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November/December 2016
12/31/16 Starship Troopers   (Basil Poledouris)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... only if you seek the most militaristically brutal and bombastic score of Basil Poledouris' career, an explosive and simplistic series of harsh action cues that mask an otherwise intelligently designed core of themes.
Avoid it... if the score's intentionally abrasive attitude and inability to really enunciate its secondary themes deter you from expanding upon an already large and representative collection of Poledouris' more intellectually stimulating music.
12/22/16 A Christmas Carol   (Alan Silvestri)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you've always loved the festive spirit of traditional carols and hymns at the holidays, because Alan Silvestri's score makes liberal use of half a dozen of these famous pieces to constitute the joyous (and now comical) half of this tired tale.
Avoid it... if it's summer wherever you are (or if you expect the twenty minutes of more interesting action and suspense material utilizing diverse instrumental and choral shades to compete favorably in the originality department, either).
12/11/16 Deadpool   (Tom Holkenborg)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... only if you desire a faithful representation of the music you heard in the film, and even then, be prepared for a totally incoherent listening experience on either of the available albums.
Avoid it... if you expect any meaningful intelligence from Tom Holkenborg in the film's original score, a dull, uninspired merging of tired superhero atmosphere and intentionally insufferable retro synthetics.
12/3/16 Volcano   (Alan Silvestri)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you predictably enjoy all of Alan Silvestri's action scores, even those entries that stir up significant bombast in some passages without really establishing any unique qualifiers to grab your attention in the long-term.
Avoid it... if you are tired of formulaic and predictable action scores that essentially do not offer anything you haven't heard before, because Volcano has solid ingredients and a pair of decent themes, but they don't yield a memorable whole.
11/23/16 The Return of a Man Called Horse   (Laurence Rosenthal)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you are among those who have been sitting on the LP release of this fine score for years and are curious about revisiting one of Laurence Rosenthal's most accomplished scores on either of its well-mastered CD releases.
Avoid it... if you've never been convinced of the philosophical viability of English-inspired romanticism merged with Native American chants, the combination here admirably handled but not overwhelmingly memorable.
11/14/16 Cutthroat Island   (John Debney)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you define your swashbuckling pirate music by the parameters of Hollywood's Golden Age and seek the one truly impressive translation of that sound to a masterful digital-era recording.
Avoid it... if loquacious bombast of relentless and dramatic orchestral and choral intensity, consistent in its massive scope over the course of two hours, is simply too much ruckus to tolerate (no matter the score's status as a modern classic).
11/5/16 Filmtracks endorses crooked, "nasty woman" Hillary Clinton for American president
In case you somehow had not noticed, America is immersed in the most extraordinarily bizarre presidential election of a generation. Filmtracks has published a presidential preference in every election since endorsing Bill Clinton in 1996 (and then using his infidelity in banner campaigns), a dutiful ritual met in the past four cycles with amusingly consistent vitriol from trolls and angry readers in the forums. With so much at stake, soundtracks can take a back seat for a moment. (One must ponder, however, why Republican presidential candidates have been using Jerry Goldsmith music at their rallies with distracting consistency since 2008.)

This past year, the election entertainment at Filmtracks began rather early; we have had the honor of being joined by some semblance of Republican candidate Donald J. Trump at the Scoreboard to remind us that, indeed, his inauguration will make Filmtracks great again. Statistically, he is the most popular Scoreboard participant ever, and if Filmtracks ever awards the top master trolls of all time at the forum, look for "Donald J. Trump" (and "Charles Krauthammer," for that matter) to figure prominently. As for the real Trump, the less said about him, the better.

Rather than explaining here why this site is endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, you are urged to view essentially the perfect summation of Filmtracks' pro-Clinton argument by comedian Louis C.K. on Conan O'Brien's show. "I don't want somebody likable or cool anymore," C.K. said. "We need a two-faced, conniving [person], somebody who's just got a million schemes... a tough bitch mother who nobody likes and who just does shit." He summarized by stating, "If you vote for Hillary, you're a grown-up. If you vote for Trump, you're a sucker. If you don't vote for anybody, you're an asshole."

To supply one addendum, I had the pleasure of attending back-to-back rallies for Clinton and Barack Obama in Missoula, Montana as they battled for the Democratic nomination in April of 2008. (You can play "Find Clem" in this AP photo.) Obama's rally was the usual rock concert affair, soaring in rhetoric but minimal in specifics. Clinton's was a smaller town hall event, and she answered crowd questions about Montana issues with surprising knowledge and clarity. Her deep, intelligent answers about state-specific Native American and forest conservation topics won my vote that day, and no amount of corruption, whether real or imagined, will change that opinion. Vote, Americans!

-- Christian Clemmensen, Filmtracks owner and editor
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rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. Page created 11/5/16 (and not updated structurally since).
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