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Today, the landscape could hardly be more different. Ten of the past 12 Oscar winners for best score were born outside the U.S., and many of this year’s awards-buzz movies feature music by composers from Europe or Latin America. Some observers suggest that Oscar’s final-five list for best score might have no American composers on it for the first time in Academy history.
Argentina-born Gustavo Santaolalla (“The Book of Life”) began to sense the shift when he won his second Oscar eight years ago for “Babel.” “It was an affirmation that things were changing,” he says. “More and more people from different parts of the world are making the film industry much richer, providing it with a wider vision than »
- Jon Burlingame
The gears in composer Alexandre Desplat’s head are always turning. They have to be; even with a packed scheduled — he’ll see five films hit American screens before the end of 2014 — his artistic process is still one of care and contemplation. With each new score, Desplat chisels out a sound that’s recognizably story-driven, interwoven with theme and individual from his other works. In his new film, "The Imitation Game," the composer translates Alan Turing’s life into a fractaling piano score that encompasses both the mathematician’s achievements — cracking the Nazi’s "Enigma Code" with a proto-computer known as the Turing Machine — and an emotional frustration bubbling underneath the surface. If Desplat’s espionage sounds click with Oscar voters, "The Imitation Game" would net him his seventh Academy Award nomination. He previously nabbed a spot in the top five with "The Queen," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, »
- Matt Patches
A rescoring of Drive has caused online outrage, but Mark's keeping an open mind about musical reinterpretations
Movie music matters. It's tough to wax lyrical about why it matters without sounding like one of those autocue scripts that we'll be hearing all throughout the coming awards season, probably read out by unlikely pairs of presenters, (“Now, to present the award for Best Sound Editing, Justin Bieber and Angela Lansbury!”) so let's just say that it does.
Whether it's an original score from Hans Zimmer or a jukebox tour of Quentin Tarantino's record collection, a movie's soundtrack informs the tone and timbre of the movie itself. So when we get into the question of movie rescores, we're really getting back into that thorny issue of asking whether the director's original intentions are sacrosanct to any subsequent versions of a film. As some of you may already have guessed, we bring »
“Gone Girl” (Fox)
“Disarming” was the watchword for Trent Reznor as he scored “Gone Girl.” The music often lies about what’s really happening, much like the film’s central couple — before the truth eventually erupts like a violent geyser.
The Oscar-winning Nine Inch Nails frontman and his regular collaborator Atticus Ross approached the film with the same unorthodox method as their previous collaborations with director David Fincher, splashing up “swatches” of conceptually divined colors they then painted into place.
The canvas for this tale of murder and suspicion beneath the facade of a happy suburban marriage called for a corresponding musical facade — taking inspiration from the inauthentic Muzak found in clinical settings.
“That translated into something that felt disarming, that felt like a saccharine-sweet false presentation of ‘everything’s going to be Ok,’ with an undercurrent of ‘everything’s definitely not Ok,’ ” Reznor says.
- Tim Greiving
“Sometimes dead is better.” Nearly 25 years ago, viewers heard Jud Crandall’s wise quote when Pet Sematary was released to theaters. The memorable movie was based on Stephen King’s 1983 novel and directed by Mary Lambert off a screenplay by King, and now Mondo is giving fans of the film a Halloween treat with the release of the Pet Sematary soundtrack 2Xlp vinyl, along with The Omen striped variant vinyl LP.
Press Release - “This Halloween we’re celebrating two horror cult classics, Pet Sematary and The Omen. In addition to the killer Pet Sematary poster by Mike Saputo, we’ll also be releasing the soundtrack on 2Xlp vinyl with the same artwork, »
- Derek Anderson
As you know, music plays a huge part in the filmmaking process and plays with our emotions while we are watching the movie. Music heightens our senses and adds to the quality of film. When it comes to horror movies, the music is supposed to scare us, make us feel uneasy, and gives us moments of panic and fear. Director Martin Scorsese said the following about music and film:
“Music and cinema fit together naturally. Because there’s a kind of intrinsic musicality to the way moving images work when they’re put together. It’s been said that cinema and music are very close as art forms, and I think that’s true.”
Just the other day the main theme song from Halloween started playing on the radio, and it freaked my kids out to the point that they were in tears. It was sad but kind of funny at the same time. »
- Joey Paur
Fifty years ago, the Great Society was launched, the Ford Mustang went on sale, the Beatles invaded America, and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” quite arguably the most intriguing and original adventure series ever produced for television, debuted on NBC. In September, 100 U.N.C.L.E. fans gathered in Culver City, Calif., home of the once-glorious Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio where the show was filmed, to celebrate five decades of fascination with U.N.C.L.E. The event was strictly limited to 100 attendees and sold out quickly, an indication of the show's lasting legacy.
The two-day event, dubbed “The Golden Anniversary Affair,” started organizing only last May. Two lifelong U.N.C.L.E. fans — Robert Short, an Oscar-winning special effects artist who was introduced to the show even before it went on the air when his sister got a job as a photo and stunt double on the series; and Jon Heitland, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Reviewed by Jesse Miller, MoreHorror.com
The mouths of gamers and Alien fans everywhere were left sour after the rather lacklustre Aliens: Colonial Marines so when a new game was announced with Sega yet again behind the curtain, some folks started to panic yet another disaster was around the corner.
Sega, with developer Creative Assembly, sought to go back to the original 1979 film and recreate that sense of horror and dread in an original storyline that would take place 15 years after the events of that film and follow Amanda Ripley, Ellen’s daughter, as she too comes into contact with the dreaded creature.
The end result for Alien: Isolation is probably one of the finest survival horror experiences in gaming I’ve had in years, as it’s relentlessly tense, rarely gives you a moment of peace and is often challenging.
As a fan of the Alien film series, »
A word of warning….
This Halloween revisit one of the scariest films of all-time as Alien: 35Th
Anniversary Edition arrives on Blu-ray October 7 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
This Limited-Edition Set includes both the theatrical version and director’s cut on Blu-ray, along with audio commentaries, deleted scenes and more — Plus — a reprint of the original Alien illustrated comic and all-new, collectible art cards as a tribute to the late H.R. Giger, creator of the iconic movie monster that started it all. Check out my look back at the film Here.
When the crew of the space-tug Nostromo responds to a distress signal from a barren planet, they discover a mysterious life form that breeds within human hosts. The acid-blooded extraterrestrial proves to be the ultimate adversary as crew members battle to stay alive and prevent the deadly creature from reaching Earth. Directed by Ridley Scott and starring »
- Michelle McCue
On September 19th, 20th Century Fox will unveil the highly anticipated The Maze Runner and according to early numbers, director Wes Ball’s movie is on track for a $30 million opening when it bows next weekend.
Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner, when Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape.
One of the most popular soundtracks Sony Music has released this year, the original movie score is from American film composer and conductor John Paesano.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Paesano initially studied classical music with composition professor Sally Dow Miller of Conservatoire de Paris. »
- Michelle McCue
Scream Factory recently gifted us genre fans a double dose of creature feature terrors with their Blu-ray releases of the killer rat flick Deadly Eyes and George P. Cosmatos’ hugely underrated deep sea horror film Leviathan. While both films aren’t necessarily well-known amongst more casual fans, it’s great to see Scream put such great effort into their presentations for each of these cult classics.
For those who haven’t seen it before, Deadly Eyes (or Rats)is a rather ridiculous (but wonderfully so) early ‘80s nature-run-amok story that plays up the concerns and dangers of modern urban society by way of roided-out killer rat infestations that have a penchant for human flesh. The film takes its premise very seriously, but it’s the use of Daschunds in rat costumes that has given Deadly Eyes something of an unintentional comedic spin, making for a rather uneven horror film.
- Heather Wixson
Stars: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Corey Feldman, Henry Gibson, Rick Ducommun, Wendy Schaal, Brother Theodore, Courtney Gains, Gale Gordon, Dick Miller, Robert Picardo, Cory Danziger | Written by Dana Olsen | Directed by Joe Dante
Written by Dana Olsen (Going Berserk) and directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling), The ‘Burbs is a comedy-horror hybrid that, for me, was a staple film of my childhood, a movie I was probably too young to be watching, yet couldn’t get enough of. I was very excited to hear that Arrow, a company I am a fan of, were bringing out The ‘Burbs on Blu-ray, for the first time in the UK, with a director’s cut, and a smorgasbord of extras.
A stellar cast, featuring heavyweight acting talent like Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher, Corey Feldman and Henry Gibson, this is a beautifully dark, hilarious and addictive film that deals with themes like cannibalism, »
- Chris Cummings
Kenneth Lampl and Darren Tate are the composers of Magnolia Picture’s “Frontera”. What makes them so unique? They've never met in person. Join us as we talk with them about their interesting and unique working relationship.
Working partnerships are common in the movie-making industry. Pooling together knowledge and talent is one way to create a more appealing and more complete product. Furthermore, for large projects with lots of work to do and tasks to complete, it makes the burden easier to bear (we all know how helpful it can be to have a shoulder to lean on). What is not common is having such partnerships develop across an ocean and not in person. For Kenneth Lampl and Darren Tate, that's exactly what happened.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
Poznan, Poland—John Ottman is a traditionalist. The composer for such films as “XMen— Days of Future Past,” “Superman Returns,” “The Usual Suspects,” “X2: XMen United,” and “Apt Pupil,” writes scores in the style of his musical heroes, John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith. Here at the Transatlantyk Festival in Poznan, he talked to attendees about the emotional points film music should hit and lamented the lack of finesse in so many of today’s scores. Ottman is unique among composers in that he serves not only as the scorer for Bryan Singer’s films, he also edits them, which severely limits the amount of time he has to score. He recently emerged out of a three-year work jag that included working on “Jack the Giant Slayer,” “X-Men—Days of Future Past.” My colleague Kris Tapley interviewed Ottman about “Days of Future Past,” in May so I decided to do »
- Melinda Newman
By Darren Allison
Following the break-up of Emerson, Lake and Palmer at the end of the 1970s, Keith Emerson ventured into the world of film soundtrack composition with his score for Italian director Dario Aregento’s horror film Inferno in 1980. This, in turn, led to Emerson being commissioned to compose and perform the music for the Sylvester Stallone film Nighthawks in 1981. From here a succession of film scores were to follow for directors in Italy, Japan and the United States. At the Movies gathers together Emerson’s music for seven movies including Nighthawks, Best Revenge, Inferno, La Chiesa (The Church), "Muderock, Harmagedon and Godzilla Final Wars.
Disc One (Us Movies) contains 2 full soundtracks. Firstly, there is Nighthawks (1981) an enjoyable cop thriller from Sylvester Stallone. The movie co-starred Billy Dee Williams as Stallone’s partner, Lindsey Wagner (of TVs Bionic Woman fame) as the love interest and Rutger Hauer as terrorist Heymar Reinhardt. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
They were answering a distress call, but it wouldn’t be long before the crew of the Nostromo would need to send out one of their own. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Ridley Scott’s Alien, and to celebrate the film’s legacy, 20th Century Fox has unveiled eye-grabbing cover art for their Alien: 35th Anniversary Limited Edition Blu-ray release that depicts the Xenomorph and Ridley melding together.
Set for an October 7th release, the Alien: 35th Anniversary Limited Edition Blu-ray features the theatrical cut and the director’s cut, as well as a digital copy and some meticulously detailed cover art that makes it difficult to tell where a spacesuit-clad Ridley begins and where the Alien ends. This intertwined artwork fittingly depicts Ripley’s relationship with the Aliens, as she continually faces off against their ruthless species in four films. The 35th anniversary edition has »
- Derek Anderson
Directed by Dean Parisot
“Never give up. Never surrender.” Truer words have never been spoken. In 1999, the science fiction genre was shaken up a bit by a movie so smart and so funny that no other film has managed to duplicate its greatness ever since. That film is Galaxy Quest, a hilarious satire of all things sci-fi, most specifically the Star Trek franchise. Galaxy Quest isn’t simply a parody of Star Trek, though. It’s a parody of a show within a movie that bears an extraordinary resemblance to Star Trek, and this goofy send-up is the perfect recipe for intelligent humor, dazzling special effects, and pure movie magic.
- Randall Unger
While the average audience member might not automatically process this, the overall sound of a film is pivotal to our enjoyment. When it comes to composers, it's almost as if they're engineering their own films away from the filmmakers, with elevated action, moody drama and swooning romance. What's unique is hearing the music of the film, then heading home and hearing it on your own. The mark of a great composition is that it complements the movie perfectly, but on an independent listen, it creates new images all its own inside your head. This week, we listen to Michael Giachinno's score for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, currently the number one movie in America. The Apes movies have a long legacy of significant scores from the likes of Jerry Goldsmith and Patrick Doyle, the latter who composed Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. But, more importantly, this »
Directed by Matt Reeves
In the wake of a disaster that changed the world, the growing and genetically evolving apes find themselves at a critical point with the human race.
The announcement of a reboot to the Planet of the Apes franchise was met with apathy due to the poor reception and utter failure of a movie that is Tim Burton’s 2001 remake, but 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a nice surprise. The movie was beautiful, slow and brilliantly written and acted with some of the most impressive visuals ever seen. Not only was it one of the best movies released that year, it was easily the best movie in the Planet of the Apes franchise. Its sequel »
- Luke Owen
Even before you consider Rupert Wyatt's hit 2011 blockbuster Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its successor Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Franklin J Schaffner's 1968 adventure had spawned four sequels, an animated cartoon series, a live-action TV show, a deluge of marketing (bubblegum cards, plastic models, etc.) and Tim Burton's 2001 remake. And yet nobody wanted to touch Planet of the Apes when producer Arthur P Jacobs first touted it around Hollywood in the mid-'60s.
Adapted from Pierre Boulle's novel La Planète Des Singes, Jacobs saw it as the perfect follow-up to the animal magic movie he currently had in production, Doctor Dolittle. Approaching studios with a script by Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone, and concept images honed by no fewer than seven artists, Jacobs's passion project was nonetheless ridiculed: actors in monkey suits was the stuff of B-movies and cheap TV serials. »
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