Newest Major Reviews:.This Month's Most Popular Reviews: Best-Selling Albums:
. 1. The Lego Batman Movie
2. Fifty Shades Darker
3. Hidden Figures
4. La La Land
5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
. . 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 November, 2011:





11/30/11Thelma & Louise: (Hans Zimmer) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the widely traded bootleg or 2011 Kritzerland album if you desire the defiantly beautiful, gospel-laced finale cue to go with the commercially available presentation of the famous "Thunderbird" suite from the score.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear more than eight to ten minutes of truly meaningful material in this score, because outside of the stylish guitar performances and that finale, there isn't much to impress on any full presentation of the short score.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


11/28/11The Core: (Christopher Young) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you have long ago lost patience with the insipid, mundane trash usually recorded for blockbuster disaster films, in which case Christopher Young's score for The Core will impress you with surprising intelligence in its sustained volume.
Avoid it... if you can't handle being challenged by a composer who tosses aside the notion of easy, harmonic statements of a bold theme in every action cue and instead offers the kind of robust "wall of sound" that will overwhelm you with its transcendent structures.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


11/26/11Spider-Man 2: (Danny Elfman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you wish to hear Danny Elfman's very strong, thematically satisfying sequel score in its original form, separate from the film's awkwardly poor treatment of it.
Avoid it... if you were hoping for a more contemporary and stylish turn to the franchise's scores or if, like many, you wonder why the director would force Christopher Young's music from Hellraiser II into this picture.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


11/23/11Basic Instinct: (Jerry Goldsmith) - Expanded Review
Buy it... on either of the albums featuring this score if you are ready to hear truly unique erotic thriller music that perfectly balances the inescapable sensuality and chilly dread of the film's shamelessly lurid plotline.
Avoid it... if even a clever exploration of the noir genre in Jerry Goldsmith's contemporary methodology cannot keep you from being disturbed by the score's legendarily turbulent, challenging, and musically graphic sex and orgasm sequences.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


11/21/11Aladdin: (Alan Menken) - Expanded Review
Buy it... on the original 1992 pressing if you seek to hear Aladdin as it was meant to be, an entertaining and humorous collection of songs with strong melodic adaptations in the accompanying underscore.
Avoid it... on the 2004 "Special Edition" album if you expect a satisfying and comprehensive presentation of the songs (with the lyrics of the original theatrical release) or the previously missing score material that remains elusive on album.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


11/19/11Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: (John Williams) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you consider yourself any kind of Star Wars fan whatsoever, for John Williams concludes the saga with melodramatic weight of immense depth for this critical bridge to the classic trilogy.
Avoid it... if you are accustomed to the traditional format of Star Wars scores that values memorable themes and concert arrangements, a characteristic aspect of the franchise consciously dropped by Williams for this final film.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


11/17/11Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: (John Williams) - Expanded Review, With Additional Albums
Buy it... on the 1997 "Special Edition" albums over all others because they feature the best combination of outstanding packaging and a nearly complete presentation of John Williams' slightly diminished but still very powerful sequel score.
Avoid it... on the 1985 to 1993 albums because of poorer, archival sound quality and incomplete presentations, as well as the 2004 and 2007 re-pressings that are identical to the 1997 albums in contents but without the superior packaging.
Rating:*****   Read the entire review


11/15/11Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: (John Williams) - Expanded Review, With Additional Albums
Buy it... on the 1997 "Special Edition" albums over all others because they feature the best combination of outstanding packaging and a complete presentation of John Williams' incredibly memorable sequel score.
Avoid it... on the 1985 to 1993 albums because of poorer, archival sound quality and incomplete presentations, as well as the 2004 and 2007 re-pressings that are identical to the 1997 albums in contents but without the superior packaging.
Rating:*****   Read the entire review


11/13/11Star Wars: A New Hope: (John Williams) - Expanded Review, With Additional Albums
Buy it... on the 1997 "Special Edition" albums over all others because they feature the best combination of outstanding packaging and a complete presentation of John Williams' classic, iconic, and revolutionary space opera music.
Avoid it... on the 1986 to 1993 albums because of poorer, archival sound quality and incomplete presentations, as well as the 2004 and 2007 re-pressings that are identical to the 1997 albums in contents but without the superior packaging.
Rating:*****   Read the entire review


11/11/11Gremlins: (Jerry Goldsmith) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you've already sought and enjoyed the more readily available and possibly easier to appreciate Gremlins 2: The New Batch on album and are prepared for Jerry Goldsmith's cat-howling original.
Avoid it... if you tend to be annoyed by Goldsmith's harsher electronic tones that existed primarily in his mid-1980's scores, for they dominate the soundscape in this ultra-quirky entry.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


11/9/11Dances With Wolves: (John Barry) - Expanded Review
Buy it... on the 2004 expanded album if are one of the few in a generation to have never before owned the classic symphonic score, John Barry's triumphant crowning achievement while nearing the end of his career.
Avoid it... if you have grown tired of Barry's trademark stylistic simplicity of the 1980's and 1990's, because despite this score's perfect emotional tone for the film, its instrumentation and themes are extremely derivative of the composer's prior scores.
Rating:*****   Read the entire review


11/7/11Troy: (Gabriel Yared/James Horner) - Expanded Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the commercial album with James Horner's functional but mundane replacement score only if you have extreme patience with his tendency to recycle his own music, a technique actually made necessary by his last minute rush job for this film.
Avoid it... on the Horner album completely if you have a chance to somehow obtain the vastly superior rejected score by Gabriel Yared, the momentous crown jewel of his career that has haunted film score fans since its intentional leak to the public in 2004.
Rating:VARIED   Read the entire review


11/5/11Midway: (John Williams) - Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if even one of John Williams' less acclaimed and less cohesive epic scores of the 1970's is worth investigating based on its two enduring themes of concert fame.
Avoid it... on the 2011 limited release of the original recording if you seek the best available album for Midway, in which case a 1998 re-recording of almost all of the score on the same label is the far better experience.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


11/3/11WarGames: (Arthur B. Rubinstein) - All New Review
Buy it... if you seek a valiant attempt by Arthur B. Rubinstein to capture the somewhat schizophrenic nature of the film's duality, balancing light parody and synthetic pop style with ballsy orchestral mayhem for the threat of nuclear war.
Avoid it... if you have difficulty accepting scores that challenge you with a wide range of technical intellect and melodic constructs instead of simplifying their personality to capture your heart with cohesive ethos.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


11/1/11For the Record: Craig Armstrong: (Compilation) - All New Review
Buy it... only if you seek a complete collection of the "For the Record" albums from the Ghent performances of major composers' works during the late 2000's, for the Craig Armstrong entry is rather weak compared to the others.
Avoid it... if you can't fathom hearing Armstrong's music without its trademark synthetic elements, the naked orchestral variants bizarre to the ears in a presentation that is also necessarily absent some of his best-known music.
Rating:**   Read the entire review







Page created 11/14/11, updated 11/15/11. Version 2.1 (Filmtracks Publications). Copyright © 2011, Christian Clemmensen. All rights reserved.