Newest Major Reviews:.This Month's Most Popular Reviews: Best-Selling Albums:
. 1. Transformers: Last Knight
2. Cars 3
3. The Mummy
4. Wonder Woman
5. POTC: Dead Men Tell No Tales
. . 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 January, 2005:





1/28/05 - Alias (TV): (Michael Giacchino) --Updated Review-- "...The second album (with music from Season 2) does partially solve the weakness of stylistic wandering, however, because, as Giacchino explains, the dramatic stakes in the show are always increasing and the more consistent use of live players, therefore, is necessary. This move is logical by Giacchino and Abrams, and it is even more refreshing to hear a continued loyalty to live musicians in the television genre. Consisting of mostly a string section and a handful of brass, you occasionally hear the shriek of a flute, but most of the orchestral underscore is straight-forward string writing with brass counterpoint over the top. In its dramatic intensity, the music does build up the steam that finally blows in "Hitting the Fan" and "Balboa and Clubber," a pair of Bernard Herrmannesque cues that leave no doubt that the series is losing some of its flashier pop angles. Giacchino still does maintain a tad of that James Bond/David Arnold flash of high style jazz (in "On the Train" and "Going Down?")..." *** Read the entire review.

1/25/05 - The Academy Award nominations for 2004 have been announced, and the list contains a few surprises. Nominated for 'Best Score' are Jan A.P. Kaczmarek for Finding Neverland, John Williams for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Thomas Newman for Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, John Debney for The Passion of the Christ, and James Newton Howard for The Village. Notable contending scores that were eliminated from consideration for eligibility issues included Howard Shore's The Aviator, Craig Armstrong's Ray, and Clint Eastwood's own score for Million Dollar Baby. The dark horse favorite for the award this year is John Debney, whose work is widely known in Hollywood but not often recognized outside the industry. This is the tenth straight awards in which John Williams has been nominated during years he has composed at least one score, and his departure from the popular Harry Potter franchise might yield considerable sentimental votes for him. Tell us what you think of the nominations at the Filmtracks ScoreBoard.

1/22/05 - The Chorus (Les Choristes): (Bruno Coulais) --All New Review-- "A smash hit in its native country of France, The Chorus is the country's submission for "Best Foreign Film" for the 2004 Academy Awards. Despite its familiar storyline, The Chorus launched past its competition in French cinema and became the most popular film during the past year in the country. A feel-good story in the genre of "good teacher versus bad students," the drama follows the kind-hearted, washed up composer Clement Mathieu (Gerard Jugnot) who becomes a teacher at a reformatory school in 1949 France. Appropriately named "Le Fond De L'Etang" ("Rock Bottom"), the school has your usual collection of young boys who are brats and thieves, and the institution is run by a militaristic headmaster in a castle-like structure. The new teacher slowly assembles the delinquents boys into a choir, a move that sets him at odds with headmaster, but eventually proves that a little tender loving care and the inspiration of music can turn the boys around...." **** Read the entire review.

1/18/05 - Ray: (Craig Armstrong) --All New Review-- "Released shortly after the death of the music icon Ray Charles in 2004, Ray is a biographical telling of the performer's life from 1930 to 1966. For younger audiences familiar with Charles' glowingly positive aura in the final 40 years of his career, there might not be as much knowledge about the very troubled childhood and early career that Charles was forced to navigate through to achieve control over his own addictions. It is safe to say that the life of Ray Charles is an ultimate study in victory of tragedy, although Charles certainly had enough tragedy to fill an entire film. In the movie Ray, we view the horrific, emotionally paralyzing death of Charles' brother as Ray watches; it is one of the few lasting memories of sight once Charles goes blind later in his childhood. Upon moving to Seattle to ignite his performing career, his addictions to pot and heroine were twenty years in the conquering, and he never really was able to resist the plethora of women who threw themselves at him...." **** Read the entire review.

1/15/05 - Spanglish: (Hans Zimmer) --All New Review-- "As if almost on cue, James L. Brooks' newest comedy/drama about interpersonal relationships arrives on the scene just in time to sweep away critics and audiences with its charm during the awards season. While perhaps no effort will eclipse the superbly acted As Good As It Gets in 1997, the oddly assembled cast of Spanglish has done pretty well in its own part. Starring Adam Sandler in a substantially serious role, Spanglish portrays the story of a Mexican woman and her daughter who arrive in the employment of a wealthy Los Angeles family. Unlike the more deadly serious variations on that story in past films, Spanglish treats the Mexican woman as a sort angelic presence who helps --through the language barrier-- to give sound advice to help with the eccentricities of the her American employers. While the film does border on more serious topics (such as adultery, for instance), the aim of the film is to win your heart in the end, and Spanglish has done just that for many critics just prior to the 2004 awards nominations...." **** Read the entire review.

1/11/05 - Cellular: (John Ottman) --All New Review-- "If you're the type of person who hates cell phones, then perhaps this film's not for you. The screenwriter of Phone Booth, Larry Cohen, must have decided that he had conquered the market on phone booth terror, so he turned to every possible method of terrifying a person with the familiar concept of a failing cell phone. In essence, a tenuous and random cell phone connection between a woman being held hostage in her own home and an average Joe on the streets sends the young man on a race against time and his cell phone battery to help this woman and her family. Despite the numerous plot holes that always arise when you stretch a topic like this one to such great limits, the film does survive on its performances and twists in plot. Though suffering only mild slaps from critics, the film still didn't hold well enough with audiences to keep it in the theatres very long. Director David R. Ellis had been a fan of composer John Ottman's work for The Usual Suspects and X-Men 2, and thus successfully pursued Ottman for the scoring duties on Cellular...." *** Read the entire review.

1/8/05 - Shrek 2: (Harry Gregson-Williams) --All New Review-- "Riding the wave created by the monumental success of Shrek a few years before, this direct sequel begins right where the first tale left off. Several new peripheral characters adorn Shrek 2 with even more eccentric humor than before, and despite a tendency for such sequels to have the many straight-to-video kinds of production faults, Shrek 2 suffers no such problems. While purists will cling to the original film to the very end, Shrek 2 was both a critical and popular success, not only continuing the massive fiscal success of the now-series at the box office, but gaining a surprisingly positive response from hardened critics as well. The music for the first film was very much a mirror of the story's pop-culture range, with Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell providing an orchestral punch-line comedy score. While popular and successful in and of itself, that original score provided some challenges when enjoyed apart from the film; the slapstick nature of the film translated directly to the music..." **** Read the entire review.

1/2/05 - Hollywood '95: (Compilation) --Expanded Review-- "The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has recorded hundreds of film music works for release by the Varèse Sarabande label. At the helm for most of their early recordings of the mid-1990's was conducter/composer Joel McNeely, considered at the time to be a student and possible successor for film music legend John Williams. The collaboration of the RSNO and Joel McNeely had proven moderately successful during a recording of the previous year's scores (provided on an album called, of course, Hollywood '94), and the enormous success of Hollywood '95 would lead to one more similar collection of recordings the following year before the collaboration would take a few years off. The RSNO would continue to re-record entire scores to be released by Varèse Sarabande, and like any performing group, they have their days when they excel and days when wrong notes miserably blurt out in nearly every cue. Such is the habit of any performing group, however, especially when performing the works of a composer for the first time...." ***** Read the entire review.






Page created 2/10/05, updated 2/11/05. Version 2.1 (Filmtracks Publishing). Copyright © 2005, Christian Clemmensen. All rights reserved. "Real Audio" logo and .ra are Copyright © 1996, Real Audio (www.realaudio.com). "Academy Awards" and the Oscar statue are ® AMPAS, 1996.