18 items from 2014
When you want subtle and nuanced, Al Pacino isn’t the guy you call. , focused on the kind of eccentric rural Southern character you might expect to encounter in one of Errol Morris’ early documentaries, or among the weathered, life-worn faces who add authenticity as cutaways in one of director David Gordon Green’s own indie features. Personality-wise, this pic feels as scruffy and disheveled as its subject, benefiting from Pacino’s name enough to attract a higher-profile release than a character actor would have in the same part.
Some folks live in the present, and some folks live in the past. That’s equally true of critics, many of whom cling to the memory of Green’s early work — quiet, evocative studies of real, unpretentious souls — despite the studio-comedy career he’s had since “Pineapple Express.” Small-town Texas locksmith A.J. Manglehorn (Pacino) also lives in the past, hung »
- Peter Debruge
Venice — Yesterday's Al Pacino vehicle here at Venice, "The Humbling," was a disappointment: this is not the Pacino you are looking for. Thank goodness, then, for "Manglehorn", where the sure directorial hands of David Gordon Green know exactly how to unlock latter day Pacino's strengths while reining in his worst excesses. Shot November 2013 in Austin over just 25 days, "Manglehorn" is an often impressionistic character study of a grumpy locksmith, A. J. Manglehorn, but before you run away screaming that you can only take so many impressionistic character studies in one year (off the top of my head, other recent examples include "The Goob," "Locke," "Boyhood," "Winter Sleep," Green's own "Joe"), I'll note that it is among the decent examples of the form. It's difficult to write characters studies about happy people with few obstacles (Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky" is an unusual exception) so the usual form is to either put »
- Catherine Bray
It’s often hard to talk about music without mentioning singers. From the flighty tones of Jeff Buckley to the earthy warble of Louis Armstrong, a great voice can help a record maintain legendary status long after its initial release. Even now, in an industry that increasingly thrives on memorable phrases and catchy, sing-a-long refrains, vocals can make all the difference between climbing to the top of the pile and fading into obscurity.
But what about the instruments behind the voices? Sometimes great tracks eschew singing altogether, relying instead on a mixture of intricate arrangements and technical prowess to make their mark on the musical landscape. Far from meaningless melodies, these tracks can weave elaborate narratives and conjure up a complex array of emotions – all without using a single word.
The power of a good instrumental is best summed up by legendary guitarist Carlos Santana: “I realised »
- Sam Carter
Running is a very hard sport to depict onscreen. Without a rousing score by Vangelis or the horns of “Gonna Fly Now” blasting through the speakers, it is very hard for any filmmaker or actor to show off a character’s speed or endurance in a memorable way. Leg power does not often translate to emotional power on the screen, which is one of the many problems facing 4 Minute Mile, a sports drama that barely goes the distance to be either inspirational or inspired.
Our plucky underdog is Drew Jacobs (Kelly Blatz), a track-and-field senior in Seattle who has a drug-dealing brother (Cam Gigandet), an absent mother (Kim Basinger, also mostly absent from the film) and a dead father. Besides these autobiographical details, there is not much to Drew. He likes to run and he hopes his speed can catapult him out of a life being a mule for his »
- Jordan Adler
Few current TV shows are as cinematic as NBC's "Hannibal," and that includes the stellar music that accompanies each episode. If you're a fan of the series who's looking to add to your CD collection, then read on for some very cool news!
From the Press Release:
The Hannibal Season One Volumes 1 & 2 soundtrack will be available digitally on August 5th and on CD September 2nd. The Hannibal Season Two Volumes 1 & 2 Original TV Soundtracks will be available digitally on September 2nd and on CD September 23rd.
“Visually it’s so artfully done and quite fantastical so I see it like an opera staging; otherwise, I might be more disturbed,” said Reitzell of Hannibal. “Listening to the music alone is scarier than in the context of the show.”
- Debi Moore
Former Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell and actors Charlie Hunnam, Emile Hirsch and Wahlberg attended Spike TV’s ‘Guys Choice 2014′ at Sony Pictures Studios on June 7, 2014 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Spike TV).
In keeping with Spike’s year-round efforts to support our nation’s servicemen and women, “Guys Choice” will once again feature inspiring moments saluting our troops and returning veterans.
Four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative face an impossible, moral decision in Lone Survivor, the intense, action-packed story of heroism, courage and survival, on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, including Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD with UltraViolet™ and On Demand Now, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. »
- Michelle McCue
Four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative face an impossible, moral decision in Lone Survivor, the intense, action-packed story of heroism, courage and survival, coming to Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, including Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD with UltraViolet™ and On Demand on June 3, 2014, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
Lone Survivor will also be available on Digital HD two weeks earlier on May 20, 2014.
Based on Marcus Luttrell’s The New York Times bestselling memoir, Director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) explores the unbreakable bond of brotherhood in a film that Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers praised as “a powerhouse film.” Lone Survivor tells the incredible tale of Operation Red Wings, a mission about four Navy SEALs ambushed by the enemy deep in the mountains of Afghanistan. As the soldiers are confronted by unthinkable odds they must find reserves of strength and resilience in order to fight to the finish. »
- Michelle McCue
David Wingo and David Gordon Green roll pretty deep. The composer scored the director's first feature, "George Washington," and the pair have collaborated numerous times over the years on "All the Real Girls," "Snow Angels," "The Sitter" and last year's "Prince Avalanche." Their working relationship continues with the forthcoming "Joe," and before you see the movie this weekend, you can treat your ears to the music. The folks over at Paste have unveiled a full listen to the soundtrack, and you can click below to hear it for yourself. Starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan, the film follows an ex-con and troubled teen who form a bond in this Southern drama/thriller. Wingo composed the score with Jeff McILlwain, and they nicely set the tone for the story, one with punch, tension and dread all given fair weight across the fifteen tracks (plus songs by Explosions In The Sky and »
- Kevin Jagernauth
There have only been five new installments of “Saturday Night Live” this calendar year, so you’ll be forgiven if the pace of the season as a whole has seemed somewhat off. Throw in the fact that Seth Meyers left between one of the two lengthy breaks in the past three months, and you have a downright disjointed season. But starting tonight, “SNL” airs three new episodes in a row. Anna Kendrick and Seth Rogan will have their respective chances to shine in upcoming weeks, but tonight, it’s time for Louis C.K. to host for a second time. His first hosting gig back in the Fall of 2012 was a mixed bag, but did offer up some classic stuff (including the digital short “Lincoln” and the first installment of “Last Call,” a now-recurring sketch that tends to close out episodes) as well as fascinating disasters (“Mountain Call” is still cringe-worthy »
- Ryan McGee
Like a moth to flame, during SXSW I will flock toward Franklin BBQ. I have more in common with Ace Reporter's "Stick To" music video than I thought. Directed by Austin-based Peter Simonite and Annie Gunn, "Stick To" personifies one of the weirder winged insects and puts him on a bike; he's drawn to a light in an apartment, who as it ends up is Alex Gehring from rock band Ringo Deathstarr. Watch the video below, then watch our exclusive behind-the-scenes commentary video below it. Simonite and Gunn describe the process of sending their human-moth out into the streets, and just how he got his dusty aura: with the help of ashes collected from Franklin's barbeque pits. Gunn and Simonite were also behind Immaculate Noise favorite Explosions in the Sky's short film "Postcard from 1952"; the latter director also helmed another clip from a popular Austin band -- Spoon -- »
With every awards season comes a flood of “best of” compilations and top ten lists, but film scores can be tricky in that department. After all, different composers are operating on different levels, each one working toward a separate goal in his or her respective picture. Brian Tyler aims for something propulsive and heroic in Iron Man 3, while Saving Mr. Banks’ score apparently features Thomas Newman doing his best Thomas Newman impersonation. Lists can be tough when scores operate so independently of one another
So without further ado, I present my favorite film scores from 2013. Unranked:
Saying Alexandre Desplat likes himself a mean waltz is like saying Johnny Depp likes himself a little eye makeup: they’re both gross understatements. Scoring Stephen Frears’ loose adaptation of Philomena Lee’s search for the son she was forced to give up at birth, Desplat makes his affinity abundantly clear with the title track, »
- David Klein
If you happen to be a student of ’90s indie rock, Slint’s Spiderland is an essential text. Engineered by the great Steve Albini in 1991, the same year grunge broke, Spiderland exploded the group’s post-punk songwriting into radically distended forms, ultimately helping to pioneer the field of what’s now portenteously termed “post-rock” (Mogwai, Gy!Be, Explosions in the Sky, etc.). Though that wound up as their final recorded missive, the album’s legend has not dimmed. Director Lance Bangs (Jackass, too many music videos to list here) will be presenting Breadcrumb Trail, a documentary chronicling the making of Spiderland as well as the album’s long shadow of influence, at this year’s SXSW. The first trailer is embedded below:
The post Trailer: Post-rock pioneers Slint get the doc treatment in ‘Breadcrumb Trail’ appeared first on Sound On Sight. »
- Simon Howell
Metropolis Movie Music
One of the more surprising developments this winter has been the financial success of Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor, a half true-to-life action thriller about 2005′s failed Operation Red Wings. Against the Oscar fare that typically hits multiplexes this time of year, it’s grossed an estimated $108 million as of February 7. It’s also fueled debate over the authenticity of the film’s events as adapted from Patrick Robinson’s gussied-up memoir. In addition to multiplying the number of Taliban forces Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell and his team fought, Lone Survivor makes little effort to complicate U.S. involvement in the Middle East beyond black-and-white terms. While some of the blame falls squarely on Berg’s (and Robinson’s) shoulders, Lone Survivor’s score deserves some heat, too.
Enlisting the services of Texas post-rockers Explosions in the Sky »
- David Klein
Director: David Gordon Green,
Running Time: 89 Minutes
With the DVD box art declaring “From the director of Pineapple Express and Your Highness”, it must also be kept in mind that before his trilogy of louder/broader comedies, which culminated in the atrocious The Sitter, David Gordon Green made much more powerful and much, much, quieter films. Among these were the classic All The Real Girls, the sublime George Washington, and the very moving Snow Angels. Prince Avalanche has more in common with these films than it does his more recent efforts, and anyone expecting the energy of Pineapple Express or the crudeness of Your Highness will be very disappointed.
Based on a small Icelandic film, Prince Avalanche takes its two protagonists and puts them in the middle of nowhere Texas. Alivin (Rudd) and Lance (Hirsch) travel along the roads far »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that."
The words above may come from Liverpool's legendary soccer manager Bill Shankly, but they perfectly epitomise the feelings and mindsets of the characters inhabiting Peter Berg's 2004 sports drama Friday Night Lights. Set in Odessa, Texas - where high school team the Permian Panthers are the beating heart that keeps the local community alive - Berg's film hones in on the team's state championship run-in and the trials and tribulations of the players and their coach Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thornton).
Five years previously, Oliver Stone made the flashy Any Given Sunday (a drama stretching from locker to boardroom) but here the focus is on the grass-roots, a side of the game untouched by big corporate deals and mega-money professional contracts. »
Peter Berg ill-advisedly gives the full Hollwood treatment to the true story of an ill-fated Us Navy Seal mission in Afghanistan
Replete with a certain kind of self-importance and self-forgiveness, this Afghan war movie starring Mark Wahlberg has a distinctively martyred America-at-bay feel. Rather like Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down from 2001, it balances indomitable fraternal loyalty against strategic disaster and tacitly claims a net gain. The film is a pumped-up Hollywoodisation of a true story recounted in the 2007 non-fiction bestseller of the same name, about an ill-fated Us Navy Seal mission to take out a leading Taliban commander in remote and mountainous north-eastern Afghanistan. In treacherous terrain, with inadequate air cover and patchy communication links, the four-man team was detected and hopelessly outnumbered, but battled on with extraordinary determination. Like the book, the film emphasises that their predicament was all down to a humane refusal to kill a gaggle »
- Peter Bradshaw
In Part One (Read It here) of our interview with Steve Jablonsky, composer of films like Transformers, The Island, Pain And Gain, Steamboy, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and most recently, Battleship, Ender's Game, and Lone Survivor, we talked about how he got into composing and his earlier work. In Part Two we discuss Transformers: Age Of Extinction, his collaboration with Explosions in the Sky for Lone Survivor, working with Michael Bay, future projects, and a certain superhero movie »
- Paul Shirey
Odd List Ivan Radford 7 Jan 2014 - 06:37
Last year may only be a memory, but its film themes linger in the mind. Here's Ivan's pick of 2013's best soundtracks...
Just a quick scan down the list below reveals an extraordinary breadth of genres and subject matters, from imposing, expensive science fiction films to quiet, intimate stories about men at sea on boats or outlaws breaking out of prison to be with their wives. Disparate though the films are, they're all linked by at least one common motif: their music is utterly brilliant.
So with 2014 already well underway, and an entire new wave of films with great music in them beckoning, join us as we look back to the movies of last year, their finest soundtracks, and the must-listen pieces of music you can dig out on each one.
Must-listen track: Don't Let Go
When does sound »
18 items from 2014
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