that sound in existence, even if it only lasts here for a few minutes.
Avoid it... if you expect Portman to challenge herself with any deviating stylistic exploration in this highly predictable, but still affable work.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


7/8/09Cheri: (Alexandre Desplat) - All New Review
Buy it... if you are a clearly established enthusiast of Alexandre Desplat romance scores that rely upon intelligent lines of dancing movement rather than easier, broad strokes of deeper tonality.
Avoid it... if you consider Desplat's prancing, waltz-inspired rhythms of the treble region to be obnoxiously dainty, prompting you to swat at imaginary insects buzzing around you in the room.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


7/7/09My Sister's Keeper: (Aaron Zigman) - All New Review
Buy it... only if you seek a conservatively depressing, minimally orchestral companion piece as tortured as the contemplative souls in the story on screen.
Avoid it... if you expect scores for introspective, weighty dramas to offer appeal in the form of melodramatic gravity, for Aaron Zigman seems to have missed the target in achieving a Gabriel Yared style of sound for this challenging film.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


7/6/09Year One: (Theodore Shapiro) - All New Review
Buy it... if you have no trouble balancing the ass-kicking contemporary rock passages and broad orchestral material that exists in perpetual battle with one another in this wild listening experience.
Avoid it... if you seek any memorable aspect other than its hip personality to take from this score, for its themes and stylistic constructs match the incongruous and predictably dumb nature of the film.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


7/2/09The Stoning of Soraya M.: (John Debney) - All New Review
Buy it... if you easily appreciate enveloping dramatic scores of sparse but powerful ethnic beauty, for this effort is among John Debney's most passionate, introspective scores of subtle power.
Avoid it... if you expect sustained periods of the outwardly explosive scope of the similarly (and, for some, more immaculately) conceived music for The Passion of the Christ.
Rating:****   Read the entire review







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