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 May, 2009:





5/31/09House of Frankenstein: (Don Davis) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if massive, harmonic orchestral and choral horror scores are still in your music player in the middle of summer.
Avoid it... if all bombastic, Gothic horror scores sound the same to you and the last thing you need to hear in the middle of summer is another series of cliches from the genre.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


5/30/09Heidi: (Lee Holdridge) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you are passionate about Lee Holdridge's pleasantly harmonic style for light dramas and also have an affinity for Mark McKenzie's similar music in the genre.
Avoid it... if you prefer Holdridge's more diverse, orchestrally robust adventure and drama work, most of which eclipses this Disney television music in terms of stature.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/29/09Dick: (John Debney) - Expanded Review
Buy it... on the very brief promotional album only if you specifically noted the impact of John Debney's sleazy parody score in the film.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear a really balanced representation of the music heard in the film, which would require both the promo and the commercial song album to satisfyingly recreate.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/28/09Contract on Cherry Street: (Jerry Goldsmith) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you can't get enough of Jerry Goldsmith's stylistic mannerisms of the late 1970's, for Contract on Cherry Street is absolutely saturated with them.
Avoid it... if you expect most of the basic rhythmic, instrumental, or thematic ingredients of this score to be equal to their equivalents in Goldsmith's feature films of the era.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/27/09Bite the Bullet: (Alex North) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you appreciate the distinct style of the few Western scores in Alex North's career and, like others nostalgic for a dying genre in the 1970's, seek a relatively safe throwback effort.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear North's more unconventional style of instrumentation and rhythm rather than his romantic leanings for a conservative character score.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/26/09Ancient and Modern: (Anne Dudley) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you often find yourself straying closer to the classical crossover genre and recognize that this kind of concert work often has little in common with the typical film score.
Avoid it... if restrained interpretations of traditional English hymns and carols, as well as a diminished ensemble size, cannot compete with the more explosively impressive concert works by other film music composers.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/25/09Nineteen Eighty-Four: (Dominic Muldowney) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you've ever been curious about what the original score for Nineteen Eighty-Four sounded like before it was rudely replaced by the studio with pop material by the Eurythmics.
Avoid it... if you expect this score to express the passion and soul of the film's story, for Dominic Muldowney's music provides all the basic emotional tools but expresses them without any true power.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/23/09The World is Not Enough: (David Arnold) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you appreciate and embrace the harsher technological edge that David Arnold progressively gave the scores for each of the Pierce Brosnan entries in the James Bond franchise.
Avoid it... if you expect this score to offer the same impressively balanced blend of symphonic force and electronica rhythms that made the Tomorrow Never Dies score a classic in the franchise.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/22/09Wing Commander: (Kevin Kiner/David Arnold) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you seek a direct extension of the themes, tone, and style of David Arnold's Independence Day.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear any hint of originality in this otherwise exhilarating space adventure score.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/21/09Virus: (Joel McNeely) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you never balk at the chance to add another guilty pleasure to your collection, regardless of its highly derivative nature.
Avoid it... if 35 minutes of dull suspense and horror music (Joel McNeely's first efforts in the genre) can't justify five minutes of stunning action material and 15 minutes of delicious tributes to numerous genre cliches.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/20/09Teaching Mrs. Tingle: (John Frizzell) - Expanded Review
Buy it... only if you love every tribute to the techniques of Bernard Herrmann, regardless of the coherence or quality of performance behind them.
Avoid it... if you expect John Frizzell to provide the memorable or even basically serviceable personality that he often exhibits in his more straight-forward horror works.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


5/19/09Tarzan: (Phil Collins/Mark Mancina) - All New Filmtracks Review, Replacing a Donated Review
Buy it... if you are either a general Phil Collins enthusiast or a collector of animation, because Tarzan succeeds for both audiences.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear more than a token amount of Mark Mancina's strong score for the film, which is limited to 16 minutes on the Disney album.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


5/18/09The Talented Mr. Ripley: (Gabriel Yared) - Expanded Review
Buy it... only if you seek the competent and rousing selection of standard jazz pieces from the 1950's, for the introverted and reflective underscore by Gabriel Yared is largely overwhelmed by that surrounding material.
Avoid it... if you expect the score to trend towards Yared's work for Message in a Bottle or City of Angels rather than reprising the chilly atmosphere of The English Patient.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/17/09South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: (Trey Parker/Marc Shaiman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you like your musicals served up with lyrics that typically make the bodies of good, church-going folk seize up.
Avoid it... if you have no tolerance for the childish and offensive television show, because the feature film's musical numbers, while impressive in their orchestral and vocal mix, are the ultimate in similarly obnoxious parody.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/16/09Sleepy Hollow: (Danny Elfman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you seek Danny Elfman's most accomplished and violent horror score, complete with truly haunting choral layers and a superbly recorded and mixed series of mostly harmonic orchestral romps.
Avoid it... if you expect this return to the realm of gothic darkness to exude the same personality and spirit in the fantasy genre as Elfman's early classics.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


5/15/09The Sixth Sense: (James Newton Howard) - Expanded Review
Buy it... only if the music that James Newton Howard has provided for M. Night Shyamalan films has never let you down, because The Sixth Sense is one of the most understated of the collaboration.
Avoid it... if you expect the score on album to convey more than just the few fantastic highlights that you hear in the film itself.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/14/09A Simple Plan: (Danny Elfman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... only if you are a true Danny Elfman collector, for the instrumentally complicated but minimalistic A Simple Plan is among the composer's least accessible works.
Avoid it... if you require more than just a few minutes of elegance and melody to accompany Elfman's chilly, somber, and alienating shades of gray for an equally disturbing narrative.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


5/13/09Seven Days: (Scott Gilman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... only if you are one of the lingering fans of the show and seek the consistently sleek, but low-budget synthetic music heard throughout earlier episodes of the series' three-year run.
Avoid it... if you expect the episodic scores to offer the same heroic and optimistic spirit of the strong title music for the show, which realistically isn't worth the price of the album alone.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


5/12/09The Muse: (Elton John) - Expanded Review
Buy it... only if you explicitly appreciated the music in the film itself, for it's difficult to recommend this score to either Elton John's fans or traditional film score collectors.
Avoid it... if you expect John's first orchestral film score to feature the pop sound familiar to the rest of his career.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/11/09Muppets from Space: (Jamshied Sharifi/Rupert Gregson-Williams) - Expanded Review
Buy it... only if you clearly recognize that you're interested in this music for the humor of its parodies rather than any consistent listening enjoyment.
Avoid it... if you'd rather not hear obvious pieces from a dozen other film scores assembled into a haphazard collection of orchestral might and Lalo Schifrin-style funk from decades past.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/10/09The Mummy: (Jerry Goldsmith) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you don't mind hearing orchestras wielded like blunt instruments for exotic and noisy action romps.
Avoid it... if you expect either the sophistication or prevailing personality in style that Jerry Goldsmith's better adventure scores exhibit.
Rating:***   Read the entire review


5/9/09The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc: (Eric Serra) - Expanded Review
Buy it... only if you explicitly appreciated the score's robust choral sequences in the film itself.
Avoid it... if you expect a film of this genre and magnitude to feature a passionate and involving score that consistently addresses the religious and historical significance of the tale.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


5/8/09Message in a Bottle: (Gabriel Yared) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you are looking for one score with which to first represent Gabriel Yared in your film music collection, for this work extends both the style of his restrained classicism and a warmer set of accessible themes.
Avoid it... if you expect outward melodrama in the employment of orchestra and choir for the mysteries of fate and the ocean, for Yared maintains a more contemplative atmosphere throughout the score.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


5/7/09Medal of Honor: (Michael Giacchino) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you want to hear Michael Giacchino's first breakthrough score, for despite residing in the video game genre, "Medal of Honor" is an engagingly robust orchestral work worthy of a motion picture.
Avoid it... if the strikingly obvious similarities between this work and John Williams' Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade might hinder your ability to enjoy its other, more original merits.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


5/6/09Lake Placid: (John Ottman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... only if you are a completist of John Ottman's music, for Lake Placid is among his least inspired, unenthusiastic scores.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear the vibrant orchestral instrumentation and dynamic recording mix that lured many listeners to Ottman's works of the era.
Rating:**   Read the entire review


5/5/09The Iron Giant: (Michael Kamen) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you're tired of hearing underpowered and uninspired action music from Michael Kamen's career, for The Iron Giant is immensely resounding in its constructs, performances, and recording.
Avoid it... if you prefer your animation scores to maintain strong thematic coherency instead of providing a different mini-symphony for each cue.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


5/4/09The Hunley: (Randy Edelman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... only if you're among the few who have seen the production and appreciated the respectfully noble, but restrained and somewhat sparse score.
Avoid it... if you're expecting to hear a score equal in melodramatic resonance to Randy Edelman's far more famous Civil War work on TNT for "Gettysburg."
Rating:**   Read the entire review


5/3/09The Haunting: (Jerry Goldsmith) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you seek Jerry Goldsmith's last truly accomplished horror score, overflowing with creepy atmosphere and chilling themes meant to put you at unease rather than outwardly scare you.
Avoid it... if you expect the score to offer the complexity of structure and explicitly frightening bombast of Goldsmith's classic horror scores from decades before.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


5/2/09Goodbye Lover: (John Ottman) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you appreciate the wild, rhythmic and instrumental creativity of John Ottman's previous Incognito and seek an erotic twist on the same general idea.
Avoid it... if you prefer meaty substance over clever, pseudo-noir style.
Rating:****   Read the entire review


5/1/09For Love of the Game: (Basil Poledouris) - Expanded Review
Buy it... if you seek the last truly strong tones of heartfelt personal exploration and broad strokes of Americana in Basil Poledouris' celebrated career.
Avoid it... if you've never been a fan of Poledouris' habit of mixing electronics at the forefront of an orchestral ensemble, for this score offers a healthy role to the composer's usual synthetic rhythms and an electric guitar.
Rating:****   Read the entire review







Page created 5/14/09, updated 5/15/09. 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.