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, 2009:





1/30/09Anastasia: (Stephen Flaherty/David Newman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you became disillusioned with the later 1990's musicals by Disney and Alan Menken and your love of the genre sends you in search of an intelligent and entertaining alternative.
Avoid it... if you are interested in the commercial album for Anastasia solely for David Newman's score, which is relegated to a small corner of the product amongst an abundance of unnecessary pop song recordings.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


1/28/09Amistad: (John Williams) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you are drawn towards John Williams' more intelligent exercises in restraint, with themes that won't sweep you off your feet but rather entertain with their cultural adeptness.
Avoid it... if a comparatively short Williams score defined by its multi-cultural title theme doesn't offer enough overwhelming melody or robust action to sustain your interest.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/27/09Amazon (IMAX): (Alan Williams) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you can't get enough of that huge IMAX sound to go along with the visuals, with fully symphonic and choral passages accentuated by brilliantly mixed ethnic percussion and woodwind solos.
Avoid it... if, as is the case with Alan Williams' subsequent IMAX score for Island of the Sharks, you simply can't get beyond the temp track adaptations that will be obvious to any film music collector.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/26/09Addicted to Love: (Rachel Portman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you fell in love with the whimsical, hopeless romanticism of Rachel Portman's music for Only You and enjoy her sense of humor when conjuring prancing comedy rhythms.
Avoid it... if Portman's fluffy romance writing consistently leaves you retching in the aisles.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/22/09The 2008 Academy Award Nominations
Nominated for 'Best Score' are Alexandre Desplat for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, James Newton Howard for Defiance, Danny Elfman for Milk, Allah Rakha Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire, and Thomas Newman for WALL·E. This nomination is the first for A. R. Rahman. Like last year, this field of nominated scores features a clear favorite (Rahman, already winner of the Golden Globe). The absence of Hans Zimmer from the nominations is perhaps the biggest surprise of the category. The lack of nomination for John Williams' Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull makes 2008 the first year since 1992 (and only second since 1986) in which Williams has failed to receive a nomination during a year of film score activity. Tell us what you think of the nominations at the Filmtracks Scoreboard!


1/21/0920,000 Leagues Under the Sea (TV): (Mark Snow) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you ever wondered what Mark Snow's music for The X-Files would sound like if expanded in scope to a full-fledged fantasy score with the assistance of a small orchestra and choral effects.
Avoid it... if nothing about this cheap and freaky television adaptation can escape the misfortunes of its budget, for Snow's rendering of the music occasionally fails in its ambitious attempt to mirror a fully symphonic score.
Rating:*****   Read the entire review


1/20/09Mark McKenzie: Orchestral Film Music, Volume 1: (Compilation) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you own little or none of Mark McKenzie's music from the early 1990's or, conversely, if you're interested in his unreleased music for Mi Familia and Down Periscope.
Avoid it... if you already own Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, Frank and Jesse, and McKenzie's later 'Con Passione' compilation, for there's not much else to make this previous collection worth the search.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/19/09Warriors of Virtue: (Don Davis) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you have a loyal collection of James Horner's children's fantasy scores of the early 1990's and seek his regular orchestrator's extension of the same sound in an early solo venture.
Avoid it... if you demand significant portions of the kind of instrumental and dissonant creativity that Don Davis would show later in his career.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/17/09The Rock: (Nick Glennie-Smith/Various) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you seek the official origin of the collaborative Media Ventures sound made famous by the many electronic imitation scores that have accompanied blockbusters in the following decade.
Avoid it... if you prefer hearing Hans Zimmer's solo writing talents and loathe the simplistic and bombastic synthetic style of action score to emerge from his numerous pupils and assistants since.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


1/15/09The English Patient: (Gabriel Yared) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you were emotionally touched by the depictions of sorrow, alienation, and fate in the film and seek its appropriately somber and understated score.
Avoid it... if you expect the story's tragic romanticism to have any coherent organization on album, for Gabriel Yared's aimlessly wandering score and the plethora of source material causes a significantly disjointed listening experience.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


1/13/09Dragonheart: (Randy Edelman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you buy soundtracks with your heart instead of your brain, for there is an intangible magic in Randy Edelman's score that rises above its frightfully simplistic constructs.
Avoid it... if you've never been able to buy into Edelman's incongruous merging of diminished orchestras and his array of bass-heavy electronics for the historical drama or fantasy genres.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


1/11/09Murder in the First: (Christopher Young) - All New Filmtracks Review, Replacing a Donated Review
Buy it... if all you know of Christopher Young is his plethora of horror and suspense scores, for Murder in the First is a superior and memorable venture into the historical drama genre.
Avoid it... if quiet elegies performed by strings and choir (and virtually nothing else) defy your need for more dynamic and extroverted music from the horror master.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/10/09Now and Then: (Cliff Eidelman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you're not sure which of Cliff Eidelman's light dramatic scores of the middle to late 1990's to sample, for the title theme from Now and Then is as beautiful as the composer's efforts in the genre would get.
Avoid it... if you need more than simply a pretty Rachel Portman-inspired title theme to justify your purchase of an otherwise conservative, piano-dominated effort.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


1/8/09First Knight: (Jerry Goldsmith) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you maintain at least a moderate collection of Jerry Goldsmith's action scores, because First Knight connects the styles of his 1970's classics with the bombast of his best scores of the late 1990's.
Avoid it... if you expect either the intellect or creativity of the related (but superior) music from Goldsmith for The 13th Warrior.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/5/09Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: (John Williams) - Updated Review
Buy it... on the inadequate 1989 album if you are willing to tolerate substandard sound quality and only half of the impressive, but not overwhelming music written by John Williams for the film.
Avoid it... even on the 2008 expanded, remastered edition if you absolutely demand the complete score for the film, because that set is missing more than 20 minutes of material.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


1/2/09Raiders of the Lost Ark: (John Williams) - Expanded, Updated Review
Buy it... if you're looking to start a collection of John Williams' classic scores from the height of the Bronze Age, for Raiders of the Lost Ark is among both the best and most influential adventure works from that era.
Avoid it... on the 1995 CD album if you absolutely require more complete releases of the score, which just happen to exist on the concurrent double-LP set or the 2008 franchise CD set.
Rating:*****   Read the entire review







Page created 1/20/09, updated 1/30/09. Version 2.1 (Filmtracks Publications). Copyright © 2009, 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.