Newest Major Reviews:.This Month's Most Popular Reviews: Best-Selling Albums:
. 1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2. Inferno
3. The Accountant
4. The Girl on the Train
5. Sully
. . 1. Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan
2. Willow
3. The Land Before Time
4. Glory
5. Legends of the Fall
6. Apollo 13
7. Titanic
8. The Legend of Zorro
9. Avatar
10. The Amazing Spider-Man
. . 1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2. Wolf Totem
3. Mission: Imp. - Rogue Nation
4. Jurassic Park
5. The Martian
Filmtracks On Cue


On Cue for January, 2011:





1/31/11Composer John Barry has died at 77
Famed for writing the music for nearly a dozen James Bond films and dramatic powerhouses of the 1980's and 1990's, John Barry died yesterday in New York at the age of 77. His family did not release a cause of death and indicated that his funeral would be private. Barry retired from composing in the 2000's but remained a favorite due to his four decades of popular and award-winning songs and orchestral scores. He was one of the few remaining composers with ties to the smoke-filled session rooms that date back to his start in jazz instrumentals, developing not only the identity of the Bond franchise in the 1960's but also a larger symphonic style that earned him multiple Academy Awards in that decade as well. His flowing romance style of the 1980's, easily recognizable because of the composer's highly consistent mannerisms, bridged the gap between film music and the mainstream in a way that only a few of his peers have achieved.

Filmtracks recognizes his career by urging younger generations of film music collectors to explore his most accomplished soundtracks, including Born Free (1966), The Lion in Winter (1968), Somewhere in Time (1980), Raise the Titanic (1980), Body Heat (1981), Out of Africa (1985), Dances With Wolves (1990), Chaplin (1992), My Life (1993), and, to represent his contribution to the Bond franchise, his final and superior entry, The Living Daylights (1987).

Although he may not have written a score in the past ten years, his musical voice has endured (and, in many ways, defied) the industry's shift away from his later, once super-popular style of broad romanticism. Whether for better or for worse, his stubborn methods of sweeping audiences out of their seats or subconsciously inducing them to tap their feet on the floor were truly unique. Read more about his career at Filmtracks' John Barry Tribute.


1/29/11Red Sonja: (Ennio Morricone) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on any album only if you are an Ennio Morricone completist or seek one of the quirkier but still effective scores to grace the sword and sorcery age in the early 1980's.
Avoid it... if you never cared much for Basil Poledouris' music for the Hyborian Age and wouldn't want to hear it romanticized in sometimes awkward fashion, especially as it caters to 1980's pop culture at its conclusion.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


1/26/11Home Alone: (John Williams) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on any of its albums if you seek one of the most memorable, purely innocent Christmas scores in the history of film music.
Avoid it... if the hopelessly optimistic, spiritually seasonal nature of John Williams' first cheery children's score reduces it to a once-a-year kind of listening experience.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/23/11Jade: (James Horner) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on either the bootlegs or the official, limited 2010 album only if you want to experience the horror that James Horner must have felt when actually trying to write 20+ minutes of mundane, mostly synthetic filler material for this unbelievably awful film.
Avoid it... if you expect Horner to have written anything as compelling as the beautiful Loreena McKennitt song or as interesting as the Igor Stravisnky piece both mixed so prominently with the score throughout the film.
Rating:*   Read the entire review


1/20/11Flesh + Blood: (Basil Poledouris) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the 2010 Intrada album if you seek a bold, glorious, tonal, and rhythmically constructed companion score to Basil Poledouris' Conan the Barbarian in its most obviously superior sound quality.
Avoid it... if you are not an audiophile and the score has never really enticed you going all the way back to Varèse Sarabande's CD in 1992, in which case subsequent presentations of additional material will likely not impress you.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/17/11The Karate Kid: (Bill Conti) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the comprehensive 2007 set with all four of Bill Conti's scores for the popular franchise if you are a devoted enthusiast of either the films or Conti's distinctive blend of symphonic and contemporary tones typical to the era.
Avoid it... if you expect the ethnic influence on these scores to shake the stylistic habits and overarching tone that equally define the composer's Rocky scores as dated and repetitious.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


1/14/11Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: (Jerry Goldsmith) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the 2010 La-La Land album if you're interested in hearing a superior presentation of one of Jerry Goldsmith's most vibrant, thematically diverse, and arguably forgotten "Star Trek" scores.
Avoid it... on any of the albums if you want to hear the replacement music for the brainwashing sequences in the film or if you expect Goldsmith's material for those scenes and concepts to match the strength of the remainder of this otherwise entertaining entry.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/11/11Rain Man: (Hans Zimmer) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you want to trace most of Hans Zimmer's enduring and arguably superior output from 1989 to 1994 back to its origin, because Rain Man was the initiation point for a wide variety of the composer's later techniques.
Avoid it... if the eleven minutes of Zimmer's likable, optimistic score on the 1988 commercial product isn't enough and you expect the 2010 limited edition album or various score-only bootlegs to provide a consistent, decent sounding presentation of the score's prettier parts.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/8/11The Bucket List: (Marc Shaiman) - All New Review
Buy it... if you appreciate the personality of both Marc Shaiman and his music, because this compilation album is a tribute to his heartfelt sensibilities, remarkable performance abilities, and enduring sense of humor.
Avoid it... if you expect the score for The Bucket List alone to carry the weight of this album, because it's tastefully restrained but underwhelming music that cannot compete with the depth of Shaiman's better scores.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


1/5/11The Beach: (Angelo Badalamenti) - All New Review
Buy it... if the film's absolutely stunning title theme for whimsical orchestra and choir, occupying just a third of the score's length, is worth wading through the extremely challenging techno-brutal majority to find.
Avoid it... if you're not familiar with the schizophrenic personality of this soundtrack, because the highly collectible score-only album is a very mixed bag of stylistic discord.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


1/2/11First Blood: (Jerry Goldsmith) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the outstanding 2010 Intrada set if you seek by far the most superior presentation of an action score that builds and maintains more character than most in existence, conveying the sorrow of John Rambo with surprising warmth in its melodic highlights.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear the same consistently explosive tone of action in First Blood that made the subsequent two scores in the franchise (also by Jerry Goldsmith) so memorable.
Rating:****   Read the entire review







Page created 1/28/11, updated 1/29/11. Version 2.1 (Filmtracks Publications). Copyright © 2011, Christian Clemmensen. All rights reserved.