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Befitting his being an obnoxious YouTube mash-up of a person, Donald Trump has spent his campaign collecting takedown notices from artists whose songs he’s appropriated, to often-ironic effect. The Rolling Stones, Queen, the estates of George Harrison and Luciano Pavarotti—you could construct an entire dinner party playlist composed of musicians who have publicly disavowed Donald Trump’s use of their songs (or in John Oliver’s case, make a video). And be sure to save a slot for the late film composer Jerry Goldsmith, whose theme for the 1997 Harrison Ford thriller Air Force One has long been used to score Trump’s own presidential disaster film, and which has now also garnered the ire of the movie’s producer.
Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, producer Gail Katz says she sent a letter to Trump’s campaign requesting that it please stop playing the Air Force One theme ...
- Sean O'Neal
With marketing for Star Trek Beyond calling back to it, we look back at The Motion Picture.
As the Enterprise crew gets set to boldly go where no man has gone before in Star Trek Beyond, an opportunity arises to look at the first big screen adventure of Captain James T. Kirk and Spock. Star Trek Beyond has certainly embraced Star Trek: The Motion Picture as the posters deliberately call back to the film. Why would Star Trek Beyond want to draw comparisons to what is widely considered to be the black sheep of the franchise? Perhaps they envision Trekkies far and wide are nostalgic and nostalgia is the hottest commodity in town.
Bringing back the franchise and appeasing fans aside, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is an abhorrent film. Paramount was excited to launch a Sci-fi film that was more in line with Close Encounters of the Third Kind or »
- Max Covill
From being initially written off on the basis of the underwhelming trailers to its emergence as a funny, fast-paced and fan-pleasing summer blockbuster, Star Trek Beyond has according to most critics done a bang up job of both honouring and continuing the classic franchise on the eve of its 50th anniversary.
Key to its impact is yet another rousingly adventurous and rich score from Michael Giacchino, whose return to the Trek realm for the third time was launched with a spectacular live concert performance at the movie’s premiere in Los Angeles. But then music has always been one of the most important and powerful weapons in the Star Trek arsenal, several of Hollywood’s most legendary composers having beamed us into the unknown. »
- Sean Wilson
Alex Carter Jul 27, 2016
“Ok, ok, so First Contact was a major box office and critical success, but it would have been so much better had all those great space battles been replaced with Riker having a shave in the bath.”
Said someone, somewhere, presumably.
Star Trek: Insurrection was the great hope for the franchise. The lessons learned from past failures. No more interference from the studio. Just put the right people in the right place and let them do their thing. It worked for Khan, it worked for First Contact, so it should work for Insurrection. Right?
Star Trek: Insurrection stands in the unusual position of being a film that would have benefited enormously from executive meddling. If one voice had spoken up and said “this film has problems”, perhaps »
“They did this in one take, which I hate.”
Of course, anyone who appreciates brilliant filmmaking should feel the same way, especially if they also appreciate themes of human nature drenched in cynicism. The film is easily one of the smartest, most beautiful gut-punches to come out of Hollywood in the ’70s (or any other decade for that matter), and it remains a powerful commentary on greed, bureaucracy, and the futility of good intentions.
- Rob Hunter
Alex Carter Jul 12, 2016
This article contains spoilers for Star Trek: Generations
Entropy. That is the ultimate theme in Star Trek: Generations. As signified by the long tracking shots of a bottle of champagne, culminating with it smashing upon the bow of the new Enterprise. The mechanism by which all change happens. How order turns to chaos, and why all good things must come to an end.
It’s also the only word that can possibly integrate the two disparate halves of the film. The treatise on the afterlife and impermanence, versus Data discovering the meaning of laughter. But really, that’s clutching at straws (and that’s coming from the guy who defended Star Trek V). For all the good ideas and fascinating moments, Generations is the curate’s egg »
It was announced today that George A. Romero, the legendary filmmaker and godfather of the modern zombie, will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as part of a Class of 2017 that also includes Chris Pratt, Amy Adams, and Ryan Reynolds.
The date for Romero's star ceremony has not been revealed yet, but we'll keep Daily Dead readers updated on future announcements. In the meantime, we have the official press release with full details, as well as a video (via Variety) of the Class of 2017 announcements:
Press Release: Hollywood, CA. June 28, 2016 —A new group of entertainment professionals in Motion Pictures, Television, Live Theatre, Radio and Recording have been selected to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it was announced today, Tuesday, June 28, 2016 by the Walk of Fame Selection Committee of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. These honorees were chosen from among hundreds of nominations to the »
- Derek Anderson
Hitting the big screen in New York City and VOD platforms on July 1st before making its Los Angeles theatrical debut on July 8th from IFC Midnight, Mickey Keating’s Carnage Park marks his fourth feature film collaboration with acclaimed composer Giona Ostinelli. For our latest Q&A feature, we caught up with Ostinelli to discuss working with Keating, using a wide range of instruments and items (including a nail gun) to create unease in Carnage Park, and much more.
Giona, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us. Your score for Carnage Park marks your fourth collaboration with director Mickey Keating. What first attracted you to Keating’s work?
Giona Ostinelli: Thanks so much for having me! Yes indeed, Mickey Keating and I have collaborated on four films. Our first film together, Ritual, was acquired by Lionsgate; our second film, Pod, was released theatrically with »
- Derek Anderson
Even shorn of its sound, Alien remains a masterpiece of tension thanks to the power of its physical performances, Ryan writes...
This article contains spoilers for Alien.
When a film works - really, really works - its combination of acting, cinematography, music, sound design, lighting and editing come together so seamlessly that it can become difficult to pin down exactly why it’s so effective. Take Alien for example: beautifully shot by Ridley Scott and cinematographer Derek Vanlint, cut with razor-sharp perfection to Jerry Goldsmith’s piping eerie score, it’s a masterpiece of genre filmmaking.
In the years since Alien’s release in 1979, various aspects of it have been singled out for praise: Hr Giger was rightly handed an Oscar for his part in the seductively hideous xenomorph in its various stages. The film’s story and nightmare imagery is still picked over for its Freudian and feminist subtexts. »
Bernard Herrmann music + weird landscapes = Nirvana. This big-star western tale has an unbreakable story but terrible dialogue and weak characters... yet for fans of adventure filmmaking it's a legend, thanks to a thunderous Bernard Herrmann music score that transforms dozens of uncanny, real Mexican locations into something other-worldly. Garden of Evil Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1954 / Color / 2:55 widescreen / 100 min. / Ship Date May 10, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward, Richard Widmark, Hugh Marlowe, Cameron Mitchell, Rita Moreno, Víctor Manuel Mendoza. Cinematography Milton R. Krasner, Jorge Stahl Jr. Art Direction Edward Fitzgerald, Lyle Wheeler Film Editor James B. Clark Original Music Bernard Herrmann Special Effects Ray Kellogg Written by Frank Fenton, Fred Freiberger, William Tunberg Produced by Charles Brackett Directed by Henry Hathaway
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
"The Garden of Evil. If the world was made of gold, I guess men would die for a handful of dirt. »
- Glenn Erickson
What does it take to an endure as a successful film composer in the 21st century? The answer, if you’re Brian Tyler, is versatility – and a lot of energy. Making his concert debut at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Saturday night, the ubiquitous Tyler presented a rollicking line-up of his various scores for film, TV and console games, his muscular offerings proving that he really is this generation’s heir apparent to Jerry Goldsmith (that many of his scores exceed the quality of the projects for which they’re written is another facet he shares with Goldsmith.)
Loose and limber whilst addressing the might of the Philharmonia Orchestra, plus choir, Tyler’s dazzling conducting skills made for sheer spectacle all on their own, the composer using his entire body and vigorously gesticulating to all points »
- Sean Wilson
Ben Jacoby has written the script for the prequel. Campos directed “Christine,” which premiered at Sundance and starred Rebecca Hall as Christine Chubbuck, the 29-year-old news reporter who committed suicide on live television in 1974.
“The Omen” was directed by Richard Donner from a David Seltzer script. The film, starring Gregory Peck, Lee Remick and David Warner, revolved around a young child adopted at birth by an American Ambassador and his wife who are unaware that the child is the Antichrist.
- Dave McNary
Now, I want to preface this piece by saying that I am a massive fan of Hans Zimmer, truly one of the most innovative and compelling forces in film music (when he chooses to be). From his revolutionary synth breakout with the likes of Rain Man and Driving Miss Daisy in the 1980s to the thunderous action of Backdraft and his multi-faceted collaborations with Ridley Scott (Thelma and Louise, Gladiator, Hannibal et al), Zimmer is a superb storyteller who doesn’t deserve the mud that is often slung at him. On tour in the UK at the moment, Zimmer has recently courted a lot of press attention with his high-profile announcement that he is to ‘retire’ from scoring superhero movies.
And this brings me to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. »
- Sean Wilson
Some brilliant scores accompany movies that don't always deserve them. Here are 25 examples...
Can a film soundtrack rescue a movie that is otherwise a lost cause? One thing’s for sure: throughout the history of cinema, music has often been the redeeming feature of many an underwhelming movie. Here are 25 amazing film scores composed for films that, frankly, didn’t deserve them.
This somnambulistic three hour romantic drama should really feature an extra screen credit for star Brad Pitt’s fetishised blonde locks. Rising way above the torpid melodrama of the plot is one of Thomas Newman’s most hauntingly melodic and attractive scores, one that leaves his characteristic quirkiness at the door to paint a portrait of death that is both melancholy and hopeful. The spectacular 10-minute finale That Next Place remains one of Newman’s towering musical achievements.
The War On Terror meets The Final Frontier and asks the most important question of all time. What does God need with a starship?
Shatner fights God. That’s about all anyone remembers from the infamous Final Frontier. Over the years, the tale has grown in the telling. Some called it one of the worst films of all time, others call it a box office catastrophe. It killed the careers of the director, producer, the entire special effects company, and nearly ended the entire franchise right there and then. It is remembered merely as a vanity project gone horribly wrong.
But ask yourself this. What does God need with a starship? Can you answer it? Can you understand the question? To dismiss it out of hand is to dismiss the opportunity to think. Do not turn your brain off.
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is the ultimate question. »
It’s time to discover the “Cloververse”. Check out the photos of the cast of 10 Cloverfield Lane as they walked the red carpet in New York along with director Dan Trachtenberg, producer J.J. Abrams and comedian Amy Schumer.
Pictured: Mary Elizabeth Winstead.-Photo by: Dave Allocca/Starpix.
Pictured: J.J. Abrams .-Photo by: Dave Allocca/Starpix.
Pictured: Dan Trachtenberg, director.-Photo by: Dave Allocca/Starpix.
Hollywood first recognized Trachtenberg’s talents with his Black Box TV short “More Than You Can Chew.” But in 2011 his short film “Portal: No Escape” (based on the popular Valve video game) debuted on YouTube to over 1 million hits in 24 hours. At this time, the »
- Michelle McCue
John Frankenheimer ended a three year hiatus following his 1979 environmental horror/creature feature Prophecy with a commendable martial-arts effort, The Challenge (1982). Starring Scott Glenn in his first lead performance, the curiosity was co-written by John Sayles and also stars Japanese legend Toshiro Mifune (who had previously appeared in Frankenheimer’s 1966 film, Grand Prix). Though it ultimately proves to be a nonsensical narrative in its clash of East meets West and traditional values threatened by the consumer cravings of the modernized world, some fantastic fight sequences (a pre-fame Steven Seagal served as technical advisor) and superb lensing from famed cinematographer Kozo Okazaki mark the title as worthy of recuperation for its conglomeration of vintage components.
In 1982 Los Angeles, a down and out boxer, Rick Murphy (Glenn) is approached to transport a sacred sword to Kyoto in order to restore it to its rightful owner, a master samurai, Toru Yoshida (Mifune). Apparently, »
- Nicholas Bell
This review contains spoilers.
1.1 The Beast Rises
Damien’s pilot episode is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to review. Usually an opinion should be clear by the end of an episode, aided by hurriedly scrawled notes taken during the viewing. And if I was going to base my review on those notes alone, then I would say that Damien is an awful television show. Objectively, that is the case. The dialogue is clunky and cliched, the characters are either bland or inconsistent and it’s shot in an alternately murky/shaky way that makes it a little unpleasant to watch. The actors do their best with weak material that gives no indication as to how this series will work going »
At this point, film and TV viewers have stared down enough thwarted apocalypses that we've all become amateur scholars of eschatology when it comes to the number of the beast or Death's arrival astride a pale horse or the cavalcade of disease and pestilence that will herald the End of Days. While hardly a trailblazer in blending theological warnings with demonic thrillers, Richard Donner's The Omen rode a star-studded cast, an eerie demon child, a giddily graphic beheading and Jerry Goldsmith's "Ave Satani" to blockbuster status, three sequels and an unnecessary, nearly shot-by-shot 2006 remake. Premiering on
- Daniel Fienberg
Diverse, awe-inspiring and memorable treasures that have sadly fallen off the radar
The noughties were a tough decade for film music fans. Not only was there the unprecedented loss of four great masters in the form of Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Michael Kamen and Basil Poledouris; the nature of the industry itself began to go through some seismic changes, not all of them for the better.
With the art of film scoring becoming ever more processed, driven increasingly by ghost writers, electronic augmentation and temp tracks, prospects looked bleak. However, this shouldn’t shield the fact that there were some blindingly brilliant scores composed during this period. Here’s but a small sampling of them.
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